504: Optimizing Your Career By Saying No To Good Opportunities

Kristy Wenz returns to the podcast to share how she has continued to optimize and improve her dream career since her initial change in 2018.



Kristy Wenz, Senior Managing Editor at VINOHEAD

on this episode

Landing your ideal role doesn’t mean the work of developing your career is over. In fact, some of the biggest growth in your career often comes after you’ve made that initial change to more meaningful work. 

Once you’ve figured out what you really want out of your career, you’ll want to continue improving and growing. This often includes pivoting and experimenting to ensure you’re optimizing your career to align with your vision.

When you are finally doing work you love, navigating your career can get even more challenging. 

“I finally found something that was fueling my passion and got me excited every day, and so to leave was scary, because I didn’t know, will I find it again? Is there going to be another opportunity out there that fuels that same kind of excitement and passion?”

Kristy Wenz shared her initial career change story on the HTYC podcast in 2018. In today’s episode, she returns to discuss how she’s continued optimizing her career into better and better iterations of her dream career.

What you’ll learn

  • Why learning to say no is so important when optimizing your career 
  • How to overcome the fear of leaving your once ideal role 
  • The importance of creating your list of must-haves

Success Stories

I can honestly say that I would not be where I'm at today without the HTYC crew. All of the material, the feedback, the coaching sessions, and the podcasts, I would not be where I'm at today.

Tanya Malcolm-Revell, Director, Events and Operations, United Kingdom

when I went through Career Change Bootcamp and starting to work through all of this – deep diving into what I wanted to do, my strengths and ideal career profile but then this opportunity presented itself! I went “wow, this checks almost all my boxes on the ideal career profile and seems to be a really great match.” You've heard this so many times from people you talk with – The journey is not what you think it's gonna be. You think it might be a straight line from A to B, but it's like a jagged curvy line that can go all over the place. Follow where things are leading and be open, because you just never know what's gonna be around that next corner. I'm so excited. I am the chief philanthropy officer at the Community Foundation of Western Nevada. And that's really kind of a dream job.

Karen Senger, Chief Philanthropy Officer, United States/Canada

Kristy Wenz 00:01

I was excited about what I was doing. So it wasn't leaving something or making a change because I was unhappy. I was leaving and making a change because I knew I wanted better.

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:12

Hey, y'all. Before we get into this episode, I wanted to let you know that the audiobook version of our new book– Happen To Your Career: An Unconventional Approach To Career Change and Meaningful Work, is now finally available. Since you're listening to the podcast, I'm just assuming you like to learn things audibly. So I really think that you'll enjoy the audiobook. You know that we have a tendency to do things a bit differently here at HTYC. So I just want to share with you, too, that this audiobook isn't like others that you've probably heard before. Many of the stories that are mentioned in the book have the people themselves sharing their story. So it's not just me narrating which I do, you know, a healthy chunk of it. But it is also when we get to sharing an actual person's story is usually in their own words. Pretty cool, right? Just like what you hear on the podcast. You can get the audiobook right now by this happentoyourcareer.com/audible. Alright, here's this week's episode. Enjoy.

Introduction 01:19

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 feel like you were meant for more and ready to make a change, keep listening. Here's Scott. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:44

Making a career change is not a happily ever after. Even though sometimes it can look that way, going from an unenjoyable draining career to finding your ideal role can feel like the happy ending of your favorite romcom. What they usually don't show in the movies, and what we don't often get to cover in the podcast is the work that comes after– learning to thrive in your ideal career often includes continually pivoting and experimenting so that you make sure that you're optimizing it in a way that aligns with your vision.

Kristy Wenz 02:15

When you get to say 'no' to which I think is really important, because there's some things that come along that, like you said, you go back to that list and look at the list and if it doesn't fit those must haves, even if it's in the field that you wanting to go into, if it doesn't match, it's really important I think to say 'no', because otherwise it's going to suck your time away from potential opportunities that could have been the right one.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:37

Okay, so this is what we like to call a "where are they now" episode. You might remember Kristy Wenz from Episode 255. That's been 250 episodes ago. That sounds crazy. If you haven't had the chance to hear that episode, it's a great one. You can listen by visiting happentoyourcareer.com/255 or by following the links in the episode show notes on whatever podcast player you're listening to this on. Kristy had been working in Marketing and PR for almost two decades, and in an industry she wasn't particularly thrilled with. So she decided she wanted to make a career change to something that would really excite her. So she defined the four significant desires of her dream career as travel, wine, history, and culture. Then she began experimenting and test driving different ways that she could fit all of these into a career. When she realized wine, travel and communication would check all of those boxes, she approached the CEO of a wine tourism company and asked for a role running their communications. And they said "Yes." They work together to create a position that utilized her unique skills. Kristy is the perfect example of how people who are willing to do unconventional things end up getting unconventional opportunities. We had Kristy share her story back in 2018. Okay, so fast forward to now though, Kristy has had a lot of exciting things happening for her because she continued to optimize her career by only saying 'yes' to opportunities that fit the vision she's painted for her ideal. Here's Kristy filling us in on where she was the last time we heard from her on the HTYC podcast.

Kristy Wenz 04:22

At that time, I had stepped into a communications role, and it was an executive level role for a startup company. And at the same time, I was still kind of hanging on to my past life. I had my corporate real estate PR stuff going on in the background, mostly because I hated financial reasons at that point and needed to kind of wind it down and build myself up to the point where I could completely let that go. And so it was kind of a foot in both worlds and moving into the direction that I wanted to go into because it became clear that wine communication and wine travel was kind of the route I wanted to go. And so I was definitely heading in the right direction. I was with that startup for, I think, two years. And it was a fantastic learning experience, I got a lot of travel opportunities out of it, I wrote a ton of articles, met an incredible amount of people and network and really started to grow. I think what precipitated the change, I kept going back to the wants and what I must have for my career, and it wasn't quite meeting all my expectations. I wanted a seat at the table, I wanted the flexibility, I wanted to be able to kind of help something grow in a way that I was comfortable with and fit my values. And it's starting to become clear that that wasn't quite lining up the way I was hoping for it to wind up, which is okay. I mean, not everything, not every job is going to kind of align with what you want. And so it was time to kind of make another change again, and it was terrifying. Probably the scariest change I've made. Because I finally... I felt like I finally found what I wanted to do, like I knew I was going in the right direction. So it was even scarier to leave that because it was in the right direction, it just wasn't it. And I was so scared. I was scared that if I left that, well there it goes, that was the end of that opportunity. Or I wouldn't lose my network or was just kind of all those doubts and fears that start to come back up.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:21

Let me ask you about that. I'm so curious about that because I've heard that many times from people in the past where they have made a, we'll call it a "major change", and then discover, for one reason or another, whether it's, I don't know, anything from a company merger, all the way to the organization has changed to what they want has changed. But for any of those reasons, many times over I've heard people say the same thing that "hey, it was even scarier." So what do you feel like made it so for you? What do you feel like caused it to be an even scarier change than what was arguably, maybe even a more difficult change for you the first time around?

Kristy Wenz 07:04

Yeah, I think because the stakes are higher. Because I cared more. I was excited about what I was doing. So it wasn't leaving something or making a change because I was unhappy, I was leaving and making a change, because I knew I wanted better in, kind of, in that same realm. So it wasn't a massive career change. I'm jumping off the ship and going in a completely different direction. It was, I'm gonna go in the same direction, but it's time to make a change in that direction. And I think it's scary because the stakes are higher. Like I just I was more invested. I finally found something that was fueling my passion, and got me excited every day. And so to leave it was scary. Because I didn't know, will I find it again? Is there going to be another opportunity out there that fuels that same kind of excitement and passion, and will I have the same opportunities? And it was still kind of two years in, it was still relatively new. I mean, it's been 20 years and in corporate real estate PR and so two years in this new industry, I still kind of felt like an outsider. So I didn't know if people would, you know, if I'd have the credibility, or if people would take me seriously, I was just kind of fishing around for things and not really committing. And so it was scary. But ultimately, again, have you ended it, it's such, like we talked about before, like it's a journey, it's not the end destination, it's you're learning things along the way every time and kind of just keep going after those wants, and those wants change.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:32

I heard you mentioned that you kept going back to the "must haves" which a little bit of background context for anyone listening. We use a tool– a super simple tool called an "Ideal Career Profile." And one of the pieces of that Ideal Career Profile is what we call "must haves", the things that you absolutely need in order to make your work feel fulfilling. And I heard you reference you were going back to the must haves and a couple pieces weren't lining up, particularly the values that sounds like. Tell me a little bit about that. What do you feel like wasn't lining up that you started to recognize?

Kristy Wenz 09:10

Oh, that's a good question. Kind of in just the growth path. There were a lot of promises made that weren't being fulfilled. A lot of carrots being dangled and I gave it a good amount of time. And it's in startups sorf that way. It's the nature of a startup are not all going to take off overnight. Some of them are going to take a very long time. And some don't make it. It's a gamble. And it was at the point where I knew that things weren't going to change. It was just going to kind of stay on this little, you know, carrots dangling course for a while and it wasn't making any forward moves and so that was why it was scary too. It was like, well, if I leave and this takes off, that I missed something. But it didn't seem in terms of growth strategy. It wasn't aligning up with, kind of, my vision or just, you know, I think they just needed a stronger strategy in place, and it wasn't, I didn't see it. And so yeah, it was kind of like, alright, I gotta decide either to stick it out and be okay with not having what I want or it's just time to go. And it was time to go.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:20

Where did you start when you decided, "Okay, I'm ready to do this. I know I can do it. Yes, it's scary.", but as you started progressing forward, where and how did you start?

Kristy Wenz 10:31

I started a lot of experimentation again. In boot camp, like, test something out, see if it works. And I did a lot of that, again. I had started writing for some other people. So I was picking up some other freelance writing projects. I had taken a bunch of classes to kind of further my education in the wine field. And all of those things started to kind of lead to other opportunities. And then I just got to a point where I was really honing in on what I wanted. And it was difficult to decide too, because I felt like having my whole career in one place, like it felt like, okay, that's what you're supposed to do, you're supposed to go out and get that job, one job, and that's what you do. And instead, I've got lots of little pieces. So I have freelance work that I do for writing, I have teaching I do now, I started to work at a vineyard. So I started to do all these little pieces, which felt kind of strange at first, because it's not one career path. It's like a couple of different things. But all centering around what I love doing, which is talking about wine, making wine and traveling and educating people about it. And so it all fit, but it was kind of scary, too, because it wasn't just that one opportunity, it was a bunch of opportunities. But then the more I thought about it, it made sense, and it fit those must haves too where I like diversity in my day, I don't like to do the same thing over and over again. In my PR side, the thing I liked about that job was I had multiple clients. So each day was different projects working for different people. So when I started to think about it that way, it was like, "Okay, it's kind of the same thing. I'm working for different people on different days. And each day is different and exciting. So it's kind of like little mini clients in a way." And thinking about it that way really helped kind of make me feel a little bit better. I think the, you know, you just grow up with that type A, and that stereotype in your head that you're just supposed to go out and find that career path, and you're supposed to make it in that career, and that's the job you go to every day, right. And there's nothing wrong with that being different opportunities that make up a full time career instead of one full time thing. It's several part time and freelance opportunities. So I'm making it work.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:40

I think that's super cool. And I think that there's great evidence at this point that that is, one, becoming more of a possibility in different ways than it ever was before, even if we were to go back, say just 30 years ago. Also, it's becoming much more common at this point. And it's representing a much, much larger part of how many people do work, if you will. Let me ask you about the experiments, though. And I think that one of the things that stood out to me, for your first change, is you did a phenomenal job with experiments. And anyone who's listened to our show knows that we talk about different types of career experiments as a way to understand what you actually are getting into in one way or another as you're making a career change, but also remove a lot of the risk, in some cases of like, doing all this work and getting into something and then realizing two weeks later that you got into the wrong... that's no good, right? So you mentioned, you know, started writing for a number of other projects, and then also classes, tell me a little bit about how those two helped you understand, or validated which direction you needed to go.

Kristy Wenz 13:58

Yeah. For me, writing, doing more writing for some other projects, I started to write in different styles, and so different tones of voice and about different topics. So it wasn't just kind of long essays about wine travel, it became more little snippets and kind of fun, conversational pieces. And so that really, it kind of took me back to my roots of when I was back in college, I had a professor that insisted we only do half page papers to get our point across and it had to be double spaced, 12 point font. I'm not sure if he didn't want to read everybody's stuff. This was like, I don't know. But it was a great exercise in learning how to be concise and get your point across right away. And I loved it. I took a ton of classes with him. And just because it taught me how to think in a way where I could get my point across fast. And so it kind of took me back to that writing these little shorter snippets. It was like okay, no, this is what I like more than those long, kind of, essay pieces. And so that kind of led me to the publication I work for now. And then the classes, that was just further education in the wine field, because I always tell people, it's a rabbit hole and I never coming out because there's always something to learn here. And it's fascinating because there's so many different paths– you can take it from science, to art, to history. You can really go any direction in wine and find something that will kind of fuel or spark whatever path that you're interested in. And with that, I ended up, I was offered a virtual teaching class. And it was kind of a one off opportunity. And somebody approached me and said, "Have you ever thought about teaching?" And I was like, "I don't know, gosh, no. Not at all." Like, I have a whole line of teachers in the family. And I've always been amazed by them, because I just never imagined myself being able to do that. And so they got me a coach to kind of walk me through it, and I taught a couple classes for them. And I loved it. It was just... and I was shocked I loved it, because it was not something I had ever considered or thought about. And then from there, I ended up becoming a teacher for a wine school in Chicago, and teaching wine classes for the last couple years now. And it's when I'm probably the... I would say that the thing that fuels me the most at this point, I just love it. It checks all the boxes for me, I get to talk about wine, I get to engage with people, there is a bit of writing component to it. Because in order to teach, I have to learn and keep learning. So for me when I write, that's how I kind of keep my learning going too. So it really involves everything. So that was one of the most successful experience experiments I've done, was the teaching. Because I really never thought that would be something I would want to do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:39

That's so wonderful for, not just because it creates an amazing story, but I think honestly, that's one of my favorite parts about experimentation in that way. A lot of times when we're having a conversation with someone and talking about career experiments, a lot of times people will perceive it as, "Okay, I need to prove whether or not this is the thing that I go on to." However, the thing that usually happens is you learn, like, as you're going into one type of experiment for that intention, you start to learn other pieces that you didn't expect. And then that pivots to something else that or allows an opportunity to look at yourself in a new and different way. And I think that what was super fun in this case is that it turned into something that you clearly never thought that you'd ever be involved with.

Kristy Wenz 17:28

No. Absolutely not. And I tell people now, it's really one of my favorite things. Yeah. And it was all out of somebody that asked me if I had ever considered it. And I was like, "No. I don't know, I don't think so."

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:41

Let me ask you this, though. So you go from these experiments, where you're intentionally writing in new and different ways, different outlets, and taking classes. And how did that lead for you to the collective set of opportunities? And I know there's a few different things going on here. But take us through like, what took place? What did you do? What happened as a product of doing those things?

Kristy Wenz 18:08

Yeah. For me, this is gonna sound really kind of corny and ridiculous. But a lot of the writing, I started to do those little snippets I was doing on Instagram. And it was primarily for me personally, it was kind of, I still do it to this day, I get up in the morning, and I write, and I write my snippets in the morning, so the pictures or the videos or whatever I'm doing could be from weeks ago, but the writing takes place that morning. Because it's my creative exercise that keeps me motivated and keeps me going, keeps kind of my practice happening. And so from that, that's where a lot of those opportunities started to come from. And in fact, everything, all of my little job buckets right now had been from opportunities through connections I've made there, whether it's somebody that saw my writing and enjoyed it, or I met some people at the vineyard I worked at, for example, I met them on Instagram, and we're talking about harvesting and one thing led to another and I helped them last couple years on their vineyard. And so it's just through connections and opportunities that come about from putting yourself on the right path, I think. Once you start putting yourself out there and start keeping your eyes open, doors start to open and you get to make those connections, and you get to say 'no' to which I think is really important, because there's some things that come along that, like you said, you go back to that list and look at the list, and if it doesn't fit those must haves, even if it's in the field that you wanting to go into, if it doesn't match, it's really important, I think, to say 'no', because otherwise it's going to suck your time away from potential opportunities that could have been the right one. And obviously, there's financial constraints, you've got to make some money too. But at the same time, I think you need to make sure that you're kind of lining up on the path you want to be on.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:51

One of the ways that we often will evaluate it if we're successful with our clients is if we can get them to the point where they understand what they need the most. So that they have the ability to say 'no' to good things to make the space for great things. And so I'm always fascinated by that. So tell me a little bit about what do you feel like was the hardest thing for you to say 'no' to but you still ultimately ended up saying 'no'.

Kristy Wenz 20:20

Yeah. I know I don't want to go back and work full time for anyone, and that's sometimes hard to say 'no', because some opportunities look really shiny and exciting. But I know in my heart of hearts that if I were to do that, it wouldn't fit the things I need. It wouldn't give me, kind of, that creative independence that I need. But it's hard because with a full time opportunity typically come some financial stability and insurance and all those things that we do need. And so to say 'no' to those can be really challenging. But I think I know I've made the right decision in not doing that. At this point, that may change down the line for me, but right now I'm happy kind of doing all the pieces that I'm doing because each one feels something different for me. And I've been able to figure out what I want, what I don't want and an experiment, it was actually probably it's been a five year experiment now. Working on a vineyard, and there's the winery. Yeah, it ended up a five year experiment. I know, I don't want to do that. I know, one of the things I had considered when I was going into wine was maybe I want to start a winery someday, maybe I want to own a vineyard. And that's obviously a big decision to make. And having done that for the last five years, I know I don't want to do that anymore. I like, in that instance, I like working for someone else. I don't want it to be mine. I've learned the headaches and the stuff, the business side of owning a winery and vineyard that I don't want that. That's a headache I'm not willing to take on and in those instances, I like working for someone else. I like them. Tell me what to do, go tell me what to do on the winery, I'll go do it. Tell me what to do in the vineyard, I'll go do it. That situation, I like working for someone else. So I did learn that. But it's funny, my husband would bring up every night "I know someday we can get a vineyard." I'm like, "nope."

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:07

That's a hard pass. Already no.

Kristy Wenz 22:08

"I figured that out. We're done. Okay, go hang out on one anytime you want. But I'm not owning one." So it was, I learned a lot from that experience and had an amazing time, wouldn't change it for the world. But it looks like a five year experiment. That's okay. That's not the final route that I want to take my career at some point.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:27

In the situations where, well, for example, like you mentioned, there are a couple of times where there are full time, organizational opportunities. What did you, let me preface first really quick, because it's easy for us to sit here and say, "Oh yeah, like I said no to that and everything worked out amazingly." However, when you're there, like in that moment, and those types of opportunities are in front of you, it doesn't feel easy a lot of the time. So what allowed you... what did you actually do to be able to get to the point where you're like, "Yep, I'm gonna say no, and that's gonna be the right decision for me."?

Kristy Wenz 23:06

I have to step back. Because like I said, some of times it look really shiny and exciting. When it fits some of the pieces, like, it will check some of the boxes. But for me, I really have to sit at that, step back and sit with it, and kind of really remember, "What are the things that are important to me? What are the values that I want as a part of my work life balance? How do I want this all to line up? Is the financial side worth it? Would that make up for the other things that it may lack?" And it really is kind of trusting my gut, I guess, and also, being willing to, if I do pass that up, I know I'm gonna have to put a bit more hustle on the stuff that I'm doing, because I am gonna have to make up for some of that. And so I have to be, kind of, weigh all those options. And for me, I have days where I'm like, I just kind of say, like, oh, "I would just love one job where I am. That's what I do. And I just don't have to think about it. And I can get out of this hustle." And that feels good in the moment because I'm just tired, right? And then if I step back, and it's like, "Yeah, but if that was my reality, I wouldn't be happy." And I know that. I know I like to hustle. I know I like to be finding new projects. I know that I thrive on new opportunities, and I could not do the same thing over and over every day. And so I really have to kind of go back to my core values and even if it's, I'm exhausted, and I'm stressed out and it's like okay, which is going to be the worst stress. Yeah, maybe I have less, kind of, hectic stress, but if I can be happy and that's going to cause a whole bunch of other stressors and trickle down effect in the rest of my life, so it's a lot of sitting with it. Obviously can't sit with it forever, but you have to, I think just really be willing to be honest with yourself. And really... and sometimes it's uncomfortable. It's not always great. It can be stressful in and of itself just to think about it. But it's just always coming back to what's important in the long run for me, I think.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:08

When you say it's coming back to what's important in the long run, I know because we got the pleasure of sort of sitting in front row seat with you, as you were figuring out some pieces of that years ago. And I also know that's evolved along the way. But how have you come back? Or maybe what advice could you give to someone else who really wants to come back to what's most important for them in the long run?

Kristy Wenz 25:37

Yeah, we talked about those must haves. It's coming back to those and recognizing that those can evolve. And that's okay. You know, if you look at that list, and it doesn't feel right anymore, or if it doesn't sit right anymore, it's okay to change that. And you don't have to be locked in because you put it on a piece of paper. It doesn't mean that that has to be true forever. I think we grow and we change with each new opportunity. And we learn things for our career, but also about ourselves. And so I think being able to be flexible in that and being able to say, "Okay, what I wanted may have changed a little bit" and think about why. Why did it change? What aspect of it changed? And being open to that, I think is a big piece of it. I think just being able to really come back to what is important for you. And for me, it's always been a nice work-life balance. And there's specific things that I value in my job. But then there's also things I know I like to take time to travel, I know that I like to have time with my family. Those are all pieces that are very important to me. And one of the things that's interesting, one of the things I learned over the last several years is, you know, a piece of that travel for me is so low. I love spending time with my family, I love being with them and going on road trips, that's all part of what I love to do, too. But with working at the vineyard, I would travel about once a week, once every other week, and was away from home. And that was kind of an opportunity for me to kind of reset in my own way too, like, it was just me and what I wanted to do and what I was working on. And so that really kind of, I realized that was a piece that's important to me. And something that, kind of, to this day fuels me. I need to have a little piece of something that I go out and do that's just mine, and gives me kind of a real sense of independence. And so, that solo travel has become kind of a piece of what I do along the way too, which I never would have imagined, that's not something I would have thought five years ago that I would say. My husband and I, when we first got married, had this kind of that Paul McCartney romantic notion of never spending a night apart, every night we were together. And I think over time we realized, like, "No, these little times apart actually do help us. Like, we both do our thing." And so it just kind of been a good thing. So I think that's something that's definitely changed over time. So just being flexible, open and honest with yourself and being willing to acknowledge mistakes when you make them. Sometimes you might say 'yes' to something you think is the right opportunity and then realize, "Okay, maybe it wasn't" and being able to say, "Okay, I'm moving on from that. But here's what I'm taking from it too", because I think every opportunity, every experience you have, you're going to learn something, whether it's something you don't want or something you do want or a new piece of a new skill or a new talent that you didn't know you had, and just being able to kind of take those with you. And it becomes a part of you. But it doesn't have to be a negative part. Even if it wasn't the right part, it was right at that moment, doesn't mean it's right today.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:39

You're going to learn something for sure.

Kristy Wenz 28:43

Yeah, no matter what.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:46

You've mentioned a couple of times during our conversation, being open to what changes like what you wanted years ago, or what you thought you wanted years ago, that might change. And so I'm very curious, what do you perceive is going to change in the future for you or what has changed that you recognize that you'll need to do something different in the near future right now? Tell me a little bit about what's next for you, Kristy?

Kristy Wenz 29:16

What's next? Definitely changed. Yeah, we just moved to the Pacific Northwest from Chicago. So I lived in the Midwest most of my life. And so we just moved out here for my husband's job opportunity. Most of the stuff I do is remote and kind of come with me. And it happens to be in wine country, which was synchronistic, was not planned that way. So I'm super excited. So I know that there's just a world of opportunity out there to work from where I am now. So for me right now, I have a saying, I have a vineyard sized hole in my life because I left the vineyard back in Michigan. So I do have that space open and for the first time I'm not rushing to fill it. I'm kind of taking my time and saying, "It's okay that that's not there right now. Let's kind of see what else is out here." I'm not really like, "oh, you can go find a vineyard to work at, there's 700 of them." Yeah, if I want to, but I'm not sure that's what I want right now. So I kind of want to, again, I think it's probably good to do some experiments in that little corner of my life and figure out what's going to fit there. And I think it will look a little different. I think as much as I love harvesting, I really do, I also know that that's not something I want to do forever. I learned a ton from it, and probably will be one of my favorite things I've ever done. But I also know that, I think, that piece is kind of over, I'm ready to kind of, I want to say almost merged my past career with this current one, which I think really does sit well with my initial career plan. I think that kind of had a blend of both of those sides and kind of taking the pieces I liked from that first part of my career and blending it with the second. And so for me, I think that will mean some new opportunities, and I think I'm leaning towards some like business development and networking and some of the things that I enjoyed from my past career and moving them into this new world. And I think that's where it's heading, but I'm gonna sit with it and experiment and take some time. And I'm excited. I'm excited. And it's cool, because having all of those different pieces, I still have, I'm still going to be the senior managing editor, you know, I'm still going to be teaching classes, I'm still doing this the other things that I have out there, but I have to have the space now to kind of open it up and move into a new direction. And I'm excited. I'm really excited.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:47

I think that's super, super fun. Actually, that's one of my favorite. I'm gonna call it "areas", like, where you're in the stages, you have many things going on that are great in your career and in your life. And now it's about, we'll call it "design optimization", for lack of a better phrase. So I'm so excited that this is the stage that you're in. And when I had to tell you one of the things that I remember from chatting with you, I think it was on the when we had our conversation for the podcast on episode 255, but you said something that was to the effect of, "one thing that I did was I just tried to have one tiny win every single day, like one single tiny win every single day." And so that stuck with me so much to where we started utilizing that internally as we were working with other clients as well. How do we help them have just one win to integrate that momentum? Even if it's small, every single day, every single time we interact, every single time to get that initial momentum, which then turns into things later on. So first of all, thank you for that.

Kristy Wenz 33:00

For sure. Thank you. I love that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:02

Yeah, absolutely. Well, you said it.

Kristy Wenz 33:04

I didn't know it can help people, because there's been so many things that people have said along my path too, that have helped me, that I love. That's cool. That's really cool.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:14

Well, here's my question to you, you know, now that you did that, through that initial career change, and I'm hearing evidence that you're still looking for those tiny wins, like you wake up and you write those snippets as an example. What advice would you give to someone else that is in that stage, whether it's that initial career change, or whether they're trying to optimize a great situation in order to look for and get those continuous wins?

Kristy Wenz 33:40

Keep our eyes open, I think, is the biggest thing. And it's those wins can come from places you least expect, the case of that my teaching experiment. I was not expecting that to come through, it was a random email that I had gotten and turned into a phone call. And you know, have you ever thought about that in that state, that would have been easy to kind of brush off, because again, now that's something I'm not interested in, just blown it off. So I think being able to just make sure you keep your eyes open for things. And in terms of, like, little wins, just don't discount them. And it can be anything from, you know, if you're in a really rough patch, which I know we talked about last time I went through some of those, it could just be get up and make your bed in the morning and just that act of making the bed that could be the wind for that day. You accomplished that was something for that day. And on those days where it's really hard, sometimes that's a lot. Or to send out a cold email to somebody that, you know, you're interested, you want to talk to them, you think you like what they do and have some questions for them and want to know, is that something I'm interested in and having those kinds of conversations that can be really intimidating, but just send that email out, just having sent that email is a win. It's not about the response that you get or don't get, you did that, you took that step. I think just making sure that you're stepping forward, because it's not. I think anybody that's gone on kind of a career journey knows it's not the... there's no end. There's no big sign at the end, "You've made it."

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:11

Congratulations! You've made it. You've crossed.

Kristy Wenz 35:14


Scott Anthony Barlow 35:15

It continues.

Kristy Wenz 35:17

I love that. Focus on the continuation, and then also, the other piece that I took from that is focus on the efforts, not the end result, necessarily. Take your wins from the efforts.

Kristy Wenz 35:17

And that's a great word. That's really funny because my writing the last week with the move, I've been spinning a lot of things in my head about beginnings and ends. And this past week, that was the word I came to, it's continuing. It's not an end. It's not a, yeah, there's pieces ending and pieces beginning but really, it's a continuation. And in so that was the word that stuck with me this week– was continuing. I think that that's a more fun word than beginning or end. It's just continuing. It's just going and there's going to be little wins and little failures along the way, too. And it's okay, it's all part of it.

Kristy Wenz 36:08

Efforts. Yeah, because effort, I think sometimes is the biggest piece, it's not easy. It's not easy. It takes a lot to make some of those little steps and that should be celebrated because it was our wins. I think just continuing, I think is the word. No matter where you are on the path, just keep continuing and have fun with it. Don't give up and don't let circumstances stand in the way whether it's finance or age or where you live, whatever it is, just keep continuing.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:46

You might have noticed that Kristy's episode is a little different than many of the stories we share on the podcast. If you're at a similar point in your career, where you're not really looking for a career change, but instead looking to optimize your career and ultimately your life, then our team can help you with that too. Many of our coaches specialize in lifestyle design, career design, career optimization, and we would love to help you figure out what is the next right step towards your ideal life and work. Just email me and put 'Conversation' in the subject line. That's Scott@happentoyourcareer.com. Tell me a little bit more information about your situation if you want to, and I will get you connected with the right person on our team. And we'll figure out the very best way that we can support you. Scott@happentoyourcareer.com drop me an email, and like I said, put "Conversation' in the subject line. Alright, we'll see you next time. Here's what's coming up next week.

Speaker 3 37:44

I was getting more clarity about myself. And then also realizing, "Oh, not everything is for me and that's okay. I can find something that is." And so that was really the biggest transformation I learned how to say, "No, that's not for me."

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:00

Let me tell you about an exercise that can be a wonderful kickstarter to building a more intentional life and career. It's going to sound super easy. But many people will spend months thinking through it, and deliberating on it. Okay, here it goes. First, I want you to reflect back on all of your career opportunities, roles, jobs, whatever. What's the one thing that you've always enjoyed in every single one of your roles?

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:29

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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