Are you ready?

I received an email recently from a new reader of my blog.

Dale was 47, and had been working as a successful sales rep for a software company. Dale was also miserable in his job. So he hired a coach to help him find his way. After some time, Dale and his coach discovered a dream from when he was younger, that of becoming a social worker so he could work as a college career counselor. His coach encouraged him to pursue this dream. Dale quit his job and went to school full time. Several years later, when he graduated, the economy had tanked, and there weren’t as many jobs available to Dale. And they all required some years of experience. At that moment, Dale’s wife was laid off, and suddenly, there were no income and no opportunities.

Now Dale is convinced that he should never have attempted to pursue his dream. Instead, he thinks he needs to “suck it up” and go back to being miserable at his sales job. He is certain that some people don’t get to live their dreams. Dale is now looking for a job, any job, just to make ends meet.

Dale is convinced that his is a cautionary tale, that unless you are independently wealthy, there comes a time when you are naïve and foolish to pursue your dreams.

Is Dale right? Are we to be forewarned?

While my heart aches for Dale and his story, I don’t believe so. I believe there are some choices Dale could have made along the way and his story would have had a happier ending.

Kathy provides a good example for us. Kathy dreamed of working as a museum curator, but for her that required more schooling.

So she chose to dig a bit deeper before deciding to go back to school. In Stage 1: Unearth, Kathy spent time looking not just for a label, but for the strengths and skills she wanted to use. What about being a curator really appealed to Kathy? What values did it fulfill? What strengths did she get to use? What got her juices flowing? She also asked herself if she really wanted to go back to school?

Then in Stage 2: Imagine, Kathy generated more options that would fulfill what she learned in Stage 1. Museum curator was one option, but perhaps doing visual merchandizing for retail or even working in art galleries would have been satisfying. Kathy identified a list of alternatives for herself, in addition to the “Museum Curator.” These jobs gave more options to Kathy, with equal fulfillment.

Also, Kathy spent some time identifying the “other criteria” for her dream job: income needs, benefits, work environment, etc. Those other elements that make us happy or miserable in a job.

In Stage 3: Create, Kathy did some down and dirty research. What is the job market like for each position she was interested in? Where are the jobs? What do they pay? Kathy conducted informational interviews with people who worked in the jobs she identified, to find out some of these answers.

Kathy also gave consideration to her financial situation, to decide if going to school would provide the financial payoff she needed. Part of Stage 3 is doing the math. In the end, Kathy opted to not go back to school, and chose to pursue a job at a local art gallery. Kathy is now happily employed, and loves her work.

Kathy also had developed an alternate plan, which would have allowed her to pursue the Museum Curator path. She would have gone to school at night to pursue her degree. She would have volunteered on the weekends to build some experience and build her network to prepare for when she did graduate. She would have continued working until landing a job in a museum.

I know that you can absolutely have the career you dream of, without all the pain that Dale suffered. I also know that Dale still can have his dream job, he just has more obstacles in his way right now. But every one of them can be overcome, if he wants it.

What is your next step in pursuing the career of your dreams? Declare it now by sharing it on my blog (below).

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Client Stories

What did you need at the time you hired Lori?

I wanted to work in my industry and didn't know how to progress any further than I was. I knew I had much experience that could be put in the industry of my choice but not how to parlay that experience. I needed guidance.

What did you and Lori do together?

Many, many things. Overall, to get clear in my mind what I offered and really what I wanted in a work environment. Every week was another epiphany after another. One of my favorites was the "knowing your core values". Having had some experience on this subject I was all ready to dive-in. Core Values is key. Knowing your core values. 

Lori makes it so easy to pinpoint. One time we were speaking about something else and we both realized...OMG...that is a core value for me. I hadn't written it down before, but discovered later that if ever a core value fit was the one I mentioned at that time.  Knowing that piece of information also answered a long standing question in my head.  One of the "why's" as to my constant upset with other places I had worked.

What were the results from working with Lori?

Many things. One is a great looking resume. I thought, wow, I look good and it was all from work I had already done elsewhere but didn't know how to say it or present it. Another is the clarity of knowing where I will feel good when I do work. What I really want and with the kind of people I really want to work with on a daily basis. This entire process is so valuable. The best money I ever spent and I am not kidding or exaggerating. I was only hoping it would be valuable and it really was valuable.< I know stuff and it has value and is marketable. Lori showed me those things and it gives me confidence.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Lori delivers above and beyond. The highest quality of exchange, 'more than you expected.' I told my friends this over and over: 'I wish I had her 10-20-even 30 years ago.' Every one, and I mean EVERYONE, needs a Lori. Her understanding,patience, how she problem solves, putting things in simple terms, was mind blowing. I wish I could that well. I present a problem and she could turn it around and yes...another epiphany.

Lori, is worth every penny. It isn't about a title. It is about enjoying everyday doing work you love with people you like and are like minded. You'll know what you are looking for when you interview.  I never say this, but I will say it here. Lori is a major key into the rest of my life doing what I always wanted to do. That is: Being happy doing what I do, everyday. Something I have been saying for years. Allowing be Sherlock.  Finding my people. They are out there and now I know what I am looking for in that respect.


Sherlock Ganz, Los Angeles, CA