"Regrets, I've had a fewWho knew that Frank Sinatra's signature song concealed important career advice? Certainly not the woman I was sitting with at lunch the other day. She was chosen to participate in our Breakthrough Leadership series and I had asked her about her interest in moving up to the next higher level.
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption
I planned each charted course, each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this, I did it my way"
As with many women she replied that she wasn't sure that she wanted to take on the long hours that were required. So I asked her, "why are the hours so long?"
"Because in that job, client entertainment is important," she answered and went on to describe how often and late into the night the man holding her next likely job entertained clients.
I subtly suggested that she wouldn't have to perform the job as he currently did.
The executive who was seated at the table (let's call him Frank) returned from the buffet line and chimed in, "You know, you don't have to take clients to football games. I don't like football and have never used the company's seasons tickets."
We hadn't been talking about football, but his comment shifted the conversation to other types of entertainment - including horse shows, spas and theater. After he left I asked her, "what was the important message that you just heard?"
"That I can shape the job to my own interests and situation," she replied.
Too many women look at possible future jobs and make decisions about advancement based on what they see, not on how they could shape the job.
Don't let some guy's idea of how a job needs to be done ever dissuade you from seriously considering a higher or different position.
Take a bit of advice from Frank...take the job and do it your way!
Susan Colantuono, CEO and Founder Leading Women
Author of No Ceiling, No Walls and Make the Most of Mentoring. Underway is her new book, Network! What corporate women need to know about strategic relationships and success
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