A while ago I came across an article about women and their careers. One of the people quoted in the article asked “Do you want to be Cinderella or Joan of Arc?” – suggesting you’re either taking charge or waiting to be rescued. When I mentioned the quote to a friend and HR pro, she said “Hmm, I don’t know. A castle, prince charming, and happily ever after…or, being burned at the stake. I think I’d rather be Cinderella.” Her witty response (she has a delightful sense of humor) made me take another look at that example and the lessons we can find in it:
1. Yes, given a choice between happily ever after or a tragic death, most of us would take happily ever after – thank you.
2. Both Cinderella and Joan of Arc have valuable lessons to teach us. Being true to who you are is one of them.
3. When it comes to your career and life, believe in your dreams and passions and pursue them in your own way. Finding the path that aligns with your personality, strengths, and values allows you to enjoy the journey and makes it more likely that you’ll succeed in reaching your goal in a way that honors who you are.
4. Finding your community is important. People who share your goals and values (or give you the gift of supporting you and respecting your values, though theirs may be different) help you sustain your vision and move forward – even when you begin to have doubts.
Remember, it took a whole team (and their diverse skills and resources) to help Cinderella reach the ball. Let those who know and like you share their strengths with you…and do the same for them. The right community and a collaborative approach help you and those around you experience a more purposeful and uplifting career and life journey.
5. We don’t always know how things will turn out (for example, when we apply for a job, factors we don’t control play a part in the hiring decision). The part we can impact is to work and live in a way that reflects our passions, values, and allows us to be at peace with the choices we’ve made – even if the outcome is different than we would prefer.
6. It isn’t about which role model is better or more effective. It’s about who resonates with you and inspires you to consider what you want and how to work toward it with energy, enthusiasm, and authenticity.
What would you add to this list?
Shahrzad is a holistic career counselor and trainer (http://www.careerconsultmd.com). She provides training and career and professional development services to individuals, groups, and organizations; particularly those interested in making a positive and meaningful difference. She specializes in career exploration and transition, assessment, effective career search planning and strategy, meaningful/encore careers, and social media for job search and career management.
Copyright © 2011. Shahrzad Arasteh. All Rights Reserved.