Have you always played it safe when it comes to your career? I have been totally guilt of this in the past. In the last 8 years I have taken on several new roles at a lower pay/responsibility grade.
My reasoning? I was changing organisations/sectors so thought I needed to start low and work my way up again. I was scared that I wouldn't know what I was doing and might look stupid. I was also part-time and didn't think certain roles could be done part-time. (This was just my opinion - lots of very senior people work part-time or flexibly. It can be done.)
After working with lots of amazing clients over the last 6 months I have realised that I'm not alone. Quite a few have also been playing it quite safe (and I'm sorry to say, but it's mostly my female clients). This might look like:
deciding not to apply for a role that might be a step up
taking career steps back/sideways due to being part-time
deciding not to apply for roles for which you don't quite meet the key selection criteria
deciding to stay within an organisation or field that you hate
Now, I know that everyone is different and not everyone wants to climb a career ladder, but what worries me is that so many people underestimate their abilities, skills and achievements.
You won't believe the number of times I have been told by a client during a consultation that they don't have any achievements to put on their CV! But within a few minutes of chatting they will have told me about several things that they just do (or did) at work that are amazing and CV worthy.
And ditto with applying for promotions or jobs that you think you don't meet the key selection criteria for. I can usually ask a few questions and pretty quickly establish that you do, in fact, meet the key selection criteria. For example, maybe you haven't managed a large team, but you may have supervised casual or volunteer staff or led a project and indirectly supervised staff.
So the moral of the story is that talking about your career and job ambitions with someone else can be invaluable.
So I challenge you to have a conversation with a friend or group of friends about your career. You can talk about your beliefs about your skills, abilities and discuss where you want go in your career.
You'll no doubt find it useful to get an outside perspective and get the confidence you need to reach for the stars!