“Be true to yourself, and follow your goals, but be open to good things that may happen.”
Texas Conference for Women advisory council member Julie Parsley, attorney and former commissioner of the Texas Public Utility Commission, knows first-hand about career transition. We caught up with her to ask her a few questions about her career path and how being open and flexible to change might result in opportunities you never would have expected. Following are highlights; scroll down to listen to the full interview.
Why is reinvention so relevant to your life and your career?
“Where I have ended up in life is not exactly where it seemed I would be when I started out,” says Julie.
After beginning her career at the Texas Legislature as a clerk for the energy committee, she went to law school, served as a briefing attorney for the Texas Supreme Court, and practiced law. She later joined the Attorney General’s office as deputy solicitor general and then solicitor general, served as a PUC commissioner and now practices law.
“In a way it’s been circular, but in a course that you couldn’t predict. It’s been a lot of being in the right place at the right time and a lot of accepting things out of left field.” Of facing career choices and transitions after having children and breast cancer, Julie says her ability to adapt to change has come from being open to possibilities.
“Every time I set a goal for myself in my life, I might not have achieved that specific goal, but something just as good would be there. Sometimes the other outcomes that occur can be much better than what you expected.”
What three tips would you share for women to have reinvention around their careers?
- “Check in with yourself. Look at what you really want, versus what others expect of you or what you had expected of yourself. See if what you’re living up to is your own ideal or someone else’s.
- Set goals. Have an idea of what you want to do.
- Be open, be flexible and look for things out of left field.”
Is there one thing you make time for every day?
“I have a devotional book, with one for every day. When I make time for quiet time with that book, I can get insights that I can’t get otherwise.
Find time for whatever is important to you. Take a minute and reconnect with that part of you. Days get so hectic and trying, so really having a minute to reflect makes a difference.”
Any other advice to share with other professional women?
“Be true to yourself, and follow your goals, but be open to good things that may happen. You can end up in a place that’s better than you ever expected.”
Julie Parsley is a partner at Parsley Coffin Renner LLP and advisory board member of the Texas Conference for Women.
Interview by Whitney Wilkerson