Breaking Through Barriers and 5 Career Lessons That Will Change Your Life

Breaking Through Barriers and 5 Career Lessons That Will Change Your Life

By: Nicole Glenn, Founder and CEO, Candor Expedite

“You’re your own worst enemy” a mentor told me early on in my career. I didn’t see it then, but how right she was. Many of us find ourselves constrained by the limits of our own perceptions. We're often held back by self-imposed ceilings we construct ourselves, convincing us of boundaries and capabilities that often aren’t accurate. 

Fear can easily take hold, whispering doubts about our capacity to advance to the next level. While some of these concerns may be grounded, they also serve as signals to assess whether we're in environments that can contribute to our growth.

These moments of self-doubt not only reflect our individual struggles but also resonate universally. They signify the common human experience of grappling with self-imposed limitations and navigating the uncertain terrain of personal and professional growth. However, they can also serve as teachable moments – the opportunity for introspection and evaluation of our circumstances.

Recognizing and confronting these internal barriers is the first step toward understanding what our true potential holds. It prompts us to examine the environments we inhabit, the cultures we belong to and the support networks we lean on. It's through this process that we discern whether we're positioned to leap forward, or if adjustments are needed to foster our advancement.

I’ve been fortunate to have many teachable moments – and over the years, I’ve identified the five most important lessons I learned and want to share with you so that you can change your perspective and your life.

Lesson #1 — Take Extreme Ownership

We get one life to live, don’t be afraid to own it. Learn to accept full responsibility for your actions, decisions and outcomes in your career. When you do this, it becomes easier to recognize that you alone have the power to influence your circumstances and take proactive steps to address the challenges in front of you. By owning your successes and failures, you position yourself as a reliable and accountable professional.

Lesson #2 — Build Your Network

Make time to cultivate meaningful relationships with colleagues, mentors and industry professionals. You can do this by attending events, participating in online forums and reaching out to individuals of interest. Networking provides invaluable opportunities for collaboration, knowledge sharing and career advancement.

Lesson #3 — Ask Outrageously

Don't be afraid to seek out opportunities, promotions or resources that align with your career goals. Be bold in articulating your needs, aspirations and expectations to your managers, mentors and stakeholders. By advocating for yourself assertively, you increase your chances of receiving support and recognition for your contributions.

Lesson #4 — Continue Learning

Embrace a growth mindset and prioritize continuous learning and development. You can support this by staying abreast of industry trends, technological advancements and emerging best practices. Also, invest in formal education, certifications, workshops and online courses to expand your skillset and knowledge base.

Lesson #5 — Learn to Say NO

Learn to prioritize your time, energy and commitments effectively. Recognize when to decline projects, tasks or responsibilities that do not align with your goals or values. Saying no allows you to focus on high-impact initiatives, maintain work-life balance and avoid burnout. This is especially hard for women who tend to be people pleasers. Learning when to say no goes a long way to achieving happiness and people will ultimately respect you for having a healthy boundary.

Implementing these five lessons into my life has been a “game changer’. I went from feeling “stuck” in my own life to feeling empowered to make changes. This new approach has propelled me forward and taught me how to implement healthy boundaries that brings sanity to my daily life

I’ll be touching on all of these lessons and more in my interactive session entitled: Ask “Outrageously” to Move Your Career and Life Forward at the WiM’s South conference in Atlanta on March 14th. I’ll be giving out prizes too…so please join me and let’s start your journey together!

WiM South in person registration is sold out. Plan to watch Nicole's presentation via the conference's virtual livestream option. Register today to join us virtually at WiM South on March 14.

About Nicole

Nicole Glenn founded Candor Expedite in 2017 after more than two decades in the transportation brokerage business, with a vision to build the smartest and most efficient freight expedited business that delivers on its client’s promises. For more information, visit