S2 Episode 36: Changing Course
Note: Transcripts are computer generated.
Sugar and Spikes is a science backed and semi sarcastic mental health podcast for a new type of business leader. Mental health concerns are occasionally addressed. But this podcast is not intended to diagnose or treat any condition mental, physical, metaphysical or otherwise. That's a job for your doctor or therapist, not a podcast. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's get on with the show.
Hi, everyone! Welcome to another episode of Sugar and Spikes. I am Dez your cereal content creator and this week we have.....
Well you're one of them. (laughter)
I'm here. But I'm always here. I'm always here. I'm Tammy. I'm a psychologist. I'm leaving it at that.
Okay. As well as a special guest. We have Noelle from My Interview Buddy.
Hi, thanks for having me.
Well, welcome back, I should say! Noelle is no stranger to Sugar and Spikes and we love having her on always has great insight. And I know you guys love her, like all of you listeners out there and get really solid feedback. So, this episode is going to be great. But for people that don't know, you, Noelle, that maybe this is their first time listening or you know any of the number of reasons why they don't know your fabulousness. Give us a bit of your background.
Yeah, so I'm the owner of My Interview Buddy. We're an interview coaching company. So anytime somebody is getting prepared for a major interview, we do one on one interview preparations, we also do resumes and cover letters, anything that you need to be able to get to the next stage in your career, the majority of our clients are people that are transitioning in their careers. So they're not looking to just hop from company to company, they're like you into a step up or completely changed their careers. So we're there to walk them through every step of the way. And I've been doing My Interview Buddy for about two years. My background is in operations. I've always worked either for nonprofits or for profits, but always behind the scenes. So I've had a lot of experience working with small companies and helping them get prepared or helping hire people that were coming in. So that's been my passion. And I've been doing My Interview Buddy up by itself for the last about like six months now where it's just been me and My Interview Buddy. It's been amazing.
Nice. And so you work with both jobseekers and businesses, right? N
That's correct, yes. I work with businesses like I work with recruiting agencies. So if they have people that don't have all the soft skills that they need to get the job, I work with them so they can get prepared for interviews. I also work with HR directors with our reduction in forces services. So if they're going to be letting people go, they can offer our services over to candidates that are leaving, and that way they can be prepared for the next job. And it also helps us companies not have to pay and all those unemployment costs, so everybody wins.
Awesome. And that's, I mean, I feel like that's one of your super your superpowers, and that you see it from both sides. So when you're working with companies, you know, kind of what's going through the job seekers mind. And when you're working with job seekers, you know, like the behind the scenes of what the company is kind of thinking and stuff like that.
Yeah, exactly. I mean, I really think that it's important to get it from both angles. And what I found when I started My Interview Buddy, is that I was hearing a lot from candidates about all the problems that they were having. And I was hearing from hiring managers recruiting all the problems that they're having. They said, “Well, what if there's like one central place that we can really work out both of these issues", and that my services can be supplemental. And then also, like, all my blog post, a lot of my content are from both groups of people, because I think that it's really necessary to open up those conversation.
It almost sounds like, like a job seeker offer, like Task Force, almost like, as you're talking about it. I'm like, there are so many ways that folks could be involved to help with like the education. I'm sorry, my brain is going down a completely different rabbit hole but I'm like, thinking about this now anyways, Okay, I'm gonna stop.
So I was thinking about this, right? Because with job interviews, you just feel so ill
prepared. It's like this other thing that this other hurdle that you have to get through, and you're kind of like shooting in the dark. And I think for hiring managers that can sometimes feel that way, too. Because we know that like, interviews are the worst way to figure out who's going to be a good employee. But yet, these are the way that's the way we're using.
Yeah, the tagline for my company is "Making interviews better, better on both sides of the table." But what I wanted it to be was "Interviews suck, but they don't have to."
Dez 05:04 Which is fabulous. (laughter)
Tammy 05:05 They do suck!
They do suck, but they don't have to. It just needs to be a professional conversation. You can you know, you don't have to bare your soul but you can get to know people and you can be a little bit vulnerable and you can be a little bit more open and ask the questions that you need on both sides so that you can find out if this is the right company for you. And you can find out this is the right candidate. It doesn't have to be so sterile.
Yeah. Yeah, I kind of went through that just recently. So we, Sugar and Spikes, is bringing on an intern, which is exciting. But it was the first time that we've done, I guess, a professional interview for help. You know, like, the first time we've expanded our team. I think Noelle, okay. Yeah, you look frozen. But yeah, so it was the first time we really kind of expanded our team in that sense. And I was preparing for the interview and everything. And I was like, this is nerve racking. You know, and just like, knowing that the intern is interviewing you, as well, and just all of that stuff, but then also like, managing the nerves for both people almost. Yeah, I don't know. It was just, it was it was a new experience. I'm glad I glad I went through, but I could see how like, if I, if I were doing that, for my full time job, I would need like a behind the scenes person to help me navigate that.
Oh, for sure. N
Yeah, no, it gets kind of tricky. And I think that when you get somebody that's like, almost good enough, but they're not quite there, like you kind of want to like, give them little tips. And like, that's how I got started is because I would have somebody that just wasn't that was almost really good. I could tell that they really wanted it. And I would just like," Hey, so you didn't get the job. But here's some ideas of how you can do better for the next time when you interview with somebody else." And I know a lot of hiring managers don't want to do that. They don't have a ton of time. But I think there's just not a lot of resources that are out there that will help you that isn't set for just executives. So I wanted to be able to get in that in between place.
Yeah, that's awesome. Um, one thing that you did mention earlier was kind of your bread and butter. Most of the folks that you help are the ones transitioning careers and stuff. And that's really what we wanted to open up the conversation with today. Because the topic of changing your mind and changing which kind of path you're going down, being your choice at any moment is something that's come up a lot recently on the podcast. And I wanted to give an episode specifically to our career focused listeners that are maybe feeling stuck in a couple ways, but to kind of kick it off so we're not like multitasking. But kind of the first thing is the folks that feel stuck, because they've been in like the same industry for so long. Can you speak to kind of navigating that change?
Yeah. So you mean like just figuring out when you know that you're done with an industry?
Yeah like, I'm sick of working in tech. Like if I worked in tech, I'm just like, I'm done with tech. I want to go, I want to go do my job. But like on a farm, or something. You know? (laughter) Exactly, exactly like that.
That's what everybody says, I want to do this job, not in tech on a farm. (laughter)
Who wouldn't want to? Cuddling cows, all the things.
Well, I think a lot of people, I think that it's really important to identify, is it the industry that's the issue? Or is it the companies that you've worked for, that's the issue? It's important to do all of your research, because maybe what you want to do in another industry pays a fraction of what you're getting paid and that other industry, and maybe that doesn't matter to you, maybe the benefits are completely different. So really do your homework and all those things. But I think that it happens all the time. But it's important to be able to identify what is making me feel burnt out. Like maybe if I'm doing the same thing in a different company or a different industry, it's not going to fulfill me, I'm just moving to do something else that it turns out, I don't really like, you know, I've just happened to be good at it. But it's not me, I don't have any passion in it anymore. So I think, you know, writing it down trying to get to the bottom of why you feel the way that you feel before just jumping into something else may be the right thing to do. Instead of trying to jump I believe in like taking baby steps, not taking leaps. So it's important to really be able to identify like, what does that really mean, when you say that you're sick of I mean, you're sick tech? That's a pretty broad thing, tech is everywhere, right?
So what is it that you really are sick of? Are you sick of working in a place that's male dominated and you're not a guy? Like, what is it exactly, and then try to break that down before you decide to make it to transition?
It's like job seeker therapy.
That's what you do! D
It's hard. I mean, a lot of a lot of these pieces, it is like you need a therapy, I send some of my, my clients to therapy because it there's so much emotion behind it, especially those who've been laid off. And they had like an identity crisis afterwards. And were like, well, is it this job? Is it this company? Is it my role? Is it you know, this industry? Is it? Is it me? Like what do I need? It's, it's hard to be able to identify it. So, you know, I always try to help and pinpoint some of those things, but it is so much emotion and and it's so taxing a lot of the time just searching for a job is exhausting. So all the emotion parts that go into it, too. It's hard.
Yeah. Well, and like on the identity piece, like, whenever one thing that stood out when I was talking with someone was they pointed out like what's the first thing you ask someone when you meet them? Like aside from their name? Well what do you do? Like your job is such a huge piece of your identity. And I went through like a bit of identity of an identity crisis last year, when there was some time where I didn't have a job and all I could see myself as was the girl with no job. Which was like, a got me down, so I had to do work around that. But also the other piece, I was going somewhere else with this..... job identity. Oh, and like when you're ready to transition, like that also can signify attending, maybe you can speak to this, like a transition in your identity. Like it's almost a chicken or the egg type of thing. Like Have you outgrown something or I don't know do you want to jump off from there?
So many things I could say. But she's the expert, but I'll try and wait. T
Yeah. So like when you're going through a transition transitions are hard, right? And so if the transition feels uncovered, which was something I was thinking about, like, it doesn't necessarily make it a bad thing or the wrong thing. Right? So like, if you're thinking about a change, it's about knowing yourself, right? And we talked a lot ,you and I, about visualization? Like what are you visualizing? Because that kind of makes what's real in your world. So if all you can visualize is "I'm the girl with no job", then that affects your self-esteem and your self-confidence and your ability to even think like, why the hell should I look for a job? Like, I don't have any qualified skills, like stuff like that. So you start to like, catastrophizing out, like more and more and more, right? But really, if somebody would ask those very good questions that Noelle was talking about, then you could kind of be like, okay, it's not all of it. It's just figuring out the heart of it, and then going from there. Is that what you meant? I don't know.
Yeah. Yeah. (laughter)
She's like, "No, but okay."
But I also think that who we are isn't what we do for another company. It's just what we do. So, a lot of people I have are out of work, or they're looking for something new. And so like for like their LinkedIn, they said, Well, what, what do you what do you do? Like, it doesn't have to be like, what, what companies you work for, like maybe, or an example of this, I was out of work for about four months, years ago, and I was doing social media strategy, like as a volunteer, and it was something that I was really passionate about. So I call myself a social media strategist. But again, did I get paid for it? No. Was something that was always on my mind and in my heart, and I was healthy, happy to help other people with it? Absolutely. So, that became part of my identity, even though it wasn't like my role wasn't something that was getting paid for. But it wasn't it was a piece of me that I could share professionally, as I was going through a transition.
So it helps you think more flexibly about that answering that question like what do you do for a living? Right? And sometimes when we're not going to an office every day, it sounds like and for her, this was the case and I know for you it was, it kind of opens you up to these alternative possibilities that you're like, "Oh, it's kind of been back burnered for me the whole time, or I've been a volunteer doing this. Oh, but I actually really dig this. Okay, how can I go in that direction?" You know? Yeah.
Yeah. I think one thing that both these comments made me think of is, Donald Miller talks about this in his book "Story Brand", where it's like, pulling aside the labels and really getting to the heart of what is it you're doing? Like, so for the social media strategist like, would I am sharing messages like I'm communicating like, and for someone, I think, like, when you're at that state of lost identity, or, you know me, I always take it really dark really fast, but like in that deep place, then that helps add a bit of purpose, even during times of transition, where it's like, I don't know where I'm going. I don't know what I'm doing in terms of job. But these are my strengths. You know?
So a lot of inner focused work?
Like trying to think flexibly right, and be flexible, and tolerate ambiguity, which everybody sucks at doing. Yeah. So, easy.
And I think that once you've identified, this is who I am in this company and that's all I am, you can't move up. Because you've already said, "This is who I am" like it you you stopped it there. There's this example. I don't know if it's a true story or not. But I've heard this story several times that before we got somebody on the moon, they were interviewing custodians that were at NASA. And each one was saying, "Yeah, well, I'm, I'm helping clean up so that you know, this departments able to do whatever they need to do." But one janitor said, "Well, I'm helping a man get on the moon." Because he felt like, no matter what I'm doing here, I'm doing a piece that's helpful for the people that are here so that we could get somebody exactly where they need to be. And like father, that that mindset, because he could say that as janitor, he could say that any position. So if you can make broaden out what you do and who you are, it really can help you get to that next transition, whatever it is, you just have to not narrow it down so badly.
Yeah, I like that. Because it speaks to meaning making, right? Your role and purpose in a larger thing, right? And so it makes sense to me that if you only think like, "Oh, I'm just this, and this is this", that you're already putting limits, you're already saying I can't go beyond or I can't adjust over here, which I bet makes searching for jobs really challenging, cause you're like, this is all I can do. So then when there are opportunities that you would actually fit with you don't believe it, so you don't even apply?
Yeah. I think that ties into kind of the next question we have, which is.. do you want to ask?
So like, I kind of picture like, people when they're changing jobs. They either like, it's that they are done with their industry, maybe but you have said things that could take that further in another direction. But I think also, like, they don't feel like they have credentials to move out of the path that they're on. And so how do they navigate that? Right? So it's kind of like, well, if I, as a psychologist, we're going to transfer from working clinically with people to maybe like doing marketing, which psychologists can do, how am I going to make that leap? Even though I have the credentials? Maybe, but I don't really feel like I do.
Like, the education around it.
Yeah, yeah, that's a great question. So I think that it's really important to take a look at where do I want to be in like, the next 10 years. Because if I can figure out that I can figure out a career trajectory, that makes sense. And then I can figure out a jump job. So the good job I can do from where I am today to help me get on that industry path for whatever I want to be in the next 10 years. And it's something that makes sense. So, no matter what you're doing, you have something that's applicable to another industry, but maybe not at the immediate role that you want to be at. So it's like whatever that 10 year goal is like, that may be where you really want to be. But it's not necessarily where you're going to be like today. So I think that taking a look and figuring out where, what that next step is that that jumped job is, and then taking a look at the skills that you have, like take a look at the job applicant, it took a job description, rather, and you know, you were attracted to it for a certain reason, because you thought, "Oh, that's something that I can do" well, why can you do that, and then start editing your resume to really reflect that because there's something that you've done in your work history that you can show. Well, yeah, like, there's certain elements to this, that I have, and making sure that I'm showing those skill sets on my resume, on my cover letter. And really being able to speak to why I want to work for this company, I think really helps. And we're all here to learn. So sometimes it means when you need to make that switch, that you have to get a little bit more education. And it doesn't necessarily mean you need to get a degree, maybe you can take a course online, you can go to Coursera, all these different places just to get a little bit more background and to show that you're looking to make this move. But knowing what the next step is, is so important. And, and understanding that that may mean that you have to take a step back, as long as you're willing to do the work to help you grow to get to whatever that that main huge, exciting goal is.
Well, and I love that you keep coming around to while you're talking about bigger things, but let's break it down and bring it back to smaller things that are more manageable because job transitions, whether you're jumping to a new company, or jumping to a new industry, feel huge. And so you're talking like, "Whoah-whoah-whoah" let's just make this a little bit more doable, not as overweight. What's the next step? Because we all know, like change isn't linear, right? And so I love what you said about like, maybe taking a step back in order to move forward and having patience at the same time for all the things you're trying to do.
Well, I love the idea of the jump job. Like I think that's such a great title. I haven't heard that before. Um, I think like so often there's this pressure to get to the end game. I want to go out on a limb and say, especially for graduates, like recent grads, like well, this is my career. Like, I know, we're talking like career transition right now. But I think you know that there are other times where this is this is the end all be all, even though it's really the start. And I was just kind of talking to Tammy about this beforehand, where you know, really, wherever you are, that's your starting point, like each day you wake up, that's that start and then go from there. And like, I'm not a huge fan of the five year plan. But the 10 year plan in terms of like, this is the type of person I want to be, I think can be one of the biggest driving forces for folks to take those risks and also give give themselves a break, you know, to be where they are in the moment and let that be okay.
Yeah, absolutely. Nicole Lapin wrote about, she does her goals in and chumps so she will do whatever you want to be in 10 years. But until you get there you do one year, three year, five year, seven year so that we can continue to readdress them and make sure that they're that they're aligned with 10 year goal . If it's not aligned anymore, maybe I need to change with that goal. This maybe I love where I am right now. And maybe I don't want to shift over to this next thing. Maybe I don't want to be an executive at XYZ company. Like maybe I'm really happy in analytics. And that's where I want to become the subject matter experts exactly where I am. But you don't know until you build out your future a little bit and be comfortable with being able to pivot on that. It doesn't have to be set in stone. And I think that's something that I've struggled with, like, "Oh, well, I said by the time I'm 30, I'm going to do XYZ", well, no, like, that isn't the way that things panned out. And it doesn't mean that you failed, it just means that you had to take a pivot and pivots are really exciting.
And important. Because I know like a lot of people, the minute they make a decision, they feel locked into it. So this is my 10 year plan. I'm committed, I am not getting off this road. And you're like, but you're miserable on this road. Like you don't have to stay here. But they feel like locked in. So, saying that it's okay to change your mind. It's okay to say it wasn't really this, and I'm going to go this way. I love that.
Yeah, well, and even with life circumstances, like you mentioned the well, I may not have done all these things that I wanted to by this time. But one thing and I've challenged you on this a couple times, Tammy, as I've point Tammy, is you may not have gotten to that point. But what are the other things that have come up that you've navigated? You know, like, what surprises have you dealt with? Like, if you knew you were going to be dealing with this thing that came up that took 90% of your concentration, would this have still been your goal on this timeline? You know, chances are, it's a really big no. So, looking back now, it's all right, you know, like it's not like, it's not like you were just in the status. I don't think anyone just stays in this like sort of frozen state, it's if you didn't hit a goal other things have happened,
Right. So like, I've been I listened to a podcast, or maybe it was a TED talk, where they talk about, like stories of trauma are kind of side by side with stories of resilience. And so yes, you've expect because I work with a lot of people who have had extensive trauma and that's that what they see, and they don't see this other path that's kind of side by side with it. So yes, you didn't make your 10 year plan, but you did all these other things. So you can kind of say, am I going with this? Is this the story I'm telling of my failure or is this the story I'm telling of my adaptability and my ability to tolerate and go with and change all these things?
Yeah, absolutely. And there's no such thing as having growth without having some discomfort, right? So you have to be getting a little bit uncomfortable. But a good example of it, so I'm thinking of, sometimes I speak over with lawyers who have decided to make a transition in their career and that's a hard one because you invest so much money and so much time into your education in it. But I try to get people to think of what skills were you able to develop from going to law school, like, even if like you made amazing contacts at school, like there's something that you got out of every situation that you can apply, that's been great for you. So it's okay to let things go. Even beyond lawyers, I think that really anybody if you spent a lot of time getting your degree in anything, and then that degree isn't in the field that you want to go in, it's easy to say like, well, I need to stay here because my parents paid for school, or I paid for school, and I just can't move on to something else. Well, no, you don't. Because you've got something out of that education, right? Like there is some really good, tangible things that you can apply really anywhere. Even if you got a degree in basket weaving, like what did you get out of that college experience that's been helpful for developing you as a person as a whole person that you can apply someplace else. So even if it doesn't end up being the best resume booster, it was a you booster, and it's helped you get to wherever you need to be now, and that's really great. That's something you could still hang your hat on. So doesn't mean that you should just stay where you are forever, just because you spent a ton of money and time.
Right, and I remember because we went to the same undergrad and we were in the same grad school. So I remember in our undergrad for like our capstone class, the professor was asking like, what did you get out of college? Like, what did you get out of this four years of experience? And nobody actually said anything related to their major? They talked about I developed critical thinking, I was able to open up and see that there are different ways that I can go and jobs available to me that I never thought about. And we've talked a lot about grad school being about how to think critically about things. Yes, I learned a lot about psychology. But also, this more general thing is learning how to have that critical eye and learning how to be adaptable, and learning how to tolerate like, change and being on your growth edge all the time, which is uncomfortable,
But I think even skills outside of the classroom, like how to put together a paper for grad school. And I'm sure for a lot of folks in undergrad, how to stay up on very little sleep multiple nights in a row and be a functioning human, which anyone who's had a job that can say that happens, especially anyone that works in like startup land, you know, you're going to have sleepless nights. So I think like, yeah, that's really one of my biggest like, pushes for college and higher education. Like, I know, it's not for everyone, but I will always challenge people that are thinking about it or debating it to be to really say it's more than this degree. You know, one thing I did want to ask on more of like, an objective topic. Earlier, you mentioned going to some something like a Coursera or doing a course online for education to to like learn something new, do employers? How do employers view those types of things?
If they're directly applicable to the job that you're applying to, they seem as great. I don't really think and it really depends on what level that you're trying to be at. They put on there on the job description that they want somebody with a bachelor's degree or master's degree, that they often take people who don't have those degrees. And let's just like a career in like academia, because what they want to know is that you know your stuff. So if you're able to show that you have the coursework done, they're not really looking to see how many letters you have behind your name. And I'm like, kind of strictly talking about corporate America and startups, like they're, they're a little bit less interested in all that. They just want to know that you that, you know, so if you took a course on exactly what that role is, it's going to seem like you're like a custom fit for that role. And it may even be a better fit than a bachelor's, that doesn't have anything to do with that role as far as the way that they're seeing it. Like if you have a degree in bioengineering, and you're taking, you're getting a marketing, trying to get a marketing job, but you took a class, at the marketing, whatever school like that's going to look a little bit better, because it's going to be more applicable , even though it's great that you have is really cool degree, it doesn't mean anything to that company. So just having like a little bit of, I'm taking a serious interest in it, because you do. I shouldn't say flighty but you do look, you're taking some risk when you're making a kind of transition. So the employer may be thinking, is this person really looking to be here for now? Are they just playing around? They played the field, like what do they really want. But if I see that they went into the class on something, even if it's not a degree, they're really dedicated to this. So that's something that I can really take a look at and see that this is the direction they want to go. And because they're spending the time, and they're taking it really seriously.
That makes sense.
I think sometimes job seekers, I know I kind of felt this way. Like when so at the end of our four years, we have to apply for internship. And there's like, 600, there's like so many. And it's like, well, you have to choose? Well, I don't know. Like, I think every intern like applicant started that way. Like I don't, I have no idea. I have no idea what makes this one better than that one. But but the self searching part of it kind of those late night conversations that I had with Des about, like, What do I want? Where am I going helped me hone in on like, I probably don't want these or I want something that's more focused on this population or that population. And so it kind of like all comes back to the very first thing you were talking about, which is knowing yourself, knowing what you want, knowing why you want it, like why are you going this way? Because then that starts to answer the questions, at least from when I did internship interviews, like all the questions that they asked, right? Like, why do you want this one? And you could speak to that, and you know, talk about time when you had a challenging ethics case, and you can talk to that, because it's kind of naturally fit together.
Yeah. It's a really great point.
Thank you. I try.
It is, it's like it's like job therapy.
Mm hmm. Um, I guess to wrap up. So we've talked a lot about kind of the to do's like taking stock of everything. And things like that. What would you say is like the number one, don't do this. If you're thinking about transitioning careers.
Don't leave. So make sure that you're not I mean, and I get it. Sometimes things are really bad at work. And you're just ready to just like, quit and see what happens. I've taken some leaps that have, I'm very fortunate that it worked out for me, but it doesn't always work out that way. So I think that if you're ready for a transition, it take the time to really investigate what's going on with you and what's going on with these different roles. Start asking people the right questions and your network that are doing exactly what you want to do. Don't just try to jump into something. So I'll also say, make sure that you've done the research on everything that that role entails. A lot of people will make a transition and have no idea that it's not what you thought that it was like when I was a kid, I wanted to do advertising. I don't know any six year old kids, it's like, that sounds like such a fun job. But to me, that sounded so great. But when I got older, and I started to do some research and everything in the role, it turns out that it wasn't going to be a good fit for me at least in that stage of my life. So doing the research and asking the right people that have experienced it is going to be so helpful and it's just easier when you have the knowledge behind you that this will be a good fit and you know, just try try stuff out.
Awesome. Um, Noelle, where can folks find out more about you and My Interview Buddy?
Yeah, so you can find out about me and all social media platforms. I'm on Facebook as My Interview Buddy, Instagram My Interview Buddy. I'd love to connect with you on LinkedIn. I'm Noelle C Johnson on the LinkedIn. So I'm always posting stuff on there. I'm actually a little bit more active on LinkedIn that I think anywhere else, but yeah, you can find me those places. And my website is MyInterviewBuddy.com.
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for your fantastic insight. We really appreciate it!
Yeah, it was great to talk to you and meet you, finally! (laughter)