How many times have you thought to yourself while sitting at your desk, “Is this really it?”
Maybe you really enjoyed your job when you started…four years ago. But now, you stroll into work each morning disengaged and hopeless. You wonder if there’s anything else out there that will make you feel as excited as you were in the beginning.
If you’re nodding your head in agreement to the scenario above–trust me, you’re not alone. In my observation (from HR days) about 50% of people go through this exact cycle during their first, or second or even third jobs.
Because, when we’re in college and told to choose a major, we go with what we’re good at. If we like math, we choose to major in statistics or engineering. If our parents were doctors, we might go on the pre-med track. There isn’t much self-reflection or foresight that goes into selecting the path that launches our career. Especially not our dream career.
Which is why most of the time, we end up on this career cycle: excited-learning stops-feels stuck.
We end up in careers that either: (a) aren’t a good fit, or (b) don’t have a continuous learning loop.
And, then–most importantly–we don’t know how to fix it when we hit the “feeling stuck” phase. We scroll through job descriptions online, and mope to friends about how bored/unhappy/sad we are about our careers.
Laura’s Story: From Four Promotions to Fake Smiles
Laura, one of our rockstar Career Change Bootcamp Graduates and HTYC Podcast guest this week, experienced a similar career trajectory before she landed her dream career just a few weeks ago.
Growing up, Laura always knew that she was good at math. Coming from a family of engineers, she decided to follow a similar path. After college graduation, she was unsure about what she wanted her career path to be–like many early 20-somethings. So, she became an engineering consultant.
But, Laura always knew something wasn’t quite right.
A few years after she started her career, Laura went back to school again and got her Masters Degree with the sole intention of finding a career that fit her values. And, she did. She landed an awesome job as an environmental sustainability consultant at an innovative company.
For a while, it seems like she had it made.
What happens when you find yourself pretending to be passionate at work?
“For me if I’m not learning I’m not engaged. I work with a lot of people who are passionate and I almost found myself having to pretend to be passionate when I wasn’t really feeling it, which was hard on me.”
Fast forward eight and a half years later, and Laura found herself pasting on a fake smile each day, forcing herself to act excited about her work. She didn’t want to let down her direct reports (now 10 of them!), but her constant need to “fake happiness” was taking a toll on the rest of her life.
It took Laura three years (three whole years!) to finally come to terms with the fact that she needed to leave her job.
And, do you know why Laura sacrificed her happiness each day staying in a job she knew she didn’t like?
Because, she felt stuck.
Even though Laura had a stellar resume and an extremely strong work ethic, she felt like she wasn’t smart or experienced enough to find a new role. On the podcast, Laura talks about the toll that “pretending to be passionate” at work had on her confidence levels.
“When you are in a spot where you are unhappy and have been for awhile you lose some of your confidence of everything you’ve accomplished. From the outside someone looking at my resume would be impressed but I hated it. I wasn’t proud of anything I’d been doing because I wasn’t happy doing it.”
Because, Laura’s mind kept convincing her that she wasn’t good enough; that she was going to stay in this job forever. Not only does it drain your energy to “pretend to be passionate” at work, but it actually tricks the mind into thinking that you’re not good enough for another role.
It made Laura ask that ill-fated question: “Is this really all that I have to look forward to in a career?”
Getting your career confidence starts with a lot of self-reflection
When Laura first found us at Happen to Your Career, she had already taken action to start looking outside of herself for a new job by going to a career coach. Coincidentally, on her walk home from that session she found our podcast, and “binge-listened for about a week!”
At that time, Laura realized that she didn’t need to go through this process alone.
“The thing that stuck was it was the first time I heard there were tools and processes to help me figure this out. I didn’t have to just look at job postings but I could do other types of work to think about what I wanted to do next.”
That was in May of 2017. Seven months later, and she found her dream career!
Woah–not so fast though. Laura went through a lot of self-reflection, and dug deep to understand what that next step should be. During this process, Laura also began to get feedback, and collect “mini-wins” from her coaches, her friends, and many others to help rebuilt her identity.
At the beginning of her coaching sessions, Laura wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to do in her next role. But, as she began to complete her self-assessment projects, she couldn’t contain her excitement. Laura couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had completing these self-assessments (her husband might have gotten a crash course or two!). She kept this idea in the back of her mind, but still had a lot of searching to do.
Interestingly, Laura already knew what kind of culture she wanted in a company. She loved having the flexibility of wearing jeans and working from home when she wanted to. Even more importantly, she knew that the office should have a ping-pong table in it–for what it represented about the office culture.
But, from her experience in her last job Laura knew that a cultural-fit wasn’t enough. She had to find the right role, not just the right people.
That’s where she kept getting stuck. She felt naive about all the types of jobs that were out there.
Finding the right next step is not a check-the-box exercise
One of the first things Laura did to understand all the job opportunities she could have was to hold informational interviews.
She scheduled dozens of interviews with people in and out of her network–which was a growing experience in itself. Laura admits that this was one of the most challenging, but rewarding, parts of her coaching experience. She’s not necessarily a self-proclaimed extrovert. But hey, why not?
Laura met with tons of people who helped her understand what she did, and didn’t want in a role. Some of those conversations could have opened the door to a job. But, while it was tempting, Laura said no when she didn’t feel it was exactly right.
Until finally one day–she found it.
To secure that dream job, you have to be authentically you
Laura learned quickly that she loves to prepare. For her informal interviews alone, she would do research and write prep questions for almost two hours each time!
But, when she finally found the perfect job opportunity, she realized that she just had to be herself.
With the help of her career coach, Lisa Lewis, Laura practiced some mock interviews and found that her answers sounded good on paper, but “boring” during the actual interview. So, she stopped preparing as intensely as she might have, and got herself in the zone.
“It’s less important that you know how to answer a million behavior questions but get yourself in a headspace to be yourself and be confident in those conversations.”
Laura ended up securing her dream job. But, not only that–she has completely transformed her mindset from disengaged and hopeless to optimistic and confident. Laura is thriving in her career, as a new mom, and constantly achieving new goals (heck yes, Yosemite!).
Most importantly, Laura’s realized that she didn’t have to go through this process alone. Here’s her last piece of advice for anyone else who might be in her shoes from a few months ago:
“Particularly as someone who has been successful it was hard for me to say I could not do this by myself. I’m a smart person I should be able to figure this out. As soon as I had my first career coaching experience it completely turned around my approach to find a new job. It completely gave me the power back and the tools I needed. If you know exactly what you want to do, you probably aren’t listening to this podcast, but if you don’t know there are a lot of tools, and resources, and people out there that can help you. For me that made all the difference.”
Transcript from Episode
If you’re ready to create and live a life that is unapologetically you check out our Ultimate Guide to Using Your Strengths to Get Hired. Find your signature strengths to do what you love, do what you are good at, and bring value to your clients, customers, and/or organization. happentoyourcareer.com/strengthsguide
Scott Barlow: Welcome back to Happen To Your Career. We have on our show today a guest that I am very excited about for a variety of reasons particularly because I think she has done a fantastic job of working through the ups and downs that are career change and coming out on the other end with something desirable to her and a job offer and situation that was incredibly fitting for her but also she went through a real experience along the way. And she was kind enough to come and share that with us. Welcome to Happen To Your Career Laura. How are you?
Laura Morrison: I’m great Scott. Thanks so much for having me.
Scott Barlow: Absolutely. I am excited for this because you had been in your role prior to this for a few years right?
Laura Morrison: 8 1/2
Scott Barlow: Tell people what you are going to and then let’s jump into that past role and where you are coming from.
Laura Morrison: I’m really excited because Monday I’m jumping into a new role in product management at the Predictive Index. They do behavioral assessments to hire the right people and in their words inspiring them to greatness. I’m excited because someone like myself, that wasn’t engaged as an employee means I understand that pain and now I’m going to be helping companies inspire their employees through different tools and understanding people more. That is exciting for me.
Scott Barlow: That is awesome. You are going to help companies avoid more of that pain. And Monday starting, I didn’t realize. That’s just a few days away and congratulations again.
Laura Morrison: Thank you.
Scott Barlow: You haven’t always had that job offer and moving forward toward the Predictive Index and everything you’ve described. What have the last 10 years looked like for you?
Laura Morrison: It’s really interesting. I might start a little sooner than that. I think this is a struggle for a lot of people. In high school you have to decide what you are going to major in in college and you don’t really understand what any of that means. For me I was good at math. I had engineers in the family so I went into that. I did fine but it always felt a little off to me and I couldn’t figure out why or what else I should be doing so I stuck with it. I had a college degree, a masters degree, and a few years in the work world in engineer consulting. The whole time never feeling like it was a good fit. My first career pivot was into sustainability consulting. After a few years of working I went back to graduate school with the goal of pivoting and landed with a great company that I was at for eight and half years. I was excited because sustainability is forward looking and in a start-up field company I was looking for with freedom to grow quickly. For awhile it felt like a good fit and something I could be passionate about. Over time it just wasn’t anymore. I was in the same position I had in college and beyond where I didn’t know what else to do so I just stuck with it only half thinking about what else I could be doing.
Scott Barlow: I’m curious what do you feel like changed; because you were excited about it at one point?
Laura Morrison: I think at the beginning a new challenge is always exciting. In that 8 1/2 years I had 4 roles and the new challenges in the role were exciting but the length of excitement I had from learning something new kept getting shorter and shorter and at the end I didn’t feel like I was learning anymore. For me if I’m not learning I’m not engaged. I work with a lot of people who are passionate and I almost found myself having to pretend to be passionate when I wasn’t really feeling it which was hard on me.
Scott Barlow: That is interesting. What was that like? Clearly it was difficult but feeling like you had to pretend to be passionate.
Laura Morrison: It was tough. By the end of this past role I had ten people reporting to me, a lot were early in their career and I would try to do a good job inspiring them. Because I wasn’t inspired myself it made me feel like I was being inauthentic to hide the part of myself that wasn’t engaged or passionate about the work. It zapped all my energy where I’d put on this extroverted fake smile everyday but come home and be unhappy.
Scott Barlow: Do you remember when you started to realize that?
Laura Morrison: I hate to admit this but it was probably three years ago. At the time our company was going through management changes and other life things were going on. I was trying to start a family and all that combined was exhausting. I think I knew it wasn’t a good fit and knew it for a long time but again without knowing what to do next or how to think about it I felt really stuck.
Scott Barlow: I think that is one of the biggest problems many people have especially high achieving people that got into a role like you where they were excited at one point and they have lots of responsibilities and something has changed along the way but you don’t know what to do next. What are some of the things you considered or tried? You thought about it for years and did something but kept coming back to the point of what to do next? What did you try?
Laura Morrison: A lot of it was staying in the sustainability field. It took me a couple years of passive looking and talking to people to realize there were roles in the field I was interested in. I looked at what does it mean to do my job not as a consultant but in a product organization. I talked to and went to networking events. I wasn’t getting the excitement. It excited me for a little but a lot of reasons it didn’t work was a lot of the companies weren’t in Boston where I wanted to be so it took opportunity off the table. I tried to look internally as well. At my old company we sell software and I talked to a bunch of people about product management in the software we sell. That is the role I’m taking in the new company but I talked about it at my old company. The team was in Germany and it was having trouble it never worked out. I talked about doing more marketing and again the marketing was struggling so it wasn’t going to work out maybe if I stayed another year I could have pivoted at my existing organization but at that point I was ready to make the jump and leave.
Scott Barlow: What made you feel ready to make the jump? What happened? Was it the culmination of all those conversations realizing it wasn’t happening there or was it something else?
Laura Morrison: I think I knew I was ready to leave for a long time but what made me take the steps was different. I was on maternity leave for 7 -8 months and met a lot of working moms and had a lot of career conversations. One of them recommended a career coach based in Boston. An older woman who had worked at Radcliffe for years and had a private practice. I decided to invest. I had one session with this woman and had like a mile and a half walk home. The thing that stuck was it was the first time I heard there were tools and processes to help me figure this out. I didn’t have to just look at job postings but I could do other types of work to think about what I wanted to do next. She said I can’t recommend a book for you because it’s personal but find a book you want to read about career change and that is your first homework. My reaction, I don’t like reading really but I love podcasts. I had this walk home where I was excited and I found your podcast. I listened to it on my way home and binge listened for a week and then we talked for the first time. All of a sudden I heard all these stories and tools of things I could do,it was okay that I didn’t know what I wanted to do I could still take steps to figure out what I could do next.
Scott Barlow: That is interesting. I didn’t realize that is how it happened. That is fantastic. And now you are on the podcast.
Laura Morrison: One of my personal goals.
Scott Barlow: Check. Before we hit record you were talking about how you built this list of the national parks you’ve wanted to see and you went to Yosemite. Now you have several things checked off. Way to go.
Laura Morrison: Thanks, it feels good.
Scott Barlow: Absolutely. I have so many questions because I think there is so much others can learn that are in the same space or have been because they don’t know what to do and want to know what to do next. You were kind enough to bring us along for the ride to sit copilot and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, how long did it take from when you found the podcast to accepting a job offer?
Laura Morrison: I think it was probably April or May that we first talked and I accepted a job offer about a month ago. So whatever that math is. 6 -9 months right?
Scott Barlow: 7ish months or right in there. You started listening to the podcast, had this realization that there are things you could do and talked to us and you joined career change bootcamp and we started getting to help you. That was just the beginning. I’m curious, in going through this process, what were some of the apprehensions you had as you set about going and figuring out here is what I might want to do and then going through each step?
Laura Morrison: The biggest apprehension is what you don’t realize when you are in a spot where you are unhappy and have been for awhile you lose some of your confidence of everything you’ve accomplished. From the outside someone looking at my resume would be impressed but I hated it. I wasn’t proud of anything I’d been doing because I wasn’t happy doing it. It didn’t mean I didn’t understand there were impressive things on there but it didn’t feel like me or impressive to me because I didn’t like the process of doing it. That lack of confidence is tied into that anxiety of trying to figure it out. What if there is nothing for me? What if I’m always unhappy at my job? I think there is this mentality out there that it’s normal to be unhappy at your job. I was getting resigned to that being the case. In the process I had my daughter and took time off and thought maybe I want to be a stay at home mom. I quickly realized, kudos to everyone who does, but it’s not for me. I need a lot more adult conversation, intellectual stimulation from my work. That was another thing I explored that wasn’t a right fit. There are a lot of emotions tied into all of that. It’s not just a check the box exercise.
Scott Barlow: It’d be so much easier if it was. Wouldn’t it. We probably wouldn’t have this podcast if it were that simple.
Laura Morrison: That’s right. that was a big apprehension for me. Going through the course the first few weeks are a lot of self reflection and I loved that. Part of the funny story of my new job was as I was doing strengthsfinder in Career Change Bootcamp I was talking my husband’s ear off about how I loved behavioural assessments and I wished I could talk about them all day and I wished it were a job and a few months later I found basically that job which is pretty awesome. You have to be vulnerable and talk to people meet new people and there was apprehension around that as well.
Scott Barlow: I’ve heard variations of that story many times and it makes me so happy we get to be a part of any of those stories where at one point you were talking your husband’s ear off about loving self assessment things and it would be super cool if I could do something like this and be immersed in it all day and now you are going to be. I love that and am so proud of you from going from that end to the completely opposite end which isn’t an easy thing to do which we will talk about. That said, what was most difficult as you started flipping from the internal and reflection side, which is often the way we work with our clients. We go through the internal side and get the best hypothesis of what will be great for you but then you have to flip it to how does this mesh with the rest of the world. As you were going through that what was hardest?
Laura Morrison: I had the idea of the company culture I wanted. I’m casual, I want the wear jeans to work and have flexible hours. I wanted a ping pong table in my office just as a funny indication of the type of culture I was looking for. I didn’t know what work I wanted to do. It’s great to have a good company culture and I had that before but it’s not enough. I wanted work that was exciting to me as well. That was the hardest part to think of the work but as you and Lisa pointed out think about the work later. Start somewhere and talk to people, learn about what they do. I think for me a huge mental barrier was I felt really naive about what type of jobs were out there and insecure about what other jobs were out there. The process of talking to people about what they do and what it means as well as continuing to listen to the podcast where people shared stories about what they do helped me understand what opportunities there were even if I dismissed them right away.
Scott Barlow: I think that is a common thing and we hear it quite a bit, feeling naive about what types of jobs are out there. I don’t think anyone knows all the jobs out there. We have exposure to a bunch of them because of our work.
Laura Morrison: I was going to say Scott maybe you know all of them.
Scott Barlow: No it would be easier if we did to help people in that way. If only there was a list I could go through and pick. We hear that. It isn’t that easy because even if we knew all the jobs there are other variables and it becomes complex picking out the variables most useful to you. I’m curious what was it about this process of going to talk to people, I’ve been getting to know you just a little through the program and having chatted, and having the pleasure of helping you negotiate, and it seems you benefit a lot from conversation.
Laura Morrison: I do. I think one of the, I’ll go back to that first session I had with this woman in Boston, the career coach. Her approach was different than yours and I didn’t love it because she wanted me to read a book about career options which isn’t the best way for me to learn and a big time commitment and wanted me to do it before I talked to anyone. When you are talking to people you are taking up their time and you want to be knowledgeable about what you are asking. It didn’t feel great to me. I could have done it but I wasn’t excited. I learn best by talking to people. The opportunity to talk to people in different roles added a ton of value to me. I got to see a little of company culture if people were willing to talk to me or not. I will always talk to someone who is looking and wants to talk to me.
Scott Barlow: It changes that perspective doesn’t it.
Laura Morrison: It does. And I was hiring someone as I was looking to be hired in my current role. It put a different lens on it. I think I was nervous about talking to people and making sure I had something intelligent to say and good questions to ask. I did a lot of preparation which is my style to over prepare when I’m anxious.
Scott Barlow: What kind of preparation did you do?
Laura Morrison: I would come up with a list of questions I wanted the to talk to them about. The idea is a fifteen minute phone call which isn’t a lot of questions but I’d have ten for each person and try to make them personal. I’d know where they went to school, what common interests we had anything to help me relate. While I like working with people I have trouble with that first introduction part. I get nervous walking into the room and introducing myself to someone new. If someone introduces me I’m comfortable. There is this hurdle to get over to have the conversations where I could ask the questions. I would ask questions and they would ask about me and how they could help me but told me about what they did day to day. I talked to about 25 people and that is a lot of time and hours to learn about what other people do. It made me feel less naive about what opportunities there are and more empowered to make a decision.
Scott Barlow: What are some things you learned through that portion of the process?
Laura Morrison: I think I learned that for me my network and using people I know to get connected was helpful. The cold calling part was hard for me. What I would do during these conversations was take notes and highlight the pieces that resonated. One question I liked asking was what makes you great at your job and when they said things I’m interested in like can relate to people, make decisions quickly without all the information I would highlight those and see the product management role could be a good fit because they were all saying things I’m good at and enjoy doing. I learned it through the whole process. There is a big difference between the things you are good at and the things you enjoy. Sometimes they are the same but not always.
Scott Barlow: Yes very much. We are absolutely encouraging people to center in and lean into what falls into both categories. It sounds like it was interesting for me because you were working with Lisa Lewis and I would get copied and get information on what was going on and the different steps along the way. It wasn’t necessarily an easy road always. I’m curious what you felt were some of the most challenging parts. I know we chatted a little before hitting the record button but I’m interested in what you mentioned about going into a lull and getting out of that. We all have that as being human. Tell us about that and what worked for you.
Laura Morrison: I think having a program I was following was important to me. I needed the homework and to check the boxes. I spent the most time in this test drive area with the phone calls. I’d spend 2-4 hours researching all these people and getting introduced and set up phone calls. I’d have four phone calls in one week juggling with nap times on Friday and work Monday through Thursday. I’d get it all in, take the notes, send follow up emails and thank yous. After doing four or five of those in a few weeks between the scheduling, talking and follow up I was tired. I did that and know I’m supposed to have three more phone calls this week but I have nothing lined up or know who to talk to. I’d have a week or two where I knew in the back of my head I needed to do that. I’d take a break or go on vacation or say I’m too busy or do some of the internal homework I was better at or going back to my signature strengths or skip ahead to think about my resume. What got me to keep going back was having this course where I knew I had other things I needed to do and accountable to Lisa and being accountable to myself to get it done. A lot was I don’t want to do this right now but I’m going to suck it up, sit down, and spend four hours on a Saturday working on this and get it done. You would then get another flurry of phone calls, follow ups and scheduling. It happened in many cycles like that.
Scott Barlow: It sounds like the flurry of phone calls and scheduling and everything was the dose of motivation to keep going or pull you back in. Is that right?
Laura Morrison: It’s a little bit of both. A lot of is those conversations were energizing for me but I’d leave them still not knowing where I’m going to work yet. I was happy to talk to all the people but didn’t see the end goal. I tend to push myself to be more extroverted than I am. There was an element of the conversations that were draining as well. Knowing the conversations were good made it easy to take a week off and then get more on the calendar.
Scott Barlow: Very cool and with those conversations and initially when you went into them you said I don’t know where this is going to lead which was uncomfortable for you. There is some of that discomfort that when you are going through and trying to identify a great situation and career opportunity sometimes it is hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel no matter if you have a system, in the thick of it it can be challenging. At what point did you start seeing the light come back?
Laura Morrison: It’s interesting because there were a couple people I spoke with their companies were interesting and they had job openings and they offered to get my resume in the door and I said no. I’m not sure its the wrong fit but not sure its the right fit yet. I don’t want to apply to something I‘m not super excited about. I need time to figure it out. That Was hard to do as well because I wasn’t particularly happy and the idea of an end was tempting. An end that could be really cool and a great opportunity but maybe didn’t hit the lifestyle I wanted or day to day work I wanted. What changed was when I started talking to people at PI. I wasn’t just excited about the company but the role started sounding exciting. Everyone was so willing to give me their time and openly tell me the day to day. It was a great group of people. I was introduced through a friend of a friend and the head of marketing easily handed me names of three more people I could talk to on the team. That was an indication of how the culture was. When you are busy and of course startups everyone is busy and when they are willing to not just give you their time but also of their team members and colleagues that says a lot about the company. All of those things combined started getting me excited about a job at PI. That was the light at the end of the tunnel but also a little stressful because if that is the job after all of this and I’m putting eggs in that basket it puts a lot of pressure on myself to hope it works out.
Scott Barlow: I remember that switch flipping when you sent me and Lisa an email saying I found the company I want now what? What is next?
Laura Morrison: Exactly.
Scott Barlow: What did you end up doing? Fill in that part of the story. At this point this was your number one company at the time. I like this and want it. Let’s make it happen. What happened?
Laura Morrison: A lot of the conversation I had with you and Lisa was helpful. You helped me understand the right way to approach the conversation to build a partnership and make sure I was excited about the role. While building the partnership and relationship with the hiring manager. What Lisa did was I mentioned because I wasn’t super happy with the work I was doing before it made it hard for me to feel confident and she helped remind me I had a lot to bring to the table and would be a good fit. Not just for me but for the company and I could do a lot for them and because I’m so passionate about it it’s one reason I’d be a good fit. PI’s whole thing is engaging employees and when people are engaged they bring a lot more to the table. Being able to be myself and show how authentically interested I was was the primary thing I focused on in the hiring process.
Scott Barlow: How do you recommend, having just been through this, what you described is difficult in terms of being able to be yourself or be confident enough to be yourself through that hiring process. Share that part. It is some level of vulnerability. What advice would you have for other people getting read to go through that or are going through that?
Laura Morrison: If you found a role that really lines up with what you are looking for and are excited about it and the strengths you bring. It’s less important that you know how to answer a million behavior questions but get yourself in a headspace to be yourself and be confident in those conversations. It’s easier to say than do. I think Lisa had a tip, I can’t remember if it was her or you but listen to a song before your interview that gets you pumped up. Or watch a video of your daughter, do yoga, go running, do something that calms you down. Or if you are a calm person, hypes you up. That was valuable advice. I did a mock interview with Lisa and had prepared all these answers and I like writing so I wrote all these things that sounded good on paper but as soon as you say them you stumble over it and it doesn’t come out right. She pointed out that I would switch from myself to the interview version of myself which is much more boring. Just that in itself, after that I stopped preparing for the interview and started thinking more about how can I be myself with this people like I had been on the phone calls where I was comfortable. How do I go into an interview and just be myself.
Scott Barlow: That is super cool. I will distinguish you mentioned earlier being the confident version of yourself. That is a small but critical distinction. We as humans can go through head games that we aren’t confident but I don’t think that is true or helpful because we all have a place where we can be a confident version of ourselves and that is genuine and helpful version to be. That is interesting. As you started preparing for focusing on being yourself rather than the “right thing”. We covered a lot of ground over seven months. How does that feel looking back? Does it feel like a long time or quick? I’m always curious.
Laura Morrison: I had a goal for myself in January that I would have a new job by the end of they calendar year which is exciting.
Scott Barlow: You did it.
Laura Morrison: I did. I set that goal and thought a year is a long time. It’s a little bit of both. In the trenches it felt like a long time. I knew it wasn’t going to be two months. I knew I needed to do a lot of searching internally before I could find it. Part of the seven months felt long mostly when I was in a lull and not doing much. I think for me action and moving toward direction speeds things up or makes me feel better about the time. Looking back the difference from where I am today versus where I was at the beginning of the year is incredible. Not just the fact I have a new job but my mentality about my career about my potential in a career and the optimism I gained is very different in a good way.
Scott Barlow: It is a completely different place and it’s been cool for us to see the changes but what do you feel like that has meant for you other than the additional optimism you have going into 2018 what has it meant for you?
Laura Morrison: It means a lot. Having a daughter recently. Which is amazing, she’s almost two now. For moms in general you tend to shift all your focus away from yourself and on this little creature you brought into the world. It’s amazing but hard to find time for yourself and take care of yourself. The career part was what I put most on hold. I didn’t know what I wanted to do and it felt hard and I was focused on something else. And now to be able to be a mom when I’m home and being able to go to work and be happy too is a very different way. It feels very different. If you are going to leave your house, and leave your kid with someone else, you would hope you are doing something fun. I didn’t have that and know I’m optimistic I’ll have it going forward and it won’t take me three years if I’m unhappy again in the future.
Scott Barlow: When we get the opportunity to work with people I know that is what initially people are focused on, the change that is now. I think personally having done it for awhile and witness changes that is the most valuable part in the long run, knowing how and having confidence with making changes. Because it will. It’s going to be something, a promotion, your boss leaves. Something. That is so cool you feel prepared for when that happens the next time.
Laura Morrison: Absolutely and I think that is where some of the optimism comes from. I feel empowered to be in charge of my career again.
Scott Barlow: Woohoo. I didn’t have anything else to say. That is what I wanted to add right there. That is amazing. I’m so proud of you and so is Lisa. We’ve shared your story with our team already. We do that for every single person that ends up hitting their goals or getting the results they want. We share that on Slack and have a woohoo channel. That is where your story got shared as soon as it happened. So woohoo to you too and now you get to share in that. You have done a phenomenal job. Before we wrap it up I’m curious if you are reaching way back to a year ago where you resolved and made the commitment that this is the year. I’ve been thinking about it a couple of years this is the year. What advice would you give to people in that spot just setting down the path to make the change?
Laura Morrison: It took me a few months to look for outside help. That was the thing I needed. Particularly as someone who has been successful it was hard for me to say I could not do this by myself. I’m a smart person I should be able to figure this out. As soon as I had my first career coaching experience it completely turned around my approach to find a new job. It completely gave me the power back and the tools I needed. If you know exactly what you want to do, you probably aren’t listening to this podcast, but if you don’t know there are a lot of tools, and resources, and people out there that can help you. For me that made all the difference.
Scott Barlow: That is amazing and I’m so glad it did. Thank you for letting us hang around for the ride and getting to help you at every little point. It was a ton of fun.
Laura Morrison: Yeah thanks Scott, and Lisa and the whole team it’s been a pleasure to work with you. I’ve been talking to everyone about your program and think the best of the work you do and the tools you put out.
Scott Barlow: We very much appreciate that and thank you for spreading the good word. Keep it up. Do not let us stop you that is phenomenal. Laura thank you so very much and congratulations again in moving into your new role. That is amazing.
Laura Morrison: Thank you Scott I really appreciate it.
If you’re ready to create and live a life that is unapologetically you check out our Ultimate Guide to Using Your Strengths to Get Hired. Find your signature strengths to do what you love, do what you are good at, and bring value to your clients, customers, and/or organization. happentoyourcareer.com/strengthsguide