What does it take to be able to file an EEO complaint knowing it can be a career killer? What could possibly scare a woman who routinely checked her car for a bomb? How do you leave a 29-year career you love because you’ve done everything you want to do—and then how do you find something else you love even more? Listen to this episode of Mentoring Moments podcast “Moral Agent, Part Two” and see how Lauren Anderson, former FBI executive (one of the first women to ever be on a SWAT team) and international geopolitical consultant answers all of those questions.
Anderson gives new meaning to the word fearless. But it didn’t come without sacrifices. “You make a choice, regardless of your profession, as to how much time you want to dedicate to your profession,” says Anderson. “I made a choice to have my job be the most important thing to me. But there were sacrifices. The fact that I was completely consumed—by choice—with my role in the FBI, meant I wasn’t as good of a friend as I wanted to be and I didn’t give as much time to my family was I wanted to. But I reached a point when I said to myself “stop this” and I was able to pivot. That included walking out of the office at a certain hour and making time to exercise. I knew that if I kept doing what I was doing, that when I left the FBI I wouldn’t have close relationships and I would be a physical wreck. We have to continually pivot. Now I reassess and pivot on a regular basis. I stop, take stock and think, ‘Where am I right now? Am I happy?’ If I’m not happy, I figure out what I need to change.” By pivoting, Anderson discovered a new career built on her passion—she’s helping women and youth find their power.
Download the podcast to hear the stories behind these quotes: “If we don’t truly look at things through someone else’s eyes, we miss opportunities.” And this one: “I was the only woman applying for the job. I came out number one (out of eight people), but person number five got the job.”