434: Ditching A Job That Doesn’t Fit To Pursue Work You Love (Even If You’re Unqualified)

Figuring out what to do when a new role isn’t what you expected, and how to go after what you love

Guest

Cheri Thom, Business Analyst & Product Owner

After finding herself in a role she didn't love, Cheri figured out how to overcome her fear of being unqualified and landed an ideal role.

on this episode

Do job qualifications always matter?

The simple answer is not always. Many times the listed job qualifications are there to automatically filter out candidates so the employer doesn’t have to, and fear of applying for a role without meeting every qualification stops many people from ever going after what they truly want. 

Cheri found herself in a job that was immediately not what she thought it would be and while she was searching for a new role, she initially bypassed the roles she really wanted because she didn’t feel qualified. Fast forward – Cheri talks about what she did in order to land the role she wanted anyway.

What you’ll learn

  • How to not settle or sacrifice what you want and need for a job that “looks good”
  • The benefits o your fear of negotiation
  • Why it’s important to go for a role you want even if you don’t feel fully qualified
  • How to move on and let go of roles that aren’t a fit
  • Why it’s imperative to know what is important to you when looking at roles

Success Stories

Cheri Thom 00:01

So I switched jobs. And that job was great, but then we moved. So I switched jobs again. And the job that I took, what I was told during the interview isn't what the job ended up being. And I was really, really unhappy.

Introduction 00:22

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 00:47

After going through all the work that it takes to get a job, you realize, almost on day one, that it's nowhere close to what you expected it was going to be. In fact, it's far worse than that. It's the opposite of what you expected is going to be. Well, if you were in that situation, you'd probably start looking for a new role, right? Well, that's what happened to Cheri. You heard her voice in the introduction. She realized early on that her new role was not totally what she expected it to be. She became super unhappy, and started searching for a new job within a month. She applied to a ton of roles but kept hitting the dead end. But here's the thing, if we fast forward, spoiler alert, we'll see that she made it to one of those roles that when she saw it in the job description, she originally didn't feel qualified for it.

Cheri Thom 01:41

I wanted to be a product owner. I have found that I really like that idea of, kind of, being a subject matter expert and, kind of, owning a process or product. And I hadn't been looking for that when I was looking for jobs because I didn't feel like I was qualified for it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:58

One thing we see all the time that's really unfortunate is so many people limit themselves to roles that they feel like they check all the boxes for every single bullet point on the entire job description. I see this all the time. You find the listing, you immediately scroll down to all the job requirements, you mentally check off everything as you go. But then you find there are one or two qualifications that you don't have, you sigh and then you hit the back button to check on the next listing. No good, right? A lot of times, the people that get hired in those situations don't have all the qualifications, it happens so frequently, I can't tell you how much, you know, coming from my HR days and recruiting days. And certainly, we see that all the time here at Happen To Your Career as we're helping people. But I want you to take a listen to Cheri's story because this is one of those situations. She navigated through all the mental and real challenges that come up along the way. So you'll hear her describe that. But to really make sense of it, you need to learn a little bit about where she started. Here's Cheri telling a little bit about where her career path began.

Cheri Thom 03:15

When I was in college, I went to school to be a software developer[a][b]. And, I don't know, it's probably my last year of school. And I'm like, okay, so I can't sit in a cube and write code all the time, because that was my vision of what a developer did. So I didn't. And I started working in healthcare in software development, but I was a business analyst, or actually, I was a software product analyst. So I was responsible for the analysis of solutions and the testing and the support. And I loved it. And it was really a perfect fit, because it was, you know, the technological side of things, but also, kind of, you know, the business side, the personal side, the social side of it. So I did that for 12 years[c]. And then the company I was working for just went through a lot of change. And it wasn't the same place that it had been. So I switched jobs. And that job was great, but then we moved. So I switched jobs again. And the job that I took what I was told during the interview isn't what the job ended up being. So whether that was me not having a full understanding of what to expect, or there was deceit in the interview, I don't know. But it wasn't what I was expecting. And I was really, really unhappy, really unhappy. So I was there for, oh gosh, I probably started looking for jobs within a month of starting. But doing it, you know, going on Indeed, or FlexJobs, or any number of other tools looking for jobs, and I just was not getting any hits, like, no emails, no interviews, nothing. And that went on for a little over a year[d]. And then I decided I need to do something different because I needed to get out of that job. So that's what I contacted you guys and it started by talking with Phillip. And I remember I started crying on the phone with him because during that interview I felt like I'd been lied to, like, to start my new job. So I said that, "I don't trust myself. I don't trust myself to make the right decision, you know, going forward. Like, I don't know if that's what I want to do." He then said to me, "Well, you can't help that you weren't given the full picture, like, you can't hold yourself accountable to that. So it's not that you don't trust yourself, it's just, you know, you just need to change the way you're doing things." So that was great. So then I started working with Jennifer, and she's fantastic. And we worked on my Ideal Career Profile, and we worked on my strengths, and all of the things after that, and that's kind of how it started.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:34

That is so cool. And it also makes me wonder, what were some of the pieces of that role that were so different for you? Because it was clearly, in every interaction you and I have ever had, in any way, it seemed that it was a clear misfit. And it was a clear, I don't know, a bait and switch is the wrong word. Because that's not really what it means. But it was completely different compared to what you believe was going to be versus what it actually was by a longshot, not by riding it. So help me understand what were some of those pieces, what's a couple examples that were so different?

Cheri Thom 06:09

So I had been a business analyst for quite a long time prior to starting there. And you know, I spent time with the customers, I worked with them to figure out what they wanted to do with their tools to make their jobs more efficient, or add functionality or whatever it was. So when going into this role, that was what I expected. And that's kind of what I told them what it was going to be. So they were taking all of these existing tools and condensing them because they needed just a more streamlined process. Well, that is what they were doing. But that wasn't what I was doing. I spent most of my time reading documentation, I had some interaction with users, but minimal at best. And I mean, I told you that the reason I didn't want to be a developer is because I didn't want to sit in a cube and write code. And so that's what this was, you know, like, I was missing the entire social aspect of why I got into business analysis in the first place. So that was a huge mess. I didn't like their management style. But I don't know that I would have known that during the interview. I think that's just something you kind of learned, well, maybe not. I guess as you work with different managers, you, kind of, learn what styles you like and don't like, but I didn't like the management style. And I mean, those were two, I guess really substantial things for me. Those are such a huge part of the role that you're in to be unhappy with those two things makes it hard.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:33

I don't know if I ever told you this before. But I can definitely identify with the not wanting to sit in a cubicle and write code. So I actually changed majors, I think it was like 9 or 10 times through college. But the most substantial portion of time I was in one major before I changed, I was in computer science. So I was, like, getting deep into C sharp and C++ and, I don't know, name a programming language at that particular time. And I love to some of what you could make, but I hate it, just despised sitting and writing code for hours and hours and hours. And it's, like, well, this is what you do. So I can fully appreciate what you're talking about. And I have friends that just love doing that. They get so much out of doing that. And that is not me at all.

Cheri Thom 08:21

And I love the challenge of it. Like, it's not like walking this challenge to it. And that's the part about it that I loved. But I just needed to have more interaction with people than what my vision and the developer was.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:33

That makes a ton of sense. Okay, so you've got to this point, where shortly after you were in the role, you realized that it was not a great fit, and it was different than what you perceived it was going to be. What made you decide to start doing something about it right away? Because it sounded like you started taking action pretty early on, in one way or another. What caused you, what led up to, you know, during that first month or two months, what caused you to say, "Oh, I have to do something about this."?

Cheri Thom 09:04

I'm a firm believer in that, "if you're going to complain about something, you need to do something to change it." And so I was complaining everyday. I literally cried every single day, I was miserable. And it was impacting, not only my work life, but my personal life. Like, you know, I was snarky with my husband and with my son. And if that's not fair to them, I mean, they had nothing to do with it. So I knew something needed to change. I gave it. I feel like I should have given more than a month before I started looking, like, just to get into the, kind of, the meat of the job. But I'm really glad that I didn't because, I mean, I was there for over two years[e] and it didn't get better. So...

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:43

You knew early on. So that's interesting. But I think what you said there is I feel like I should have given it more time when it was pretty clear, I'm sure from a intuitive level and maybe other evidence that you had in front of you that, that wasn't the case, but I think so many people feel that it's, like, "Well, I should just weigh it out. I should just give it some time. I should just..." but there's only so much time. So I think what you did is right, because you know, two years, that's a substantial chunk of time here on Earth, right?

Cheri Thom 10:15

Yeah. And I think that with, you know, any new job, there's a learning curve. And sometimes those first, you know, weeks, months are more challenging, maybe, then what is going to be longer term simply because you don't know the business or you don't know exactly what you're going to be doing. And you're meeting all those new people. And so I think that's why I feel like I should have given it more time before I started looking, though, again, I'm glad I didn't.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:41

I'm glad you didn't too. But, you know what, that raises such a good point, though. Because if it's about purely the learning curve, then what you said is very true, there's going to be a learning curve anytime you're in a new situation. However, the issues that you were experiencing, that didn't line up, it doesn't sound like, had much to do with the learning curve, it sounded like it had to do with other areas. So I think that's a really great lesson to be able to pull out of that for everyone. When you get into that new situation, if it has to do with the learning curve, if it has to do with something else that is going to make it more of a challenge, or more overwhelming, or more something at the beginning, then that's okay. And those are great things. However, if it doesn't fit into those categories, then you can ignore that. That's cool that you didn't.

Cheri Thom 11:28

Solid point.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:30

Well, you made it. And you did it. So kudos to you. I just get to come in here and have a conversation with you afterwards and say, "Oh, yeah, here's what you did. Good job." Well, so, once you started working through this, and once you began to realize, "No, clearly this is wrong for me. I must make this change." What was the most difficult piece for you? Or what challenges did you experience along the way?

Cheri Thom 11:58

I started hunting for jobs on all the normal things, I guess, you know, Indeed, and LinkedIn, and FlexJobs, and Dice and all of the different places. And I had what I thought was a really good resume. And, you know, I'd submit it with my cover letter, and I would just hear nothing. I applied for, oh my god, it felt like hundreds of jobs. I don't know if it actually was, but it felt like a lot. And I heard nothing. Like, not a peep for over a year[f], which was really, really devastating. It was hard to continue to be motivated to find something new when I was not getting any interviews. And I think that was probably the most challenging part of the beginning.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:36

Interesting. So what did you find helped with that for you personally?

Cheri Thom 12:41

Well, when I started working with you guys, I was talking with Jennifer and she said that I needed to kind of cater my resume to every job that I was applying for. And I had never done that before. So it was going in and, you know, picking the keywords out of the job description and sticking them in my resume, because so many companies are using the applicant tracking systems now. I think that one was huge for me, but then also making sure that I was applying for the right things, things that, you know, or things that I was going to want to be doing. I think for a long time I was applying for anything that fit within the realm of possibility, because I wanted out. And that obviously wasn't probably going to work out in my favor for the long term. But yeah, so those are the things I think were, kind of, key takeaways for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:28

But I think it can be fascinating, because most people don't have the privilege of sitting on the other side where those applications are coming in and seeing large amounts of applications. And one of the things that would happen is you could see the people that felt a little desperate, and the people who are applying for a wide variety of things. Sometimes because you might have, you know, one organization that is a head organization, but has a lot of sub organizations, and you saw people that were applying to different roles in different sub organizations, or you'd have people that are applying to a variety of things in the same organization, too. And just never crosses most people's minds. And it probably didn't until, you know, I saw it, as well, that, that might not come off particularly well. But there's all these little tiny cues that people on the other end respond to whether they know they are consciously or whether they are doing it unconsciously, and those are so difficult to watch for. So that's super cool that you were able to take that and work with Jennifer to be able to identify what was going to create the right situation. And one of the things I heard from you, before we hit the record button, was that you said, you know, "Now that I've been here for four weeks or so, one of my co-workers, colleagues had said it really feels like you fit in here. You've only been here, you know, you've only been here how many weeks? Like, I can't believe it because it really feels like you fit in here." And I think that's one of the examples of a massive difference when you have done your homework, you've identified a great fit, and then you're showing up, that can create a different feeling coming in, too. So here's my question for you, what were the pieces when you look back, and, you know, this took you about 12 months or so in total to make this change, once you started really actively working with us on it. What were those pieces looking backwards that really led up to this particular opportunity?

Cheri Thom 15:29

I mean, as I said, going in, I felt like I couldn't trust myself. And I didn't know what I wanted to do. Like, I have been happy in my previous role, but the previous-previous role, but I got to the point where I just didn't know if that was what I wanted to do, because the experience I was having was so bad. So working with Jennifer, and we did the exercise where, you know, you write down all of your previous jobs, and what you liked about them, what you didn't like about them. And there was a lot of similarities between the jobs and what I liked and what I didn't like. So knowing that was really helpful. Also, we went through and figured out what my strengths were, and how they show up both positively and negatively, which has helped me in all of my life, not just work related. But from that, you know, there was a lot of takeaways, like, I learned that I wanted to... Jennifer said, I want to be an advocate. So I wanted to advocate for people. So whether that meant, you know, just pulling from on the software side, like being the person who was going to stick up for my customers, or whether it meant something else. But I wanted to be an advocate, and 100% that's true. Like, I never had put that together prior to working with her. But absolutely. And I wanted to be a product owner, I have found that I really like that idea of, kind of, being a subject matter expert and, kind of, owning a process or product. And I hadn't been looking for that when I was looking for jobs because I didn't feel like I was qualified for it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:55

Tell me about that for just a second. So when you say, "I didn't feel like I was qualified for it" what was it about those types of opportunities or roles where maybe you feel, like, "Hey, I couldn't go after this."?

Cheri Thom 17:09

Because I felt like it was something you needed to grow into in an organization, not that you could just come in and inherently do. I felt like you would start as a business analyst or developer or whatever, and then, kind of, grow into that role once you had learned enough about the business and both of those tools in order to be a product owner. I think differently now. I think it's a skill set. I don't think that you necessarily have that skill set because you've been a business analyst or a developer and grow into it. I think it's a different skill set altogether. And it's just something I think that I've always enjoyed doing. So, you know, it's one of my strengths.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:44

Yeah, so I heard you say that, "My strengths have helped me in all areas of life, not necessarily just work", what's an example of that?

Cheri Thom 17:51

I'm an achiever. I like to check things off my list. And my son is not at all. And so recognizing about myself, why things he does irritates me has helped tremendously. So when I'm trying to get him to do something around my house, I try not to be, like, letting my achiever take over and getting him to, kind of, work the way I want him to work. That's been a huge one. Also, being a learner. Learner is my number one. I've taken the Strengths 2.0 thing twice and learner came up both times. But knowing that about myself, and I think I have a lot of learner in the job that I did, but also knowing that about myself made me realize that I could do things outside of the job that I was in, if it wasn't going to have that to, kind of, feed that part of my soul.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:38

What's an example of that, where you've now recognized that, "Hey, here's a part I might not get from work, or here's the part that I need since I'm a learner."? Because it is a little bit different for each person who might consider themselves a learner might have learning as a strength. So what's an example of that for you?

Cheri Thom 18:55

I always like to be, it's not... I mean, like, a learner, what I took away was, kind of, the learner and the teacher or the teacher, I guess. I'm not so much the teacher, I don't feel like that's a strength of mine, but very much the learner aspects. So in my previous job, I don't know if I wasn't getting any more, but I always want more. So I decided to do yoga teacher training. So for a year, I decided to be a yoga teacher[g]. So now I have that. I read a ton of personal development books, because I like learning, like, how the brain works and how your mind functions and things like that. So those are the things that I do to, kind of, feed that learner part of me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:34

That's awesome. So what were some of the other events then? If we keep going along this thread, what were some of the other events that led to you getting this opportunity?

Cheri Thom 19:42

I'm going to tell you a story. This was back in October, I had applied for this job[h] with a company and it was perfect. I had three interviews so I had an interview with HR for about half an hour and then I had another interview with the hiring manager and it all seemed fantastic. And it was something I really wanted to do. Well, I had my third interview, which was supposed to have been the final interview. And the first question they asked me was, "Where are you located?" And I said, "I'm in Central Wisconsin." I said, "Isn't the position remote?" And they said, "Only through COVID." And I said, "Oh." And I said, "Well, that's not gonna really work out for me. So, I appreciate your time. I thank you so much for, you know, talking with me." And that was the end of it. And I was absolutely devastated because it just felt like such a perfect fit. And someone who I had met through 'Happen To Your Career'' had reached out to me earlier in the fall, just to ask me about being a business analyst and to learn more about it. And he had messaged me on LinkedIn, and asked me how it was going. And I told him the story. And I told him I was feeling devastated. And I just haven't had the motivation to look for jobs to make a change. And he said, "I feel like these have... these things have their way of self filtering." And that was huge for me. It just kind of changed my attitude towards the whole thing. And I was like, you know what, he's right. This obviously wasn't the right fit. And it helped me, kind of, change my perspective, and just go back to what I needed to do to find the right position. So I'm so grateful to him for just, you know, those little words of wisdom so that I can, you know, get back on track. And then shortly after I started interviewing with my current company, so.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:24

You know, it's so funny after doing this for, I guess, approaching a decade now, so many stories are like that, where it gets to the absolute hardest part, where it just feels like you want to give up the entire process. You're usually so close at that point. And we keep seeing that over and over and over again. And at first, I thought it was just a fluke. And now I realize that we have literally not had any person that we have ever worked with, where they haven't experienced some version of that, where they hit, we call it "hitting the wall" at this point. And there's a couple different types of walls that people hit throughout the process. But you almost have to hit a wall in some way or another, to be able to continue on throughout the process. And the really interesting part, too, is that that is... I now recognize that that's a sign that people are so close, in one way or another. And it's really interesting that hey, as soon as you got back on the horse, it was just, like, right there in front of you.

Cheri Thom 22:29

Yep. That's actually what happened.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:31

I love that. That's a great story. I appreciate you sharing that. And when you think about this entire transition, this entire change, and all of the events that have transpired over, not just last year, but the last two years for you, what advice would you give to someone who is way back start or maybe someone who is in the middle of the transition? And if we go back to that point in time, where you realize, "Oh, no, like, I am clearly the wrong fit, wrong fit company, wrong fit position. Don't know exactly how it happened, but I'm here. I've got to do something about this." you know, what advice would you give that person in that place?

Cheri Thom 23:09

Advice that I received a long time ago that I think has helped me through this is to "make sure that I'm running towards something not running away from something". So you know, knowing what I'm working for, knowing what my goal is, I think has been huge, because there was a job opportunity that came up probably shortly after I started this. And, you know, I had done my Ideal Career Profile, I knew what I wanted to do and what I was working towards, and this opportunity came up. And as much as I wanted to say 'yes', because I wanted out of my current situation, that would have been me running away, because it was not in line with what I wanted to do going forward. So I think making sure, you know, what you're running towards.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:51

It's interesting. And I think that's fascinating, too, and I think particularly powerful coming from you. Because that happened a short while after you started this transition. And, you know, once we started working with you, it still took almost 12 months[i], right? And what I heard from you, or at least I think I heard from you, is that it ended up turning out even better versus just taking another position, and moving along. So why is that?

Cheri Thom 24:17

I feel like that position, and obviously, I didn't take the job so I don't know. But I feel like it would have been very much what I was trying to leave. And that's not what I wanted. I didn't just want the same job at a different company. I wanted a different job. I wanted something where I felt, like, the work I was doing was meaningful and where I could have accountability and mastery and, you know, all the things we need to be happy and where I can work with a great team and work on things that I was passionate about. And that just wouldn't have been it. So I'm really glad, I mean, as hard as it was, that was probably one of the hardest things I've done, was turning down my job because I was so unhappy where I was but I'm so glad that I did and I'm so glad that I had done that Ideal Career Profile. So I knew that wasn't what I wanted.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:02

Do you feel like you might have taken it had you not intentionally identified some of those pieces?

Cheri Thom 25:06

100%.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:08

So Ideal Career Profile for everyone listening, just a little bit of backstory, it's a tool that we created. It's a very simple tool. But the point of it is exactly what you said, Cheri, where we want everyone to be intentionally identifying what you're running towards, as you said, rather than accidentally accepting something that isn't really what you actually want. But that's hard work, to put it mildly, to identify exactly what you want. And what is really so interesting, and you and I were chatting about this a little bit before we started, I went back and I looked at your Ideal Career Profile, and you got so much of what you had intentionally up for a year ago, identified. It always seems like craziness every single time. But it's not. I mean, there's a method to the madness. And it's not magic that it works out that way. It's hard work mostly. But, what are some examples of that? Those pieces that, you know, way back when you said, "Hey, these are something that I really adamantly want. So much so that I will turn down another job offer that doesn't have that's sitting right in front of me in order to pursue what I actually do want." What's a couple examples of those things that you were looking for?

Cheri Thom 26:23

I wanted to work for a company that did good, or put good out into the world. That was something that was really important to me, for one reason or another, I don't know why. But something that made a positive impact on the world and the people of the world. That's what I wanted to do. I wanted to work with a team of great people. And I really do. My team is fantastic. I wanted to have autonomy and mastery, which I mentioned. So as a product owner, I will eventually be, kind of, a subject matter expert in different areas of the business and my bosses are huge on, they let you work the way you want to work as long as you get the work done. Those are all things that were really important to me, and I'm sure they were in my Ideal Career Profile. So one time we're working with Jennifer, as a group, we decided to make vision boards. And I don't have it up anymore, but it was hanging up right next to my desk for a long time. And all of those things are on it. And I still have it. It's sitting in my hallway right now, actually. But I was looking at it the other day thinking yeah, that's exactly. I mean, it was really impactful. I would not leave because that's exactly what I got, is what I put on that board.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:26

Is that funny looking backwards? It's like, "Oh, yeah, there's that, and that, and that. Oh, yeah, I have all those things now."

Cheri Thom 27:34

Yeah, strange.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:35

Yeah, that is so very, very cool. One other thing that I wanted to ask you about, actually, I have two other things that I wanted to ask you about. One of those is we were chatting briefly about the negotiation process. And you got to a point during that process where it was uncomfortable enough for you that you felt like you wanted to just say, "I'm just going to take the offer." Is that fair to say?

Cheri Thom 28:03

Yes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:04

What allowed you to move beyond that? Because you did something that was really, really hard, hard for almost everybody in the world in many different ways to be able to... after working for many, many months to get this opportunity that was now in front of you, that was exactly what you wanted in so many different ways, and they're saying, "Oh, here's what we think that we want to offer you." And they were even surprised that you wanted to negotiate in the first place, if I remember correctly, right?

Cheri Thom 28:35

Right. Yes. They had called me with the offer. And I knew it was coming because they had called me... so this is early in a week, but on Friday[j], the recruiter had called me and said, "Assuming all goes well with your very last interview" I had seven interviews, "Assuming all goes well, you're going to get an offer early next week." I was literally jumping up and down in my living room. My family thought I was crazy. So I started to look at, you know, what I needed as far as salary goes and as far as benefits goes, and he had, kind of, given me a heads up with a salary, what the offer was going to be. So I wrote down what I was currently making, I looked at, you know, all of the benefits and what those were going to cost and vacation and all of the things that go along with the benefits package. And what they were offering was not quite what I needed. So he called back the following week to do the official offer and as I learned in the videos and in the documentation, I said, "Can I have a few days to think about it?" So I took those couple of days and made sure that, you know, I had everything written down. I watched the videos again because I was going to negotiate and I was terrified to do it because I'd never done it before. I watched the videos again. I did all the worksheets that come along with it and I had everything in front of me. I literally wrote a script for what I was going to call him back so that I could read it because I was so nervous. So I pulled up my script, when I was ready to call him back I had a post it with all my numbers on it, and I called him back and I said, you know, whatever my script said, I don't remember. And he said, "Oh, we just assumed you were going to take the offer as is." And I'm like, "Oh, okay." And he said, "I need to go because I have a meeting in two minutes, but I'll call you back." So, oh my god, I'm like, so nervous at this point. Then he called me back. And we went through the numbers that I had come up with. And I did have an error in my math, you know, came down on my... ask a little bit, and he said, "Okay, I need to go back to this person, and this person. And I'll get back to you." He said, "We already came up $5,000 for your salary. So I don't know if this is going to... what's going to happen here." I'm like, okay, and that's the point where I was like, okay, maybe I should just take it as is and not worry about this, because I really wanted this job. Like this was exactly what I wanted. So I think he called me back the next day or two days later, and he said, "Okay, we can't do what you've requested. But we met in the middle." And I was more than happy with that. So it was terrifying.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:01

But you did it.

Cheri Thom 31:02

I did it. Yes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:04

So having gone through that for the first time, and so here's what's so fascinating to me, that you and I had talked about, you're actually a really great negotiator. You had just never negotiated salary before. That's the one thing that you had never negotiated before. But in all other areas of life, you negotiate all the time, and it's no big deal. So what advice would you give to someone who is going through salary negotiation for their first time?

Cheri Thom 31:28

Know why you're asking for what you're asking for, you know, have numbers laid out in front of you, if you're nervous, have a script. I think that level of preparation made it a little bit easier for me, just knowing that I had that there, should I need to read it. And stick to your guns, you know, don't sacrifice... if there's a certain salary you need, don't sacrifice what you need, because you feel like it's the right fit, because I think down the road, you're gonna end up regretting that and you're gonna end up resenting the job, potentially. So just stick with your guns.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:58

That's amazing. Very, very cool. And congratulations, again, you've done some really great work. And I know I said, I've told you that a couple of times, however, I mean it. And it was not just in one area, it was all across the board for this transition. So that's one of the reasons why I love your story. And also, yeah, absolutely. My pleasure. Anything else that you want to say? It's open mic time here.

Cheri Thom 32:24

I wrote down a few things. But I feel like I've covered them all. Like, I wanted to tell the story about the self filtering, because that was a huge turning point for me, just that little bit of change in attitude on when I hit the wall, and the Ideal Career Profile, and working with Jennifer on that was actually really big for me, too, just because I didn't really know what my strengths were before working with her, like, I knew what I was good at and I knew what I like to do, but I'd never actually realized that your strengths can be negative. But having worked on that, I definitely know that I see it in myself how some of my strengths are given away, like, they just become my default. And, when I talked about turning down, not the right fit, which was really hard. But I think it's important, because you need to do that in order to get to the right fit.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:17

Hey, many of the stories that you've heard on the podcast are from listeners that have decided that they wanted to take action and are taking the first step of having a conversation with our team to try and figure out how we can help. And if you want to implement what you have heard, and you want to completely change your life and your career, then let's figure out how we can help. So here's what I would suggest, just open your phone right now and open your email app. And I'm going to give you my personal email address, scott@happentoyourcareer.com, just email me and put 'Conversation' in the subject line. And then when you do that, I'll introduce you to the right person on our team. And you can have a conversation with us, we'll try and understand your goals and what you want to accomplish in your career no matter where you're at. And we can figure out the very best way that we can help you and your situation. So open up right now and send me an email with 'Conversation' in the subject line scott@happentoyourcareer.com.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:25

The biggest showstopper of career progression isn't your circumstances. No. It's getting stuck in the trap of indecision and inaction. Only, it doesn't feel like that. Here's an audio guide to learn how to move beyond overthinking in your career.

Phillip Migyanko 34:44

Is this career change important to you? Is getting out of that job that is not fulfilling anymore actually important to you? Is finding work that fills you up actually important to you? Then how quickly are you looking to make that change?

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:59

That's Phillip Migyanko. He's our Director of Client Success here at HTYC. He's the one that talks to every single person who reaches out to schedule a conversation, who needs help, he's one of the first people that you talk to. Every week, he talks with someone, actually, let's be honest, multiple people who begin to overthink their options. The hardest thing for us to see is people who are waiting too long, they end up staying in limbo, and don't make a decision to be able to move forward with their career and ultimately with their life. It's super hard for us because we know what's possible on the other side. But it is something that happens all the time. And then people will call us, like, one or two or three years later, sometimes even more than that, and say, "Hey, okay. I am finally ready to move forward." As it turns out, Phillip recently had a conversation with one of our coaches, Sharissa Sebastian, that we recorded about this very topic. So we've decided to share this conversation with you today. The biggest of which is we'd love to be able to spare you some pain by overthinking because it turns out that all of us on the team are recovering over thinkers. All that and plenty more next week[k] 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.

[a][03:16] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

_Assigned to Joshua Rivers_

[b]Hey @judie@happentoyourcareer.com let's revisit what we mean by "evergreen" content and what we want to remove. I don't think I did a great job explaining it to you. Let's stop tagging Josh for now, thanks!

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[c][03:50] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[d][04:38] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[e][09:40] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[f][12:21] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[g][19:16] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[h][19:44] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[i][24:02] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[j][28:41] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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[k][36:21] @joshua@happentoyourcareer.com

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