Finding the right role (from not knowing how and where to direct my career!)

I’m Mia, and I’ve been passionate about career building and finding the right role for the last ten years. I've been in the forum for a few years but have been quiet lately, so I thought I'd introduce myself here!

But it wasn’t always that way. When I was in college I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life…. but I knew I wanted whatever I did to make an impact, and I wanted to be creative and collaborate with others.

But my first job out of college was *so rough* I remember feeling bored…. But I was also working *so hard* to prove myself all the time. I knew I was capable of higher level work but I didn’t know how to get there.

And when I got out of grad school I thought I’d feel more sure, but I felt even more confused. I loved the creativity of my work, but I still had that feeling that I wanted more. I knew I was capable of higher level work but I didn’t know how to get there. And I didn’t know what to focus on and where I should direct my career.

And the all important “cocktail party test!” Ugh. People didn’t really know how to describe me beyond just my title, because they didn’t know what I stood for… because *I* didn’t know what I stood for.

So I watched other people get opportunities that I wanted - like get chosen for fellowships or to lead projects or efforts, or to speak at conferences…. and I always felt like if I could just organize myself to know what I wanted and was aiming for, those things would start to happen to me too.

Back then I *did not* expect to end up working with midcareer women on advancing into the right role for them that makes them feel valued and fulfilled. But just like the work I do now - the role that I created for myself has all the pieces:

I get to collaborate with amazing people on their career journeys, I got to use my strategic thinking in my work, I get to channel my inner changemaker by diving into the mindsets and systems that hold us back and how to move past them.

And once I did find the right role for me - and once I learned how to inhabit it, things started to feel so much simpler - and it felt like the right things were coming my way. I got to collaborate with systems thinkers and get to know startup founders. I got named as 40 Under 40 by Impact Design Hub. I got to speak to amazing groups like Women in Innovation.

And I just moved to Florida with my husband and joined a creative coworking community which feels like it was perfectly designed for me--in which social innovation leaders, nonprofit founders, start up founders and creatives are all chipping away together at big problems and personal passions.

So for anyone who’s feeling stuck in their career, if you feel confused like I was or like your “waiting to figure it out “or you’re stuck in a plateau, I just want to share that the right role, is out there!

Because it looks different for everyone. It may not even require switching jobs! it might just be about having clearer goals that help you and have it your role in a more powerful way. But it’s definitely out there, because it’s not for anyone else, it’s for you!

MarinelaRoque's profile thumbnail
Wonderful story Mia, thanks for sharing!
MayaPapaya's profile thumbnail
I'm glad it's resonating!