I spent 14 years in the audit profession, even though this had never been my goal. Was this the right path for me? What I wanted at the beginning was 1 year of great work experience. My next goal was to start a family and enjoy a maternity leave. Things didn’t work out quite in this way…
After a year, instead of starting a family my boyfriend and I broke up. I realized that I loved my work, so I stayed where I was. Every day was exciting, so much to learn. I worked with many smart people on interesting projects all over the country. We worked hard and we played hard – we had a lot of fun. Being a junior auditor was one of the best work experiences I ever had.
With every new promotion, amount of my responsibility grew and my enjoyment of work decreased. Some parts of my work were still exciting and I was still learning a lot. For example, I started attending meetings with senior executives. As the time went, there were less and less women attending these meetings.
One day, I found myself the only woman in a meeting with 20 men. And things were not fun anymore. I was given a lot of advice on how to be successful. “Smile less, look less happy and always busy”, I heard. “Be tough, delegate more”. “Don’t be so kind to people”. Everyone felt like they were competing with everyone else.
But I wanted cooperation, not competition. I wanted to smile at everyone and look happy when I felt happy. I didn’t want to be tough on my staff members. And I certainly wanted to be kind. My deepest truth was being polite, empathetic, and respectful. But that was in conflict with where I was. I found myself being on the wrong path. It was time to leave.
We know that we are on the right path when we do not need to compromise who we are. When our job or other situation is psychically draining us and we feel like we are losing our life, it is a clear sign that it is not right for us. Our integrity is our energy. Putting on masks and betraying our values is exhausting.
Never compromise who you are. Never compromise your integrity.
It will cost you happiness and peace of mind.
Too big of a price, don’t you think?