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Career change

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!

 

 

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!

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!

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.

 

 

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.

Finding Your Hum

Finding Your Hum

I received an email today from a professional organization of which I am a member.  Within the email was a link to a TED talk by Shonda Rhimes. a television producer, screenwriter, and author.  In her talk, Shonda shares how much she loves her work.  "When I am hard at work, when I am deep in it, there is no other feeling," she says.  Shonda calls this feeling “the hum”.  She says, “The hum is a drug, the hum is music, the hum is God's whisper in my ear.”

I hear the hum when I am working with mid-level professionals who are searching for their next career or their next career step.  I am so engrossed in the conversation as I listen carefully to what is being shared.  All other thoughts and activities are out of mind.  Sometimes I wonder, “Where did that aha question come from?”  Perhaps as Shonda says it is God whispering in my ear.

I’m sure you have experienced your hum too.  Perhaps it was earlier today.  Maybe it was in a different job.  It could have been during a volunteer experience. 

Take a couple of minutes to remember…What were you doing when you heard the hum?  Who were you working with or for at that time?  How did you feel when you heard the hum? 

The goal with making a fulfilling career change is to determine what brings on your hum.  Then, match up roles that require the components of your hum.  The more you are doing the things that allow you to hear the hum the more you will feel satisfied and fulfilled by your work. 

Shonda’s hum has been called by other names:  the groove, using your strengths, the zone, living in your genius.  Regardless of which name you use, the feeling that you get is called joy

Are you ready to dig deeper into your hum and determine what’s next to identify your career move? If so, download my free 5 step guide here.   

The One Thing Holding You Back From Your Career Dreams

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The One Thing Holding You Back From Your Career Dreams

As Hurricane Matthew approached the Carolinas last week, I was reminded of something from my childhood.  Some of you may remember the old maps with longitude and latitude lines that were used to manually track hurricanes.  I recall tuning into the weather station each day to learn the latest coordinates and then plotting the path of the storm on my map.

In the past few days we have had no need to manually track the hurricane. We could turn on any news station and see exactly what was happening, where this storm was predicted to go, and what damage had already occurred in its path. New technology has provided us with more knowledge and life-saving insight then we've ever had before! 

When we shift our view from hurricanes to our careers, however, can we say the same thing?  There are certainly great technology resources, like LinkedIn, that help us with our careers.  Yet, how often do we use technology as a distraction instead of as a tool?

It seems that we have forgotten the art of reflection. We have steered away from finding quiet time and space to listen to the whisper from God of how we can best use the talents and gifts He planted within us at birth.  As Pope Benedict XVI said, “In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves; ideas come to birth and acquire depth; we understand with greater clarity what it is we want to say and what we expect from others; and we choose how to express ourselves.” 

We are afraid of the silence, but it is in the silence that we find our peace.  It is in the silence that we gain our own perspective on our career path.  It is in the manual, thoughtful process that we plot where we are and look at where we want to go. 

As you look at your own life over the past few months, how often have you allowed yourself to be distracted by technology instead of pursuing your career dreams?  What one step can you commit to today that will create silent reflection for you to gain clarity on your journey?

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