A few months ago, I set out with the goal of surveying 100 successful professional women. I knew from my conversations I was having with women everyday that many of them were starting to think about their next chapter – after years of hard work, diligence and balancing life across professional careers and home – they were starting to hear that call for something more.
I wanted to learn more about what was calling these women. So I launched the survey You Version 2.0 – Discover Your Next Chapter to gauge what’s top-of-mind when these seasoned professionals think about what’s next! I closed the survey this past week, receiving responses from 101 women! The respondents were professionals ranging from CEO’s, to Presidents, to Directors, with 66% of the respondents being age 46 and above. 73% were employed, and 22% were self-employed.
Because I help people discover their strengths, values and passions and help align their life paths to these, I wanted to understand how these elements linked to the work they are doing today. It was great to see that over 70% of the women indicated their current work is tied to their strengths. In other words, they are doing work that they’re good at and bringing their gifts to work each day.
I was sad to see that less than 50% indicated that their work is tied to their values (43%) passions (35%) and dreams (16%), but perhaps this gives reason to the ‘calling’ that so many of these women seem to be having for their Next Chapter.
It was interesting that 11% of the respondents selected “Other” in this question (My work is related to…”). In nearly all of the “Other” category, the respondents indicated that their work is related to their financial needs. This is certainly an important factor, and highlights why proper planning is an essential element to incorporate into that Next Chapter Plan.
The respondents were given an open-answer question – “What three things in your life would you change?” The answers addressed life balance and more time with family, less stress, expanded personal relationships, more passion in their life and in their work, more fun and creativity, better health and increased energy levels and more stable finances. Many indicated a change in their job and a change in the work that they’re doing.
Unique to this Syzygy survey, the women were actually given the opportunity to envision their Next Chapter. They were asked to ponder “How do you spend your days?” “Who is around you?” “What is different?” “How do you feel?” This provided the respondents an opportunity to dream exactly what they’d like to manifest in their lives. In fact, many of the women sent a thank you note with the survey, saying it was perfect timing for them to ponder these questions in reflection! The women had an opportunity to go deeper into their own personal journey. To set the bar and even consider some action steps they might take to get it all started.
I was curious on the timing of each women’s Next Chapter – was this something that they were undertaking now, or were they thinking about this years out. I was surprised at the responses I got! When thinking about their next chapter, 71% of these women indicated that they anticipate change taking place within the next 3 years! 31% of these women are anticipating the change this year! From the many conversations I’d been having, I knew people were ready for change, but I didn’t realize that it was coming so quickly!
Finally, I wanted to know where they were in the overall planning of their Next Chapter, so I asked, “When thinking about your Next Chapter:” (and gave them the following multi-choice answers to choose from):
- 35% say, “I know exactly what they want to do in their next chapter and have started the steps to manifest it.”
- 10% say, “I know I need to do something different, I just don’t know what it is or how to even think about it.”
- 24% say, “I feel really stuck and don’t see a way to get there.”
- 11% say, “I’m going too fast to even be thinking about this!”
What became apparent in the conversations that have unfolded since the survey completed – is that there are a whole lot of women ready to launch their next chapter. Merely asking the questions that pondered in survey – started momentum – started movement. Movement toward that next chapter that will be launching for so many of you! A special thanks to all the women who participated in this valuable research! When I envision the change that lies before us – the personal growth, the breakthroughs to new inspirations, the difference this group will make to our world – I’m excited to watch it all unfold! Watch out world!
Are you interested in seeing this report in full? To access a downloadable report, please input your name and e-mail below.
Finally, are you interested in taking this survey to jump start your next chapter? By popular demand, we’ve launched a secondary survey so that women can continue to grow, envision and launch their Next Chapter! Click here to start your own pondering!