The Value of Leaving an Old Goal Behind

This post is part of a series recognizing the achievements of Bossed Up’s Boss of the Year nominees, in celebration of Bossed Up’s official #LaunchLikeABoss Launch Party July 24.

Tiffany had a lifelong dream to be the next Katie Couric.

After a few years working in finance, she landed a prized production assistant role at a major news network. She felt like she was finally on track to build her dream career.

It wasn’t going to be an easy climb, she realized. She worked overnight. The demands of the job were high-stakes and time-sensitive. She was hired as a contractor without benefits and often felt isolated, with little or no social collaboration or team work.

But her friends and family were cheering her on, thrilled to see her going after a long-held goal.

Almost a year in, however, the price Tiffany was paying seemed unsustainable. She couldn’t rest well during the day and was up all night, wasn’t eating right or getting any exercise at all. “Sometimes I didn’t know if I was awake or sleeping,” she says.

Furthermore, the isolation at work left her feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Just thinking about work – even during a night out with friends – made her feel depressed and lost.

As it turns out, we humans have a really hard time abandoning goals, especially once we’ve experienced “sunk costs” of pursuing them for a time. The harder we work for something, the less likely we are to quit – even when quitting is the best thing for us.

“I felt like everyone was rooting for me to pursue my dream,” says Tiffany. “But it got so bad that one day I looked at my former idols and realized I didn’t even want their jobs anymore.”

At Bossed Up Bootcamp, Tiffany had the time and space to get clear on what she wanted out of her career, and for the first time was able to articulate those needs.

Back at work, she had recently been offered a full-time staff position (with benefits!) and felt like things were improving. But soon after, one of her only allies (who was serving as an informal mentor) was transferred, and all that forward momentum and her potential for advancement seemed to vanish with him.

That’s when an old colleague from her time spent in the finance world came calling, encouraging her to pursue an open position in an up-and-coming media startup.

Tiffany started talking with the leadership team, was clear and authentic about her vision for what she wanted, and received an offer higher than she anticipated. Despite the very attractive offer, Tiffany made the conscious decision to negotiate for all she’s worth, and furthermore, for what she knew this startup was asking of her. They gladly met her in the middle.

“I never would have even applied for the job,” admits Tiffany, “I really didn’t feel qualified.” But the whole experience reminded her of the value of her community – and of being assertive about what you want, and what you can offer.

We’re thrilled to see Tiffany continue to cultivate that community of courage, know her worth, and negotiate like a boss! We couldn’t be prouder to nominate Tiffany as Bossed Up’s Inaugural Boss of the Year.

Show your support for Tiffany with your vote for Boss of the Year on Twitter and Facebook: simply mention “Tiffany” with the hashtag #LaunchLikeABoss to cast your vote, and join us to celebrate all our nominees and the many ways they’re launching their Bossed Up lives on Thursday July 24.


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