Is there a price to pay to be in one of those “C” seats?
Is there a price to pay when you finally break that glass ceiling?
The answer is yes and no.
The answer is “Yes” if you are not prepared for making the decisions which come with the territory, more on this later, and “No” if you are prepared for what is needed when you are fully prepared to step into the position.
You see it isn’t really about being male or female. It is about being fully equipped and ready to step into the position when called upon to do so. We see this every month when there is a big lottery drawing and the hype begins to swell and people with little to spare rush to buy a ticket in hopes of hitting the jackpot and to be “set for life”. Time and time again the same sad story plays out, the winner is back exactly where he/she was a few short months or a year later financially – why? They person was not prepared to handle the responsibility that came with the prize winnings. The same is true for those of us who want that big job, the title, to have a seat at the table, to break the glass ceiling or whatever it is that calls to you. Are you prepared to accept what come with the title?
Everything comes with a price. If you are prepared, the seat at the table very comfort and fits well, it is exhilarating, the challenges presented open up a whole new world of complex thinking exercises, your skills will be put to the test in the areas of negotiating, new market expansion, the fine line of walking the tight rope between customer, board members, shareholder, not to mention your new found celebrity which can certainly go straight to your head if you aren’t careful. Your perspective will widen, your travel schedule will increase, the demands on your time and the power of your critical thinking skills will be tested and your ability to make decisions that affect millions or billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, products and product lines, goods and services will all come to bear on your shoulders, depending on the market segment you are in. How prepared are you? Remember in our three part series, when asked about why there aren’t more women in those top positions, the answers were very clear. Get the experience you need if this is the path you wish to pursue.
If you are one of the few who truly has a passion for breaking the glass ceiling, you need to sit down and strategize a clear path of growth for yourself and map out how you are going to get there. Yes, there will be detours along the way and many set back, but you adjust and continue with relentless laser focus moving forward with no regrets.
If on the other hand, you decide to change your mind and take another career path, or follow another passion, cut yourself some slack. We all change our minds. The average adult changes careers many times in a lifetime. Here are some sobering statistics from Fast Company magazine in 2012:
- 4.4 years – the average stay at a job in the current economic environment*
- 11.4 jobs – number of jobs the average man will have over his lifetime *
- 10.7 jobs – number of jobs the average woman will have over her lifetime*
- 45 – age for peak earning potential for a man*
- 38 – age for peak earning potential for a woman*
- *these statistics were sited from the Bureau of Labor Statistics National Longitudinal Surveys in 2012.
Food for thought, don’t you think? I doubt many of us think in these terms. We want to really be taken care of and have stability and live quiet, normal lives, but is not going to be the case and statistics bear this out.
The real question becomes: What do I really want? Where do I want to be in 4 years? And another 4 years? And another 4 years? To me you can think about positioning yourself with a strategic career growth path in the field you want to be in where you have your passion and then set about climbing that ladder if that is what you want.
You have so much to look forward to in this journey and now is the time to prepare to get the most out of it. We all need to work, not just to make a living but to survive, mentally, physically and to be of use to ourselves, our families and to society. Become educated and skilled with knowledge and tools that will serve you a “lifetime” that is what will make you valuable!