Episode #98 – Marc works with “Sara,” (not her real name) to pivot her career, in the fourth and last of a series of episodes featuring “Sara.”
In Part 4 of this series, Marc covers the third feedback session with Sara for her personality assessment.
[1:12] Marc welcomes you to Episode 98 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast.
[1:24] If you’re enjoying this podcast, Marc invites you to share this podcast with like-minded souls. Please subscribe on CareerPivot.com, iTunes, Google Play and the Google Podcasts app, Podbean, Overcast, TuneIn, Spotify, or Stitcher. Share it on social media, or tell your neighbors and colleagues so Marc can help more people.
[1:45] Marc thanks everyone who has rated or reviewed the show on iTunes. Repurpose Your Career has 25 ratings and 17 customer reviews. Marc would be most appreciative if you chose to write a review.
[2:02] We are rapidly approaching Episode 100 of Repurpose Your Career. Marc is thinking of interviewing his wife, Lotus Miller, about her experiences around their move to Mexico! Mrs. Miller is a former Registered Nurse and massage therapist.
Now on to the podcast…
[2:26] Next week, Marc will have a special episode — the audio from the webinar that Jeanne Yocum presented to the Career Pivot membership community, called “Pricing Your Services — How to Get it Right.” Setting the right prices is difficult for freelancers and consultants. Jeanne was on Episode 89 of the podcast talking about her book.
[3:03] Last week in Episode 97, Marc covered Part 3 of the “Can Sara Repurpose Her Career?” series. This week, Marc will play Part 4 of the series. If you have not listened to Episodes 93, 94 and 97, Marc suggests you stop here and go listen to all episodes, first. You will find the reports for these episodes at Careerpivot.com/sara.
[3:48] Marc welcomes Sara back to the podcast. Sara has done her homework. She tells how she makes decisions using her intellect and her intuition. She has her head and her heart involved.
[4:50] Marc looks at the homework. Sara was once told by a manager that she is a results-oriented decision maker. She wondered how an employee could not be results-oriented. She has learned that not everyone sees things the same way.
[5:56] When Sara has a problem to solve, she asks as many questions as she needs to get all the facts and then she takes the ball and runs with it to get those results. She likes being able to point to the results of her problem-solving.
[6:36] Marc reminds Sara that everyone does not think the same and he hopes that she will take time to explain to others how she thinks and decides, so there are no misunderstandings. Marc talks about teaching in mainland China and how differently the Chinese think.
[7:49] Sara looks at her Stress Report. There are three sections. They are Interpersonal Relationships, Schedules and Details, and Decision Making. Each section has two pages. The first covers what happens when you go into stress. The second covers what you can do to get out of stress. Sara will explore the second pages on her own.
[8:24] Activities to stay out of stress include things you are already doing, things you used to do but stopped doing, and eight choices of things you should try.
[9:16] Sara looks at Self-consciousness and Social Energy in dealing one-on-one and dealing in groups. Sara’s social needs are low, meaning she doesn’t want to be around people all day; her self-consciousness is also low, meaning she wants people to deal with her very directly. That is an unusual combination.
[9:59] Sara reads her results. It is likely that Sara needs straightforward instruction, praise that is free of sentiment, associates who speak up easily, people who get to the point, direct questions or corrections, freedom from group pressures, special time to be alone, time to be quiet and think, individualized benefits, and a few one-on-one friends.
[10:31] Sara says that what resonates with her are straightforward instructions, praise that is free of sentiment, associates who speak up easily, and the rest, except that she is not sure what is meant by individualized benefits.
[10:53] Marc explains individualized benefits as meaning, ‘You want to get stroked the way that you want to get stroked.’
[10:58] Sara reflects on what makes her feel valued (from the Career Reflection worksheet). She feels valued when she fills a need. She likes to be needed, personally and professionally. She likes to be depended on. It feels great when someone thanks her for a significant accomplishment, not just for the day-to-day minutia.
[12:01] Marc summarizes that Sara wants a level of importance and she wants people to recognize her importance. Sara agrees. She doesn’t want to be relied on for the smaller tasks.
[12:46] Marc wants Sara to have ingrained within her the knowledge of what makes her feel valued at work, and to be able to communicate that to others. Marc always loved getting recognition from his clients. Developing software that he never saw anyone use was meaningless to him and didn’t give him ‘strokes.’
[13:46] In Sara’s three pages of needs, there are 30 needs. There will be overlap. Marc will ask Sara to synthesize her 30 needs down to 10 needs and to write an open-ended question for each and what she is listening for.
[14:11] Marc cites Jim Camp’s Start with NO, a negotiation book. The art and science of questioning is to get the other side to ‘spill the beans.’ Marc asks Sara to do the same thing, based on her own needs.
[14:34] Sara’s things she can do to build resistance: Identify a person or group that interacts with her in an objective manner and spend more time with that person or group. Build a hit list of things she knows have gone well and use it to help gauge her success.
[15:00] Sara can find opportunities to assess real signs of success and identify areas that she needs to improve upon. Build a relationship with a coach who, without being shy about it, can help her evaluate how well she has done in a situation. Set aside quiet time for herself every day. She needs solitude to recharge
[15:22] Sara can take active steps to protect herself from interruptions when she is working on an important or stressful task. Allocate at least one weekend a month just to be alone with that one person who is most important to her. The more difficult this is to do, the more important it is.
[15:39] Sara can prepare herself for big holidays or hectic social periods by spending more time being quiet and alone.
[15:47] Sara is already setting aside quiet time for herself every day to recharge and taking active steps to protect herself from interruptions during important or stressful tasks. She has also learned to manage the interruptions. She prepares herself for holidays by spending more time by herself. Marc also avoids holiday parties.
[16:56] Sara knows when it’s time to find her happy place in a corner of a room away from other people. Marc talks about the difficulty introverts have in being social.
[17:42] On page 5, Sara reads about managing her needs for insistence and restlessness. Sara is low insistence, which means she does not like rules imposed on her. Sara’s restlessness rating shows she does not like to be interrupted.
[18:15] Sara may need freedom from close controls, a minimum of structured routine, direct access to everyone, unusual and stimulating tasks, flexible rules and policies, a minimum of abrupt changes in routine, consistently applied policies or rules, only one or two tasks at a time, protection from interruptions, and predictable schedules and tasks.
[18:45] Sara disagrees with the minimum of structured routine. She seeks it out and makes it for herself. Marc reminds her that she is a structured anarchist. She would very much prefer the structure to be her own. Sara agrees. She does not want others to impose it. Direct access means she does not do well with a bunch of gatekeepers.
[19:51] Unusual and stimulating tasks and flexible rules and policies, and consistently applied policies or rules also resonate with Sara. Sara likes consistency, in general.
[20:17] Marc also considers it to be a need for fairness and Sara agrees. Regarding working on one or two tasks at a time, Sara is not a believer in multi-tasking. Marc also has a low restlessness score and he does his best work when he is not interrupted.
[20:56] Marc keeps his phone away from himself when he needs to concentrate. He turns the automatic download in Outlook off. People with low restlessness scores tend to have ‘bright, shiny object syndrome’ and their productivity goes way down.
[21:27] It can be very stress-reducing for Sara to protect herself from interruptions, and she can boost her productivity be avoiding interruptions. Sara also is happiest when her tasks are not tightly controlled by others. She would much rather be asked than told to do a task.
[22:34] Sara reads some things she can do to stay out of stress. Sara can set aside time each week to follow some new interest or satisfy new curiosity, indulge her sense of adventure whenever possible, and use vacations or hobbies to try new activities.
[22:54] Sara can create frequent opportunities to discuss future goals, plans and activities with her family and/or coworkers; make schedules that allow her flexibility in executing tasks and plans; and develop work schedules that allow her to spend significant periods of time on one project, without interruption.
[23:14] Sara can use time management skills, gatekeepers, and any other means to protect herself from distractions and obstructions from working on tedious tasks and arrange major work schedules in such a manner that she can fit in a few interruptions without getting behind.
[23:37] Sara can establish routines for the beginning or end of the day to provide background structure when life gets busy.
[23:50] Sara is already doing the last activity. She has established alone thinking time for every morning getting ready for the day and in the evening getting ready for bed. She follows them even if she goes traveling. Marc wants Sara to be very aware of keeping those patterns as habits.
[25:35] Sara has not yet regularly set aside weekly time to follow new interests or satisfy curiosity but she has tried it from time to time. She indulges her sense of adventure whenever possible and tries new activities on vacations or as hobbies. She sees that finding the time to do more of that would bring her greater satisfaction.
[26:15] Marc reminds Sara to take time out during the day to do something creative. So far, she is not taking enough time to do that. She is very task-oriented which keeps her from taking breaks. That frustrates her. Having a creative streak and being so orderly is an unusual combination.
[27:02] Sara looks at managing needs for physical energy and thought. Sara is rated moderately on physical energy — she’s not inactive and not extremely active. Sara is rated moderately low on thought. Sara reads her 10 likely needs.
[27:26] Sara may need a minimum of prolonged activity, stimulation of new ideas, friendly low-key surroundings, time for reflective thought, unhurried work conditions, quick decisions from others, forceful and definite bosses or peers, and a minimum of ambiguity in situations.
[27:59] Sara may also need thoughtful suggestions from others and opportunities to take action quickly.
[28:03] Being moderately low in thought means Sara likes to make big decisions in a fairly matter-of-fact basis but if there is no right answer, or there is a lot of ambiguity, it is likely to cause Sara stress. Marc relates a client example.
[30:24] Sara lists the needs that resonate with her: stimulation of new ideas, friendly, low-key surroundings, time for reflective thought, unhurried work conditions, quick decisions from others, thoughtful suggestions from others, and opportunities to take actions quickly.
[30:50] The ‘thoughtful suggestions from others’ need is in the same vein as the preference to be asked and not told. Fairness plays into this. The cohesiveness of the team is really important.
[31:25] To avoid stress, Sara can plan schedules and projects so she can stop and think about where she has been and where she is going, give more time to abstract or philosophical thought and activities, and avoid taking on too many projects or social obligations when things are getting hectic at work.
[31:50] Sara can develop a relaxing, low-key hobby or recreation and make use of the curative powers of this activity often, and build family plans and goals, carefully using a thorough planning procedure so that she looks at all the factors and options for important decisions.
[32:11] Sara can develop contacts with aggressive but careful thinkers who can help her think things through carefully without holding her back unnecessarily, work out rules with those close to her that allow her to move quickly on little issues but help her to be cautious on important ones.
[32:33] Sara can remind family and co-workers that she needs fast-paced action when decisions are required and ask them to push options aggressively while helping her avoid black-and-white thinking.
[32:46] Sara tells which activities resonate with her: getting fast-paced action when decisions are required and help to avoid black-and-white thinking is important to Sara. Marc encourages Sara to develop a relaxing, low-key hobby or recreation and make use of the curative powers of this activity.
[33:22] Marc asks Sara to use her creative streak to figure out the activity and to give herself permission to take the time to go off and do it, understanding that she will be a better person for it. Sara just finished an assignment of making a personal video that related to work, to be used at work. She was very excited to have that creative outlet.
[34:57] Marc asks Sara to give herself permission to sit with that feeling — the combination of knowing her project was wanted and being able to be creative with it. Marc asks her to bookmark it mentally so that when something else comes up, she can bring this feeling back. Sometimes she may need to go ask for similar projects.
[36:25] Sara compares her work role to being typecast as an actress. Marc explains as we hit our 50s and 60s, staying in our role becomes exhausting to us. The stamina of our 30s and 40s is no longer there.
[37:17] Marc gives Sara homework. Synthesize the 30 needs down into about 10. Then write an open-ended question about each need, and know what to listen for when she asks these questions — if the answer feels right to her, or if she should run away as fast as she can go. She needs to know her red flags and pay attention to them in interviews.
[38:08] Sara also needs to take her assignment of usual behavior, strength phrases that she translated into her own words and turn them into a narrative. This will be her story to share about herself. The key piece is to write it the way she talks, not the way she writes. Marc suggests saying it into her phone then transcribing it.
[38:47] Sara’s third assignment for this session will be to talk to three people at work she knows and trusts and three people from her personal life and ask them each for three to five phrases that describe her.
[39:10] We behave a certain way at work and another way in our personal life. Marc wants Sara to note the words both sets of three people use, and look for overlap.
[39:37] Marc will do one feedback session more with Sara that will not be recorded for the podcast, so this podcast series is completed.
[39:49] Sara says she has learned from the experience so far that she is a lot more comfortable with what she is seeking. She has been aware of a lot of what was discussed for a while but she is now more comfortable in articulating it and leveraging it for a future job search.
[40:28] Sara synopsizes what she learned about herself, that now she feels like she has the understanding to rebuild her LinkedIn profile and the words and phrases to tell her interesting story in a professional setting.
[42:42] Check back next week when we will hear Jeanne Yocum discuss pricing your services — how to get it right.
Mentioned in This Episode:
CareerPivot.com/Episode-89 Jeanne Yocum
CareerPivot.com/Episode-93 Sara Part 1
CareerPivot.com/Episode-94 Sara Part 2
CareerPivot.com/Episode-97 Sara Part 3
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