428: Stuck in a Career You’re Unhappy With? Fear Of Taking Risks Could Be Keeping You There

If you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable, you could be cheating yourself out of career happiness.



Stephanie Bilbrey, Content & Communications Strategist

Stephanie went from being comfortably unhappy in a marketing role at a community college (and thinking she didn’t have a calling like most people do), to finding career happiness when she landed her ideal role as a Communications Strategist.

on this episode

Many people are afraid to take risks because it’s easier to stay where they feel safe and comfortable. We like to think of this as “comfortably unhappy.” It’s the kind of unhappy that you can live in because it feels stable and safe.

But the problem is that if you aren’t willing to get uncomfortable, you could be cheating yourself out of career happiness. That’s right – you have to get out of your comfort zone in order to make big things happen!

Stephanie was plagued with an aversion to risk and was comfortably unhappy in her role. Once she finally saw the writing on the wall, she decided to face her fears and embrace the unknown to find her ideal role.

What you’ll learn

  • What caused Stephanie to want to make a change in the first place
  • Why being afraid of taking risks can actually hold you back
  • How working through the “5 Whys” reveals your values
  • Why it’s important to figure out what you want (even when you’re not naturally introspective)
  • The importance of getting out of your comfort zone sooner rather than later

Success Stories

My brain always goes 'Well, what's the worst that could happen?' And that was another one of the exercises from Figure Out What Fits and once you realize what the worst that can happen is, it's not really that bad. In the big scheme of things, it might knock it back for a minute or two, but it's not not a biggie. They have not found it to happen yet. So I've just been pleasantly surprised every step of the way.

Mark Sinclair, Photograher, Australia

The hardest part was getting overfitting myself into a job board. Because after about a decade of following job boards and what careers were trending in on the uprise, you really get in this holding pattern of not acknowledging what you want. It was you and your podcast and your CCB program. So, more background, I went through your CCB program a year ago. But, I finished it less than a year ago. And some of the tools are you have us design this ideal career profile. And so, you make us acknowledge all of these different aspects and put it together in one sheet. And so, it really visually lays it out that you can combine them.

Allison Curbow, Career Solutions Coach, 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

Stephanie Bilbrey 00:00

I would say that it started with when I engaged a career coach. And it very quickly became life coaching . And the thing that rose to the top most quickly as my initial mountain to climb was my aversion to risk.

Introduction 00:33

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 00:57

Why does making a career change feel risky to so many people? I mean, I get it, if you're in an organization where the pay is great, or the benefits are awesome, or you have the flexibility that you want to continue to have, or maybe even the people are absolutely wonderful, and you're afraid of losing all of that. But here's the thing, even if you're not really happy with the job, and not really happy with the situation, then what goes through so many of our heads is, is it worth taking the risk on a new career and possibly losing all the good parts? Have you ever considered why it feels risky to you? Now, I would argue two things. One, that after doing this many, many years, not just the podcast, but helping thousands of people through career change, we don't typically see that people are losing all the good parts, that we see that that rarely rarely ever happens. And instead, I would argue that the far larger risk is the risk of doing nothing and staying for more years of your life in a situation that's no longer good for you.

Stephanie Bilbrey 02:08

I don't like interpersonal conflict. I don't know who does but I'm like, risk, it's my kryptonite. But man did it get me out of my comfort zone, did it challenge me, did it keep me on my toes, that got me in a better space to be broader in the way that I was thinking and just more welcoming of discomfort.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:31

That's Stephanie. She worked for years in community college environment, and was plagued by an aversion to risk. I think it's pretty safe to say she was comfortably unhappy in her role. Now once she finally saw the writing on the wall, she decided to face her fears and embrace the unknown to find her ideal role. Now here's the really crazy thing. If we fast forward to what happened at the end of her change, she ended up surpassing her own expectations by a longshot in terms of salary and what was possible, for her and her happiness in her career. Now, I want you to listen for that. But let's start out as Stephanie shares right here right now, what caused her to want to make a change in the first place.

Stephanie Bilbrey 03:19

I will say that I feel like I've been toying with my career for like, a decade. But looking at the work that I've been doing in the last couple of months or past year[a] previously, in that last decade, I wasn't bringing intentionality and reflection and risk. I was taking these kind of like small hopeful fingers crossed kind of pivots. And but then questioning like, is this the right company? Is this the right role? And then later, you know, that like imposter syndrome comes up, is it me? Is that what's wrong? It's actually listening to the podcast that you did with Dan Pink. And he said something to the effect of many people go their lives half asleep. Is that... Am I quoting that right? Something like that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 04:00

It was something similar to that. Yes.

Stephanie Bilbrey 04:02

So that actually really hit home with me because my husband and I, about seven years ago, had[b] been toying with the idea of moving across the country and going out west just up ending our lives. And in my sign off letter to the organization, I was working out at the time, I feel like I've been on autopilot. I've been checking boxes that my elders told me to check. So not really taking risks and listening to my heart. So that was my first kind of like, something's got to change. But I kind of leaned on moving across the country to be the, like, thing that opens everything and changes my career. And so, needless to say, that was not the solution. I'm so glad that I did it. It was amazing. I've actually moved back to the east coast since that initial. But, you know, so I kind of, like, shook up the industry that I was working in. I started working in higher education. I started digging heavier into a different industry. But turns out that wasn't the solution either. So one of my favorite quotes is, "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." So it became evident that I was ready to move back across the country to be closer to family. I said, I have got to do right by my career. So that was probably the end of 2019[c], when I started listening to the podcast, and then listening to the podcast, became hiring a career coach who was actually a life coach. She was amazing. And so that foundational work began. And then I did at the bootcamp, probably about like, six months[d] after coaching.

Scott Anthony Barlow 05:36

Wow. So this is... anyways, as you said, been a journey a decade in the making, but especially in the last three years[e] is what I'm hearing. And now you've been in a variety of different areas, you said, higher education, you've been in event planning, you've been in even the marketing side of events, if I remember correctly too, right. And also dipped into, like training and content development, those types of pieces as well. So you've been in a lot of areas, but it sounded like it wasn't as much about the area for you, it wasn't as much about, in some ways, the exact occupation for you, it's more about other pieces. So you know, as you were thinking about making this change back in back in 2019. And you're really starting to take some steps, then, what were some of the pieces that, at that point in time, you were feeling like you were either missing or wanting to change? What was the reason for the change?

Stephanie Bilbrey 06:37

I, you know, some people, they have a calling. And that's not the case for everyone. And I've listened to enough of these podcasts. And it's okay if you don't have a calling, it's okay.

Scott Anthony Barlow 06:47

It is okay. It'll be.

Stephanie Bilbrey 06:49

You know, I made peace with that. But it's like I had these fits and starts of, I'm passionate about this. And then like a year or two or three later[f], I'm like, I hate this. You know, I had a very specific moment where I was working, moving away toward event planning over several years. But I had to lean back into it when I moved across the country, because I had to get a bridge job. And I remember this woman coming into the office and she was a client. It was a big conference Convention Center. And she came in devastated. The event is going on. And she said, "We agreed on white napkins. In ballroom A, there are white. In ballroom F, there are ivory." I mean, she looked like the world was ending. And I was like, I can't do this anymore. This is not what I want. So where's that spark? And you know, marketing wasn't doing it for me. And I even started like a local networking organization for marketing, because I was like, this is it. This is cutting edge. And I was like, man, I really like these people. But this isn't doing it for me either. So I think really what it comes down to is just, I wanted to feel engaged with the work I was doing and wanting to be excited about it, even if it's not a calling.

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:06

Calling such an interesting word. I have had lots... I've had probably, I don't know, 500 or so conversations where people are like, "Hey, what you do is a calling." And I don't even know if I identify with that word, to be quite honest. I can absolutely see how people get that. However, I really don't necessarily identify with that word. And I think that the reason I'm bringing that up is because it doesn't have to be something that you feel like is a calling. But it does have to hit all the buttons per se for you to feel fulfilled, rewarded, engaged. And maybe it's doesn't even matter that much about what word you identify with, but where you're feeling something towards it emotionally. And that is an ongoing, that is something that is on an ongoing basis. And often, we've seen that that lines up with, not just the work itself, but also the environment and the type and way that you're making an impact. And you can see that impact, because I think the story that you told is really interesting one because I have met some people in the world where they would describe that napkin situation. And they would say, you know what, this event mattered so much to that person that I felt very compelled to make sure that they had the white napkins as opposed to the ivory ones because I can see how I'm helping. But it's also totally okay, that that's not how you want to help and you don't get that type of fulfillment from that. Everybody has to find their own brand of fulfillment in many different ways.

Stephanie Bilbrey 09:34

There's an event planners out there, it is okay if that is very important to you. Absolutely. It just there... it is simply misalignment on my part.

Scott Anthony Barlow 09:42

Yeah, there's nothing wrong with that, though. Like I don't think that there's anything wrong with that. And that is in many ways the challenge in this journey. So as you started going through and as you began trying to identify, hey, what would create a great next step for me? What will create an ideal next step for me? What did that beginning of the really look like for you? Where did you start? How did that work for you?

Stephanie Bilbrey 10:04

I would say that it started with when I engaged a career coach, it very quickly became life coaching. The thing that rose to the top most quickly as my initial mountain to climb was my aversion to risk.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:24

In what way? When you think of version to risk, I think there's lots of people that say that, but what does that mean for you?

Stephanie Bilbrey 10:29

I would say Foundation, like primarily financial risk, never leaping from one job without having another one secured, those kind of conventions. And then I just think you fear of the unknown is a risk. And, you know, a career change brings so many complicated emotions, and I was that I don't like that space very much. So much of that imposter syndrome. And what if I fail? That became very evident to me right away, that is your first area that you got to work on sister, is this work is hard, you know, listen to the podcast and knowing the challenge that lies ahead. Like, you've got to kind of get into a discomfort zone.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:13

I think that when you say, get into a discomfort zone, that is...

Stephanie Bilbrey 11:20

Sounds terrible to describe.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:22

It does sound kind of terrible. Doesn't it? Like, probably everybody who's listening to this right now has seen those images, where it's like, hey, you've got two circles that are on there, like, comfort zone in one circle is like everything you want completely outside of that. Everybody's probably seen some element of that. But why do you say that? Why was that such a big thing for you? What role did that play in this process? Can you think of a time where did you start getting outside your comfort zone beyond the risk?

Stephanie Bilbrey 11:52

Yeah, well, a couple things. You know, first of all, it just goes back to, "if you always do what you always did, you always get what you always got." And so by taking this kind of like incremental safe approach to career change, like just career nudges, was not yielding me the vision of engaged work. No, I didn't say calling. So you know, for me, I know this sounds strange, because it sounds so nice. But meditation and reflection, going back to what we were previously talking about, getting deeper into my why. So much of the bootcamp work resonated with me, you know, because it was your first response, you need to go deeper, you need to ask yourself, is it three why's, five why's? I can't remember.

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:39

There's a problem solving methodology that has an exercise where it is five why's. And generally five why's is deep enough. And it goes something along the lines of, and I think this is what you're alluding to Stephanie is you're saying, "Well, okay, well, why am I at work? Well, because I need to earn money. But why do I need to earn?" Keep going to layer and layer and layer deeper. Or it's, "Hey, why do I feel that I want fulfilment?" And then going to the next level. "Well, because I feel like I'm missing something. Well, why do I feel like I'm missing something?" And just keeping going layer and layer until you get to what's called root cause. But now that our base caught up, why was that so interesting for you?

Stephanie Bilbrey 13:17

Because that's really where the meat was, where my values were, where the answers were, you know, I'll give you an example. And I think this is your eight day mini course, I love to the question, "If you had the opportunity to teach something, what would you teach?" And one of my answers was, I love branding. I love creating a whole world for, you know, a company and a look and a feel and a tone, especially, you know, a lot around communications, because that really is a major kind of pillar in my skills and my interest. But through asking why and digging deeper, I realized that there was more to that for me in that it was organizational culture, it was company branding, that I really was digging into and latching on to, that was a thread for me. So that led me down that path of not only is culture important to me, in wherever my career goes, company culture and good work life balance, and, you know, throw out those buzzwords, but I need to be in it, I need to help direct it in some way. Doesn't mean that like, I am the director of culture for company X. But it was through those kinds of exercises that I was able to pull out that thread. And if I hadn't been meditating, as part of that, creating that kind of, it doesn't sound uncomfortable when I say it, because it's like meditating is really nice. But for me and digging deeper and taking time to myself, also, that's a whole other thing that I'm sure, you know, many career searchers can understand and empathize with is just like the time to do this and to justify nothing. You just sit here and you think can be really hard. So another way that I was adding disruption to my life, adding discomfort is taking on hard conversations at work that I would have normally run away from screaming, for example, I don't like interpersonal conflict. I don't know who does but I'm like, risk, it's my kryptonite. But man did it get me out of my comfort zone, did it challenge me, did it keep me on my toes, does that directly relate to my career, you know, kind of work and the results that I got? No, but it got me in a better space to be broader in the way that I was thinking and just more welcoming of discomfort.

Scott Anthony Barlow 15:40

That's really interesting. So one of the pieces and parts that I had picked up as you were going through making this change, just in tidbits of communication, I can't remember whether it's from a conversation or from an email. But it really seemed like this was an inching along process for you, and not in a bad way at all, in a great way. And when I say an inch long process, it seems like each of these little pieces, like taking the time, not just the meditation itself, but taking the time, the practice of taking the time to meditate and do something that normally wouldn't have or get outside your comfort zone with some of these conflict type conversations, each of these paved little tiny inch spaces to be able to get to the next step and the next inch. And that was really, really interesting to me, because I think you did such a great job of going one inch at a time consistently, even though it probably didn't always feel that way.

Stephanie Bilbrey 16:37

It felt like 17,000 inches at the same time.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:43

So here's my question with that, then, when you were beginning to recognize some of these themes, or threads that you mentioned earlier, and you started getting into the experimentation phase of the process, what we call the experimentation phase of the process, what did that look like for you?

Stephanie Bilbrey 17:00

It looked like one way was just reaching out to former colleagues, friends, one of the exercises that I loved within bootcamp was just getting feedback on your strengths from a variety of people. That was one way that I approached it. Another way was, honestly, dropping in words that really were resonating with me on LinkedIn, and seeing the web of connections that were there. So for me culture was a word. So I would find individuals on LinkedIn, some of them were second and third, you know, like weak ties, some of them were not. And then I just hit the phone hard trying to make those connections and asking good questions. 15, 20 minutes, that's all you got. So trying to understand what made them successful in their career, what they love about what they're doing, and culture. And I was talking to a lot of different people to just get as many perspectives about how one could interact with and be in support of culture.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:06

What are couple examples of those? Like, different... I know, we have a tendency to say, hey, it's less important about the job title, because that's drastically different from organization. But what were some of these people responsible for or doing or how were they interacted with culture? What's a couple examples of that?

Stephanie Bilbrey 18:20

Yeah, absolutely. Training, organizational development and change management. So that's those are kind of more like corporate buzzwords, they're pro size certified, which, you know, sounds intimidating. But then I also went down that, like, do I need a certification route, and some of them were internal communicators. So really responsible, obviously, this tend to be larger organizations that need that kind of role. And some of them were, I would say, more traditional kind of HR folks that took on more of the well being, you know, well, being champion, did those kinds of things.

Scott Anthony Barlow 18:51

Interesting. So that is such a span. And it can be. And I think that that's true for every time that at least we're interacting with people through a career change process, that they start to discover, like this can be a big thing. Now, the other thing that we often see happen, and I don't know how much this did or didn't happen in your case, but when people go through, and they're having those types of conversations, or they're getting feedback in a new and different way, and getting an exposure and a new and different way, they're often getting realizations that help them to pinpoint where they might be interested in. So what did that look like for you? Did that happen for you? And how did that look?

Stephanie Bilbrey 19:30

Yes, it did happen for me. I would say what one area that resonated for me a lot was when I would talk to the internal communicators. And you know, it's funny. I mean, how many times have people said to you, "Scott, the writing was always on the wall, like, why didn't I see it? Like, it was like, duh..." But when you, you know, hindsight is 2020. But, you know, for so long and different organizations, you'd be in a situation where you would be at a table with your co workers, and somebody would ask you, "Why do you like working here? Why do you work here?" And my coworkers would have some mission based answer. "You know, I worked in higher education. I'm here for the students, and then it would get to me." And then I would...

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:09

Here for the white napkins.

Stephanie Bilbrey 20:11

Oh, y'all, I'm here for you. I mean, other people would say that too. "You know, I love my coworkers." But I worked in theater. Yes, the theaters, the art is so important. But I found myself saying, "I'm here for my coworkers. Before I'm here for the art, before I'm here for the students, before I'm here for the mission driven thing." So that was a huge realization for me. So then, kind of combining all of that together and realizing that that particular example, internal communications, that's my customer, is the coworkers.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:45

Okay, so that's such an interesting example, Stephanie, because I think there is so many different ways that that can go, first of all, you made a really great point that often when people go through this type of process, and they are trying to clarify what makes an amazing next step for them, and even beyond that, and what great looks like and you know, that we often, if we're helping with that type of change, then we'll often help in the form of creating what the ideal career looks like, and the profile of that, if you will. However, I think the great point that you made there is that so often it comes out on the other side where the writing has been there, and now you can clear enough away to be able to pay attention to it in a way that simply wasn't possible before. And I think so many people go into this process thinking, you know what, I'm going to discover something brand new, I'm going to be a beekeeper, or I'm going to be a, I don't know, insert your occupation here. That is just absolutely polar whitey from whatever, you know, people have been doing. And that's so often not the case, occasionally does happen. But so often, it's not the case. So great point. And then for you, my question becomes, as you were thinking about that writing on the wall piece, what caused you to begin to pay attention to it in a way that was helpful for you. And I'll preface that only to say that, I think so often people feel like, "Hey, I'm saying I'm here for you. But I really feel like I don't actually have an answer, or I feel bad about my answer, or I feel like I shouldn't have that answer, even if it is true." Instead of saying, "You know what this actually means something. And in your case, it really absolutely did mean something, meant everything in many different ways."

Stephanie Bilbrey 22:27

Yeah. You know, one of the terms that you hear a lot, one of the phrases in bootcamp is what can you not stop doing. And so for me, thinking about my co workers, and not that the customer is not important, the customer is very, very, very important. But when your knee jerk reaction, when you look at it process or communication or anything is internal versus external, that was a lightbulb for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:53

The other thing that I wanted to ask you, because it's easy to sit here and say, okay, you know, if we skip to the end of what the story looked like, for you, you got now one but multiple job offers, you did a fantastic job negotiating with both of those job offers. And you work, speaking of those conflict conversations, you had some more conversations that were way outside of your comfort zone. And you did a fantastic job with those. But aside from that, what would you say was the hardest part of making this type of career change? The type of career change where you're putting yourself in the way that you want to show up in the world first.

Stephanie Bilbrey 23:31

I would say that the hardest part for me was just taking risks in general, it's such an uncomfortable thing for me. But to that end, I moved across the country yet again, without a job, it really was the right decision for me. But the work was really hard and sometimes a confidence killer. And so to be so drained, you know, when it's and you're already trying to fight your fear. You know, like, I don't know if I can call this person, I don't know, if I can, you know, leave this job, in addition to just being kind of run ragged from the phone calls and trying to figure it out that I wasn't anticipating that drain and that challenge that uphill battle, I thought it was going to be ripping resumes apart. You know, it's like, oh, that's I'm embarrassed. Okay. It goes so much deeper than that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 24:27

If you were to go back for just a second to Stephanie, I think it was at the end of 2019, you said you're really starting to begin to act on this. What advice would you give to that person who's in that same place where they realize and recognize that what the situation they're in is not where they want to be, and they know that there is something much better out there but they're in that place where it's those fears are popping up. And in that beginning stages, it's such a hard place to be, to even come get into making this type of change and, you know, call it a career change. But really, it's a life change.

Stephanie Bilbrey 25:05

Yeah, I definitely would have told myself to start even sooner.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:10

Why... Hold on. Why is that? I'm curious.

Stephanie Bilbrey 25:12

I don't regret my career trajectory at all, but to have looked back and known that so many years were not spent as engaged as I could have been, as happy as I could have been just kind of miring through, that would be a motivator right there to tell, you know, 2019 Stephanie, because I mean, to tell 2011 Stephanie[g], "Hey, this kind of incremental safety net approach won't yield what your heart really wants" you know, that's like a big overarching. So 2019[h] kind of fast forward a little bit. And I had already learned a little bit of lessons, I would say, the advice that I would have given myself is to research more to be as curious as possible, I tend to be a doer, not that I'm not a thinker. However, if given the opportunity, I rely more heavily on go implementation, press the start button, knowing what I know now, creating more opportunities for research, more opportunities for curiosity, I think would have been really helpful.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:22

That's interesting. Any other pieces of advice that you would give to those people who are just now thinking about this, or maybe in the midst of a career change? Because you've done a great job going all the way through, and I know that some of the things that you've learned through this process will probably help you for many, many years to come, not just now, in the immediate future. What did you say? You're 60 days in to your new role, I use it in a different place, then two or three years ago. So anything else that you would encourage that person to think about as it relates to this process?

Stephanie Bilbrey 26:55

Well, first of all, it truly takes a village to change careers, in my opinion. I think there's this expectation that we put on ourselves that we can figure this out, that it's not rocket science, and it's my own personal journey. So it's just on me, and that is so not the case. Not only does it take a village of your immediate, you know, friends or family rely on some of those folks, as well, but it takes a village of like strangers, actually, you know, depending on the kind of research that you need to do and the connections that you want to make, you're like reaching out into the great unknown to say, "Hi, your LinkedIn profile story is fascinating to me. Do you have 15 minutes?" And that is.... that can be very uncomfortable. But some of those uncomfortable reach outs yielded such critical connections for me, and specifically, what I really latched on to and loved was make it easy for people to say "yes", so I worked on that a lot. And the other, oh, there was a podcast that you did, Jay Papasan. Yes.

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:57

Yeah. Jay is great.

Stephanie Bilbrey 27:59

That piece of advice that he gives about relationships are like bank accounts, you have to put in deposits before he can make withdrawals is actually this specific piece of advice that got the ball rolling to get me to the job, where I am right now, I took that. And I realized there was a... specifically, one day I said, "I need to make some deposits." And there was a former coworker. And I reached out to her with no agenda whatsoever. And we had kind of like, kept in touch on social media, but I knew how connected she was on LinkedIn. And I said, "How was your holiday? How are your kids?" And the rest, I don't want to say like the rest is history, first of all, it's really trite. And the next, like, two or three months were[i], like, really painful on a roller coaster. But it was literally that idea. And therefore that moment of, you know, sending that email that set the rest in motion.

Scott Anthony Barlow 28:54

That's interesting. So you're saying that taking that idea of building relationships or giving to others without expectation as part of how I'm interpreting that and making those deposits, if you will, then that is part of what led to this actual opportunity for you?

Stephanie Bilbrey 29:14


Scott Anthony Barlow 29:14

Very cool. Love it. We see that so often. But I think that's also a really hard thing for so many of us, because the thoughts that jump into our heads are like, but I need a job, or... but I need, like, where do I do the thing that then gets me to the job offer? Like how does... and it is in many ways going against those short term benefits or short term type of tactics that then allows to focus on long term. That's the big takeaway that I have more recently realized about this type of process and how we guide people through it. It requires long term approaches to get to long term solutions versus short term approaches get to short term solutions that you don't want to be in for very long jobs or otherwise.

Stephanie Bilbrey 30:00

Yes, and then, you know, just like totally on a granular level, the applicant tracking system traditional way, applying, resume, cover letter is terrible. And also way less likely in, from what I've seen, than the relationship pathway to not only a career change, but the actual job, it kind of does double duty, you know, in that way, like, I spent so much time on cover letters and resumes that went nowhere.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:33

Oh, my goodness, yes. I feel like you do seven hours of podcast on why not to do that. However, we'll make that into a series later on.

Stephanie Bilbrey 30:42

Right. I mean, you do live some success. But overall, it is not what got me where I am right now.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:50

I think that it really depends on what your goal is. We've really toyed around with how to explain this in a way that makes sense. But it's hard to explain it in a soundbite. But if you think it, think about it, in terms of, if your goal is to get a job, maybe even a well paying job as quickly as possible, then that means that, you know, going on job boards and looking at what is open right this second, and what people need and trying to match yourself into that, that is the best way to go. If that's your goal. However, if you have goals, much more likely you've described, Stephanie, where you were looking for that fulfillment, you were looking for that calling, you're looking for that thing that was missing in one way or another or multiple things that were missing. And that's really what you want. And that's a priority for you. It requires a completely different solution. It requires completely different tactics, it requires completely different. So I think it really does depend on your goal. And you've done a really nice job taking steps that lead you towards what your goal actually was. One more thing I really wanted to ask you about. Partially because we were just talking through it before we even really hit the record button here at the beginning of our conversation, but you did such a nice job working through multiple offers. And that was very uncomfortable for you. So first of all, what's not always obvious is the work that it takes to get to more than one offer. You know, when we talk about two or three or four offers on this podcast, I think it gets glossed over and people don't realize how much work but what was your biggest takeaway in working through that type of situation before we end here.

Stephanie Bilbrey 32:28

I would say transparency and honesty were really, really helpful to call someone that, and I have to say that this particular human being was so so lovely, and saw value in me that other interview situations had not... I couldn't feel that, the way that I could feel this with this particular company, and individual. So hello makes it so much harder. But so then saying those kinds of things and saying, "I didn't envision that it would work out this way. And I was so genuinely excited for this opportunity. I hope we can stay in touch." We're helpful, I think, to kind of say there was a substantial amount of respect and excitement, but then a level of understanding as well, to help ease the flow.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:22

Stephanie, great job again, thank you so much for coming and sharing your story. I have said that earlier. But I absolutely mean it, I really, really appreciate it. And I know I've told you before too, but anything you need, don't hesitate to ask.

Stephanie Bilbrey 33:38

Thank you very much.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:40

Yeah, absolutely. My pleasure. Well actually shoot, it felt like 15 minutes of conversation. And we are at time. I'm looking at the time again. And oh, my goodness. If there is anything you need, do not hesitate to ask. Otherwise, I know that you all are finishing up on the community side. So I really appreciate your work there too. And I know that Phillip has been especially excited about some of the feedback that you brought to the table. So thank you for that too.

Stephanie Bilbrey 34:07

Absolutely. It's been a pleasure throughout this entire process. I want to thank you for inviting me on to the podcast, but just the community that is the bootcamp has been such a delight as well. And the support of your team couldn't have done most of this, going to say most, if not all of this, without you guys. So I am very grateful for this team.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:30

You are very, very welcome. And I so appreciate that. I am way more happy than I'm going to be able to describe in the next 10 seconds here. That is wonderful to hear on so many different levels.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:44

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

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:49

A long time ago, I used to work forTarget. And I did Human Resource Management and Leadership for Target. And it was a pretty wonderful opportunity. I loved the company, they took great care of me, much of the leadership training that I got, and have to this day, came from Target putting time and money and effort into me. So I'm forever appreciative of that. Also, at the same time, I was working for them. And they decided that they wanted to move their HR that supported stores more and more and more into the stores and more into the standard retail environment. Now, that was exactly the right decision for them. But it really wasn't that great for me, to be honest. And that's something that I have seen over and over and over again, where people go through, they get a job, it's amazing opportunity. And then the company changes or evolves into something else. And it's no longer amazing. It's not even awesome. It's the opposite of that. That happens.

Nick Neves 37:12

I was in a job working in customer success, which for those who don't know, it's kind of like customer support, with like a little bit of sales mixed in. And I was doing this job, it was kind of morphing more into a sales role. There's a lot of pressure to kind of move into, like a sales type role, which is just not for me.

Scott Anthony Barlow 37:30

That's Nick. In less than two years, his Customer Success role began to change to, well, being almost all a sales role. And as it began to uncover his strengths and define what he really wanted in life, he knew that he had to make a change. But how do you move from a role that's no longer ideal to one that actually uses your strengths? Alright, well, spoiler alert, Nick does a really nice job of this. And as you heard in the introduction, he actually transitions to accounting. All that and plenty more next week[j] 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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