The Working Woman’s Toolbox – The Power of “What If?”

I am a big believer that every woman needs their own toolbox.  I’m not talking about the metal kind that most men have in their garage.  I’m talking about a skill tool box that we keep at our side to help us do our jobs and tackle challenges that we face in our careers and life.  Women need different tools than men to be successful, but once we recognize what these tools are and put them in our toolbox, the sky is the limit of what we can accomplish.

As a Human Resources and business leader for over twenty years, I have had the unique experience to watch and help women navigate career decisions and personal challenges both in and out of the office.   Through this great experience and my own journey of trial and error, I have learned what tools women need in their toolbox and when to use them.

One of the most important tools we can have in our tool box, but sometimes forget to use is the power of “What if?” It’s understandable, as life is busy and balancing careers, motherhood and families is a tough job that takes all, or most of our energy every week.  But, what if we took a few minutes once in awhile to ask ourselves  “What If?” when we were navigating through career and personal decisions that have a direct impact on our success and happiness?

It’s a powerful question and powerful tool.  Here’s why.  When we ask ourselves “What if?” we are opening up the opportunity to explore possibilities that we may have thought couldn’t happen. “What if?” also leads to that next question  “What would it look like?” which helps us to envision a plan that could get us to something greater for ourselves.

I hate to admit this, but sometimes as women, we can forget to channel our confidence to believe that we can get what we want or need if we ask for it and develop a plan to get there. We can sabotage ourselves by not giving permission to have what we need to be happy. That’s where the power of “What If?” kicks in to help.

Here are some examples of “What if?” in action:

“What if I gave myself permission to take time for myself every week so I feel more balanced.  What would balance look like?  Maybe two hours a week for a DIY hobby or yoga class would make me so much happier for me and my family. “

“What if I could negotiate terms that make take that next job worth it to me?  What would that offer look like?   Perhaps getting that next job at a competitive salary and flexibility would give me the opportunity to thrive and make my career more rewarding.”

Using your “What if” tool can also be helpful to fix “No because.” While sometimes, we can come to the conclusion that it’s not possible to achieve career steps or balance for valid reasons, we have to be careful not to shutdown opportunity or real needs for the wrong reasons.  As women and mothers, we have a tendency to put all others first before us and shortchange ourselves.  However, if we allow ourselves to explore the possibility first, that’s half the battle.

If we put our minds to it, we can build our tool box and create amazing stories of success and satisfaction by launching the power of  “What if?” Share your “What if? story with me at http://www.chicagoworkingwomen@gmail.com and I will post it on the blog.

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