As your trusty executve and leadership coach, today I want to address a topic that hits home for many of us: the constant struggle of working hard in our jobs while neglecting our career growth.

I’ve been coaching women in tech, finance, and science since 2011, and I’ve noticed a common theme among my clients. They’re brilliant, hardworking, and dedicated, but they don’t always prioritize working ON their careers. Instead, they focus solely on doing the work, day in and day out, without taking the time to step back and evaluate their progress or plan for their next steps.

Do you recognise yourself? Do you also spend 100% of your time at work, doing the work?

You work hard and then something unexpected happens. Olivier who spends 80 % of his work hours chatting with everyone get promoted. Or, the promotion you’ve been promised vanishes in restructuring. Or, your boss gets replaced by a bully you can’t stand so you have to leave. Or, worse: your job is cut off in a massive layoff. (I receive numerous messages weekly on LinkedIn from women in such crisis situations, by the way.)

This is when most women start frantically working ON their careers: they activate their networks, they start building their personal brands and online visibility, and they look to retain a coach, like me, to help them.

But the timing is off.

“Make hay while the sun shines,” they say for a reason. You’re better off working on your career or business while you still have one — since results take time, and since you don’t want any job, you deserve something aligned with your values and goals.

Putting your job ahead of your career won’t help you tomorrow, and it’s time to stop working like the hamster in the wheel.

So, what can you do to shift your focus from working IN your career to working ON your career? Here are a few actionable steps:

  • Boost that confidence: take a moment to acknowledge your strengths, talents and achievements. Get clear on your Personal Value Proposition.
  • Get intentional: Take control of your career journey. Set clear, actionable goals that align with your passions and aspirations. Seek out opportunities for growth, and prioritise investing in yourself, be that coaching or training.
  • Start setting healthy boundaries and saying “No” more often to create mental space and time for the above.
  • Start talking about your work: self-promotion is your secret weapon, so it’s time to get over your fears and shyness.
  • Network with colleagues, mentors, and industry leaders to build relationships and gain new perspectives.
  • Build a strong personal brand, and grow your online presence – on LinkedIn and beyond.
  • Seek out opportunities to learn and grow, such as attending conferences, taking courses, or volunteering for new high-level projects.
  • Challenge your limiting beliefs and negative self-talk. Remember, you are capable, valuable, and deserving of success.

I promise you, taking these steps to work ON your career will pay off in the long run. You’ll gain more clarity, confidence, and direction, and you’ll be better equipped to navigate whatever happens next on your journey.

Lastly, remember, you’re never alone on this path. I’m here to guide you, cheer you on, and celebrate your successes. If you need help or support along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out.

And – join our Facebook group if you haven’t yet, not to miss our forthcoming webinar and to interact with me and the community.