“It was a complete blank for me. A complete and utter blank.”
That’s what Louise McNee said when HTYC career coach Lisa Lewis asked “What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now?”
She had no idea.
Here’s the thing. That’s not just Louise, that’s most of the people that we work with.
Why Imagining Career Happiness is Hard
Most of us can’t really imagine what something so drastically different than what we’ve already done might actually be like. So how would we know what else is out there?
Here’s an example:
I used to live in a very poor, very small town in Northern Idaho. Some of the residents didn’t get out very much. When I was 8 years old, my second grade class took a field trip to the nearby dam.
To get to the top of the dam you had to go in an elevator.
Several of the students in my class had never been in an elevator before.
Some of them didn’t even know what an elevator was. (Yes really).
If you asked them to imagine what they wanted to use to get to the top of the dam, if they weren’t going to use the stairs, I don’t know if they would have been able to tell you.
Maybe they would have said a hot air balloon or an airplane just because they had heard of those, but honestly I don’t think those would have been particularly functional for getting to the top of a large structure.
If you would have asked them what an elevator feels like they would have looked at you like you were crazy. After all they just found out an elevator existed and if they had to guess they would probably be wrong.
However as soon as they had experienced riding on an elevator they instantly knew what it was, what it felt like AND that it was the mode of travel they wanted to use to get to the top of the dam.
Your career is a lot like that elevator trip to my second grade classmates. When you only know that where you are isn’t where you want to be, it’s hard to imagine what you might actually want to be doing when you’ve never experienced it before.
The recipe to create “stuck” in your career
Louise had three other things that were keeping her stuck in the same exact place.
- Every day when she finished work she was drained. Her current work wasn’t creating energy for her it was sucking the life out of her. This meant that finding the energy to look for other work or figure out what she really wanted was hard. It also created an endless cycle where by the time the weekend rolled around, and she had a couple days off, she needed those for recovery only to be able to do it all over again.
- She was putting an immense amount of pressure on herself to find the “one perfect career” that would contain all of her interests. By doing so she was defining herself completely by her career and creating an impossible task for herself at the same time.
- She had already changed jobs multiple times thinking this would solve her problems. It hadn’t worked. This left her feeling even more unsure about where she wanted to go.
These three areas along with the earlier challenge of imagining where she actually wanted to be were making it nearly impossible for Louise to move forward.
She had to begin breaking it down into much smaller steps and pieces to be able to move forward.
Want to learn exactly what she did? Either download the transcript or take a listen to the episode.
Transcript from Episode
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Scott Barlow: Welcome to the Happen to Your Career Podcast. I’m Scott Anthony Barlow. This is the show where we share stories of how high achievers find career happiness and meaning. How do you know when you’ve made the right decision for your career? Because honestly sometimes it’s pretty difficult right. What if you think you know what you want only then you go ahead and make a change, you get a new job, and that doesn’t work out. Now I got to talk to someone today who’s been down that road.
Louise McNee: So I’m a commercial manager. I just started working for a great company, actually a radio station here in Australia. So it’s a completely different industry than I’ve worked in before.
Scott Barlow: Louise is a Brit who relocated to Australia and now she has a job she loves. But before, honestly it wasn’t that great for even a few years in fact. I mean sure she’s had a ton of success in her career. The only problem with that was it wasn’t necessarily the success that she wanted so she changed jobs and then she did it again. And it turns out it didn’t have the impact that she wanted to and we’ll tell you all about that but let’s go way back for just a minute.
Louise McNee: So I started out. And it’s quite a sad story, when somebody asks you what want to be when you’re little. I don’t actually know why I said I wanted to be an accountant.
Scott Barlow: Really. Are you the only one in the world that said that when you were little?
Louise McNee: I believe so and I don’t know whether I should admit it. I think I was about age 6 and my background, first in my family to go to university and to do professional qualifications. I don’t really know where this idea came from. I used to enjoy counting my mom and dad to collect copper coins I used to enjoy counting them, so I don’t know where it came from.It’s quite sad. I didn’t want to be any of those other exciting jobs people want to do.
Scott Barlow: The ones people that I don’t know, I want to be an astronaut. I want to be a firefighter. I want to be a doctor. I want to. Whatever else. You know I said accounting and jest. I actually know a bunch of people that absolutely love accounting. I don’t personally and I don’t have the strengths that are very suitable for accounting but I think that’s super cool and I love how unique that is that you’re 8 years old, I want to be an accountant.
Louise McNee: Yeah that’s how I started. So I kind of I did you know business studies at university , and I had a very linear career path. And there probably wasn’t a huge amount of thought into my path. And I mean that in terms of I was just in traditional you get a job you work hard, you get a promotion, you do a slightly different job and that’s kind of what I’ve done. So I started off studying chartered management Accountants and I just moved through roles. You know with job descriptions of management accountant, financial accountant and yeah I just did that. Every move was a promotion and a chance to gain new skills. But over the last 15 years or so I’ve pretty much been all the same career, just moving from I don’t do any day to day transactions stuff now, so I’ve moved from having to actually make sure that P&L is ok or looking at balance sheets. I hate that that’s not where my motivation lies, so thankfully that’s all moved away, that’s been done. Help me to be where I am today and know it’s leading towards the real business conversations.
Scott Barlow: When did you realize I’m curious. Like where along the way did you have some of those realizations that you know going from hey I’m 8 years old and want to be an accountant, moving into it and starting to realize that I actually don’t really like balance sheet stuff. Do you remember any specific moments where you had that realization?
Louise McNee: No I just think looking back I just knew that there was part of my job that really frustrated me. And there is probably no specific moment and it’s probably maybe only over the last three to four years that I’ve really thought about why do I get frustrated or what’s not motivating me. And then it’s kind of I just don’t like that day to day. Because the situation may change, the industry make change, but what you’re actually doing doesn’t change. So for me I just got really bored.
Scott Barlow: So after you recognized that you were getting bored then what happened from there because it says you sounded like you know that was three or four years ago at this point and what ended up happening from there in your career as you acknowledged, Hey look this kinda sucks and I don’t want to do this forever, it might be somebodies gig but it’s probably not where I want to spend the vast majority of my time. What happened at that point?
Louise McNee: The first time I started thinking about this it probably, or definitely wasn’t the way I think about it now. So it was OK. This is for me it’s not happening to me. Let’s just go and do it somewhere else. Oh it’s going to be completely different in a new business. So I had an opportunity to work for a company which is the role never existed before so it was a startup element of a huge corporate global company and they never needed somebody locally to look at the stuff I look at. So I kind of thought that that would be a nice avenue to move away. Try something different and see if I could you know crack that wall myself and make it do what I want to do. And I was promised that it would be a mix of the transactional and strategic. So I was like This is great. You know it’s the perfect opportunity for me to get that experience and up what I can say to people that this is what I do and really proves the idea of more than the typical accountant. It didn’t actually work out that way.
Scott Barlow: It sounds like there’s another shoe dropping here someplace.
Louise McNee: Yeah I think you know and this is a huge line for me as well and it has really made me since I’ve had interviews with the company. It really made me go to that for jobs. You interview the company as well. They don’t just interview you and the lesson for me that really helped, in fact that I really needed to draw down into more detail because while the intention was that, they just put out the stage right to have that person who was ready to do what I wanted to do and which had kind of done throughout my career you know it’s always been a part of my role to do the challenging,the asking the questions, the looking at things a slightly different way. The day to day dragged me down more than I thought it would and more than they thought it would as well. I know it also wasn’t a very good environment. And it’s the first time I think I’ve been in an environment I’ve really struggled with.
Scott Barlow: What maybe what made the environment there such a struggle?
Louise McNee: Yeah the culture was very very different. So That was the first time I let, Career is very important to me. It’s probably and I realized this after working with this over the last year or so I put so much weight on my career. It kind of defined me in a way. And I think some of that might be because of my upbringing. In fact I’m the only one to have done this thing so I and nobody else is going to feel this way but I’ve put it on me that I had to be great at this, I had to know what I was doing. Now I have to constantly you know progress. I would just be this will not hide.. This was the first time I went I don’t actually like this. I don’t know if I want to be doing this anymore.
Scott Barlow: That is so interesting. If I might ask you about that for just a second because I think it’s fascinating that when we and I very much, I’ve done this a lot of different times of my life to where I will define who I am in some ways by what it is that I’m doing at that particular time. Often it is also with my career. And it’s interesting how that can cause you to in some cases like stay in a place longer than you probably should. Was that what happened there as well. Because it sounds like at some point you recognize that. How did you think about that once you started to realize that hey this is this definition of myself is causing some less desirable pieces.
Louise McNee: Yeah there’s probably two things to it. One is you know you just tell yourself suck it up. You’re in a really good position compared to other people. You know you’re salary is great. You work for big name companies. You’ve had a progression. When you go and speak to people. It’s taken me a long time to kind of be able to be proud of my achievements and be able to sell them to people rather than to play in them. And so it kind of Oh just what are you complaining about. Well this is just you’ve got it all. Don’t just get over it just must be a phase. Go in three. And then the other side is I just really did not know what the option was or what I wanted. So that was one of the hardest things. And so even from this role I moved again to another company and did almost exactly the same role. I still went through it. It must be the company it’s the company that’s making me feel this way. Not the actual role. I just did not know what else to do, I did not know if there was another career for me. I did not know. I didn’t know how to get out of it. So I just stayed in it.
Scott Barlow: What was that like? Because that’s you know still semi recent for you. What was that like being in that particular place where you didn’t know but realized that something’s wrong?
Louise McNee: Yeah really hard because I happened to get in the role afterwards so this was two roles in a row that I was having these feelings and I was so trapped. And it really impacted, You know I’m normally a happy bubbly person. My friends say that I’m always up for a laugh. I’m the one that can have it and will try and look on the positive side. I went a complete opposite. I was a nightmare. Not that I wasn’t married at the time but my poor husband. I’ve never cried so much because I just felt completely trapped in not knowing what to do. And as well as I pride myself on being the tough one. I just I couldn’t even tell him at that point why I was crying. Because when you’re trying to articulate to people why you’re feeling how you are feeling and if you’re trying to give examples I find a lot they sound really minor when you’re trying to give examples because it’s hard to explain to people why you feel the way you are. It’s just when you add it all together in a big book you can’t. And it’s obviously making you feel so bad. But I found it really hard to not understand myself but also explain to other people so I felt like I was in a cycle of I didn’t have anybody or I felt like I wasn’t explaining to people well enough so they could help me if that makes sense.
Scott Barlow: Well it’s hard. It’s hard to understand. I mean let’s be honest even when you’re in it and you’re experiencing it, it’s hard to understand for yourself to really truly get what’s going on let alone be able to help other people understand as well because in some ways too especially if you have done well and you have been continuously moving up the ranks, you’ve done a lot of things that most people would look at from the outside and say Wow. She got an amazing life and career and everything else along those lines. And it is difficult to be able to articulate that in a way that really helps people understand what’s going on from the inside looking out.
Louise McNee: Yeah especially because people, everybody gets days they hate their jobs. Things are not going well. They might be lower than they normally are. It’s just hard to tell people that that’s how you feel almost every minute of every day. And I felt like my energy is just taken all of my energy just to get through the day. Never mind thinking about what I wanted to be doing and how to get out of it. That was way past me. It was such hard work to get up in the morning, get in the car drive to work, do a full day at work, get home and feel like I had managed to get through the day.
Scott Barlow: We see this really interesting phenomenon as we’ve worked with people over the years and we see that for that exact reason. It really starts to compound and actually it turns an already complex and frustrating problem into an even much larger and more complex one too because not only are you doing exactly what you described like you’re in a role where it’s totally zapping your energy. And at the same time it’s difficult to be able to explain it to other people, understand what is going on, but then even trying to think about what to do about it after you’ve already spent day after day after day where your energy is zapped and it’s taking all of all those pieces of you then it turns into this bit of a cycle where we call this the stuck cycle again and again. But I’m curious what what happened where you decided Look I’ve got to do something differently and how did you begin to get out of this?
Louise McNee: Yeah I think I’ve always been a pretty, my personality always been really big into self development doing other things challenging myself, so I do naturally have that mindset. I don’t like to sit and complain about stuff just and not do something about it. I think one of the and it’s quite this being completely open and it’s for me to be open. I was out for dinner with my husband to say we’re one married and that we were planning a wedding. I was crying in the restaurant. And this like this is not what life is. This is not, you know we were trying to plan the wedding. Got so many exciting things to be looking forward to . Why my crying in a public restaurant embarrassing me and you know my poor husband didn’t know what to do.
Scott Barlow: It sounds like, that is the ultimate test by the way. Clearly you’ve got a good guy.
Louise McNee: Yeah he is. He’s been he’s been very good. And I think it’s very hard for him as far. Because when we met this I have always portrayed that I’ve got things sorted. Career is really important and he saw a change from the person he met to somebody who was really the strong, knew where she was going, had everything in her sights, enjoyed life to this persons that’s like why are you crying again. He still married me. So thankfully he’s definitely a good one.
Scott Barlow: That’s funny. There’s there’s a test might be hard to duplicate that exact test but if you find yourself in that place and they react this way you know you’ve got a good one.
Louise McNee: He really tried to understand. He does a similar role to me now and he came through in a different way. He did the audit background. I’ve never done it. So I think it was harder for him to understand because he thought he was having the same experience as me. But it wasn’t impacting him in the way that it was impacting me. And I just got to that point. I thought this is not me. This is I’ve been crying on friends I’ve been crying on Mark, down the line. But I can remember Lisa and I had to walk in a few sessions . Yeah. And I just derailed it completely because the minute she said hello I burst out crying.
Scott Barlow: So to give a little bit of context. At some point along the way as you recognize that you wanted to make changes. We got the pleasure of working with you. And Lisa who is one of the coaches on our team and you hear Lisa’s story actually back in episode 147. You got to work with Lisa and through our Career Change Bootcamp program, right?
Louise McNee: Yes I did. So it took me a while to get to the point of asking for help.
Scott Barlow: What did you perceive as the hardest part to get to that point of asking for help? Like you’re talking about.
Louise McNee: So I think for me it’s just I thought I had to figure it all out myself. You know it’s that kind of saying to somebody I don’t actually know and being open and I listened to the podcast on my way to and from work. I’d listen you know thinking Yeah this sounds great. This is something I definitely need. But actually you know writing the email or making that step to actually say I need this was somehow really hard for me. So I remember having a, as I said I’ve also got that fundamental part of me that doesn’t just like to let things carry on. Once I know something needs to be changed I will kind of know I need to change it. And I was one of my younger brother, he said something to me once which always resonated with me. He said things might not work out the way you want them to work out but you’ve never not done what you wanted to do. You’ve always found a way. You’ve just got to be remember, it might be a different way to what you want wanted it to be and that you know that I don’t know if my brother knows how much that resonated with with me. And so that was that right. I know I need to change. I know I need help. I can’t do this on my own. You know I have to let my pride maybe it’s not the right word but I have to let that go a little bit and say to somebody I need help. So I actually took I think I had a few conversations. I got in touch and discussed working on career change bootcamp and then I got a little bit of a cold feet and backed off and I went on holiday and then just the thought of actually going back to work after that holiday. So I can’t do it. I’ve been away for two weeks, now I’m really need to be serious about this now and do something about it. And that’s when I finally thought right I’m committed. I’m going to get some help and that’s when I signed up for a career change bootcamp.
Scott Barlow: That is that is so interesting. And I think that that is so real world and I appreciate you sharing that because a lot of times how it happens. For most of us it happens in stages. It’s not like this epiphany at the top of a mountain. I don’t know, after whatever and all of a sudden like we know what we’re going to do and we know how we’re going to get help and we know how we’re going to make it all happen and everything else along those lines that really happens in those smaller realizations and then that event leads to another event and another event and then all of a sudden we’re at the point where it’s like OK I’ve got to do something. But it’s all of the other pieces that got you to that point as well. So I so appreciate you sharing that. What do you feel like as you went through and as you started after you made that commitment, Hey I have to do something and I’ve got to I’ve got to double down on this. What was that like for you as you made the commitment to making the change and putting even more time and effort into that? What happened from there?
Louise McNee: Yes I think for me and kind of makes sense after Strengthsfinder, once that actually made the commitment and the ball was rolling, I felt like a weight lifted off purely because I was doing something. So rather than sitting in my head you know praying going over time constantly thinking but not know which way to go. Even just a simple act to say OK this I have a pass. There is a structure to this and I have somebody there to help me through this. It really made me feel like there was a way out of this. So even just the beginning was like OK I can do this. You know it kind of, I was still feeling a bit nervous about opening up then. You know sometimes you feel like you have to have all the answers. I mean you have to have the right answer. And I didn’t and I still don’t have all of the answers.
Scott Barlow: I wish I had all the answers, that would be fantastic.
Louise McNee: It’s kind of you know I to open, you know get used to open myself up to that. You know being asked a question and not knowing how to answer and having the awkward “I actually don’t know this is going to taking a long time to think about it.” Knowing that there was a structure in the past, there was actually activities to take and also knowing that I really felt like I had someone in my corner. You know it was somebody completely understood what I was going through. So when you’re talking to somebody like Lisa and the rest of your team you don’t have to go through the preamble of why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling they just get you, you know that you’ve worked with so many different people you’ve had the same thought yourself. So it kind of cuts out a lot of the initial, you know it introduction of why are you doing this. And you can start off on the whys and you know the reasons why the or the actual real details that are making you feel the way you feel. And get into it straight away which I think was great because once I thought I was actually doing something , I like execution is one of my actually moving forward and getting things done and focus and finishing the task at the end of the day . That’s what I figured out what makes feel what makes it work and it doesn’t matter what task is. It could be anything . I feel like I’ve been productive in the day and then that’s me going to bed feeling like I’ve had a good day. And so the program helped me to know their is the stuff to do, you know there’s a way that you know the strengthsfinder test, the exercises. Planning your day what your ideal day would be. You know what parts you like, what don’t you like. And then even taken it further than that. And you know outside of your career. What do you enjoy doing? I went through a couple of different notebooks. I just wrote everything. And it took me a while to get used to it. Looking back now I liked the fact that Lisa would ask me a question and I wouldn’t be able to answer it and would have to go away and think about it.
Scott Barlow: What it was what’s an example of that? Do you remember any examples of that what’s one time where that happened where Lisa asked you a question and you had you’re like I don’t know, let me let me think about?
Louise McNee: Just the first one is what would you do if you weren’t doing what you were doing now? Complete blank for me, complete and utter blank. And that meant I really had to go down into the detail of what it is. I didn’t dislike the entire of my role in what I was doing day to day. I had to get down into. It wasn’t specifically task related, that part is the easy part. I think you can always say quite easily I don’t like that particular task in a day whether it be standard reporting or any admin type work or whatever it may be. It was the interactions with people and what is fundamentally not working and to be honest one of the things I only just clicked with me recently and Lisa probably told me at the time. You know when your brains working overtime it’s taken a while to click, because I my strengths are in the learner side. I feel like I have to learn constantly. Doing the same role but for different companies wasn’t enough for me because even though I was learning about different industries there was no real different thought process. It’s the same discussions.
Scott Barlow: So for you, then was it that it was not a right continuous scope or not the right level of challenge in terms of learning or not the right, what was it about that type of learning as opposed to the type of learning that is really good for you?
Louise McNee: It’s it was because it was there was a felt like there was no real development in the learning. I was learning about a different situation. When you are doing the role I do your brain works in a certain way and my brain was always working in that way. Find the problem, find the root cause, see who it’s impacting, see which people you need to talk to to get it changed, what are your options. And so while the situations may have been very different it was the same process of going through.You might get a few falls through one from a technical point view or something different but it doesn’t change the thought process for you. Not sure I’m explaining very well.
Scott Barlow: Yeah that makes that makes sense. And I think that I wanted you to dive into that one because I’m always curious about other people’s perspectives but I think that’s something that’s a bit of a commonality with many of the many of the people that listen to Happen to Your Career. A lot of us are very very interested in learning and need that measure of learning in different ways and in some cases, actually in a lot of cases compared to the average person. So I appreciate you taking the time to detail that out. So here’s a different question though and I’m super curious you know you ended up working with with Lisa and had a lot of these realizations along the way. What caused, what do you feel like allowed you to make the most headway on this aside from some of the realizations that you had, because now you’re in this new role and it didn’t happen by magic. It was a bunch of hard work even before we hit the record button said when you are in the moment it really just feels like a lot of hard work in some ways right.
Louise McNee: Yes. Yeah I think the real realization and this was where Lisa was worth her weight in gold. It was the realization that I don’t have to go from a bad situation to the perfect situation straight away. I just wasn’t in that place you know going back to my mental and emotional state trying to do so. I did go and I spoke to you know 10 or 20 people in the areas I thought I wanted to do in the companies I wanted to work with. I was doing all of that. And that is actually I’ll probably come back to that later that was really really beneficial to me but it wasn’t getting me into a good place. And so a conversation with Lisa was how do we get you into a place where you can then start thinking about that because going from dot to that is not working. My brain could not cope with the thought process. I needed to get out of my mental state where I was at the moment I needed to get out of a company and a role that wasn’t making me fall short or was perpetuating this negative vibe. And so that was when the planning of so what’s really important to you came into play. So for me there was a couple of key buckets. So when you look at the culture of a company, location you know whether there is a different type of industry whether you know flexibility plays a part. And also for me I have such a huge social conscience so I do quite well mentoring through charities for either younger females who might find it tough and also at one charity that works in Australia. It’s the opposite. It’s the overachievers.
It’s called Aim for the Stars and they give grants or sponsorships to females who are doing really amazing things in the field and it could be any field, It could be musicians, scientists. They did have one lady will be the first commercial female pilot in Australia. There was a particular thing that she wanted to hit the sport. Because these people are so good at what they do I think they realise that they still need help. They still need someone to talk through with things with and you know they they maybe have doubts more than other people because they are aware of what they need to do. Yes I am. So I that’s in me that social conscience and in a company where is a big through. the work with this really help you narrow down and so we kind of we decided that the best route for me at the time was to get myself into a really good company that ticked off those items and then we can potentially think about longer term see how I feel about the role in a new company that does take off those items . It can have everything flow through. I went to speak to lots of different people and I spoke to people in charities and foundations and worked up really quickly that wasn’t the avenue for me because they have a lot of transactional day to day. Frustrations that would just leave me from having that scenario of somewhere to somewhere else. Plus the pay and salary isn’t exactly where I needed it to be.
I had conversations with people who we were started talking about where I might want to go and one lady who asked me to create a pitch and she really worked with me and Lisa worked on with me as well to kind of create this five or six page deck that would explain who I am, what I want very succinctly. But also in the most effective strong way. All these things really help get towards you know I was applying for jobs and I was going into some interviews and it all helped me sell myself better in the interview but also how need to recognize I don’t want to work here. I’m going to be moving again to a company but not be the right fit. And so at the end of last year, I’ve been in my current role for three months, at the end of last year this opportunity came up and it kind of excited me from a complete perspective ends up being a radio station. It’s got that different vibe. I’ve got something into a situation now where I ticked off five of my main things and boxes of what I need; company, location the culture. So the culture at the radio station is amazing and everyone’s friendly. This sounds so small but I was in the kitchen making myself a cup of tea and people were coming up introducing themselves saying welcome we haven’t seen you before. Whereas in past companies I’ve been in a situation where people are just walking past each other without smiling.
Scott Barlow: So here’s what I think people might gloss over as they’re listening to this or might not realize is that to be able to get to that level of specificity in terms of what you are looking for in a role to be able to recognize that in advance. Hey this organization and this opportunity really does take off a huge amount of these boxes especially some of the most important ones to me. It is no small effort to get there and I think it’s, I wanted to call that out. Just one to say kudos to you because it is the hard work that most people on the face of the planet will not do because it is difficult. And it is challenging and it is. It is thought work and it is hard to do alone to let alone even with somebody working with somebody like Lisa makes it possible. But it’s still a challenge right. So I don’t want to let that be lost on people. But at the same time you know really really nice work recognizing that and I love what you pointed out earlier that I know it’s about each individual step and it can’t be about going from going from the place where you’re at to the absolute perfect thing because there is one because there is no absolute perfect thing out there. Perfection is the enemy of a lot of different things. And in fact you know we just on a recent episode with Caroline another coach on our team episode 226 we dug into that bit on perfectionism. But here’s what I’m curious about. You know after going through all of that what advice would you offer people that are in that same place that you’ve been where maybe they’ve changed changed roles a couple of times and and found themselves close to back in the same place or maybe they’re realizing for the first time that I really do want something more and it is ok for me to want something different. What advice would you give those people?
Louise McNee: I would say you have to take the pressure off yourself. And it’s easier said than done sometimes. We all put the pressure on ourselves I think in a lot of situations is not the people putting the pressure on us, it is putting the pressure on ourselves. Take the pressure off but really think about. I found because you have to think about not just the wrong but the people we’ve got to think about everything because I remember when I did you know what is your ideal day look like. I felt like I was being a bit spoiled by saying certain things. Now I want to wake up when I want and I want to be able to have a cup of tea in bed before I go to work and really get down into those details because it’s not those for me. It’s not those details of search that will make me you know have a tea before I go to work. It is not going to make you figure out what’s going on. You Find a pattern in what you actually will need in your day to get to get you know through the day in the most positive, fulfilled way. You know me I needed to know what kind of people I wanted to be around. And so you know take the pressure off, get down to the detail. And one of the things to me was realizing, that potentially, which is so different from where I was when made I can make a career everything. Yes. I’ve now realized that for me career can’t be everything.
Scott Barlow: Interesting, I would love to wrap up on that. Why is that? What Is it? What Does it need to be in your particular life?
Louise McNee: Career for me, my role is, It’s the fundamentals of the way it’s what’s going to pay me to make me be able to move. It’s going to have a bit of structure in my day. It will get me around people. I don’t need to be around people. I need to have these conversations. I’m not one who could I love working from home every now and again on my own. But I really need that connection there. It’s for me knowing especially because I’m in the same role that I’ve been doing over the past few years. It gives me that comfort of I know what I’m doing. I’m going to get new challenges. It’s probably more challenges of how to influence people or how to make people go a certain way or think about things differently. And it gives me stability to experience and explore other parts of my life that are important to me. I have that social conscience. I’m going to pick up another mentee, if I’ve got the time. Well but you know at the moment. Thankfully I can do it, not quite but I can do 9 to 5. So that gives me so much time then to spend trying to help the people. At one point I thought would be good to go down as a career that I don’t think it’s the right career for me. I can still get it in my life now because I’ve got the time and the energy, from the learning perspective, I’ve always had it on my list, I used to be so fluent in French but haven’t spoke French for about 15 years. We are going on holiday to France in September. So I now have a goal. I want to be fluent by September so I now have the time to speak. I feel like I’ve got myself into a situation where I’m in a healthy state and I’ve realized that I can get fulfillment through other areas and not just work. I’ve got the time to spend with my husband and with my friends. My family is in the UK so I have to make a lot of effort to keep in touch with family and friends. But I’m in a position now where I can do that and I can feel good about what I’m doing and I’m getting what I need. Mentally you know I’m learning, I’ve got the comfort of working in a role I feel comfortable doing.
It’s a new company so I’m still in that stage of settling in. I actually feel like there is three or four different streams of my life now I can work in and my company is setting up a foundation, social foundation. So you never know where that might go. I can hopefully spend a lot of time towards that as well that links my desire to do good in the world in the workplace.
Scott Barlow: I absolutely love that and I so appreciate you pointing that out too. And that mindset change is huge in terms of looking at not just your career as being the thing but having it enable all the parts of your life and having those work together. So I just want to say congratulations first of all because I’ve only gotten to congratulate you by email so far and this is amazing to be able to have the opportunity to talk to you about this and I so appreciate you taking the time to share with everybody else and I know that so many people are going to benefit from this. Nice work by the way.
Louise McNee: Thank you. As I said, it’s only as you step back and realize how much work you’ve done you can go I’ve done this, this is good.
Scott Barlow: We’ve captured everything Louise and I talked about over a happentoyourcareer.com/230 where you can download all the transcripts and even learn more about Louise’s story. Next week on HTYC we answer one of the most common questions that we get. How do you actually connect and build relationships with people who are difficult to reach?
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