Notes on Airplane Sick Bags

Do you know what that is? That, my readers, is a blog post that I outlined for myself last November on a flight from DC to Scottsdale, AZ. I wrote it after beginning to read a career advice book that should have been called “Carrie, Pay Attention. We’re Talking to You Here.” The book was really titled “Wander Woman: How High Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction” and my boss had handed it to me as I left the office to board the flight.

Not to put any pressure on or anything, when she handed me the book she told me that our company’s President had identified me as one of the high performers she wanted the book given to as a way to help cultivate their career paths. Oh and that she wanted to speak to me about the content in the book once I got to Scottsdale.

I read the entire book before my flight landed in Scottsdale. While reading it, I was so flustered, taken aback, creeped out by how directly the content of the book spoke to me that I literally could not stay in my seat. I spent a good five minutes pacing the aisle of the coach cabin because of this book. (I’m sure the flight attendants hated me.)

I was so excited by this book because it was exactly what I needed at the time. It provided me excellent insight into why I was having such a hard time completing what should have been a straightforward task (figuring out what steps I wanted to take over the next year to develop my career path). The book spoke about how women who have been classified as high achievers in their lives tend to develop a career path based solely on project work because it’s easy to show results on project work. (It also lessens the risk of failure, which is something I’m terrified of.)

That was it! That rang more true than anything on career planning that I had read before or read since.

So what happened to that blog, you may be asking yourself? Like most other things in my life over the past 6-8 months, it got sidetracked, put away in a drawer, and mostly forgotten about. And now I find myself in the same place I was in November – feeling stuck in my attempts to figure out what it is, exactly, that I want to do over the next 1, 5, 7 years, other than remain employed.

I’ve approached one of the VPs not in my department at work to be my mentor as a first step. The problem is I now have to define my goals for the mentorship, which means that I’ll be breaking out the book again to kick start the part of my brain that responded so¬†viscerally the last time. And who knows? Maybe the reaction will be just as strong and you’ll get a chance to read a version of the blog I outlined on the back of an airplane sick bag.

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