My Career Story
It is my hope for you, that you find work that embraces who you are and is engaging and enjoyable.
I am here to help you navigate your current career struggle whether that be finding the right career, getting along with co-workers better or building connections with your teammates.
If you are someone who feels like you just can’t figure out how you can do the things that bring you joy or create that kind of joy for your team, you might want to read my story.
Let me share some things with you about myself.
I always dreamed of having an amazing career. When I was little, I wanted to act and perform and that dream stayed with me. By the time I got to college however, I didn’t think it was possible for me to major in Theater. I was stuck and without guidance.
After a couple years of college with an undeclared major, I dropped out. With big stars in my eyes, I moved to LA to pursue acting. The move wasn’t quite what I had imagined and when I realized I wasn’t going to be instantly “discovered” I sank into the reality that the most I had going for me in LA was my waitressing job at Bob’s Big Boy.
I realized I wasn’t willing to live on the edge and put all my eggs in the acting basket. I’m pretty analytical and I know the statistics on how many actresses actually make a living in that profession. I wasn’t comfortable staying in LA for what felt to me like a sizable gamble. I recognized there was a conflict in me.
I am both creative AND practical.
So I did the practical thing: I finished college majoring in Psychology. And after spending a couple years in retail, I went to graduate school to get my masters in Industrial/Organizational Psychology. It was a practical decision yet aligned with my interests.
I discovered improv while I was in graduate school and my world was rocked. I was so passionate about it I wanted to learn all I could. My master’s degree allowed me the luxury of making a decent income while living in places like Chicago and Los Angeles so I could hone my craft. During the day, I worked as an HR consultant helping organizations to create effective hiring tools, become more efficient, and build stronger teams. At night I went to classes and shows. I found my work interesting and felt like my creative and practical sides were at peace. It worked for a long while.
BUT, eventually, as I got older, the need for security grew stronger. I wanted a raise, and a retirement plan. I took a full-time job as an Organizational Development Specialist within an IT Dept. To get a raise, I advanced into a position that really didn’t interest me. I worked as a Business Analyst. Yes, I am analytical but I left behind the things I loved to do which was training, interviewing and coaching.
That, in and of itself, probably wouldn’t have been so bad, but the team I was a part of was really dysfunctional. (Now that I understand the components of what brings happiness at work, I see where those broken relationships contributed to feeling very dissatisfied.) I found myself in a miserable place. My work had taken over and I was nowhere to be found.
I didn’t like the person I was turning into. My once happy-go-lucky persona was a distant memory and I was serious, miserable and depressed. I was great at my job, but no one wanted to be around me. I learned the hard way that when work life isn’t going well, life isn’t going well.
When you aren’t aligned with your values, you’ll soon turn into someone you don’t know.
I realized that life can’t be lived on practicality alone. I was ready to do something that embraced all of me but I had no idea what that was. I have so many interests and I couldn’t figure out how to bring them all together.
While still consulting, I had discovered the coaching world and I knew this was something I really wanted to do. I enrolled in coaching training with Coach University. I got certified in Myers Briggs while I was still teaching and performing improv. After I fell into my “career black hole” I quit my job but I couldn’t figure out what my next move was. I started my coaching practice in 2009, but I was all over the map doing career coaching, leadership coaching and HR consulting. I didn’t incorporate any of my creative work into my business. Just as my business started taking off, I got pregnant. I spent the first couple years of my son’s life in this confused place with my business.
I couldn’t focus, couldn’t make a decision and kept trying to “figure it all out”. I longed to be doing something that embraced all of who I am, both creatively and intellectually.
Finally, I took a leap. Instead of trying to figure it all out, I took action. I hired a coach. I opened myself up to doing the things that came naturally to me. I started putting myself out there. Clients started coming to me for career coaching. Career coaching was just perfect because it combined my background and interests in the HR world with coaching. I also began getting called by organizations to do improv with their groups. It brought together my love of improv, acting, training and team building.
Careerfulness was born out of the desire to use and combine my varied interests and skills. It took a leap of faith and not being hung up on how it is “supposed to be”. It forced me to choose, make decisions, and take action. My business continues to grow and I now have the career that really works for me. It’s grounded in reality and not some far off fantasy. It works with my family and allows me to prioritize the things that are really important. This career embraces all of me, supports me and allows me to live the balanced life I crave.
So what did I learn?
- It’s OK to major in Theater.
- It’s important to know yourself- what you need and value, your interests, strengths and personality.
- You can’t be of service to others without using your gifts. You can’t think your way into a career.
- You have to be realistic with careers too. Sure there has to be passion but refusing to be satisfied with anything less than a magical career just isn’t living in the real world.
- It’s important to know how to bring all of you to your work so you can thrive and feel like you are truly contributing to something that matters to you. If you can’t bring it all to your work, you need to have hobbies to balance it.
- I also learned the importance of having positive relationships at work. Connection is a key to happiness so if we are missing that connection we aren’t going to be engaged. I had to learn to improve my emotional intelligence.
Careerfulness is a culmination of all the things that I love. I come with a true desire to be useful and share my experience to help individuals find careers that are fulfilling and joyful and assist organizations and groups in being more creative and productive.
There are so many pieces to the career puzzle; how do you put them all together?
Contact me today for a free consultation. Why not?
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“My work with Pam was instrumental in finding a career that I can be happy in, but what she really provided was so much more than that. Pam was able to help me identify my personal strengths and needs. This not only showed me the work I was suited for, but the work that would challenge me in the way I wanted to be challenged. In addition to finding the direction I wanted to go in, she helped me with all the details- preparing a resume, practicing for interviews, and identifying industries and specific positions that fit my skills and desires. She was even able to help me with a very personal and unusual circumstance by researching and networking with other professionals on how to deal with my challenge that didn’t fit in your normal job search. Pam was an advisor, an advocate and a friend throughout the process and I wouldn’t be as happy in my career and current position if it wasn’t for her.”
David S., Business Analyst
“Pam does great work! As I transitioned into a more senior role within my organization it was challenging and I needed to recognize and adjust to new skill sets and communications needs. Pam was able to help me capitalize on some of my natural strengths. I had to grow professionally and she helped me recognize some really needed areas for professional improvement. I now feel much more capable communicating effectively with C-level and Executive Staff. I have also found it very helpful in communicating with and coaching my own growing team of direct reports. Finally, I am better able to manage and foster conflict resolution for the benefit of my customers thanks to the work we did together. I highly recommend working with Pam as a coach.”
Marc C., IT Manager
“I went to see Pam for career guidance after high school and while I was trying to figure out my major in college. I took the Myers Briggs and did the Strong Inventory with Pam and it helped me discover what I was really interested in and the types of things I wanted to be doing with my career. With the help of Pam’s coaching and guidance I am now enrolled in an OT program and really excited about the direction I am heading in and my future career!”