In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to move from solely working with state lawmakers on legislation that could impact SRP in our state to managing a larger department. The promotion has been exhilarating and challenging.

I have become acutely aware of the need to establish clear boundaries and firm work limits, so that I’m able to optimize opportunities for critical thinking and creative strategies. I’m fortunate to have realized, albeit later in my career than I would have liked, that being a hard worker doesn’t have to mean working late hours, multitasking, or accepting responsibilities I’m not ready for. This is not sustainable. What a joy to hold this knowledge, and be so liberated!

This personal epiphany was the result of considerable “inner work” and resulted in changing my work style, not only to recognize and establish limits, but also to consider a new paradigm. Most milestone career advancements require a realignment of job responsibilities. But in my case, I concentrated on strategic, rather than tactical, objectives in order to focus on the arena I was now managing—public policymaking.

I begrudgingly made this change, and coupled it with a new focus on our critical corporate objectives, which allowed me to embrace my job as part of a broader landscape. It hasn’t been easy relinquishing two decades of proven techniques and well-defined job responsibilities in favor of new and evolving responsibilities. But doing so has restored my work-life balance, and provided me tremendous freedom to better support my team and provide strategic direction.

Recognizing the value of making a dramatic job shift, and the importance of setting boundaries for myself and others, is important to all professionals. I am grateful to have enjoyed some phenomenal work experiences and treasure the opportunities provided to me.

On Finding Success and Staying Competitive
Know your issues. Be engaged in your job. It’s important to be a life-long learner and a good listener.

On the Importance of Role Models and Mentors
I worked for the Arizona State Senate chief of staff in my early years doing policy work at the State Legislature. Karen Glannon was a hard charger, very competent, with high expectations of her staff. She was a constant source of inspiration, and one of the most politically savvy professionals in the public policy arena.

On Facing Challenges
Transitioning to management has been a challenge. But it has provided me with a host of exciting opportunities and responsibilities.

Molly’s Advice to Young Women Starting Careers
Work hard, pay it forward, and don’t forget the importance of maintaining a healthy work/life balance. There’s always room in any career for nurturing and caring for others.