Late last year in a session with a client I was asked an interesting question. This particular highly capable, smart and hard-working young woman is ready for the next step up in her career.
She has the confidence of senior management, as well as the skills and drive to take on more responsibility and a bigger role.
After discussing the immediate strategy on how she is going to move to the next stage in her career, she looked at me a little sheepishly and asked:
“ Am I being too ambitious? Do you think I just want too much, too soon Fiona? Am I just another typical Gen Y who wants it all and wants it now?”.
I told her of course that’s not the case. There is ample evidence that she has earned the right to go after what she wants, and labels such as “typical Gen Y” won’t serve her.
The conversation got me thinking about ambition, and our attitude to those who openly display it. Often, the phrases we use when talking about ambition are negative. Take for example two I hear a lot: “ruthlessly ambitious” and “stop at nothing to succeed”.
It’s no crime to want to be the best in your chosen field. And, provided you are prepared to do the work to get there in an ethical manner, it’s not wrong to want to climb the ladder of success quicker than others.
Be wary of allowing others to belittle your ambition. Harness your drive, surround yourself with people who will support you, challenge you and keep you focused to go after what you want.
PS Want to learn how to make more of what you’ve already got (skills, strengths, talents)? Join me in Brisbane next week for a small, hands-on workshop to help you shine in your current environment or build the profile you need to move to a new role. Click here to register.
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