Liberate Yourself from the Trap of Doing More

(even if you’re a doer who wants to make a career move)

Getting stuff done feels really good.

I mean really, really good.

I like getting stuff done.

I don’t like it when stuff gets in the way of me getting stuff done


I’m a proud doer.

We celebrate doers.

It’s so alluring that Home Depot built a whole ad campaign around it.

The tricky thing about doing is that doing usually begats more doing.

Sometimes called the hamster wheel of success


The negative rewards system.

We look for more to do so we can feel like we’re really doing something.

Doing is a good thing and lots of things need doing.

But it’s not the FIRST thing.

I learned the principle I’m going to share with you, though I didn’t have words for it at the time, when I was having one of my hectic, too-much-to-do, and not-enough-time days as a newly promoted recruiting leader. Together with my team, we filled thousands of jobs every year.

One fateful day, I realized that I was part of the problem.

This is back when we all worked in the office every day and often wore suits or professional attire. Casual Fridays were a big thing and working from home was a pipe dream for most people.

I was walking to my boss’s office (I’m a really fast walker, even in heels) when one of my colleagues said, “Are you running to another hiring emergency?”. She was a friend so I laughed, but honestly, it bugged me.

In those days, it wasn’t uncommon for an executive or manager to come by my office with their “hiring emergency.”

She has no idea what I’m dealing with, I thought.

Easy for her to say, she doesn’t have 22 direct reports.

And so it went on in my head on my way back down the 5 flights of stairs.

It took some time, but I got over my hrmph moment

And, something powerful happened.

I realized she was right.


I was acting more like an anxious mom than a skilled practitioner. I had a great team who worked hard. And, we had some success, but the emergencies kept coming. And, we were all tired.

What I realized in that moment was that the first thing

The very first thing

I mean the very, very first thing


I had to be different before I could do different.

I had to change the way I was looking at the problem before I could change the way I was working the problem.

I had to become something different before I could see how to work differently.

And I began the journey:

I became a leader of others and learned how to delegate.

I adopted new principles by which I operated.

I created frameworks so people can work their way but with guidelines.

What does that even mean in the context of your next career move?

It means:

Self-reflection guides your career direction

When I work with leaders who are ready for their next career move, I don’t offer a resume service alone.


Another new resume isn’t the real problem.

If you fret over

  • Wording
  • Length
  • Keywords

You may have fallen into the trap of doing.

These activities keep our minds busy and make us feel like we are getting stuff done.


We love tangible outcomes.

Rather, I hope you can pause, just for a bit


Consider who you want to be inclusive of your personal values, goals, and aspirations.


When you solve the right problems in the right order,

You will not only save yourself from the trap of more doing,

You will realize that the answer wasn’t out there, it was in you.

Get out there.

You got this.