Roles, Relationships, and Career Success – With whom do you thrive?

Think of a favorite project you completed. It could be a project at work, or a project at home, or even something you did as a volunteer. Choose a project that makes you swell with pride, one you enjoyed and felt good about the work as well as the outcome. What role did you play? Were the leader, the one with vision, out in front, organizing and coordinating schedules and efforts? Were you the cheerleader, keeping everyone involved and motivated? Perhaps you were mediator, resolving conflict, smoothing ruffled feathers? Maybe you were a pair of hands, working hard and with focus, getting things done? Maybe you played a different role, or a combination of roles.

As part of her Stage 1: Unearth work, Ann told stories like these: When she was six she looked up to her older sister Jane as someone who knew how to do things. So she asked Jane to teach her and her best friend how to ride their bikes. She pleaded, bargained, and charmed her way until her sister finally gave in and showed her how. When she was twelve, she convinced her two friends to work together and create themed costumes for school. They went as giant ice cream sundae – three flavors of ice cream in a dish, each with her own sauce and topping. Ann got her mom to help them, by teaching them to sew and of course to drive them to school and help them get into their costume. There Awards were given to the best costume, and their costume won for most creative. At 26 she was working on a marketing project at work, with a group of her peers. She instinctively led the way. She had the vision, and then she kept the team motivated and inspired to carry it out. She sought advice and guidance from her mentor, a manager from another group.

It is clear from these stories that Ann loves to lead, and is a natural leader. She also enjoys collaborating with a team, and having a mentor to go to for guidance and advice. At 37, she was frustrated and exhausted at work. She was working as the Marketing Director at a small firm, where her peers were as overworked as she was, each with their own responsibilities. The owner was often travelling and unavailable. Ann was burning out, in part because she was not longer engaging in the roles in which she thrived. For all practical purposes, she had no team of peers to collaborate with. She had no mentor. As Ann began to identify her Ideal Job, she realized that she really wanted to work in a larger organization that valued collaboration. And one where she could find a mentor either internally, or that allowed her time in her schedule to get out and network, and find a mentor in her profession.

She had never considered the importance of the roles she played when thinking about her dream career, the type of work in which she’d truly thrive. But as we looked at her stories from her own life, she realized the clues had been there all along.

What about you? What roles are you drawn to? What roles bring you the most joy on a project? In what roles do you thrive? I’d love for you to share your discoveries on my blog below.


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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL