Hello SOTGC community.
The culmination of realizing just how tightly I had cinched myself into Golden Handcuffs of my own making came on awards night at my company’s Global Sales Meeting in May 2013. For several months prior to this meeting I was on a mission! I felt my company wasn’t appreciating my talents. I had earned enough accolades to warrant a promotion, was openly acknowledged as one of the best account managers in our division, and yet my career had stagnated and that promotion wasn’t forthcoming. I felt discounted, and I was pissed!
I entered into the Global Sales meeting with the mentality that this would be the last meeting I’d have with my division (a team I had been part of for 5 years) and as soon as I was able to really build up Stilettos on the Glass Ceiling, I would be gone! As I watched several of my friends and colleagues walk across the stage and accept their President’s Club award I was reminded of just how much I cared for this team, and that what I had set out to do wasn’t done yet.
The next morning I had an epiphany. I realized that the only reason I had been passed over for the promotion that I so passionately wanted, was because I was my own worst enemy. In my heart I knew what I had been doing wrong, but I needed mentors in my company that I had known for years, respected and trusted, to tell me to my face.
Flash-forward a month and several “no punches held” conversations with my mentors, and I was interviewing Cy Wakeman on her book: The Reality Based Rules of the Workplace (which I recommend to ANY aspiring career woman or man). During the process of reading her book, I realized that what strapped me into my own personal Golden Handcuffs were myemotional expensiveness and my refusal to CONSISTENTLY act like the role model and team player that I needed to be in order to be allowed more responsibility and leadership within my company.
My own stubborn, self-absorption was costing me my ambition. Ladies and gentleman, Golden Handcuffs are a choice we make and they are a limitation that we alone put ourselves in. In the past few months I have never been happier at my company and at the future prospects I have within it. I went to work unlocking these Golden Handcuffs through personal and leadership development.
But I couldn’t have done this alone, and you shouldn’t feel like you have to either. You know that saying “you don’t know what you don’t know?” That’s the purpose of having mentors and career consultants to identify WHAT your Golden Handcuffs are…and to help you unlock them.