My most recent post, Reply is Hazy, detailed just some of the frustrations and challenges I have been working my way though for the last few months. Though I had made the decision that I needed to steer my career in the direction of Project Management early this year, I have been frustrated lately that I haven’t made more progress towards that goal. This frustration was a constant source of irritation. Life has a way of happening regardless of your goals, and I felt like I was fighting a losing battle to move my career forward. I was terrified that I may be stuck where I am, and I knew I was a victim of analysis paralysis.
The state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome.
Over the last month or so, pieces have started to line up in a more positive way. My friend who just started in her new job gave me some honest and much needed advice that served as a good jolt to my analysis paralysis. My husband continues to offer his guidance and support, which help give me the light at the end of the tunnel. My upcoming Annual Performance Review forced me to both set goals for the coming year and review everything I’ve accomplished this year, which helped me see that I haven’t been as stuck as I had felt. A weekend afternoon sitting in a Barnes & Nobel cafe with a Venti London Fog and a copy of You Are a Badass! How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life helped improve my motivation.
But the thing that really shattered the mirrors of the fun house I was stuck in was listening to a back episode of The Geek Whisperers podcast. In February 2015 John, Matt and Amy released Episode 75: Be the CEO of Your Own Career with guest Josh Atwell of Solidfire. The episode was so inspiring I listened to it twice in a row, the second time furiously scribbling notes to myself. By the end of the second listening, I had more than five pages of notes, a game plan for moving forward, and for the first time in a long time a feeling of focus and peace that comes with confidence in the direction you are heading. I’m sure that a good chunk of that came from the fact that Josh, like Amy and myself, are all fellow Gingers and are thus awesome!
Some readers of the blog may have noticed that I recently changed my publication frequency, cutting back from three days a week down to two. This was a deliberate decision to try and free up more time for me to pursue my goals, and an acknowledgement that I was battling both a lack of direction and a serious case of writers block. This blog has always been about building my personal brand and sharing my expertise, but the haziness of the direction I was heading was making finding things to write about difficult. Trying to write about my varied interests in Project Management, Cybersecurity, Technology and Healthcare Technology/IT without really having hard experience in any of those fields made finding subjects I felt confident writing about difficult.
After listening to the podcast, I felt like I had permission to acknowledge what I had long been trying to hide or ignore. Building a brand is important, especially when you are trying to transition out of your current career. But your brand needs to be consistent and focused, and I felt that I was failing at both of those mandates out of fear that I would never move forward without having some kind of personal brand.
I need to take some time to re-align my priorities, focus on what I need to do to shift my career in the direction I want it to go, and then return to building my personal brand. Spending hours on weekends trying to come up with things to write about simply for the sake of having content out there is taking away the only time I have available for studying, career strategizing and realignment.
Besides just giving me a strategy for how to move my career forward, Josh and the Geek Whisperers gave me the room to acknowledge that it’s OK to take your foot off the gas to re-focus. It will pay long term benefits in terms of helping you meet your overall goals. I am so grateful to have this knowledge and want to personally thank Josh, John, Amy and Matt again for putting that knowledge out there for people like me.
And so, dear reader, with just shy of two years worth of content on the blog, I am going to be taking a hiatus. I may post occasional pieces if I am truly inspired to do so, but I will not be posting with any regularity. I will be focusing on completing some work projects, including upcoming work travel, spending the holidays with my family back home in Michigan and building my career game plan. After the first of the year, when the work projects are completed and before the next ones are scheduled, I’ll have my game plan in place and be ready to hit the ground running so that I can made definite progress towards my career goals.
So for now, Au Revoir! I shall return with a clearer head and a more focused path!