The panel attendees were members of the Synergist New York 2022 Mentorship Program, a group of women, largely in their first five years of their career (think: analysts, associates, and VPs), who wanted answers to questions like “How to think about what makes you tick?”
The panel was moderated by our own Erin Rowe (Allspring’s Founder & CEO) and three of Allspring’s coaches: Dr. Danica Garside (performance coach), Stephanie Heath (job search coach), and Payal Shah (mindset coach).
The panel responded to the questions of 70+ women in finance who RSVP’d to the event on topics like:
To gain better insight before the event, we launched a pre-panel survey to understand how the 70+ participants were feeling in their current state of work. While our data came from women in finance, these findings mirror what our Allspring team sees in our coaching, career development work, and research daily.
So, to answer the question "What's next: Moving internally or getting a new job?" here’s what our coaches had to say:
When thinking about changing roles within or outside of your company there are many factors - financial, professional, personal - that you’re simultaneously weighing. It can be difficult to clarify your thoughts and feelings (and that’s okay!). Payal offered the advice to actually check in with yourself, and make it a habit. Here’s your cheat sheet of questions:
Allspring tip 💡: Block one hour in the next 2-4 weeks. Go to your favorite coffee shop, park, or place in your home. Answer the above questions.
Danica shared that the goal is to get attuned with yourself to set clear (and reasonable) goals you can both achieve and will serve you. Being attuned with yourself also means paying attention to what you need to combat the burnout that is prevalent during career transitions. You can’t find true clarity in what you want from your career if you're running on empty.
All of our coaches agreed that putting pen to paper (or hands to keys) can help you actually see ALL your options, and then map what it will take to get there. Writing it all down, and revisiting and revising your goals, helps you stay organized, motivated, and intentional with your career. Sometimes it can help to start with a brain dump, stream of conscious free-write to get it all on paper, and then organize your thoughts and plans from there.
At Allspring, when our clients need help clarifying their wants and needs, we turn to an activity called “The 5 Whys” to help drill down to the root causes and motivators influencing career decisions, creating space to intentionally name true wants and needs. [You can gain access to this worksheet by signing up for our newsletter! Just scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email]
“To choose the next powerful thing for you, you have to let go of what isn’t serving you,” -Payal Shah, Allspring Coach
Quick caveat before we continue: This advice is for those who feel psychologically safe at their company and ideally with their manager.
So you’ve figured out your goals. Next up: you have to tell other people. We know having career-focused conversations with your manager or leadership can be scary AF, (especially if your goal is quitting). However, when you don’t talk about it, it’s even harder to feel confident that you’ve made the right decision. Also, talking about your goals doesn’t mean you have to directly say things like “I want to quit” or “I want to be promoted.” It’s typically more valuable to talk about your goals beyond the singular action and expand on the “why” behind it.
For example: You may want to quit because you’re looking for a more strategic role with expanded scope and autonomy, but you don’t foresee that happening at your current company. Instead of saying nothing, consider voicing the fact that you’re beginning to feel like you’re plateauing and one of your next career goals is to be in a more strategic role.
Managers can’t read minds. While good managers may initiate career conversations, it’s ultimately up to you to drive those conversions forward. Also, Payal recommends starting these conversations now, rather than waiting for performance reviews when it can feel too late. What’s the best way to gain more confidence to have those career conversations? Stephanie advises:
The more you practice having career conversations, the more comfortable you will get within the uncomfortable. You are also setting the expectation with your manager that these conversations, and focus, on your career are important to you.
Allspring tip 💡: If you need help taking that first step, send your manager an email prior to your meeting giving a high-level overview of what you want to discuss so you can both prepare for a productive career conversation.
As mentioned, through the pre-panel survey, many participants expressed concerns and guilt associated with being viewed as a ‘quitter.’
Danica’s quick response to this question was extremely powerful:
Calling and seeing yourself as a quitter is the first problem. You want to look at what success means to you, reflect on what you’ve already done – your resume, your degrees, where you came from – making a change is not quitting.
Stephanie shared that often women in particular hold and feel guilt when their male counterparts don’t. When in actuality, movement in your career is not only normal, but necessary to grow, and sometimes that movement means moving away from one job or company to another. Deciding what is next means looking inward to explore your next powerful career opportunity, and then chasing after that, in spite of having to leave some things along the way.
Danica provided important insight on reframing your mindset when considering making moves in your career. A barrier to making a change in your career is our mind’s natural tendency to view change as a threat, prompting fear. Danica encouraged participants to reframe change to a challenge that you have the power to face and find success in overcoming.
Change as a challenge broadens your mindset to more possibilities of how to create that change you desire in your career.
So what now? We know change can be a challenge. Sometimes the next best thing you can do is take one step forward. Again, here is a simple, tangible way to get started: Block one hour in the next 2-4 weeks. Go to your favorite coffee shop, park, or place in your home. Answer these questions.
Thank you again to Synergist and all of the attendees! If you are interested in learning more about our career development workshops for your organization, please reach out on our website or if you are an individual wanting to attend an event like this, subscribe to our newsletter [scroll to the bottom of this page and enter your email].
About Synergist & 2022 New York Mentorship Program
Synergist Network is a national network of women in investing, with chapters in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, and LA. Synergist Network seeks to connect women in the first decade of their investing careers and provide them with the infrastructure, network, and business acumen critical for long-term success. The 2022 New York Mentorship Program was designed to provide women in investing with support and mentorship, as well as create a community of female investors across firms, industries, stages, and levels in New York. Mentors in the program will be VP and Principal-level women in investing at various New York-based firms.
Allspring combines just-in-time learning, expert guidance, and technology to ensure seamless integration into your workday. We're here to close the career support gap between being a student and being an executive, whether they're independently searching for support, or their company has hired us to come in-house. Website: www.tryallspring.com.
Erin Rowe (she, her) is the founder and CEO of Allspring, a platform that curates personalized career coach guidance and just-in-time learning. Erin started her career in management consulting and has led Employee Development at Pinterest. She’s committed to making career advice more accessible, imagining a world where everyone has access to an "older sibling" they trust.
Dr. Danica Garside (she, her) has worn many hats within her career, from being a CEO at the age of 25 to coaching USA Swim and Hockey athletes with what’s next for them career wise once they are done competing. Danica specializes in the Allspring promotion program and helps people explore new job and career opportunities when they are feeling lost.
Stephanie Heath (she, her) has worked with companies like Sony and Amazon to then go out and build her own company Soul Work and Six Figures. She specializes in the Allspring job search program and helps people take action when they know which role they want but don’t know how to get there.
Payal Shah (she, her) has built her own business, Passion Empowered, after working with companies like Google and Lyra. Payal specializes in helping people re-evaluate when their dream jobs aren’t what they expected. She gives guidance and helps people focus when they are overwhelmed with all the different directions their career and life can go in.
Erin's top 3 tips of keeping mental health top of mind while building a business.
1:1 Agenda for Weekly Check-Ins & Career Conversations