Compiled and edited by Julie Tereshchuk.

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“Dear Mentors, I’m mid-career and in career flux. And, honestly, I feel pulled in a zillion different directions and generally exhausted. (My energy levels just aren’t what they used to be!) 

How do I get my mojo back and stop feeling overwhelmed by all the ideas and things to do?”

Dear Mentee,

I recently started meditating and have found it to be a good way to center myself and quiet my overly active mind. This might be something you could try to bring some peace and clarity to your life. I took a Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) class through Joyful Living and really enjoyed the experience. I think there are a few classes like this in Austin, but I do recommend this one. The curriculum for the class came from Jon Kabat-Zinn, author of Full Catastrophe Living and this might also be a good book for you to read.

It is hard to find any clarity around job transitions when you aren’t taking the time to slow down and be in the present moment, tapping into what you need at this precise time. Learning to meditate is a great way to start this practice.

– Erin Huddleston

Dear Mentee,

When we are pulled in so many directions, it is easy to get distracted by the noisiest request, the closest deadline, the naggiest email, even the most fun happy hour. I think it is crucial to periodically assess the most important actions for your most important goals. Make time to move forward, not in circles.

My advice is to set a goal to accomplish one thing every day that makes tomorrow better. Even tiny steps will move you forward: make tomorrow’s lunch before you go to bed, answer an email you’ve been putting off, finish a work report early, set up tomorrow’s to-do list.

Wake up in the morning with gratitude and take another tiny step forward.

– Sandra Kleinsasser, 2016 Gladys Whitley Hearst Outstanding Member

“What Happened Next: Ask a Mentor Follow-Up”

[Editor’s note: this is a real-life WCA mentor story, although we’ve withheld names to respect the privacy of those involved.]

Back story: 

A youngish WCA member was hired in at a below-market salary in a “junior” role but quickly took on the responsibilities of the next position above her and performed with excellence. She also learned that a peer with the same “junior” job title was making significantly more than she was, without taking on the added responsibilities. 

Navigating her first performance reviews and raise negotiations, her stretch goals were to get the next job title and a raise to match what she knew her peer was making. The agency offered the title but not the full raise she was hoping for. 

She asked her WCA mentor what to do. 

The mentor said: “Trust your gut. You have to ask whether you can be happy in the role if you feel undervalued. From my experience, you’re worth the higher salary, so tell the owner your concerns.”

What Happened Next:

She had the tough conversation, and got the raise!