Marketing

4 QUESTIONS TO HELP BREAK OUT OF YOUR CAREER CRISIS

HAVE YOU FOUND YOURSELF IN A CAREER CRISIS? 

IN THE WORDS OF RIHANNA...

"CHILL OUT BRO"

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Just kidding, I'm not sure if Rihanna has ever uttered those exact words. But judging from that picture above, I'm going to venture and say yes, yes she has. 

In this day and age, the old idea of staying at a job for 30 years and having a natural progression in your career advancement has been thrown out the window (or so you think). Social media will have you in your feelings, thinking that everyone is finding their dream jobs or quitting their day jobs and becoming their own bosses.

You likely suffer from workplace stress and to make matters worse, you surf the internet, hear about everyone else's jobs and entrepreneurial successes. Meanwhile, you feel like you’re treading water and going nowhere.  

Then you lookup one day and realize you are in a career crisis.

Afterwards, comes the self reflection. Am I doing enough? Could I be doing more? Am I happy? Is this it? Is there more to life? Can I see myself in this career for 30 years? Should I be working to make a difference in the world? Should I be more passionate about my job? 

Well, I'm here to deliver you a nice dose of "chill out bro" and a remind you that the internet is about as real as the 26 inches of wavy Brazilian locks in my hair. So hop off Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and dig deep and do the work to find your happiness in your current role. And if you can't find it, then perhaps it is time to start applying for jobs. But before you do that,  I've compiled a list of 4 questions to ask yourself (with some real Rihanna quotes for inspo) so you can self reflect before you go put in a two week's notice. 

1) Why am I feeling stuck in my present career?

The problem may not be your actual career. You could be feeling stuck because you're not inspired. You may be working for the wrong company or doing work that you aren't passionate about.  Personally, when I work on uninspiring projects, I struggle. It shows up in my work and I mess up things that I don't typically screw up when I'm inspired.  It is quite difficult to get good at something that you don’t even like.

If you are doing something that you like, but are still feeling stuck... it is likely because you have grown apathetic and have not taken responsibility of your own career growth. If that's the case, stop reading and check out my post about ten steps you can take now to improve your career. You probably are in the right career, just lack the passion or support to get out of the rut. If you're still not sure you're in the right career, keep reading.

What Would Rihanna Say: People think, because we’re young, we aren’t complex, but that’s not true. We deal with life and love... in the same way [someone] older might. – Rihanna

2) Have I outgrown my current role?

Make a list of all the knowledge, skills, and talent you have developed so far in your career. Is this what you want to work on or are you working very hard at getting ahead in a career that you have long since outgrown? Perhaps, you’re working as a Marketing Coordinator, but feel you could easily become a Marketing Manager; perhaps, you’re a nurse's aid, but feel that you could easily run be a nurse; or perhaps, you work as a retail clerk in a department store, but have more than enough sales skills to be a manager. If that's the case, then you're not necessarily in a career crisis. You just need to be mapping your next move and designing your pitch to your boss, to get you the role you now deserve.

What Would Rihanna Really SaySuccess for me isn’t a destination it’s a journey. Everybody’s working to get to the top but where is the top? It’s all about working harder and getting better and moving up and up. – Rihanna

3) If I like my career choice, am I doing it in the right place?

Perhaps, you have already found the right career, but management isn't progressive or their values don't align with your own. Reporting to someone who supports #45 is an exhausting is a task in itself -- that I'm thankful I don't have to deal with on a daily.  Or maybe it's not your bosses political views that are causing your crisis, but perhaps you are not advancing in your role simply because you are working in a company that is not interested in helping you grow. In this case, use your job as a training vehicle to develop all the competencies that you need to either force higher management to notice you or to become a highly attractive prospect for another company. Make a list of what you are not doing that you could be doing better. Think of yourself as an independent contractor rather than an employee. Begin to become highly proactive in your current position to prepare you for where you want to go. When I approach the job hunt, I always remind myself that while I work for a company, I am a CEO of one. That means, I need to make decisions for my career based on what's best for me: financially, emotionally, career progression, and resume wise.

What Would Rihanna Really Say:  "All in baby, don’t hold nothing back. Wanna take control, Nothing wrong with that."– Rihanna

4) What is the career that I really want to pursue?

If after asking yourself the first three questions, you determined that it is not your job, but it is in fact your career, then become very clear what type of career you would like to pursue. Clarity is the first step to goal-setting. You must be able to see the destination to start walking in the right direction. Without clarity, you can’t set goals, and without goals, you can’t make plans, and without plans, you can’t move forward. And then you'll be stuck (you see a pattern here?).

What Would Rihanna Really Say And my runway never looked so clear. But the hottest b*tch in heels right here.– Rihanna

Conclusion

If you are stuck in a career that you don’t like, you have to take responsibility for your situation and figure out what you would like to happen. These four questions should help you reflect on where you are now and become clear about where you want to go. Once you have clarity, then you will be able to move forward with creating the career that fills you with passion and enthusiasm and that will financially reward you for your knowledge, skills, and effort.

If you are still feeling stuck, #TheBisForBoss would love to work with you to help bring you some more clarity. Check out our Career Services that will get you help you get unstuck so that pursue the job you desire and deserve. 

Closing words from Rihanna: "#TheBisForBoss is a dope community, full of dope women, doing dope things. Join the #BossTribe or you will regret it!

You Tell em' Rih!

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BOSS 101: Interview with Becky Murdy

I've known Becky Murdy for over six years. When we first met, we were working on the same Community Partnership team for Google+ Sports. She was working out of their Boston office, while I was working out of a remote office in Houston, Texas. We worked at the same company for a year, before finally meeting in person. Fast forward another year, and she left Google to work for Octagon, where she recruited me to come work for her full-time about six months later. We have had the opportunity to plan activations for AllState's NCAA Sponsorship, ESPN and the Special Olympics, Mastercard & Gwen Stefani, and create social media campaigns for a group of 20+ exhilarating Action Sport Athletes for Sony. While we no longer work at the same company and our careers have taken us to opposite coasts, we still keep in touch and reunite when work or life brings us together -- i.e., Super Bowl 50 in San Francisco.

For readers who don't know you, tell us a little about yourself…

To start, I'm an East Coast girl living in a West Coast dream. I am currently the Vice President of an incredible sports start-up in San Francisco and living my best life. I recently moved out to SF from Connecticut where I also worked in sports at Octagon, before that I was with Google in Boston and even before that I was with the Olympics (USA Volleyball) out of Colorado. I'm originally from Bangor, Maine (Julie the Cat Gaffney) and went to Penn State. I have a kick ass sister who is still in Boston, a boy friend who is an NFL agent, lovely parents and the greatest french bulldog of all time, Phoenix.

What inspired you to work in sports?

When I was about 10 years old my father brought me to a Patriots game for my birthday. There was one woman on the sidelines and I was curious as to what she was doing down there. I asked my dad what she did he ran down to ask her for me. She worked PR for the Patriots and I thought..hey if I can't take an actual down on the field, I can at least be around it. I've been training myself to work in sports ever since. One other note about sports is that I have seen a game do incredible things for people in times of need. Whether its a natural disaster or just a bad day, sports has connected people to happiness and hop for a long time. I will never ever get over that feeling.

After graduation you moved to Denver, however since then you have moved to Boston, Connecticut, and now you reside in San Francisco. What are your thoughts on location having to do with opportunity?

Since the beginning I told myself I would move anywhere for a job opportunity. I highly recommend just allowing jobs in the beginning to take you across the country and even for some, across the world. It's very important that when you can be mobile that you are, because later in life that isn't as easy.

What is the craziest thing you have ever done to get a lunch/calendar with someone?

True story... I once emailed a guy from the NFL for information about a volunteer opportunity at an upcoming Super Bowl. I knew it was difficult to get and of course it was volunteer so there was no money but I felt I had to do anything I could to get a meeting with this guy face to face. I asked if he would grab coffee with me for 15 minutes. He countered with a meeting in the NFL offices and I accepted saying I wasn't far from their location. A few days later I took a 9 hour train ride to NYC. I also got accepted into the volunteer opportunity.

How important is networking and relationships when it comes to your career?

At the end of the day it is the only thing that matters. I always say that your vibe attracts your tribe. So if you have a positive giving vibe, and open yourself up to meet a bunch of people, you will always be surrounded by top-notch people. I've never ever gotten a job without someone personally referring me. I give my network 100% credit for where I am and where I have been lucky enough to be.

What’s one piece of advice you have for women out there that are looking to start a career in sports?

To educate themselves on all  opportunities within sports. There are so many amazing  jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc. in sports that will help pave your career path. I thought a side line reporter was the only job available for a female in sports and I was VERY bad at it so I didn't know if I'd make it in sports. Then a few bad ass mentors of mine introduced me to so many other departments, properties, job titles so that I could expand my search and really see where I fit within the arena.

What challenges do you face as a woman in your field?

Luckily there have not been too many that have held me back but I think being a woman in sports allows for less access to certain jobs and also makes you have to be on your game at all times. As a woman, I have never played a sport that I have worked for, so my knowledge around a table of men who have all played the sport is obviously less than them. I had to make sure that in every day conversation my sports trivia knowledge was high and my current events knowledge was also exceptional.

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 How do you deal with being in a male dominated industry?

I have had an incredible career path that has been surrounded by very powerful women and men. I've worked for women that celebrate women and men that acknowledge and embrace smart and fearless women. I think as women in a male-dominated industry, one of the greatest things you can do is that when you get to the top you send that elevator back down to get the next woman to rise.

Your boyfriend also works in sports, in fact you both met while working for the same company. How do you balance love and career?

 We balance it quite well actually because we love what we do and we are both finding ourselves in our career at the same time. He is an NFL agent so that allows me to learn about the athlete side of the business as I'm not as in touch with that and he can learn from me how the marketing side of the business works. We both respect each other's side of the business and use each other in a lot of the deals that we do. Luckily neither of us have ever needed a break from sports... yet.

What’s your "B" Word? And how do you redefine it?

BOLD - being a boss is being bold. Be bold about your decisions and if those bold decisions are made through passion then you will find yourself becoming a boss very quickly. For any woman who is aspiring to build her brand and/or her career, my piece of advice for you is to find a good group of women that support you and that love to see you succeed. If you don't have any of those people... call one of us. We happily will root you on!