What's in your core?

Are you on the fast track to job or career burnout? Many of my clients are somewhere along the track to burnout and want to turn things around. The challenge when you are burning out is that you are likely to feel tired, drained, or depleted of energy to make any kind of change. You need a clear first step. So what’s the first step you can take to turn things around?

In working with my clients (and looking at my own inner workings) I have developed this theory that we all have a set of things that make up our core foundation. These are those areas of our life that provide us with a sense of security, safety, and real stability. When these are compromised, or aren’t there at all, we become susceptible to burnout. We also can’t thrive in our career or get a job we love because our core has been destabilized. Let’s face it, we’ve all seen enough science fiction to know that it’s very bad to destabilize the core.

This concept is similar to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Remember the triangle from sociology or psychology class? The bottom layer is Physical Need. When those needs aren’t met, that becomes our primary objective: to obtain food, clothing, and shelter. We need to do that first, so we can focus on other goals.

The concept of our core foundation is a slightly different way of looking at that. In my experience, everybody’s core foundation contains 3- 5 different components. My core contains four components: financial stability (Am I making ends meet?), spiritual connection (How is my relationship with God? Am I doing my daily practice?), health (Am I sick?), support relationships (Is my support system of family and friends in good condition?). When just one of these areas is compromised or broken in some way, I have learned I must deal with this area to restore stability to my foundation so I can resume reaching for my dreams and living out my passions.

Everyone’s core components are different. I have a client for whom music is in her core. I love that. She needs music every day in her life. Another client must write. If he isn’t writing, he feels off balance and out of sorts. Before he can pursue any of his goals, he needs to make sure he is writing every day.

Once our core is stabilized, then we can trust it to support us as we achieve our goals, including a thriving career and a job we love. If you are feeling overwhelmed as you strive to create a career you love or find a job that satisfies you, you might want to check to see if your core is destabilized. What is in your core?

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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