534: Overcoming Burnout by Prioritizing Career Well-being with Emilie Aries



Emilie Aries, Founder & CEO of Bossed Up

After fighting career burnout, Emilie made it her mission to share her experience and continue to educate women on preventing burnout through her nationally recognized speaking, writing and podcast, Bossed Up.

on this episode

You’ve probably heard of the oxygen mask theory: “In the event of a plane emergency, secure your oxygen mask before assisting others.” The underlying message is simple but profound – you must take care of yourself first to be of help to others. Surprisingly, this analogy is also a powerful tool for tackling burnout in our lives.

Focusing on ourselves enables us to assess what’s within our control, and in doing so, we become better at fulfilling all our life roles while inspiring those around us to do the same. Today, we have a special guest who will shed light on the topic of burnout and how to regain control of your career and life.

Emilie Aries, a nationally recognized speaker, writer, and the Founder/CEO of Bossed Up, joins us to discuss her personal journey through burnout and her mission to educate and support women in avoiding it. Her organization, Bossed Up, empowers women to craft fulfilling and sustainable career paths.

She and Scott share their personal experiences with career burnout, which unfortunately is very common in today’s world. We’re working longer hours, yet our productivity remains stagnant. According to Emilie, this is because we’re not prioritizing efficiency over time spent, and our self-worth has become tied to our productivity.

Becoming intentional about how you use your time and who you spend it with is crucial for self-care. After all, as Emilie notes, “Happier, healthier people are more focused and more productive.”

When you stop ignoring external factors and start focusing on your personal needs, remarkable things begin to happen. Prioritizing your well-being gives you the time and space to explore your passions, invest in your success, and create a sustainable future.

By taking control of your calendar and time management, you’re effectively managing your life. Just like a budget, you can assess, reflect, and reallocate your time to recalibrate your priorities.

In this episode, Emilie emphasizes that your personal decisions and choices collectively shape your life. She shares her core values that transformed her from burnout to a happier and more productive place in her career and life.

So, if you’ve ever experienced career burnout or are looking to prevent it, this conversation with is a must-listen. Prioritize your well-being, take control of your life, and watch the positive changes unfold!

What you’ll learn

  • The 3 core variables to help fight burnout
  • How to practice saying “no” and the difference it can make for your life
  • The difference between assertive and aggressive communication
  • How to be more strategic with your life and career to avoid burnout

Success Stories

“Happen To Your Career forces you to ask questions that didn’t occur for you to ask. You are working with professionals who have not only been in your shoes but are really good at helping other people get out of this place. Intuitively they know more than you do about this process especially if it's your first go around. Why not tap into that insight? What made it clear to me from the beginning was the 8 day email program.” OR “I said this is how much money I have in the bank Scott. This is what I’ve got to work with I need to buy a car. We wrote a budget. Just doing the math you were like you have thirteen months. You are losing money staying where you are. That was all I needed. To budget myself and realize it was real.”

Audrey Romagnoulo, HR Benefits Administrator, United States/Canada

I convinced myself for many years, that I was very lucky to have that job, and I would be crazy to leave it. I convinced myself that the team needed me even though I was miserable. And ultimately, it took me getting physically sick to realize I needed to leave! One of the biggest things that I learned out of the signature coaching was on designing my life. And this is another thing that I had really never, it had, I don't know, if it had never occurred to me. I just never believed it was possible until now.

Michael Fagone, Mortgage Loan Officer and Finance Executive, United States/Canada

All the stars aligned and I ended up finding the right thing at the right place at the right time, and it was you guys! Everything that you said was speaking to me and the things that you had done in the job that you had transitioned out of and into. Also how finding work that you love is your passion for people! Honestly, it was you Scott, I mean, the way that you talked about it, how passionate you were, I was like, there's no way he's gonna put out a faulty product. So I'm gonna try it, you know… I recommend you to all my friends, you know, even if they don't realize that they're looking for a new job, I'm like this is the first step, let's do this! Even if you maybe don't move out of this career. This is going to help!

Maggie Romanovich, Director of Learning and Development, United States/Canada

It’s a lot of self-reflection and honesty and looking at things differently and being willing to be open to what our inner self is truly saying instead of what everyone says it should be.

Sarah Hawkins, Operations, United States/Canada

Emilie Aries 00:01

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

Introduction 00:16

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

Scott Anthony Barlow 00:47

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

Emilie Aries 01:26

And it was then that I realized, okay, this is not working. The breakneck put your nose to the grindstone and just hustle hard and wait to be rewarded with acknowledgement, or be given permission from someone else to craft a career mindfully.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:44

Emilie Aries is a nationally recognized speaker and writer, host of Bossed Up podcast, and the founder and CEO of Bossed Up– a professional training organization that helps women craft happy, healthy and sustainable career paths. After having fought career burnout herself, Emilie made it her mission to share her experience and continue to educate women on preventing burnout by providing support in navigating pivot points in their careers and lives. We get to have a really great conversation about each of our personal experiences with burnout. We also go over the three core variables to help fight burnout and how to start prioritizing your well being. Here's Emilie talking about her first job out of college, which SPOILER ALERT led to major burnout and a total revamp of her life.

Emilie Aries 02:31

I think so many of us find ourselves creating the impact that we want to see in the world and creating the space or the organization or the transformation for others that we had wished we had more of at a younger time. And that was certainly true for me. Back in 2008, I was graduating with my fancy shiny Ivy League degree in hand. And I had the dream opportunity to step into a leadership role at a very young age as the youngest state director in the nation helping newly elected President, Barack Obama, pass federal policies and reforms things like health reform, and helped elect people who are going to bring about the kind of change and transformation that I wanted to see in the world. I was ecstatic, right, I left the university with all that energy and drive and having the total confidence in myself. After my entire academic career, having been a hyper overachiever, brown nosing nerd, and having essentially been perfecting, performing and pleasing everyone else around me in order to get A's. That was my go to. And it's part of the reason I think that so many women in particular find ourselves excelling in the classroom. You know, women have been earning our male counterparts when it comes to undergraduate and graduate degrees for almost 30 plus years now. So knowing and feeling confident in my abilities in the academic arena, left me feeling pretty confident that this whole work thing that, you know, tackling the career pace of being part of a nationwide organization, helping to pass grassroots efforts on behalf of the President was going to go just as smoothly. Of course, that's about perfecting, performing and pleasing everyone else around you only really works when there's at the end of a semester in sight. So after three years of nonstop all out sprinting for success, I had gone from being a college athlete to not having any form of fitness in my life for almost three years there. And while I'm proud of the work we did and I trained and recruited and manage over 200 plus volunteers across the state of Rhode Island, and help them really learn to own their voice to advocate for the changes that and transformation that they wanted to bring about in their community, and to collectively organize to grow their sense of power, I was completely losing touch of my own sense of agency and power in my own life. Now, it wasn't just the fact that I wasn't getting to the gym that set me up to really burn out. But beyond that, I was overworking, 90 plus hour work weeks every week, and it was a source of pride. There was this sort of martyrdom approach that I took to my job that said, I'm too busy to connect with my friends and loved ones. My job is too important to not check my Blackberry and iPhone before my feet even touch the ground every morning at 6am. And I was working all through the late nights and weekends. My only time for fun, and I'm putting that in air quotes here, was at networking happy hours. So it was a really intense campaign pace, and networking happy hours are not the healthiest way to have fun, I would say.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:59

No, they're not as it turns out.

Emilie Aries 06:01

Right. And what made matters way more complicated, something that I think is universally true, but almost universally hushed when it comes to talking about our professional lives and professional spaces, is the fact that my personal relationship was severely impacting my own sense of self, my own sense of agency and power in my own life. As it turns out, my love of my life at the time, right, my long term, significant other who I was madly in love with and living with, who is a leader in his own right and elected official head of an organization, like millions of other Americans struggles with alcoholism and substance abuse issues. So there I was, three years out from being shiny and new and feeling like I was ready to conquer the world, I was feeling completely and utterly burnt out and sick and tired of trying to save the country, right, it was just how I felt about my job for the work week and beyond. And trying to save my boyfriend's life in my spare time. And that left me completely depleted to the point where I found myself driving through my alma mater's campus in Providence, Rhode Island, I was driving to Brown University, was stopped at a stop walk, and I was watching in front of me, as I was slumped over my steering wheel really, honestly, in this moment of complete and utter desperation, weeping with frustration. I'm a frustration crier. So I was pissed at myself for being three years out from college and looking at these students in front of me with envy. I was so enviable of their situation. And granted, they were in the midst of midterms, they were pretty beleaguered looking themselves. They were slouched over big, heavy backpacks, but they were walking home to the shuttle that would take them home, to the airport, wherever it was, to go home for the end of a semester break. And that is all I wanted, at that moment, was permission to go home, put my feet up and take some time to reevaluate, to have a moment of mindful reflection of my life. And I had not given myself permission to do that in three breakneck pace years as an organizer. And it was right then that I saw myself almost laughing at my situation, right, because there I was in this prophetic, sad, horrible situation where I felt I had no agency or control over my life, enviable of the students who I knew I could master their finals for them if they could figure out my career trajectory for me, right. And it was then that I realized, okay, this is not working. The breakneck, put your nose to the grindstone and just hustle hard and wait to be rewarded with acknowledgement, or be given permission from someone else to craft a career mindfully, that was not going to happen, that was not going to work. And especially, if like so many of your listeners, I want to have a career with impact, I want to be in this for the long haul, I was going to have to stop sprinting as though there was the end of a semester on the horizon and really start training for a career path. That was more of a marathon than a sprint. I was going to have to begin to change the way I was working. Because frankly, it really wasn't working. I didn't want to have to get through the next week or the next month. I wanted to thrive while I was striving towards big long term goals.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:36

Very cool. So I am super curious, how and why you think this happens for so many people? And what I mean by that is let's start out with the piece about this, look, "I'm going to sprint as hard as I possibly can. And then I'm going to basically go to a point that is unhealthy and then I'm going to keep doing that over and over again." So how do we get to that point? Is it really just the college or is it something else?

Emilie Aries 10:06

No. I find what's interesting is, and I could geek out about this for the rest of our podcast if we really want to. So you'll have to cut me out when you think it's time. But burnout is actually a clinically diagnosable mental health disorder. It's something we barely treat that way. We say, "Oh, I'm so burnt out on pumpkin spice lattes'', right? We use it locally, in a very casual way, and we don't acknowledge burnout for the very serious gateway to more severe disorders, like anxiety disorders and depression than it actually is. Beyond the fact that burnout is a very serious and under diagnosed issue in our culture, I believe that this is not an individual problem. I think we're operating now more so than ever, in a burnout culture. Here in the US, especially, what's fascinating is that workers are putting in more hours than ever before, as long as we've been measuring it, and yet our productivity as a nation for the first time since they've been measuring this has flatlined. So we're really not prioritizing efficiency over hours in and hours out. And that's not true for everyone. But on the whole, we're operating in a still a very timid workplace environment where our self worth is intrinsically connected to our work product. And a huge part of that, in my opinion, again, is that we're still carrying around the psychological baggage of our Protestant ancestors who started this country, right? The whole idea of the Protestant work ethic has been warped in a lot of ways to say, not only is your personal value connected to your productivity and what you're contributing, but now that we have the technology that makes it easier, right, that frees us up to be connected all the time, we feel that we must be connected all the time, we feel tethered to work. So I think there's a lot of socio economic forces that play, stagnating wages have a lot to do with that, like these are not people who aren't taking vacation is because they don't want to, it's because the cost of taking a vacation has become untenable for a huge swath of our country. So with economic anxiety, combined with the rapidly accelerating pace of our workplaces, we have a chronic normalization of burnout as something that is lauded, right? So it's this real conundrum that's going to require a big questioning of what we value as a society, both in the individual basis and in our body politic.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:48

Okay, so let's talk about that for a minute. Cuz I think that's incredibly important. And first of all, I'm so glad that you're doing this type of work as well, because there's a lot of people that need help out there. Plus, as you pointed out, we have a huge societal shift to make in order to have this be anywhere close to the realm of, okay, in most people's minds, to focus on efficiency, for example, as opposed to, I don't know, pleasing other people or any number of other things that we just talked about, right? And so thank you, first of all. And second of all, I am curious, then, how did you start, aside from having that break down in the middle of the college campus watching all the other people that are moving on to their next thing after their sprint and having that checkpoint, how else did you personally begin to transition away from this normalized culture?

Emilie Aries 13:54

Sure. I'm so glad you brought it back to that because the end of that story is actually rather important. And sometimes we dwell on the problem and forget to explain the solution. But for me, three core things, three core variables helped me completely transform my life over the course of two relatively rocky years, but such transformative years that it left me thinking that that burnt out woman weeping at the crosswalk was unrecognizable. The friends in my life now just cannot even fathom that, that was me at any point in time. So three things: One professional help, right? Actually having expert help that I couldn't afford to be quite honest. But I had the help of a therapist, teach me everything I learned about addiction and helped me see with a sort of someone who was outside of the situation helping to advocate for me on a one on one basis by really working with someone one on one. And for me, that was the form of a therapist, which is funny because I went to my physician, someone I trusted and said, "I need to get my boyfriend into therapy", and she said, "Yeah, okay, let's get you into therapy first and see how that goes." So one, expert help. Two, what I call a community of courage. And I think a community of courage because for so many years, I was so focused on work that I thought of my friends as a luxury. I thought of spending time with family as a luxury as something that was wasting precious productivity time, when in reality, the hallmark of a healthy well adjusted mentally sound human being is being connected, right, being well connected, and having people, who not only keep you grounded, but reflect back to you the most courageous reflection of who you think you are. So when I was full of self doubt, and anxiety, going to the people in my life who were also full of self doubt, and anxiety was not helpful. And that's just so happened to be a lot of the people I surrounded myself with during that time. So I very mindfully began to reach out to and hang out with people who lifted me up, people who saw me in a better light than I even saw myself. I was so busy being self deprecating, and feeling like a martyr, that to hang out with people who actually said, "No, you've got potential. Where are you going to go after this? Like, what are you going to do next with your life?" Let's have that conversation was, at first, a little threatening to me. And then I recognized it for the courageous conversations that I really needed to have at that time. So being critically mindful about who I was hanging out with.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:41

What do you mean by threatening? I'm super curious about that.

Emilie Aries 16:43

Well, I found it when I was in a place of insecurity, I found questions like that to be threatening to my self worth at the time. So I had a great job on paper, right, estate director. And so when I had a colleague say to me, "You're on the rise. When are you going to blow this popsicle stand and go do something else? What are you going to do next?" I, A: was dumbfounded because I didn't have an answer for her. And that uncertainty made me uncomfortable. And two: I thought, "Oh, she's judging me. She's asking me this question, because she doesn't think what I'm doing right now is good enough." So that's a really knee jerk, very small minded reaction to discomfort that I had not been putting myself in on a regular basis. So I know people who are listening to this or say, "Okay, I'm ready to get uncomfortable and talk about the uncertain future that I'm exploring right now." What it takes is a healthy sense of, I know my worth, I know what I'm doing now is fine for some people, is successful in some people's eyes, but I'm not threatened by my own desire for more. And I'm not threatened by my own lack of clarity on what that looks like right now. I'm going to explore that, I'm going to lean into that discomfort. Does that make sense?

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:01

Makes total sense. And I'm also really curious about self worth, because I feel like, I mean, a lot of what our company do is, on the surface, we help people make really big career changes, right? But underlying all that, almost every time, and probably every time, there is some measure of people changing their mind... When we help people make those types of big life changes, there's some measure of changing your mind and mindset about your self worth that goes on with that. So I'm super curious about what that looked like for you. What helped you along the way too?

Emilie Aries 18:39

Yeah, it's hard to say because it's such an uncertain, invisible under the surface transformation. But here's one thing that comes to mind, when I first called my mother, who is a professional caretaker, so she's a nurse. She's a labor and delivery nurse. She's been working in that kind of a role for 30 years, she has four children, of which I am one and she is a caretaker in her personal life and her professional life, right. So she's from that mindset, from that framework. I called my mom up and said, "Mom, I think my boyfriend has a drinking problem." And this was huge, right? Because this was a year into my suspicion, and a year into busting my butt on my own work, on my own career. And I was finally starting to articulate what I thought was very shameful and scary, and something I didn't even know for sure was true. I really was full of self doubt, because he was a master manipulator. And my mom said to me, the first words out of her mouth when I finally dared utter those to her were, "Oh, honey, be nice to him." And in retrospect, many years from that moment, and knowing that I have a very good relationship with my mother, I can understand where she was coming from with that, right. She's a caretaker. That's her instinct. For me, it took me a year to go from be a good girlfriend, be a good worker, be a good ally, be a good friend, to be good to myself. What the hell do I need? And that comes from having expert help, that comes from having a community of courage. And it comes from learning to take all that advocacy expertise that I had learning and helping others to advocate for themselves, and directing that attention to myself. And that's what turned my life around, advocating to get out of a relationship that I didn't want to be in anymore, advocating to quit my job and leave the state of Rhode Island and, actually, happen to my career, right, actually take proactive action, and go explore the career opportunities that were out there and negotiate for a salary for the first time in my life, which meant doubling my salary nearly when I moved out of Rhode Island to Washington, DC, the city I always wanted to live in and advocating for leaving the office every single day at 6pm. And instead of spending my free time for those two years that followed, at the happy hour circuit, which frankly, I didn't want to be around, I spent that time on the volleyball courts down by the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall, getting stronger and tapping back into my college sport, and having the physical strength that then motivated, inspired the mental strength that followed. And yes, it just so happens that while I was down there, over those two years, I met an amazing, wonderful guy who I've now been dating for four years.

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:36

Okay, so here's one of the things that I heard from there that I'm pulling out. Other people may or may not be paying attention to it. But I've kind of noticed this pattern that when you stop ignoring what is going on, or what is a need for yourself, and you finally start acting on that, first of all, I've noticed that very often takes you away from the norm. So I heard you say that that took you away from happy hour, right? And all of a sudden, you're spending some of your time in different places. But I'm also super curious from your perspective, what that was like in order to actually really take the final step and break away from that norm. Because I think I've got to just gotta acknowledge that that's not always easy for people. But I have also noticed that when you do so, good things almost always happen. Like, you got to meet this great guy and, you know, you're healthier and whatever else, right?

Emilie Aries 22:29

What's funny is that breaking from the norm comes from a strong sense of self worth. Because if you're always chasing merit badges, as I like to call it, if you're chasing other people's metrics of success, then you're not busy asking yourself the questions of what do I define success as for myself. So what you didn't hear in that story is all the hours I spent alone in my tiny one bedroom apartment that had zero furniture, but a mattress on the floor when I first moved in, the $6,000 in credit card debt that I incurred in over the course of that transition and that breakup, and slowly paying that off by not eating out for about a year, right? And like the boring, but so essential, laborious work that happens when you're reading and reflecting and journaling, like a loner, right? Like, for me, a lot of that transformation happened off the volleyball courts, when I was taking care of myself by reading more books that I read in college for fun, exploring and following threads that interested me, because I didn't have to prove to anyone else that I was interested in whatever they thought I should be interested in. And what that meant was, two years working in this political job, I was a digital strategist helping win campaigns using the internet and helping to raise money on the internet, it was fine, right? Did it light me up? No. Did it pay my bills? Yes. And that's why playing volleyball for hours a week was a huge part of maintaining my sense of health, and acknowledging that happier, healthier people are more focused and more productive, helped me stay balanced, but not even stay balanced. It helps me create some space to dream about what was even, like, that was even bigger brewing inside of me. And that was Bossed Up. So as I was learning to put my own oxygen mask on first before assisting others, as I was taking care of myself financially, right, being prudent and investing in my own health and happiness and well being, I was saying, "Okay, here's how we might be able to bottle that transformation and bring it to other people, specifically women." Because a lot of these challenges look different for men and women. And burnout, I think, is one of the most under discussed topics out there but especially burnout as it relates to gender. So there was a lot of transformation that was looked like me having a great time. I'm running my first ever half marathon and competing in my first triathlon, like, that looked like fun. But what it was, was the hours I spent working on myself, getting clear with my own body and my mind and my community on who I was and who I wanted to become, it's hard to do that in any other way, but slow and incremental, caring for oneself and creating the time and space to be mindful about what happening to your career means to you.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:30

I'm so glad that you delved into that, and allowed me to ask more about that, because I really think some of the things that you just talked about are maybe even the most important pieces, and so many people misunderstand how this type of big life change can happen, because it doesn't happen overnight. It happens in stages and steps and building upon the previous step, and then building on the next one, and then building on the next one. And let me shift gears, just a tiny bit, because I really, really want to get into, how can we, not just avoid burnout, but how can we thrive? And I know one of the things you're incredibly passionate about is how can we do that through different types of communication in particular. And what I'm super curious about is, if I'm in that place where I am, either, I'm looking ahead and I can see the burnout coming or I'm in the place where I'm looking ahead and realizing that I don't want to be where I'm at right now, in six months, in two years, five, or whatever it happens to be. How can communication impact that?

Emilie Aries 26:34

Well, I think what you're tapping into here is honing your assertive communication. And unfortunately, the word assertive has a real bad rap. Right? We often misinterpret assertive behavior for aggressive behavior. So the first thing I... One of the first videos I ever made on YouTube, that's still one of the most shared, is knowing the difference between assertive versus aggressive. And really just to give you the top lines there, assertive and aggressive are both behaviors that say, "Here's what I want", right? You have to be proactive about saying, "Here's what I want. Here's what I need. Here's what I desire." When you're being assertive, you're also being mindful of and curious to hear from others and their needs in the situation. So an assertive person might say, "Hey, you can't cut this line. We've all been waiting here in this line for a long time. I want to get to where we're going. I know you want to get to where you're going. But we've all been here. So I'm standing up for all of our rights in this equation by saying the back of the line is back that way." Right? An aggressive person would cut the line. An aggressive person says, "I want to get to the front of the line. I know these people are waiting but their needs, their desires, their interests do not interest me." And just understanding that difference can help us, especially as women who get a bad rap when we express assertive behavior, because assertiveness while it is essential to leadership is also inversely correlated with likability when exhibited by women, right? The idea that a bossy woman is a bad thing, but a man exhibiting the same kinds of communication might be more likely to be viewed. And this has been shown in social science research for 30 years. As a leader, a strong, forceful leader, right? Now, people who are assertive, men and women, are less liked. But women are more disliked when they're being assertive. And sometimes their capability is even called into question. So it's no wonder that we've adapted by becoming, yes women, right, we please, we perfect, we perform. When in reality, the biggest way that all of us, men and women, can make a change to the status quo is to start saying "No." Right? We have to start saying no to the people, the things and the actions that we're taking in our lives that do not serve our vision for where we want to take our lives and our careers next. It's really honestly, burnout. And having that lack of agency, feeling like your actions don't impact your life is a condition that follows the lack of saying no and drawing healthy boundaries. So when we feel out of control of our lives, start taking that power back even in micro steps, even if it means saying, "You know what? No, I can't meet at that time tomorrow. But can we meet earlier?" I can make this happen by providing an alternative, right? Saying no with a smile on your face, because I think it's Stephen Covey who talks about, "you have to decide what your highest priorities are, and have the courage, pleasantly smilingly non apologetically, to say no to other things."

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:53

Here's what I want to ask you with some of the remaining time that we have Emilie because I'm super curious. We've talked about burnout. We talks about saying no, we've talked about a whole bunch of these other different things. But what can I do? What's one thing that I can do to either get me started in being more intentional with what I'm saying yes or no to? Or what's one thing that I can do to be able to actually say no in a situation where otherwise wouldn't? How can I put this stuff to use?

Emilie Aries 30:20

I like to guide people to their calendars. So we all use a calendar, whether it's your journaler, and you like to write it down in a date book, or you occasionally make a Google Calendar happen. Or if you're like me, and you're totally hyper, Google Calendar it out with, like, color coding and all that fun stuff. I feel like our calendars, right, and the rise of the personal planner has been such a phenomenon in recent years. I think it's indicative of our overwhelm. But I would say, let's look at our calendar instead of this way to hack into our productivity. Let's approach our calendar like a budget for our time. When we make a budget every month, it is an aspirational reflection of where we want to spend our money, right? It's aspirational, and what we value. I always say to organizations, "Don't tell me that you care about helping people, you care about investing in your retention and development of women leadership. Give me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value." Right? Where we spend our money is a reflection of our values. We need to look at our calendars within that same lens, and say, I'm not just gonna look at this as a forecasting tool, like our budgets, as an aspirational array of things I want to get done. But also think about the end of the month, which just happened yesterday, right? That day when we look back at our budgets, hopefully, right? And maybe it's a sweat inducing moment, maybe your palms get a little sweaty, or maybe you don't even do this part of it, because you don't want to look at it. But we have to look back at our budgets and say, "Okay, how did things go this month? Did I align with my own aspirational self? Did my budget turn out the way I had aspired it would? And what came up but I wasn't anticipating? What was I hit with that I didn't see coming?" If we can use our calendars in that same way, we can then use it on a week to week basis, a day to day basis, a month to month basis, whatever works for your scale, to look back and say, "Alright, here's what I forecast. And here's what I wanted to do. What actually happened, and what came up that I didn't see coming at all." And instead of saying, "Oh, I'm a failure. I feel overwhelmed. I didn't get anything done." We can then drag and drop or recalibrate, right? What does it call it a reallocation of our portfolios, right? From a finance standpoint, we have to reallocate our future time and slowly but surely get better at estimating our capacity. I don't know about you or your listeners, but I started off my professional career as a chronic over estimator of my own capacity. I over promised and under delivered. And that is a good way to set yourself up to feel guilty all the time. Right. Like I'm a failure. I didn't deliver on the birthday party I promised my little sister. And I really wanted to make this homemade delicious meal for my man. You know, and then just feel like a failure when you didn't get anything done that you aspire to. I think our job is to get better at being realistic with our budgeting of our time and our money, and then make those choices about how we want to spend our time from a place of values, right, as a reflection of what we care about. That perfect example of happy hour versus the volleyball courts was a reflection of my values. And so I would say, you all have the power right now to look at your calendar and say no to the weddings you don't want to go to, to the holiday parties that you're going to feel drained afterwards, instead of inspired and uplifted, right. Say no to doing the things you think you should be doing, but don't really want to. And that creates the time and space for reflection, for effort and energy to be put behind, whether it's a career transition or an entrepreneurial effort, or making your case to your boss for that year and promotion that you want, whatever it might be, your time is your most precious resource. So be mindful about creating time for the personal goals you might have and the development of your own vision for your life that otherwise will be filled to the brim with things you think you should be doing for others.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:40

Hey, if you've been listening to our episodes here at Happen To Your Career, and you want to make an intentional career change to much more meaningful work, and have it neatly laid out into an organized framework, well, guess what? We actually have that available for you in the Happen To Your Career book. It's available on Amazon, Audible, anywhere else where you get your books. You'll learn about the five hidden obstacles stopping your career change, how to figure out what truly makes you happy with your career, and what brings you more happy more often, and more importantly, how to transition to a much more fulfilling career and life. You can find the book on Amazon, Audible, anywhere where books are sold. By the way, people are particularly loving the audio book, which you can access right now in seconds.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:34

Here's a sneak peek into what we have coming up for you next week right here on Happen To Your Career.

Speaker 3 35:40

So I think that my biggest advice is to show up for yourself, know that you're worth it, and know that your value in the world is important and we need you to authentically show up as yourself in order to change the world.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:52

When you first begin considering a career change, it's impossible to predict all the obstacles that could get in your way. But there is one obstacle that I am 100% sure without a doubt will be there. What is that obstacle? Well, drumroll please. It turns out, it's you. Yep. The biggest obstacle standing in the way of your ideal career is you. Your indecision, doubts, overthinking tendencies, procrastination, comfort zone, all of it, is keeping you from what will likely be the best decision for your career and your life. You just have to get out of your own way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 36:30

All that and plenty more next week right here on Happen To Your Career. Make sure that you don't miss it. And if you haven't already, click Subscribe on your podcast player so that you can download this podcast in your sleep, and you get it automatically, even the bonus episodes every single week, sometimes multiple times a week. Until next week. Adios. I'm out.

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