436: Behind The Scenes: How Career Coaching Helps You Move Past Your Fears And Make A Big Change

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing, but you can learn to minimize and overcome that fear.



Margaret Fredrickson, Senior Manager, Consultant

Margaret was seeking a "quick fix" role, but realized she needed to slow down and do the deeper work to discover what she really wanted.

on this episode

Fear of the unknown can be paralyzing – especially during a career change – but you can learn to minimize and overcome that fear.

Margaret Fredrickson learned how to overcome her fear of admitting who she was and what she wanted.

We get really deep into how a career search is so much more than just a job search – it’s finding a career and a lifestyle that fits your needs. Margaret was able to get a great role that she, quite frankly, wouldn’t have earned otherwise.

What you’ll learn

  • Why the term “quick fix” will be removed from your vocabulary
  • The benefits of humility and vulnerability in your life
  • How to actually become a different person (and stop eating all those donuts!)
  • Why you’ll tell your coach things you never thought you’d say to another human being

Success Stories

"When I started I was afraid of making the wrong decision! My career was incredibly important to me and I didn't want to screw it up or waste time making a move I wouldn't enjoy! Scott helped me learn what my strengths are and what is most important to me… but more important than that I learned about what I can't stop doing that I have to have in my work to make me happy"

Rhushi Bhadkamkar, Senior Consultant, United States/Canada

With Phillip's help, I was able to believe that this is the area that I should be in because I just feel a lot of passion towards it. And the aspects of "what if I'm not paid enough, after transferring into this new field?" HTYC motivated me to not be afraid of those things, and just keep looking and connecting with people.

Vicky Meng, Treasury & Finaincial Analysis, United States/Canada

I realized early on in that career transition that if I was going to be able to find a job that was rewarding and in an area I liked, even to just pay rent, I would need help because I wasn’t getting the results I needed I know how to get introduced to people and talk to folks. I’ve done this remote job search thing a few times. What made it different for me though is that it’s not just an opportunity to change location but to change position. It could be not just a lateral move from one city to another but it could also be a promotion. I was moving my career and experience to an area where I went from leading projects to potentially leading teams… Sometimes you can stretch yourself and sometimes you need a team to stretch you beyond your best. I think that’s the biggest value from coaching. You have someone in your corner looking out for your best interests. If they are doing their job as good as Lisa did they are pushing you to be the best version of yourself.

Mike Bigelow, Senior Project Manager, United States/Canada

I stumbled across HTYC through an article and it gave me hope again. After a Strengths Finder review session with your career coach and the Figure Out What Fits course, I've finally admitted to myself what I really want to do, what I really want out of life, and have made a decision.

Kevin Long, UX Programmer, United States/Canada

Margaret Fredrickson 00:02

Being vulnerable is very uncomfortable. So it was horrible. I have to tell her, like, "Hey, this is not working out. Hey, I'm 40 years old. I don't know what I want to do when I grow up." I still feel vulnerable saying that.

Introduction 00:18

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 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 00:42

Pretty much everyone faces fear when it comes to changing careers. Will they like me during the interview? What if I say something stupid or that doesn't fit? What if they see too much variety in my background? What if they think I'm a generalist? What if they hire me, but it's not as good as it seems? Fear of the unknown is paralyzing sometimes. But here's the deal, you can learn to overcome that fear, you can learn to not minimize it, but instead, move through it.

Margaret Fredrickson 01:14

And then also feeling, like, nervous before an interview, thinking, well, it's an interview, we know how these things are. And I know everyone feels nervous. And I felt like, oh, they're gonna hate me, they're... oh my gosh, or they're gonna think I'm so kooky and crazy, I'm not this buttoned up fundraiser type, that's what they want. Oh gosh, they're, you know, I took acting classes, they're gonna find that out.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:35

That's Margaret Fredrickson. We get really deep in our conversation into how she made this change, particularly learning how a career search is so much more than just a job search. It's finding a career and a lifestyle that fits your needs. So we talked about what that looked like in Margaret's journey, and then a firsthand account on how coaching can help you overcome your fears and hurdles, to not only get you to your next career, but head down a path to what you really enjoy, or having more joy more often in your life. So one of the things I thought was really interesting about this conversation is that we did something we don't normally do, we brought her coach on to be able to shed some light into how that works. And also, maybe the most importantly, and most important piece of this episode, they want you to listen for as Margaret's talking, as her coach is talking, it's vulnerability, sharing vulnerability, and throughout the entire way and process of your career change. It's something that really doesn't get talked about in that way, people say, you know, "you need to be yourself", they say, "be vulnerable", all those things, which is much harder to do in reality, it's not just a buzzword that's gotten popular these days. And we talk specifically how it worked in Margaret's journey, and how it helped her be able to get a role that, quite frankly, she wouldn't have done otherwise.

Margaret Fredrickson 03:20

This is why I love the job, I do a little bit of everything. And that's what I was looking for. So and it changes all the time. That's what gives me energy and as, you know, brings me a lot of joy. So on a day to day, you know, I work with a hand. I always had, you know, one point time, I'll have a handful of clients that I work with, and the day to day really vary. So, you know, some days I'll interview their donors, talk about what their passions are, you know, learn more about them, and then communicate that back to the nonprofit. Other times, I'll delve, you know, really deeply into their numbers, and just let them know, you know, analyze, and let them know what patterns I'm seeing. So you do that. And then I'm having a great week, because I've been delving in this week on, you know, a really interesting project looking at rejection, and how fundraisers deal with rejection and how people do and analyzing some of the connections to the brain. Or how rejection affects the brain, which is very much like, you know, that it uses the same pathways as physical pain. So how I get to do everything. And we're working on, kind of, brain hacks for fundraisers. So I'm going to delve into writing more now as well. So that'll be my... so look out for the blog post.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:39

Ooh, I am super excited for that. That is something I get excited about, too. Anyways, I was just writing something that people will see it in one of our emails coming up here in the next month or so, about that exact same thing. So we might have to have a separate conversation after this. But what... you haven't always been doing this though, you haven't always been in fundraising, hacking the fundraising industry, if you will. So where did your career actually start for you?

Margaret Fredrickson 05:10

When I think of my career, Elina knows me, she knows me by now. I'm a very creative thinker. And I don't think in a linear way. So when you ask me that question, I think about myself as a child. And so, you know, as a kid, I wanted... my goal as a child was I want to live a day and every different type of person shoe, right. I remember that. I want to live, you know, I want to see what it's like to be a person, a different person, every day of my life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:34

Really? Where did that come from? I'm super curious.

Margaret Fredrickson 05:38

I don't know. I think it's empathy. And I'm really empathetic, sensitive, and I care about people and I'm interested in other cultures. I grew up in Oklahoma where I, you know, any foreigner I would meet, I would just want to know everything, you know, everything about them. So I think it's just a personality. It's in my nature. I'm very curious about people. I live in the world of people, right. So that's... it's fun for me. And my whole life, I think that's the theme. So I studied anthropology as an undergraduate, I went away to college, I traveled, and lived in China for a few years. I've been really lucky to travel abroad, did study abroad, came back to the US, lived in Seattle, which is a great town for that, got involved with NGOs, went to the U Dub public policy school. And then I had a pivot. You know, that's when I thought, well, I'd like to... now, I've had these different lives. But I'd like to have a normal American life right now. It'd be interesting to me. And for some reason, I don't know why I did this, but I thought New York would be the perfect place to do that. Which is not an American place at all. But it worked out so well. And I met my husband here, I chose fundraising because on, you know, I think there are two sides of me, I'm really crazy, really, you know, in my thoughts, a very unconventional, very open-minded, at the same time, I take a lot of comfort and having security. So I think that was part of it, too. And I decided because of that, I'm in nonprofits, I love the nonprofit world. I believe in this. It feels right. I like to be international. And I want to make, you know, money. But I want to do have it aligned with values. So that's why I chose fundraising and development. And you get to talk to people in fundraising. So through that, I think that's been a whole another journey being in this field. Sometimes it's been love hate. Sometimes it's been, you know, wonderful. I, you know, so there's a whole journey, I think, with the fundraising world for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:44

Well, I'm curious about that a bit. When you first got into fundraising, and I understand why you're saying that you initially thought it that, "hey, this might be a fit for me." but what surprised you when you got in there that you didn't anticipate?

Margaret Fredrickson 07:59

Oh, honey.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:02

Anything that starts with "oh, honey" is going to be great.

Margaret Fredrickson 08:04

What we tell, yeah. Well, I think, I'm surprised by everything. Because I assume nothing in life. And I find life is surprising at all levels. So I didn't know what to expect, you know, fully, but what has surprised me I, you know, has been... oh, and as I'm surprised, but number one, the learning curve is just... it never ends. And I love that. So actually I love this field. I think it never gets old. I also think, you know, money… Having that money conversation with oneself and with someone else is, oh, it's a million times harder than I thought it would be.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:47

In what way?

Margaret Fredrickson 08:49

Well, I think that it draws up... brings up a lot of your own stuff as an individual, your own ideas about money and emotions about money. And then it also brings up the same issues with the giver. So you have that, I mean, there are so many dynamics, there's a power dynamic there. The wealthy versus, you know, the fundraiser usually have a different age, different social status. It is that… I think it's one of the most triggering fields ever. And if you can get through it, you'll come out like the most evolved person on the planet because now I really see everyone as equal. I really do. I don't... I'm not intimidated by wealthy people, because they're just like, you know, they're just like us.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:32

They're just people, as it turns out.

Margaret Fredrickson 09:36

So, that's been interesting. I think, you know, as I said, there have been ups and downs on the actual work itself, I've been so fulfilled, I find it incredible. It's so engaging, interesting, you learn about... you have to be a jack of all trades in some ways. You have to learn about the program you're representing and there's so much passion there, you learn about the donor. So, you know, it's engaging to me, because I like to do everything. On the other side, I have found the field to be really, you know, at times kind of boring for me. You know, it can be very bureaucratic, it can be very old fashioned, you know, not kind of slow to change at the time, so that... I didn't realize it. But I have been struggling for a long time with that, feeling like, well, I just don't fit in. And that's, you know, that's not fundraising's fault. That's something I've always felt. So I think it's interesting that I chose, you know, we choose these situations, you know, purposefully. So I chose this field where it was kind of triggering for me, but really wonderful as well. And I think over the last like six months or so, with, really, with Elina's help and your help, I've been able to stay in the field, but kind of do it my way. I feel so much better. And I tell people, I tell friends when... and actually former colleagues who are looking, you know, to make a change, I've told them I'm like, you know, "I haven't really moved fields, I haven't made a huge career shift. If you look at it from that level..."

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:07

You look at it from a conventional level, I suppose. But I think you have changed drastically in a number of other ways, though. And I'm curious, Lina, from your perspective, when you first started working with Margaret, what did you feel like were some of the initial challenges that she was working through and that she needed the most help with?

Evangelia LeClaire 11:30

Yeah, a lot of it is what I'm hearing, again, come up in this call is that, "Where can I find the right fit that will... the right environment, the right place that will accept me for who I am as a person, my personality, my values, what I bring, my creativity, my cleverness, my quirks?" And so that was one of the things that we worked through, and especially came up when it came time for you to interview.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:01

It did. And I definitely want to dig deep into that. Because I think that there's a bunch of things that our audience can learn from that exact time and space. But first, I really want to ask you about as you'd been in fundraising, and you had some good experiences, you had those ups and downs, I remember the first time I got to interact with you, and I think it was in a short phone call, and I remember you telling me that at some point, you had a realization that the current role that you're in wasn't a fit, and sounds like you've been feeling that for a period of time. So where did you first start to realize that it wasn't aligned in some of these other ways that you were talking about?

Margaret Fredrickson 12:42

Well, I've had a chance to think about that more, you know, since we last spoke, and, you know, to be honest, I think I realized it the first week that I was there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:54

Really? In what way?

Margaret Fredrickson 12:55

Oh, yes. And I thought about, you know, I would analyze, why don't I like it here? What's wrong with it? You know, why this doesn't feel right? But the money is so great, there's so much prestige, it has all of these, you know, I'm gonna make it work. I know I can do this. But I'm going to tell you, at the end of the day, what I've learned is, you know, I could go on and think about all that stuff, and, you know, greed and analyze it, or I could just pay attention to my gut. And I'm going to tell you from the second week, for a second week my gut would say, "Just as interesting. Let me just walk out the door." Really, I think towards about a year and a half, I was at a point where I would just walk in and I just want to, like, go, turn around and walk right out. And, you know, I'm not mad. There wasn't anything really wrong with it. That's the thing. The people there were some of the nicest people. The place was so deserving. Now that I've had some distance, it was a wonderful experience. I learned so much. So I don't regret it. But at the end of the day, it just wasn't for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:02

That's so interesting, I think, because so many of… people that are similar in your situation or similar in mindset where they have done a lot of different things. And they have... they can do a lot of different things, get into these situations where something is misaligned, and it might be a great job, it might be a great opportunity, you might have really incredibly nice, a really incredibly talented people, you know, I'm thinking of somebody else who we talked to not that long ago, Olivia, who worked at LinkedIn, she worked with some incredibly smart people, and it still, wasn't right. Similar situation. It was great opportunity, but not a great opportunity for her and I think that's what I'm hearing for you, too. It's a great opportunity, but it just wasn't well lined in the ways that you needed or wanted it at the time.

Margaret Fredrickson 14:54

Yes. And as I said, I don't regret it because I did learn so much, but I really would have regretted staying much longer. And here's why I think the universe and, you know, whatever it is, its serendipity does align, because the person who's in my job now, that who's in that role now, she's perfect for it. You know what it's like. And I know her. She was a former colleague in the UK, she moved to the US for the role, it is perfect for her. So it all worked out. It was a very uncomfortable time though, for me, it required a lot of courage that was very uncomfortable. So that's where Elina was just... I cannot thank her enough, she was so helpful in helping me get the courage. And when she and I first talked, I would imagine Elina, from your perspective, I can't speak for you, but I would think my body language was different. I bet I looked different. I've lost like, 15 pounds, eating chocolate and cake, right? I mean, I'm just so much happier. I look better. I feel better. I'm happier. And I just wasn't... I had gotten too deep. I'd stayed too long. And it was hard for me to see above the fence, you know, so she really helped me do that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:05

That is really interesting. I'm always fascinated about the things that... often we don't even fully understand science wise and research wise yet, but that have those deep reaching impacts, like looking better and feeling better. And just all the things that can go along with that. So I'm fascinated by that. But I'm curious, Elina, from your perspective, when you and her started working together, what were your major focuses at that point in time?

Evangelia LeClaire 16:33

There was a focus on getting her out of the gate quickly, and figuring out what the timeline was for her, and what actions we can take to align her with the next opportunity. So Margaret came as a fast action client. "Okay, I'm ready to go."

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:59

I want to do this in three months.

Evangelia LeClaire 17:02

Yeah, we got to make this happen. Let's get to it. And every time I would meet with her, it was something different. There was never that linear focus, which...

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:12

Not a surprise after...

Evangelia LeClaire 17:13

Yeah, not a surprise. So what ended up happening through that process is we went from action to getting aligned, and Margaret's great because she's coachable. And she's open to sharing how she's feeling. She's very in tune with how she's feeling and the stories and sharing the stories that may be uncovering behind the emotion, things from her past, things from her present, things about how she perceives herself in the future. So that was an easy conversation to have with her. Because she comes from that place. It's part of her nature to express herself in that way. But where we were we went from fast action, we just got to get this done to, "wait, let's really talk about who Margaret is."

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:01

Interesting. Was that at both of your prompting, or what caused that transition?

Margaret Fredrickson 18:05

From my perspective, it was like I needed someone to be in triage mode with me. And Elina was the best, just ready to meet me in that mode. So we'd go over... during the first few months, it was triage, how can I get out of here, get a new job that I actually like, doesn't have to be perfect, it's the next step that I need to exit. It's an emergency situation for me, because it felt terrible. And after that, I think I just kind of let out a deep breath, I was like, "Oh god, okay. Now what?" Now that you get to do the real, like, the deeper work, right? So I needed some surface level of work, triaging, very tactical, and then after that was done, the real work, I think, began and it still continues. It never ends.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:52

I don't think that ever ends for anybody. I think it gets fine tuned. And I think it gets different levels of depth, for lack of a better phrase. I'm curious what that was like for you, though, as you started digging into that deeper work, what were some of your focuses? And what did you find to be challenging about that for yourself?

Margaret Fredrickson 19:12

So I've been thinking a lot about that. And in general, well, there's a theme that I've found throughout our work, throughout my work with Elina and, hey, guess what, I'm finding it throughout life and it is a life hack vulnerability. So I have been thinking more about this, where, like, our CEO, where I am now, the best place ever. Really, vulnerability is one of our values. I've never worked anywhere where we talk about it so openly. And I think about it and I think just me being willing to be vulnerable with Elina and I didn't feel judged. And hey, even if I did feel judged, it doesn't matter. We have to be vulnerable with people. I don't believe that change is possible without vulnerability, and it was comfortable.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:05

I would definitely say that on the scale of non judgy people, Elina's towards the top. However, when you're talking about vulnerability, what did that actually look like, as you were working through some of what you wanted the most and what you were feeling, because this is pretty cushy stuff, for lack of a better phrase, it's very mushy, it is very nonlinear. It is very not laid out necessarily. And often it is a two steps forward, one step back type process when you're going through these things for yourself. So I'm curious, on one hand, what did that look like for you? And then what do you mean by vulnerability in the process?

Margaret Fredrickson 20:46

So in a concrete way, as I'm thinking back to our conversations, just... first, I felt vulnerable, just letting her, you know, telling someone that I wasn't happy where I was, and that really wasn't working out. Because I felt... you know, for me, it was a great disappointment. Elina, I mean, you know, she was so non judgmental, like, you know, logically, I know that she's a coach, she's Elina, she's there to be supportive. But right of being vulnerable is very uncomfortable. So it was horrible. I have to tell her, like, "Hey, this is not working out. Hey, I'm 40 years old, I don't even know what I want to do." Like, that's another thing, you know, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up. And that was, you know, I still feel vulnerable, saying that. So that's something and then also feeling like nervous before an interview, thinking, well, it's an interview. We know how these things are. And I know everyone feels nervous. But I would just express to her, you know, we had one call in particular, where I just felt so vulnerable. And I felt like, "Oh, they're gonna hate me, they're, oh my gosh, or they're gonna think I'm so kooky and crazy. I'm not, you know, not this buttoned up fundraiser type. That's what they want. Oh gosh, they're... you know, took acting classes, they're gonna find that out, they're gonna think I'm crazy." I'm like, well, Elina might think I'm crazy, too. Does that make sense?

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:13

Yeah, that makes total sense. And it sounds like for you, the vulnerability pieces were being able to put yourself out there in that way, in the way that you actually are from acting classes to not be in the traditional type of fundraiser, if you will, in an industry that is fairly traditional, for the most part, and exposing yourself in that way. It sounds like with some of the most difficult pieces. So I'm curious, Elina, from your perspective, you know, what did you think as you heard about some of those pieces, and you started to help her prepping for that interview? What was that like?

Evangelia LeClaire 22:51

A few things come up when you asked this question. Well, one, when you shared with me that you're taking, you know, these creative classes, acting classes, that was one of the actions that you took to help you get into accepting yourself and expressing yourself again, and out of your comfort zone. So that in itself is something that I just had to shine a light on and recognize for you when we were coaching that that is part of your helping process of owning who you are. And that's something that we would... we hear at Happen To Your Career recommend, as one of the things to take to really embrace and own yourself and your strengths. So shining a light on that was part of how I led some of the conversations, and helping you acknowledge your strengths. And just the gifts and the beauty that you carry, as you are– your quirks, your strengths, your expertise, and all. And so when we went into... I remember the interview conversation and excuse me, cuz this was like, what was it three months ago, four months ago, when we went into the coaching, and in your going into that interview, which I believe was happening that day, what you just shared in this podcast are those stories that were coming up. What do they think of me? What did they think of this? And all of those things. And so part of it was just getting back into the mindset of embracing who you are, your values, all the things that make up who you are, taking those quirks that you have that enable you to connect and engage with others. So in short, it was just embracing getting you to a place where you embrace who and all that you are, and acknowledging and accepting that by you not showing up that way, it's almost like you're doing a disservice to yourself and to the prospective employer. It won't be a good fit if you don't show up fully aligned and accepting of who you are confidently and so we had to get to that mindspace to bring you to that place, so that you showed up that way in this interview. And I remember you Margaret saying, "I don't even need to practice the interview questions. That's not what I'm worried about. It's all this other stuff." So I think the mindset was really important there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:06

I find it so interesting all the time talking about some of the other psychological pieces and rejection and things like that, that we get so worried, as human beings, about putting ourselves out there, because there's that prospect, that potential of that worry of rejection. And, in many cases, not in all cases, but a lot of times that fear of rejection has the same type of stimulus for us as if we're being chased down the Serengeti by a lion or something, which is absurd when you put it that way. But it doesn't feel that much different sometimes. And the irony, I think, in all of it is that when you do some of the hard things that I know that you eventually did, and put yourself out there in the way that you actually are, and have the ability to show up in the world, then people connect with that differently versus if you're playing apart. So I'm curious, Margaret, for you, you know, going into that, what helped you make the final and, I would say, a courageous decision, especially when you're being chased down the Serengeti by a lion, or, at least. What made you make the final decision, "No, I'm going to go and I'm going to be who I am." Like, what prompted from that discussion to actually doing it? Because you did it.

Margaret Fredrickson 26:29

Yeah. Well, I think that I would have gone in and been myself no matter what, because I made that decision that I knew that's what I had to do. I knew this is the right way. You know, there's this wise Margaret. And then there's Margaret running from the lions, right? That I know, the wise Margaret knew, "Oh, this is the way." If they don't like you for who you are, that's not a good fit, just not personal. So just be yourself. But the running from the lions Margaret, was like, "Oh my god, what do I do?" You know. So I think that that conversation was almost like an antidote to that, you know, being vulnerable and saying, "Oh my god, but what if I do this?" and just show this... it was like, I was showing her, "Hey, this is me running from the lions. Look at me." And, gosh, you know, I'm crazy. And just talking... having her be there to listen, helped me through it, coached me through it. What I think that did is prevent me from going in feeling nervous, which would have changed the energy of the interview, feeling nervous, you know, would have made it feel like a nervous meeting. That would not be a good interview. So I felt very calm, I felt confident, I felt like myself. And that's what I thought it's, you know, that... our coaching calling before that interview was like a little, you know, it was a little antidote for me. So I'd recommend that everyone do that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:55

Everyone get an antidote before you go and interview so that you can control the energy in the different way. I feel like... Yeah, absolutely.

Margaret Fredrickson 28:07

I get it. Mine is vulnerability.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:11

I think that there's a lot of truth buried in there, too. Well, not even buried on the outset, because it really does change that interaction. And when so many companies are interviewing based on one or a couple, or essentially a small amount of time overall, you know, many companies aren't like dating for a year and a half, or, you know, five years or anything before they hire somebody, they need somebody in that role yesterday. And so it is a small amount of time. So people make judgments from that. And people, we as human beings, have a tendency to make judgments based on how we feel, and then justify the rest. Let's be honest, that's what happens. And there's a ton of research to support that. Out of all of this then, you've done a phenomenal job at making the transition going from this role that you were walking into every day, and essentially ignoring your gut for a while, but you knew that it wasn't right. And then eventually making this transition into something where you've been pretty ecstatic. Every time I interact with your email with you or anything else, or Elina tells me about you, she's like, "Oh, yeah, she's loving this, this, this and this." And what was hardest about making the transition overall? When you think back, what were some of the elements that were particularly difficult for you?

Margaret Fredrickson 29:29

I think the first element was just accepting that I needed to make the transition. You know, I was in a state of denial for a long time about, "Nope, I'm gonna make this work. It's the right thing." It's, you know, just accepting, "hey, I don't have to make this work. I don't have to make it work. It's okay. You know, you can move on, Margaret. It's all right. You're not less than anyone else because this doesn't work for you and it works for other people there." So, you know, with the other job, there was a lot of travel and a lot of time, and a lot of FaceTime was required to be in the office. So what I learned from that is some of the lifestyle considerations of a job. And, you know, how that fits with my personal life and my working style, they're much more important that I realized. I don't want to go into an office unless there's a good reason, unless it makes sense. I, you know, I'm anti bureaucracy, I hate to, you know, have to do FaceTime just for politics. There's nothing wrong with that for some people, but for me, it repulsive me. And with my new firm, something that attracted me to them is that they do this crazy in depth personality analysis for everyone who joins. And it was so fun, because it was absolutely spot on about who I am. And from that, it was like, you know, 1 out of 10 for bureaucracy and process, mine was like a 1, you know, I can't. And I didn't realize how, you know, how important that is to me, and how much more motivated I am when I feel free. So I'm like a caged bird, I have to feel free. If I don't feel free, I don't want... you know, I just want to walk out the door. And so I hadn't realized how important that was. And now that I feel free, oh my gosh, I'm on fire. I love it. I love what I'm doing. It's so much fun. It's not uncomfortable, though, also, in different ways. So it stretches me. So every day, I'm doing something, well, though every week, I feel like I'm doing something new, that I've not done before, that I've dreamt about, like, writing a blog post, I'm putting together a presentation on, you know, psychological blocks, something that I dreamt about. And the next month, I'm going to help a wonderful nonprofit, you know, put together their entire campaign, and coach them through that and actually meet with their donors and ask for money. So there's great variety, and it's super stretching. So as Keith, my husband, has seen that I've never worked this hard in my life, you know, now I'm trying to be more balanced. But I've never worked so many hours so hard. And it doesn't feel like anything's being taken away from me. Whereas before I felt like, well, I'm in England a lot, I missed my daughter, I missed my family, this work, you know, it didn't feel like it was worth it, and I wasn't growing. So I felt like something was being taken away.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:28

I think that's a very eloquent way to say it, because it truly is different for different people in terms of what they want. I mean, there's certain things that we need as human beings in order to feel more happy on a more regular basis, in regards to our work. But aside from that, everything is very different and very personal. And I think some of the commonalities are exactly what you said, when you're aligned with an environment and a role or a company or an organization or whatever it happens to be, and it doesn't feel like something is being taken away, well, the cool thing, I think, is that it enables you to be able to grow differently as a human being because it sets you up. Yes, maybe you're doing more challenging work. And yes, maybe you are doing, in some cases, more work. But you escalate at a much different rate. And that feels so much more rewarding, especially for people like you. And that is super cool. Nice job, by the way.

Margaret Fredrickson 33:26

Thank you so much. And I want to thank both of you. Because you really got me onto the StrengthFinder, that I feel like StrengthsFinder is like the gateway drug to getting it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:36

Isn't it?

Margaret Fredrickson 33:39

And I hadn't done it. I hadn't done that. Which is silly, because I mean, I'm always trying to get to know myself. But I hadn't done it in that way. And that was super helpful. Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:50

Absolutely. So that's the real reason why we have Strengths Finder on our website is because it's a gateway drug to all the rest of life fulfillment. No, I very much appreciate that. And it's been super cool to be able to get status updates from Elina, and has been super cool to be able to see it from afar. And I know that I'm certainly slightly jealous. Okay, a lot, that Elina got to have a front row seat. But thank you so much for trusting us to help you out with this. Really, really appreciate it.

Margaret Fredrickson 34:26

Thank you so much. Thank you both. You guys are awesome. I don't know if I would have had the courage to do it without your support. Eventually, but it wouldn't have happened so quickly. And thank you so much. And I listened to your podcast like a year before we ever spoke. So, you know that was a good way to kind of get some coaching as well and was helpful. So thanks.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:50

And now you're on the podcast at full scale journey as it turns out, so now after going through all of that, and being in a role that feels so much more like a fit, what advice would you give other people that are back where a non aligned Margaret was, you know, not that long ago, six months, seven months ago, and are just now starting to think seriously about making that change, what advice would you give them?

Margaret Fredrickson 35:17

I would say, you know, think about your network. Think about the people you know, who are doing... you know, think about your network, think about the people you know who are in roles that intrigue you, and interest you, hang out with, you know, hang out in the crowd where you want to be, you want to have an open mind, and try not to feel like you're limited.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:42

I think it's very accurate. Like, people come into this, actually, a lot of people come into it, the way that you came into it, where it's like, "Okay, I want to make this happen in three months, let's do this." And then that may still happen but if you only have just that mentality and are not looking at it with an open mind, then what we see is that people miss stuff, they miss opportunities, that could be really great and very well aligned with them. And if you're only centered on one particular thing, in one particular way, you're probably going to find that one particular thing in that particular way. But that doesn't necessarily mean that that is right for you. So I totally agree with that. I think that makes a lot of sense.

Margaret Fredrickson 36:26

As I think about this pivot and a move, well, as I think about these changes I've been through over the last, you know, six months, I don't think about it as a full life change where I'm, you know, I'm at the end, you know, I don't think about it as I'm in, you know, the final destination. And I've talked to friends about this, I feel like what I did, and I challenge others to approach it in this way as I was walking down a path, right? And I stopped, and I just moved my feet a little bit to the left. And then I started walking, I just kind of pivoted, I turned a little bit. And I started kept walking. And that was it. And now I just feel so much better. But this isn't the final destination. This is step number, you know, two. I was in step one, I turned a little bit, now I'm walking a different path, and sometimes it didn't feel so different right when I started. I thought, well, I'm still in fundraising, do I like fundraising? You know, but it was just a pivot. So I think it can be overwhelming to want to change your entire career. So, you know, why don't you pivot a little bit, because now I feel like I'm much more energy and much more positive. And I feel that much more is possible for myself.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:45

And I think those are the encouraging signs to look for. And it is so interesting that almost all of us have a tendency to come into this looking like, "Oh, well, I need to... I need to find what I'm going to do for the rest of my life." Or, you know, "This is gonna... this is gonna be it, I better make a good decision." But that actually is counterproductive in the process. And it takes away a lot of that creativity, and it takes away a lot of the things that might work out very, very well. So I think that's great advice. I really appreciate that.

Margaret Fredrickson 38:17

Thank you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:18

Elina, anything that you want to add that you got to witness in her change or anything else that would be valuable for HTYCers that are listening everywhere to know about Margaret's strat?

Evangelia LeClaire 38:32

Yeah, you know, the big... one of the biggest thing I think character traits about Margaret is that she's open to, I guess, signs and exploring, kind of taking the playful approach. I know playfulness, and fun and adventure is one of your values. So going about this new chapter in her journey to figuring out what's next, that value would come up. And so even in the example I brought up earlier was when she took the acting class, and that helped her come into herself again. So this really comes from Margaret's story. It's, like, if we can look at what's next as playing in the sandbox, and from that lens of what's possible, and how is this an adventure, and what are the signs that I am on path to feeling great or aligned, that will make this process feel so much better.

Scott Anthony Barlow 39:31

Most of our episodes on Happen To Your Career often showcase stories of people that have identified and found and taken the steps to get to work that they are absolutely enamored with, that matches their strengths, and is really what they want in their lives. And if that's something that you're ready to begin taking steps towards, that is awesome, you can actually get on the phone with us and our team. And we can have a conversation to find the very best way that we can help. It's super informal. And we try to understand what your goals are, where you want to go, and what specifically you need our help with. And then we figure out the very best type of help for you, whatever that looks like, and sometimes even customize that type of help. And then we make it happen. The really easy way to schedule a conversation with our team is just go to scheduleaconversation.com, that scheduleaconversation.com, and find a time that works best for you. We'll ask you a few questions, as well. And then we'll get you on the phone to figure out how we can get you going to work that you really want to be doing that fits your strengths, that you love, and you're enamored with, Hey, I can't wait to hear from you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 40:53

Usually, when people find this podcast, they feel stuck in their careers. Sometimes it even feels like being in jail.

Adam Bloom 41:01

And I remember the first day they were walking us around and they said they were giving us our offices. And they showed me my office. And I looked in there and I was like, "Oh, no, no. Something is, you know, I'm not going in there." You know, it was literally like the scene in the movie where the guy's been sent to jail, and he's walking down the long hallway carrying his blankets, right? And he has to go like, here's your cell. That's how I felt where I was just like, great, you know, lock me in this box. Why don't you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 41:30

That's Adam Bloom. Adam finished law school, he entered the workforce, right as the 2008 recession was starting, perfect time, right. Just like Han Solo, he had a bad feeling about it from the beginning. But with the recession starting, he figured he could stick it out until things turned around. Only they didn't. So then later on, he felt pigeonholed not just in law, but even specific areas of practice. He attempted to leave several times trying to figure out how to make his excitement for writing into a career. But he kept hitting wall after wall after wall after wall. Eventually, we got to meet him. And he learned his signature strengths. He learned how to pivot into what he really wanted to be doing. All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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