403: How to Get Into Management Consulting (or Your Consulting Business of Choice)

Ever wondered what it would take to begin a consulting business? Or make a career change to consulting? Listen in on this episode.



Alissa Penney, Human Resources Consultant

From entry level HR to Director level roles, Alissa has wide background in experience which led her to start her own consultancy and supporting other organizations with their HR needs.

on this episode

Alissa knew she had to make a change when she could no longer see anything. 

Not in a metaphorical sense. Nope. The doctor had confirmed that her periods of temporary blindness were work-stress induced. And as it turns out, Alissa was unwilling to give up her eyesight for her job!

Alissa’s career began in Human Resources. She worked her way up to Director Level HR roles in municipalities! That’s where she started experiencing stress like she’d never experienced before. 

She also knew that there had to be a different way to do work! A way that fit her. That’s when she began thinking about opening her own consulting business!


  • What worked (and didn’t work) as Alissa started her consulting business
  • Why she started thinking about consulting as career in the first place!
  • How she went from temporary blindness to much more fulfilling work (and what were the hardest parts along the way!)

Alissa Penney 0:03
Ask questions, search for answers. You don't always take kind of that first to answer that gut instinct. Sometimes your gut isn't exactly right. And you have to dig a little bit deeper to find real quality tangible answers.

Introduction 0:25
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what it does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change. Keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:49
One of the most valuable soft skills that I've built over the last 20 years, doesn't have anything to do with communication or negotiation, although that's been pretty valuable too, but it doesn't have anything to do with any of those pieces. In fact, most people don't think of this as a skill at all. But that's where most people would be wrong. Because practicing this and becoming better at it has allowed me to stop myself from settling so many times in the last 20 years. Now, unfortunately, it's also not very easy. What is it? It's the skill of paying attention to your gut feeling and intuition. Here's how it usually works. Let's say that you've been ignoring that feeling in your gut for months, and even years. Maybe it's about your job, maybe it's been about how you're raising your kids, or even the fact that you might be settling in your relationships, whatever it is, now is the time to learn to start paying attention to it. Why? Well, because science and research tells us that your intuition is very useful for letting you know when things are off, it's very good at that. So choosing to ignore that feeling is likely to your detriment. Now, of course, there's also limitations to your gut feeling and intuition. It can only take you so far, because it's not great at helping you understand why something doesn't feel right. It's also not useful necessarily for getting you to the exact right answer instead. But it is a great indicator for you to stop, reevaluate and choose a different direction.

Alissa Penney 02:28
I would say maybe not a skill, but definitely it's a level of self awareness that I definitely didn't have before. I think you could just go off of your intuition all the time, if it's really not a level of self awareness that helps propel you forward. I think sometimes it can really hold you back. And for me, I needed to get that level of self awareness where I could look at myself and say, "this isn't right, I have to do something different."

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:52
Alissa Penney decided to stop ignoring those feelings just 18 months ago. Since then, there has been no looking back as she completely changed her career and even started her own consulting business. Here's her story, and where she started out in her career.

Alissa Penney 03:07
So I actually started out in the HR career field as an intern while I was going through grad school at no idea what I wanted to do for a career, and an internship opportunity came up and I said, that looks good. Okay. So I went for it and I loved it. I was at a manufacturing facility. And I got to work with a lot of the folks on the manufacturing floor in a way that I didn't realize you could work with individuals in a work environment. My prior work experience really didn't have me in that kind of a role. Knowing that I loved it and getting to learn a lot about how HR works. The company that I worked for, had an opportunity to take that next step up. And so I said, "Okay, I love it, and I want to work there and it's great." And so I actually moved across the country to take that position, work there as a senior HR generalist and analyst for the hydraulics division of this company in the Americas. So I went from an internship position and just went for it. Big jump for me. And I needed to reassess that position after about a year and had to take a step back and say, "Okay, I think I went to quickly." Reassessed ended up finding a position with a municipality, which was very different from corporate HR in the public sector versus the private sector. I'm sure you know that you have to work with citizens in a way that's very different than you work with employees.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:36
How would you describe some of those differences? I understand this because I've had a lot of experience in being in and around both sides. My mom worked in municipalities. I think I told you one of the first times that we met, but I've also worked a lot on private organizations, but I'm not sure that everybody necessarily understands really what some of those differences are. And what that actually means.

Alissa Penney 04:55
A lot of it is because you were in place or so customer facing, citizen facing, you really have to be very specific and the kinds of folks that you hire, and then the way that you train those people, a big challenge for a municipality is also budget. So not only do we expect you to meet the needs of our citizens, but also we probably can't pay you a lot to do it. So you have to find, right, you have to find really creative ways to engage with your employees. And you really have to be that innovative HR professional that the business needs. And when I took that role, I was actually very lucky to have a mentor for the first city that I worked for, for four years, who also had a manufacturing HR background. And so we were able to really, I guess, kind of create these innovative strategies because manufacturing in municipalities can be really similar because you're doing hard work, you don't get a lot of things, people are probably mad at you, you've got deadlines, and how can we make this happen. So I would say definitely the biggest, those are some of the biggest challenges, but it makes you creative in a way that isn't budget restricted, which is really what I enjoyed. And I, got me back into really loving doing HR again, in that particular role.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:11
I think that's one of the things that I appreciated about you when we first chatted is that were finding ways to be innovative and finding ways to be creative. And I thought that was so cool. And I think that served you well, since too, as you've moved later on, we'll talk about this later, but into your own business. But what caused you to want to change from that situation where you had that mentor, and you were working in that municipality, and for all situations, like there were a lot of good things, right?

Alissa Penney 06:44
Absolutely, I really enjoyed it. But as anyone who's worked in HR probably knows you have a little bit of burnout that happens when you're in a role for a certain period of time. And so we kind of started to feel that at the end of my time, with that particular municipality, but then my spouse had a job change. And so we moved cities. So I had to leave that job. And I ended up working for another municipality. And I got to work as an assistant HR director, kind of over that whole department. And just the environment was so different. I started going through, I think some of the same things that a lot of people go through, where you start kind of dreading going into work. And don't feel like you're being utilized in the way that you know, you can be best utilized. You go in, you do the bare minimum, and you just don't feel that same resonance as you did with maybe a previous career or you just aren't doing the things that you used to really enjoy. For me, I really started to realize that I needed to make a drastic change when I had a big health scare. After not very long in that position, maybe about eight, nine months into that position. I actually started to go through periods of not been able to see where my vision would just cut out. And they weren't sure what was going on. And they said,"you've got to make changes, you were incredibly stressed. Your medical information is just not... it's not good, you have to make changes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:15
None of this is good.

Alissa Penney 08:15
None of this is good.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:16
Also the not seeing part.

Alissa Penney 08:18
Oh, right. Right.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:19
Yeah. I'm curious though, I've talked to a lot of people that have had your similar periods of time. And I've experienced that for myself too, mine resulted in, you know, almost anxiety. They were anxiety type attacks along with a whole host of other things. But I think that every single person I've talked to the experience has been slightly different. And what was that like for you? What was going through your head back at that time, if you can recall? And, what were some of the realizations that you had?

Alissa Penney 08:48
I remember vividly. The whole situation, really just realizing I have to change, I have to do something differently. I'm not getting the fulfillment that I need with this position. And also, I'm having these health issues because this position has added so much stress into my daily life and I don't have a good outlet for it. And so I realized that changes needed to happen. And sometimes that means you have to take that position that you're really excited for and walk away, and reassess and do something different. And for me, I remember being very scared that if I didn't do that, I had doctors tell me that if you don't sort this out, you could go blind. And you can be without your sight for forever. So that was a very big motivator for me to take a step back.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:38
Yes, as far as motivation goes, that is one way to do it.

Alissa Penney 09:42
Absolutely. Same with anyone, I think with a heart condition too. You have to make these changes if you want to continue to have a quality of life, a life worth living. So that's why I made my decision, really.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:55
What do you think was your biggest learning through that time period? And I know we're joking a little bit back and forth. But I mean, that's, that's pretty scary. And it's definitely something that is serious to put it mildly. So I'm really curious, because I know that the one thing I've seen from you is that every time you've had a hard situation in your life, you have experienced some kind of growth through that. So what do you think were your biggest realization, biggest learning?

Alissa Penney 10:22
For me, my biggest realization was that the work that I had been doing didn't have to be the work that I continued to do, that I actually did have a lot of control in a way that I didn't previously think that I had.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:34
Really? That's interesting. In what way?

Alissa Penney 10:36
Well, for me, I could walk away, very lucky to have a supportive spouse who said, "you know, this impacts both of us. So walk away if it's not working, walk away, and we can reassess." And for me, no, I know I've mentioned it to you before but I have a very type A personality where I need to feel a lot of control over situations. And so even being able to walk away really was a relief to know that I could make those choices to reassess and sit down and go, okay, what can I do to adjust? You know, I still want to work, enjoy working, I like the work that I do. So how can I make this happen in a way that I get to do what I like to do, what I do best, and really help the people that I have a huge passion for helping municipalities, underserved employees, nonprofits, that kind of thing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:06
That's so interesting. I think that's actually fascinating too. And I feel like that's one of the, I don't know if that's really a skill, I was trying to think how I'd even describe that. But so like, in my situation, when I went through that period, I felt like I needed to have some level of control so I went and talk to my boss. And then my boss fired me and then I was like, thrown back into have been, you know, that sort of helpless type feeling and not being in control and everything else and I essentially have like a really short period of time and small, just next to nothing savings, to try and do something about it. And in some ways, I don't think that's cured me of wanting to feel in control, but it's caused me to figure out what I can influence in my life and I think that, that's such a powerful learning to realize like where you have more control or influence in your life and I, that's not really a skill, but it's like, how would you describe that because you've been through that now? So...

Alissa Penney 13:00
I would say maybe not a skill, but definitely it's a level of self awareness that I definitely didn't have before. And being able to look at something and I've gotten this feedback multiple times, ask questions, search for answers. You don't always take kind of that first answer that gut instinct. Sometimes your gut isn't exactly right. And you have to dig a little bit deeper to find real quality tangible answers. You know, because I think if you just go off of your intuition all the time, if it's really not a level of self awareness that helps propel you forward. I think sometimes it can really hold you back. And for me, I needed to get that level of self awareness where I could look at myself and say, this isn't right, I have to do something different. And understanding that sometimes you do have to ask for help. And you have to be okay with asking for help when you need it, and just know that that's okay. Because a lot of times, I think we beat ourselves up for asking for help and feeling like I can't do this on my own. It did really help relieve me of that stress, to be honest.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:09
That's such an important point. And you know, one of the things we've talked about on this podcast before is when you hear somebody say something, even if there's a lot of wisdom in it, you can take that advice, then often you don't realize initially the layers of wisdom underneath that. And I think that's really what I'm hearing from you, I think that's one of those concepts. You were talking about intuition and your gut feeling. And I think the conclusion that I've come to both looking at the studies and research around it, but also just from working with a lot of people in this area and seeing just from an experiential level is that your gut is really good at telling you when things are off, it is not necessarily as good at leading you to the exact right answer. So, it's almost like you should not ever ignore your gut feeling. Because it's giving you an indication on sometimes levels that you may not fully understand about what is off, but it doesn't always necessarily lead you immediately towards the right answer. And that's part of what I think I hear you saying.

Alissa Penney 15:17
Right. You know, for me having that intuition, I think you're exactly right, it does help you kind of put that pause in things where you go, okay, something is off. But then it's interesting, because I've actually read, I've read a lot with a lot of the pause that we've had in some of the work that I do normally. And there's actually a lot of psychologists talk about the difference between your emotional brain and your logical brain. And so your intuition is your emotional brain, but then you have to say, okay, logic brain, what do I do with how I feel? And that's really where kind of they married together. And that, for me is what's been really fascinating and I think that really speaks actually to my love of data and...

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:03
Not surprised.

Alissa Penney 16:04
I don't think anyone is surprised to hear the probably I love numbers of data and analytics because you know something's wrong. How can I find and pinpoint exactly what's wrong? Because then I can prescribe it, I can fix it from there. Those are the things that I think about a lot.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:19
Yeah, me as well. This is not what I thought we were going to talk about at all. And I want to get back to some pieces of your story. But I want to continue to explore this for just a minute. Another layer underneath that I think is really important is you said something along the lines of, hey, that only takes you so far. And one of the weird places where we've seen that show up again and again, I don't know that everyone is aware of this because we do it a lot behind the scenes and we don't talk about it on this podcast a lot, but we train career coaches, we train coaches and that's one of the pieces behind the scenes that we have that's a segment of you know, Happen To Your Career in our business. And one of the crazy things that we see again and again, is we see people that are more naturally coachee type people that come in. And you know, they ask really great questions. And they are in some ways because of their strengths and interests, they're sort of predisposed to be better at being a coach. Right? However, also many of those people, not all, but many of those people are highly intuitive. And we find that, that intuition to your point, only takes them so far. Once you understand, for example, techniques around coaching, and you're aware of how to put them together, you know, for yourself, then all of a sudden, you can be a great coach instead of just a highly intuitive coach. And there's two differences. So that's an example that like, pops into my mind. But here's what I'm curious about for you, what prompted you in the first place to want to do something for yourself? Tell me about where that started to enter the picture, and how you were thinking about that in the early stages?

Alissa Penney 18:01
Absolutely. It wasn't necessarily my intention to do what I do now. But I actually had a really great conversation with my previous boss and the position that I stepped away from. And she said, "you know, you have a lot of these skills. Maybe when you get things settled down, maybe when you start wanting to get back into the HR world, you should consider doing consultation." And at the time, I was not at a place to hear that information.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:31

Alissa Penney 18:33
Right. I would like to leave and never looked back. I got a lot of time to sit and think about it. And really what kind of led me to that conclusion is knowing that I could control my workday and my schedule, and I could control clients and work with people who really wanted me there. Because of that, I think that's the biggest barrier for a lot of HR professionals is having to work with people who, you know, don't want to let you in the building, you don't get to go to meetings, you don't get invited to things and you're constantly having to fight that makes you so tired. And so getting to control a little bit more, there's that word again, 'control'.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:13
It just keeps popping out. It's all over the place, right.

Alissa Penney 19:15
It just keeps popping up for me. With having my high levels of stress in my previous roles, I knew that I needed to be able to control, not just the kind of work that I would do, but also a little bit my work environment. And so I'm able to do things and structure things in a way that's really beneficial to me. So that way, I can in turn, make that more beneficial for my clients because they're not getting me at, you know, 50% or 60%. I'm able to bring myself 100% at my best place. And so knowing that by taking a step back and reassessing, I could get to that place to be that person and that professional that I really wanted to be. At the end of the day, it was really just invaluable for me to understand and recognize and then knowing that I didn't have to kind of muddle through all of that by myself, again, just as really a relief for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:06
Tell me about that. When you say not having to muddle through all that by yourself, what do you mean by that?

Alissa Penney 20:11
Well, I had never really considered consulting before. And I never considered that it was such a drastic career change. Yes, it's still HR but it's a very different facet than what I was doing previously. You know, you have to find people who want you to be there. You have to find people who are looking for exactly what you do. And how do I do that? I've never had to look for clients before. I've never set up a business before. Do I started out as a contractor? What's the paperwork involved?

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:40
All the questions.

Alissa Penney 20:41
I had a million and one questions and I think I filled a couple of notebooks full of questions. And as I would get answers, you know, I'd make a lot of annotations and footnotes, but you know, I needed some guidance in that direction. But I also knew that because it was available, it wasn't quite so scary. It didn't have to be this big, life altering change that I did on my own. And I felt just more comfortable and more confident that, okay, I can make this happen because I needed to reduce my levels of stress. It was just very helpful to have someone to kind of guide me through that process, not necessarily hold my hand, but definitely some one who could say, maybe we should think about this in a different way, or have you considered this instead, or based on what you're saying, probably you should move in this direction, that's going to be really helpful and beneficial, it was written what it needed.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:32
I feel so fortunate that we got to sit front row and have the opportunity to help through that. And you have done a great job in terms of spending your first, going from essentially nothing to your first eight months now you've had a few clients and partnerships. And I'm going to guess, then take a shot in the dark and say that, that was not easy to get to that point. Eight months, just to give people a background, I've personally worked with a few hundred people, helping them move through the starting stages of a business and making it profitable and getting first clients and everything like that. And eight months for some industries is relatively fast. Like that's not a small feat to put it mildly. So here's what my question to you is, what have been some of the most difficult pieces that you didn't anticipate through that process of getting a business in this case, a consulting business up and running?

Alissa Penney 22:35
So that one's a tricky one.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:37
I only ask the tricky ones, you know that, Alissa.

Alissa Penney 22:40
I know. I know it. It wouldn't be fun if it was easy. I think for me, it was, you know, putting myself out there and allowing myself to be okay with people telling me no or not hearing back from people, that was very difficult. You know, I had compiled a list of potential clients and I reached out and I heard back from, I think over about 200 people on that list, some of whom I've worked with before, because it's a very small world here. And I heard back from two people, and they weren't the people that I had known. And so that was very difficult. And, you know, I settled, spent a lot of time with my coach, and I said, "am I doing this wrong?" It's just really questioning myself, you know, am I even going in the right direction? Have I made a horrible mistake? I think was the hardest for me was to realize how much you have to continuously put out there, and just how comfortable you have to be with hearing 'No' or even worse, hearing nothing at all. That was very difficult. And then just realizing that something that's on my schedule isn't necessarily what's on somebody else's schedule and timetable, and maybe now is not the right time to reach out and you need to reassess and rethink. It was very difficult for me to get comfortable with that, but I absolutely feel a lot more comfortable with that now than what I did eight months ago. That's for sure.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:05
So for other people who have been considering, or maybe are in the beginning stages of doing their own thing, or building a business that they want to, what advice would you give them in order to move through the difficult process of becoming more comfortable with those types of things? Because whether it's not hearing back, or some other type of challenge that you're going to face, it's gonna be difficult in some way. And it's going to require a level of discomfort. What do you think?

Alissa Penney 24:34
I would say, learn how to be comfortable with silence, and learn how to be very patient with yourself with whatever it is you're trying to tackle. It's very cliche to say but, you know, Rome wasn't built in a day. And if you have this dream that you want to move forward with doing, you know, in my case, it was building a business. I don't know of any business that is immediately successful overnight. And as much as I really wanted things to move forward, I'm sure a lot of other people have that one, that desire as well. Sometimes you just have to learn how to be comfortable being where you're at, and recognizing that where I'm at today isn't where I'm going to be in six months. You know, I went from panicking to, I don't have any clients, I've been doing this for a couple of months and, you know, that this isn't working out to, you know, a month after that, real type of panic for me. I had three people reach out to me. And overnight, almost, I had these clients and so it's okay if things take time, and they're going to take time, even though I only have a small number of clients now. I know that this time next year, things are going to look very different. And as long as I stay consistent, and I maintain my patience, it will be okay.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:53
It's so interesting how quickly things can change. That's something that continues to fascinate me to this day. And you're right, a year from now, it's going to be drastically different and then a year from then, it's going to be drastically different. And I think one of the things that I see again and again, is that it's really difficult to look and say, oh yeah, this is going to be okay a year from now and then to go forward knowing not exactly what okay is going to look like and not knowing exactly what result you're going to get. We, as human beings, have a tendency to not want to go after something, whatever it is, you know, career related, you name it, fitness, it doesn't matter, whatever category. But unless we are sure of the result and the reality is there aren't very many guarantees in life. So what has helped you be more okay with that whole phenomenon?

Alissa Penney 26:54
Well, there's two things that I constantly repeat to myself and they're kind of cheesy. One thing is if I wait until I'm ready, I'll always be waiting. You know, I was not ready, I was nowhere near ready, but I did it anyway. And looking back, I don't really understand my mindset at the time thinking, of course you were ready, you're as ready as you're going to be and sometimes you just have to take that leap and go for it. And then the other thing I think I've mentioned this to you before, but being bad at something is the first step to getting good at something. Even if you're going to start something, you're probably going to be bad at it. And you're going to learn a lot, because you're going to go "oh, no. I'm very bad at this thing that I've done. How can I make it better?" And that's how you hear all the time. Learning from your failures, the important thing but no one tells you how to learn from your failure. You really have to be okay with not doing well. Because at the end of the day, even if you don't do well, you can take a look at what happened, and say, "here's how I can improve it and make it better for next time." And that's how you know, you're always going to be in a different place, you know, six months from now, a year from now. And I do think it takes a lot of guts and determination to continuously be comfortable doing that and assessing where you fail, because it's not comfortable. I don't think anyone likes failing and not doing well. I don't know, there's also a little bit of comfort and knowing that it's not just me, other people have done this and I've also done that badly. And that turned out to be very successful. So, why can't I do it badly and then learn and be better?

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:48
I love that. Absolutely love that. One because it's true. Two because I think it's a helpful lens to look at this through versus any of the other lenses that have a tendency to pop into our mind as human beings like, "oh my goodness, I can't do that because (insert your reason here.)" If I'm going to choose a way to look at it, I'm going to choose one that helps me rather than a different way. So I so appreciate you sharing how you have thought about it, too. What else surprised you, as you were going through the process of building a business? What did you experience that, maybe you didn't anticipate that, it was different than how you thought it was going to be in reality.

Alissa Penney 29:38
I would say for me, learning how to adjust the way I feel about my need to control things.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:51
In what way?

Alissa Penney 29:53
Well, you know, I can't control my day to day, I can't control my clients to or if and when clients happen. But there are things that I can control. And so instead of focusing on these things that I used to, I've adjusted and say, okay, I can't control this piece, but I can control how I react to it, I can control myself and I can, I don't really know of a great way to put it. But basically, I'm able to be comfortable with the areas that I can control. And I've learned to be more okay with the things that I can't control even though this felt six months ago, a year ago, like really big things. That really surprised me, because I'm not known, then my spouse could tell you, my friends could tell you, I'm not a very flexible person in some of those ways. And so learning how to be flexible and how I approach situations and how I approach, you know, my business and how I do things, it was a pleasant surprise, for sure.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:05
So I've started multiple businesses and my personal opinion has been the first year is the hardest part of the journey. So for all intents and purposes, like you've now done, what I believe is the hardest part of the journey, like zero to one client is the hardest part or... and it doesn't mean it's without challenges for what takes place in the future when you're growing or scaling or whatever, you know, if you decide at some point to bring on, you know, employees or team or whatever, it doesn't mean it was without challenges, but you've kind of been through in many ways, the most difficult part in getting started. What advice would you give people that are maybe back at that beginning stage and they're thinking about getting started? And, you know, they're in that place where you were not that long ago, 8, 9 months ago, and what would you want them to know? What advice would you give them?

Alissa Penney 32:03
I would say, it's going to be hard. Don't let the fact that it's hard keep you from doing it and keep you from pushing forward. Because there were a lot of times when I, you know, didn't know what was going to be happening, or I don't know if I can keep doing this. And it did, it got really hard. And I'm still, I'm almost all the way through my first year, a few more months. And I know that it's still going to be hard. There are days that are going to be very difficult. But just because something is hard, doesn't mean that giving up is the answer. And so really having that perseverance, and my spouse calls it "sticktoitiveness".

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:55
I love that. Borrowing that.

Alissa Penney 32:58
Yeah, you can patent it. But yeah, just being able to have that resolved to continue to keep working when things are hard. Because it will be very hard. I'm not gonna lie or sugarcoat it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:19
Why do you feel it has been worth it for you? You know, from, I'm guessing based on our conversation before this, and what your coach has shared with me and everything that even though it's been hard, this... you still feel like that this is the direction for you. So I'm curious, that must mean that you feel like even though it's been incredibly difficult that it's been worth it. So I'm curious, is that accurate? And if so, why has it been worth it for you to go through all these things that are really difficult in order to have this in your life?

Alissa Penney 34:00
Yeah. For me, it really feels worth it because it's allowed me to have the freedom that I really need to where, if you work in an office, you work for somebody else, it's really difficult to if you need to take a break, or if you need to adjust your projects, or if there's things that you don't enjoy doing, you don't really get that choice. And so for me, it's been worth it. Because I do get that choice, you know, I get to take the projects that I really like, that really resonate with me and I get to help other people achieve their company's goals using HR strategies. And for me, you know, it just... it kind of warms my heart a little bit to be able to do that. And that's really where my passion lies. And so getting to constantly pursue the things that I'm passionate about, for me is worth it. You know, and like I said, it does give me a lot of freedom where with my health stuff, you know, if I need to take some time away, you know, to go resolve some things. I can do that and not feel guilty. You previously, I was made to feel very guilty about taking care of myself. And for me, it definitely is worth it to not have that feeling of guilt constantly hanging over me, you know, maybe I do work at seven o'clock, eight o'clock at night because I had stuff going on during the day, but I don't feel bad about that either. But having that flexibility and freedom for me has made it more than worth it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:39
I so appreciate you sharing that and it means a lot for me. One, to just get to have this conversation, you know, eight months later or so. And you've done such an amazing job. And yeah, we've talked about it being difficult and everything else along those lines. However, you know, I really think that you've done a phenomenal job in making this happen for yourself. And I just want to say first of all, congratulations. And second of all, thank you for taking the time and making the time and coming on and sharing your story with all of us.

Alissa Penney 36:14
Absolutely. And now a lot of people are probably in the same place that I was in, that you were in. It's normal, almost, or it's very common. And just because it feels normal, or it feels common doesn't mean that you have to continue going down that same path. And so I'm very thankful for the opportunity that I had to get to work with, you know, a career coach to help really assist me in that thought process and get me to where I am now essentially, because I don't think I would be, even my spouse during this whole process mentioned that, “you wouldn't be where you are now without the guidance that you've received.” So honestly, both of us are thankful for it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:02
Happy spouse too is a bonus. That's not something we have ever, you know, advertised on our website or put into our marketing or anything like that. Maybe we should be.

Alissa Penney 37:15
Happy spouse, happy house.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:17
Happy spouse, happy house. Yes. It's happening now.

Alissa Penney 37:22
Yes, there you go.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:23
Well, seriously, you've done a phenomenal job and I so appreciate having you here. And I want you to keep me posted with how everything is going, you know, as the next year happens and beyond.

Alissa Penney 37:36
Absolutely. It'll be an interesting year. Certainly, it'll be an interesting next couple of months. Just with everything going on globally, but, you know, all we can do is stay agile. Realize that we can't control that but I can adjust where I'm at and we'll make it happen.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:57
Hey, I wanted to let you know that if you are looking to make a change in your career, then you have just a few days left to apply for a career change boot camp program, the last day to register is this Thursday. So you can actually schedule a conversation with us before registration. That's how we make sure that your situation is really great for career change boot camp versus just, you know, shoving you into a program. So to make sure that it's the right type of support for you, go to scheduleaconversation.com. That's scheduleaconversation.com. And we'll help you figure out if CCB is in fact right for you. Maybe, we'll even feature your own success story on the podcast, and just months in the future. Next week, I'll be sharing a conversation I had with Mark Seaverkropp. Mark actually helped me start out this podcast way back when in 2013. We're going to share with you, how you can get started on your career change, take action, right about now. By the way, if you haven't subscribed to the podcast yet, make sure that you do, so it automatically downloads in your sleep. And if you already are subscribed, that's awesome. Thanks so much. We do this just for you. Don't forget to go to scheduleaconversation.com and schedule a call with us about career change bootcamp. Until then, I am out. Adios.

Ready for Career Happiness?

What Career Fits You?

Finally figure out what you should be doing for work

Join our 8-day “Mini-Course” to figure it out. It’s free!