What Keeps High-Achieving Women From Choosing Executive Positions. VI. Results: Themes One – Three
(JS) “Many times I think I’m escaping something rather than going towards something. It’s more of a feeling than what my life looks like on paper. I am always kind of extricating myself… I am either going somewhere else or escaping the thing I was doing. Many times it would just be a matter of, ‘I don’t want to be here anymore’… I’ve been here, I’ve done that, I know how to do this, I have accomplished this, and it’s time to sort of move on.”
(KP) “I would love to do something wild and crazy. Teach English as a second language, open my own little bookstore or something else entrepreneurial. Wish I would have had that goal in mind a lot sooner so I could afford it now… These days I think I want to quit where I am now, but then what would I go to, the same thing at another company? I don’t want to do the same thing I’ve done in the past… just leave. I want to be mindful about it. I want to have a purpose; I want to have a direction.”
(NM) “I fought to get my first job. Within months, I ended up training all the managers. But one day after about a year, it was a really cold day, my car broke down. When I got to work, I gave them my two week’s notice and moved to Arizona.”
(JE) “I stumbled into coaching (current business). I started exploring coaching last July, and this July I gave my resignation. They might have kept with me if they honored flexible scheduling and allowed me to explore my new passion in my job. But they instead pulled the rug out from under me. Yet this made it easier to make the decision to leave. For the first time, I made a choice instead of taking the best thing that showed up.”
(EM) “I used to think it was around 3 years. But it gets shorter as I get older. It’s about 2 ½ years now, and I am very antsy to move on to another position. I’m getting to the point right now…at 2 years I will be past my point and ready to move into something else.
(DK) “Moving up the corporate ladder doesn’t appeal to me. I would have to morph myself into being someone I’m not just to get ahead…I’m not sure what I want for my future but I am sure that I want to proudly be me.”
Survey responses: 59% said they make career choices based on how challenging and interesting a job is. Only 9% said they make their choices based on financial gain or security and 16% said they make their choices based on leadership potential. The remaining 16% said they tended to outgrow their jobs, forcing them to move on.