Balancing Career and Purpose: Lessons from My Determined Little Driver

What I would have told my younger self starting out in my career?

I was 19-year-old when I started my career in leadership, so young, green behind the ears, hardworking and eager to impress.

I call the younger version of me starting out in her career, my determined little driver.

When I look back at her I have so much admiration and respect for the younger me, she had so much grit and determination. 

My early years

Reflecting on my early years I can feel the strength of character she possesses, she was strong, defiant, strong willed, confident, very curious and eager to learn about the world. She had a strong sense for doing the correct and fair thing and really valued the greater good.

She was also compassionate and empathetic with a strong sense of self-worth and drive. Her strength of character stuck with me through my life and is still with me today. During times of distress in my life, she was always a pillar of reliability, driving me forward, ensuring I succeeded against all odds and sometimes at all costs.

She was firmly the driver in my life, always pushing me on and driving me forward, for her strength, grit, and determination I will always be grateful.

I became a workaholic quite young wearing this validation like a badge of honour however this did serve me as at a very young age I had a very, successful senior level career and was starting to set the steps in order for the life I wanted to have….. from the outside I looked like I had it all together, a plan and I was going to make that plan a reality!

The trouble with my determined little driver was she tended to be a harsh task master and drive me too hard. She lacked balance, when she heard the word boundaries, she would shrug it off and say, pfff boundaries what’s that.

The pushiness of my determined driver became a bit of a pattern and unfortunately that pattern led me in the end to a place of extreme burn out.

Senior leadership career

I noticed at the age of 32 while in the throws of a very senior leadership career in the corporate space, I started to experience burnout and a strong internal disconnect. I was not content, and I knew I was not fulfilling my purpose and life mission.

I had incredible Mum Guilt, health challenges, I was not present for my kids, I was always working and travelling with work. My husband took on more and more as well as juggling his own business, but this was not sustainable long term…. I was experiencing an internal shift.

I noticed an internal push and pull, one side of me pushing and driving to be more successful at work and have more material things and keep setting higher and higher standards that became exhausting to achieve, the pull was a side of me that was longing for a calmer time, a connection to my values and a real sense of purpose.

A shift was happening, a change was coming I just needed to figure out how to navigate it…..I needed the determined driver to take a rest, heaven knows she deserved it.

Corona virus happened

This period personally gave me back so much.

A time to slow down and just be,

A time to enjoy my children as I never took maternity leaves for the full duration, and I got to rectify my relationship with my kids and be a Mum.

Teach them to bake, tie shoelaces, read the time.

I felt like I was building a cocoon around my little family, and I had this deep sense of protection and purpose.

Once normality started to occur work demands became worse than ever, decision making directly disconnected with my values.

The internal push and pull became worse and I became anxious and deeply unhappy. I did not know how to build a plan to move me forward.

I hired a coach!

I spent time reflecting on the learnings and learning my own mind. Listening to the questions that were coming up inside of me and taking time to answer these questions with honesty, humility, and compassion for myself.

The answers and the path became clear, I was ready for my new journey. I desperately needed to forge a career helping women like me see there was another way, another purpose, a path without compromise between their careers and their home life.

Reflecting on my early days as leader in the early stages of my career at only 19 years old.

I wish someone told me,

  • I didn’t have to work every hour under the sun to prove myself,
  • I didn’t need to wear my over working tendencies like a badge of honour at the detriment of everything else in my life,
  • I could practise time for me and self-care and that this was not a crime or something to be ashamed of,
  • I did not need to seek my achievements through external validation, because I was amazing, and I was good enough.

To all the inspirational aspiring leaders out there embarking on your incredible journey, remember you are enough, and you don’t need to sacrifice yourself for the sake of your career, there is another way… there is your way.

Remember I have your back!

Contact me today for a free discovery call

Lets see if we are a good fit to work together

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