Your Natural Strengths Reveal the Way

So many people stumble into their careers.  So many people I talk to, myself included, had their career chosen for them by their parents.  “Go to school and study this.”  Or they choose something in college, just to make a choice.  Then they need a job, so they take the first thing that comes their way.  And their whole career unfolds that way.  They move from job to job – as opportunities present themselves, without any regard to what they’re really great at, and what they love to do.  That’s all secondary.  At some point, they find themselves feeling unsatisfied or unfulfilled.  Often they look around, and see that lots of people feel that way.  So they just stay where they are.  Every once in awhile they come across someone who loves their job, and they start to question why they don’t love theirs.  Where is their passion?  They still don’t know what to do, so they just keep doing what they’ve done.  Ultimately they end up burnt out, or just unhappy.

From the outside, everything looks great.  They may be quite successful.  But inside, they feel something’s off.  They want to enjoy their work, but instead it takes more and more out of them.  They feel unhappy and very frustrated.

They may even get that promotion or a bonus.  When even that doesn’t satisfy, they feel like something’s wrong with them. They should be appreciative and grateful.  Instead, it all feels empty.

What about you?  Where are you now, and how did you get here?

As a certified story coach, I am trained to listen to the stories people tell, and to figure out what meaning they hold.  I love to sift through clients’ stories about their favorite accomplishments from throughout their lives, from childhood through present day – the stuff they are truly proud of themselves, and really enjoyed while doing.  That’s where to start looking for evidence of what it is you truly love to do.

If you want to know what you’d love to do now, for a job or career, it is important to start with your natural strengths, the things you intuitively seek to do and that you enjoy.

If you don’t, you can easily end up doing work you do well, but hate.  People who see you may observe your qualities and suggest things you could do well.  For example, I am a bit of a perfectionist, and like to do things well.  In my  second job out of college, that perfectionist nature was seen, admired, and as a result, I was offered a position doing Quality Assurance work.  I didn’t even think about, I was so excited someone wanted me, I took the job.  And I was good at it.  And that job evolved into another job.  And another.  And another.  The next thing I knew, I had a solid career in Quality Assurance work.  I never truly loved Quality Assurance.  I was just a perfectionist, who hadn’t looked at the clues from my own stories.  I felt very empty and burnt out by the time I finally walked away.

However, if you start with your natural strengths, the things you intuitively seek to do and you enjoy, you will be on the path to finding a career you love.  When you use your values, skills, strengths and passions, you are guaranteed to thrive!  All of this information comes out of your personal stories from your own life.  You are unique and one of a kind.  No two people have the same set of strengths, skills, passions, and style.  This is what sets you apart from others.

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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