306: How To Turn A Career Struggle Into Successful Career Change

Melissa was unexpectedly laid off and had to figure out how to pivot and make a career change. Now she is a successful career coach and professional.



Melissa Shapiro, Career Coach, Talent, & Education Professional

Melissa is an educator, coach, and talent professional with a passion for helping clients figure out the next chapter in their stories.

on this episode

Melissa Shapiro found herself in a really tough position when she was unexpectedly laid off from her job.  She talks about how she was already contemplating a career change, but then was then laid off before she could position herself for the next move, and how she overcame the challenge and used this opportunity to redefine her career.

What you’ll learn

  • Why evolving and adapting aren’t only important for success, but absolutely necessary to move up in the professional world
  • How to stay focused when faced with difficult career change decisions
  • Why a professional setback may lead to better opportunities

Success Stories

I know that you and HTYC are owed credit for teaching me to confidently articulate my strengths and passions – Thank you so much! These are skills that will grow with me and I will continue to refer people to your site so they can benefit as I have!

Cindy Morton, Chief Operating Officer, United States/Canada

I would definitely say that I could not have put all the pieces together. The tools and techniques were important, but maybe more so than that, the mindset and the confidence. So I really, really needed that extra input and confidence boost and reassurance that I had a lot of strength and a lot to offer in the future. And I was feeling so rough because I was in a bad fit, stuck situation. Even though we all also recognized that situation wasn't inherently terrible. I would recommend, if you're starting to have that feeling like, either I'm crazy, or the situation, you know, is not that this bad, then I think that's a cue to reach out and get some, some guidance and a community of people that are struggling with the same things. And then suddenly, you'll feel that you're not crazy, after all, and it's just a tough life, situation and challenge, but you'll be able to get through it with that support, and accountability and confidence boost.

Jenny -, Research Scientist/Assistant Dean, United States/Canada

My favorite part of the career change boot camp was actually having some of those conversations and getting feedback and positive feedback about strengths. And to me that was key, because in that moment, I realized that my network not only is a great for finding the next role, it also is helpful to… they help you remind you who you are and who you will be in your next role, even if the current circumstances are not ideal.

Elizabeth , Digital Marketing Analytics Strategist, United States/Canada

I really was able to get clear on what I what it is that I really wanted. In my future career, I was able to change my mindset and my perception of what I thought was possible, which was a really big one for me, because prior to this, I really, I think I limited my myself and my potential, simply because of where I was at currently. And so I was able to think bigger, and really hone in on, you know, where my skills are, where I want to take them and how I'm going to get there. And it really just empowered me to take change, and it gave me the confidence and conviction, I needed to take those steps. So yeah, it was it was really a great a great one.

Nicole Mathessen, Manager Marketing & Creative Services, United States/Canada

Melissa Shapiro 00:04

I had that mindset of, okay, like this next thing like this is gonna be it like, this is my career. Like, I have to pick the one thing that I'm going to do for the rest of my life forever and ever and ever. And I think that is such a scary thought.

Introduction 00:25

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

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:49

I don't think that there's an ideal time to get laid off or really ever to completely change your career. Happen To Your Career, we've worked with a whole bunch of people that have gone through pretty dramatic situations. It's one thing when you get tired with feeling stuck and decide to make a change. It's another thing when your company calls you and tells you that your time is up. It leaves people feeling pretty uneasy or scared to put it mildly. You have a tendency when this happens, and I've been there, you feel like your life is out of control, or at least out of your control. But a professional setback might actually lead to a far, far better opportunity that you've never ever considered before. Our story today is someone who is already contemplating a career change, but then was then laid off before she could position herself for the next move. She discovered that evolving and adapting weren't only important for success, they were absolutely necessary to move up in the professional world.

Melissa Shapiro 01:50

So, I basically have a background in terms of education, in terms of performance, I have a very eclectic background. And, I'm an artist and I love to sing and perform. And I was actually working as a senior admissions producer at General Assembly, when we last spoke. And I was there for about two years, speaking with students who were really interested in making a career change into the tech world. And I would sort of talk about our programs that we offered such as: a digital marketing program, UX UI, software development data, and talk about these 12-week, life changing boot camps that students could take and really make a career change. And that's sort of where all of this fun stuff happened, where I got super interested in helping people with their career changes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:50

That's Melissa Shapiro. She found herself in this really difficult situation. She took her newfound time and energy to focus on asking herself big questions that led to her successful career change.

Melissa Shapiro 03:01

Sure. So, I was in the same role for probably about two years. And the part that I loved was kind of the part that I just described in terms of forming relationships with people and really kind of getting to know their backgrounds and helping them make that career change. But the other part of the role that was the part that I didn't want to pursue any more was that it was a very sales oriented role in terms of quotas. And, having that pressure in terms of filling up our classes and everything like that. So, it was just the sales aspect of things that I wanted to get away from and I wanted a more genuine type of relationship building role.

Scott Anthony Barlow 03:44

When you say, genuine type of relationship building, what does that mean for you?

Melissa Shapiro 03:49

Yeah. For me, it means that I would be able to talk to people, clients, and students when I wanted to in terms of when I see fit, and when it would contribute to our goal, whatever that was at the time, and not to fill some sort of quota and fill a sales number, basically.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:15

So, was there a, in this, as you were realizing this, was there a time or an ‘aha’ moment where you're like, “you know, what? Been here for two years, it's time that I transition on to something that's even a better fit. How did that happen for you?

Melissa Shapiro 04:29

Yeah, I think that I was, as we all feel frustrated, and I knew that there were aspects of the role that I really did enjoy, it wasn't like, I hate everything about this, that I must leave. But yeah, it got to the point where it was just very frustrating. And, once you met your quota for that quarter, another quarter would start and you would just kind of start all over again. And it was sort of this never-ending cycle. And I felt kind of trapped in almost like, the sales cycle and the numbers of everything. So, I just got to a point where I knew that there was just something that was out there for me, that was not so sales oriented, and that could still utilize my strengths. And I didn't necessarily know what that was or what it was called. But I felt in my gut that I knew it was there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:23

Do you think that since you had transitioned before, because you mentioned off hand, and I know a little bit more to the story, but you had come from a background where like you said, you were more into performance? And I think you said you enjoy singing or and you had come from that type of area, and industry and sector, whatever you want to call that. And you'd made this transition the first time around. Did that have any play here into coming to this realization easier? Or that did not really factor in? Tell me how you were thinking about that at the time.

Melissa Shapiro 06:01

Yeah, I think that was a much harder transition from, thinking that you wanted to do performance and musical theater and Opera for your entire life, and then realizing that it's just not a lifestyle for you. And that it would never sort of be aligned with your personality and how you wanna live your life. I think that was sort of a more really intense realization for me, that this thing that I've studied and worked so hard, and training for, was not gonna be for me. So, I think that once I went through that, the other career transitions seemed a lot easier. Because after that big life changing one, I think once you get through something like that, then all of this kind of pivots in your career and figuring out next steps become a lot more second nature.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:58

That's so interesting that you put it that way, because we've seen that a lot behind the scenes and working with people too, that it is, how do we wanna put it, it is worth it to go through that type of initial transition because of what it teaches you and then makes every single consecutive transition of any kind, more possible, easier, whatever word that you want to use all of the above, in there. So, that's really interesting that you observed that in that particular way. So, how then did you go about, once you had this second transition, you're there, you're working, you're in admissions, and you're having this realization that, “you know what? This isn't quite what I want, I enjoy the small piece of it, but certainly not some of the other aspects.” What did you end up doing from there? How did that play out?

Melissa Shapiro 07:49

Yeah, so I actually ended up taking, well sort of at the end of my stint in admissions, I worked on a project with the instructional design team. And I revamped our entire onboarding process, which to me was really interesting, because it combined my education experience with the experience that I had in admissions at General Assembly and using my two years as an admissions producer to refine the way that we onboard new admissions producers. And that was sort of, it was interesting because it combined a lot of different aspects of my skill set that I had never really even thought of before. That was a really cool project. And I got to work with the instructional design team. And I had a really good time doing it. And then I started thinking about, possibly doing, course creation and things like that. And I had a small period as an instructional designer, that I did sort of get to do that. But then unfortunately, I was laid off after three months from that shop. So that was, right before I entered into the career change bootcamp. But it was still just really interesting. And I would, from that, I would kind of say, I would encourage people to really look in terms of their role holistically and see, what am I interested in? Maybe it's not a completely other different role at company, but what can I do in my role, that I could bring more of myself. And that's sort of what I learned from that experience that you could always look for opportunities and sort of jump on, when you find something interesting and see where that takes you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:36

I think that's so great. First of all, because one, if you're not actively looking for those opportunities, as you put them, to bring more of yourself to a particular situation, whether that's a job or interaction, whatever it happens to be, you're unlikely to find them. It's not going to a lot of the times just show up. And that's part of what I think can lead people down the road to frustration. So, I think that that's super cool, that you were actively looking for those opportunities in one way or another because clearly, it gave you more input and more feedback into some of the things that you do enjoy. And it also gave you more input and feedback into what you can do and whether or not, this could be another good situation for you in one way or another.

Melissa Shapiro 10:29

It's such a great skill set to have to. I have a portfolio piece.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:34

Do you, really?

Melissa Shapiro 10:35

Yeah, I have what I design. So, I got to keep that which is pretty cool. And something you can kind of pull out of your back pocket.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:44

I made this.

Melissa Shapiro 10:46

I did that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:47

Yeah. Very cool. So, then there was this stint in between, and you got the opportunity to experiment with that, in some ways, obviously, you got laid off from there, then we got the opportunity to interact with you in career change bootcamp. So, what happened at that point? Because this wasn't just instant magic, or anything else along those lines, like, boom, make the next shift, or boom, I figure out what I wanna do for the rest of my life. That's not how it works. But what did happen for you?

Melissa Shapiro 11:18

Oh, yeah, at that point, while I was looking into career change bootcamp for a while, even when I was at General Assembly, and just doing some research, in terms of wanting to figure out something that would be fulfilling for a while for me. I think that I finally, it was finally the right time. And I didn't know that I would be getting laid off from this job. And I signed up for career change bootcamp, I think it was like, a week before I got laid off. Which was just insane. The timing. And I just started it. And I remember I wrote you guys, and I was like, “I just got laid off from this job. I'm so happy that I enrolled in this program.” And it was, it just was the perfect time. And I had the time now to invest into the career change bootcamp.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:13

That's so funny, because I would say that after interacting with literally thousands of people that have gotten laid off in, one way or another, that rarely is there a good time to get laid off. However, I think your situation falls into the small percentage of folks that maybe created that good time. And I think that that's something that I've observed, just as I've gotten to know you a little bit, that part of the reason; timing, has a tendency to work out great for you is because you're continuously taking one action or another always looking forward in terms of “Hey, what can I be doing? Where is that opportunity? What is the next step? What is going to push me forward in the way that I want to?” And so, I would say, I would advocate that maybe it wasn't entirely luck. That it was, although you can't control all circumstances or anything like that, that part of the reason they created a good time was because you had some involvement with it. So, is that a fair statement?

Melissa Shapiro 13:13

That's it's fair. I had been interested in career change bootcamp for a while, but it still just was that, it was what I needed. It was that positive light in that time of sort of complete shock.

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:26

Yeah, absolutely. When you think back to that time where you got laid off, and you were just beginning to work with us and just beginning to really go through this type of transition. Again, if you will, what were some of the first things that you did that really helped set you up to make this a good transition for you?

Melissa Shapiro 13:49

Yeah, I really had that time, like I said. So, in my mind, I said, “Okay, I'm going to take advantage of this time. And I'm really gonna get focused, and I'm gonna put all of my energy into investing into this program, because that's the best gift that I can give myself. I was getting severance, I was getting unemployment. So, I wasn't, super stressed. But I would rather take more time to find something that was more aligned with what I was looking for, than just jump into something else. So, it did take a little bit longer than I wanted it to, but I think it was still pretty fast in terms of the way things move job wise. But that's what I said to myself, I said, “Listen, use this as a gift, really use this time, and jump into this program, do everything you need to do and more network reach out to people on LinkedIn, reach out to all of your connections and really take advantage of this opportunity.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:54

What do you feel like, were some of the harder parts for you, as you made this transition?

Melissa Shapiro 15:00

Yeah, I think just some actually raw human emotion and feelings, I think I was really nervous to get back out there just because of being laid off. I was so scared that it would happen to me again. And I think, our brains do that to us, like, once we go through something, that's our experience. And that's what we know. So, are told that that's just gonna repeat itself. So, I think, A, having that fear. B, it was very funny, because I had originally wanted to work with you. And I thought that I would be working with you. But I was nervous about working with someone that I really didn't know and didn't talk to, it didn't feel like that warm, fuzzy feeling about. So, I think I was worried about that. And if we were gonna be a good match and everything like that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:51

And you're talking about through the career change bootcamp program, getting matched with your career coach, and you got the pleasure of working with Kelly.

Melissa Shapiro 15:59

Yes, who was unbelievable. I still keep in touch with her. She's phenomenal. But I was worried because you can hear someone say, “Oh, I think you'd work well with this person.” But, I vibe so well with you. And we had such great conversations. And I was like, “Oh, man, like, luckily to work with Scott.” So, I was nervous. But obviously, it worked out extremely well. So that was something else I was nervous about. And I think what was hard was still continuing to have that frustration, and sending out those messages and applying for jobs and tailoring all my materials, and just having that frustration of, why isn't it happening now? Why is it happening faster? And I think we all experience that. But I think just to focus on to keep doing what you're doing, and not that necessarily what you're doing is wrong. It's just, not everyone is going to get back to you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:59

What did you do or what did you experience that worked well for you to help speed up the process? Or what are the things that you saw as you were going through it that like, “yeah, this is working for me.” And gave you those little glimmer of hope, even though it didn't feel like it was going as fast as you want it.

Melissa Shapiro 17:17

I had so much time to. I wasn't doing another job while I was job searching. So, I had been putting all my effort into it. So, it was just a little frustrating to have putting 150% into it, and getting little things here and there. But just not hearing from as many people as I wanted to. I think what worked well, for me was following the bootcamp modules, and really following the order and doing each module diligently and then having the next one sort of build upon the one beforehand. And, having a curriculum that just made sense. I had never gone through an actual career coaching, like bootcamp, and course, so I think this particular model was really helpful for me, in terms of figuring out what my strengths are, how to build upon those strengths, what other people said my strengths were that I knew, and building my ideal career profile, and then learning how to reach out to people properly, really following up asking the right interview questions, really being able to advocate for myself, because I knew myself so much better throughout that process. And therefore, my interviews were way more genuine and sincere. And obviously, I mean, Kelly was just wonderful, and had such great suggestions. Any question I had for her, she would answer and just have really good innovative ideas.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:49

Okay, so I have one big question that, because we've got everybody that's listening to this right now that most of the time, all of our listeners are in the place where they are wanting to make a change, in the process of making the change, or thinking about making the change, and I want to take you back to where you were going to make a change, because this wasn't thrust upon you in one way or another and didn't expect it. And although the timing worked out well for you, as you said, it was still a little bit worrisome, and still a little bit scary in terms of, “hey, well, what if this happens again, or anything else? So, when somebody is in that place, and they're right on the beginning stages of making change for one reason or another, what advice would you give them?

Melissa Shapiro 19:42

I would say, do whatever you need to do to fight the fear and just do it, you're gonna have those voices, you're gonna have the negativity, you're gonna have your mind try and play tricks on you and bring up prior experiences or things that you were scared of that happened in workplace settings before. And you really have to just tell your brain, “no, this is new, this is different. We're trying a new approach this time, we're gonna get what we want. And we're going to advocate for ourselves.” And I think that, in every situation, I think our minds play tricks on us. And I think we need to have the self-love and self-respect for ourselves to be able to talk those voices down and to be logical and loving to ourselves.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:31

What do you feel like work for you to do exactly that to fight that fear and be able to control those voices, or at least fend off those voices that are in your in your head?

Melissa Shapiro 20:42

Well, I'm someone who, I do meditate every day. And I think that's something that helps me really focus. But it takes practice. I think, just really knowing yourself, and doing that work to understand what those anxieties are for you, it's different for everyone, obviously, based on all of our previous experiences. But to really listen to what's fear based, versus what's based on fact. And I think, sometimes journaling, sometimes doing a visualization, whatever you need to do to kind of figure out what the differences are. I think that's what you need to do. And then you need to talk to that voice and just say, “This is a fear based voice. This is not reality. This is something that's trying to stop me from making this change, because change is unknown, as we all know. And, our brain protects us from the unknown. So just really applying that positivity. This is gonna be better than where I am now, this is only gonna get better. So just really reaffirming that over and over.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:49

I think that's great. And I also, speaking of fear, speaking of change, speaking of resisting change, or even continuous change. You and I, before we hit the record button, had a little bit of a conversation about how this is continually evolving for you. And one of the things I heard you say at the beginning of our conversation right now, is that, one of the things that you really responded or gravitated to was helping people make different types of choices. And, we got to talk a little bit about your interest in continuing to help people do that in their career, down the road, as well, and even expressed interest about becoming a career coach in one fashion or another. And I think that's super cool. Obviously, I'm a little biased, we've got an entire team of career coaches. So, you might imagine that I'm a fan. However, I think the thing that was really interesting to me is, you've done such a great job of jumping into this idea of, it's not a make the decision, figure out the perfect thing, and then be done with it. Instead, it is really this mentality of continuing to evolve, what it is that you want. And I think you've done such a great job of that. So, I'm curious, what has helped you in getting there to think about it that way? And then two, what advice would you offer other people in that realm too, about, how to think about their career and their life as it relates to what they want to need in that evolution?

Melissa Shapiro 23:17

Yeah, that's a good question. And I think that I did have that mindset of, I think part of the pressure too before CCB was that I had that mindset of, okay, like this next thing, like this is gonna be it like, this is my career, like I have to pick the one thing that I'm going to do for the rest of my life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:40


Melissa Shapiro 23:42

Forever and ever, ever. And I think that is such a scary thought. It really is. I think that thought alone paralyzes us. Because we feel trapped. If you think about doing one thing forever, you freeze up, you need to feel like that freedom, that flexibility, because life is changing, and life is ever evolving. And your career is part of your life. I'm not the person I was 10 years ago, even. We are always changing, and we're always evolving. And I think the roadmap that the career change bootcamp gave me is applicable to all of those career stages, and all of those changes, because you can keep using it over and over and over again and reevaluate where you are. And that's what's so great about it. It's not like a onetime thing, and that's all you can use it for, you can go back, and you can do it all over again. A year later, two years later, 10 years later. So, I really appreciated that. And I think learning that formula really made me realize that this is something that is going to evolve, and it's okay. I can let myself evolve, I can continue to utilize this for my life.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:02

What do you think there… because I know that, that pressure is there for many different people. But for you, where did you think that, that pressure of “I must figure this out. And it will be the last time” and everything else that comes along with that, where do you think that, that came from for you, personally?

Melissa Shapiro 25:18

I think it's a generational thing to be honest. I grew up with parents who were very much setting their jobs, they are still both doing the same job. They started out doing so… they’re both lawyers and they're still practicing, and they're in the same office. And so, I think that I just didn't really grow up with people who change their careers. And I think, obviously, as time goes on, we're seeing younger generations changing their careers, all the time now, but I think that's sort of a new thing still. And not everyone is on board with it. And I think there's all this pressure to, for when recruiters like, look at your resume, and they're like, oh, you did so many different things like, that's bad. Like, why can’t you stay in one place? Like, we're still told about that, we're it's still talked about having different jobs on your resume a lot of different jobs, it's not necessarily a good thing. And so, I think that times are changing, and that's ever evolving. And, I think there's a new kind of status quo on that whole thought process. But yeah, I think to some extent, I think that, that pressure is kind of still there.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:41

That's so interesting that you bring it up in that way. And I appreciate you sharing that. Because I do think that, that's something that many people go through, for that reason too. I haven't been able to find out like a technical psychology name for it, or a scientific name for why that happens. But internally, here at Happen To Your Career, we call that the exposure problem, you haven't been exposed to something. So, you don't even recognize that it could be possible in one way or another. And therefore, it just isn't a real possibility in your world, until that exposure to it happens in one way, shape, or form. And I know, geez, even for me, coming out of college, I actually used to own a small business, profitable small business that like put me through college and everything and actually sold that business when I was leaving college, and then because I didn't realize that that was a real thing. Like you could, own a business. And that would be like your job or whatever. Yeah, so I did, I sold the business and probably went out to find my job in the workplace. And, everybody's got a different pathway. But the reason I did that is because I wasn't exposed to anybody else that like did that is a real thing. Instead, I was exposed to lots of other people that said, “you go to college, you get a job coming out of college, and then that's what you do forever.”

Melissa Shapiro 28:03

Yeah, it is really interesting. And to see how that continues to evolve.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:09

Do you… just as we're wrapping up here, I know that for you, you feel like you had lots of time, maybe compared to even the average person because, the timing, I don't know... the timing God's converged in the layout of all that stuff, whatever you'd like to call it. But I've also I've been through transitions. That way, where I have had literally the entire week, week after week to be able to sink into finding my next step, I've done that. I've also done it the other way, many times too, where I'm pursuing something at the same time, as I'm working a full-time job and have many other obligations. And having done it both ways. Neither is easy, they have different challenges. But my question to you is, what did you find that helped you continually focus on and continue to take action during that short period of time? What worked for you?

Melissa Shapiro 29:12

I think a combination of things work for me, I think part of it is just the kind of person that I am, I've always been extremely motivated. And I think I had so much time to think and strategize that I really kind of put all my eggs in that basket, for lack of a better term, but I just really like turned on that switch of, this is where you're gonna focus on right now, like you invested your time and your money in this bootcamp, like let's do that, like this is it, this is what we're doing now. But I think for a lot of other people, like, it's not as easy to get through all the modules as quickly or if they're juggling a million other things. So, I would probably just say to schedule it. If you don't have the time, all that time of not having a regular nine to five types of roles. I would say to just go into your calendar, literally block the time off every single day, and write down what you're gonna do, and stick to it. Because if you don't map it out, and you don't create the space for it, you're not gonna do it. So, I mean, your career coach is definitely there to help motivate you and to help guide you through the process. But it is on the individual as well to actually do the work, no one can force you to do the work. So, I would definitely say that to carve out the time, realize how important it is, realize how important this is for your life and to be happier, and block that time out in your schedule.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:50

I've heard you mentioned, working with Kelly, a number of times, and one of the things I don't think we've ever discussed on the podcast before, that I'm curious what your opinion would be, because I think you did a great job with it, how do you feel like people can get the most out of a coach that that they're working with? How do you think that they can leverage a coach? And part of the reason why I'm interested in your opinion and perspective on this is because you have been interested in becoming a career coach too. So, you've got kind of all the different sides in there. So, what do you feel like, has worked for you to really leverage your coach?

Melissa Shapiro 31:26

Yeah, I think really understanding where the blocks come up. Like, you don't have to necessarily speak to your coach about every single thing in every single module. Just because it's coming up, if you're getting through something, and you can easily do that on your own. And it's you understand it and you don't need to question it, then you don't have to bring that up with your coach. The great thing about the program is that the coaching sessions, you get a certain allotment of them, but you don't have to talk about a specific module or a specific topic, you sort of craft them for yourself. So, while there is this pathway to the program, your career coaching session, are plan by you. So, if you wanna focus more time on your five signature strengths module, and you wanna understand how that works in real world situations, and maybe like the anti-strengths and how that can hinder you, you can focus on that, if you wanna focus on your ideal career profile, and why that's important and strategizing how to get there in the future, you can focus on that if you don't, you're not like trapped into focusing on one module per coaching session. I would say to make notes while you're going through the material of things that are coming up for you may be like blockages, or just questions you may have or things you don't understand or more clarity on and mark that down, and to really focus on that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 32:55

That's cool, I appreciate you sharing what worked for you and what other people can do too. Especially when we haven't dove into that in the past. There's something else that I wonder, before we wrap up, though, and I heard you say that you transitioned away, I thought you're gonna be singing, thought you're gonna be on opera. What was that like when you had that realization? What was that you realize, “You know what? This thing that I thought I was going to do, maybe isn't right, for me, for one set of reasons or another.” What was that like?

Melissa Shapiro 33:30

It was soul crushing. I'm not gonna sugarcoat it. It was probably the toughest point in my life, to be honest. It was the end of college, I had gotten this degree. I really thought that this was right, for me. I had done it through high school, growing up, have gotten so much praise for it and recognition. And just to sort of realize that it's just not gonna work. I mean, that's hard. That's almost kind of traumatized. I mean, it was an identity crisis, it really was. I was in a really tough position for a while, I had to do a lot of soul searching.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:09

What helped you through that time period?

Melissa Shapiro 34:11

I think support of friends, of family. And not knowing that I was actually trying to figure out my signature strengths at the time, because I didn't know that it was called that, but that whole process, like I really was trying to figure out, okay, besides this one thing, what are the strengths that I have that I can take and apply to a completely new type of profession? And what would that even look like? So, I was sort of going through that process, but not in any type of like, neat-wrapped in a box sort of way. Just doing a lot of soul searching and a lot of self-work.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:56

Melissa, thank you so much for taking the time and making the time and coming on the Happen To Your Career podcast and sharing your story. And thank you so much for letting us sit front row as you made this most recent transition. And it's been fun getting to know you. Oh, my goodness over the last year, actually, your transition didn't take anywhere near that long, but we first got to speak, Skype says about a year ago, right? So, it has been a ton of fun. And I really appreciate it.

Melissa Shapiro 35:23

I really appreciate it too. Thank you to your whole team. You guys are just you're so great. And I really appreciate everything you do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:32

Whether you're facing a layoff, or you're just thinking about making a mid career change, consider how you can help yourself start by asking yourself questions like, what can I be doing? What are my opportunities? What do I really want my next step to be? Not what do I think it has to be but what do I want it to be? What will push me forward towards something that I want, and setting yourself up for that. Because we need all those things. Next week, we'll continue our where are they now series by bringing on another past guest two years later. We've done this several times in the past few months so that you can see, small amount of foundational work pays off and long term in dividends and spades.

Jason Bollman 36:19

And I kind of had gotten to a point where I had spent too much time kind of in my own head and then working through a coach from Happen To Your Career, identified things I needed to change. So I was able to move into a new position within the same company.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:35

That's Jason Bollman. And next week, he'll be back on the Happen To Your Career podcast so you can see here what's happened in his life over the course of the the two years since he made his really transformational change. If you haven't already, hit the subscribe button so that you get every episode of hHappen To Your Career and you don't even have to think about it. They just download to your phone right there in your sleep. Also, guess what? If you want help with your career change now is the time because the doors to career change bootcamp are closing this week. We open it publicly a few different times throughout the year. So if you'd like help and want to find out if career changes, boot camp is right for you, then, best way to do that is just drop me an email scott@happentoyourcareer.com put 'Conversation' in the subject line. And we'll take it from there. And that way, we can help connect you up with my team and figure out what's the very, very best way and right type of support for you in your situation. You've heard so many other people on the podcast, like Melissa, who you heard today, in fact that went through career change bootcamp, and we'd love to be able to chat with you and figure out how we can best help you reach your career goals will be right here next week on Happen To Your Career back with another episode. We'll see you then. Until then, I am out. Adios.

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