How to Uncover Your Values

At dinner recently, my husband asked about a workshop I’d facilitated, which led my daughter to ask about the specifics of what we’d talked about that day. My twins are now past the age where I can get away with a one-liner response they don’t understand. In true Elizabeth Warren fashion, “She persisted.” What exactly did we do in the workshop?

I shared that we were working with participants to uncover their values, and then capture them in the stories they tell about themselves. Stories she understood. Values, not so much. My daughter’s questions made me realize just how abstract personal values can be. Continue reading

Five Ways to Prototype Your Career

Our regular Friday movie night at our house will be disrupted next week as my daughters will be involved in a fifth grade fundraiser at school. Their school has an outdoor education program that gets rave reviews but is also a bit pricey, so one of the moms came up with a creative approach: run a 100% student-run fundraiser by hosting a movie night at school. The kids learn all the skills involved in hosting a fundraiser, while raising the money to pay for the field trip. Some kids are in charge of event marketing, some pricing the tickets and concessions, and my personal favorite: some are ‘bodyguards’ to make sure none of the kids who have been dropped off by their parents escape.

It struck me that our daughters and their classmates are lucky because they get early exposure to what we like to call “Career Prototyping”- an activity very near and dear to us at Journeous. Continue reading

How to Prototype Your Career

“Experience is the teacher of all things.”

Julias Ceasar was definitely on to something with this famous phrase. There’s no substitute for getting your hands dirty — the best way to learn something is to try it for yourself. Sure, you can read everything on the internet, ask for advice from friends, or even consult an expert, but you won’t know for sure how you feel about an experience – a new restaurant, a tourist attraction, or even as we’re going to discuss here, a new job – until we actually try it. Continue reading

When Anything is Possible

Can you remember a time when you believed you could choose any career you wanted? Most of us have had ‘reality’ get in the way of that belief. But at ten, it’s a lot less complicated.

My daughter asked me to edit her class assignment this morning. She was tasked with a creative assignment and had to write her own “legend.” When I read it, it reminded me how simple it could be to create our own paths, to choose the things we believe fit us. And perhaps we’re our own worst enemies in letting those beliefs come true. Continue reading

Passport to Meaning (plus a FREE giveaway)

Last week I reconnected with a former colleague who I always liked working with. She could take on almost anything sent her way. But she said it was getting to be a grind – with each project she was becoming more and more miserable. She COULD do the work but she didn’t WANT to. What’s more, she has a degree in biology, but couldn’t figure out what she would be “qualified” to do with it. Continue reading

The Masks We Wear

Something strange happened this Halloween at our house. Trick or treaters were more interested in gummies, Nerds and mini Gobstoppers than chocolate candy. I know this because unlike last year when our daughters passed on trick or treating so they could hand out candy, this year they decided to get back out there. Having created some group costumes with friends, this year was more about the social part of the holiday than the sugar part.

At the end of the night, our house was where they and their friends returned to to count their candy and engage in the inevitable trading.

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Striking the Perfect Pitch

Friday night at our house is movie night. Which you might think would mean we’re up to date on the latest. You’d be wrong. Our 10 year olds far prefer seeing movies they’ve seen many times before… and so the family polling this past Friday resulted in a victory for Pitch Perfect 2 (often it’s a tie between the second and third in the a capella series).  

While I usually look forward to the singing (seriously, how is this possible without instruments??) this time a different scene struck me. It’s when the Bellas are at the final night of the Retreat, sitting around the campfire. They’re all within a month or so of graduation and Becca, like lots of future grads, talks about all the pressure she’s putting on herself, her worry about failing and belief she could figure it out on her own – but realization that it’s tougher than she thought.

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Five Seconds to Progress

I was going through some of our old family pictures the other night and came across one that made me laugh out loud at the memory. My then-three year old was standing in front of this lovely rock wall with water cascading down. With all the restraint that a three-year old could muster, she waited a whopping three seconds or so to plunge her hand into the water to see what would happen. I’d taken the picture before the result of her decision so didn’t have the version that showed her shocked, and drenched, by the water explosion that ensued. But that visual was etched clearly in my mind.

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Change. One of the Best Leadership Teachers.

I met a woman recently who happened to be part of a team I’d led years ago. Our conversation brought me back to the experience of walking into that job. I’d joined as the beloved prior leader, who had been there for many years, was moving onto a different role in the company. Within weeks of my arrival, I got a new boss who was under the gun to improve our team’s efficiency. The next two years involved an overhaul of our team’s processes, job descriptions, structure and how we measured success. Plenty of people wondered aloud – loudly – how I and all of the changes that came with me could possibly represent progress.  I made plenty of mistakes.

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7 Career Insights….From the Gym

I met with two good friends in the past month who were both struggling to get into a regular exercise routine. I happily offered to support them however I could – because while I’ll fully admit there are plenty of good habits I’ve yet to create, getting to the gym is one I can put in the win column.  In the process, I’ve learned quite a bit about myself that applies well beyond. Continue reading