How to shift from surviving to thriving in your career

Recently, many of us have experienced situations that we could have never imagined.

COVID has impacted family members, friends, or co-workers. Many of us have struggled in our businesses and at home due to the changes in the business and schooling landscapes. Many of us are still trying to adjust and develop a plan B for how to move forward confidently.

In this post, I want to share with you how you can not only survive but thrive in the next 12 months.

Face "denial"

Denial is the first strategy or the first tactic we'll tackle when moving from surviving to thriving in any year.

Denial is a mechanism that we use to avoid what is troubling us or causing us to stop in our tracks. In the workplace, denial is when we have a tough situation or a challenge, and we choose to ignore it.

But unfortunately, what happens when we do that is that the situation doesn't improve. If anything, it actually gets worse as time goes by.

The longer we stay in denial about our situation and don't do anything about it, the worse off we will be.

If you are not happy with your current employment or your leadership role, if you have conflicts at work and don't know how to handle them, the longer we wait to face those challenges, the worse they will get.

Ponder the "possibilities"

It's difficult to think that you can change anything if you don't see the possibilities ahead of you. I know from working in the corporate world for over 30 years, in leadership roles for over 20 years, and having lots of friends in my professional network, many of us get to a point in our careers where we don't see the possibilities anymore.

If anything, it seems like it's Groundhog day. It's more of the same. We get to the point where we're praying every day that we don't lose our job. And that's a worthy ideal, to be gainfully employed. There's nothing wrong with that. However, that is the definition of living in survival mode.

In other words, we may not be necessarily excited about what we're doing. We're simply surviving.

Wherever you are in your career, every phase has possibilities.

I want to invite you as your coach to explore: what are those possibilities?

Develop "trust"

How do you develop trust in yourself over the next 12 months so that you believe in your abilities, even when you may not have done that thing before?

That's where the real trust comes. To accomplish what you want in the next 12 months, it requires that you develop trust in your own abilities, your strengths, and your unique value proposition.

When you trust in your unique value and your abilities, you get to take chances.

When I launched my business back in 2017, I wanted to write my first book. Had I ever written a book before? Absolutely not. Did I know that I had a message that I wanted to impart and share my experience as a leader and as a woman in technology and financial services for over 25 years? Yes, I did.

That trust in myself and my desire to help and impact as many leaders and women as possible fueled me to publish my first #1 bestselling book, Fearless Women at Work.

In your career, where do you need to develop more trust in yourself and others?

Get "planning"

In every area of our lives, moving from surviving to thriving requires us to be conscious creators. Otherwise, we're floating in the ocean, and wherever the waves go, that's the direction we're going to take.

But there's an alternative. The alternative is that we begin to live in possibilities. But to live in possibilities requires that we take a look to see where we are in denial. We need to own who we are and our unique value proposition. That is when we begin to look at this compelling future for ourselves, despite where we are in our career or stage of our lives.

What do you want to create in your career and life to thrive, not only survive? What is your compelling future, and what competencies will you need to achieve it?

Take "action"

What can you create moving forward in the next 12 months? And what is it going to take for you to develop confidence in your own abilities?

Some of us are proactive "doers." It's how we function. For some of us, taking [bold] action can be very difficult. It's not one of our natural abilities or superpowers, and we struggle with it.

My recommendation is to consider what you want to accomplish and break it down into smaller implementable pieces. Tackle each piece one step at a time. Schedule it; make sure you're clear on why this goal is meaningful to you.

Bringing It All Together

If you want to take your career and life to the next level, this is a perfect time to take bold action.

If you don't do something different, how will things change for you? Answer honestly.

Coach Ginny 💕

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About Dr. Ginny A. Baro

Dr. Ginny A. Baro is a sought-after international motivational speaker & leadership coach, a career strategist, and #1 bestselling author of Fearless Women at Work.

Ginny specializes in partnering with organization to develop leadership teams at all levels of management. And she supports individuals navigating a corporate hierarchy or moving into an entirely new phase of their career. She has successfully facilitated live and virtual leadership training and coaching programs for individuals and Fortune 500 companies with over 140,000 employees and delivered keynotes impacting international audiences larger than 7,000. To learn more, visit ExecutiveBound.

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Here's how we help!

So this is your invitation and your challenge. Consider: what would that structure look like for me if I were r running my own business while working from home, and as an employee of a company?

What would support you to get ready in the morning and feel energized?

One of the behaviors you may notice is that you will stop shutting off your camera and "show up" to vitual meetings.

In this isolated environment, showing up is crucial and it will help you keep your edge. It's tough to accomplish that when others are staring at a black square on the screen with a little avatar of you.

Showing up means showing your face and connecting with people, face to face. That connection is the best that we've got right now.

Don't waste it. Don't give it up, and don't miss this opportunity to "see" the people you connect with every day.


I'm going to give you a strategy that I use and teach my clients. And this is connecting regularly through a 15-minute cyber coffee.

One of the biggest recommendations that I give my clients is to make networking part of their job. In my book, Fearless Women at Work, I say that networking is not something we wait to do when we need a job, a new opportunity, or need facts about our field.

Networking needs to happen regularly.

It's important to network because, for one, you're going to learn more from people and be able to connect with them on a deeper level than if you're only transacting with them. The goal is to build relationships and move away from being transactional.

The other benefit is that when you need to access your network, for whatever reason, you will actually have one.

As a professional, most of us connect on LinkedIn, and it's the easiest group of people to connect with—people you are already working with or with whom you have worked in the past. Those people know you.

Send them a LinkedIn request. Then, after you connect with them, send them a message and say something like, "Hi, Ginny, I know it's been a while. What's going on with you? How's your family? Would you be open to a 15-minute cyber coffee to catch up?" and provide a couple of dates/times that work for you the following week. And most likely, the person will reply and say, "Yes."

Now, who are the people that you want to connect with? These are the people you have worked with in the past or present who you appreciate and respect and would like to continue a professional relationship.

Include mentors and those you've lost touch with who've sponsored you in previous roles. This could also be people who you're interested in learning from. These are all possibilities as to why you would want to connect with them.

Make sure that you come to the table with an offering. If you check out their LinkedIn feed, you will see some of their most recent activity. Do a little research before meeting with them. See what they've posted or what they've "liked" recently. You can use that as a point of reference when you speak with them.

For some of us, this is very simple. But for others, this could be very difficult and intimidating.

To muster up your courage, do a little research and begin the conversation by simply saying, "How are you doing?" How's the family? How is the job?"

This is only a 15-minute cyber coffee. And if you would like to continue to connect in the future, then say to the person, "Would you be open for me to reach out to you in a couple of months?" That's how you also develop organic mentors and sponsors.

This is one way that you can stand out during the pandemic. If you don't feel that you have the time to network this way, my challenge for you would be to identify one person a week with whom you would like to connect.

Make that one connection. Send them one LinkedIn message, and ask them if they would be open to connecting with you for a 15-minute cyber coffee, and you will be shocked at what you learned.


Many of us find ourselves in tough situations, especially if this is the first time you are working from home.

Whether you're in the office or working remotely, bringing positivity to your interactions will help you stand out.

When working in a hybrid workplace, how do we do positivity to the workplace?

It's very difficult to be positive when you individually are not feeling optimistic.

One way I teach my clients to be more positive and embrace a growth mindset is to always look for opportunities to learn in whatever situation you are in.

You may have heard the phrase, "Life is happening for you, not to you." That simple phrase has a lot of implications. One of which is that how we frame what is happening in our situation determines how we feel about the circumstance.

In your case, you may be facing some challenges around projects. Perhaps it's difficult to collaborate now that you are not seeing your teammates face to face. This experience is an opportunity to get creative.

How can you continue to collaborate as much as possible with your teammates, given your current circumstances?

Maybe you are not very comfortable getting in front of a camera. This is an opportunity for you to show up, connect, and get more comfortable. Step out of your comfort zone and become better acquainted--the more you do it, the more comfortable it becomes.