Episode 43: Part 2 (Where the heck have I been) Lessons learned from my silent growth period

Hey Career Girl Nation!

I’m back with Part 2 of the “Where the Heck Have I Been” episode and ready to dive even deeper into the lessons learned from my 6 month hiatus. If you haven’t already, be sure to go back and listen to Part 1 in episode 42 where I break down into detail what served as the catalyst for my silent growth period, where I went and what I did while I was away.

In Part 2, I’m digging deeper into my lessons learned during my silent growth period and also sharing the specific tools I’ve incorporated into my daily routine in order to decrease the chances of having to take such an extended leave again or worse - experiencing another bout of burnout!

Lastly, I walk you through the new direction for Your Career Girl and Deeper than Work and clearly explain what I do and who I serve.

As always, I truly appreciate all of your support and encouragement, and I’m grateful to have a community who embraces me - flaws and all!

P.S. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe, rate and review on iTunes.

Episode Gems You Don't Want to Miss:

Links mentioned in this episode:

Let's be Internet BFFs:

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and review on iTunes. This is how we can spread the word about the Deeper than Work podcast and have as many women as possible join the Career Girl Nation!

Episode 42: Where the heck have I been? Lessons learned from the 6 month hiatus of the Deeper than Work podcast

Hey Career Girl Nation!

It’s baaaaack! Yes! The Deeper than Work podcast is back and all new with episode 42 all about what I’ve been up to over the past 6 months!

In this super personal and candid episode, I break down into detail 1) what happened, 2) where I’ve been and 3) what’s next for me, the Your Career Girl brand and the Deeper than Work podcast.

There’s so much in store for Your Career Girl in 2019 and beyond and I’m excited to dive into so much new content and career advice in the coming weeks, but before I do that, I wanted to take the time to walk my listeners through my growth journey to not only explain where I’ve been, but to provide support and encouragement for those of you who may be experiencing something similar.

For all of you die-hard listeners of the podcast, this one is a must listen! I truly appreciate all of your support and encouragement, as always!

P.S. If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe, rate and review on iTunes.

Episode Gems You Don't Want to Miss:

 The importance of aligning on expectations for the relationships you’re in (work, personal, family, etc.)

●     Why you need to pay attention to your moods, ebbs, flows, highs and lows

●     The difference between a silent growth phase and a loud one + the benefits of each

●     The top three ways to know if you’re in need of your own silent growth phase

Links mentioned in this episode:

  • Episode 40: How To Prevent Burnout In Your Career

Let's be Internet BFFs:

If you enjoyed this podcast episode, please take a moment to subscribe, rate and review on iTunes. This is how we can spread the word about the Deeper than Work podcast and have as many women as possible join the Career Girl Nation!

3 Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I'd Had in My 20s


I'd like to think that when people look at me, they see a woman who’s got her stuff together – someone who is sure of herself and her career.  I am a career coach and HR professional and have the opportunity to do something for work that I love and am good at. 

I’ve hit the career lottery, but I can assure you, this hasn’t always been the case.

Throughout my time in college, I just knew I was going to become a therapist. I declared the right major, got the right grades and was accepted into an Ivy League clinical psychology program when I graduated.

Everything in my life seemed to be falling into place, which is why I stunned everyone around me (including myself) by writing a letter to the admissions office, asking to defer my acceptance into the grad program for one year.

The idea was to accept a full time job, where I'd be supporting a trading desk at an investment bank in NYC. I had it all planned - I would only stay there for one year while I saved some money to provide a cushion for when I went to grad school for my Masters and then Ph.D. Never mind that I had no interest or experience with anything related to Wall Street – that was irrelevant.   Fast forward 10+ years later, and I never made it back to get those degrees.

Although my career path has been unexpected to say the least, I've learned a lot about the world of work, human beings in general, and myself over the past decade in Corporate America.

I’m sure I could go on for hours with encouraging words of wisdom and advice (like how many hours of sleep I actually need and how I do my best work a few hours before a deadline), but the biggest career lessons I’ve learned can be boiled down to 3 main points.


This is a concept that I really wish I'd grasped earlier on in my career. I spent the better part of 5 years going through the motions every day and letting my career be dictated to me by my company, my boss and my family. If I'm being honest, the decision to abandon...I mean defer grad school and enter corporate America was solely to please other people. I never felt anyone truly believed in my dream to become a therapist, and even those that did, were still convinced it would never make me any real money.

Sure, I was paid well on Wall Street, but my hours, wardrobe, interests, and social life were controlled by my job. What good is making a lot of money if you’re working 12-hour days and weekends, never given the chance to enjoy it?


The beginning of my career – before the husband, the kid and the mortgage – would've been the perfect time to explore some of my riskier dreams and passions. I've always wanted to work and live abroad, become a teacher, work for a non-profit and join the Peace Corps.

While I know I can still accomplish at least one of these things and there's no expiration date on going after a dream, I have to admit that it's a lot more challenging to do so with a 2 year old in tow, no matter how adorable she may be.


I knew on my second day at that investment bank that it wasn't the right fit for me. Yet, even with that knowledge, it took five years before I did anything about it.  That's five years of not working in my purpose, five years of mindless, soul crushing work and five years of unnecessary stress that led to weight gain, health issues and sad times.  Looking back, I can tell you that I was paralyzed by fear – of failure, change, and the unknown.

Would my career journey have been easier if I knew then what I know now? Sure. Would I have ended up in a drastically different place than I am today?  Maybe not.  Eleven years after college graduation, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I have zero interest in being anyone’s therapist.  I also believe that I would've come to this same conclusion even if I went off to the Ivy League instead of Wall Street.

We spend most of our waking hours at work, and while it would be amazing if every person were given a step-by-step, specific blueprint of how to navigate the 40-50 years they spend at work, this just doesn't happen. The best we can all do is to learn from our mistakes and have the courage to change direction when the current path isn't working.  This is my goal every single day and I hope it's yours as well.

If you're currently on a career path and you think it's time for a bit of course correction of your own, check out the Career Makeover toolkit. My free 5 day guide to transforming your career into the one you've always wanted.

How to Make Friends at Work In 3 Easy Steps

How to Make Friends at Work In 3 Easy Steps-2There are so many things about having to work that can be irritating. Whether it's working for a boss you can't stand or having an extra long commute, even those who are lucky enough to have found their dream job   can admit there are still one or two things about work they can do without.
With all the many ways your job can suck, the one thing that's the most unfortunate is when you don't have a friendly relationship with your coworkers.

Liking and trusting the people you work with goes a long way in making the hours between 9am and 5pm more enjoyable. Not only can you speak freely with your work friends about work related topics, but also about current events, TV shows and your plans for the weekend.

Although most people agree that it's important to have friends at work, for some it can be difficult to let their guard down enough to allow this to happen. Reasons for this range from feeling shy about building those relationships to not even knowing how to start.
Here are 3 things you can start doing right away to go from the loner in the corner cubicle to Ms. Popularity in no time.
Insert Yourself Into Relevant Conversations (But Don't Overdo It)
How many times have you heard a group of coworkers having an open dialogue about something you know about and/or are interested in and you kept quiet? This is the exact opposite of what someone trying to make friends does.
Group conversations are the perfect way to build rapport with your coworkers and since it isn't a one on one chat, you don't have to feel pressure to find something to say the whole time. Next time you see an opportunity to join a conversation already in progress, find a non-awkward moment to insert your opinion into the mix.
Go To Lunch With Your Coworkers 
Believe me, I am the first person to use my lunch hour as a time to get some much needed alone time. With all the distractions that happen all day long at work, it can very often be the only chance you get to have some peace and quiet.
While I'm not saying you have to spend every lunch break with someone else, challenging yourself to go to lunch with a coworker at least once a week is a great way to ensure you're getting face time with the people you work with - away from the desk. Some of my best work relationships have started while waiting in line at the deli across the street from the office.
Make Friends With The Most Popular Person 
This is probably the easiest (and laziest) way to make friends at work. The most popular person in the office has already gone through the process of getting to know people and building work relationships - why not capitalize off of their hard work?
Once you've gotten to know this person pretty well, it will only be a matter of time before s/he starts bringing you into the fold with all of his/her connections. Use these opportunities to begin creating your own friendships and you will soon have a long list of work buds.
Most people will spend 1/3 of their adult lives at work.  Why not make the time more bearable by creating friendships with the people you will spend most of your day with? No one is saying you have to be BFFs with everyone in the office, but I definitely couldn't imagine working along side people I did not like.

5 Things I Learned About My Career From My 11 Days in Total Silence

Screenshot 2016-07-05 22.11.17Some of the things I really like about  myself are that 1) I don't get paralyzed by overthinking; 2) I am OK with taking a good amount of risk (on anything that doesn't involve being around animals or large bodies of water) and 3) I'm willing to try something that may seem "out of the box" just so I can have a life story to tell. Sometimes these characteristics work in my favor and sometimes they don't.  Such is life. I'm pretty sure that people who do overthink, take no risks and don't go out of their box every once in a while, experience the same ups and downs in life that I do.  At least I'm having fun along the way.

One of the most life changing experiences I've encountered so far was when I spent 11 days at a silent meditation retreat in a rural area in the middle of some town I've never heard of in Massachusetts.  Basically, I was one out of about 100 other strangers, who for almost 2 weeks, weren't allowed to speak, read, write, watch TV, or eat meat (by far the hardest part of the whole ordeal).

Each day consisted of breakfast, morning meditation, lunch, more mediation, quiet time, more meditation, a snack, more meditation and then lights out (that's right, no dinner).

I know this may seem like torture to some (it did to me before I actually experienced it) and I remember my family asking me if I as joining a cult, but like I said it was one of the most exhilarating and life changing things I've ever done in my life.  There's something about being one with nature, removing yourself from the daily grind and being silent that puts things in perspective and gives you total clarity.

Although this experience happened over 5 years ago and I've since gone back to talking, eating meat, watching TV, etc., there are 5 key things I've been able to take away and apply to my career in the years that followed.

Your Career is a Marathon, Not a Sprint. I mentioned the things I like about myself earlier, but one of the things that I really need to work on is my tendency to always be in a rush. In my world, everything is urgent and needs to have been completed yesterday. I wouldn't say patience is one of my top strengths.

Thw truth is that you'll likely be working for most of your adult life. You have time to accomplish everything your heart desires. I'm in no way saying you shouldn't always be striving to do and be better, but what I am saying is to not work yourself up in a tizzy when things don't happen as quickly as you would have hoped. The pace at the meditation retreat was extremely slow. At first this really annoyed me, but then I got over it. And you know what? I survived. Turns out everything doesn't have to happen instantly and sometimes it's OK to relax.

People May Have Different Motivations, But We All Have the Same Goals. I didn't know a lot about the backgrounds and motivations of the other people who were at the retreat with me, but what I did know was that we were all there for the same exact purpose - to disconnect from everything around us and to reconnect with ourselves.

So often we look at our coworkers and our boss and think they don't get us. Yes, it's true that they may be coming from a different background and have different reasons for being at work, but what unites us all is our goal to provide for ourselves and our families and get through the day with our emotions and sanity intact. Once we focus on what we have in common (being human), instead of what separates us (pay grades and titles), the work day might be just a bit more enjoyable.

You'll Be So Much Happier Once You Get Out of Your Own Way. On day 4 of the retreat, I marched into the front office and told one of the coordinators I was ready to go home. I wanted to collect my phone and my kindle and be on my way. I was hysterically crying and told her the experience wasn't right for me (really, I was homesick and lonely). She told me she would give me my things, but wanted to have a talk with me before I left. We uncovered why I wanted to leave (fear) and I was reminded of why I decided to attend the retreat in the first place (to center myself). I ended up staying and it was a totally positive experience after that.

How many times have you set a goal for your career and as soon as things got a little tough or veered off in a different direction you gave up? If you're like 99% of everyone else, this happens more times than it should. This is counterproductive. Anything in career (and life) that's worth having will most likely include some points of discomfort. You have to push through it. Surrounding yourself with an amazing support system that has your best interests at heart really helps with this as well.

Sometimes We All Need to Sit Down and Shut Up. Think about it, from the moment you wake up in the morning to the moment you put your head back on the pillow at night, you are surrounded by noise. Whether you're talking, singing, humming, yelling, or listening to others do the same, there's a lot of external stimulation happening every day. It's definitely no surprise then how overwhelmed we are most of the time and why we can never seem to find the time to get clear about what we want out of our professional and personal lives.

Eleven days of absolute silence is a huge deal. It's not 'normal' in terms of what goes on in real life. But with this silence I was able to connect with myself and experience a different level of clarity that I never experienced before the retreat and haven't experienced since. When's the last time you took 60, 20, or even 5 minutes to sit still and think about your career? Where would you like to be in the next 3 years? The next 10? What should you be doing now in order to make sure you get there? These are all critical questions that everyone should ask themselves frequently, but with all the noise in our daily lives, these are the questions that often go unanswered.

Zero Distractions Mean Increased Action. When you turn your attention away from Facebook, Instagram, Real Housewives of Atlanta and everything else that steals your focus on any given day, you'd be surprised with much work you can get done. During the retreat I silently made plans, set dozens of goals, came up with business ideas and made decisions that I wasn't able to make before then. The absence of my daily distractions gave me increased clarity and focus.

Social interaction and technology is amazing, but it's critical that you take time to unplug daily to get things done. No matter how awesome your career goals are, if you aren't doing anything to move toward them, then you may as well have not set goals at all.

I realize that going on an 11 day silent meditation retreat is unrealistic, uninteresting and unnecessary for most people. It was something that worked for me and that I learned a lot from. I was able to walk away with valuable lessons I'll use forever, challenge myself in a new way and have a new experience to add to my life story. My hope is that you can apply what I learned during my time there to your own professional life.