179: Why High Performers Aren’t Afraid to Ask for Help with Sarah Hawkins


There’s been a lot of talk recently about resilience.

You know what goes hand-in-hand with resilience?

Obstacles….to overcome.

Struggles….to work through.

Mental roadblocks….to disengage.

We’ve all experienced setbacks in life, but it’s about how we react to them that makes the difference between reaching our goals or letting them fall by the wayside.

When it comes to career change, many people, including High Performers, are bound to stumble on a few things before ultimately reaching their new career. Asking for help is key to getting through this!




Sarah knows this story all too well.

After being out of the workforce for a good chunk of time from a physical setback, she finally decided to jump back into the daily grind.

But, like many people looking to get back into work after a long break, Sarah just didn’t know what she wanted.

Her previous job experiences didn’t seem to help her figure it out any faster as she was a self-described “dabbler.” Or what we like to call, a multipotentialite. Sarah had a lot of interests and could never narrow down what she was passionate enough to commit to full-time.

She knew that she was “capable of doing a lot, [but] just [was] not sure what the right thing [was].”

So, finally Sarah decided that she needed help figuring it out. She was asking for help.


There is something that sets High Performers apart from the rest of the world of job candidates, and that is asking for help when they don’t know how to do something.

Not being afraid and having the ability to push their egos aside to seek the help and support they need to achieve their goals.

Sarah turned to HTYC after all of her research because it just fit what she knew she needed to get her career change ball rolling.

Sarah now works as an Operations Coordinator for CASA with a promotion (and raise!) waiting for her by the end of her first year.

How’d she manage that?

She asked for help.

She proactively sought out the career change resource that fit her specific needs.

Sarah invested in the HTYC Career Change Bootcamp as a tool to not only make her dream career a reality, but also to help her negotiate her position to tailor it to her vision of what she wanted her career path to look like as she progressed.

Here are some of Sarah’s biggest takeaways from investing in the HTYC career resources:



There are many people, like Sarah, that know that they are capable of many things, but aren’t necessarily confident in those abilities and strengths.

Asking for help and doing the work to find your strengths, getting to know your interests, and being able to dig deep and reflect on your findings will give you the insight you need to begin making those life decisions to really hone in on what your true life and career goals are.


When you do that reflective work on your strengths, experiences, and goals, you learn so much about yourself and the things that are really important to you.

The mindset change and confidence in what you are working towards almost comes naturally.

Even though you may struggle or lose your way a bit, career coaches are available to help guide you to continue to keep your momentum and get out of your own head.

Connections begin to get made and you’re on your way to your new career.


There are perks to joining a strong community of supporters that are in a similar career transition situation that you are in.

High Performers know that surrounding yourself around the people that encourage and support you and your goals is necessary to make things happen.

You don’t have to stop dreaming about a future of what you want to do when you hit a roadblock in your process. With a career coach and a community of like-minded career-changers, you – like Sarah, can get your hope back for your future.

Once you are able to step away from your current situation to regain perspective on what you need to do to continue with your career transition, you will be able to find the resources you need and start asking for help to reach your career goals.

If you’re struggling to find the way to your new career, Career Change Bootcamp can help steer you in the right direction.

What have you got to lose?

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

You’ll stand to gain that career happiness that we’re all out here seeking!

Check it out.

Introduction 00:00
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, Episode 179.

Sarah Hawkins 00:07
I was called myself a dabbler. I like to do things for a little while but then when it started to get too in depth and too and you know where you'd have to be like an expert, I just lost interest or it just wasn't worth that extra step to become an expert, you know.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:36
This is Happen To Your Career, we help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what does and then make it happen. Whether you're looking to do your own thing, or find your dream job, you've come to the right place. I'm Scott Barlow.

Jerrad Shivers 00:59
Decided that maybe, you know, 80, 90 hour weeks and a young family doesn't necessarily go together.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:07
Jerrad was burned out with long hours and high stress.

Jerrad Shivers 01:10
When we started to do the questionnaire and write everything down, we started our pros and cons with where we wanted to live and who wanted to be around and all that stuff.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:19
Listen to Jerrad story later on in the episode to learn how he used coaching to help him figure out what fits him and actually make the change to work he loves.

Jerrad Shivers 01:28
I ended up with my dream job.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:33
Hey, this is Scott Anthony Barlow, and you are listening to Happen To Your Career, the show that helps you figure out what work fits you by exploring other stories. Now we get to bring on experts like Jenny Foss, who's a career consultant who helps people define and communicate their personal brands, or people that have pretty amazing stories like Michael Bigelow, who identified as big value adds to follow a career path that he was able to grow. And these are people that are just like you, they've gone from where they are, and to what they really, really extra really want to be doing. And they are just like our next guest, because we've got a pretty special guest today, actually. And I want to tell you just a little bit about her but she's gone through and done just an absolutely amazing job of finding her dream role, and being able to make that happen. And actually, one of the coolest things here is we got to participate along the way, she took us along on this journey. So I want to introduce you to Sarah Hawkins.

Sarah 02:39
Well, I'm going to be the operations coordinator for CASA which is stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. And so they work with trained volunteers to, they pair them with some of the children in the foster care system or that are going through the court system. They're appointed by judges to kind of pair with the child and be the voice and they advocate for the child. So the child's best interest is their only focus. So they don't care what mom wants, they don't care what dad wants, or grandma or anybody like that. They just care what's best for the child. And so it helps the judge make better decisions in terms of what's in the best interest of the child. So it's a really amazing organization. And I would be the operations coordinator, and then hopefully in the next year, so bump up to the operations manager.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:21
In the story, you're going to hear how she went from never negotiating in her entire life, to being able to negotiate for the first time, and getting really creative with the process, even though it scared her a little bit. Also, how she had to overcome quite a few things that were both mentally challenging, and at the same time, even physically challenging in order to be able to make this transition. It's truly amazing. So listen for that in our conversation. And certainly not lastly, you're also going to hear how she thought about the process and what was holding her back and how she was able to work around that and even work with it. And I'm just really, really proud of her as she's gone through and made this transition. It is super cool. Take a listen to her story.

Sarah 04:10
So I grew up in the Central Valley of California, near Fresno. And then it's really hot here and there's no rain and no fun weather. And so I was like, I'm out and I'm never coming back. So I went to Portland where everything is lush and green and gorgeous and there's rain and I don't mind the rain in the slightest or cloudy days are invigorating for me. So I loved it there. I went to school at Lewis and Clark College and majored in psychology and loved being there, stayed about a year later, but I was not able to get my whole family to move up there, as much as I tried, and I have a big family and we're all very close and so...

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:49
You try to put them all to Portland.

Sarah Hawkins 04:51
Yeah, I really did. I almost had my parents, man, they were looking at listing but then my sister was got pregnant with their first grandchild. So they said, "sorry for not leaving now." That was unfortunate. So I shortly thereafter decided to come home just because I missed everyone and wanted to get to know my nieces and nephews as they were being born. So I'm glad I did. I mean, I married my husband, met my husband here and married him. And it's been great. So I'm glad I made that move. But I guess really, my whole career type story has been one of sort of bouncing around because I didn't know what I wanted to do. I didn't know what I wanted to spend my life doing. And I could never figure it out, you know, my dad was a CPA, my sister was a CPA. My other two sisters are amazing teachers, my brother's an awesome salesman, but I just didn't really have a thing, you know, that I felt like I was really good at, that I should pursue, you know, I was called myself a dabbler. I like to do things for a little while but then when it started to get too in depth and too, and you know, where you'd have to be like an expert, I just lost interest or it just wasn't worth that extra step to become an expert, you know.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:09
I think we have more than a few HTYCers that can identify with that exact thing, either because you get bored or because of any number of reasons. Ready to move on to the next thing.

Sarah Hawkins 06:21
Yeah. And that's the thing with psychology, I love psychology, I think it's very interesting. But when I started getting to the upper level classes of like, really in depth stuff, I'm kind of, "I really want to do this for a living" you know, and same thing I tried teaching for a while, and it was like, okay, well, now I either need to go back to school and get a credential, or I need to find something else. Because, you know, and it was like, I don't really like this enough to go back to school again, get a whole new credential, all this more debt. So I guess I just never found anything that I liked enough to stay with it for a really long period of time. So I tended to kind of just bounce around to different things, usually falling into the office management, administrative type stuff, just because I'm really good at juggling a lot of things. And I learned really quickly. And so I tend to just do well in that kind of environment, because I'm able to help with just pretty much anything they need. But it just wasn't very satisfying, I guess, because there's just not a lot of growth in that, at least not in my path. You know, because you just kind of jump around, I did a real estate appraisal for a while. And stick either, you know, it was kind of like I did all my classes to get my credential. And it was kind of like, "do I really want to do this for the rest of my...? No, I don't." So I stopped that kind of thing. And so I felt like I kept having all these false starts, which made me feel like I wasn't really building much of a resume to where I kind of had to keep starting entry level places. So I was eventually being supportive roles to people just coming out of college, I'm in my mid 30s. And it was really disheartening because I knew I was capable of so much more.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:56

Sarah Hawkins 07:57
But I just didn't never feel like I could reach higher because I didn't have the "experience" kind of a thing. And that's where I think this course really helped me get my mind around the idea that you have traits and talents and experience that can translate across sectors and across job descriptions and all that kind of stuff. You don't necessarily have to have the same job description for 15 years to have it apply to a new position, if that makes sense.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:25
Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. And I want to back up for just a second because the backstory is that you've gone through our career change bootcamp program. And that's what you're referring to in the course. But for everybody else here, how did you find this? How did you encounter HTYC in the first place? I'm curious.

Sarah Hawkins 08:43
I'm very anti social media, I just don't do it, not something that I'm good at and keeping up with and all that kind of things. But I finally got a LinkedIn account because I was starting to look for work, and reading all the articles and all that. And one of my contacts, I believe, posted one of your articles, talking about strengths. And I downloaded your little handbook thing on strengths and kind of a real quick, abbreviated version. And then there was an option to sign up for a webinar. So I did that and really liked what I heard in terms of finding my strengths and doing something that I love, which I kind of had expected, that just wasn't going to be an option for me because I didn't know what that was. So I kind of just expected that I was just gonna flounder around in my career for the rest of my life. So it was really settling, I guess, you know, where I'm just kind of going like, "I don't really want to" but I guess is how I kind of expected the rest of my career life to go. So it was really inspiring to think that that's not necessarily how it has to be. So I signed up for the bootcamp and been a roller coaster ride ever since.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:44
I want to definitely talk about that. But I must super curious too, because you've kind of gone through this sort of mental switch thinking that, okay, it's got to be one or the other almost in terms of like, I just don't think that I'm going to find the stuff that I enjoy and it's going to be able to have any kind of amount of pay, and all of that stuff that so many of us think, actually, I just got a phone call just a little bit earlier today where I was talking to a guy, and he said, "Look, I want to make $200,000 a year. And I also want to have flexibility to be able to go and take my daughter to school" he's got young kids and he's like, "I don't see how I can do both." So he was almost thinking about in terms of, hey, I'm gonna have to choose between these two things, and that they cannot, absolutely under no circumstances, can be an option to do both. And we talked about amp solutions. And I don't know, consider multiple different alternatives. So super curious about your situation too and that, you know, where do you think that came from for you? Like, where do you think that you initially thought that "look, this is not ever going to be a possibility."?

Sarah Hawkins 10:49
I think maybe because I had just tried so many different things, trying to find my niche, trying to find my thing, you know, that I was made to do, and I just never found it. And I just felt like I've been looking for so long and trying for so long. And I've never been able to find it. So it must not be a possibility for me. That must be the unicorn in the woods. It's never gonna be found Bigfoot or whatever. Some people have something that they just are naturally, like, my sister knew she wanted to be a teacher when she was five. I mean, her whole life that's the all she wanted to be. And I never had that. And I looked and I tried, and I tried. And I always looked at it as a fault of mine, that maybe I was a little too ADD. I couldn't commit. I couldn't stick with anything, kind of attitude in my mind that it was my fault I couldn't find my thing. Which I don't know if you're wanting to get into this yet but that's one of the things in the course, that was just mind blowingly liberating for me, it was the term multi potentialite. Because you had a webcast on with Emily Wapnick.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:55
Emily Wapnick. Yeah. And she's been on the podcast a couple of times, too, recently.

Sarah Hawkins 11:58
I listened to that. And I was just like, oh, I mean, I was literally running through the house, telling my husband, "I know what I am." That was just so liberating for me not to be fighting that all the time, because I felt like I was always fighting and sorry, for the multi potentialite is just somebody that likes to do a lot of different things, and they're good at a lot of different things. And they don't just have one little niche. And I guess I'd never heard of it in a positive frame before and just like...

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:30
That was sound negative, right? Like, I know I just have that association, it's, "oh, it's bad to be a dabbler."

Sarah Hawkins 12:35
You just can't commit to anything, you can't stick with it. And so soon as it's not fun, or whatever you bolt, and that's not what I wanted. But at the same time, I'm the type that when I'm not mentally engaged, I just die inside. I mean, like my whole soul just withers up if I'm not like mentally challenged and engaged and excited about something. And so I could only stick with something for so long before I could feel the deadening start. And so I realized that, well, it's because I need to be doing different things, the way I'm wired. And so whether I'm doing that on a personal side to kind of help with, if I'm sticking with a career, then do different things on my own, or try to do different things within a role to try to feed that need for newness and challenge and you know, all that kind of stuff so that I don't get the deadening. And it was just really a liberating thing for me to embrace it instead of fight against it. And just like when she said some of the superpowers of, I think I listened to her TED Talk. And she had said, one of the superpowers of a multi potentialite is rapid learning, super adaptable, and there was another one where they can merge ideas. And I am definitely a rapid learner. I'm definitely super adaptable. But I never necessarily looked at those are strengths. And I never looked at that as a benefit to being the way I was. So just kind of having that all tied together was just, I mean, really, I was on cloud nine for like days, just kept telling my husband, "I know what I am" I was like, you have no idea. I mean, it was just something that I mean, it was never really spoken other than I would just say I'm a dabbler, I don't, you know, but to have it verbalized by someone else and explained and treated positively, was just a huge leap for me in thinking about what's possible in the future.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:27
That's so interesting. And a little bit of backstory for everybody listening too, within career change bootcamp, we have guest instructors come on about once a month-ish or so. And we've had Emily Wapnick, who's also been on the podcast come and do a session specifically for that group that's gone through career change bootcamp. And that's what Sarah is referring too when, there's one of the pieces that happens to be in there. But I feel like that's a big part of what we do and when we're working with people is really just, actually, almost everything that we do is just people align who they actually are with their work and understanding the ways to do that, because that's a lot of what I just heard you say is, "hey, wait, this is actually a good thing that I am this way." And there is and are ways to be able to use that to your advantage.

Sarah 15:17
Yeah, and embracing it will make me happier and more fulfilled if I embrace it instead of trying to fight it. And I think that's what I've been doing my whole life is trying to fight it. And that's something that needed to be disciplined out of me kind of a thought process. And I was just never very successful at doing that. So yeah, just really, I'll be happier if I can just embrace who I was created to be. And that's a good thing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:42
That is so so cool. And I feel like eventually get to have that mental switch that you're talking about where they flip over and start thinking about what they do or who they are, or some of the things that they offer as a positive and start going with the grain rather than against the grain. That's what the easiest way to describe it. But that is something that we, in a variety of different ways, it doesn't always happen the same way. It's not watching the Emily Wapnick video necessarily, or whatever else it might be but that is our personal goal is to have everybody have that moment.

Sarah 16:14
Right. And I think you guys provide so many different ways to make that happen, or to at least facilitate that happening. I do think it does take somebody willing to do the inner reflection and the work. And it's not something where you're just going to sign up, and then somebody from Happen To Your Career is going to tell you what your perfect job is. And you know what I'm saying, it's not something that you guys necessarily provide as much as you guys facilitate. And so the person that is wanting the answers needs to do the work to figure it out. And it's a lot of self reflection, it's a lot of self honesty, it's a lot of looking at things the way you may be having in the past, and being willing to be open to what is your inner self really truly saying to you, and not just what you hear everybody else saying it should be. And I just think that's an important component. And I think you guys are really good at facilitating that.

Jerrad Shivers 17:14
Literally made me sick, the anxiety, the stress that I was under.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:20
Jerrad's job was obviously not a fit for him.

Jerrad Shivers 17:25
Decided that maybe you know, 80, 90 hour weeks, and a young family doesn't necessarily go together. So I knew I needed help. And I knew I wasn't gonna be able to do this by myself.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:36
So Jerrad came to us looking for help and found that in one on one coaching.

Jerrad Shivers 17:41
You can let life happen to you, or you can happen to your life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:45
As we worked with him, Jerrad and his wife really had to figure out what they really actually want in their life.

Jerrad Shivers 17:52
When we started to do the questionnaire and write everything down, we started our pros and cons with, where we wanted to live and who we wanted to be around and all that stuff. All those things added up over time in the final discussions of, okay, well, this is what I can do, this is what I can't do, this is what I need to do, this is how much travel I'll do my job and how much time I will spend you know, during the week, the immune to the concessions that I can make, what are the concessions you can't make and all that, we've kind of just all... is piled on to the end.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:22
Jerrad did phenomenal job, not just designing the life and career that he actually wanted but then taking the steps to make that happen.

Jerrad Shivers 18:30
I ended up with my dream job.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:33
Congratulations to Jerrad on finding work that he loves and fits his family's needs, at the same time. If you want help to figure out what work fits you and find that fulfilling career that lights you up and gives you purpose, find out how coaching can help you step by step, go to happentoyourcareer.com and click on coaching to apply, or pause this and text MY COACH to 44222 that's TEXT MY COACH to 44222. We'll send over the application quicker than two shakes of a lamb's tail or however that goes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:17
What caused you to want to make this last most recent change?

Sarah Hawkins 19:22
Well, I have had some really horrendous health problems. It's been the last 20 years but the last 10 to 12 have been exceptionally difficult, resulting in me needing to leave the workforce because I couldn't walk anymore and it was in tons of pain and bedridden for at least a year, probably closer to two. And it was a really bad, I mean pretty much praying to die kind of scenario. And so I had eventually come to the realization that I will never work again, you know, I can't even walk and I'm in so much pain. It's not like a wheelchair would help, I thought about that. And so, my husband had his own business. And so miraculously, I found a solution to my health problems. And it's a long recovery process but I've already made so many leaps and bounds back to life that I felt being called to go back to work. And so I had been helping my husband probably the last year or two in his business, but it's not anything I'm really interested in, it was just a way to help contribute to the family. But I was kind of at a place where it's time to go back to work out of the house, which was very scary, because I had to leave under the conditions of, I can't physically do this anymore, which was really hard for me, because I always take a lot of pride in my ability to pretty much handle what anybody needs to have to gradually be saying, "No, I can't do that. I can't do that. I can't do that" until eventually, I had to come home and lay in bed all day, for a year or two, was a really, really difficult thing mentally for me and emotionally. And so it was extremely daunting to try to think about trying to get back into the workforce but it also gave me an opportunity to think about what do I want to do, because I kind of had this unique time where I'm not needing to report to another job, really, I mean, I'm working with my husband but there's a lot of flexibility in that. And so I had the opportunity to really just kind of try to figure it out because when I started trying to look for a job, gosh, it was so disheartening, it was just so hard to get your resume in anywhere. And my resume I knew was too vague, but it was because I didn't know what I wanted to do. And so I just threw everything I've ever done on there, to see if it appealed to somebody that could then approached me with an opportunity that maybe I would want, you know, because I didn't know what I wanted. And so it was really hard to tailor a resume. And so I started looking around trying to find services that could help me figure out what I wanted to do. And you know, was reading all these articles on LinkedIn, and Glassdoor and everywhere else just trying to figure out, what do I ever want to do? You know, because the idea of going back to just being an admin was just so, I just didn't want to do it. It was just like, I told my husband, "I know I need to, I just don't want to at all" you know, and it's that's not any way you want to start a new job, just something that you just are doing just to make ends meet, and you don't want to do it. So that's kind of what started me on the path of finding you guys was I was searching, you know, I'd contacted a few resume writer people and just said, "I'm looking for somebody that can help me figure out what it is that I shouldn't be doing. I'm capable of doing a lot, but I just don't know what the right thing is. And I need help." And most of them were like, "Oh, well, once you know what you want to do, we can help you tailor your resume." So I was kind of stuck. I didn't know where to turn, which was why it was so awesome when I found you guys, because I was like, "Oh, this is what I need. I know this is what I need. And I don't know how they're going to get me there. But I believe that they will." And so that's kind of what prompted the career change was getting back into the market after being out. I think I've been gone for four years from outside employment. And you know, prior to that I was seriously struggling. So work in general has a kind of a painful connotation for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:31
I didn't realize the whole story. That is... it's amazing, actually.

Sarah Hawkins 23:34
It was definitely daunting, definitely scary. That's what I would tell everybody when they're like, "you're looking for a job" and I'm like, "yeah, I'm terrified. But I feel like this is what I'm supposed to be doing. So I'm gonna do it and just trust that it's gonna work out." So that's kind of how I got here.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:50
When you got into the bootcamp then, you started going through and really trying to figure out what it was that you wanted to be doing. What was the hardest part of that process?

Sarah Hawkins 23:59
I think I still had some limitations in my mind just because of my physical issues that are on their way to being better, but aren't quite better yet. So I knew I was capable of certain things but I wasn't necessarily confident in my ability to do what maybe I felt like I really wanted to do. So I did the work of going through to figure out my strengths, which was awesome. But it was hard. There was a lot of times that when I first looked at one of the tasks, I would just go "oh, I don't know" you know, I don't know. And so I really had to dig deep I guess, and really just sit with it for a while and think about it. And when I was going to the grocery store, thinking about it, when I was working thinking about it, so that I could kind of really forced myself to answer the question as if I was in like a classroom or something and the teacher was waiting for an answer. I've got to come up with something. And so I would start and then before I know it, their thing would be full or it would be multiple pages, you know, where I was like, "oh, wow, I had a lot more in there than I thought" I think you had to stopped when you're as unhealthy as I was, and as sick as I was, you stop dreaming, number one, and you stop hoping for your future, number two. So for a really long time, I have stopped dreaming about a future or dreaming about what I wanted to do, or even just like traveling or anything like that, you just can't allow yourself to go there. Because where you are, you just feel like that will never happen. So it's just disappointment in store if you dream, so you just kind of shut it off. And so it was a really hard thing for me to start it up again, and start thinking about like, "Okay, if I could do anything, what would it be?" Because that's not been an option for me, and probably 20 plus years, if I could do anything, because in my mind, I'm like, "Well, I can't do anything." So I have to temper it with what I'm physically able to do. And so that was really hard for me, I think, kind of getting out of that mindset of, there's a lot of limitations on me. And realizing that okay, not as many as there used to be and it won't always be this way anymore. You know, my kind of getting my hope back for my future.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:11
That's a massive, like most people it takes like 15 years sometimes to go through that type of mindset shift, I'm going to call it, for lack of better phrase right now.

Sarah Hawkins 26:20
Oh, yeah.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:21
That's huge.

Sarah Hawkins 26:21
Yeah, it was for me. I mean, it really made a big difference. And I really learned a lot about myself in terms of, I always knew I wanted to help people like that was something I knew was always something I liked. But it wasn't until I really looked down at all my jobs, and all my projects, and all that kind of stuff, where we have to write down what was kind of the thing I loved about each of those, that I saw the theme. Wow, I really like helping people. It's really important to me, because that's the thing I loved about everything I've ever done, but I didn't ever really make that connection before. And so for me, my dream was always back when I was healthier, but my dream was always that when I retire, I would love to go do disaster relief, like hands on helping people at their worst time. But that's a very physical thing. And so I had kind of written that off as well, uh, well. And so I think when I was talking to Lisa, who's one of the bootcamp coaches, I had called her because it was the time to figure out what kind of companies you want to do approach. And I had no clue. So I knew what my strengths were now, which was great, but I still had no clue what I wanted, or what would be a good fit for me. And I mean, I had like pages of possible careers that I was like, I don't know, I mean, maybe this would work, maybe this would work, you know. And so I think she called it my runaway train of a mind of just being like, well, there's this, I mean, they were all over the place. Part of that multi potentialite thing, you know, where it was just like, well, I could be a writer, or I could be a logistics operator, or, you know, it was just like all over the place. And so she kind of helped me zero. And I actually said out loud, which I didn't expect, but I said, "well, my dream job would be disaster relief, or something like that with nonprofit." And she was like, "Okay, hold on. Then why are you looking at all these other things?" And I said, "Well, I can't do that. I can't do disaster relief, I'm physically not able." But then she kind of helped me steer me in the right direction of, "okay, but then there's other things you can get into, that can still fulfill that part of you, maybe in the nonprofit world that you can be making a really big positive difference in people's lives, that isn't as physical, maybe look in those areas." And so that's what I did. That's how I got this job, you know, I've never even really considered nonprofit before, it just was never even anything in my radar.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:45
Super, super cool. And one of the things that I know behind the scenes too, is that not only did you go through the interview process and going from deciding that, hey, nonprofit, for me, could be an option. But then you ended up getting the job and negotiating for the first time, is what I understood. Is that right?

Sarah Hawkins 29:05
Yes, I've never ever in my life negotiated a salary, a position, anything, I was always of the mind, which part of it and I don't necessarily know where it comes from other than maybe my health problems. I mean, those started probably in fourth grade. And I had a hip replacement in my freshman year of college. And so there's just been a lot of things that just, I think kind of whittled away my competence. And so generally when I would get a job, I was just so grateful that they picked me, that I didn't want to rock the boat. I didn't want to look ungrateful, I didn't want to look greedy. I mean, a lot of the things that are typical, but I just never, ever would dream of negotiating. And so you guys kind of gave me the confidence that it's okay and you can go about it the right way that there aren't bad feelings, and I definitely stressed about it ahead of time, but I did it because I felt like I needed to push my in that way and try. And if it didn't work out, then that probably wasn't the organization for me anyway. And so I did, and they were very receptive and did what they could. And we ended up kind of restructuring the job title. And...

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:16
They really manage it well.

Sarah Hawkins 30:19
Yes. That was the job...

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:20
You are a manager but we're tweaking some stuff so that you can set it up, so that you can get increase a little bit later on, right?

Sarah Hawkins 30:29
Yeah. So the job I was interviewing for was operations manager. And so when the salary came in low, I came back and just said, "Well, this is what I was hoping for" I, you know, kind of did your script and said, you know, "what can we do to bring this up, you know, to get closer to what I'm, you know, looking for?" And so they said, "Well, honestly, not much." And there was a variety of reasons for that. But they said, "Well, let us talk about it and see what we can do." And so they called me back and said, "Well, you know, they bumped it up slightly, this opening salary" but then they said, "what we would do is actually demote your title." At first, you're kind of like, "ah, what?"

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:03
Wait, hold on. No, no.

Sarah Hawkins 31:05
Like, "I'm sorry." Negotiated. But they said, "we'll demote your title. And then in a year, that opens you up, puts you on a path that you can then get a promotion to operations manager" which they would be able to give me a larger bump in salary with a promotion, than they would be able to do within the same role as like either a starting salary or a raise.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:29
Based on their infrastructure and their board of directors and everything else like that. Hey, by the way, when you quick piece of advice, because I know from doing this a lot that based on how you've gone into it, you might even be able to do that earlier than a year, when you get a chance, go back into the career change bootcamp, go login and search for one of the bonuses that comes with it, which is get a raise guide, and it'll guide you through the process, potentially even do that earlier. Or go outside of the boundaries for what the "policies" or pay bounds or everything else like that is too. So small tidbit.

Sarah Hawkins 32:09
Yeah. Thank you. That'd be great.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:10

Sarah Hawkins 32:11
That worked out. I'm happy. I felt like they were willing to work with me. And they're excited about having me come on board. And that was a scary thing for me too but I was thinking, well, I don't know, if I just barely edged out someone else. I mean, I have no idea. And then if I'm being difficult, are they gonna then just go with their number two. And so that was something that was really difficult, really hard for me to just kind of trust that I can handle this, and I can do it in such a way that I don't appear difficult. And...

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:40
A roller coaster that you end up going through the end, you're like, "Yes, I want this job, cuz it's awesome. I don't want it to go away. Like what if I... what if they're gonna...? Yeah.

Sarah Hawkins 32:51
When I talked to Lisa, on our negotiation call, she was like, "so how are you feeling?" And I said, "honestly, I just, I had really hoped that there would just be one piece of this that wasn't so hard." You know, I didn't have to sit there and negotiate or I didn't have to, you know, because it was just something I really didn't want to do. So it was just kind of it really took the excitement of the roll out of it for me that I was going to have to negotiate, you know, because I was like, hey, I got an offer. But then I was like, oh, they're gonna make me negotiate. I was like, you know, it was really, a roller coaster is a perfect way to put it. I was happy, and then I was devastated, and that I was scared. And I mean, it was just all over the place. But I put my...

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:28
But you've just done it.

Sarah Hawkins 33:29
Yeah. Anyway... So..

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:31
That is so...

Sarah Hawkins 33:32
And now I've done it. So next time, it won't be so scary.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:35
Exactly. Now you can do it for the whole rest of your life, as it turns. Hey, congratulations, again, by the way, like that is just super, super cool. I knew part of the story but I don't know the whole thing. And that is just what you've done is, actually a lot of the things that you've done, are things that most people won't do over their entire life. So I think that's something to be proud of, personally.

Sarah Hawkins 33:56
Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:57
Yeah, well, I just got to say thank you so much for letting us play a small part in it, and for letting us push you a little bit. And clearly, it's turned out really, really well for you. And thanks for making the time to be able to come on and share your story with other people too, because I think that there's so much that other people will take from this and our listeners, because they're facing those same types of problems, the same exact things that you have. So it just means a lot. I appreciate it.

Sarah Hawkins 34:24
Oh, thank you so much for having me. I was happy to do it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:35
Hey, Sarah's story made me incredibly happy. And partially because she got to bring us along for the journey and we got to see as she went through every single step and it was so much fun. And I just wanted to say thanks for taking a listen and thank you to all the people that have gone over and taken the time and given us some feedback on iTunes, on Stitcher Radio really, really, really appreciate that. I want to read yet another five star review coming from iTunes. This is by LSF72. And it say "wow, finally some career help that makes sense. I've read what color's your parachute, and this is much, much better." Thank you so much for taking the time, and comparing us to the one of the classics. And that means an awful lot. Hey, we have plenty more for you coming up next week on Happen To Your Career, I want you to take a listen to what we've got in store right now.

I wanted to kind of circle back and speak to just regular people and make an impact in the world. But for quite a while I had to sort of borrow down and do the true sort of full on academic thing. But I now spend a lot more of my time trying to actually use academic research almost as r&d for products and the products are articles and books and training programs and things that actually make a difference in people's lives.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:09
All that plenty more next week, right here on Happen To Your Career. I will see you then. Until then, I'm out. Adios.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:32
And I thought was really cool. And we'll talk about that a little bit later is part of how you went through and negotiated, you ended up structuring that opportunity to probably happen sooner rather than normal as well, which I thought was pretty cool. So I'll ask you about that a little bit later. I know that you sent a couple emails and Lisa, a couple emails too about how excited you were about this particular organization. And after learning a little bit about what they do, I think it's pretty fantastic too. So congratulationss, first of all, let me just say that.

Sarah Hawkins 37:02
Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:03
I emailed you a congratulations. But I haven't actually gotten to tell you. So this is awesome.

Sarah Hawkins 37:07
Oh, thank you. I'm excited.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:09
So here's my question, though, because, alright, now you're going to... you're going to go and next week be able to start that job with an organization that you're really excited about but that's only been really recently. So I'm curious a little bit about your background, and how all this happened, what led up to here in the first place. And I would love to start with, what caused you to move down this path in the first place? Because you went to school in Portland, right?

Sarah Hawkins 37:34

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