533: Creating Your Ideal Career by Asking for What You Want

Could the answer to thriving at work be as simple as knowing what you want and then asking for it? Learn how Nancy successfully created her ideal career by figuring out what would bring her the most happiness and confidently going after it.



Nancy, Integrator / Chief Operations Officer

Nancy left her role of 20 years and transformed her career by daring to ask for what she wanted and crafting her dream role through courageous conversations.

on this episode

We’ve all heard it before, “Just ask for what you want!” Simple, right? But let’s face it, actually putting that advice into action can be a whole different story. There’s a whole array of things that hold us back from having those important conversations that could make our work life so much better. But until you step out of your comfort zone and have those (sometimes difficult) conversations, you might never know what you’re missing out on. Your ideal career may just be on the other side of asking for what you want!

Remember Nancy? She was on episode 532 of the HTYC podcast. Last time we caught up with her, she had decided to leave a company she co-founded and had spent 20 years working for. The goal? To explore a genuinely fulfilling career that gave her full autonomy and made her happy.

Instead of rushing into her next move, Nancy took a breather during her career transition. She took the time to truly figure out what mattered most, putting in the hard work that comes along with aligning your wants and needs to make an intentional career move. This laid the groundwork for what was to come: the magic of asking for exactly what she wanted and landing her ideal role.

Faced with a handful of tempting career options, Nancy found herself at a crossroads. Choosing between them seemed like a maze of confusion until she had her “a-ha” moment. The only thing standing in the way of her ideal situation was actually asking for what she needed to make a great role an amazing role.

It wasn’t just about pondering her options behind closed doors. Nancy dove into the challenge of having some candid talks with her potential employer about what she needed out of a role.

Cut to today, and Nancy’s living proof that asking for what you want can be a game-changer. She’s landed her ideal career that lines up perfectly with her ambitions and values. By taking the reins and making her needs known, she’s landed herself in an ideal situation.

In this episode, she walks through navigating multiple great opportunities, pinpointing what she needed in the next iteration of her career and how she approached her potential employer and asked for what she wanted.

Be sure to listen to Part 1 of Nancy’s career revolution!

What you’ll learn

  • How to approach conversations with leaders to ask for what you want in a role
  • The obstacles (including your own strengths!) that may be holding you back from your ideal career
  • The importance of assessing your priorities and aligning your desires in order to ask for what you want
  • How to navigate career choices when you have multiple offers in front of you

Success Stories

My favorite part was focusing on the signature strengths. I really liked that concept and hadn't heard it before. I realize I'll never be a singer or a triathlete… Then focusing on what it is that I really want to do. I also liked that both of you were pretty transparent with your stories regarding career and finances. That is always uplifting, knowing you speak from experience.

Lily Kreitlinger, Senior Instructional Designer, United States/Canada

They went from a total comp package of $165K to $359K. Wow! Wow! Wow! I’m over the moon right now and really in shock! They reiterated how I was worth every penny and said “You can find anyone with technical expertise, but someone with your disposition and DNA is hard to come by! We can’t wait for you to join the team and are so glad we could make this work for us.” I can’t thank you all enough for your coaching, encouraging support during these last few months! I’ve landed the role of my dreams along with the comp I wanted and knew that I deserved.

Jessica , Chief Learning Officer, United States/Canada

Nancy 00:01

The whole circle of things is just fascinating that I have ended up where I have. It just blows my mind and never would have thought that I was going to find somebody that was so in tune with what I was looking for when I started the journey.

Introduction 00:14

This is the Happen To Your Career podcast with Scott Anthony Barlow. We hope you stop doing work that doesn't fit you. Figure out what does and make it happen. We help you define the work that is unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you feel like you were meant for more, and you're ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:44

Asking for what you want seems so simple on the surface, but it's not always easy to put into action. So much gets in the way of actually having the productive conversations that could bring you more enjoyment and further your career at the same time. Until you push yourself to have those conversations, you won't know if you can get an extra week of vacation or a four day work week or whatever it is that would make your work more fulfilling. As my good friend Kwame Christian puts it, "the best things in life are on the other side of difficult conversations."

Nancy 01:16

What's the worst that's gonna happen? The answer is 'no' then you've discovered the answer to your question, and then it's time to move on. And it was truly something that's a non-negotiable, something that you need for your fulfillment.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:26

That's Nancy. And this episode is actually part of a two-part series. So if you haven't already listened to Nancy's first episode, I would encourage you to go back and listen to that episode about flexibility, and where I actually coach her through how to decide between two pretty amazing opportunities. It's a very, very unique episode. That's episode 532. Should be right before this on your podcast player. But when we last talked to Nancy, she had stepped away from a company she had co-founded and worked at for over 20 years to explore what a fulfilling next chapter of her career could look like. She had given herself time to slow down during the career change process and really focus on getting more of the right things and continuing to hone in on what was actually an amazing opportunity for her. She found herself with a few options on the table, she was having a hard time deciding which would bring her the most fulfillment. But after our conversation, Nancy spent a few months continuing to do that hard work. She had even more difficult conversations with the organizations wanting to hire her. Now, that's led her to end up in her ideal role, getting so much more of what she wants out of her career. And the reason we had her back on as she is going to share the detail of how she asked for what she wanted, and how she created this ideal role for herself. Here's Nancy summarizing where she was in her career change journey during our last conversation.

Nancy 02:52

Yeah, so when we last chatted, I think there was a lot more uncertainty and doubt about where I was headed, or where I could potentially had in the current situation that I was in working with the new business owners that I had talked about. So I think that I was kind of trying to kind of make, like, a patchwork of things work, because I honestly just didn't have the honest and open conversation with him about what I needed in order to determine whether or not what I needed is something that he would be open to. So when we left, there was those questions that I needed to go back and get answered. And actually, I had a conversation with him yesterday, which he put it really well. And he wasn't talking about me, he was talking about somebody else. But I was thinking about it in terms of my own situation with him. He was talking about having a conversation with one of the employees of one of his businesses about potentially coming into a different role. And the way he put it was something to the effect of I can't imagine that anything that was under her umbrella would be larger than anything that I have under my umbrella. So basically, I think it made me change the way I was thinking about it, because I just assumed that what I needed was going to be outside of his umbrella, right? And not something he'd be comfortable with accepting. But having had the conversation with him really clarified a lot of things and made me feel much more confident about joining him in this team full time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:16

And you had really been balancing a couple of different opportunities. Maybe balancing isn't quite the right word. But you had been participating in two separate opportunities that you were, I don't know if testing was the word that you use, but it's definitely what it made me think of when we were talking at the time were like, "Hey, this could be a great fit for me, or this could be a great fit for me and I want to explore both of them.” And also I want to continue to have a level of flexibility that you had been, I think, missing for a period of time.

Nancy 04:46

Right. Yeah, it was basically, I'm doing some contract work for this one business owner, helping him kind of in a part time COO role, if you will, and then also working with another company where their whole model is just contractors. And that was more closely aligned to the previous type of work I had been doing. And I was pretty much thinking that where I would be going was just to continue with those kind of two contract roles and balancing those which, as I had worked through it, and been doing that for a period of weeks, it was really stressful. I had likened it to one of my friends as feeling like Mrs. Doubtfire where he's in the restaurant, and he keeps changing identities, and he kind of forgets who he is part of the time because it was like, I'm in like multiple email accounts, like responding to different clients. And I think it was at the early stages of this new type of work where you're a contractor and trying to please multiple people at the same time. But it was just really overwhelming. I mean, I think, if I had given it more time, I probably could have figured it out. But it was very stressful. And it didn't feel like it was the right way to continue working. And especially for the type of person that I am, I'm much more mile deep than mile wide, I like to get really get to know people. And I feel like I can make more of a difference if I have a deep and thorough understanding of the business and of the challenges and really get integrated with the team and being a contractor for companies that don't really feel like you necessarily can get there. And for me, making that type of contribution wouldn't have been as obvious or as realistic in that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:23

Yeah, that makes sense. That makes a ton of sense. And I think what's really cool is that it sounds like ended up being really valuable input or information coming out of that experiences, even though it sounds like a period of time of it was stressful and overwhelming. That stress and overwhelming was a set of inputs that allowed you to decide what the next step might be too. Is that accurate?

Nancy 06:45

It definitely is. Yeah. That kind of experimental phase, it uncovered those challenges, and that desire that I hadn't really uncovered previously about wanting to be more deeply entrenched into an organization than just a contractor. But then also, the type of work that I was doing in that secondary role was, like I said, it was much more closely aligned to my prior work experience. And it was just easy, like, it's just really easy for me to do. And I had that conversation with myself about do I want something that's just easy and not very challenging? Or do I want something that is going to completely out of my past work experience, from an industry perspective and really get to learn and grow and do a lot of new things? So I think that was definitely where my inclination has led me towards. One of the reasons that I left was I needed a challenge. I wanted to do something different. I wanted to learn and grow and develop and try new things. We had talked, I think, before I had mentioned Michelle Obama's book 'Becoming' and it's about like, you have just one thing your whole life, you're always evolving and growing and learning. And that was definitely part of the journey for me is realizing that I could take this job, and it would be pretty easy, but not necessarily really fulfilling and challenging. And so decided to kind of push that one to the side and go all in on the one that's going to keep me on my toes. And I just got off a call with part of the team on it. And certainly they're keeping me on my toes because I have my work cut out for me, but it feels good. It feels like they need me a lot.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:22

What do you feel like, or what would be an example where it's being reinforced that "yes, this is the right set of challenges for me right now"?

Nancy 08:33

Well, I think that part of it is the business owner himself in some of his philosophies, really aligned with where I've been really kind of my whole life, but I have kind of kept it caged in like his philosophy of more autonomy, and less kind of top down management, letting teams kind of form their own leadership and hold themselves accountable, rather than having one boss that's like dictating all of the actions. And I've long felt the need to help people and or let people develop and learn from their mistakes rather than the boss telling them this isn't the right way. This is how you should do things. And just that was the environment I was in for many, many years. And it was never truly comfortable for me. So I think just knowing the philosophy and feeling like it's kind of where I always wanted to be, but I never had realized that as explicitly as I am now that had been exposed to it. I didn't really think I guess that it existed was this type of management style. That's just a lot more hands off than what I've been dealing with.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:36

That's a really cool and it sounds like as a byproduct of that too. One of the things that you had mentioned to me last time we chatted that you really really wanted to have as a portion of your career is the ability to just decide on a afternoon or on the day that, "Hey, I'm gonna go do this today" or "I'm going to the lake today", I think is what you had told me earlier. And it sounds like you get to do some of that now. And that's actually happened. So fast forwarding a little bit here, what does it feel like to have that come true? Like identifying that that's the thing that you want in advance, and then sort of have that become a portion of your reality? What's that like?

Nancy 10:22

Well, it's super exciting. Like I said, I didn't really know that that was going to be an option. I didn't know that it was a realistic idea, working full time for a company that, you know, have that type of flexibility. And I definitely have had an opportunity, in so many ways, one of which is going to the beach, just because it's a gorgeous day out, and it's summertime. And it's a great opportunity to enjoy the environment where I live and the atmosphere that I'm lucky enough to find myself in. I just feel really lucky that I have been on this journey, and really took the time to stop and figure out what was important to me. And then to go out and discover that it was actually possible to find something that would work in that way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:05

Compared to three and a half months ago, when we chatted last, when you had done a ton of work at that point, identifying what created potential great fits, and you were, as we called it, actively exploring to different avenues of that. But when you were in that portion, compared to now, what have been your biggest surprises or learnings?

Nancy 11:32

Well, after you and I spoke, I took the opportunity to go back and have a conversation with the business owner that I've been working with to really clarify what I was looking for. Because I think at the time when I had, prior to our last conversation, I had indicated to him that my plan was to stay as a contract employee and kind of continue with the type of engagement that we had. And I think his words were well, "if that's what you want." And I was like, okay, well, that's clearly not what he wants. That's his reaction. So as a follow up conversation to that, I wanted to explain to him why that was what I wanted, quote unquote. And it was about that freedom and flexibility and having the ability to be there for my kids, you know, as they're entering their final years of high school and just have more flexibility to do the things that are important to me and my life. And so between that and then the compensation that I feel like I need in order to feel fulfilled in the role as well, having explained those things to him, I think his response was oh, like, "what about me would make you think that that wasn't an option?" And as I reflected on them, I was like, well, yeah, I guess you're right, because he's pretty flexible. He's a very unique individual. And as I'm working with him and starting to help him like lead the different managers of his businesses, I guess I have come to the realization that he's absolutely not somebody who's demanding that I'm in my chair from nine to five and not demanding that I check off all of these boxes, that this are his requirements for the work to be performed for any particular period of time. So I think it was just realizing that I needed to have that conversation and not being afraid to put out there what I was looking for. What you helped me realize that that was something I hadn't done, and I would just kind of jumping to conclusions or assuming that what I wanted wasn't possible. And so I had that conversation. And I think certainly have, I feel good about the conversation and where it went with him. And then some of the subsequent interactions that I've had with him, you know, I mentioned to you earlier, I was at a writing competition with my daughter, and there was some last minute unexpected issues in the business that came up while I was away. And he said, before the conversation started, he's like, "Well, let me just stop you and ask you, what are you going to be doing so that you're not talking to me at 11 o'clock when you said that you need to be with your daughter?" And I was like holy cow, like, thank you so much for asking me that question. I'm like, I'm so appreciative that you actually even care and are thinking about that, because it just feels really good and exactly what I was looking for.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:03

That is really, really cool. Also, it occurs to me that asking for what you want is something that is easy to say, to do. But as a human, so many things get in the way of actually doing it. So kudos to you for working through those things, and then actually doing it and now you're experiencing the byproducts of having those potentially difficult or productive, wonderful conversations because it's led to new ground for you and new learnings for you. And certainly benefits for you too. I'm curious, what allowed you to make that happen? What did that look like actually working through it? Was it just as simple as, like, "Oh, I'm gonna have the conversation" and then wait and have the conversation and then boom, it was done? Or was there more to it than that? Tell me a little bit about how that played out in reality.

Nancy 15:00

I think there probably was a little bit of hesitation or doubts or that I might have had going into it. But I think you and I had the conversation about, well, I don't know how you put it exactly, but you've definitely encouraged me that it would be a good idea to go and have that conversation and really lay out what it is that I was looking for, what would make an ideal match for me. And then, after our conversation, as I reflected on it, it became really obvious to me that I should have done that or should be doing that based upon the whole coaching and program that you've developed. It's part of the steps, right, that you would design for anybody that was, you know, trying to find the right match for them. So I don't know why it kind of got lost for me, maybe it was just because it was uncomfortable to ask for what I truly wanted. But the conversation itself was, it was great. I mean, there was once I decided and committed to doing it and put it on the calendar and made it clear that you know, what my intentions for the conversation were, it's like, there's no turning back. Right? And of course, it was fine. I mean, what was he going to do, he wasn't gonna bite my head off. He's a very kind individual, and I think probably really appreciated the fact that I was open and honest about what my needs and expectations are. So that hopefully he has a better understanding too of where I'm coming from. And in retrospect, I think he's also, I think, it's been a month or so after that conversation, he provided me with a book that he had read, I don't know how many years ago, but it was all about inventing new types of organizations that are more, you know, that self management where you don't have that top down leadership, and I'm about, not quite halfway through it, but it's like, t"his is exactly what I was looking for." And I didn't know that I wanted that autonomy, and that the kindness, the businesses that are in it for, not just for profit but for people, and for other causes that are meaningful to people and finding out from those people what is meaningful to them, so that they can, you know, help them find and achieve those things in their life. So it just, like the whole circle of things is just fascinating that I have ended up where I have. It just blows my mind and never would have thought that I was going to find somebody that was so in tune with what I was looking for when I started the journey.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:15

I think why is perpetual, I used the word fascinating a moment ago, and I would definitely apply it to this too. What's fascinating to me, after getting to hear stories like yours, and work with people, our team, we get to work with amazing people like you all the time. And still, it's perpetually fascinating and even fulfilling to me that what has to happen in order to result in this type of situation where you, as you said a moment ago, I found the thing that I wasn't even totally aware that I was looking for. And when we start to break apart, like how does somebody actually do that? How do you create that over and over and over again? We find that is no small amount of work, like all the work that you did early on to be able to chip away and identify very slowly the parts and the pieces that you suspected that you wanted, and then get little bits of feedback here and there and continue to test and all the things, all of those add up to being able to recognize an opportunity when it's right in front of you. And I think that's something that is so undervalued. Because we assume, as humans, that we're going to know what we want, first of all, and then we're going to automatically recognize it when it's in front of us. And what I find that in reality is that the way that our minds work, as humans, is very much the opposite. And less we've done that initial deep work to identify what it is that we want, then all those opportunities, which are right in front of us, just slip right by.

Nancy 18:53

Right. Yeah, I definitely agree with that. And I remember, you know, when I started out, before I'd even engaged with a coach who was like just reading through some of the materials and the worksheets and such and thinking like, "I don't know what I want, like, how do I know what I want? I've been doing this for 20 years, like, I don't even know what's out there." You know, do I want to stay in the events business, or do I want to, maybe, I mean, there was a time where I was contemplating not being in that type of role as well, and just going into nonprofits and such. But I think part of it was just I hadn't had that a lot of that experience in other types of industries or with other people, right, having worked under the same person for so long. I think part of the piece of the puzzle that really helped me was the StrengthsFinder is kind of like having that validate some of the things that I suspected about myself that, you know, I enjoy and that I'm good at doing and having that as a guide to really, again, reinforce, "Oh, yeah, that is why I'm good at this and that's why I enjoy this type of work." And but I think in terms of, some of the types of industries that I was interested in, that was another part of the puzzle was like, "I don't know what I want to do. I'm not sure if I want to stick with, you know, in this industry or try a different one. And if it's a different one, what is it going to be?" I'm typically a very flexible person, I think it can be a good thing or a bad thing. Because a lot of times, like, I'll just make it work, it doesn't matter what it is like, it's a bad situation, but I'm going to make it work, right. And so it's a good way to be, however, you're not necessarily always going to find the right thing for you if you're just like, "Oh, that's fine. I'll just figure it out. I'll make it work." Right? Instead of actually going for the thing that would make you supremely happy.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:29

I think that's really interesting, too, that in itself, your last comment, I don't know what you call that in relation to your strengths. But I would probably call that some measure of adaptability is something that you've been pretty amazing at. And that's probably rooted from your strengths. And the potential negative byproduct of adaptability, as you had mentioned, is like, I'll just go with it even if it's a terrible situation and figure it out. And well, that has served you well, you've probably performed well in your career at various different times by just digging in. And it's like, we're just gonna figure this out. It's not a great situation. And we're just got to figure it out. And when it comes to yourself and what you want, that can show up really negatively, and that's what I hear you saying. Is that kind of what you mean?

Nancy 21:16

For sure. Yeah, I think so. Like I said, it's a good thing and it's a bad thing. It served me well. And it's probably kept me in the role that I was in for probably too long, because I was just like, "Oh, well, I'm here, and I'm going to stick it out when I get work." Because that's what people do, right? I'm not a quitter. Not a quitter.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:33

Not a quitter. I think a really fun thing that, as we've gotten to chat, that I've started to see is, it seems like at least from outside looking in, you're starting to harness that strength in a very different way and work with it rather than having it work against you, in an unaware state. And I think that that's been really fun to be able to see.

Nancy 21:58

Yeah. Those StrengthsFinder reports having that clarity, because it's like, I think I'm good at this, I think I like doing it. And then to have that as that reinforcement. And then you know, as you say, is like looking at the dark side of those strengths too, to make sure that we're keeping those in mind and not letting them undermine the good part of what we do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:18

It also begs another question for me, which is, now that you have done some additional experimentation, and now that you've had some conversations, and to be able to ask for what you want. And it appears that you're getting much more of what you want, at least in this stage of life. Yes, it will continue to evolve. Yes, it will continue to change as happens in life. But as you're there in this moment, what advice would you have for other people that are wanting to identify more of what they want? Wanting to become more self aware in that way, what they want and need? And then also, for people who want to do more asking for what they want. Let's handle those separately here. So what advice would you give to somebody who wants to identify more of what they want and need?

Nancy 23:09

Well, I mean, I couldn't have done it without your process. I don't want to plug it too hard. But I mean, I absolutely wouldn't have happened for me if I hadn't had come across, I think, I told you last time I was on the train going into my new office at my old job and I like Googled or whatever searched in my podcast, career change. And from the first moment I heard it, I was just like, "Oh my god, this content was made for me. This is exactly what I needed." So I think that just digging into all of your resources, I know that I started out looking at a lot of the free stuff that you had, which was extremely helpful. And I was floored by how much free content you had, that it was just so helpful. But even, you know, the investment that I made in the coach, that I spent a ton of money on my kids, but not very much on myself. And it was probably one of the best investments I've ever made– was working with your team because you really kind of walked me through all of those steps. And it was scary. And I didn't necessarily have 100% support behind me personally to go ahead and make that leap. But I just decided that it was time. I was just after so much angst and discomfort and unhappiness. And I think the advice is if you're feeling that way, you know, listen to yourself, life is short, and just listen to the voices that are speaking to you. Everything will be okay. Like if you're a smart professional, you'll figure it out. You'll find a way to figure it out. Life is too short to be so unhappy and to be wondering if there's something that are... So I think it can be scary, but it will be okay.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:41

I love that advice. And it seems like it is, oh well, it's what we mentioned earlier when we were talking about how to... It seems like it should be simple for us to ask for what we want, and it's not always simple in so many different ways. And it's also not always simple to listen to those voices as you're talking about what we know we want and need. So I appreciate that.

Nancy 25:07

Yeah, absolutely. You know, it took me a long time. I think I was building a little voice inside my head for a long time for probably since 2018, or 2019. And I didn't make the change until last year, so.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:20

Well, that was really cool. So then the second part of my question to you about, what advice would you give to somebody who wants to begin asking for more of what they want and need? Because as we just said, like, that can be a whole separate thing, whole separate set of skills and challenges and myself. What do you think?

Nancy 25:39

Oh, I think that not being afraid to ask for it. And I think that if you come across a negative response to what you're asking for, then perhaps it's not the right situation, right? It's like, if somebody's overreacting, or over just a flat out no, then, if that's what you decided you wanted and you needed, then what's the worst that's gonna happen? The answer's 'no', then you've discovered the answer to your question, and then it's time to move on. Perhaps if it's truly something that's, you know, a non negotiable, something that you need for your fulfillment. So I think it can be uncomfortable and kind of scary, but how else are you going to come to what you need.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:14

How also you would know? Like, that's such a great point.

Nancy 26:17

You're gonna wait it out. You're gonna wait it out and just try it and see what happens. I mean, again, life's too short for that, in my opinion.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:24

That is fantastic advice. And the logic behind that is so simple and so empowering. Like, well, yes, I could wait and I could wander in misery potentially. Or I could just ask, and then, if the answer is no, or if it becomes apparent that that's not a fit, then better to know now, right?

Nancy 26:49

For sure.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:49

Very cool. Anything else that we didn't talk about?

Nancy 26:53

I guess the only thing that, you know, what was it that I was looking for, was that autonomy, right? And once you get it, and in my case, I have it in spades, is then it's a whole another level of professional development. It's like, "Alright, well, now I have to keep myself accountable." Because I don't have that big bad boss above my head demanding all the things all the time. So I have to put in some self discipline and structure to keep myself accountable and to make sure that I'm not just going to the beach five days a week, because I can because nobody's watching, right? It was really thinking through how to be most effective in that autonomous role, but while also enjoying the freedoms and the flexibility that I now have in this role.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:33

Yeah. And that's really true. I don't know that we've talked about that on the podcast in the past. But to your point, we've talked about that a lot internally, because we've seen that in our organization when people come into our organization, sometimes they struggle for that exact reason. That it's not just you, amazingly, performed well in autonomy, it is that there are skill sets and layers of skills that often can go along with that. So my question then to you becomes, what are the areas that have been the biggest challenges for you? Or where have you seen skill development for yourself, along with the new autonomy in order to harness it?

Nancy 28:14

Yeah, I think that to be truthful, I'm still somewhat figuring it out. Because in the role that I'm in right now, managing multiple different businesses, and each of those businesses is on a different kind of level of where they need support. One of them, you know, I could be working in that business at that business every single day. And it would take a long time before they're, you know, fully functioning and highly productive. And then there's others that are doing pretty well for themselves. And then there are some that are just kind of getting started. So I could have my calendar full 60-80 hours a week, if I, you know, fell into that trap of like, I need to make progress. I need to do things. I need to make sure that I'm doing a great job. And then I'm moving these businesses forward, which is certainly what I want, but it's also going to kill me, right, if I do it that way. So it's taking a step back and really trying to prioritize my workflow and prioritize all of the different things that need my attention, while also keeping in mind, okay, the reason why I made this change was so that I could just be a happier person have more of that thinking time and reflecting time. So I think that staying true to a calendar and really thinking about how I'm going to be spending my time throughout the week and making sure that I'm not scheduled up every minute of every day is part of what I'm implementing. But it's you know, it's going to be more than just that. I think that relying and leaning on other types of professional development to help me really harness and harness the autonomy and the autonomous management style, so that I'm fully effective. It's still a work in progress.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:48

I think that's one observation that I've seen that has a tendency to go hand in hand with more autonomy often requires more ownership as well, in my experience. And a part of that, that I think has not, has been challenging based on how we do work at many other organizations around the world is, a lot of times the organization drives the development where when you get into more autonomy, something that a lot of people don't seem to expect, in my experience, is that you also own more of your development, your own development too, which that in itself can be very different, but also very challenging in its own right. I personally love it, and I thrive in it. But I've also seen many, many people, including myself, struggle making the switch.

Nancy 30:40

Right. Yeah, I mean, it's really exciting to me to be able to, as you say, kind of curate my own professional development based upon the needs that I have. And that's absolutely, I mean, that's again, another part of this new scenario that is really exciting to me is that this business leader, like, one of his main things– learning, growing, and developing– it's like, he's not afraid to invest in people. And whether it's in a different educational courses or just coaching or whatever it is, he's pushing that out to his team on an ongoing basis. So it's exciting to be able to be in a position where I feel like it's not just something that he wants, it's something that he expects, and that everybody on the team is going to be engaged in that kind of constant development and growth, which is really what I was part of what I really wanted.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:33

Hey, if you love this story where we talk through and walk you through step by step how someone got to more meaningful work, then you'll absolutely love our audiobook– Happen to Your Career: An Unconventional Approach to Career Change and Meaningful Work. I even got to narrate it, which was so fun, and something that I really enjoy doing and will definitely do for future books as well. But it also contains firsthand accounts from career changers on how they made the move to more meaningful work. Just like we include on the podcast here and actually has been called the best audio book experience ever by some reviewers. You can find those reviews and the book itself on Audible, Amazon or any other place where books are sold. Seriously, just pause this right now and go over to Amazon or Audible or wherever you want and download it. You can be reading it and started on your career change in literally seconds.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:28

Now, here's a sneak peek into what's coming up next week, right here on Happen To Your Career.

Speaker 3 32:33

So there I was. Three years out from being shiny and new and feeling like I was ready to tackle the world and conquer the world, feeling completely and utterly burnt out and sick and tired of trying to save the country.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:49

You've probably heard the oxygen mask theory before. It goes like this. If you're in the unfortunate position of being on a plane, which is about to nosedive, you should secure your oxygen mask before helping anyone else. If you don't, you risk not being able to help anyone at all. And as it turns out, this is a great analogy for avoiding or overcoming burnout. Focusing inward allows you to take stock of what is within your control. And by doing so, you can serve all roles in your life better and inspire those around you to follow suit. Today, my guest is here to talk about all things burnout, and how to finally start taking control of your career and your life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:30

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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