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Sorry not sorry! How to own your career - and life - choices (and stop apologizing for them)

Updated: May 18, 2022

It’s spring and the season of renewal. Flowers are in bloom. And so are you!

What lights us up?

Celebrating the graduation of EvolveMe’s 6th Reinvention Collective cohort. The RC is our premier training for women in midlife career transition.

There’s so much good news in the air! Just this week we heard of several women getting multiple job offers (we talking 3!), renewed interest by recruiters on LinkedIn, and interviewing at dream companies.

Women emerging with renewed confidence, clarity, and most of all hope!

We know it’s not always easy to decide to make a change. Many women in our generation went to school, got a job, maybe went to grad school, and then either stayed in one industry for years or took a caregiving break. Change is not in our DNA.

If you’re like us, you followed the “shoulds” way more than the “coulds” – the possibility of living your potential in work and life. But now you can write another story…the good news is it’s your choice. And in your control!

We’re giving you permission to let go of SOMETHING BIG that holds women back - GUILT. And if you can name it, you can change it!

Repeat after us: “I’m sorry - NOT sorry - about___________(fill in the blank here for whatever that nagging voice in your head is telling you about what you should have done or not done in your career).

Linda recalls a troubling observation when attending her business school reunion. Every woman there - including herself, her roommate, and section mates - were apologizing for, explaining, or defending her career and life decisions.

They all had one form of “mom guilt” or another about their choices, whether they were:

  • Working

  • on a caregiving break

  • had a partner who was the primary caregiver

  • or (gasp!) decided to delay (maybe indefinitely) having a partner and kids.

These were all highly accomplished women. The men - well you could imagine (ahem) guilt wasn’t a hot topic.

And get this – for the first time this story is out in the world - take a listen to us as guests on the Bucket List Careers podcast with Christa Lauri where we share our own career stories and what we’re learning works for women now to reinvent.

Whether you’re a mom or not — chances are guilt has colored your career. Maybe it’s guilt about not climbing the ladder or stepping off. Or guilt about not taking more risks or staying somewhere too long.

Or maybe it’s the juggling act that leaves you feeling guilty for not being enough or doing enough in one area of your life or another.

We're all pulled in so many directions every day.

And unless you've cracked the code to cloning yourself, It's likely that at any given moment, you may feel you're short-changing another important part of your life.

This is especially true for women, who tend to shoulder the lion's share of caregiving – whether kids, aging parents, other family members, or friends. And what if you’re juggling volunteer work, side hustles, and dare we say – your own interests outside of work and family!

The juggle can be overwhelming. And just when you think you have it figured out, you're reminded (quite correctly) that you need to factor in self-care too!

If you're like us and the women we work with at EvolveMe, this can lead to feeling like you're doing a lot of things, but none of them very well.

Are you feeling guilty about whatever part of your life you're not directly attending to at the moment?

Try these 3 steps for going guilt-free for your next chapter:

  1. Let go of guilt. It’s a useless emotion that takes more energy than it gives you! What if you moved on from guilt and toward what feels energizing and positive for you now. Guilt keeps us wrapped up in the past. Thinking about what action you can take now that keeps you in the present. That’s where the good stuff is – here and now.

  2. Own your choices. When you take stock of the choices you’ve made and are making and identify “the why” behind them, you can move forward knowing that you had reasons for making certain decisions at the time. It’s not too late to align your future choices with what you value now.

  3. Move on with self-compassion. Would you let a friend feel guilty about choosing to take care of her kids for a decade or working a full-time job while she had an infant and toddler in tow? No! Are we right? So don’t inflict that guilt on yourself. Talk to yourself as you would to a best friend. The harder you are on yourself now, the less able you’ll be to make choices that work for you in the future.

Ready to go one step further. Make sure that your mindsets are working in your favor. Check out our FREE download here and learn the: 6 Mindsets that Sabotage Career Reinvention (and how to avoid them!).

Letting go of the guilt can make you feel lighter and more hopeful. We know it did for us. And we want that for you!


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