You know that voice in your head? Not the critical one with the negative self-talk. I’m talking about the voice of your higher self. The voice that guides you to show up as yourself. The voice that encourages you to do the things that scare you to help you grow. The voice that gives you the confidence to follow your heart. The voice that allows you to trust yourself. Your inner voice.
I didn’t hear the call of my inner voice throughout the majority of my 20s. I pushed it away seeking external validation and comparing myself to others. I chose instead to listen to others and busy myself with distractions, my inner voice silenced. But then, on January 13, 2018, I heard the call loud and clear – and that’s when I started L&I. (You can read the backstory here). Since then, I’ve been making more of an effort to hear the calls of my inner voice. And it’s my inner voice, my intuition, that’s guided me through various career moves, one being as recent as last month.
For background, I started my career in advertising, working at a media agency and in ad sales. In my time working at Salesforce, I’ve held numerous roles, focused on our marketing technology products. But since launching L&I, my career passions have naturally shifted, especially once I started offering career coaching and consulting services. I realized about a year or so ago that I wanted to make moves and morph my career away from digital marketing and customer success. I wanted to find a role where I was doing similar work to what I do with L&I – developing people and helping with career pathing. This time last year, I made it a goal of mine to find an internal role at Salesforce doing just that.
I became intentional about my career goal. I networked my heart out, using my internal Salesforce network to introduce me to new teams and leaders. I cold-reached out and asked for coffee chats (i.e. informational interviews) to learn about other teams within the company to find where my best fit would be. I volunteered and took on stretch projects with said teams. I found pockets of opportunity within the company to highlight my skill sets. But as you and I both know, last year was tough in the tech industry. I was navigating tumultuous times with hiring freezes and layoffs. Despite the limited opportunities, I persisted on, knowing this was a long game.
Then, one November day, I saw a Slack message about a growing team within my org that was hiring for a strategy operations role to help ideate, build, and scale our employee programs. (The programs are designed to boost employee engagement, create community, and provide job/company satisfaction.) It seemed to come out of nowhere and I heard my inner voice tell me to put myself out there and apply.
Long story short, I went through the interview process and then received a call that I had gotten the job. I had to make a decision fast but wasn’t ready to say yes in that moment. There were a lot of things to consider on my end – it was a big change and a risk. So, I made a pro/con list. I wrote down my fears and concerns. I talked to Adam, my family, and my mentors about it. I even asked my manager what his thoughts were.
Throughout all of that, I knew what to do and my inner voice gave me the gentle nudge I needed to accept the offer the next day. While change is scary, I’m confident I made the right choice because my inner voice was there each step of the way. I listened when it encouraged me to put myself out there and network, take on stretch projects, apply for the role, and interview. I let it guide me through all of my uncertainty and I trusted myself to make the choices that felt right to me in those moments.
There’s a lot of uncertainty right now in the job market. With talks of a looming recession and more anticipated layoffs, it’s hard to know what the future holds. And it’s in these times that you have to turn inward, ask yourself the hard questions, listen for your inner voice, and be brave to make moves. If something doesn’t feel right, dig into why. If you’re feeling a pull to make a change, take the risk. If you’re unsure of your direction, trust that the answer will come. Let your inner guidance lead the way.
Only you know what’s best for you. While you may want to get input from others or look outward at what you ~should~ be doing, only you can make the right choice for you. You are in the driver’s seat of your life. Your inner voice, your intuition, is your compass and your internal GPS. Follow it.
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.