09/05/2022 by Kori Burkholder
How To Soul Search Before Your Job Search
When Stephanie joined the program, her goal was to determine where her career was going and a solid path forward. She was looking to find purpose and passion in her life and career, help others, and figure out what that looked like in her next career move and beyond. Little did she know that she was about to embark on a soul-searching mission, and what she found at the end of the process was a big surprise.
I have a background in advertising and am currently working in the market research industry. This career path wasn't exactly what I wanted to be doing, and I felt a bit lost when I decided to join the program.
How The Soul Searching Process Helps Gain Insight and Clarity
I couldn't tell you where my career would be in five or ten years. But I knew I needed something that would make me feel fulfilled every day. I knew I wanted to help people solve problems.
One idea I had before starting was to be a psychologist. For a year and a half, I had been thinking about it. But in the back of my head, I was like, okay, I haven't applied to schools. I haven't even started studying. I haven't done anything I had been thinking about for the last year and a half, plus I live in New York City with many schools at my fingertips. I thought Kori would help me apply to graduate schools. I had this fixed idea about what I wanted or thought, and I remember Kori told me to slow down. I am so happy I did because that’s when things started to open up for me.
My inner critic was also something I needed to understand. The Inner Critic and Positive Mindset Workout were the exercises that helped me build the confidence I lacked because of the uncertainty. I've overcome that, and even if it's not perfect, I know what to do to talk myself into reality and how I can make it work.
Another big moment for me was when I used to speak about myself in interviews or write a resume, which was always very generic. I would always say, “I did XYZ using XYZ skill.” But, building career success stories has helped me see what I've done in the past and how that can translate to the future.
Now that I’m through the program, I hear people who want to make a career change say, “I don't want to waste all my skills,” and that was such a fear of mine, too, but I’ve realized every skill that I built will translate into whatever I do next.
The biggest a-ha moment was midway through when I did the passions and interests exercise. While researching what I’d like to do with my current skills, I kept coming up with “health and wellness.” It was one of those light bulb moments. So I just ran with it for a few weeks, doing more research and solidifying things, and that's when I decided, that's it. I would be pursuing health and wellness as a new career direction!
Why Networking Is Key When Making A Career Change
I’ve learned during this process that networking is huge for making a career change. I am the type of person that doesn't like to talk about things until I solidify them. I'm not superstitious, but I don't want to share too much until I know I'm moving forward with it. I think this was the problem in my past because I was never sure what I wanted to do, so I would never share it with people because I was like, "Oh, I don't want to tell people and then back on my word.” But I started telling everybody what I wanted to do when I was sure.
Now, I share my vision and what I want to do with everybody because I can see where I will be in two, five, and even ten years, which is so different from where it was before. Because of that, I connected with two founders of small health and wellness startups.
A few weeks ago, I met a woman on my rooftop while having lunch. It was one of the hottest days in New York, just her and me. We minded our own business, and then we just started talking about how hot it was. Of course, being New Yorkers, we bond over that thing. She has been a recruiter for the last 15 years but lost her job during the pandemic. Because of that, she started her own recruiting business, which works specifically with startups. Coincidentally, part of my five to ten-year plan is to be at a startup and eventually run my own business, and I was able to share that with her.
We were dripping in sweat in the most unprofessional setting, but it sparked a connection and conversation about our careers and my ambitions. Then out of the blue, she suggested we start collaborating!
I'm not shy about emailing people anymore. I email CEOs of start up’s I'm interested in working for. What do I have to lose? I'm putting myself out there, sharing my passions, and enjoying it!
I've also joined networking events, and that's been great because it pushes me to get out there, meet people, and make connections. I used to think I was being a pain for following up with people or asking when I needed something. I felt as if I had asked others for things that were bothering them. But, who am I bothering? That was a made-up story that I switched around in my mind. Of course, it's my life and career path just as much as theirs, but asking and sharing doesn't hurt. It never hurts, and that builds confidence.
Stephaine’s Current Reality
I'm still in my current role and officially enrolled in the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, where I am getting my certification in health coaching. I would have never thought that I would be pursuing health coaching. So again, it goes back to this psychologist's idea and helping people.
I’m excited to see what happens when I go through this certification and what I learn. I’ve honed in on my passions, and I eventually want to start a business by coaching people and helping them with their daily habits. After that, my goal is to create my own business, and in what capacity? I’m not exactly sure yet. This year I'm going to build more on my skills, and I can't wait!
Stephanie’s Words Of Advice
I had hesitations, as I'm sure everybody does. It's a time and monetary commitment. It did take me a bit to get there, talking through things and carving out my vision. But, I'm a very structured person, and the program allowed structure and flexibility to mold it my way, and that was exactly what I needed.
It was a soul-searching process. If I hadn't gone through the career exploration process before trying to find a job, I might have landed in the wrong role again. When I think about it, it wasn't just about finding the perfect career path. It was about building my confidence and me as a person, which was different from what I expected.
But, I tell anybody who asked me the last five-six months, it was by far the easiest decision I've ever made, which is not even an exaggeration. I have never felt so sure and excited about the career path and my life, so I would say to someone thinking about joining the program, just do it!
Update Since Our Interview:
A few months after our interview, Stephanie landed a job at a Health Tech start-up and is mid-way through her health coaching training.
I've been in my new role for almost five months and love it! It's very busy and fast-paced, but it's incredible to be working for a company with such a fantastic mission that I fully believe in. It's the first time in my career that I've been excited about the company and what's to come for it.
In addition, I'm halfway through my health coach training program at IIN! Time is flying by. I'm taking this time to do a check-in with my intentions and goals because we're at the point where we're allowed to start seeing clients, but I don't fully feel ready. I've been thinking about my future after the course, whether starting my own business or being a part of a larger business while I continue learning and growing. Being an entrepreneur is still on my road map, but I'm unsure if it's now. Plus, I'm enjoying my new company, which pairs mental health and coaching, so I'm brainstorming additional opportunities there.
As I'm doing a check-in with myself on intentions and goals, I wanted to take the time to thank you for your guidance over the last year. Sometimes when I'm stuck, I take a moment to remember where I was when I first started your program. I'm excited to see where this journey takes me!
Watch Stephanie's Interview here: