It's not enough to just clock in, clock out, and get by at work.
Unless you feel awesome about it.
Do you, though?
I used to treat work as something to endure, a means to an end.
Just need to get by.
Clock in. Clock out.
Real life happens outside the office.
That’s when my guard drops and I can really be myself.
There’s no problem approaching your work life this way.
If it works for you, good for you.
If you like how you feel, then power to you.
However, if you’re like I was, getting by isn’t enough.
I felt horrible clocking in and out feeling divorced from my personality and real interests.
It dawned on me that 8 hours is a long time to be disgruntled.
My quality of life left much to be desired.
One of the most memorable things a peer told me was “Blossom where you’re planted.”
Those 4 little words compelled me to consider how I might thrive, excel, succeed, learn, and grow under my present circumstances.
It took me some time to let this sink in, but I meditated on that statement.
Instead of, I hate this job. I hate what I’m doing. I should be somewhere else. Why isn't this other thing I'm working on taking off?” I asked myself questions like, “How can I grow here? What can I contribute that I would actually be thrilled to do? Which other skills do I have that I can use here? What works about being here?”
When I answered those questions and implemented my responses, I felt more connected to myself and although I still wanted to leave the job, being there was so much more bearable.
You can change any situation without changing it directly but instead, changing what you think and how you act inside the situation.
Take this one question to work with you this week: How can you blossom where you’re planted?
And if you’re hungry for ongoing and reliable one-on-one support to stop checking out and getting by at work, then drop a comment in the contact form on this website.
Talk to me. Tell me what you're struggling with. Tell me how you're just getting by. Tell me what would delight you in your professional career.
Can't wait to hear from you.
My parents speak 4 languages fluently.
I speak one fluently, the other 3 are basic.
I had LOTS of opportunities to be fluent in all 4.
But I stopped myself because I was afraid of being seen as a beginner.
I’ll go a step further, I felt ashamed to be a beginner.
It takes courage to fail. With people watching.
It takes courage to keep your goal at the forefront and to keep not getting it until you do.
I decided that stumbling to find my words in front of the fluent wasn’t an experience I was willing to have repeatedly.
I was more committed to managing others’ perceptions of me than I was to the practice of learning and doing something I wanted to do.
It would’ve been awesome to have had a life coach then (I was in my late teens-early 20s) because I’d nip the unnecessary mind drama in the bud and stay working at fluency.
I would’ve gotten something real important:
Girl, you can’t save your ass and your face at the same time.
I didn’t get all this then, but I get it now.
I can still choose to re-learn, practice, and work at language fluency.
To get over myself and be OK with not having my words sound like I know the language inside and out.
To fall and fail over and over and over and over until I get it.
My desire for fluency today is a lot less than it was when I was actively practicing.
But there’s still a whisper of a desire.
And I’m acknowledging it.
And I know what to do about it.
You might be reading this and toying with some kind of new beginning in your mind.
You’ve been at your job for 7 years and you feel confident there.
You’re fluent at your job.
And you could teach other people how to do what you do in your sleep.
The problem is that this job is old news.
You dream of becoming a Reiki practitioner and starting a wellness practice.
But you work in finance and tech.
This new direction doesn’t make logical sense.
But you want it.
You delay because you’re afraid.
Knowing what you know now, you realize it’s time to choose.
You can choose to look good on the outside and stay at that job for another 5 years.
At least everyone will think highly of you, right?
But you’ll be dissatisfied and wonder “what if?”
You can also choose courage.
You can choose to get clear about why you love this new venture.
And go for it.
Let’s get this next bit out of the way.
With new beginnings come so much discomfort.
It’ll be excruciating at times.
You’ll be confronted with old perceptions of who you think you are and new perceptions of the person you’re becoming.
It’s not going to feel good.
And that’s great news.
Because you’re choosing LIFE.
If you’re almost there, not quite there, but want to be there choosing life, growth, and excellence…I can help you with that.
I can help you choose courage and take the necessary actions until you get where you’re wanting to go. No matter what.
Get started by scheduling your life coaching consultation.
This photo represents me giving myself permission 12 years ago to pursue a dream to be a TV host.
A year before that, I denied that desire by giving in to my doubts.
The main one: I thought I was too ugly and too fat to be seen on camera.
Until I met my then-boyfriend.
As our relationship developed, I told him about this dream.
Before I moved to L.A., I daydreamed about getting an agent, going on auditions, booking work.
But then I got here and my insecurities shot through the roof. I thought I needed an agent before I could go on auditions and I didn't think I could get an agent because I thought I was too ugly.
My guy showed me otherwise. Sitting on one side of my bed in my first apartment in Hollywood, I told him my dream and my doubt.
And he told me (I paraphrase), "Valerie, you're gorgeous and beautiful enough right now to shoot some videos and make this happen. You could shoot some videos today."
His words, his energy, his love relaxed me.
His sentiments introduced the thought: Well, maybe I can actually do this.
Shortly after that, I got to work. I told myself I didn't need an agent to start my journey.
I told myself, I can start being a host now by getting a camera and going around town recording myself interviewing and profiling people and places.
I started thinking, where can I get a camera?
I asked my parents for a Flip Cam for my birthday present.
I started thinking, what kinds of shows would I most want to audition for?
My answer: Dance and movement-related.
Then I created a series of videos of me doing just that. I created a YouTube account and uploaded the videos.
I learned simple editing and put together my own reels and, in time, reached out to talent agents with those reels.
The third agent I reached out to brought me on as a client.
I went on auditions.
I booked work.
I'm willing to bet that you've got a dream you haven't experienced yet. Maybe more than one.
You salivate when you imagine it. You're hungry for it.
But you're not doing anything to make it a reality.
Because the pain of anticipated disappointment is larger than your belief that your dream will happen. (I can help you with this!)
So you accept the current state of affairs in your life and you try to forget that dream.
Because you've given in to your doubt.
And you haven't given yourself permission to HAVE this dream in your life.
But you can give yourself permission today.
What I learned from my then-boyfriend is that we need others to encourage us and to be safe sounding boards.
As a life coach, I'm a professional encourager, thought partner, guide, and mindset ninja.
For an entire year.
Come on now!
With this kind of support, imagine yourself exactly one year from today.
What will you have given yourself permission to do, be, and have?
Which doubts will you have eradicated?
Let's find out!
Drop me a message here and let me know you'd like to schedule a 60-min consultation.
During this conversation, I'll show you how to:
After you read the text images above, here are some questions to consider during your hell-yeah job/career exploration:
Don’t try to write all official, like the job posts you’re used to seeing. Have fun with this exercise.
Create what you want first, then approach the job search from that place.
Does this feel like a daunting task? No biggie.
I can guide you through it as part of your 12-month private coaching package.
Damn, how luxurious must that feel, to know you’ve got a coach watching your back, asking you questions you would never know to ask yourself, sharing different ways of approaching things from perspectives you never knew existed. For an entire year.
Delicious! All this to become the woman who has created a career she loves while also creating a life she admires.
You want to work with a life coach, but you can't seem to get yourself to schedule that (free) consultation.
You could be telling yourself, "This looks hard. Changing my life looks like a lot of work and I don't think I'm up for it."
You also say, "It's not the right time. I've got a lot going on anyway."
Don't let this slide.
These statements are resistance and they're costing you your best life.
The mind abhors change. Its jobs is to keep you safe from perceived danger.
Your mind's job is to keep you away from discomfort, even if that discomfort is THE ONLY path to:
Do not accept your mind's knee-jerk healthy-risk-averse reactions against seeking the support you long for.
Discomfort is the only way to grow a human inside a body.
Discomfort is the only way babies come out of that body and into the world.
Your dreams, desires, and goals are like a bunch of babies.
And you get to grow them all.
With all that growth, discomfort is inevitable.
And so f*cking what?
Discomfort is a small price to pay to become the person you yearn to be.
To become the person who no longer goes with everyone else's flow at the expense of your own.
To become the person who gets all your steps in even though you work a sedentary job.
And remember, with me as your life coach, you're not going through any of this discomfort on your own.
I'll be on your side, celebrating and encouraging you as you move forward.
I'll be there to share hacks, tips, tricks, and tools that will keep you on track until your goal and dreams are fulfilled.
Your coach has your back.
And all you have to do is take the next small step.
Loving what you do for work can exist outside the 9-5 realm, beyond the employee label.
Loving what you do might look like having parallel careers. (e.g. a tech company project manager who's also a caterer or a professional dancer who teaches movement classes at high schools in between gigs).
Loving what you do could be having your own business.
Maybe it's a hybrid of your own biz and working for someone else.
Careers look different today than when I was a kid.
Back then it was all about finding that ONE job that paid your bills.
Then you advance along that path.
Anything outside of this paradigm was unreliable and to be avoided.
Btw, there's nothing wrong with pursuing the C-suite track at one company if that's your jam.
Just ask yourself if that's really your thing.
Introspection might reveal you're pursuing your parents' dreams, not yours.
What I know about myself, my personality, how I feel most alive, is that I'm not the lifelong-employee-at-one-place-kind-of person. I've tried to fit myself into that box, but it doesn't work for me.
This might be you too.
Doesn't make you unreliable.
Doesn't mean you're not the "commitment type."
It means that's how you're wired.
It means this is how you thrive at work.
Consider your desired LIFESTYLE, not just what you do for a living.
How does your profession fit with how you want your life to look and feel?
As opposed to, how can you fit your life around your work?
You can afford to imagine the conditions that will make you actually love and want to go into your job.
Maybe it's having multiple well-paid part-time positions whose sum total gives you the flexibility to visit that cute beach town every other Thursday to Saturday.
You know what your desired lifestyle is.
You know what that work life looks like.
Even if you don't think you do.
You just haven't had the opportunity to articulate it boldly and clearly.
Fear that your dream isn't possible, is unreasonable, or unrealistic prevents you from acknowledging your truth.
So instead you say, "I don't know what I want."
How 'bout we not say THAT anymore?
Give yourself the time and space to contemplate (and write out) all your juicy work and life conditions.
And tell no one about it (except your life coach, of course).
At least don't tell people yet.
Don't need others' skepticism trampling on your seedling ideas.
Now if you're mind is blown and you're too overwhelmed to flesh out your dream career and dream life on your own, then I've got you.
Hit me up for support through one-on-one coaching.
By the time we're done working together, you'll say, "I love what I do."
If you don't, I'll give you back half of your coaching investment and I'll continue working with you for free until you love your life and have your dream career.
You may not like your job, but you love the company you work for.
Your boss is awesome and you respect your colleagues.
You know that something needs to change, but you don't know if resigning is the answer.
If you could have things your way, you'd stay at the company, but you'd switch departments or do something different within your own department.
Here's an idea: Write a description of what you would want to do instead.
I stopped working office jobs in 2015.
In my current parallel career as a dance educator in a K-8 school, I decided that I wanted to bring more of my experience as a life coach into the workplace.
In August 2020, I participated in optional after-hours race and equity discussion sessions.
I volunteered to facilitate some of those sessions.
I asked to get paid to do this regularly.
They told me no. At first.
A few months later, I received an email about a handful of newly created DEI leadership positions.
I applied. I got one of the positions.
In 2021, I became the DEI Lead Teacher, where I get paid to research race and equity history and best practices. I get to work with a team of respected colleagues in other departments. I get to co-create and co-facilitate much-needed workshops to a staff of over 100 people.
I get to bring more of my expertise and skills as a life coach into the workplace. Just as I had desired to do in August 2020.
With YOUR clear description of work that lights you up:
Keep being a top-notch employee.
Keep being a leader.
Practice believing that you can create the career you desire.
You don't have to settle.
I'm available for one-on-one coaching to accelerate your dream career and steer it in the direction you want to go. Become the confident professional you want to be.
As long as your satisfied with the above reality, keep on with it.
If it's working for you, don't change anything. But if it's not how you want your work life to be, know that you have options.
Your job can be a source of profound meaning in your life.
You can be passionate about your job assignments and responsibilities.
You can enjoy hanging out with your co-workers on the weekend. They can become like family.
Your work can have a positive impact on social, political, and environmental causes you care about.
I know these CANs are possible because I've lived them.
I've experienced the before of hating past admin office jobs for every reason listed in the image above.
And I've experienced the after of confiding in my co-workers with deep and meaningful shit because I really liked and trusted them as people.
The after of happily researching the coaching, arts education, and DEI fields off the clock because I'm passionate about these topics. And I know my work makes a positive impact.
So the question is: Will you give yourself permission to have the professional life you want?
If your answer is yes, then take an immediate concrete step towards pursuing this reality.
It doesn't matter what step you take. What's important is that you take A step.
Then another. Then the next.
And keep going, until your mission is accomplished.
But, what if your answer to giving yourself permission is "no"?
Well, the first step to change is awareness.
So think of it as a great thing that you've uncovered an honest answer to this question.
With awareness you can start to change.
I created my first personal development course in 2009. The third chapter in that course is "Give Yourself Permission." Read or listen to it here and get on path to being a YES on that self-permission front.
If you're ready to accelerate your dream career in under a year (and excel your self-care and social life), then seriously consider weekly life coaching sessions for at least 9 months.
But check this out . . . you're already uncomfortable.
You're uncomfortable with how much you hate what you're currently doing.
You're comfortable about your relationship with your boss and co-workers.
You're uncomfortable with how much you feel like you don't belong here because the job and you just aren't a good fit.
You're uncomfortable with the hours, the commute, the monotony, the lack of creativity.
You're taking longer lunch breaks.
You find any excuse to get out of the office.
You count down every hour until you get to leave.
You think it's safe to stay where you are because it's comfortable receiving a reliable paycheck.
It's comfortable getting that matched 401K.
Having health insurance is comfortable.
So you hem and haw about leaving...until 2 more years go by and you're as miserable as ever.
So you stall the decision to leave.
Hear me though.
Making the decision to leave, or create a different job for yourself at your current work (yes, that is possible) does not mean you have to leave tomorrow.
Making a clear decision means you're programming your brain to find solutions to better your situation.
You can give yourself as much time as you want to turn in your resignation, or to create your ideal job description at your current job, talk to your boss and explore the possibility of doing that instead.
But make the decision.
Get out of limbo land.
Purgatory is an unnecessary pain.
Feel the power of your DECISION.
Then get to work.
Give yourself as much time as you need to make the changes.
And if you want weekly one-on-one guidance, accountability, and support to follow through on your decision, then I'd be happy to help. I've been there.
Your job sucks because your work relationships be strugglin'!
You're not connecting with your colleagues.
You currently connect with them inauthentically.
Or you don't connect with them at all.
When I worked in office jobs I couldn't stand, I bolted during my lunch breaks.
I was more interested in getting the hell up out of there than to see these people as valuable humans.
These beings that I shared so much space and time with.
You may say, "Meh, it doesn't matter."
But it does matter.
When I started having lunch with my co-workers, going to happy hour, taking walk-n-talk breaks with them, getting to know 'em, AND letting them know me..my job didn't suck so much.
Feeling connected contributed to a delicious sense of well-being.
Stop holding your well-being hostage.
After all this you may still dislike your job, but it won't suck the way it does now.
And you never know...your next job lead could come from one of your co-workers.
I'd love to help you with personalized guidance to create kickass connections at work WHILE we create and execute your exit plan into your new career.
You have great ideas.
Stop telling yourself you don't.
I know it's scary to act on that light-bulb moment you had last month.
That moment when you knew you could create a more efficient system for your and your department's workflow.
What if you present the idea to your boss and they shoot you down?
Or what if your co-workers say, "Who do you think you are to go changing things like this? You're just a ___."
But by not speaking up and sharing what you have to offer, you feel TEN times WORSE than what you would feel if your co-workers said that thing and your boss said no to your idea.
Go ahead and create the system. Put your idea into action.
Create the prototype.
Experiment with the possibility.
Show that it works.
THEN bring the implemented idea to your boss.
At that point, even if they're still a no, you've given yourself the gift of acknowledging and expressing yourself.
And that is estimable.
That is admirable.
You'll be so proud of yourself.
Your originality matters.
Your contributions matter.
And...you may get all this intellectually.
Yet taking up space like this on the regular might be downright frightening.
There's nothing wrong with you that you can't will yourself into taking initiative and shining your brilliance.
There's something to be said for social conditioning about who can and can't be visible and successful in the workplace.
Conditioning around gender, sexuality, race, ability, neurodiversity . . .
That's where I come in.
My work as a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Facilitator and Educator informs the coaching we'll do together as we consider the context and specific challenges you've experienced being anything other than traditional status quo (white, straight, cisgender, male, able-bodied, etc.)
Let's factor in ALL of your personal and generational experiences in a one-on-one coaching container so that you kick ass at work, implementing idea after idea, getting your well-earned promotion, and being an example of what's possible.
Hit me up HERE for some kickass coaching.
You want to leave your current job. So you applied to another job. But honestly though? You’re not crazy about that job either.
You wish you could pursue other interests and ideas instead. You think the answer might be to start your own business.
But how do you know which idea to go with?
Consider these three things.
Combine your interests into one idea.
That’s what I did.
I explored desired possibilities as I worked in full-time office jobs I wasn’t particularly crazy about. I considered my love for and experience with inspirational speaking, acting, on-camera hosting, emceeing, life coaching, writing, and performing/teaching dance and fitness.
I had pursued several of these independently, but I wanted to experience all of them in one setting.
My business Feel Good Kick Ass began as a hybrid movement and coaching service in 2015. My signature offering was the Rock Your Life Danceshops™, for which I was, and am still, proud of creating. I inspired and coached groups of people while entertaining them in the context of a dance/movement experience with content I wrote. Boom! All my interests in one idea.
Explore a hybrid possibility for your own endeavor.
Seek outside perspectives.
If you can’t see a way to combine your ideas, involve someone else in your process. Your proximity to your own circumstance might prevent you from seeing what a skilled problem-solver can see. With a little help you just might figure out the hybrid model for your new career or business. Let me make it real easy for you. Message me for a free consultation.
Just pick one.
If you prefer to choose one path but don't know which one to pick, be careful not to set up residence in the contemplation zone. This is where you vacillate for a ridiculous amount of time. Two years go by and you're still thinking which interest to pursue.
Massive indecision ensures you'll never have to risk failure. Letting yourself stay stuck in confusion is a clever way your unconscious mind keeps you safe. New endeavors mean danger to the primitive brain. Your rational thinking mind knows you're OK. Go ahead and choose a path.
Imagine that all your interests were guaranteed to be successful. If that were the case, which one would you enjoy doing more? If you knew that, no matter what you did, your path was going to thrive and be prosperous, then it’s just a matter of selecting the more appealing path.
I learned this decision-making technique from my coach Brooke and it has helped me. Try it.
If you desire further assistance with making decisions, be sure to read my other articles Why It’s So Hard to Make Decisions and How to Make Confident Decisions.
Think of "starting a business" in a less anxiety-producing way. Starting a business can feel daunting and overwhelming, especially when you already feel upset about the current unhappy state of your work life. I invite you to make a small tweak in your thinking.
Instead of putting all that pressure on yourself to start a business in order to get out of your current job, do this instead:
As you shift your perspective about your job into one of empowerment, the urgency you feel about leaving will decrease. Less anxiety means you'll have more vitality to create your new endeavor.
The first interest I explored, prior to creating Feel Good Kick Ass, was developing my written and spoken voice as a mindset coach. I produced weekly episodes for a mindset blogcast every single week for 11 months straight.
The next interest was introducing life coaching components in the dance/fitness classes I was already teaching.
After that, I explored renting a yoga studio and starting a meetup group to facilitate what became the Rock Your Life Danceshops™.
Somewhere in there I also explored working with one-on-one clients privately. And so on.
For you, explore one thing then the next. Include a few free clients to boost your confidence. Then work your way up from there.
To sum it up:
The only way to get it wrong is by not doing anything. You’ve got this.
I work with clients for 9 months to 1 year as the most impactful thing you can do to catapult your career fulfillment while feeling good about yourself. If you're ready to propel forward, stop dipping your toe in the water. Just jump in. Complete this questionnaire or send me a message and we’ll book your complimentary powerful coaching conversation.
"Oh, you're just a [glorified] secretary." A co-worker once said this to me when I was as an administrative professional. Now, that comment hurt.
Part of it was my immediate reaction to the outdated and sexist overtone of this person's opinion. The other part of it was the very real internal conflict I experienced in having a profession that didn't match the way I viewed myself on the inside. I also had a profession that was out of alignment with the work I wanted to be doing in the world.
I saw myself as an intelligent, confident, talented, capable, creative Ivy League graduate who happened to have this admin job as I worked to create my parallel careers in life coaching and dance/entertainment. I didn't necessarily want to be working in admin, but there I was. So I chose to make it work.
First, there's nothing wrong with having any kind of job title - as long as you want that job and it works for you, just as much as you work for it. But if it's not working, if you still feel unseen and overlooked, then we've got a problem. Maybe one time the name wasn't a big deal, but now it's really bothering you. You feel that you can, and do, bring so much more to the table than this one- or two-word label captures.
My fellow professional, you're experiencing cognitive dissonance. It's when you have conflicting beliefs about yourself. On the one hand you have this job title and to some degree you agree that you are this title. On the other hand, you're absolutely not that job title. You believe you are something else. And you want to live into this something else more and more. Hello internal conflict!
(Sidenote: Here's a quick way to tell how you really feel about your job title. When you think of the name, do you experience pride or shame? Do you slump your shoulders and frown or do you lift your head as if wearing a crown?)
But it's just a name. What's the big deal? You are not your job. This shouldn't matter, right?
Forget should or shouldn't. This is about what does or doesn't affect you.
It matters because this boils down to identity. You spend so much time in your job, doing the roles of that job. So even if you don't consciously take on the identity of that job name, you are, in fact, adopting that job as part of your identity. It also matters because how you and others view you may adversely impact your job performance.
I think this experience might be more common than people admit or acknowledge. I went through my fair share of this, until I decided who I was, who I wanted to be, and showed up in that way. Eventually my job title changed to match this decisive version of me. In fact, my internal conflict and cognitive dissonance dissipated before the original job label did. And it can for you too.
Know this: You're not alone.
Know this: You can dramatically alter your experience without anything on the outside changing first. Here's how.
Write down every task, responsibility, and way of being that goes above and beyond the job description you were originally hired for. Write down every way in which you are proud of how you show up, e.g. You proactively present three solutions for every problem you bring to your boss.
Write down every accolade a colleague has shared with you. Acknowledge everything.
Reflect on the inventories you've written. Marinate in the proud, accomplished, and successful feelings that emerge. THIS is your identity. Bring this essence with you to work everyday. Let this energy fuel your daily actions. It soon becomes crystal clear that you've outgrown the original job title.
Do you know what time it is now?
Time to request your promotion!
The internal conflict you experienced before was just growing pains. You couldn't articulate it then, but you just needed to shed some old skin. As you fed and nourished yourself with your preferred identity, your self-perception grew. And now you're ready to wear the skin, to wear the clothing, that actually fits.
I went through this process of filling myself up first, of bringing my best self to the table and the natural next step was to get a promotion. I created a case for it. I presented it to my manager. They initially said, "I'll take this into consideration." I followed up. I was told, "Not yet." I kept following up. I kept showing up above and beyond that official job title. Then my manager said, "Yes, and I've got something better for you." My new job title was a step up from the one I asked for and my new compensation rate was higher than I had requested.
Decide who you are. Be that. The job title will follow.
Do you show up to your desk everyday thinking about how much you don’t like your job, worried that you’re not making the impact you want to make with your gifts and talents? This is what I help clients with. I help professionals take control of their work life and feel confident about the direction their career is going while experiencing fantastic health and great relationships. I’m going to help you figure out how to view your job and career through the lens of possibility and opportunity instead of dread and disappointment. Book a call with me.
What do you when you feel like your job is a hindrance to, rather than an expression of, living the life you want? In this video, I discuss the difference between having a job vs. having a career. I also share a simple sentence you can start using immediately that will help you transform your lackluster job situation into an experience of purpose, connection, and power.
If you resonate with this message and desire personalized guidance to transform your job, reach out to me. I work with clients one-on-one for an entire year to create careers they love without sacrificing their social lives and personal wellness.
My name's Valerie and I'm a Certified Life Coach with a background in teaching dance as well as facilitating diversity, equity, and inclusion professional development conversations and workshops.