Making the Leap!

Making the Leap!

Recently, I worked with a professional mom who felt confined by the type of work she was doing.  Her need for more flexibility and autonomy as well as a more innovative, dynamic work environment had created a stressful situation for her.  Here are the four steps in which I partnered with her to achieve her goal of finding employment that aligned with her core values: 1.     Identify your core values, the things that are truly non-negotiables for you. List the things that you have to have in order to make working work for you and your family.  It could be related to the amount of travel, the vacation time, the flexibility, etc.  Sure, we all want the ideal scenario; however, take the time to really discern what you need for your family life and your own personal self to flourish. 2.     Create a plan to get you there. When you have your list of core values, you may find that you are currently in a situation that encroaches upon those values.  If a specific salary is holding you to a position that you hate, work with a financial planner or coach to create a timeline and action items that will help you reach your money goals so you can transition to another role that offers greater personal satisfaction. 3.     Stay focused on your vision for yourself and your family.  You may not be able to make sweeping changes right away.  You have to rely on your determination and grit to follow the plan so that you can live out that vision you have created for yourself.  “The best things in life don't come easy, but those things are the ones worth the sacrifice” – Adriana Locke 4.     Live in alignment!  Once you reach your goal, you will find that your work is now in alignment with your core values.  This type of alignment leads to greater satisfaction and allows you to let go of that mommy guilt!  I am happy to say my client is no longer in the work environment that she found too constraining.  You too can reach this same feat with your career journey.  Take the first step so you too can make the leap!   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Recently, I worked with a professional mom who felt confined by the type of work she was doing.  Her need for more flexibility and autonomy as well as a more innovative, dynamic work environment had created a stressful situation for her.  Here are the four steps in which I partnered with her to achieve her goal of finding employment that aligned with her core values:

1.     Identify your core values, the things that are truly non-negotiables for you.

List the things that you have to have in order to make working work for you and your family.  It could be related to the amount of travel, the vacation time, the flexibility, etc.  Sure, we all want the ideal scenario; however, take the time to really discern what you need for your family life and your own personal self to flourish.

2.     Create a plan to get you there.

When you have your list of core values, you may find that you are currently in a situation that encroaches upon those values.  If a specific salary is holding you to a position that you hate, work with a financial planner or coach to create a timeline and action items that will help you reach your money goals so you can transition to another role that offers greater personal satisfaction.

3.     Stay focused on your vision for yourself and your family.  You may not be able to make sweeping changes right away.  You have to rely on your determination and grit to follow the plan so that you can live out that vision you have created for yourself.  “The best things in life don't come easy, but those things are the ones worth the sacrifice” – Adriana Locke

4.     Live in alignment!  Once you reach your goal, you will find that your work is now in alignment with your core values.  This type of alignment leads to greater satisfaction and allows you to let go of that mommy guilt! 

I am happy to say my client is no longer in the work environment that she found too constraining.  You too can reach this same feat with your career journey.  Take the first step so you too can make the leap!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Feeling stuck? Keep moving forward

Feeling stuck? Keep moving forward

It was 8 years ago when I felt a shift in my career journey.  I was in a job that I knew was not a long-term fit for me; however, it had allowed me time to adjust to being of mom of 2 kids without as much pressure as my previous role.  It had also allowed me time to get clarity on how I wanted to move forward with my career.  The only problem?  The work that I wanted to move into did not exist at that time within my organization.  In the past week, I have had the privilege of speaking with two working moms who are in similar situations.  Both are seeking more from their jobs, but they have found themselves in a position where the role they want is not currently available within their companies.  Yet, both of these amazing women are invested in their future possibilities and are determined to keep moving forward! Each one is taking a unique approach to leverage her network, showcase her abilities, and continue to grow towards that next opportunity.  The work each of these women is doing is setting herself apart and making her the most likely candidate when that role she is seeking opens up.  Eight years ago, I could not have imagined what my life would look like today.  I did not know that another baby would be born within our family.  I did not know that my faith would deepen and grow the way it has. I did not know that I would open my own coaching business.  Yet, the steps I took to expand my professional network, to invest in my skills, and to continue pursuing the work I love has yielded more than I thought possible.  When you feel stuck in your career, it is time to shift your perspective.  Look for ways to renew your energy through tasks and activities that recharge you.  Nurture relationships that foster your knowledge and skills.  Map out your plan to keep moving forward!   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

It was 8 years ago when I felt a shift in my career journey.  I was in a job that I knew was not a long-term fit for me; however, it had allowed me time to adjust to being of mom of 2 kids without as much pressure as my previous role.  It had also allowed me time to get clarity on how I wanted to move forward with my career.  The only problem?  The work that I wanted to move into did not exist at that time within my organization. 

In the past week, I have had the privilege of speaking with two working moms who are in similar situations.  Both are seeking more from their jobs, but they have found themselves in a position where the role they want is not currently available within their companies.  Yet, both of these amazing women are invested in their future possibilities and are determined to keep moving forward!

Each one is taking a unique approach to leverage her network, showcase her abilities, and continue to grow towards that next opportunity.  The work each of these women is doing is setting herself apart and making her the most likely candidate when that role she is seeking opens up. 

Eight years ago, I could not have imagined what my life would look like today.  I did not know that another baby would be born within our family.  I did not know that my faith would deepen and grow the way it has. I did not know that I would open my own coaching business.  Yet, the steps I took to expand my professional network, to invest in my skills, and to continue pursuing the work I love has yielded more than I thought possible. 

When you feel stuck in your career, it is time to shift your perspective.  Look for ways to renew your energy through tasks and activities that recharge you.  Nurture relationships that foster your knowledge and skills.  Map out your plan to keep moving forward!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Are you growing?

Are you growing?

Over the holiday weekend, I took my oldest to get a new pair of sneakers.  He is in such a growth spurt that we are buying shoes every three months.  It’s always a process picking out a pair that has enough cool factor for him that is also in stock in his size.  We lucked out pretty quickly with this trip and found a pair that was just right. While a growing adolescent’s feet give definitive reminders that growth is occurring, we often forget the need to focus on growth in our careers.  We get busy in our day-to-day work and overlook our need for professional and personal development.  However, you don’t have to set aside a lot of time to ensure you are growing in your career journey.  Here are 3 easy steps to keep you focused: 1.     Seek new information and new ideas.  In today’s technology age, we have ample opportunity to gain new information in short bursts of learning.  Articles and videos are available at the click of our fingertips, and exchanging ideas with other professionals often sparks more creativity and innovation. 2.     Employ those new ideas.  Now that you have new information, it’s time to put it to use.  Find ways that you can apply the information or try out those ideas in your work.  Otherwise, you are allowing the information to simply gather dust. 3.     Consider the outcome.  Take stock of what you have learned and how you have used it.  Look at the impact of the outcome.  Consider what worked and what did not.  Determine what to take forward with you to use again. Professional development can mean going back to school or it can be subtle like I described above.   The important key is that you are intentional about your growth.  There is an old saying that if you are not moving forwards, you are moving backwards.  Make sure you are moving forwards to pursue the path most meaningful to you.                                                                                                                                   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Over the holiday weekend, I took my oldest to get a new pair of sneakers.  He is in such a growth spurt that we are buying shoes every three months.  It’s always a process picking out a pair that has enough cool factor for him that is also in stock in his size.  We lucked out pretty quickly with this trip and found a pair that was just right.

While a growing adolescent’s feet give definitive reminders that growth is occurring, we often forget the need to focus on growth in our careers.  We get busy in our day-to-day work and overlook our need for professional and personal development.  However, you don’t have to set aside a lot of time to ensure you are growing in your career journey.  Here are 3 easy steps to keep you focused:

1.     Seek new information and new ideas.  In today’s technology age, we have ample opportunity to gain new information in short bursts of learning.  Articles and videos are available at the click of our fingertips, and exchanging ideas with other professionals often sparks more creativity and innovation.

2.     Employ those new ideas.  Now that you have new information, it’s time to put it to use.  Find ways that you can apply the information or try out those ideas in your work.  Otherwise, you are allowing the information to simply gather dust.

3.     Consider the outcome.  Take stock of what you have learned and how you have used it.  Look at the impact of the outcome.  Consider what worked and what did not.  Determine what to take forward with you to use again.

Professional development can mean going back to school or it can be subtle like I described above.   The important key is that you are intentional about your growth.  There is an old saying that if you are not moving forwards, you are moving backwards.  Make sure you are moving forwards to pursue the path most meaningful to you.

                                                                                                                                 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Display God’s Gifts

Display God’s Gifts

The solar eclipse last week caught everyone’s attention, and what an amazing phenomenon it was!  The dusk-like effect during the middle of the afternoon created a calm yet intriguing atmosphere here in the Triangle area.  The local news coverage provided some unique views as well.  The shot at the pinnacle of the eclipse showed a beautiful hue of purple around the edges of the moon.  What an incredible display of God’s glory! While 2-5 eclipses occur every year, they are only visible within a narrow band.  So, we often don’t even notice these amazing feats.  In fact, the next one that will cross North America with as much press as this one will be in 2024.  How often do you take stock of the glorious gifts God has given to you?  He has planted unique gifts and talents within each one of us.  Unfortunately, we don’t always notice these gifts, much less use them with purpose.  However, when we do, we find such a sense of fulfillment! Here’s what one of my clients said after using the insights she gained through coaching to pursue a role within her organization that allows her to more fully use her gifts: “I can put all of the pieces together in this new role to get results for me, my team, and my company!” She now feels a greater level of confidence and excitement about her work and the impact she is making with it.   The majesty and awe that we felt during the solar eclipse was immense.  Yet, the magnificence of the gifts we have each been given are just as impressive when we use them to serve others.     Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The solar eclipse last week caught everyone’s attention, and what an amazing phenomenon it was!  The dusk-like effect during the middle of the afternoon created a calm yet intriguing atmosphere here in the Triangle area.  The local news coverage provided some unique views as well.  The shot at the pinnacle of the eclipse showed a beautiful hue of purple around the edges of the moon.  What an incredible display of God’s glory!

While 2-5 eclipses occur every year, they are only visible within a narrow band.  So, we often don’t even notice these amazing feats.  In fact, the next one that will cross North America with as much press as this one will be in 2024. 

How often do you take stock of the glorious gifts God has given to you?  He has planted unique gifts and talents within each one of us.  Unfortunately, we don’t always notice these gifts, much less use them with purpose.  However, when we do, we find such a sense of fulfillment!

Here’s what one of my clients said after using the insights she gained through coaching to pursue a role within her organization that allows her to more fully use her gifts: “I can put all of the pieces together in this new role to get results for me, my team, and my company!” She now feels a greater level of confidence and excitement about her work and the impact she is making with it.

 

The majesty and awe that we felt during the solar eclipse was immense.  Yet, the magnificence of the gifts we have each been given are just as impressive when we use them to serve others.

 

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Finding A New Beginning

Finding A New Beginning

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It’s that time of year for thousands of kids who are on a traditional school calendar – back to school!  I have to admit that this year I have not felt ready to let go of summer, to embrace the extracurricular activities, and to launch into a new routine as my oldest two go back to school. 

However, I typically look forward to the start of school --the shopping trip to gather new notebooks, folders, and lunch boxes; the hunt to find tennis shoes that fit my kids’ feet and are in a color they like; the excitement of discovering who their homeroom teachers are; and the thrill of seeing friends they have missed all summer long.  There are so many wonderful things about the beginning of a new school year.

This type of distinct ending and new beginning in the work world happens naturally when we move from one role to another role or when we start a new project.  Yet, we can find the excitement of a new beginning at almost any point within our work.  Here are 4 tips on how to find a new beginning:

1.     Create a shift in your outlook. The first step in a new beginning starts in our minds.  When we approach a situation with a beginner’s mind, we see possibilities that did not exist previously.

2.     Alter your behavior.  Seek out one new way of doing things that you have been doing for years. Learn from those around you and then implement one of their techniques, or better yet, tweak their technique to make it work best for you.

3.     Find a partner.  We all have different God-given gifts.  We can learn so much from how others do things that are not within our realm of genius.  When possible, partner up with someone on projects or tasks so you can both work primarily within your own gifts while yielding a better quality output. 

4.     Pause to reflect.  Take time to pause frequently to assess where you are, how you feel, and what you have learned along the way. 

While the adult working world does not offer summer breaks and a new start each fall, you can create new beginnings for yourself much more often than you have previously thought possible!

 

                                                                                                      

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Answer Your Calling

Answer Your Calling

Many of you already know that I love singing and that I sing in the choir at my church.  We recently moved into our new church building, which has been quite a blessing.  However, we are all still adjusting to the new sound system.  We have received several compliments on how great the choir sounds from those in the congregation.  I have stepped out during practice to listen myself, and the music is beautiful.  Yet, we are still struggling to find the right balance in the monitors that allow the musicians and singers to hear ourselves and each other.  It’s a little like flying blind as we attempt to maintain timing and blend our sound naturally.

When you think about your career journey, are you flying blind?  At times you find yourself accepting a compliment for a job well done, but when you truly take notice of what you are doing day in and day out, you find yourself unable to hear your own voice – the voice that guides you and confirms that you are working in alignment with your mission in life.

That’s right, each one of you has a mission to carry out.  God provided each of you with unique gifts and experiences.  You are called to use those gifts to serve others through your work.  You have the capability to positively impact the world around you. 

Find your voice by identifying your gifts and applying them to your work.  Then, the “music” you create through your career will be beautiful to others and to yourself. 

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

You can have healthy  boundaries at work!

You can have healthy boundaries at work!

Last week I started talking about healthy boundaries at work. It's fascinating how much easier we find it to build physical boundaries at home between us and our neighbors and yet how difficult it seems to establish boundaries within our careers.

So what do healthy boundaries look like? It really varies from one person to another.  What is acceptable and works for one person may look totally impossible for another. You really have to spend time identifying what your non-negotiables are. Non-negotiables are key to setting a healthy boundary with you and your work. Those non-negotiables are part of your core values. They are what is important and meaningful to you.

Some professionals are energized by being in the office environment while others feel stifled by it.  I recently worked with a professional mother who was locked into a role that required her to be in the office at her desk each day.  While the company she worked for is a well-known, employee-friendly one, the role was just not a good fit for her.  She needed autonomy and freedom within her day to structure her work.  Ultimately, she made the decision to move to another job that was a better fit for her and her non-negotiables at this point in her career.

Another professional I coached was seeking to build upon her past experience in sales.  She interviewed for a position that seemed ideal in the day-to-day responsibilities.  However, one of the requirements was a considerable amount of travel.  This professional mother still has a child at home and does not want to be on the road each week as she was in her earlier career life.  So while the opportunity looked like a great match in terms of expanding her experience, it crossed one of her boundaries regarding the amount of travel that she was willing to do currently.  Instead, she found a position that honored her boundaries while still giving her additional sales experience and is reaping the satisfaction and rewards of her work aligning with her core values.

So, what does this mean for you?  How can you adopt healthy boundaries with your work?  First, determine what your core values or non-negotiables are. Second, seek out the opportunity to make some adjustments within your current role to re-contract those boundaries.  If there is no opportunity for adjustments based on the needs of your current role, perhaps it is time to consider what your next steps will be so your career and your non-negotiables are more aligned.  It’s in this alignment that you will find greater satisfaction as you work to live rather than live to work.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Healthy Boundares at Work

Healthy Boundares at Work

When we moved into our home 18 years ago, there was an 8 foot drop off between our house and our neighbor’s.  Needless to say, I was concerned about the danger that this posed.  I really did not want to look out my back window and see a fence.  I much prefer greenery.  So that led to some investigation on what type of hedge would work best and look great. I ended up finding these beautiful hydrangeas that bloom late in the summer through the early fall.  They have certainly grow a lot over the years, and I look forward to the lovely white flowers each summer.  This natural boundary between us and our neighbors creates a green backdrop for the rest of the yard while also providing protection from a nasty fall down the hill.

We don’t have any problem establishing boundaries along our property lines.  Lots of homes are built with fences or folks put up fences soon after they move in.  However, many of us have issues with establishing proper boundaries at work. 

I have observed professionals make themselves available at all hours of the day, night, and weekend to only be frustrated a few months into their role when they want to scale back but are unsure how to do so.  I have also observed professionals accept roles that compromise their own core values (time with family, extensive travel, rigid work environments, etc) so they can move ahead in their careers. Unfortunately, those individuals were miserable, dissatisfied, and disillusioned.  They thought saying ‘yes’ to the career opportunity and the advancement it would allow would make up for the important things they were compromising. 

Next week we will look in more detail at how you can set proper boundaries within your career life.  I have seen great joy coming from within my clients as they recognize the core values they hold dear, honor those values, and still find work that propels their careers forward.  Tune back in next week to learn how you can do the same!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

 

 

Are you harvesting your gifts?

Are you harvesting your gifts?

Those who know me know that I enjoy being out in the yard whether it's gardening in my vegetable bed or working in my flower beds. A few days ago I noticed my tomato plant had tomatoes that were ripe and ready to be picked. My two-year-old went with me, and I had to explain to him that the green tomatoes weren't quite ready yet but the red tomatoes were ready. These red tomatoes were at their prime to be used for some yummy meals. I have used this year's crop to make salads, sandwiches, and to add as toppings to nachos.

If I had not picked these ripe tomatoes, they would have gone to waste on the plant. Their beauty and purpose would have never been realized.

As you examine your career life, you too have gifts and talents that are ripe and ready to be used for a greater purpose.  How are your gifts being brought to light in your current role?  How are you using those gifts to have a greater impact on those around you? 

Don’t let your gifts go to waste!  Life is too short to stay in a role where you are earning a good paycheck but not feeling a sense of fulfillment.  Begin harvesting your gifts today!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

  

 

 

The Secret Life of Successful Working Mothers

The Secret Life of Successful Working Mothers

In one of my conversations today we were discussing how busy this individual was in her current work. She is very focused, heads down working on an intense project that has a wide scope. She shared with me that it's not a good time currently for her to work on her own development, to really take the time to discern what she wants to do with her career and how to construct the steps to get there.

So often I hear similar stories from other busy professionals. I have even fallen into that trap myself. As working mothers, we always have a lot on our plates whether it is an impactful initiative at work, a large milestone for one of our children, or a sizable project within our homes.

When you look at the secret life of successful working mothers the answer to their success becomes pretty clear. Despite the hectic days in their overall life and career, they consistently carve out time for their own development.

They recognize that the perfect time will never occur.

They recognize and honor the need for their own sense of fulfillment.

They recognize and use their God-given gifts to impact their teams, their customers, and, most importantly, their families and communities.

If you find yourself waiting for the right time, spend a few minutes reflecting on what lies beneath that statement for you. What is it, besides time, that is holding you back from changing the world around you and increasing your level of fulfillment within life?  Then, take one step forward towards that career goal and start your momentum now.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Uncovering Your God-given Gifts

Uncovering Your God-given Gifts

Have you ever heard the saying “peel back the onion”? If you have ever cut an onion, you know they are designed with one layer on top of another on top of another. When you first cut the top off and try to peel back that brown outer covering, you can see the number of layers it takes to get to the very center of the onion.

Uncovering your God-given gifts is very similar. It is a process of taking off the outer covering to go a level deeper. But often you need to go at least one or two more layers down before you really understand what that gift is.

One of my clients easily identified that customer relations is an area that she thoroughly enjoys.  However, she has struggled to identify a specific job that she would really enjoy performing.  It’s because her current understanding of her gifts is too broad.  In order for her to move forward, she must narrow in more on her gifts. She must be able to peel the onion back and go a few layers deeper to gain clarity on what it is about customer relations she really enjoys most. That insight will become part of her compass as she evaluates various positions to determine what would be the best fit with her gifts.

If you are trying to identify what you want to be when you “grow up”, try looking a layer to two deeper at your God-given gifts.  Gaining more clarity and specificity on your gifts will give you the insights you need to yield a more successful answer to the roles you should be considering for your long-term satisfaction and fulfillment in your career.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

All in 1 year...

All in 1 year...

It’s hard to believe it has already been one year since I opened Providence Pathway. I have grown and learned so much within that these past 52 weeks. I have learned that it is possible to do what you love, and tt is possible to do what you love without having to compromise your core values. I have met some amazing professionals during these past 365 days. I am so honored that I was able to witness their journeys and see the change within them as they aligned their work with their God-given gifts.  

I am in the process now of mapping out what my goals and accomplishments will be one year from now. It's all too easy to list a goal that feels comfortable and safe but does not move me closer to the level of fulfillment I am seeking.  I listened to a podcast this morning where a public speaker was sharing insights from some of his own goals and achievements. One thing he said really stood out to me: “We often undervalue and underestimate our worth, but when we overcome the fear of stating what we want to achieve, we often find that it is possible.” 

I plan to dream big yet keep it within the realm of realistic.  I want to use my God-given gifts to serve more professional moms who are seeking to align their gifts with their core values to live out their mission in this stage of their careers.  It’s going to be an impactful year!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Tend to Your Career with These 4 Questions

Tend to Your Career with These 4 Questions

The weather forecast during the summer in North Carolina is typically ninety some degrees and a chance of thunderstorm.  However, for the past week and a half, we have consistently received rain almost every day.  Between the sunshine and rainfall, my yard is beginning to look like a jungle!  Yet, the rain is perfect for my backyard garden. 

I don’t know about you, but I start off the summer with the best intentions of watering my vegetable garden.  Then, a month in I realize that I have not watered, which explains why most of my plants are not bearing fruit.  The extra rain we have received recently has resulted in a burst of growth for my lettuce and my cucumbers.  I am excited to begin harvesting soon and making a salad from our backyard!

How intentional are you when it comes to “watering” your career?  Are you like me with my garden – have the best intentions but never take the time to actually do it?  Or do you focus time and resources to improve your career so you can reap the harvest?

Summer is often a time where the obligations of life feel a little lessened – the kids are on summer (or track out) break, many sporting events and extracurricular activities are paused, cooking even gets a little easier thanks to grilling out.  I encourage you to take some time this summer and reflect on your career.  Here are four questions to consider: 

  1. “What’s my current level of satisfaction with my work?”
  2. “What impact am I having on my family and community through the efforts of my work?”
  3. “How fulfilled am I with my career?”
  4. “How am I living out my mission at this point in my career?”

Set aside 20-30 minutes to jot down your answers to these questions.  Your answers will provide great insight into how bountiful your career garden is right now or point to some areas that could use a little extra attention. 

 

If you were hesitant with your answers to the questions above, you may want to gain clarity on your God-given gifts, those natural strengths that are lying within you.  Once you have clear recognition of those gifts, you can align them with your work and truly live out your purpose, creating a greater impact on the world around you.  Access Lesley’s Visual Mapping Exercises here and begin living your mission today!

 

A 3 Step Process to Finding Your Dream Job

A 3 Step Process to Finding Your Dream Job

So many times when I speak with professionals about their career journey, they are waiting for a job opportunity to open up or have been searching for “something”.  Before jumping from the “frying pan to the fire”, I encourage them to outline what will guide them through a career search so they come out with a more satisfying role at the end of the process.  Here’s how it works:

1. Create a compass to provide direction and focus. 

Your compass is composed of your God-given gifts as well as your core values.

2. Evaluate job opportunities against your compass.

Examine the details of the job to see how well it aligns with your core values and how frequently it allows you to use your gifts. 

3. Narrow your focus to roles or opportunities that most closely align with your gifts while allowing you to stay true to your core values.

Selecting an opportunity that maximizes the amount of time you are using your God-given gifts will lead to more satisfaction as long as the job does not compromise the core values that you hold dear.

By applying this process, you make decisions based on objective facts, especially when you find yourself in times of uncertainty regarding your career path or when you are so ready for a job change that almost anything sounds good.  Just like a real compass, your career compass will point to your “true North” and assist you in finding the role that fits best with your God-given gifts and values.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps professionals uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Are you postponing happiness?

Are you postponing happiness?

 

How often do you find yourself saying things like:

“I can’t wait until the weekend.”

“My vacation is still weeks away.”

“Next year I will …”

“Once the kids are older…”

Too frequently we are wishing life away, hoping for a better tomorrow, postponing finding joy in today. 

While work is called labor, it does not have to feel like it.  You can find joy in what you do.  That’s where you find yourself fulfilling one of your missions in life.  That’s where you can have the greatest impact on those around you and on the world. 

When I started my career journey as a high school science teacher, I recall thinking, “I get paid to do this every day.  This is amazing!”  After moving school districts though I ran into some really difficult waters to navigate at that time, and I left the teaching profession. I found other work, but it was not the same.  I said to my husband, “I want to be fulfilled in my work.  I want to feel like I am making a difference.”  I had experienced it once so I knew it was possible.  I just had to find it again.

I spent a lot of time researching options.  I thought if I could find that career title (accountant, lawyer, etc) I would find happiness again in my work.  But it wasn’t that easy.  None of the titles I researched seemed right.  I was too busy searching for something and hoping that tomorrow would be better instead of recognizing what I had today that could turn things around.

After several years, I stumbled across health coaching and found that I enjoyed it and had a natural instinct for it.  From there, my coaching skills and experiences grew in the areas of leadership coaching, development coaching, and career coaching.  As I looked retrospectively, I recognized that some of the skills or gifts I had used when teaching transferred to coaching.  I could see the common threads that pulled through my journey.  How I wish I had seen those commonalities earlier!  Those commonalities were my God-given gifts, and using those gifts was what brought me fulfillment.

Don’t wait for happiness to find you when it comes to your career.  You might find yourself waiting and wishing away your life.  Instead, focus on your gifts, find ways to use those gifts, and live out your mission in life!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps professionals uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Do you have the confidence to jump?

Do you have the confidence to jump?

We spent some time this weekend with dear friends of ours.  We always end of having so much fun when we get together, and the kids all play so well with one another.  My little guy is the youngest by far, but he certainly thought he was just as big as the older kids.  At one point he was throwing and kicking a ball with the entire crew of kids.  Then, he saw the older kids hop on the trampoline for some fun, and he said with great longing, “Seanie jump!” 

From the eyes of a mother, I saw too many bodies inside the trampoline and the potential for my baby (who is no longer a baby) to be trampled underfoot.  I held off for a while, and when several of the kids cleared out to get more food, my friend suggested that he go in while there were only a couple of kids on the trampoline.  So…I put him in.  The joy on his face as he experienced this first was amazing to watch.  He did not question his ability.  He did not doubt himself.  He saw something he wanted to do, dove in, and had a great time!

Too many times, we limit ourselves by listening to that voice in our minds that plants seeds of doubt.  How often have you wanted something in your career life but thought:

 “I can’t do that.”

“I don’t have the skillset needed for that project.”

“I don’t have enough experience to pursue that role.”

Too often, we are holding ourselves back.   What we are thinking in our minds becomes the reality we live in.  Yet, it could all be very different.

I do not want to downplay the need for formal learning or experiences.  They are valid reasons for not making an immediate move to a new position.  However, we are completely capable of taking steps to obtaining what we need to create a path forward towards our career desires. 

One client I worked with last year was doubtful about starting her own business while she was in the process of changing her day job to a new company.  In one session we uncovered that she was allowing fear to limit herself.  After mapping out boundaries that would allow her to feel stability through all of the change, she opened her business, providing financial guidance to several women while thriving in her new day job.

Another client I worked with recently had known for years what she wanted to do.  However, she felt limited by life circumstances with her family.  After working through some self-limiting beliefs, she is pursuing the formal education needed to make the move she has wanted for so long.

While I am not a jump off the cliff kind of person, I am all for feeling the confidence my son had when looking at that trampoline with such a desire to try it out.  That confidence brings the self-assurance needed to map out and then pursue the path that will lead you to living out your career mission.  Re-write the script that is playing in your mind and get started on your path!

 

 

3 Myths Preventing You From Your Career Journey

3 Myths Preventing You From Your Career Journey

This weekend I made a road trip to visit my goddaughter as she received First Holy Communion. Part of my routine for packing for trips like this is to think through what activities we will be doing each day we are gone as well as any specific items that we will need for those activities. That includes clothing, shoes, accessories and all the basics that you take for granted at your house: shampoo, hairspray, glasses, contact solution, etc.  In addition to packing for myself I was also packing for a toddler which included a pack and play and a sheet, diapers and wipes, any special food, and a sippy cup. A lot of thought and preparation goes into what actually gets packed so that the trip itself can be as enjoyable and relaxing as possible. I am thankful to share that this trip was just that. It was a great visit with friends and family and a lovely celebration of my God daughter’s milestone in her faith journey.

While packing for the trip, I was thinking about how this is a metaphor for our careers. How smooth and enjoyable the ride is is dependent on how well you have planned and been intentional about the journey to get there. So often we are packing for our career journey as we are driving down a career path. We are literally throwing things into the suitcase as we go which feels rushed and hectic and often leaves us wondering “What have we forgotten?” and What impact will that have long term for us?”.

Here are 3 myths that prevent us from packing the suitcase for our career journey:

 

Myth #1 “I don’t have that kind of time to make plans for my career journey.  My life is packed as it is”

We all lead very busy lives with often very little down time.  However, if something is truly important to you, you make the time for it.  We often say we don’t have time for many of the things that we know are in our best interest, but if you really look at where you spend your time, you can adjust to allocate uninterrupted time to determining a path that will lead you to more personal satisfaction in your work life.

 Myth #2 “Why make a plan when I don’t really know where my journey is going to take me?”

This myth is like saying you will take a road trip simply by catching whatever bus happens to pass by you – you will be carried by the wind.  While you do not need to have your ending point mapped out in your career journey, you still need an inner compass to help you determine which direction will leave you feeling fulfilled.  By determining your God-given gifts, you then have something which to compare work opportunities to guide you as to whether they will be a good fit for you and for what you enjoy doing the most.

Myth #3 “I don’t know where to even start to figure out the path I want to take.”

Start with what is important to you in your life.  What are your non-negotiables?  For some people travel is exciting and rewarding while others view it as a painful burden that is just part of the job.  Some professionals seek greater influence across a division or a corporation while others seek deeper connections with the people they are working with.  Identify what those core non-negotiables are for you as a starting point.  Then, couple those with your God-given gifts. Those two key data points will help you along with informational interviews.

Which myth is preventing you from packing the suitcase for your career journey?  Break through the myth and experience calmness and purposeful movement along your path.

 

Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Are You Following the Leader?

Are You Following the Leader?

After dropping my kids off at school, I stopped to get gas for my car. It was one of those chores that I should have done a couple of days ago but had put it off until I no longer could. While I was pumping gas out of the periphery I saw a goose coming my way. And then another. And then another. And then another. These geese were walking across the parking lot one right behind the other. I expected to see some goslings as well, but there were just four adults.

As I was pumping gas watching these geese, I could not help but think about how they were all following the leader. So often, we simply follow the leader when it comes to our career paths. We see how someone else has made a move that looks interesting to us, and we assume that we need to follow the same path they took to get there.

Geese have biological reasons and advantages for playing follow the leader.  Humans can also learn from those professionals who have gone ahead of us.  However, we have a distinct advantage of crafting our own path.  Each one of us is unique in the gifts we have been given and the experiences we have had along the way. 

Leveraging this distinctive combination is what leads us to living out our mission in life.  It is what leads to greater fulfillment and satisfaction in the work you are doing each day, and it is what allows you to leave behind your legacy, impacting the world in a way that is greater than you can imagine.

Are you ready to step out of the line of followers and find the path that leads to your legacy?

 

Lesley has over 12 years coaching experience, specializing in career coaching. Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

How clear is your career vision?

How clear is your career vision?

I recently had eye appointment for my annual exam. I have worn glasses or contacts since the end of elementary school. In the past, every year when I would go in for my exam my eyesight would get a little worse each time. Even though for several years now my eyesight has remained at a constant prescription, I still go in with a bit of hesitancy around whether I will “pass” the test this year or not.

Over the past few years I finally realized that the doctor’s job was not to catch me doing something wrong but rather to help enhance my eyesight, give me a clear view of the world, and protect a valued resource. This year I was pleasantly surprised to find that my eyesight had gotten slightly better. We have made an adjustment to my prescription, and I am finding that my view is much more clear now.

My role as a career coach is similar to that of an optometrist. As a coach, I partner with professionals to identify what special gifts and talents they have and align those gifts with their work. My goal is to see professionals who have been asking “What do I want to be when I grow up?” answer that question with confidence and with great clarity.  Together, we hone in on the God-given gifts they possess and then map out how they will use those gifts to fulfill the mission they have been called to do in their work-life.

Are you living out your mission in life, or are you letting fear hold you back?  You only get one lifetime to make a difference in the world. Your time is now!

 

Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Chasing a Title Instead of Your Dream

Chasing a Title Instead of Your Dream

Last week I wrote about the risky business of allowing chance to dictate your career journey. Creating a strategy to help you get from point A to point B in your career is a much more promising plan!

So often I find people are chasing a title but have not confirmed whether that title fits with their gifts. When that alignment is not present, your satisfaction in the new role is fleeting.  As you immerse yourself into your new day-to-day tasks, the shininess of the role begins to wear off and soon thereafter you find yourself feeling disillusioned and disappointed.

At one point in my career when I was pregnant with my second child, I made a conscious decision to change roles.  I wanted a job with a bit more flexibility as I was adjusting to having two kids and with less demands on me emotionally.  I knew this move was not my lifelong career dream, but what I did not realize was that it would take me almost five years to break out of that safe routine to recognize how infrequently I was using my gifts.

Over the past week I spoke with two individuals who are just starting the process of defining their strategy. With both of these clients we are partnering to identify what their God-given gifts are. Their gifts will guide the rest of the process for them, ensuring that they seek out roles that allow them to tap into their natural talents thereby creating a greater impact on those around them.  I am eager to see their strategy unfold as we map out their journey based upon their true gifts.

 

Do you know what your God-given gifts are?  How frequently are you using them?  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to get started on your own career journey.