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.

Are You Using Strategy or Chance?

Are You Using Strategy or Chance?

During Easter break my older kids and I broke out the board games for a little family fun time.  It's always an interesting decision about what we will play as one child enjoys games of strategy and another child enjoys games of chance.  One of the games we played was Monopoly. There's always the thrill of rolling the dice to see if you will land on Free Parking and cash in on all of the money that's been collecting there. Another highlight of the game for us is landing on Go and earning $400 instead of just $200 for passing Go.  And the best part of this particular game – no one walked away angry this time because someone else was so far ahead!

When it comes to your career, are you using strategy or simply leaving it to chance?  Just as a board game has a path or pattern to follow, your career journey should also have a framework that you are following to help you realize your goals. Simply leaving it to chance is way too risky!  While you do not need every step of your journey until retirement planned out, you should certainly have clear direction for your short-term and mid-term goals.

Now is a great time to consider working with a career coach.  When I hired my first coach, I was amazed at how much I learned about myself and how much clarity I gained.  I was able to clearly define my strengths, my goals, and the steps I needed to take to reach those goals.  And I had someone holding me accountable to take action on the activities I had defined that would propel my career forward.  I was able to make so much progress in a short period of time because of the coach with whom I was working. 

Don’t leave your career dreams to chance!  Partner with a coach to strategically plan your path forward.

 

Lesley works with mid-level professionals who are dissatisfied with their current career, ready to make a change, and a bit uncertain about where to start.  Her clients get real results, walk away feeling energized and focused, and have a greater impact on those they are serving by using their God-given gifts.  Contact Lesley today to start realizing your career aspirations!

3 Steps to Spruce Up Your Career

3 Steps to Spruce Up Your Career

This week while my older kids are on Easter break I organized and spruced up two areas of our house with focused attention in a short amount of time – the hallway closet and the master bathroom.  I spent about 20 minutes shopping for a few basic supplies and then about 30 minutes actually working. 

For the hallway closet, I bought three small bins, one for each child, to store hats, mittens, and scarves.  Now, instead of the random pile of things in the bottom of the closet, each child can find what he/she needs quickly (and can put it away in the right spot too!). 

I had updated the paint in the master bathroom some time ago, but I did not change anything else.  Last week while cleaning for the holiday weekend, I determined that the rugs were beyond salvaging.  Let’s just say they have served us well for many years and were beginning to fall apart.  So I bought new rugs in an updated color and style as well as a fresh shower curtain.  I was amazed at how bright the area looked. It was like having a new bathroom!

You are probably thinking, “Where is this article going?”   Here’s the connection – just as I refreshed my home, you can refresh your career with these three steps:

1.       Take stock of what’s no longer working for you within your career.

It could be some specific tasks or projects that are draining you, or it could be that you have found yourself in a role that does not fit with your God-given gifts.  Be as specific as possible when calling out what is not working.

2.       Identify what you are ready to take action on now.

So often we are waiting for the right time, for things to be more calm in our lives, for there to be more money, for there to be more time.  There will never be a perfect time – decide how important it is for you to make this refresh, how will it change how you feel and how you show up both at work and at home.

3.       Secure the appropriate assistance that will support you through this refresh.

We all need assistance at different points in life with a variety of tasks.  Your career is no different.  Invest in yourself through ongoing education and/or career coaching.

 Sprucing up my home left me feeling light, bright, and energized.  Taking this same approach with your career will leave you feeling the same way!  Are you ready to get started?

 

Lesley works with mid-level professionals who are dissatisfied with their current career, ready to make a change, and a bit uncertain about where to start.  Her clients get real results, walk away feeling energized and focused, and have a greater impact on those they are serving by using their God-given gifts.  Contact Lesley today to start realizing your career aspirations!

Spring Clean Your Career

Spring Clean Your Career

The warm weather has inspired me to do some spring cleaning in my yard.  This weekend I spent about 20 minutes cleaning out a small flower bed in the backyard. The winds from the fall and winter pushed the leaves to this particular spot.  When I first started working, it was a thick covering of brown, dead leaves that prevented me from seeing the actual soil within the bed.

I used a small, handheld rake to gently remove the leaves that were embedded in the few plants that I have in that area. Then, I was able to use the large rake to pull those leaves completely out of the bed. Now this area is ready for some summer annuals and for a new coat of mulch. In another month this will be one of the most beautiful areas of my backyard.  It's incredible to realize what can be achieved with intentional focus in a short period of time using the right tools!

That same concept is true within our careers. We often become complacent and settled into the routine we have adopted.  We allow the leaves of old habits to gather and turn brittle without us even recognizing it. We accumulate thought patterns that are limiting and fixed.

Are you ready for a spring cleaning within your own career? Are you prepared to set aside a short amount of intentional time make the change you desire? Are you aware of the resources you will need in order to get the end result you want?

 

You can download my new, free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize your God-given gifts in your career and how frequently you are using those gifts.  Join the community in my private Facebook group, True Calling for additional support.

 

 

Can You Benefit From a Shift in Perspective?

Can You Benefit From a Shift in Perspective?

On Sunday I was outside with my toddler trying to distract him from a small boo-boo he had gotten while playing basketball with the rest of the family. I took him under the canopy of a tree and said “Look up!  See all of the green leaves.”  We stared up at the beauty of the web above our head, and he stopped crying. 

The experience made me think of something that I had heard earlier in the day about self-imposed tombs. Quite frequently, when we peel back the layers to determine why we are not making the progress we want to make towards a career goal, we find that we are limiting ourselves.  We have created a self-imposed restriction that is preventing us from moving forward.  We have limited ourselves in what we believe to be true or what we believe to be a constraint.

Recently, I was speaking with a client who had a breakthrough moment. He realized that the way he was approaching his work was actually creating a limitation on his ability to impact the outcomes he was working towards. Once he let go of those limitations, he found that his productivity flourished and he was able to achieve the outcomes for which he was striving.

Three weeks ago I spoke with another client who had realized that she was not using all of her gifts in her current role. Since that time, she recognized the opportunity to expand her role a bit and that has allowed her to use her gifts more fully and make a larger impact on her organization.

This change in perspective created a huge shift for both of these clients. My question for you this week is “What is your current perspective?”  if you feel like you are in a self-imposed tomb with your career goals, take a moment to shift your perspective, step out of those limitations, and embrace your gifts.

 

You can download my new, free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize your God-given gifts in your career and how frequently you are using those gifts.  Join the community in my private Facebook group, True Calling for additional support.

 

Where did those 10 years go?

Where did those 10 years go?

Life is short, and time goes by quickly.  My daughter turned 10 this weekend -- double digits! We spent the weekend baking cupcakes from scratch and painting our nails, two of her favorite activities.

I can't believe how quickly these ten years have gone; yet, when I look ahead, I realize just how fast the next 8 years are going fly by.  The day before her birthday I kept saying things like, "This is the last time you will do _____ as a 9-year-old!"  At the end of the night, she said, "Mom, it's not like I am going to college."  My response was, "No, you are not going to college today, but you will be tomorrow." I know that's how it will feel in 8 years when she is leaving for college--like we just had this conversation yesterday.

It's a good reminder that we must take advantage of the precious time we have in life. I don't want to look back with regrets about how and where I spent my time. I don't want to look back and realize that my life lacked a bigger purpose because I did not tap into and use the gifts God had given me.  

Much has been given to you. You have to simply recognize those gifts and align your work and life to use those gifts. Then, you will find the fulfillment and satisfaction you are seeking. Then, you will be tied into a bigger vision and will know your life's work is impacting those around you in a very tangible way.

 

I am releasing a Self-Assessment of Your God-given Gifts this week!  Be one of the very first professionals to receive this offer by signing up for my private Facebook community, True Calling.  I will share the link to the self-assessment in that community.  This tool is a $17.99 value that will be available for free to members of True Calling.  Sign up today!

Drawing Water From the Well

Drawing Water From the Well

We have heard the story before . . . the Samaritan woman went to the well and encountered Jesus who asked her for a drink of water.  She was surprised that He asked her, a Samaritan, for a drink.  He replied, “If you knew the gift of God and who is saying to you, 'Give me a drink, ' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water…. Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; 
but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."

Jesus knew of this woman’s thirst even before she shared it with Him.  She had tried to quench her thirst previously but had not been successful.  However, Jesus promised her the living water that would satisfy her thirst as nothing else ever could.

When I think back over my career journey to date, I can see so many places where I was clearly thirsting for something that I could not even name. 

·       I wanted a job that did not feel so much like “work”. 

·       I wanted a job where I felt satisfied and fulfilled at the end of the day. 

·       I wanted a job where I was stretched and challenged, but not broken and defeated.

·       I wanted a job where I left an imprint on those with whom I worked.

·       I wanted a job that filled me and one that I could pour myself into.

I remember spending hours researching what career options would be best suited to me only to come up empty.  I finally realized that perhaps my search for a specific job title was never going to yield what I really wanted.  I tried out a couple of new career paths and had hit a dead end about 7 years ago. 

When I stumbled upon the research on strengths-based leadership, I felt like I had finally struck gold!  I then spent a lot of time reflecting on my God-given gifts and could clearly recognize the times when I had used them in the past.  I could even envision how I wanted to use those gifts in the future.  Once I recognized and began to use my God-given gifts, I did not find myself going back to the well again for more water. 

 

I am in the final stages of completing a Self-Assessment of Your God-given Gifts.  Be one of the very first professionals to receive this offer by signing up for my private Facebook community, True Calling.  Once the Self-Assessment is live, I will share the link to it in that community.  The Self-Assessment is a $17.99 value that will be available for free to members of True Calling.  Sign up today!

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

What Do I Want to Be When I Grow Up?

I remember thinking “This is the type of work I want to do for the next 30 years.” In reality 30 years turned out to be two and a half. I started my career as a high school science teacher. I taught two full years as well as a summer school session, and I finished out a year for a teacher who was let go. The lack of support I received from administration as well as from parents led me to dread Monday mornings. As that final school year went on, I was in tears earlier and earlier on Sunday not wanting to go back to work on Monday.

Once I left teaching I had two other “careers”. I found certain aspects of those jobs to be interesting and challenging, but overall I was not using my gifts. When I began health coaching for patients with chronic diseases, I realized there was something special about having those conversations, but I had not yet hit my sweet spot in terms of using my God-given gifts.

Six years ago I found myself asking that same question I had asked myself when I left teaching, “What do I want to be when I grow up?”.  It was around that time that I discovered the research on using your strengths, or what I call your God-given gifts.  The process I went through to discover my gifts and how to use them to determine my vocation is the same process I share now with other professionals. 

Everyone deserves the opportunity to recognize the gifts you have within you and to use those gifts as often as possible. That's when work stops feeling so much like work because you are living in the zone of genius that was planted inside you when you were created. 

While it was difficult to go through those periods of uncertainty in my career journey, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned through them.  I am grateful to be able to share what I have learned with others who are at a crossroads with their careers.  And I am grateful to use my God-given gifts on a daily basis to serve others in their journey.

 

You can download my free guide to help you on your search for how to use your God-given gifts in your career.  Join the community in my private Facebook group, True Calling, for additional support.

 

 

5 Tips to Discover Your God-given Gifts

5 Tips to Discover Your God-given Gifts

I speak with people frequently who tell me “I do not feel fulfilled in my current job”.  Just last week one individual said, “I do not feel valued in the work that I'm doing.”  These conversations led me to share 5 days of tips on how to discover your God-given gifts in my private Facebook group.  Here is a recap of those tips:

1.      Pay close attention to the activities and tasks that energize you. What is it about those tasks that bring you so much joy?

2.      Identify activities where you find yourself losing track of time. What are the things that you were doing in those moments?

3.      What skills do you have that are validated by other people? Note: these skills must be things that you also enjoy doing, not just something that you happen to be good at but dread.

4.      Visualize your ideal work day.  What are the things that you would choose to fill your day?

5.      Assess your current day-to-day responsibilities and rate how frequently you are using your God-given gifts compared to how often you are not.

Themes will arise as you go through these steps.  Within those themes lie your God-given gifts. 

While you will never find a role where you are using those gifts 100% of the time, the ratio of time you are using those gifts should outweigh the time spent doing other tasks that do not involve your gifts.

Want more help with creating a career path that leaves you feeling fulfilled and valued?  Download my free guide here.  You can also join my private Facebook group, True Calling.

What do a birdhouse and a slide have in common?

What do a birdhouse and a slide have in common?

The weather here quite unusual for February but gorgeous! The warm days lured me outside to start working on some of my gardening projects. A couple of weeks ago when I realized our birdhouse looked as if someone had taken a bat to it I asked my son to find the appropriate tools to attempt to repair it. His curious mind quickly discovered what the problem was, found the correct tools needed for the job, and went about making the repairs with no additional help from myself or my husband.  Then, this this past weekend I asked, ”Would you be interested in completing another project?” The slide on our playset had broken at the end of last summer, but we have not gotten around to taking it apart.  Again my son’s gift for determining how things work and his sense of curiosity lent themselves well to this particular task.  We ended up working together to take the entire slide apart.  While this may not seem like a complicated task, finding the correct size wrench and screwdriver in addition to determining a way to remove rusty screws when they would not back out of the hole was a task that would have taken me much longer on my own.  I am very grateful for my son's help, but I am most grateful that we found a natural way for him to use his curiosity and analysis of situations for the betterment of our family.

What are your God-given gifts?  How are you using them in your work to leave an impact on the world around you?

This week I am offering a free, 5 day series of tips on how to discover your God-given gifts.  Join me by registering through this link:  http://www.providencepathway.com/5-day-gifts-challenge