#061: Is it My Career or Just My Job?

(How to figure out what’s not working and fix it)

This month’s theme is starting, restarting, or changing careers. Today I want to talk about job dissatisfaction. How to figure out what the problem is…and how to solve it.

I see a fair number of clients who really don’t like their job, but they have trouble articulating what the problem is. Some of them question if they are in the wrong field, or if it’s just that specific job.

For many years, I have told clients they have two options in these situations: change your circumstances or change your attitude. Today I want to focus on changing your circumstances.

As a reminder, your career is the overarching field you are in, whereas your job is your specific employment position within that career field.

Accounting is a career field.

Tax Accountant, CPA, and Auditor are all jobs in the accounting career field.

Supply Chain Management is a career field.

Customer Service Manager, Distribution Clerk, and Procurement Analyst are all jobs in the Supply Chain Management career field.

Marketing is a career field.

Marketing Coordinator, Public Relations Coordinator, and Product Manager are all jobs in the Marketing career field.

Get the idea?

Okay, back to trying to figure out what’s going wrong with your current job. I recommend you journal your answers to these questions; really give yourself time with each question so you can get beneath the surface to what’s really going on.

About Your Current Job

  1. What do I love about my current job, and why do I love it?
  • What percentage of my work week is spent doing (or being around) the things I listed in #1?
  • What Motivated Skills do I possess that aren’t being used in my current job? (Motivated Skills are those that you are very good at AND enjoy using very much)
  • On a scale of 1-5 with 1=not at all possible and 5=totally possible, what is the opportunity for me to use the Motivated Skills I listed in #3 in my current job? (Score each Motivated Skill separately, and explain your rating for each.)
  • If I were to reconfigure my current job, what 2-3 changes would I make? (Could be job duties, work environment, management style, etc.)
  • One year from now, here is what I would like my work life to look like (describe in as much detail as possible):
  • On a scale of 1-5 with 1=no similarity whatsoever and 5=completely similar, how well does my current job fit with my description in #6?

About Your Career Field

  1. Career field I am in, and reason I chose that field:
  • On a scale of 1-5 with 1=doesn’t fit at all and 5=perfect fit, how well does my current job fit into my career field?
  • What would the next logical step be in my current career field?
  • On a scale of 1-5 with 1=not at all exciting and 5=complete excitement, how thrilled am I with the prospect of that next logical step?
  • Do I fantasize about a different career field? If so, please describe.
  • What perceived barriers do I think there are in pursuing that different career field? How difficult do those perceived barriers seem to be to overcome?
  • On a scale of 1-5 with 1=not at all interested at this time and 5=exceptionally interested at this time, how interested am I in pursuing that career field?

Again, I recommend you journal your answers to these questions. Take your time. Put it down and come back to it later.

You might want to have someone else look at your answers and provide feedback. A parent or significant other who knows you well and might pick up on blind spots or biases.

What should you do with this self-knowledge? Your answers to question #7 in each section really give you the information you need.

If you scored less than a 3 in the first section, then I recommend you think about a job search. By scoring that question low, you have essentially said that your current job bears little resemblance to your ideal job.

What’s important is to decide what you want to do about your dissatisfaction, and then make a plan to do it. Meet with a professional such as myself if possible to help you map out a plan. DON’T just wallow in the knowledge that you hate your job.

If you scored MORE than a 3 in the second section, then I recommend you think about a career shift. By scoring that question high, you have shown a great deal of interest in a new career field.

I definitely recommend working with a professional such as myself if you want to make a career shift. In particular, a certified resume writer who and strategize with you to position your skills and achievements in light of your new career field. It really helps to have a professional, unbiased perspective here.

It’s quite possible that you will score low in the first section, and show a great deal of dissatisfaction with your current career field, but not have an idea of a different career field you would be interested in. If that is the case, I recommend working with a qualified career coach such as myself to flesh that out.

Whether you decide to change careers or just your job, I cannot overstate the importance of professional help. I also cannot overstate the importance of taking action…not just sitting with this knowledge so that, a year from now, you’re in exactly the same place.


060: Starting Your Career – Proper Perspective is Everything

The theme for December is Starting, Continuing, or Restarting Your Career. Today, I want to give you five top tips for starting your career. Specifically,  about how to view the beginning of your career in a way that serves you.

My target market is high-achieving 22-32 college graduates…those for whom the sky is the limit IF they have the support, strategies, and tools they need to successfully navigate their careers.

For the most part, today’s podcast is dedicated to those 22-year-old recent college graduates. However, the tips I’m giving you today will serve you at any point in your career.

Tip #1: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

The keyword for this tip is FEARLESS. I am asking you to take chances, be brave, be willing to screw it up royally. Because it is only by taking these chances that you have the opportunity for an amazing payoff.

Here are some ways this might look: You might apply for your dream job, even though you don’t have all the qualifications. You might ask someone you respect to help you get your foot in the door with a company you really want to work for. You might accept a job that is nothing like what you thought you wanted to do, but that seems really interesting.

Is there potential for failure in each of these? Of course. But by not trying, you are assuring the worst possible outcome for yourself. Better to try and fail than to never try at all.

Tip #2: Check your gut…frequently.

The keyword for this tip is INTEGRITY. I want you to have integrity with yourself during your job search and as you progress through your career. Make sure the work you are doing is in alignment with your skills, values, interests, personality, and passions.

I see a lot of 22-year-olds who are so influenced by their parents, siblings, professors, or significant other that they aren’t pursuing their own dream. Their career goals have gotten lost in the shuffle of other people’s dreams for their lives.

PLEASE don’t make your career decisions, or individual job decisions, based solely on money. While money is important and solves a lot of problems, it can’t compensate for doing work you don’t enjoy…work that doesn’t fill your soul or your purpose on this earth.

If your gut is telling you this isn’t the right opportunity for you, listen to it. If your gut is telling you to talk to your boss about a promotion, pay attention. Your gut is there for a reason.


Tip #3: Get professional help.

The keyword for this tip is EXPERTISE. Just as you would hire an expert to remodel your home or fix your car, you need an expert to support you in your job search and in managing your career.

A certified resume writer, career counselor, credentialed job search coach,  interview coach, and accountability partner can be a tremendous help in your job search and career management success.

Here are some of the benefits of working with a professional in this process:

  • You will take more, better, and smarter actions—because you set the goals you really want
  • You will reach for more, much more—because you have a partner in the process
  • You will make better decisions for yourself and your career—because your focus is clear
  • You will have a lot more sustainable energy—no more chugging along in your job search


Tip #4: Be willing to start somewhere.

The keyword for this tip is HUMILITY, because you might need to start at the bottom. Doing work you don’t love as a means to an end. I’m not asking you to do drudgery, just to be willing to do whatever needs to be done.

With the right attitude, your boss will likely recognize your work ethic and quickly promote you to a position you would never have gotten as an external candidate.

You can’t reasonably expect to get your dream job right out of a bachelor’s degree, with little or no full-time career experience. But you CAN reasonably expect to get on the dart board of your dream job – likely on one of the outer rungs.


Tip #5: The right attitude is everything.  

The keyword for this tip is OPTIMISM. I’m not asking you to be overjoyed when you don’t get that job you interviewed for or to be thrilled when you bomb an interview.

Rather, I’m asking you to keep everything in perspective. To recognize that you are learning…which, to me, is the opposite of winning.

Here are some of the thoughts I hear from prospective clients:

“I’m not qualified.”

“There are looking for someone with…” (something you don’t have)

“There’s too much competition.”

“I keep applying online, but never hear anything back.”

“I want to do X, but no one will ever hire me for that job.”

Here’s the question I want you to ask yourself about any thought you have: Does this thought serve me? If not, is there a better thought you can think that will serve you better?

I’m not asking for a 180-degree change; you probably won’t be able to believe that. Going from “I’m not qualified” to “I’m fully qualified” may be unbelievable. But could you go from “I’m not qualified” to “I have some of the qualifications they are looking for?”

Attitude also affects how you show up for work every day. Are you willing to do the dirty work? Put in long hours when needed? Help out co-workers? And do all of these things with a smile?

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here



059: Purpose Questions to Ask Yourself

On Monday of this week, I did a Facebook Live on my top 5 year-end professional purpose questions. I thought I would go a bit deeper on this topic of professional purpose with this week’s podcast.

The following questions are from my “Finding Your Professional Purpose” course, which you can get FREE by clicking the link at the bottom of this post.

  1. When I was young, I wanted to be a _______________________________.

Why did this appeal to me then?

Does it appeal to me today? Why or why not?


  1. I am uniquely designed and prepared to:


  1. I’ve won the lottery. I’ve bought everything I wanted, traveled wherever I wanted, and now I’m bored (but still quite rich). What do I want to do with my talents?


  1. I’m standing at a crossroads and looking at a signpost – what words are on them?


  1. What have people said about me my whole life?


  1. “Just go for it.” The “it” is:


  1. If I could test drive any profession, what would it be and why?


  1. If I was not worried about the consequences, what chaos would I introduce into my life right now?


  1. Write down a recurring symptom in my body: ________________________

Give the symptom a voice:


10. What am I passionate about?


If you would like to receive my 5-day Finding Your Professional Purpose course, follow this link to register:







058: How to Negotiate a Job

How to Negotiate a Job Offer

Today, we’re talking about what you can…and can’t…negotiate in a job offer. Also when and how to negotiate.

When to Negotiate

There is a relatively small window of opportunity to negotiate during the hiring process. It is between the time the company makes you a bona fide job offer and the time you accept that offer.

Any earlier, and it’s all hypothetical. Any later, and the company isn’t likely to give you more AFTER you’ve said yes.

A bona fide job offer is typically in writing, or at least a formal verbal offer of employment. If you are unsure, you can ask “Are you officially offering me the position?”

 When You Receive an Offer

What are My Options?

You have three options when a job offer is made:

-Accept the offer as is

-Reject the offer

-Negotiate the offer


Do I Have to Negotiate?

If you are completely happy with every aspect of the offer, then you don’t have to negotiate.

I highly recommend that you ask for a few days to a week to consider the offer before accepting. This gives you time to thoroughly evaluate the offer and keeps you from looking “desperate.”

When is “No” the Appropriate Response?

-When you have already accepted another offer

-When you know the company or job is in direct conflict with your values and career goals

-When you know the salary or other aspects of the job don’t mesh with your needs (i.e. doesn’t pay enough for you to live on, extensive travel for a new mom or dad)

-When you hear or read considerable intel that the company is financially unstable, your prospective boss is very difficult to work for, or the work environment is toxic.

NOTE: Always decline the offer politely so you aren’t burning your bridges.


How do I Negotiate?

Let’s assume you are in the window for negotiations.

If salary is the issue:

-Research salaries for the same or similar jobs in the same geographic region

-Send a letter of negotiation with a counter-proposal for your salary, and provide statistics from the research you’ve conducted

Tips for Negotiating

These tips are from Deepak Malhotra, written in the Harvard Business Review. I’m just giving you the main topics here; for more information on each, listen to the podcast.

Don’t underestimate the importance of likability. 

Help them understand why you deserve what you’re requesting. 

Make it clear they can get you.

Understand the person across the table.

Understand their constraints.

Be prepared for tough questions.

Focus on the questioner’s intent, not on the question.

Consider the whole deal.

Negotiate multiple issues simultaneously, not serially.

Don’t negotiate just to negotiate.

Think through the timing of offers.

Avoid, ignore, or downplay ultimatums of any kind.

Remember, they’re not out to get you.

Stay at the table.

Maintain a sense of perspective.


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here





Five Unusual Things to Be Thankful For: 2018 Edition

It’s become an annual event, this list of unusual things I’m thankful for every Thanksgiving. To keep the tradition going, here’s the 2018 edition:


  1. Tragedies that bring out the best in people.For me, it was Hurricane Michael. I can’t tell you how much it warmed my heart and comforted me to see every parking lot in Tallahassee full of bucket trucks before the storm hit. These tireless workers were out as soon as they could safely do so, and worked around the clock to restore power to the 95% of Leon County that was without. I saw trucks from as far away as Ohio.

Although I wasn’t personally impacted, my community suffered a shooting in, of all places, a yoga studio a few weeks ago. I saw a tremendous outpouring of compassion and unity in the aftermath.

Many of you are currently being affected by the wildfires in California…or some other issue. I choose to look for the nuggets of caring, love, and solidarity…rather than focus on the violence of nature or man.


2. Losing power for three days. 

Being without power…i.e. the internet, Netflix…really forced me to be with myself. Just me (and my Coonhound).

It was uncomfortable. I had a lot of time to think. To read. To sleep. To just BE.

My old buffering behavior reared its ugly head: I ate. Anything to turn off the dialogue in my head (the one I normally can’t hear as well because of the television or computer).

Rather than beat myself up over this, I recognized that I needed to do more work on myself and my behavior of eating-because-there’s-nothing-else-to-do.

So, when the power came back on, I did the work and got back on track with my eating. No self-flagellation allowed.


3. Stepping (way) outside my comfort zone. 

On both professional and personal levels, I have taken some big leaps this year. Although I won’t go into what those leaps have been, I will say that each has required me to evolve to the next version of myself.

I’ve come up against fears, doubts, residual anger, worry, and logistical issues. I’ve questioned what I’m doing on this planet (or, more accurately, what I should be doing), where I want to go in the future, and who I want to be with me on that trip.

All of these questions and fears have helped me become the absolute best version of myself today.


4. Staying right where I am. 

I live in an adorable little apartment in the middle of the woods that is actually quite convenient to everything I need. The rent is affordable, I don’t have to fix anything, it’s quiet, and I feel safe.

Yet, I’ve tried to buy a home no less than three times since moving into my apartment in 2015. For various reasons, the door has resoundingly been closed in my face.

I could be bitter about this..resentful…downright angry. Instead, I recognize that this situation means I still have some work to do that requires me to stay in this apartment. Or that I need to not own a home quite yet. I’m not sure what the lesson is, but I do know that I’m here for a reason.

Which allows me to relax into my adorable little apartment in the middle of the woods. This is where I’m meant to be…for now.


5. Paying off a really big bill. 

Turns out I owed the government a lot of money, and they wanted it. (I think we all know who I’m talking about.) Once I had the money to pay the bill, I tried to find a way to reduce the amount I owed.

It didn’t work.

I had a choice: pay the bill grudgingly, or pay the bill with gratitude that I could do so. Either way, I was going to have to pay the bill.

I chose the gratitude option, and it made all the difference.

BTW, by far the largest check I’ve ever written.


What are you grateful for this year? What lessons have you learned in the midst of a tragedy, tremendous challenge, resounding disappointment? Let me know!


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here





057: Three Amazing Employers – Case Studies

What Makes an Amazing Employer?

This month’s theme for my podcasts and blogs is the most important qualities in an employer. Last week, I talked about what employees value most in an employer. Today, we are talking about what makes an amazing employer.

I chose three employers from this year’s Forbes’ list of top American employers. I picked companies from a range of industries who were amazing for very different reasons.


Case Study #1 – Michelin North America

Michelin offers a “purpose-driven career with a purpose-driven company.”

31% of their employees are Millennials; 22% of their workforce has a tenure of more than 20 years.

Michelin is dedicated to reducing CO2 emissions.

Employee Evaluations indicate the following:

-Great Challenges: 91%

-Great Atmosphere: 89%

-Great Rewards: 85%

-Great Pride: 93%

-Great Communication: 88%

-Great Bosses: 88%


Some of the benefits at Michelin:

-Tire service/tire rebate for family members

-Health incentives / subsidized fitness

-Corporate jet shuttle

-Parental leave

-Business networks for LGBTQ, Hispanics, etc.

-Onsite health facilities

-Partnership with Yellowstone National Park for service

-Flexible work schedule

-Job sharing

-Remote work option

-Compressed work week

-Onsite amenities, like cafeterias, mother’s rooms, and entertainment


Case Study #2 – Costco

Although I couldn’t find the wealth of information about Costco that I found for Michelin, the consistent thing I did see was employee satisfaction with compensation and benefits.

In fact, even part-time employees are eligible for benefits.

Growth potential was another strength of Costco.

I saw several articles that referenced the “family” atmosphere of the employees at Costco.

Although the information I saw spoke specifically of the in-store employees, I think it’s safe to assume that the family atmosphere, growth potential, and good benefits extends to the corporate offices in Washington.


Case Study #3 – Google

Here are the key aspects to Google’s ranking:

-Job satisfaction







-Free meals

-Fitness facilities

-Paid parental leave

-On-site childcare

-Passion projects


What’s the message here? Many companies are great; many are not so great. The important thing is for you to do your self-homework so you know what is most important to you in an employer. Then, do your research to find those companies that offer what you are looking for.


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here








Employee Benefits: Really Cool & Downright Weird

Unusual Employee Benefits

In this week’s podcast, I talked about what employees value most in an employer. Today, I wanted to tag-team on that idea with some of the most unusual / coolest / strangest employee perks I found.

You Get What You Make

A thread emerged; one that makes total sense. Many companies have a perk around the product they make or service they provide.

-Michelin has a free tire program for its employees and a tire rebate program for family members of their employees.

-Penguin Random House offers unlimited free books.

-Ben & Jerry’s gives its employees a free pint of ice cream daily.  (I would weigh 500 pounds if I worked there. I’m obsessed with “Everything But the…”)

-Patagonia gives its employees time off for a midday surf.

-One of my clients works for a startup in NYC that is like Groupon. As an employee, she gets free whatever promotions her company is running.

The message here is clear: If you are passionate about something, working for a company that does the thing you are passionate about will likely mean you’ll get some perks around your passion.

Some More Unusual Ones

According to businessnewsdaily, here are some unusual perks:

-Pet-friendly (I personally would love to work somewhere that everyone has brought their dog into…although I might not get anything done)

-No official work hours (Netflix does this) and/or unlimited time off

-On-site haircuts (Google)

-Pet insurance and pre-paid legal (Zappos)

-On-site wine/beer (I’ve experienced this at multiple employers including Busch and advertising agencies. I guess you’re more creative when you’re a bit soused.)

Downright Wierd

Admittedly, I found some really unusual ones, such as:

-Egg freezing for female employees

-Monthly beauty budget (Maybe not that weird, especially if your work requires you to look your best every day.)

-Spending money for remote workers. (?)

-Free housecleaning services (yes please)

-Fridge stocked with snacks

Here’s the message, and it’s the same one I’ve said on numerous occasions: Make sure you know your “must haves” in an employer you would work for…then make sure those are present before saying yes.

Don’t be swayed by shiny, interesting, weird perks if your “must haves” are missing. For most of you, the things I’ve listed above wouldn’t be on your “must have” list…but could be fun additions.

To listen to this week’s podcast, “What Employees Value Most in an Employer,” click here:

056: What Employees Value Most in an Employer

Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here



056: What Employees Value Most in an Employer

What do you value in an employer?

I researched three online sites for this podcast. There are many similarities between these lists.

According to, the top 5 most important things employees look for are:

#1 – Company culture and mission

#2 – Approachable leadership

#3 – Opportunities for growth

#4 – Flexibility

#5 – Recognition


The Balance Careers

According to The Balance Careers, here are the top 7 things employees look for:

#1 – Competitive salary

#2 – Good benefit package

#3 – Flexible schedule

#4 – Opportunity to advance

#5 – Recognition

#6 – Effective management

#7 – Team atmosphere


High-Speed Training

The third source I used is High-Speed Training. Here are their top 6:

#1 – Fair salaries

#2 – Opportunities for personal development

#3 – Work/life balance

#4 – Recognition and a sense of purpose

#5 – Great company culture

#6 – Perks / benefits


-Sick leave

-Maternity/paternity leave


-Travel compensation

-Continuing education opportunities


What is this information telling us?

Here are my top 6 insights:


  1. Money isn’t everything.


  1. Company culture matters. A lot.


  1. People leave jobs most often because of their boss.


  1. Millennials don’t just want to know where they are going to start. They want to know where they can go.


  1. There is a wide range of perks and benefits available out there. Make sure you know the vocabulary and what’s most important to you.


  1. Recognition is important, and many companies do it poorly.


Interested in a deep dive with me? Register for my next webinar. In addition to great content, you’ll have the opportunity to ask me questions and even get coached by me live! Here’s the link to find out about this month’s topic, date, and time: click here



Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

Interesting Career Paths: A Case Study

This month, we’ve been putting the pieces of career decision together. We’ve talked about the role of motivated skills, core values, personality, and expertise in making career decisions.

We’ve also talked about the macro- and micro-levels of this decision. On the macro-level, you’re using this self-knowledge to decide your career path. On the micro-level, you’re evaluating individual job opportunities against your criteria.

As we wrap this month’s topic up, I wanted to give you a case study of an interesting career path.

Lesa’s Story

Yes, you quick people…we’re talking about me. Here’s my story:

As an ENFJ, it is important for me to do work that helps others achieve their goals (in my case, their career goals). I need to interact with people on the reg, and I need to be able to use my creativity and imagination.

My top Motivated Skills (what I’m really good at AND love to do) are Writing, Presentations, Professional Image, Coaching, Creative or Imaginative with ideas, and Organization.

My most important Core Values are Ability to Exert Influence, Ability to Serve Others, Ability to Teach/Train Others, and Flexibility in Schedule.

My Areas of Expertise include resume writing, LinkedIn (writing profiles and coaching people on how to use LI), career coaching, interview coaching, writing blogs and other career materials, podcasting, the MBTI, and facilitating training.

Let’s talk about the career path I’ve had. With an undergraduate degree in music education, I started my career as a public-school music teacher. (Loved the kids; didn’t love the lack of flexibility with my schedule.)

After three years of that, I changed careers to corporate training. (Loved the training aspect and the fact that I traveled extensively; didn’t love that I had no say-so into the curriculum.)

Three years after that, I went into higher education—first in continuing education, then 20+ years in career services. (This is where I cut my teeth on career development, but didn’t love the lack of flexibility or the bureaucracy of higher education.)

Throughout my previous careers, I’ve woven entrepreneurial ventures, including selling Amway, teaching piano lessons, and making jewelry.

Now, as a full-time entrepreneur, I have found a near-perfect fit with my skills, values, personality, and areas of expertise. I have a huge amount of flexibility in my schedule, get to help people every day, and frequently get to give presentations.

Can you see how what I do as a career coach and resume writer fit perfectly with who I am?


Why this Matters

Here’s the upside of this person/environment marriage: There is beautiful flow between “work” and “life.” I talked about this recently on a podcast – that melding of the various aspects of your life into a blend in which the individual components are virtually indistinguishable.

I invite you to do a similar analysis of yourself. If you love what you’re currently doing, this exercise will help you get crystal-clear on why. If you don’t love what you’re currently doing, you’ll gain tremendous insight into what’s missing (or what’s present that shouldn’t be).

To listen to this week’s podcast, “Career Decisions: Bringing it All Together,” click here:

055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together




055: Career Decisions: Bringing it all Together

Bringing it All Together

This month, I’ve done episodes covering Motivated Skills, personality preferences using the framework of the MBTI, Core Values, and Areas of Expertise in making career decisions.

Remember, I’ve talked about the macro- and micro-level of career decisions. On the macro level, you are making a decision about the career path you will follow.

On a micro-level, you are using this information to make decisions about which jobs to take. On an even more micro-level, you are using the knowledge to guide projects, programs, committee assignments, and job duties…or to help you boss make these same decisions.

Today I want to bring all of these things together. First, a refresher.

Motivated Skills

Those skills that you are both very good at and get a great deal of pleasure from doing. The reason they are called Motivated Skills is that the more you do them, the more motivated you will be about your work.

The opposite of Motivated Skills is Burnout Skills. Burnout Skills are those skills that you are very good at, but DON’T get pleasure from doing. In fact, these skills suck the motivation right out of you. The more you have to perform Burnout Skills in your work, the more likely you are to…you guessed it…burn out.

 A few examples of Motivated Skills are Writing, Presentation Skills, Customer Service, Working with Numerical Data, Research, Mechanical Reasoning, Troubleshooting, Teaching, and Planning.

Personality Preferences

Using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) as the framework, it measures personality preferences on four scales and identifies one of 16 personality types based on your responses. The MBTI identifies your innate preferences…the way you prefer to handle a situation or task if given the option.

The preference pairs of the MBTI are:

Extraversion vs. Introversion, which is your orientation to the outer world…where you get your energy from.

Sensing vs. Intuition, which is your preferred way of taking in information, and the type of information you prefer to work with.

Thinking vs. Feeling, which is your preferred decision-making style.

Judging vs. Perceiving, which is how you order your world.


Core Values

What is most important to you in an employer, a work environment, and the specific work you’re doing.

Identifying these “non-negotiable” values helps you align your career choices with what is most important to you. And alignment increases your chance for career success, higher compensation, and satisfaction.

 Here are a few sample Values:

-Utilize physical strength and coordination

-Utilize courage and take risks

-Utilize creativity and originality

-Opportunity for advancement

-Ability to do a job as efficiently as possible

-Receive recognition for accomplishments

-Ability to exert power and influence

-Higher than average financial rewards


Areas of Expertise

What are You REALLY Good At? We’re talking about capitalizing on your Areas of Expertise.

If you’re just getting out of college, your Areas of Expertise are probably vague ideas…shadows of what is to come. But if you’ve been in the workforce for a few years, you should have at least 2-3 Areas of Expertise, with more to develop as you progress through your career.

I connected the Areas of Expertise to your Motivated Skills, because I see your Areas of Expertise as sub-sets of your Motivated Skills.

Let’s say, for example, one of your Motivated Skills is Writing, which is defined as “Possessing excellent writing skills. Able to create business or technical documents, correspondence, and other effective written communications.”

So you get a job in the Public Relations office of a company, where one of your main duties is to write press releases. Because of this experience, one of your Areas of Expertise becomes “Writing Press Releases.”

Let’s put all of this information together in a couple of case studies that will hopefully help you get the idea.


Case Study #1 – Danielle

Danielle is a 25-year-old college graduate who studied communications in college and has been working in the entertainment industry since graduating. She is looking to make a career change because she finds her current field to be too competitive and not meaningful enough for her.

Danielle’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:


-Public Relations


-Creative or Imaginative with Ideas


Her personality type is ENFJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative HARMONIZERS; at their best when winning people’s cooperation with insight into their needs. They value:

  • Having a wide circle of relationships
  • Having a positive, enthusiastic view of life
  • Seeing subtleties in people and interactions
  • Understanding others’ needs and concerns
  • An active, energizing social life
  • Seeing possibilities in people
  • Follow-through on important projects
  • Working on several projects at once
  • Caring and imaginative problem solving
  • Maintaining relationships to make things work
  • Shaping organizations to better serve members
  • Caring, compassion, and tactfulness

Her Core Values are:

-Utilize creativity and imagination

-Ability to help/serve others

-Close relationships with co-workers

-Working on multiple projects simultaneously

-Flexibility in work schedule

How would you coach Danielle? Here’s what we talked about:

-She needs a career that is meaningful to her in that she is able to help others while utilizing her considerable creativity. She prefers freedom in her work hours – as long as she gets the work done, it shouldn’t matter when she does it. She also wants to wear multiple hats, so a start-up would be a good fit for her (smaller company = more jobs to be done).

Danielle decided to pursue careers in non-profit marketing – finding a non-profit she is passionate about, which is fitness, and marketing that non-profit to the appropriate audiences.

Case Study #2 – Brandon

Brandon has just graduated from college with a degree in business but doesn’t know where he wants to go. He interned with Enterprise Rent-a-Car while in college and liked the variety of work but didn’t like the front-line management part of his job or how little structure there was to his daily duties.

Brandon’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:



-Customer Service

-Work with Numerical Data


-Detail Management

Brandon’s personality preference is ESTJ; here’s the description of that personality type:

Fact-minded practical ORGANIZERS; at their best when they can take charge and set things in logical order. They value:

  • Results; doing, acting
  • Planned, organized work and play
  • Common-sense practicality; usefulness
  • Consistency; standard procedures
  • Deciding quickly and logically
  • Having things settled and closed; orderliness
  • Rules, objective standards, fairness
  • Task-focused behavior
  • Directness, tough-mindedness
  • Systematic structure; efficiency
  • Scheduling and monitoring
  • Protecting what works

Brandon’s Core Values are:

-Open for Advancement

-Ability to Do Job as Efficiently as Possible

-Highly Structured Environment

-Work that Mentally Challenges You

-Performing Clearly Defined Tasks

How would you coach Brandon? Here’s what we talked about:

Brandon liked the sales aspect of his internship with Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and had also had part-time jobs where sales was a component of his job. He likes the idea of being highly compensated for superior performance in sales.

What Brandon DOESN’T like about sales is the unpredictability of it…how flexible you have to be. Brandon LOVES structure.

So where do we go from here?

One of the top careers for ESTJs is Business Administrator, and the administrative aspects of his internship appealed to Brandon. He admitted that, once he was older and more experienced, he wouldn’t mind supervising employees…he just didn’t feel qualified to do that as an intern.

Brandon decided to pursue jobs as a sales compensation analyst, where he could use his sales experience coupled with his love of structure to research ways to attract and retain top-notch salespeople.

From there, Brandon could see himself moving into other business administration roles.

Case Study #3 – Sadie

Sadie has been out of college for eight years; she majored in psychology. When she began that degree, she planned to get a Ph.D. in psychology, but as she went through her coursework that became less interesting to her.

After graduating, Sadie got a job in human resources as a generalist – some hiring, some benefits, all kinds of personnel issues. She liked the variety of the work but didn’t love the constraints around how she could help the employees. She stayed in this job for three years.

The next job Sadie had was also in human resources, at a larger company where she specialized in recruiting employees. She liked feeling like she was really helping people but found the career fairs and other large recruiting events to be extremely draining.

Most recently, Sadie has worked as a Recruiter for a recruiting firm. This has been a step back in that she feels overwhelmed by the volume of people contacting her and the volume of contacts she has to make each day. She’s ready for a complete change.

Sadie’s top 5 Motivated Skills are:




-Performance Improvement

-Creativity or Imagination with Ideas

Sadie’s MBTI type is INFP; here’s the description of that personality type:

Imaginative, independent HELPERS; at their best when their inner ideals are expressed through helping people. They value:

  • Harmony in the inner life of ideas
  • Harmonious work settings; working individually
  • Seeing big-picture possibilities
  • Creativity; curiosity; exploring
  • Helping people find their potential
  • Giving ample time to reflect on decisions
  • Adaptability and openness
  • Compassion and caring; attention to feelings
  • Work that lets them express their idealism
  • Gentle, respectful interactions
  • Showing appreciation and being appreciated
  • Close, loyal friends

Sadie’s Core Values are

-Help/Serve Others

-Ability to Teach/Train

-Ability to Give Ideas/Input/Suggestions

-A Quiet Workspace

-Unstructured, Open Environment

How would you coach Sadie? Here’s what happened:

Sadie talked about considering a Master’s in Counseling so she could become a Certified Counselor, but decided she was more interested in being a coach. Because I have considerable knowledge in this area, I was able to educate Sadie on the types of coaching out there, the industry as a whole, and how she could proceed.

She had some homework to do! When she came back, she was excited about becoming a life coach. We drilled down a bit further, and Sadie decided she wanted to coach recruiters to become better at what they do – she saw a lot of problems with this industry and was confident she could help improve it.

She found a coaching program she liked, signed up, and went through the certification process while keeping her job as a recruiter. We worked on her thoughts about her job so it was more enjoyable, and we also strategized about how to leverage her contacts for when she opened her coaching practice.

I hope these three case studies have given you some ideas about all this self-information comes together in the career decision-making process. Of course, if you’d like to work with an expert in this process, reach out to me.

Remember, I am offering a FREE 5-day course on “Finding Your Professional Purpose,” which includes Motivated Skills and Values activities. To optin: