The Balance Code

When and How to Pivot in Your Career with Tamara Wamsley

March 20, 2024 Katie Rössler Season 2 Episode 20
The Balance Code
When and How to Pivot in Your Career with Tamara Wamsley
Show Notes Transcript

How do you know when it's time to pivot in your work and how to do it? 

In this episode, we explore this urgent question with my special guest, Tamara Wamsley. 

Tamara empowers women to unleash their unique brilliance and claim their rightful place in the world. She says that witnessing women settle for less than their potential ignites a fire within her. As an expert in career development and a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, she is your career architect, helping you bridge the gap between where you are and where you're destined to be. 

In this episode, Tamara shares her own journey of navigating dissatisfaction in corporate roles until discovering the power of leveraging her strengths. 

Join us as we uncover the signs indicating the need for a career pivot, delve into strategies for overcoming mindset barriers, and discuss the importance of finding work aligned with your strengths and values. 

Whether you're feeling burned out or simply seeking greater fulfillment in your career, this episode offers invaluable insights and practical advice for making meaningful changes in your professional life.

What we talked about:

  • Identifying your transferable skills and strengths.
  • Exploring the CliftonStrengths assessment tool.
  • Overcoming common fears and obstacles in switching careers.
  • Assessing personal values and aligning them with career choices.
  • Leveraging online resources and courses for skill development.
  • Balancing financial considerations with career aspirations.
  • Seeking mentorship and guidance during career transitions.
  • Embracing resilience and adaptability in the face of uncertainty.


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Welcome to the Balance Code Podcast, a place where you have permission to step outside the hamster wheel of day to day life and learn tools for better balance. My name is Katie Rössler. I'm a licensed therapist and hidden grief and burnout specialist. I help ambitious high achievers who are ready to get off the one way train to burnout.

And learn better tools to embrace life. Oh, and by the way, I'm an American living in Germany who's still learning the language. A mom of three and an entrepreneur. Living my balance code is what helps me keep working in incredible ways without burning out. So let's discover our balance code together.

Welcome back to the podcast. I am excited to have Tamara Walmsley today and we're going to be talking about knowing when it's time to pivot in your work and how to do that.  Tamara , a lot of my clients have [00:01:00] been talking about this feeling of just not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing and just feeling a little bit off, but they're scared to change.

Whether it's a feel, a feeling that they are going to fail or be seen as failing because they change. Or because they're not sure what to do next and they're afraid they're not going to find that job. So I'm excited to hear your expertise on this and what you see your clients going through. Now, before we dive into that, will you take a moment and introduce yourself, share where you are, what you do exactly, and how you serve people.

Thank you, Katie. I'm so excited to be here. So I'm Tamara Wamsley and I call myself a success strategist. But what I do is primarily working with my clients to help them to achieve their next career goal. So really looking at where they are and where they want to be, leveraging their strengths in order to help them get there and kind of connecting those dots.

Excellent. And I know you use a specific test or [00:02:00] tool in identifying their strengths. And what is that called? It's CliftonStrengths. It used to be known as StrengthsFinder, and it is from Gallup. I remember that book. I had it. I don't think I have it anymore, but I remember that book. I think I had like the 2.

0 or something. Yeah. Excellent. Okay. What are you noticing in your clients when they start to realize it's time to pivot? Is there an uneasiness? Is there a vocabulary they're saying on repeat? What is the signs like, hey, it's probably time to start looking for different work or a different position within your work?

Yeah, really, it's just a lack of fulfillment. A lot of times it shows up as being burnout. They're just really. Not feeling engaged in their work anymore. And they a lot of times they don't know what they're doing wrong. Oh, gosh. So they're just kind of like big question mark and you're like, okay, I've got this.

Now I know you have your own personal story to [00:03:00] sort of share the experience of feeling like this. What did you go through? Yeah, so for me, I was almost 40 years old and I still didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up. I had had multiple jobs. I was working in corporate and I was in a role that was completely out of alignment with who I was.

And I was just miserable. I, I dreaded going to work every day. And I had two children at home at the time and I just really did not know what I wanted to be when I grew up. And a friend of mine was actually taking a college course and was introduced to CliftonStrengths. And she comes into work and she's like, Oh my gosh, you have to take this assessment because I really think it'll help you.

And so I did, and it completely changed the trajectory of my career. One of my top strengths is strategy. I would never have been able to figure that out on my own. Because it's just how my brain works. It's not something that I was able to see for myself, right? And so I started, every time I would get invited to a graduation party, I [00:04:00] would buy the assessment for the graduate because I just felt like every single student and every person in the world needs to know what their top strengths are.

And a lot of the times we just can't see them for ourselves, right? It's hard to read the label from inside the bottle kind of thing. So at that point, I started promoting CliftonStrengths. And then in 2018, I was blessed to be able to go and get certified to be one of their coaches. And I just absolutely love it and it guides everything that I do.

I, I think it's very interesting that you were able to like find this in a moment of me just because somebody took a class and was like, Hey, I did this test. I really think you should do it. And you're like, okay. And you shed light on the fact that often our strengths, they come so naturally to us that they don't, we don't even see them as a strength.

I know there are times where I'm interacting with friends and I'll be like, oh yeah, you know, it only took me like five minutes to do that. And they're like, it took you five minutes? And I'm like, God, doesn't it take everybody five minutes? And they're like, no, it takes [00:05:00] me an hour. And I'm like, oh, oh, right.

Like you don't recognize your strengths until they're point blank in front of you. Or you take a test that identifies them. Now, with the CliftonStrengths, what type of tests are we talking, like how many questions is it typically involved? If somebody wanted to go and look it up and be like, Oh, I need to go take this right now.

Give us a little more details about the test itself. The assessment is, I don't even know how many questions. It's quite a few questions. I think it's over a hundred questions. It typically takes between 30 and 45 minutes. It really is pretty in depth. And the understanding what you are really good at and what you're naturally gifted at what it does is it actually brings out what they call themes and not necessarily strengths in order for them to become strengths.

You have to actively work and and build those up into strengths, but it's where you're natural, naturally [00:06:00] gifted. That makes sense. Yeah, definitely. And if somebody wanted to go and do this assessment, do they need to go through someone like you who's a coach and trained in it, or is it something where they can go to a particular website?

No, not necessarily. They can just go to gallup. com and search for strengths. I think it's gallup. com forward slash CliftonStrengths will actually get them to the assessment. They can purchase the assessment and take it themselves if they choose to. Oh, that's amazing. Okay. So we feel like we've got a big question mark above our head.

We don't feel like we're working in our strength. And maybe some of you actually took a job knowing it wasn't your strength, but it was a job, right? Like, especially how the economy has been going. Some of us just had to take jobs because it paid. And now you're at a point where you're like, I'm afraid I'm not going to find something that fits me right.

So you go and take this test and you find out your umbrella themes where your strengths are. And then let's go through the process of pivoting because that's [00:07:00] uncomfortable. And like I said in the very beginning, it brings up feelings of failure, that feelings of not being enough or what's wrong with me.

How do you coach people through that? Yeah, so I think unfortunately a lot of people will take the assessment and like what you said They kind of put it on the shelf and they forget about it and so what I do is really look at what the strengths are and help people to Get to where they want to go. So kind of I Helping to connect those dots and come up with the ideas of if, for example, they say they don't know what kind of job would be fulfilling for them, then we can kind of dig in, like, where could you leverage these strengths and what kind of role would they be aligned with?

Do you ever find that people come to you and they know they actually really do know the work they want to do, but there's just fear and around inadequacy and not going to be enough. I'm not going to be able to do it or it will absolutely enough like the scarcity mindset, right? There's not enough. I won't pay enough.

There's not enough jobs like that out there. Like do you [00:08:00] find that that happens a lot? A lot. Yes, absolutely. And I feel like a lot of times they feel like, well, I really, really love doing this, but I don't see how I can make money doing that. Right. So you'd like it's a brick wall. You're not even going to try.

It just can't happen. Yes. How can you help them take down brick by brick and go, actually, let's explore this? Yeah. You know, it really, it is kind of funny and I don't necessarily have a good process for that. It's so individualized. It really depends on exactly what kind of role we're looking at and exactly what their strengths are.

It really is, you know, just that one on one engagement and digging in and asking questions like, well, Why do you feel that way? Why do you think that that's not possible for you? Yeah. So going back to the belief systems that created the wall to begin. Yes. Okay. Yeah. And just, you know, [00:09:00] addressing the mindset of, well, do you know anyone else that is doing that?

Because a lot of times they do, or they've seen it, you know, which, It's proof that it's possible, right? Right, right. And with today's, you know, everything being online, and today's society, we're able to research so much. But then we see those people doing those things, and we think, Oh, look how perfect they look.

Look how they've got the, you know, I don't have that. I'm not trained in this. I'm not trained in that. And when you look at the statistics around, you know, people who apply for certain jobs, specifically women, we wait till it's closer to like 80 percent of the objectives that's requested in the job description, then we apply.

Whereas men, it's like closer to 40 to 50%. Right. Right? And so it's like some of this, now we don't need to make this necessarily a gender difference, but there is a gender difference there in confidence and imposter syndrome around applying and being willing to make that [00:10:00] pivot. How do you really build up that person's self confidence to go, okay.

Like, here's the job, and it's exactly what you've been asking for. Yeah, I think I'm really good at challenging those beliefs. I think that if you are only applying for a job that you already have done 80 percent of the job in the past, how are you going to grow as a human? You have to really step into that discomfort of not having done every single thing on the job in order to progress in your career.

And the majority of the women that I work with are more ambitious and are willing to take those risks. But yeah, I see that. I see that a lot. And you are right. It is mostly women who run into that. Men are really good at being confident sometimes when they shouldn't be. So I feel like it really is a gender difference.

It's very interesting. Yeah. Well, and that I like that you point out that the women you work [00:11:00] with tend to just be like, okay, I got to do this. But you, your brain to light something I think we all need to remember is that you can't be a master of everything. Part of it is I want to go into it to learn and to grow.

That's the beauty of kind of leveling up in your work, right? The next job, the next position. Is a growth opportunity for a reason you can't go into it already being the master. So I like that you shed light on that. Okay. So the client now has worked with you and says, okay, I know my strengths. I'm motivated.

Let's do this. I'm pivoting. Let's talk about that transition from one job to another, because it's not always easy. It's not always easy to inform your place of work, I'm leaving, and to really create a seamless transition to the new. And I find with my clients, sometimes they're so burnt out from doing what didn't light them up, what didn't bring them joy, and ended up leading them to burnout, that as they transition to the new job, they kind of [00:12:00] bring that, uh, feeling.

So what are some tips and tools you can give the listeners that, okay, if you're going to be transitioning into this new position, that is like the dream, right? The strengths and stuff, but you've got, you've got to heal from the old, what are tips you have for people, especially maybe from your own experience?

Yeah, well, I think that if so, just to give a few statistics, Gallup has surveyed over 142 countries and looking at the results from those studies, it's something like worldwide only 13 percent of employees are engaged in their jobs. 63 percent are not engaged and it's like 24 percent are actively disengaged.

So that tells you the number of people who are not doing the work that is in alignment with them. In the U S it's something like 30 percent are not engaged or 30 percent are in the work that they should be. So we're looking at [00:13:00] upwards of 70 percent of people who are not doing work that is aligned with their strengths.

Cause they've shown that if you do. Work that is engaging your top five strengths every day. You are three times more likely to be reported excellent quality of life and six times more likely to be engaged at work. And, you know, it's just. That's how people are fulfilled in their roles, right? In their careers.

So I think that understanding that having the same top five strengths as someone else, the chances of that are one in 33 million. So I think that really focusing in on your strengths. And as you're transitioning between careers, I think that is going to pull out that fulfillment in people and really helping them to get that alignment to where the joy does come out, where they are enjoying their work every day.

It's not a simple flip of a switch, but I think that as you are making that [00:14:00] transition, you just see the light bulb come on in these people, right? Like suddenly they get their spark back because They aren't dreading Monday anymore. They're not driving to work with their stomach literally aching because they know that they're going to a job that they don't want to be sitting out all day.

So I think that A lot of times, as we progress through that transition, it just, honestly, it just kind of automatically happens as they begin to say, like, to release the job that they felt like they were stuck in, and they get excited about the new role. You just, I just see it happen. And I imagine, as they start to better understand why they were doing the old role, and seeing like, oh, well, this just really wasn't for me.

It is much easier to walk away from. Now, the statistics you gave are scary. Here's why I see it being scary. Because, you know, I go and speak at a lot of companies where I see them, honestly, juicing the life [00:15:00] out of a lot of their employees. Now, I love the companies that I get to go work for, and I'm very honest with them about mental health needs in their community.

But it's like, if the statistics are out there that most of your employees aren't even really in the job, that their skill set is at its best, And you're throwing off meeting after meeting after meeting and another zoom call and then do this and oh you're sick well you can still attend that meeting just don't do the video on right like you're they're burning them out because of expectations when there's only a minor percentage of people in the world who's actually doing the work that they really are thriving and joyful and productive in and that is scary to me because I'm just thinking like You know, on one hand, okay, I will always have work to do.

I always have clients, but on the other hand, I don't want it to be like that in the world. I would really love for companies to, you know, involve the strength binder in there. And I know some do right. But to really bring [00:16:00] that in and go, do we need to pivot within our work, like change jobs and roles and who's doing what so that your strengths blossom and so that then we actually do have productive employees versus.

you know, you want to get a raise, then you need to perform to this level. And you're like, I can't, I don't even love what I do. Why, why am I going to perform to that level? Right? Like I'm going to do the song and dance. I'm not happy and if it's gonna put a carrot and dangle it in front of my face, why?

There's a point where we stop, like, that doesn't work for us anymore, right? Yes, exactly. Yeah. Statistics are scary. And that's the world that I dream of. Can you imagine if everyone were working in their strengths and everyone were actually happy and fulfilled in their careers, like it would change, it would change everything.

This is a generational issue, isn't it? Yes. Because there was the generations. Especially post war with like, just get a job, right? And then it just kind of [00:17:00] continued that way. Suck it up, get a job, suck it up, get a job, suck it up, get a job. And now we have this culture of failure to launch, right? A lot of people are either not going to college or they go to college and they're not able to get a job or they're not really applying themselves in quotations.

Maybe their parents use those terms. And so they're in this place of no man's land and their parents are like, what did I do wrong? And it's just this place of What are my strengths? What is my purpose? What is my why? So that I can wake up every day and be excited. Yeah. And I don't know if you're familiar with Bronnie Ware.

She wrote the top five regrets of the dying and she worked with people as they were literally dying and sitting on their deathbeds. And she found that the number one regret that people have at the end of their life is that they wish they'd had the courage to live a life true to themselves. Not the life that others expected of them.

And I think that that's where a lot of people are. I think that [00:18:00] we stay in these roles because we feel like we should. And that's not actually healthy for us. And I think that looking forward to going to work and doing work that really matters to you is a very, very big deal. Yeah. This is really pointing out something important when we think about pivoting.

If in your mind you have the response of what will they say, what will, I mean, no matter what age your parents are, what will my parents think? What will my friends say? I know some of you listening have left big corporate jobs and you know what this feels like where people are like, you're crazy. What are you doing?

Right? They're just throwing their own issues and beliefs on you or you want to leave. And you're like, I understand I'm making a really great salary, and I understand that I've got this ideal job to other people, but on paper, sure, it looks like this, but I feel, blah, I feel uninspired, I feel, and you said it, don't you want to live life in a way that just is [00:19:00] inspiring and exciting, and like, you wake up and drive to work going, yes, I get to work, versus I have to go to work, Yes.

Yeah. I think that's very powerful. Well, before we wrap up, are there any other tips or tools and, you know, those listeners who are going like, yep, yep, this is me, I need to work on this. In knowing when to pivot and how to do that. I think everyone needs to take the assessment. If you go to gallup. com, it's 20.

It's not a big investment and it can completely change everything for you. Yeah. Thank you. Now, if they wanted to connect with you and have you helped them and support them in this, how did they find you? I'm at Tamara Wamsley. com. So I'm sure you can link to that in the show notes. And if someone out there is wondering.

Exactly what they are meant to do. I do have a free visualization that's available to help connect that inner wisdom so that they can figure that out. [00:20:00] Perfect. I will definitely make sure that's in the show notes and you know, tools like this are so helpful. I know often people listen to podcasts and they hear about this freebie and they're like, Oh yeah, yeah, yeah.

Especially a visualization tool, which is so good for the brain to be like, let me get crystal clear on what it is I want and desire and what would bring me excitement. Probably one of the best tools. I love guided meditations. I love visualizations because I know the science behind how it activates the brain.

So Go grab this tool from her because this is really going to support you. Thank you again for being on the podcast and sharing a little bit about your own experience and what you're finding really helps your clients with their strengths and knowing how to pivot fearlessly, basically, right? You know, and just jump in and dive in knowing that the joy is coming next.

I really appreciate it. Thank you so much, Katie. This is great. I really, I really enjoyed being here.

Thank you again for listening to today's episode. As one of my [00:21:00] listeners, I have a special gift for you. Do you ever feel like you're simultaneously doing way too much while also not feeling like you're doing enough? I have a workbook that's going to help you solve that problem and get to the root of what actually needs to be done and what matters to you most based on your values.

Check out my juggling all the things workbook below in the show notes. So that you can use this special gift to simplify your life. We all need that. And if you're interested in working with me, check in the show notes below on information on how to do so. Here's to finding our balance code.