Last week, I attended a presentation at a big company as part of a coaching gig in their women's leadership program. The women in my coaching group were shocked by something one of the speakers said. I want to share it with you so you can experience the same sense of liberation my group did.
It's ok to say no to opportunities.
Most of us are trying to maximize opportunities, seek out new ones, and generally advance our careers on a pathway of YES! Saying no to an opportunity seems counter-intuitive.
This comment reminded me of a long-buried personal story:
Years ago, when I worked in HR, one of the directors I supported offered me a management position to lead the team that was strategizing the technology and processes needed to leverage mobile IT for our company. The offer came with a $1000 per month raise. (I still dream about that raise.)
I said no.
I wanted to be in management, but honestly, mobile IT held no juice for me. Yes, I'd make more money and be catapulted up the leadership chain, and I'd spend my days dealing with tech and systems that bored me. I stayed in the HR role I loved and moved into management through a different path.
Just because an opportunity is an opportunity doesn't mean it's YOUR opportunity. (ooohhh…Tweet that!)
Evaluate each opportunity according to your goals and plans for your career, your family, and your life. And if you don't have a clear vision for those goals and plans, that's ok. Trust your instincts. Listen to your gut and make your choice.
You can say no. And trust that the right opportunity will come along.