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Getting Comfortable with Yourself

One of my clients (let’s call her Xena) has recently taken what looks like a huge leap: she has decided to begin the process of culling work she does not find fulfilling so she can create the time and the opportunity to do the kind of work she enjoys. The scary (or thrilling, depending on your perspective) part is that the former category represents about ¾ of her current clients.

Her decision made me wonder how many lawyers and accountants just drift along, doing unrewarding, soul-deadening work day after day, hoping something will change: dreaming they will someday make more money, do more interesting work, and have better clients. And while they are dreaming, they continue to sit at their desks, doing the same old thing.

Xena knows business development doesn't work that way. She understands it is her responsibility to decide where her professional life goes. She knows if she simply waits for something to change without creating the change herself, she is highly unlikely to be successful.

Xena is fortunate to be in an environment that encourages partners to do the work they want to do and provides resources to do it. But Xena also has plenty of colleagues in her firm who fall into the drift-along, partner-as-employee category.

Xena is different primarily because she is aware. She pays attention to her own professional needs and acts on them. She is creating a plan that will get her from where she is to where she wants to be. Xena also is prepared to deal with the following:

For Xena, such challenges are merely caution signs on her journey to creating the kind of career she wants. She is willing to meet them as they arise, because she knows that in the long run they are minor compared with the return she will get.

It might be useful to take some solitary time and reflect on what you are doing professionally. Are you where you want to be, doing what you want to do? Are you happy to go to work every day (or at least most days)? Are you rewarded financially, intellectually and emotionally for what you do?

If you want to do something different, the hardest part is making the decision. The rest is just a matter of planning and execution.

© Melinda Guillemette 2009