Today we’re welcoming Dr. Carol Parker Walsh, whose tagline we love: she helps high-achieving professional women at midlife courageously design a career, brand & life they love. Carol is a coach, a speaker, best-selling author and business owner.
Carol followed her path to go to school, get degrees, and go down a life path -- when she realized she that this path was doing what was important to others vs what was important to her. Carol realized that the thread in her career was teaching and helping others with their careers and inspiring and motivating women, and she’s been doing it for 7 years.
Carol doesn’t see herself as having a lot of career changes; she sees herself as being someone who has evolved from employment attorney to HR person to organizational management trainer and consultant and then taught and was an Associate Dean in leadership. All of her jobs were around helping people and companies be better at what they do.
We ask Carol about languishing and feeling like there is more out there for us. She had an experience in a car accident, which told her she had to turn and do something different with her gift of life. When we languish, we’re afraid of making a wrong decision, so we stay where we are. We are also afraid to try because of the possibility of things not working out. We also buy into the sunk cost fallacy around the time we’ve already spent and we don’t want to lose that investment.
Choosing a new path could open new doors and empowers us to see “what if” vs wondering. Regrets come from the things we don’t do and the risks we don’t take.
Big question: how do we figure out what’s next and plan how to get there? Find gratitude for where you are and what you have. Look how far you’ve come and appreciate it: write 100 accomplishments about yourself. Then look at your future self and see where they are and how they got there. If you’re stuck, ask your future self what they did. The key around success is flexibility and adaptability. When blips happen, we can’t let them derail us completely, but we get around them and keep moving forward.
Even in coming up with that list of 100 accomplishments, we can find resistance, and we need to work through it to start recognizing our accomplishments. Stuck? Time to go to people who know you and can help you hold up to a mirror to yourself.
Looking through the lens of alignment, we want to align the ecosystem of all of the pieces of our lives. We have to see what needs attention and lean towards that place -- be in the center and core of who we are and our values. This helps us decide what to focus on.
We get messed up when we think everything needs equal weight. Our values and overall goals -- be it social, health, or career -- will help us to balance and make choices throughout our lives. And, the choices we make are the right ones for that time in our life.
How do we discover what we should do in this world? The thing is, we don’t know everything that is out there in the world! Think about buying a car. You make a list about the features you need, the looks you like, and so on. If we need a minivan, but then buy a sports car, it’s not a fit. We have to look at career choices the same way: as a holistic list of features and responsibilities that we need and want.
Carol’s focus is on women in mid-life. She built her brand and business by sharing her life, truth, struggles, and in sharing honestly her process in finding her own authenticity. When we lose the chains of the patriarchy that tells us what we need to be and limits what can do, that’s when we can tear up those rules and define our own path and what’s best for us. We’re all so much more powerful than we think we are.
Personal branding is a big thing, but what about the people who don’t want the spotlight? Well...be it and own it and make sure you have profiles out there to say who and what you are.
Fear is...scary, and for Carol, the scariest thing was becoming an entrepreneur at 50 and not having a regular paycheck. She knew it wasn’t practical, but when her dad passed away, she realized that life is short and she needed to live a life she wouldn’t regret. As soon as she made the decision and quit her job, the nerves went away. Looking back, she feels like her life began at that moment.
We’re now in a phase that people are calling the Great Resignation -- or as Carol calls it, the Great Realization. She sees people looking for work with meaning. She shows how people innovate and change with flexibility, especially post-Covid, and sees people who are looking for a human-centered approach to work. People look for places that will allow people to change and adapt as the world moves forward, and employers are looking for people who are adaptable.
Connect with Carol: