480: The Power Of Using Your Strengths To Advance Your Career

Learn how Maggie used the knowledge of her strengths to continually tweak her roles overtime, and reach a level of career happiness and fulfillment she never thought possible



Maggie Romanovich, APTD, Director of Learning & Enablement

After reaching the point of burnout in her media role, Maggie dug into her strengths and used that knowledge to earn (multiple!) promotions into roles that she's aligned with more and more.

on this episode

What if you were promoted 4 times over 7 years, each time into a role that fit you better? That’s what Maggie did by really digging into her strengths and learning how to use them to her advantage!

Learn how Maggie continually leveled up her career by leaning into her strengths and pivoting into roles that her strengths, values and personality aligned with.

What you’ll learn

  • The importance of staying true to yourself in your career search and roles (and how your strengths can help you do just that!) 
  • How to use your strengths to continually tweak your career trajectory 
  • The strategy of negotiation through silence
  • How exploring your signature strengths can lead to work you actually enjoy

Maggie’s story is of the many that you can read about in our upcoming book “Happen To Your Career: An Unconventional Approach to Career Change and Meaningful Work,” which hits shelves October 18th! Click here to learn more about the book!

Success Stories

“It’s hard to find something that fits, that’s why so many people change careers. When I finally understood my strengths and how I could apply them it all made sense. It just made it easier to see what types of jobs and roles would fit me. In my new career I get to do the marketing that I love with a company I’m excited about.”

Kirby Verceles, Sales & Marketing Director

Scott helped me learn what my strengths are and what is most important to me… but more important than that I learned about what I can't stop doing that I have to have in my work to make me happy

Rhushi Bhadkamkar, Senior Consultant, Strategy and Core Operations, United States/Canada

Maggie Romanovich 00:01

That's the whole idea of Happen To Your Career, rather than falling into a role because you are in the right place at the right time, you have discovered what place and what time you want to be in, and then those opportunities surface themselves to you because you're searching in a different way.

Introduction 00:17

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 00:41

Being able to find and articulate your strengths is one of the most eye opening parts of the career change process. Consequently, we talk a lot about strengths on this podcast. But one thing we haven't talked about much is what can happen if you dig in and focus on your strengths for years as opposed to simply finding out and knowing your strengths and, you know, going to make a career change. What happens when you continue that self-discovery work and tweaking your roles and how you're spending your time over and over again to better align with your strengths? When you do that you can reach levels you never thought possible.

Maggie Romanovich 01:20

You know, one of the things that has been very eye opening to me over the, like, going through my career change was that I have strengths that I've always viewed as, like, weird quirks, but they work really well in the job I'm at.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:36

That's Maggie Romanovich. Maggie started to get some clues that her role as a media coordinator wasn't the best fit. When she realized everyone else around her was really into their work, they were really into media, and she was just not at that level of interest. She found HTYC back when she was trying to figure out what could be the thing for her. And when she was at the point of being ready to move on from that type of work. And she was actually one of the people that we worked with during the very first year that we were doing coaching, way back in 2014. Since that time, Maggie has been promoted not one, not two, not three, but four times. By the way, Maggie is a master of using her strengths. And I think you'll learn a lot from her. She calls attention to her strengths so often at work, that one of our team members has coined them "Maggie magic." Pay attention later on to how Maggie talks about the ongoing experiment of using strengths over the course of many years and how she's used that knowledge to pivot into roles that aligns with her more and more. Here's Maggie talking about what led her up to that initial career transition.

Maggie Romanovich 02:51

So I got my degree in radio engineering, essentially, as communications with an emphasis in radio. I started off in live sound reinforcement. It's funny that you call your company Happen To Your Career, because I happened upon a radio station when I had graduated high school, and I'm like, "Would you happen to need an intern? Because I would happen to like to do this because I thought PR might be interesting." And the more I got into radio, I was like, "I really liked this." And so I went to community college for a couple years, came up to Chicago and got my degree in radio. And everybody tells you, like, you got to start off in a small market, you're not going to make it in a big market. And I ended up actually working in Chicago radio. And I ended up working for a football team's broadcast group. And I realized, I had a child, I had a three month old at home, I just come back from maternity leave. And my husband was seeking out a new career. And I was like, "I can't raise a family on the income that I'm making right now. I love the people. I love the work. But I can't. This is not feasible." And so I had... this is where I'm very grateful, I had a friend who knew somebody who was looking for someone and I ended up at Constellation Brands. So we import beer, wine and spirits. We have a fantastic set of values that we've had for the 75 plus years that we've been in existence, and they've remained the same throughout. And I started off as a media planner. And I started off as a coordinator, but four years into that I got promoted to associate manager, and I hit a wall. And I know I hit a wall because I had a wonderful manager, Julianne Coleman, she was brilliant, because she would coach you and you wouldn't know you were being coached until afterwards, she felt better about what just happened. And even if when you made a mistake, she's like, "Well in the future, like let's talk about ways you can fix it." She was wonderful. And my husband had just gone back to school to get his teaching degree. And he should have always been a teacher. He's brilliant with middle school aged kids. And he'd coached them for a long time, and now he teaches eighth grade math out by. He's brilliant. And she said, "Your husband just went back and he's starting his new career. He just went back to school. What would you like to do with your career? Because you don't have the experience set from you to promote you where you're at now, we could move you into an agency and then you could come back, or is media your thing?" And I said, "I don't know. Let me think about that." Because she essentially said like, "You stumbled onto this job. What if you chose something?" And so like all of these little seeds were planted. And then I was a big podcast fan and I stumbled across a podcast called "The overwhelmed brain". And I said, "Oh, that's me." And, yeah, and to be honest, like it was a great podcast. But the only one... the only episode I listened to was the one that you were on, it was Happen To Your Career. I'm like, "I have an overwhelmed brain, I'd like to happen to my career." And once I listened to that, I ended up on the Happen To Your Career journey. And so all of these things kind of started pointing me to happening to my own career. And I can't remember if, like, you were starting a website, or if I just like connected with you on LinkedIn. And I said... I don't remember how I ended up actually getting involved. So I remember we were like, in some beta groups and stuff. But it's funny, because when I recommend it to people now, like, "This is what it was called when I did it. Let's search the website", which I'm like, "Oh, yeah, they do all this cool stuff, too. Like, you should totally check it all out." But this is the thing I'm talking about. So what was great about it is it gave me a moment to reflect on myself. I was spending a ton of time doing that, because I had a job and a baby, and my husband was in school. And you know, it just gave me an opportunity to do that in a focused way. And so when I tell people this story, the two questions and reflection exercises that really stand out to me, where was the one where you had people lay out your previous jobs and things that you really love to do, like projects that you worked on, or people that you worked with. And everything that I laid out for my previous three jobs were like, "Okay, I was teaching people how to do something. I was setting up a workshop, I was trying to help people unlock something in themselves that would make them better and make them feel better for having spent the time with me or something that I created." And I was like, okay, that's something there. And then the other one that really stood out to me was, "If money was no object, what three things would you consider for careers?" And one of them was a teacher. The other one, I think, was like a pastry chef or a baker. And I don't remember what the third thing was, because I was like, "Oh, I was like, I love empowering people on the job. I want to go into corporate learning and development." And then the other piece of the pastry chef, I actually bake for fun and make all kinds of shaped cakes. And I've made cakes for for people and stuff. So I'm doing that as a hobby, and I'm like, "okay, I can embrace that. I've identified it", right?

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:23

Wait. Hold on for a second. That is amazing. I actually do remember the pastry chef, because we talked about that way back. Because at some point, we got on the phone and did a coaching session. And I remember you saying that the pastry chef. But that's really fun to hear all these years later, you've been able to incorporate all of those little pieces in one way or another. That's super cool. Way to go!

Maggie Romanovich 07:46

Yeah. And so I was able to mishmash the whole exercise together. And I went to Julianne and I said, "I think I want to get into corporate training" is what I called it. I know now that it's not corporate training, it's learning and development... talent development, and all those new phrases we come up with. But she said, "I think you'd be great at that. Let's figure out how we can make that happen here." And so she put me in touch with our training group. And I had an informational interview. And I said, "What do I need to do to become a viable candidate?" And so then I was put on a course for another training experience, where I could learn more about the science of learning and development. And that was super helpful through a local chapter of the Association for Talent Development. And a job opened up while I was in the middle of that class. And that's where we had our coaching session, because I went through the interview process. It was long, it was several, several. It was, I think, it'd be like three months. But that's sometimes how we move here. But they were creating a whole new sales training department, and they needed somebody to run it. And I applied for it. And I got it. And I remember, we got on the phone to do a quick coaching session, because I wasn't sure how to negotiate internally. And you gave me a piece of advice that got me 3% more in the offered salary, and it was negotiation by silence. Like, just tell them that you need to get back to them. And so I actually told them, I'm like, "Hey, I need to review this offer with my family. I want to make sure that it's the right move. It's going to be a lot of work. I'll get back to you." I didn't tell them that my husband was a teacher, and I probably won't be able to talk to him until after I got home. And so by 5:05, I'm on the train coming home, and I've got a meeting on the books for the next morning where they offered me more than was in my mind. And I was able to get more money. Everybody was happy. And from there, I was able to really thrive like once I figured out like oh, this is what I'm supposed to be doing, I'm getting in the mix, and I'm helping people do their job better. And within, I think, two or three years a new position opened up for a new sales group, I was able to take that role on. And then last year, I got promoted out of a reorg which doesn't happen very often and I really fortunate that my work has demonstrated, that I was worthy of a promotion coming out of a reorg. And from there, I've been able to collaborate with some really incredible people, consultation and be tapped for culture, building things. And those are all the things that were identified seven years ago, when I did that exercise.

Scott Anthony Barlow 10:20

What do you remember... Let's go back to the first change where you were working in media, and then you moved over to training and development. What do you remember about how it felt like, what were the differences in how it felt being in one type of role that was, let's say, less aligned, in one type of role that was more aligned, what do you remember about that time?

Maggie Romanovich 10:45

So working on the media team, I loved the women that I worked with. They were so great to work with, and they were so supportive, and I never fully felt like I was carrying my weight like they were. And I think part of it was that alignment of interest, even out of interest, like, it's all very interesting. Like, for whatever reason, like the concepts were really difficult for me to really like, grasp and apply the way that they were doing it. And they're so good. I mean, one of the women I work with now is running one of the departments within Media Herschel. And when I moved over to learning and development, things were validated, they had already clicked. And so I felt like I could grow. Because the way that I always approached things, like, when I worked on the media team, like explaining why we are going from one medium to another, like what that means for our consumer and our shopper, like the education part of that was really great. The application of me doing the planning for that was just more challenging for me. And so it because it was very analytical, and I'm very, like left brained and a lot of that was it right brained.

Scott Anthony Barlow 11:56

Whatever the brain that applies to that analytical.

Maggie Romanovich 11:58

Yeah, the analytical brain was not me in that sense. Now, in learning analysis, like, that's not a problem for me, because I know where to look, I know what kind of numbers to pull, I know what kind of questions to ask. So whereas, it was scary to jump into a different pool where I didn't know the temperature, I knew that I would figure out how to swim a little bit faster. And I would feel like I was contributing to the organization and to my team, as much as I saw Julianne and Amy contributing to what my previous function was. But you know, I felt I, like instinctually, I knew more about how to do these things. And like I had mentioned, when we were kind of prepping for this, that quirkiness of me being a weirdo, I felt like I could really embrace that. And it felt less weird in this space, like I could take, I really love pulling pop culture references into my work. And so we did a whole icebreaker on creating a band that's together, you're bigger than the sum of your parts, because you work together better. And it was all an analogy from Bohemian Rhapsody from that whole scene where Freddie's tried to get them to play for Live Aid. And I've been able to focus on some of those weird, like, quirkiness things about me. And so things that make people feel like they belong. And that's been really important. You know, one of the things that has been very eye opening to me over the like, since going through my career change was that I have strengths that have always been, I've always viewed as, like, weird quirks, but they work really well in the job I'm at. And my former team leader called me "Maggie magic." And I was like, "Oh, I think you will knock something there. Like I've been able to take leverage those strengths, to make other people feel good about where they're at and feel more connected to each other."

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:52

Yes. So first of all, that exercise makes me very happy where you're using the analogy of the band and everything else. And second of all, I think that it seems as though to so many people that those quirks, as you call them, those things that make you different or make you unique, they often get perceived as something that is a potential negative that you have to offset.

Maggie Romanovich 14:18

Yeah, like nonsense.

Scott Anthony Barlow 14:19

Yeah, in so many ways. And I think we have a tendency to, one, not recognize that those quirks, those things that we sort of can't help but do anyways, are actually clues as to our strengths. And I love how you're bringing that up to be able to say that, "hey, like it actually was a further validation that this was a fit, because all those things that were normally quirks to many people now actually works here, so well".

Maggie Romanovich 14:49

Yeah. And so after making that change, it was really cool to be part of your beta, because we were able to, like, provide feedback and you developed all these cool things and we were able to experience someone when they were in their infancy and got to watch them grow up. I connected with one of the instructors from that course that I took. And she was getting her coaching certification. So I helped her get her hours, and she helped coach me. And one of the things that we did was strengthsfinder, and so the Strengthsfinder that I discovered at Happen To Your Career, the strengthsfinder that I have in here, and like the idea of... if I can amplify those strengths, rather than trying to, like, accommodate the things that I'm not as strong in, like, it's gonna make a bigger difference for me to amplify my strengths than to try to like make up ground for things that aren't as strong for me. And so it's less of a struggle to be in my function, it's less of a struggle to function, because I'm doing things that I'm naturally drawn to, as opposed to things I'm trying to force myself into. And that's like to me, like, that's the whole idea of happening to your career, rather than falling into a roll because you are in the right place at the right time. You have discovered what place and what time you want to be in, and then those opportunities surface themselves to you because you're searching in a different way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:07

Yeah. And you make such a great point too about it is... I don't remember how you said it, but basically, it's more impactful and it feels better too, to focus on amplifying those strengths, as opposed to trying to minimize or offset the weaknesses, which is, that's an unfortunate, I really liked to make an impact on that in the world in a variety of different ways. Because that's so much of what happens on accident out in the real world, you get feedback on what you suck at. You get feedback from all of the, essentially, all your weaknesses.

Maggie Romanovich 16:41

And some things you could do better. You think I didn't know that already? Like, tell me something that I'm good at that I can do more of please.

Scott Anthony Barlow 16:52

Exactly. But it totally flips that on its head. And actually now, even just 10 years later from when we started doing this, there's really wonderful data to be able to support that that's actually a much more effective, more productive approach, even to the point where, you know, people that are engaged in their strengths type activities, just as little as one to two hours a day difference, actually smile more throughout the day.

Maggie Romanovich 17:17

I'm happier. Like, I mean, I think there's a lot of circumstances that are leading to my happiness, which, like, I'm not like physically dealing with infants anymore. Brilliant babies, they were brilliant babies. But I'm in the very much in the mental game of my parenthood at this point, which is different, but I'm not as tired physically as I was before. But finding the things that you excel at from a career perspective, like you're not bringing all that baggage home. And I want to be really clear, like my job on the media team was fantastic. Like they were wonderful to work with. And it was very, like, you could see the results of your efforts. And we had good analysis around it. But just like the that leveling up of my happiness, because I was impacting the way that I wanted to, and I'm able to align with my values of supporting people in the role that I'm in, like, I love when in a workshop, somebody's like, "oh, that totally makes sense now", and I'm like, "you knew it all along. I just turned a different key than you were thinking of." Like, that's really... that's what something like Happen To Your Career did for me, it's like you have this inside you, it's just you didn't have the right set of keys, like, you're working on and a different set of keys. So actually, that makes me think of another exercise that really stands out to me now that we're reflecting on it. One of the things that you said, I don't remember if it was in a video that I watched, or an exercise, or maybe both, but we listed out the things that you wanted, it was really easy to have an exhaustive list of things that you don't want. But it's really hard to identify what you do want. And having the opportunity to reflect on that also helps me shift because it was like, what are the things that trip you up? And what are the things that you really love? So that was a really powerful exercise, too, that kind of sunk behind. But you know, now that we're reflecting on it, it made a big difference.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:04

That's interesting. So how would you say that that had an impact for you in how you thought about what you specifically wanted or needed?

Maggie Romanovich 19:14

Well, I think I could probably make the best analogy thinking about my industry, right? Like when you look at the beer cooler, and you don't know what you're going to shop for, it's really easy for you to walk through and be like, "Well, I don't want that. And I don't want that." And so you're really just making a choice based on the elimination of the things around you. Whereas you're like, "This is the occasion that I'm going for. This is the kind of experience that I want to have. These are the kinds of imagery I want associated with whatever this event is and I'm buying my beer for," you go and buy that beer because you knew what you wanted and it makes your decision making. It's less of a struggle to make that choice because you know what you're looking for, as opposed to what you're trying to get out of the way.

Scott Anthony Barlow 19:56

I love that analogy because in some ways it is very much, it is so much more difficult to be able to walk over to the empty beer cooler and say "no, this is actually what I want" without those choices in front of you, as opposed to what you said, having that process of elimination, "Well, I don't know if I want this. Nah! That doesn't seem quite right." I guess...

Introduction 20:18

There is so much time, right? There is so much time trying to figure that out. But if you know what you want, it's a shorter distance.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:25

For sure. Interesting. So my question becomes, then, how have you doubled down in some of these areas? Because you started exploring and finding what felt right, all of those quirks, as we said, started to align and it's like, "wow, they work here." And then that kept turning into a variety of different promotions, new opportunities. So what did that actually look like? When you went from that first role in training and development to the second or third role, how did that change and help you understand more of what worked for you, or what didn't work for you?

Maggie Romanovich 21:07

So I did a lot of self development, obviously, like I came upon your exercises, and I sought out a lot of development on my own. And I think I'm in a really great environment where I can experiment a lot. Because learning and development can be a little a serial, it's not like a transaction where if I give you this, you give me that, and here's my result. And so it gives me an opportunity to experiment a little bit. So that's definitely a benefit of being at the company I'm at, and in the culture that we're in. As I think about how I doubled down on those thing, the more I experimented, the more I saw people's enthusiasm for what I was creating, what I was co-creating, what I was collaborating on. And it's almost like, not that I'm performing, but in a performance, the more people applauded, the more energy you have to do that thing again, right? So that was sort of my applause, to quote Lady Gaga, that I was living for. I started seeing a lot of positive reactions to things like creating the band, right, we were able to create our culture around that, but also identify what it's like to be part of a team. And so I think I was able to experiment and replicate and grow and experiment, replicate and grow. And that unlocked for me more ideas for me to like, go a little bit further outside the box. Oh, that worked. Okay, now I'm gonna go a little bit further outside the box. So then when I moved into this role, it's a much bigger team that I was supporting, before I was supporting about 100 people. And now I support around 400 people from an education perspective, and that's just with our internal stakeholders, or external stakeholders, that universe is even bigger. And so being able to start off in that first role and see that progression in a quick enough pace that I still recall, all of those little experiments that worked or didn't work, it makes me braver to reach further outside of that box and talk to leaders about like, "What if we thought about doing it this way? I'm gonna put all this stuff in the Martini shaker with a little bit of a seltzer like, it's gonna get fizzy, like, are you ready for that?" And it's paying off, I've been in this current role for a year. And some of those experiments that I did on that smaller scale, I'm now able to replicate for a larger group. And now I got more people to collaborate with too, like the women who work with me, you know, in learning and development, and the guy who works on my team, like, we have a really good time and we collaborate really well, and we're able to multiply those things. So I would say just that sense of creative expression that impacts our business has been really powerful. And the more I do it, the braver I get to get more people on board. I'm not sure that I totally answered that question.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:57

Well, I think you did. And I think you brought up some even more important points too, because when we started talking, I told you I was really excited for this conversation. And I think one of the reasons that I'm now even more excited is because as you're explaining your career trajectory, you're talking about the experimentation that took place and then each one of those experiments helped get you feedback to be able to see that, "hey, this is working for me and is working for other people" no matter what we were talking about falling into that experiment, or "this doesn't work as well and I can focus on the areas that are working." But I think the thing that is so wonderful here is a lot of times we get really caught up into what is the next step or from, like, going all the way to perfect or... and that doesn't exist in any way whatsoever. Yeah. Like it's impossible. Let's do something that actually is more useful. And yeah, don't go for for that. All that to say, though, that this has happened over a period of seven years for you, where ongoing experiments have fueled your understanding of yourself and what you need and what you want, and then at the same time, allowed you to then make steps closer and closer and closer to what you want and the contribution that you're providing for other people, too, which is really fun to see. So I'm really glad that we're getting to do this and have this conversation after seven years.

Maggie Romanovich 25:28

Yeah, for sure. Yeah. So it was like a four, and I guess mid, because it's definitely not after. But you know, I think, to kind of bring that another step further, the more comfortable and confident I've been in my ability to create things that make me fulfilled and better at my job, it is also reflecting and how the business is responding to it too, like, they're getting things out of it, because I'm better at what I do, they are receiving more from me, which makes me better at what I do, which makes them receive more for me. And it's hard, like you're talking about perfection, it's really hard to create something that kind of embraces all of your little quirks, reveal it to people who might not appreciate quirks the same way that you'd want them to. So, you know, I've been able to get a lot more professional courage, and I haven't really been shut down. Like, those are things that people... I've opened myself up to feedback were, like, "alright, what would we do differently?" Right. But nobody's ever really said like, "that is completely wrong." The only person who's ever said that to me, was me. And now I'm trusting me more to be able to open those more creative parts of my function up. And our leaders are like, "Yeah, let's try it out. And have you thought about this? Have you thought about that?" And once you kind of let that fear go, you build something better because you're not like, "Hey, this isn't personal. This is something that they need. So how do we make it something that works for everybody?"

Scott Anthony Barlow 27:07

That's a story that I've heard many times over. And I think it is scary for any human being, most human beings, maybe there's, I don't know, somebody out there who is not scared of it. But it's scary to put ourselves out there in that ways. And that, and when we're talking about strengths, and talking about quirks and things like that, like that really is us in one way or another, putting ourselves our truest selves out there. And actually, I really love Martin Seligman's definition, he's the guy who coined signature strengths and that whole terminology in the first place. But he talks about signature strengths really being you in your truest form. And if we think about that, as a definition around strengths, like your quirks, and all those things that make you, you, your uniqueness are just you in your truest form. And that is freaking scary to put yourself out there. So what I love about what you've done is that you've continued to raise the bar every time you get feedback that "oh, this actually works", then you've continued to raise the bar and go a little bit deeper, a little bit further, and continue to get that feedback. And the part I think that everyone underestimates is, and this is the story I've heard over and over again, is that actually, people usually get a really wonderful response to putting more of themselves out there, for the most part. As opposed to, we're all fearful that like, I'm going to be rejected. And sometimes that happens, and sometimes that's wonderful, actually, because then you can go to a different place where people are responsive to those quirks.

Maggie Romanovich 28:43

The rejection is just as... that's something to cross off your list, you know, it's like, "Okay, that didn't work, that's fine." Like, I'm gonna... and sometimes it's harder to shake it off than other times. But a couple things that mean that I thought of while we were having a change is, like, my quirks don't make me special, more special, less special than anybody else. Like everybody has quirks, right? Like, but once I stopped trying to hide parts of myself and became my true self, I saw more success. You know, and going back to seven years ago, the Happen To Your Career exercises, helped me figure out, like, "okay, what are these little truth nuggets that I can pull out and start exploring more?" And I've been able to do a lot more with it like, just from work, the business resource groups that I'm a part of, the inclusion council that I'm part of, I do work in my community as well. I'm like, "what are the things that I'm... that I like to do and that I'm strong at?" I'm going to focus on those things rather than sign up for every events. I'm gonna run the variety show. And that's one thing that's big, and it happens once a year, like kind of yes to last but make those things more impactful. Yeah, I'm on the DEI committee, I'm not going to run the whole thing, but I'm going to be a liaison because I really want to connect the community to better resources and make sure that there were more voices are heard. And so okay, those are little things that are gonna make a big difference in that space, and being able to figure out who I am, and what's important to me, you know, the way I raise my kids like, what are we focusing on here, the way that you know, my husband and I spend our time and our money like, let's stop doing things we don't find value in, or feel obligated to do, I mean there's some obligations you have to do. But the same thing applies for work and in your personal life, like, the more you can seek out opportunities that really demonstrate your strengths, the stronger your performance is going to be.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:28

Yes, agreed. So now, it makes me very curious, if you were to go all the way back for just a second here to that first change, because we have a lot of people that are listening to this, that are right at that point where you were seven years ago or so, where you're like, "hey, this is a great situation, but it's not totally the right fit. It could be better, there could be more." What advice would you give that person at that point in time?

Maggie Romanovich 30:55

So the advice that I would give that person is advice that my brilliant wise husband has given me and the time is passing, whether you are participating in your life or not. So go do the thing. Even if it's just one step forward, that's one step closer than you were yesterday, even if that step doesn't work out, and it's a misstep, it's something that you can cross off your list, but the time is passing. So what are you going to do with the rest of the revolutions you have around this planet? Like, let's keep moving forward, even if it's something small, that gives a little bit of progress. Eventually, that momentum is going to pick up and it could be a little bit scary. It's like getting to the high dive and you just creep a little bit closer, and you look over the edge until you finally jump in. But the time is passing anyway. So do something with it.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:42

I love that. Let me ask you one more, since we're on the subject of what advice would you give. What about the person who is maybe just one or two roles ago, that is looking to dive further into their strengths? Maybe they already have a good understanding of some of the pieces that are their quirks or make them great, but then they know that they want more, and they're in that spots, put yourself back in that spot just a couple of years ago here for a second, what advice would you give to that person?

Maggie Romanovich 32:11

If your circumstances don't... like, if your employment circumstances don't fulfill all of the things that you think you can do, look in your community for ways to make a difference, there might be things that you can't leverage at work the way you can leverage in your community. And that can be a surprising piece of your puzzle of fulfillment. And it can also be a place to spend your time while you're waiting out the next step in your role. Because when you work, when you're active in your community, you're still developing skills that you can use at your job. And also look for maybe stretch projects and mentorships at your company where it's like one of the things that really helped me figure out that I was good at learning and development and enablement as I was brought into a project at work where we were rebuilding our purchasing program, and I was the subject matter expert for the marketing team. And so I was able to be a subject matter expert, give some advice on how this needs to be built so that it'll work within our financial requirements. But then they also tapped into me to train the different levels of people who were in our part of the organization and how they need to use this new tool. And so that allowed me to demonstrate some expertise, it allowed me to do something a little bit different by developing a training program. And I didn't get a raise out of it. I didn't get a promotion out of it. But it was another thing to put on my resume and put it in my toolbox of things that I could use on the next job. So it might not be something immediate, but the time is passing. So get involved in other ways, in another non traditional ways, and that might help you get to the next level.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:54

Make a story is one of the many that you can read about in our upcoming book "Happen To Your Career: An Unconventional Approach to Career Change and Meaningful Work". It actually hits shelves on October 18th. If you're listening to this, and you enjoy this podcast, I know that you'll love the book. And I would encourage you to go get it, you can visit happentoyourcareer.com/book to learn more about the book. All right, we'll see y'all next week. Here's what's coming up.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:25

In 2020, I was in San Diego with my wife, Alyssa. We were celebrating 21 years together. We had a few hours before heading to the airport and flying home to our three kids, so we met up with Michael, the former client at a diner overlooking Pacific Beach. He had spent that morning photographing the ocean. This meetup took place only a few months after Michael had accepted a new role as an independent mortgage broker. A completely different career from the one where he had struggled, and one Michael had never imagined he would land in. But he was deliriously happy, smiling, and telling me and Alyssa just how much better his life was than it had been in years.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:07

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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