By Sarah Wilshaw-Sparkes
Years ago, before children, and in the days when I was aiming on moving up the ranks in the consulting company I worked for, I had a big ah-ha moment.
It was 1992. I have a huge capacity for work and that year I put work, and the needs of the company, first. Every day, every week. If they said jump, I did. If they needed volunteers, I stepped up. I worked weekends, I missed social events. You get the idea. I could not, simply could not, have been more dedicated.
At the end of the year came a review with one of the partners. He said to me, “Well, we’re not sure how committed you really are to this firm and to your career”.
I must have goggled at him because he went on, “Someone who was in that late night team meeting you guys had on Project X said you wished you were out in the fresh air, gardening”.
You know how emotion can fix a scene in your mind? I can still see that busy sushi restaurant in a Sydney street, the hard chairs and the carafe of water on the table. I let him have it with both barrels in a way I never have with a senior person before or since. My disappointment at a colleague telling tales about a moment of escapist fantasy was nothing compared to my outrage that after all I had done and given – and given up – this was the response. This was how much anyone had noticed or valued the huge efforts I had made.
The moral of the story, folks, is: don’t sell your soul to the firm. The firm will take all you have and still expect more. It’s a hill without a summit. So, that day in December 1992, I resolved never to give that much again. I would push back, I would keep something of me, for me. And that’s what I did. You want to know what happened? They promoted me.
- All Topics
- Begin with success
- Self-insight for success
- Build for success
- Successful working mothers
- Lead with success
Self Awareness – A Must-Have Ingredient for Career Success
An Introduction to Emotional Intelligence
Ready to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about Professionelle and how we might benefit you or your organisation, please contact our Director, Jayne Chater on firstname.lastname@example.org or 021 779 967.