When you’re faced with hard decisions like “Should I take this other job” or “How do I know if this company is worth my time” or “is this type of role really going to make me happy; how do you really know?

The reality is you can’t ever fully know until you’re there, but you can make decisions in advance to filter out opportunities that might appear to look good, but really aren’t great for you.

It turns out that sometimes we can make career and life decisions much less complex. Take a listen to the podcast and read below to find out how:

 

 

What if you could turn big complex decisions into “yes” or “no” decisions?

That’s what having a filter does for you.

What is a filter?

Imagine if had a magic 8 ball that was programmed with all of your preferences for what you really want most out of life and what you’re great at and what you’re excited about and every time you came upon a potential opportunity, you could say:

Magic 8 ball, should I do this opportunity or pass? Then it gives you the answer. That’s a bit like what having a filter is like.

 

meet Caroline adams

Caroline Adams was facing this exact situation. She had made several career pivots and realized that where she was, wasn’t making her happy.

“I burnt out. I loved the work but I failed to realize it wasn’t the right environment for me.”

She had to create for herself a true north so that she would always know whether or not she was heading toward a direction that was good for her.

At Happen to Your Career we do something very similar with Career Change Bootcamp students called the “Ideal Career Profile.” This profile is a really well thought out picture of what you want most in your life and work. It acts as a “destination” or in other words, where you want to get to.

 

Setting your Career and Life GPS

Much like planning a road trip, if you know where you want to go, it’s so much easier to type that into Google Maps and then plot a trip to get there. And if there’s multiple ways to get to that destination (because there always is) then you can make better decisions about what is the right way for you (or even if the route that you’re taking is moving you closer to that destination at all).

Think about it this way: If you already have your “destination” (or “True North” or “Ideal Career Profile”) then the next time you’re faced with a question of “should I continue to stay in an industry with this current job OR should I make a career change that allows me to use my experience but also work remotely?” – or any large decision, you can reduce it down to a simple question.

Will this move me closer to my ideal career and life?

That’s it. If the opportunity or career move (or life change) won’t move you closer to the vision that you’ve laid out for yourself in your ideal life and career, don’t do it.

So much easier. This way you can finally stop considering all of those options that you’ve been thinking about for years and take them off the table.

Here’s the catch though, how can you figure out what your ideal life and career look like? I mean it’s not easy. We may often spend many weeks or even a few months helping our clients and students refine this when we’re working with them.

Caroline suggests an exercise called time travel to get started. See how it works below.

 

Using Time Travel to figure out your ideal career and life

Here are three areas that you can use to get started.

1.Mining the past.

What are things in my last roles that I really loved and why? It’s important to peel back the layers. What about it? Was it because I was in my strengths and honoring my values or was it the people? Understand that.

For Caroline mining the past was how she came to coaching others and eventually found Happen to Your Career and became part of our coaching team.

2. Keeping the Present

What is going really well in the present that I want to hold on to with my current work? We want to keep those and add others. We don’t want to swap them but instead add more and make them better. 

3.Fast forward to the future.

You are 75 years old and you think what do I want to have done or how do I want to have lived? What is important for me to say about my life?

Look at yourself at different points in time and get an idea of what themes keep coming up. There are often answers staring us right in the face but it takes these exercises.

With this information you can begin designing your ideal career and ideal life.

Caroline offers some additional perspective on this!

In my personal filter, I started with what life I wanted to lead, and career is an important part of that, but only a piece. A lot of people do this: we focus on our career and try to fit our life in the nooks and crannies and are unhappy when our life doesn’t fit. I decided, “No more. I’m going to design the life I want to lead and make my career fit that.” There are things I want in my career and things to help me further my life goals. 

Think about who you want to be. We get so focused on the role…I focused on, “Who do I want to be in the world?” “How do I want to touch people, help them? “How do I want them to feel?” Find the career and roles that fit into that.

You can be that person right now in your current role. I started acting like a coach while I was stuck in my other job. I could start bringing those elements in. I still did my role, but I could do it in a way to get space and pull me more quickly and easily into that future role.

Who do you want to be?

Now that you’ve begun to consider some far more important questions than “should I use indeed.com or monster.com to find jobs”, begin to create a picture for your ideal career and ultimately your ideal life, because they aren’t separate, whether you’d like them to be or not.

Start by listening to the podcast, then doing the “Time Travel” exercise above or attend one of our upcoming trainings on how high achievers find careers that they absolutely love.

Transcript from Episode
Scott Barlow: Caroline, Welcome to Happen To Your Career.


Caroline Adams: Thanks Scott I’m thrilled to be here and hope I can live up to the introduction. I’m excited to be here and take some questions and tell my story.


Scott Barlow: So glad you mentioned that. I’ve gotten to know you a bit over the last year and know you can live up to that and then some. This is the first time we’ve recorded live in this way. When we are done recording the main show we are going to hang around and answer some questions so don’t hesitate to drop in questions in the chat if you are here live. Caroline, I’m excited to take about your past because it’s interesting and how you have worked your way to what you do now. How would you describe what you do now? What is being a coach look like?


Caroline Adams: I think you summed it up in the beginning well. I help people recognize their strengths, understand what they like to do, not just what they are good at, a lot of times we get people who are really good at things they don’t enjoy, understanding the difference and getting them into a career and life they love. That is what I spend the bulk of time doing. When I’m not coaching I love to write and be creative. In addition to running my business which is somewhat creative but not necessarily in the ways we want, but I’ve created this career so I have space to do a lot of things I want to do in my life and I spend as much time doing them as possible.


Scott Barlow: Which turns out is what we are all about and part of how we ended up meeting because we had alignment. I know that isn’t where it started for you and I’d love to go way back. Where did your professional career start and how did we go from there to here?


Caroline Adams: It’s a great story and let me caveat it by saying to people listening it could sound like a smooth past. I know when I’ve listened to people telling their story it sounds like they did it easy. Most of my career journey was fear, inertia, not listening to my intuition, rationalizing, settling, not empowering things. Luckily I kept at it and figured it out. I know a lot of people are struggling with how to get there. I totally know and have been there. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

I started in management consulting. It was a great experience. The real life MBA and all I could ask for. I use a lot of what I learned. I fell into my career. That beginning role. In that I started, I always thought growing up, I grew up thinking I would have a creative careers as an interior designer or writer. For many reasons I didn’t pursue that. I started out in college, my brother was working at Accenture and decided to make a career change and offered as a bartering chip that I could step into the role. So there began my management consulting career. I started as an intern and continued after college. That was it. I fell into it. It was a good thing then and I got a lot from it but I didn’t get in intentionally thinking about what I wanted to do. It set the stage interestingly. At the beginning of my career because I thought I’d do something creative and wasn’t. I always had this thought that you aren’t doing what you are meant to and are limiting yourself by following this career. Even when I enjoyed and liked the work, which I often did, it didn’t seem like it was the right path for me.


Scott Barlow: What were some steps along the way that caused you to think you needed to do something about it? What happened that brought you to knowing it wasn’t right and it’s time to do something?


Caroline Adams: It was a lot of trial by error. My first jump was a jump at the earliest possible opportunity once I made manager and did it for all the wrong reasons, it was not a great experience. I had weekly migraine headaches. So not good for my health.


Scott Barlow: Before or after you jumped?


Caroline Adams: After. I jumped, I was fine and healthy, but not fulfilling my purpose. I had existential angst. There was nothing wrong with my career I just wasn’t happy. I jumped and found out how unhappy one could really be so I then jumped again into design school. That was a good jump, I told myself if you are going to jump again at least make it mean something. It as interesting because while I took that risk to go to school and follow my passion, rather than do interior design I did graphic design. It shows the struggle I was having to really give in and let myself do what I wanted.

There was a series of jumps and it was interesting because that jump led me to the next role as a summer job. I was fully intending to become a graphic designer but through the summer through my connection I got the chance to work at a financial services firm in a very creative role. Here I was writing everyday getting paid financial services money for it. That was great and a great lesson to us all. We get in binary thinking that I could do something creative or I could make money. There is no way to do both. And I realized and only found this because I let go of the other jobs and followed part of my passion to design school and ended up in a corporate environment I never expected to be in doing what I wanted to do. It was so great I left design school and took a permanent position that led to a ten year career making a bunch of pivots in that organization. I could go on and on.


Scott Barlow: You said you were making financial services money which is most of the time substantial compared to the average company and you were doing writing. That really does for that point in your life feel like the right combination of creative and financial goals. What was that role doing and its main purpose to help those listening to think of these jobs?


Caroline Adams: It was corporate communications. I wasn’t writing the great American novel. I was limited on what creative license I could have but was still flexing those muscles and thinking on how to get communications across. It was in the HR space which led me to my next pivot which was moving from HR to anti-money laundering.


Scott Barlow: I did not know this. I had seen this and been meaning to ask you but it never became relevant. I want to hear about this? What does this mean?


Caroline Adams: It is catching bad guys and relevant in the news now. Criminals use the banking system to launder money and hide money gotten through ill gotten gains. This was catching bad guys. It made me feel like I was doing something for the broader good which was important to me and starting to niggle at me. Even though I was doing something I loved and liked the people, getting promoted, I was starting to feel dissonance that it wasn’t the right fit and my values weren’t the same as the company, and wasn’t sure I could do the work in a way that I wanted to do it.


Scott Barlow: What changed? What in terms of how your values changed or when you recognized it?


Caroline Adams: I think it was always there. The initial shine wore off of the I’m getting to do something creative and make corporate money. Well you are making that because you are working for an institution. I started to think back behind the scenes, you are meant for something bigger, how can you help people. I was experiencing a day to day struggle with I enjoy this but is it really my path and could I do something more and have more impact on people’s lives and be more my creation autonomy.

I moved into anti-money laundering. As people think through their career changes we assume if it’s not clear how to get from point A to B we have to go back to school and get more experience, and a certification and that is not the truth. As soon as you figure out what you want to do all you need to do is tell the story. Be able to convey how you can use your current experience to fit the role. The move from HR to this role was that. I had aligned myself with great advocates. It’s important to have the right people around you in positions of power. Partly because I knew I could convey, I didn’t have any anti-money laundering knowledge, but I knew how to run the role and could learn on the side. As you look at job descriptions and talk to people, people tend to focus on the one bullet point in the description that they don’t have.


Scott Barlow: It says I need 17.7 years of experience, I only have 15.2 so clearly cannot ever do that role.


Caroline Adams: Exactly and it’s just not true. It’s a wish list. If you bring 50% or more and the other great stuff they don’t even know they want yet but once you tell them they will. That was the key from a lot of pivots I made. Leverage what I could do and what I wanted to do because it was about getting better and closer each time and being able to connect the dots for the hiring person. I can continue going on if you’d like.


Scott Barlow: I’m curious about, it seems like in that occasion you made that role change internally. I think that we don’t always talk about that on this show but we’ve seen that happen a lot of times. That is how people get exceptions made for them. Even though you didn’t have the degree in money laundering. Is there one? Or whatever it might be you still made the change. You built relationships for advocates to get you to the conversation in the first place and then you were approaching it as what value can I bring to thing’s they don’t even know they need in this role. As opposed to being just caught up on not having the degree and going back to school.


Caroline Adams: You just shot down the dreams of every anti-money laundering person. I do have a lot of connections in that field if anyone is interested. Everything I’ve done in my career is because I talked to people about what I wanted. I presented it when they were in a position to help me and conveying what I wanted and how I would help them. It’s about the win win. Its 100% how I’ve navigated. The objection I hear that I don’t know what I want so how do I talk to people. You talk to people about what you are doing and what you do know. Here is what I’m exploring, here’s what I like. They give you ideas and you make connections saying things out loud. You ask them to connect you with someone else and go from there.

It took me a long time to learn that. I wasn’t doing it all along it took a long time to realize how important those relationships are. Once I realized that and how meaningful it can be, I’m an introvert, and I had created a habit of not talking to people that wasn’t deep and meaningful. I shied away from networking because it seemed superficial and felt uncomfortable and once I realized how to talk to people about what they cared about or what they needed it changed the game. Not just for me but for them too. I first did this by being a great connector. Listening to what they wanted and their problems and dreams and goals and saying I know someone that might be a good resource and offering value. There are simple ways to build relationships. We teach more direct ones in Career Change Bootcamp but if you are just starting out there are a lot of ways to start those conversations now.


Scott Barlow: I absolutely love that. Thank you. I know we have had conversations but thank you for representing how it can work. In Career Change Bootcamp we have scripts and tools and systems to be able to make this process easier. It does come down to taking those actions and making connections with real people in the world. People hire people, not computers, not job applications hiring people or applicant tracking systems. It’s real people make those decisions in just about any company you want to work for.


Caroline Adams: It’s so true and I’m glad you mentioned it. I know today we are talking about filters. Learn from my mistakes. I’ve spent a lot of my career in my head, dreaming and mapping things out without taking steps. It’s only when you take steps. Looking at my career, going to design school for a semester, how the dots connect but then I didn’t know where I was going I was just experimenting. Career Change Bootcamp does a great job helping people understand it’s not do or die. If you talk to someone you don’t have to accept a job on the spot. It’s figuring out if you want to work there and talking to people that do it. It’s so important to take the steps even if they are really small or side steps. Just movement, I don’t care how great your filter is if you aren’t taking steps to use it or test it it’s just a filter and not reality.


Scott Barlow: I want to come back to the filter concept and what it means for making difficult career decisions. I’d first like to hear how this finished out for you. You are in anti-money laundering and you enjoyed it but things happened in between then and now. Clearly like anyone has listened can understand the experience you’ve had to put you in a great position to help others but what else happened?


Caroline Adams: Here is where the story takes a dark turn. I burnt out. I loved the work but I failed to realize it wasn’t the right environment for me. I burnt out. I took a sabbatical, I negotiated it, it wasn’t a given, so if you are thinking of doing it there are great ways to figure out how to get time and space to figure it out. I took a sabbatical and I thought of becoming a coach and getting certified. It was that pause, where I stepped out of the context and for me I was exhausted spiritually and mentally, in the beginning I was just getting back to being a whole person. It took me a while. I encourage people not to get to this place. First stepping back it was good I realized I needed to do something differently. I settled on coaching and we can talk about my filter and how I got there but now I’m a coach, I write, create, run the business and my life. It’s a great place to be.


Scott Barlow: Let’s talk about the filter concept and I’d love to hear how you have filtered these decisions for yourself. When we are talking about a filter we can tell what it is and how it works but it’s most useful when you are faced with difficult decisions like should I take this job or is this company worth my time, will this role make me more happy more often, and how do you know? How would you define what a filter has done for you?


Caroline Adams: I think in terms, and I hope this isn’t out of left field, but I’m an aspiring minimalist. That is about maximizing what is most important and letting everything else fall away. That is what a filter does. These are the most essential things in my life. As the other noise hits you can in a methodical way be able to “filter” them out. Get out the bad stuff and keep the most important.


Scott Barlow: I love that. Have you heard the story of Warren Buffett talking to his pilot?


Caroline Adams: The five things?


Scott Barlow: For those that haven’t I will probably butcher it but he is in this conversation with his pilot who is trying to decide what he wants to achieve in his life and they talk about it and Warren says here is what I want you to do. Write down your top 25 goals and get them down and take several hours. Then I want you to prioritize which fall into the top 5 and at the end you will separate them into two groups. The top 5 and then the other 20. Get rid of the 20 and throw them out. Do not look at them until you accomplish the top 5 because those are the most important and the rest doesn’t matter. I see that as the same thing and other way to look at it. Helping you decide what is truly important. When you focus on everything it gets really complicated and then there is no way anyone no matter how much success or money you have can have everything. It’s physically impossible.

Here is a question for you. Thinking over this filter, and we call it an ideal career profile, how have you used this concept in your latter career?

Caroline Adams: It’s a great question and there are a bunch of techniques I’ll explain but another value is once you start getting offers and everything that is not on your top 5 or even 25 starts coming at you. The nature of how we are conditioned we try to fit ourselves into those things and we forget all the hard work we’ve done to know what we want. The filter helps remind you as those are hitting you.

One thing I did was time travel. Mining the past. What are things in my last roles that I really loved and why? It’s important to peel back the layers. What about it, was it because I was in my strengths and honoring my values or was it the people. Understand that.

Another is what is going really well in the present that I want to hold on to with my current work? We want to keep those and add others. We don’t want to swap them but add more and better.

Fast forward to the future. You’ve probably heard this but basically propel yourself into the future. You are 75 years old and you think what do I want to have done or have lived? What is important for me to say about my life?

For me mining the past was how I got to coaching and fast forwarding to the future is how I designed my life. The past was the what the future was the how. How do I want to run the business and help people and lead with these values? Look at yourself at different points in time and get an idea of what themes keep coming up. There are often answers staring us in the face but it takes these exercises. Another one I have alluded to is designing your life first.

In my personal filter, ICP, I started with what life I wanted to lead and career is an important part of that but only a piece. Before, and a lot of people do this, we focus on our career and try to fit our life in the nooks and crannies and are unhappy when our life doesn’t fit. On sabbatical I decided no more. I’m going to design the life I want to lead and make my career fit that. There are things I want in my career and things to help me further life goals.

We’ve talked about strengths. A key, with this, and especially because we work with high achievers and they are really good at a bunch of stuff and can become good at a lot, for those people it’s important to look at what you are good at and you do and people recognize you for and ask yourself how much you enjoy those things. One way to clear the filter is saying I love doing this thing and I’m really good at it and I’m always asked to do this thing and told its a strength but I really hate doing it. You put that in your filter and avoid at all costs. I stole this term from someone Edy Greenblatt who wrote a burn out book. She calls them sneaky depleters. You are good at them, people ask you to do them, but it comes at a cost because you don’t enjoy being there. I had burnt out. It was important to say what happened? What was I doing? It was important for me to refocus on the signature strengths and the things that are in your element.


The last thing, then I’ll take a breath, is think about who you want to be. We get so focused on the role. What is my passion? I focused on who do I want to be in the world, how do I want to touch people, help them, how do I want them to feel. Find the career and roles that fit into that. You can be that person right now in your current role. I started acting like a coach while I was stuck in my corporate job. I could start bringing those elements in. I still did my role but I could do it in a way to get space and pull me more quickly and easily into that future role.



Scott Barlow: That makes so much sense. I love the piece about becoming who you want to be. I’ve given it a lot of thought over the last 5 years. Prior to that I don’t know that I considered if I wanted to go a particular place I would likely have to become a different person along the way. That doesn’t always mean you have to make huge changes. Sometimes its small behavior changes and playing the part.

By the way we will have all of these and references and the transcript on Happen To Your Career.com/223. When the episode is released. You can get all of these things we’ve talked about. Another great place as you are trying to develop a filter and define what great career opportunity might look for you is going to figureitout.co and you can start putting it together if you are falling in love with the concept of having a filter.

Let’s go back to that and how it can be utilized. I’ve found one of the biggest benefits of taking the time and identifying what you want and lay it out in a way that you can filter out the stuff that isn’t great and keep in the things that may be. I find that often if you have made the little complex decisions like how do I want to do work? I wanted to be able to have lots of window space. Or not necessarily be cooped up in one room with flexibility. Making this decisions for yourself and having it on paper allows you to turn the complex decisions like should I stay in my job or not and what roles would be a good fit allows you turn those into yes or no questions. What other benefits have you found?


Caroline Adams: So many, one that pops into my mind is I still use my filter now. I’m in my dream career and just because you get there doesn’t mean you are done. This is just one more stop on a much longer journey, I still use it and refine it. What was important to me last year may not be as much this year either because I’ve built a strong habit, but can tweak it to focus on five years from now and what I want that to look like. As opportunities come my way what do I want to pursue? It’s made the whole way I approach my career more intentional. I can make yes, no decisions. I had trouble following my intuition and I’ve been working on it hard. I’ve had intuitive hits all my life but I’m a thinker, I’m an INTJ, so I process and outthink and look for data to make sense of something you can’t. I’d end up dismissing a lot. I find that a filter can help with that piece of me. Let’s run the numbers but can help intuitively. I have a sense of the broader life and career I want. I can trust a little more that intuition and feeling and it doesn’t feel like it fits. The two big things are continuing to use it and make it better and it’s greater than the sum of its parts. Not just data points like a robot but thinking more holistically. That has been really important. Intuition is really important and it’s been important to factor that into my decision making.


Scott Barlow: That is interesting. I’ve found ironically that going through the work of creating the ICP, that can act as a filter has allowed me to be more in tune with my intuition and stop ignoring where I feel it in my stomach but do it anyway because I feel like I have to. I hadn’t thought about that but it has.


Caroline Adams: Another thing I want to share, for people making big changes whether is corporate to running a business or nonprofit to corporate. Major changes, just because you make a change doesn’t mean you change the things you are trying to leave. I’m a workaholic, I burnt out twice, and surprise just because I’m in a much better career that fit my needs doesn’t mean that tendency magically goes away. The filter helps me remember that there are reasons I made these changes and back to habits focus on success that are going to enhance what I’m doing. That is what I do and how I approach it. The ICP, or filter is really important in that aspect as well. You can’t outrun yourself, I’ve tried, I’m not fast enough.


Scott Barlow: I love that and I very much appreciate that. You can’t outrun yourself. So true. If you want to get started in developing your own filter take advantage of some of these ideas like time travel, mining the past, evaluating what you are enjoying and what isn’t working. We will put all of that at happentoyourcareer.com/223. Otherwise go to figureitout.co and get an 8 day course that helps you begin pinning down what you want. Great ways to get started in this. I so appreciate you taking the time. Want to answer a few questions?


Jackie in our Career Change Bootcamp says “I love this and am so glad you are my coach Caroline.” That’s fantastic. The other thing as people are typing, the thing about filters is how it can reduce complex problems or questions into simple yes or no’s and we haven’t talked about that. Here is a way to think about it. When you have a filter and have a good idea where you want to go then it allows you to evaluate different opportunities and say is this bringing me closer to my ICP? If it moves you in the right direction keep considering it otherwise wipe it off the table. That is one of the biggest value added ways that I interact with clients and students. I was working with someone who had 5 or 6 opportunities ready to pay him money and all appealing at first glance but as we used the filter three of them were terrible fits. They wouldn’t lead him to where he wanted to go. He could have went down any of those paths and spent years pursuing one of those three things and we created an off the table list. Based on the filter. Will it get me closer to where I want to go? What is your experience?


Caroline Adams: I think the initial power of and it’s one of the things that got me into coaching is people don’t know what they want. They know what they don’t want but when you focus on what you don’t want guess what you get? I think the filter helps you rise out of where you are and start helping you survey what is around you. It helps you get honest with yourself. That initial impact for a lot of people and putting down on paper and saying it out loud is a huge step. I think for so many people once they go through this exercise they realize the path they were going down, the path of least resistance and realize they want to do something else. It’s a powerful exercise in being honest with yourself about what you want with no holds barred.

Without talking yourself out of it and worrying about how you are going to get it or the million reasons why not. It’s the beautiful thing when someone is going down one path but a whole new array of choices opens up to them. That is happening in Career Change Bootcamp right now. Really I didn’t think I could do this. It’s cool because it helps you explore all the options while narrowing the focus on what is right for you. You aren’t casting a huge net that is overwhelming but seeing opportunities you wouldn’t see but also narrowing. It’s an interesting interplay between broadening and focusing that is more aligned with your strengths and values.


Scott Barlow: Dave agrees and says I always know what I don’t want Caroline. As humans it’s easier to pick that out. We have a couple questions. Casey says I find difficult being a multipotentialite. Go back and see Emilie Wapnick’s episodes. It’s someone with many interests and talents. She says I find it difficult to pick top goals and narrowing it down. What advice do you have for filtering?


Caroline Adams: There are a couple ways. I love that you are using that term. I would say don’t narrow them down yet. Get really clear on what those things are. One way is to look at, someone in the bootcamp said I want to spend 60% of my time doing this type of work and the rest to be creative and rest. Playing with those broad percentages. Let’s say you like to write and paint and make films, how does that fit. Is it okay to write 10% of your time? Play around with how those look for you. The filter, once you have those big buckets, is go the next layer down and say how does it look day to day. How much time would I spend doing this ideally. Do I need to do it everyday or if I can find time once a year is that enough?


Scott Barlow: I can empathize with that. From being a multipotentialite and working with a lot of them, it’s a bit different for everyone. You have to figure out what your version is. We find that at some point you have to just go and act and then through that, whether its talking to someone or taking a set of jobs that may not be 100% lined up with everything you get feedback and information for the next step defining further what it looks like. I like the first half of my day to be creative work and the second half is interacting with others. That isn’t for everyone. What is your brand of multipotentialite? You can get part of the way there through reflection but at some point you have to act too and you get new feedback and learnings. Whether through conversations, accepting an opportunity that lines up better. We have more questions.


Helen says what is the best way to pick one focus and let go of competing interests? It’s hard to move in two directions at the same time.


Caroline Adams: I think Scott just alluded to that. Sometimes you have to just start doing one or both. Maybe it’s a decision of do I have to have this for my career or just in my life. For me design I didn’t want in my career and I’m much happier expressing it in my life. Explore and pick one and make moves and maybe try both. At some point start playing around with what are the essential pieces in your career. Also can you combine them? I love when I hear competing interests. What if they are cooperating interests? I worked with someone who was a nutritionist and a designer. She blended them. They were very disparate until she brought them together. How can they cooperate and blend them if you can. I was in a lot of COO roles and did a lot of things so I didn’t have to pick one. The other way is to say it’s a great hobby and I’ll focus on the others in my career.


Scott Barlow: I’ve had similar experience so I’d cosign that. The only other thing I might add is if you are looking for different ways to combine them together then sometimes it’s not obvious right away. You have to take the best path that you can see and continue looking. The reality is, I used to get told I should be on the radio. That doesn’t pay jack and I don’t know if I want to do it. As I went through life I found other outlets to do that. Now we run a podcast and do other media. I’m not technically a radio person. I run a business and I’m a coach that fit together for me. But it wasn’t apparent ten years ago. Had I not taken other steps forward to go into HR which was a portion of what I was great at and made other changes I would not have made this happen. Sometimes you have to, especially when combining, move forward before it’s all figured out.

We have one more question. “I found out what I want but my difficulty is using my talent to develop into a career. I don’t have any specific talents but I know I want to help others understand what they are good at and devise a plan to reach their objectives. What advice do you have?”


Caroline Adams: Join Career Change Bootcamp and we can explore it but first you have a great awareness. You do have a specific talent, how to help others understand what they are good at which is a great talent. What are the various applications of that? How can I help others? I also am good at helping others in this way, so is Scott. We might do that in a different way. Go the next layers down and challenge yourself what does it look like, how are you helping them. Scott has a great exercise called the 5 Whys. Keep asking why to get to the core nugget as to why it so important to get awareness. Start with that because it’s fantastic to have that skill. Unpack what is behind that for you and expand it.


Scott Barlow: Absolutely, I believe that it is a marketable skill. It can be in a lot of ways. be in leadership, that is a main core. As I’ve done tons of surveys when people look fondly on bosses is because of this skill and being able to help them. It’s great in other ways too. We’ve had a few pointed out in the chat. Career coach. To Carolines point you have to go a step or more further. What is the context in which I enjoy this and am the best at? It could be drastically different than me or the next person. You can get more specific and once you have that it’s easier to align it and ask is the opportunity getting me closer to this. If so fantastic.

Caroline, I so appreciate you taking and making the time and coming on the show and making Happen To Your Career history with our first ever live recorded podcast. Thank you for leaving a mark in the Happen To Your Career history.


Caroline Adams: Happy to make my perhaps black mark on your history. It was really fun. Thank you for all your questions and the great activity in the chat box. I hope to see some of you throughout as you make these decisions or if you come through the program. Keep working on going after the career you love.


Scott Barlow: We will see all of you later. Next time. You know where we are at. Until next time we are out.