Our guest is Career and Leadership Coach, Kelley Shields.
ABOUT THE EPISODE
You did all the right things. Went to school, got a good job, and carved out a career path that you thought would provide a good life. Maybe that feeling even lasted a while and felt “right”. But not anymore. Now it’s a struggle to drag yourself to the office to a job you hate and it’s impacting the rest of your life.
Career and Leadership Coach Kelley Shields went through the exact same thing. Today she’ll share how she got herself out of that trap and how you can start to create the life you truly want to live instead of the one you ended up with.
What We Discuss with Kelley:
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[00:00:00] Zach: You did all the right things. You went to school, you got a good job, carved out a career path that you thought would provide a good life. Maybe that feeling even lasted a while and felt right, but not anymore. Now it's a struggle to drag yourself to the office, to a job that you hate and it's impacting the rest of your life.
[00:00:16] Jeremy: Kelly Shields went through the exact same thing today. She'll share how she got herself out of that trap and how you can start to create the life you truly want to live. Instead of the one you ended up.
[00:00:26] This is the fit mess conversations with world-class experts in the fields of mental, physical, and emotional health. And this episode
[00:00:34] Kelly Shields: I really firmly believe that
[00:00:37] work should be a good part of our lives, where we're stretching, we're growing, we're having an impact on
[00:00:42] the world. We're being productive, using our strengths. And when that's something that's impacting our health, impacting our relationships negatively, ,
[00:00:50] then something has gone wrong and it should be fixed.
[00:00:53] Now, here are your hosts, Zach and Jeremy.
[00:00:56] Zach: Welcome to the fitness brought to you by athletic greens. Thanks for listening while you're doing whatever it is that you're doing right now. I'm Zach, he's Jeremy. We've been through all kinds of struggles and ended up.
[00:01:05] stronger because of them. And we want to help you do the same. So if you're sick of your own shit and you're ready to make a change, you're in the right place.
[00:01:12] My friend.
[00:01:13] Jeremy: This topic is close to my heart because I'm literally in the middle of doing exactly what we're talking about. Last summer, I left a 20 year. Sold and gave away. Most of the things we owned, left our home, our friends, our family, the city and country we lived in because we couldn't take any of it anymore.
[00:01:31] And needed to try something different. So, you know, it's only been a few months. I'm not a success story yet, but I hope that by taking the steps I've taken by doing the things I'm doing, I'm able to prove that at any age, at any stage of life, you can get off the track you're on and start finding a new.
[00:01:48] Zach: there is no age that any person can get to where you can't literally reinvent yourself. You just make a choice to be different and go forward. I don't know. I spent the first 20 years of my life thinking that I had to have all my things in place or all of my opinions and my work life and like just everything solid so that when I got to 40, 50, 60 years old, I'd be assault.
[00:02:11] , piece of granite or something like that. Now I'm realizing that it's like, oh, I'd rather be a nice piece of aluminum to be able to like fold and mold to like, whatever it is I'm feeling at the current time. And I got to say, I think I reinvented myself like three times.
[00:02:25] Jeremy: When you did just recently too. I mean, you went from one job that was horrible to really enjoying what you're doing.
[00:02:33] Zach: Yeah. The job that I had last year was new management.
[00:02:37] came in. I got a new boss, like the absolute worst boss I've ever had in my entire life. Absolutely terrible. I hope he's listening to this and here's that so that he can go out and do better because it was dreadful. The work I was doing wasn't I wasn't passionate about it. You know, it's kind of the same thing that I've always been doing, but the company changed. I had no interest in furthering the company along. , my boss was terrible. People were leaving in droves. From the time the new management took over to when I left, I was the 70th something person who left the company because of this, but I didn't even have a job.
[00:03:15] Like I had nothing, I had no job lined up and I just was like, Nope, I've had it. I'm done. And had a conversation with the CEO and then was like, I can't work here anymore. And he was disappointed, but he understood. That that's the direction I needed to go. And I walked away from my job without having anything lined up.
[00:03:37] It was the best decision I ever made because my dream job, like landed in my lap two weeks later.
[00:03:43] Jeremy: and I did something similar, you know, I left a career that I'd been in for 20 years and I had some part-time work that I, that I sort of carried with me and that that's, that's helped build a bridge to what I'm trying to do on the other side of all of this. I just, I I, do want to be clear. This is not something that anyone should take lightly.
[00:03:59] Like nobody should just decide. Fuck it. I hate my job. I'm out, you know, the, the job very will arrive in rescue me next week. And I'll be just fine. That worked in your case. You got really lucky
[00:04:09] Zach: Right, but let me, but let me clarify too. This was not a walked in and said, fuck you all I'm out of here. It was a two month process where I had a vacation in the middle where I was talking with the CEO before I went on vacation and took a lot of time and conversations with my then wife. To come to that decision.
[00:04:30] So I didn't, it was not like I didn't do it overnight. I had things in the works for a new job and I was on interviews and I, but I had nothing guaranteed because I knew that I was going to leave it. And it just got so bad that I was like, you know what? I know I'm going to have another job at some point,
[00:04:49] Jeremy: Yeah.
[00:04:49] Zach: I'm going to leave before I have that guaranteed, which most people do.
[00:04:52] Jeremy: Well, and, and you, you had enough. Because of the industry you're in and the things you've done in your life that you were going to be okay. One way or another. My point is there are plenty of people listening to this right now going, oh yeah. Well, fuck it. I'm going to quit my job. And everything's just going to work out, do put some planning into it.
[00:05:09] Do, do put some effort into the bridge. That's going to get you where you're going to go. , that's one tip that we're going to get from our guest Kelly Shields. And just a few minutes before we get to the interview, though, we want to tell you about a great way that you.
[00:05:21] Go after goals like leaving that shitty job that you hate. Pretty soon, we're going to be launching a brand new mastermind program. We're calling it the fit mass method. It's group coaching, it's support for a small group of people that want to collaborate and help each other grow.
[00:05:33] We would love to meet with you and find out how we can help you pursue those goals that have been just out of reach for too long. You can find a link to learn more on our website, the fitness dot.
[00:05:42] Zach: All right, So while you're thinking about whether or not you want to join the mastermind and you totally should, let's get into the interview. Our guest today is Kelly?
[00:05:49] Shields. She's a former attorney who left that life behind and started coaching others to unlock meaningful, enjoyable careers.
[00:05:56] Jeremy: You like a lot of people played by the rules, had the job you on the course to do all the things you're supposed to do, but something just didn't seem quite
[00:06:03] with all of that.
[00:06:04] Kelly Shields: Absolutely. I truly believed graduating from college, going into law school that, Hey, I'd always been good at school. So law school was a natural extension and yeah, I, I just going to be able to go into whatever career I thought sounded good and it was all gonna work out. That's what I'd been working so hard in school for.
[00:06:26] Oh, and then like two thirds of the way through law school. I got my first actual attorney job for the summer and realized, oh, wow, I hate this. Um, which is not a pleasant realization to have when you're, you know,
[00:06:43] getting close to six figures in debt at that point.
[00:06:45] Jeremy: Jeez.
[00:06:47] Kelly Shields: but so, you know, that became a big part of my decision to stick with being a lawyer.
[00:06:52] And then after a little while, I just didn't know what else I could do. And I worked really
[00:06:57] hard to get into. Jobs that at least I wasn't going to be working crazy
[00:07:02] hours, but you know, it kept impacting my health first, pretty early on. I developed depression. And then eventually that got treated that.
[00:07:13] got a little bit more stable and I kept saying, oh, I need to make this job work.
[00:07:17] Like, it's a good job. I should just make it work. And then No.
[00:07:20] other health issues started showing up. So I started getting chronic fatigue and insomnia and brain fog, and finally started working with a functional medicine
[00:07:29] doctor and we did all sorts of work.
[00:07:33] Ask this question really early on that eventually I realized,
[00:07:37] oh, she was really wise to ask that and she asked, you know, what about your work
[00:07:40] stress? She phrased it. I live in the DC
[00:07:43] area. So she mentioned that she sees so many people who are stressed at work, who work all the time and they just burn out.
[00:07:53] And my reaction was, well, I have a nine to five job. I can't possibly be, you know, burning out. Like I don't have that kind of work stress. And I didn't realize that, you know, it's, it's really can be very damaging to your health to be working 60, 70, 80 hours a
[00:08:10] week can be just as damaging to your health, if you are
[00:08:14] working more of a standard job,
[00:08:16] but it's a poor fit for you.
[00:08:18] And that's a lot of what has driven.
[00:08:22] You know why I care about the work I do. And helping people move into careers that actually do fit them and actually help them thrive. It's because, you know, the spillover effects into the rest of
[00:08:32] your life when you're in a poor fit career or just really significant.
[00:08:37] Jeremy: Your story is really similar to mine, except for the law school part. I was nowhere near qualified for that, but, uh, I, I, I
[00:08:43] left my career in, uh, commercial radio
[00:08:45] news radio. Uh, I was, I did that for 20 years and the doctor that I had before I moved
[00:08:50] every time I went
[00:08:51] in to see him for what, for a checkup or whatever he
[00:08:54] would say, did you quit that horrible job?
[00:08:56] That toxic job
[00:08:57] is killing you, You need to get out of that
[00:08:59] job. And it was just awesome to have a doctor that was so tapped in to how painful this can be for
[00:09:04] people. But at the same time, I think a lot of people would hear this or hear a story like mine. Like you left a career to go play podcast or in Canada, like, are you,
[00:09:12] are you crazy?
[00:09:13] Like isn't work supposed to be hard. Isn't it supposed
[00:09:16] to be stressful? Aren't we supposed to put in 40, 50 hours a week and do That for 40 years. And then maybe if we're
[00:09:20] lucky, enjoy our life for five or six
[00:09:22] years at the end.
[00:09:23] Kelly Shields: I'm so glad you're asking that that is one of my favorite questions to respond to because sure. I mean, I'm not going to be here and sit here and say, oh, work should always be like rainbows and unicorns and you never have to work hard. And there's never any stress or never anything that's difficult. I mean, let's be realistic.
[00:09:42] Like work involves work, no, matter how much you love your job, but there's just a difference. I mean, Man when you are chronically stressed, when you are in, and there's research to back this up, that even if you are somebody who let's say you are an extrovert, you thrive on interaction with people. There are studies showing that if you're in a job where you're sitting by yourself in an office all day, you're much more prone to burnout.
[00:10:07] Um, it's a significant risk factor. Um, there's research showing that even if. Your values conflict with your company's values. That can be something that is a risk factor for burnout. So, no, we
[00:10:19] are not supposed to be miserable for 40 years and then
[00:10:23] we get to retire and hopefully have some enjoyment in life we should be looking
[00:10:30] for And, creating. Wives that allow
[00:10:33] us to work and have worked the a good part of our lives. Now that's kind of what I'm most passionate about. I really firmly believe that
[00:10:41] work should be a good part of our lives, where we're stretching, we're growing, we're having an impact on
[00:10:46] the world. We're being productive, using our strengths. And when that's something that's impacting our health, impacting our relationships negatively, ,
[00:10:54] then something has gone wrong and it should be fixed.
[00:10:58] Jeremy: Yeah, uh, you and I are not unique in this situation, dealing with depression and all of the things that come along with it. And I know you work with a bunch of clients that have, have gone down this road. Talk to me about the health impacts that you've seen firsthand from people that just keep showing up for that job that
[00:11:13] is just killing them.
[00:11:14] Kelly Shields: oh my goodness. Um, the ones I've seen firsthand.
[00:11:18] I mean, I've seen some pretty big
[00:11:19] ones and from ranging from somebody who is simply so
[00:11:23] exhausted and depressed, that They can't even connect with a memory of what happiness feels like anymore, too. I'm a former client who.
[00:11:34] She had to take a significant leave of absence from work for health reasons, or health finally crashed after powering through working in a high power law firm for 13 years and
[00:11:45] impacted her relationships. and she was completely exhausted. She was almost non-functional for a while. It took a long time to start building up her health, but. Even when she switched
[00:11:56] jobs and is now in a
[00:11:58] much better fit job for her, that she's much happier
[00:12:00] and an able to, you know, take care of
[00:12:02] herself and exercise and not have that same amount of stress,
[00:12:05] the lingering effect.
[00:12:06] she clenched her jaw so much from the stress that
[00:12:10] like the disc in her, Josh shatter. And she just recently finally had to have surgery to remove all of that. And the doctor said that he'd never seen a case that bad apart from a car accident. And it's just from job stress.
[00:12:25] Jeremy: That's crazy. Uh, is it primarily like the, I hate using the word high-performers cause I don't want to discount the people that are doing the real hard work. But, but is it law firms, doctors that, that sort of tier of workers that suffer from this the most? Or are we seeing like waiters and waitresses construction work?
[00:12:46] Like, is it, is
[00:12:47] it across the board?
[00:12:48] Kelly Shields: Um, it's across the board and do thank you. I think it's very common to see doctors, investment bankers, lawyers, professions, where we know people are often working long hours and have a lot of pressure in addition to it being a poor fit. And we're just used to seeing that, but I mean, I'm thinking of a teacher who was a math teacher in high school and.
[00:13:10] Was an introvert and he'd done a lot to
[00:13:12] create a lot of the, systems. So he didn't have a ton of work. He had to recreate every year. And so things were kind of, you know, from the outside, it looked like, oh, this is a really cushy job.
[00:13:20] You've created all these systems so that, you don't have a ton of new work.
[00:13:23] You have to do.
[00:13:24] Everything's kind of set up for you. It was killing
[00:13:26] him because, oh, the energy
[00:13:29] that was required for him to show up as the strong in-chair for every day
[00:13:34] in the classroom and to work with parents and just the ways he had to show up, it
[00:13:38] was a terrible fit for him. And so it's really can be in any kind of role.
[00:13:44] Jeremy: So let's start clawing our way out of this thing. I know a number of people that uh, feel stuck in that job. They work so much that they don't have time to apply for another job, let alone like research and see what's even out there. , and the security of the stable paycheck. I know the money's going to show up every two weeks, all of that And particularly in the U S my health care is the leash that's wrapped around my neck so that I can not leave because my family is depending on me. How do you make that crazy leap to I'm going to go chase my dreams and do something
[00:14:18] Kelly Shields: , I
[00:14:19] 100% feel for everyone
[00:14:21] who is in this position because I've been there and I know
[00:14:24] it's scary and I am not someone who is going to advocate
[00:14:27] that you just say, okay, this is not good. I'm walking out the door
[00:14:32] and don't have a plan. , that's
[00:14:35] probably not gonna work for most people, so we don't
[00:14:37] want to do that. Um, I would say, first of all,
[00:14:42] To start even with giving yourself
[00:14:44] permission to make a change. So many of us
[00:14:48] are just locked into, you know, I need the
[00:14:50] paycheck and you need to keep gritting my teeth. You need to keep making it through. Um, second, I
[00:14:55] wouldn't say get help with that. because you'd want to make a
[00:14:58] smart move.
[00:14:59] That's risk managed and you want to
[00:15:01] move into a direction that's
[00:15:02] actually going to be good for you. That means
[00:15:05] taking into account,
[00:15:06] looking at what
[00:15:07] motivates you, what you, value, what your actual
[00:15:10] energizing strengths are, not the things you do well that, you know, you don't like doing, but the things that you can do well that you actually would like to spend your days doing and feel more energized
[00:15:20] after doing. Look at what you need for your
[00:15:22] personality and what kind of
[00:15:24] a work environment and team and office setup
[00:15:27] and boss that you
[00:15:28] need in order to
[00:15:29] thrive. Let's look at, you know, potentially what you're
[00:15:31] interested in so
[00:15:32] that you're not getting bore
[00:15:34] out, for example, which is the opposite of overwork under work and just really not interested
[00:15:38] in what you're doing. Yeah. Let's look at this lifestyle
[00:15:41] needs. And what
[00:15:41] kind of a commute is going to work for you? What kind of paid time off?
[00:15:44] Yes. How many hours are you billing? 'cause some people are
[00:15:47] working 50 plus
[00:15:49] hours a week. And some people
[00:15:51] are definitely not. I'm going to
[00:15:53] say nobody's asking, but
[00:15:55] I'm going to say, I think 80 is probably too much for anybody.
[00:15:59] No, but let's look at all of that and you know, don't just make a jump.
[00:16:03] Even you can't just decide all
[00:16:04] this in your head. You need to actually
[00:16:07] start getting some real world data. Once you use all that to develop ideas about what might
[00:16:12] work for you, you need to start, you, know,
[00:16:15] figuring out, okay, what do these ideas for jobs
[00:16:16] look like in the real world?
[00:16:18] That's something, for example, I didn't do. When I went
[00:16:20] into law school, I thought I had it figured out, but
[00:16:23] I didn't realize that. Just because I could enjoy a law school class, for example, or enjoy writing a paper
[00:16:30] didn't mean that, you know, I was going to thrive in the environment of a law
[00:16:33] firm where I'm trapped in an office by myself all day, doing research and writing all
[00:16:39] alone day after day after day, which is not
[00:16:43] how my brain is set up to thrive. And I really do
[00:16:45] have the sympathy in terms of I'm on that hamster wheel. I don't have time to stop. I
[00:16:50] hear you.
[00:16:53] You know, having someone you can
[00:16:55] talk to to help you figure
[00:16:56] out, I
[00:16:57] don't even want to say
[00:16:59] you can say no to, although that can be important, but realizing that your future really. In a different direction and you do need to start figuring out some ways to set some boundaries to give yourself some of that time.
[00:17:12] So I also think that I think that's also a place where some of those self care mechanisms like meditation, breath, work, yoga, eating, healthy, being in nature for 20 minutes. Um, all those different things just to start, you know, giving you a little bit more energy and doing some self care mentally and physically can start to help in giving you a little bit more energy.
[00:17:32] But, yeah, you're probably going to have to
[00:17:35] find a way to pull back a little bit or
[00:17:38] find some margin, even if it's, I sometimes have clients who use a giant spreadsheet with like, you know, all their hours on it. And they pick, you know, here here's, if you've got a full-time job and two kids, you might need to do that where you're saying, okay, here's, you know, the couple hours a week where I can work on this and that's a valid strategy to.
[00:17:58] Jeremy: One thing that I would be just speaking of being cautious about. I think particularly of like healthcare workers right now and, and the lives that they've lived for the last two and a half, three years, wherever we're at now, burnout is a huge part of this, and , I'm curious if you see cases where people are, they're just burned out.
[00:18:18] They just need a break. They don't even necessarily need a new career, change their life, move all that. Like they're just, they just need a break. How do you know the difference? How can you tell, like, you know, I just, I need to take a month off or, or however long you have available versus this is just not my
[00:18:36] Kelly Shields: I think sometimes when you're
[00:18:38] that tired and exhausted, and I have been there and I did have to take
[00:18:42] a sabbatical to recover my health. I'm actually a huge fan
[00:18:45] of sabbatical. So. They can be
[00:18:48] great. And you can do them in a very smart way
[00:18:50] that sets you up in a good position to
[00:18:53] reenter the workforce. If you're that burned out.
[00:18:56] you might need the break.
[00:18:57] even to start figuring out whether the problem
[00:19:01] is, Hey, this is, there's been something unusual. That's
[00:19:05] happening. I just, need a break or, okay. This is actually the career path or job trajectory and something needs to change. I
[00:19:12] think COVID is obviously something
[00:19:14] of a unique
[00:19:15] circumstance that healthcare workers.
[00:19:18] And teachers I'll say, have particularly dealt
[00:19:21] with a lot of incredible stress from and are burned out and exhausted. I think I w I wish we could give all, every, all of them, like a paid month off just to like rest, go to the beach, recover, have some downtime.
[00:19:37] I think there's a question outside of those kinds of extraordinary circumstances what's causing you to get to that point of burnout.
[00:19:44] I'm not going to say you need to decide that right away, but . You might need to decide, Hey, you know, ask the question, what's wrong
[00:19:50] with the situation and. What's the next thing I need. And if it's a break, that's great. And if that's, you know, actually what I want is just to get into something new and I'm tired, but I think that's going to help me, you know, start feeling better.
[00:20:06] I mean, that's also great, but I don't think any of us take enough vacation time or get enough breaks in the U S so I always
[00:20:12] advocate that.
[00:20:12] Jeremy: very true. Uh, that that's something I wish I'd been more tuned into to this, many years ago when I would go on
[00:20:18] vacation and I would come back and within an hour or so.
[00:20:22] Uh, it's all back and had I really been dialed into
[00:20:25] like, this is that's the effect this is having on me.
[00:20:28] I probably would have left
[00:20:29] a lot sooner or made
[00:20:31] better plans to start it sooner. , in doing the, this sort of evaluation of, of what do I want my life to
[00:20:37] be comparison can become a kind of a double-edged sword where you're, you're looking at it from, for me, I look
[00:20:43] at pretty much every friend I have who makes significantly more money than me.
[00:20:48] They go on all the trips. They do all the Uh, but at the same time, I look at how hard they work every day and they do the 60, 70 hours. And I, I kind of work when I need to and make it work
[00:20:58] so it can be a double-edged sword. What advice do you have for someone who's comparing their life to someone else to figure out if they're living the life they're
[00:21:04] supposed to be
[00:21:06] Kelly Shields: You are so right. That, that comes up so much comes up for me to, even still, even though I've worked with this, but you've probably heard this before, but comparison is the thief of joy and you don't know what is going on in someone else is with someone else's circumstance. And the truth is that. Two people can have the same job and have vastly different reactions to it.
[00:21:29] It actually takes a lot more energy to do a job where it is outside of your energizing, natural, innate strengths than it is for someone who is working in their natural energizing strengths. I mean, that's just A difference in the reaction to the same job, same thing could be true for many personality traits. I happen to think introversion extroversion is the easiest one to discuss there because most of us know that, but if you're being drained just by the environment you're in, or you're not feeding on the energy either of a quiet office or in my case, having some ambient noise and some people around that, you know, that's.
[00:22:07] A very different experience. I think what really helps is to kind of get clear on, I tend to think of it as your values, but also just
[00:22:18] what you want for your life. Like what do you value most? And you can kind of use that to navigate, how am I doing in my career decisions and the way my life is going, compared to what I value most and in what trajectory I want to stay on.
[00:22:35] Jeremy: How do you suggest somebody start mapping that out? If they're they've realized I'm not burnt out, I'm just. You've touched on it a little bit, but how can we sort of really map out what do I need to feel fulfilled and to have a job that matters to me that I care about that gets me out of bed every day.
[00:22:51] Where can they start sort of
[00:22:52] figuring out where to go with that?
[00:22:53] Kelly Shields: That's a great question. , I certainly have, you know, worksheets I use with clients
[00:22:57] on those, but just to give listeners some ideas of where to start thinking about these things, start asking
[00:23:02] yourself questions. Like, you know, what are let's let's think about values, like what I value
[00:23:09] most, what motivates
[00:23:10] me start thinking about, you know, what
[00:23:11] been like the peak moments in my life?
[00:23:13] What have been the experiences when I've felt
[00:23:16] Most of service showing up in the world and felt most like, I
[00:23:20] have meaning what do I look around in the world and see what resonates with me in terms of problems that
[00:23:28] kind of tug at my heartstrings big or small, but kind of think about those things.
[00:23:32] And then.
[00:23:33] Literally go Google lists of values on
[00:23:35] the internet and start highlighting it
[00:23:38] and start seeing if you can lay, if you can find themes
[00:23:40] going through there,
[00:23:41] if you can, identify, Hey,
[00:23:42] what are some of these values that are most important to
[00:23:45] me? Um, for strengths, I actually do like assessments, like strength.
[00:23:51] I don't think any assessment is perfect, but I think that can give you some really helpful information. And for example, when I took it and four of my top five strengths are in the relationship realm, none of which I was using as an attorney,
[00:24:04] that's fairly telling,
[00:24:06] but you can also, even if you just go back and
[00:24:09] reflect through, let's say your previous jobs and go through and think about the parts, any parts of them that felt. like, they were good. Like you'd like to have again in the future that you really appreciated and go through and think about, Hey, what are some of the things I was doing that I would never want to see repeated again,
[00:24:28] think about what you're doing when you lose track of time, whether that's in work or outside of work.
[00:24:33] That's a really great clue to where some of those strengths are. You know, it might not be what you're expecting. I know I lose track of time when I'm listening to people and talking to them and encouraging
[00:24:45] them, which on their surface don't necessarily feel like
[00:24:48] monetizeable skills, but they absolutely can be.
[00:24:52] And they're really valuable. So there's, I talk to people all the time who don't recognize something that's a strength could actually be valuable in the workforce.
[00:25:03] Jeremy: I warned you ahead of time that there may be some personal therapy for me in this process, because like, I said, I took the leap,
[00:25:09] I left my career and, um, I'm just trying to hustle my way through
[00:25:14] this, uh, job that I, that I love, uh, that pays nothing
[00:25:17] right now, but I'm, I'm trying to get there.
[00:25:19] And so, you know, as of today recording this as a 45 year old father of two, who took this huge gamble, There are days when I wake up it just in a cold sweat, just panicking. Oh my God, what have I done? Like, you know, I'm how foolish To chase some crazy dream that I've had for 20 years. How do you help someone through that stage?
[00:25:44] Because I can only go at this pace for so long before. It's like, okay, this is a failed experiment. Time to go put on a suit and go to work. But there's also something to be said for don't quit because you never know what's going to happen tomorrow. So how do you help someone get through this hump and the journey from, uh, from leaving the
[00:26:04] corporate life?
[00:26:05] Kelly Shields: I'd want to explore some of that waking up in a cold sweat because. To be fair. That is an unfortunate experience of just being an
[00:26:14] entrepreneur. I don't think there's
[00:26:15] any entrepreneur who has not gone through that
[00:26:18] And it is really not fun
[00:26:20] listeners, but it's part of the journey. Um, but you know, I'm kind of hearing some,
[00:26:25] all or nothing thinking potentially. and does it have
[00:26:27] to be one or the other and
[00:26:30] there's all sorts of ways to. Give yourself more
[00:26:34] runway to keep working on what it is you
[00:26:37] actually want for your life and
[00:26:38] this case, your business. And if the financial
[00:26:41] stress is getting to you, there's all sorts of things to explore about what are some ways we can
[00:26:46] help you to make that better.
[00:26:49] Even just getting there's a concept of a bridge job where it's not a job where it's not a
[00:26:53] career, it's not something you're pouring your energy into or spending all your time. But basically it's there to ease some
[00:27:00] financial. And
[00:27:03] leave you with all of the mental and physical energy to pursue what it is you actually
[00:27:07] want. That can be a great option for somebody who was pursuing something where it's not just a change for. One well-paying job into another well-paying job, but actually starting
[00:27:17] a we're trying to build something from scratch, but I think , a lot is about
[00:27:21] helping , you both get in touch and stay in touch with both your risk tolerance and how you're actually feeling
[00:27:29] because that's going to change.
[00:27:30] Right. And there are
[00:27:32] times when it's gonna feel great and you're gonna have a great month, or you still feel like you have a lot of financial runway left and there are going to be times when. Oh, it's a bad month or something's moving slowly
[00:27:43] and you're looking at your kids and your bank account and the
[00:27:46] vacation you want to take or anything that you requires money.
[00:27:51] Jeremy: Get out of my head galley,
[00:27:52] get out of my head.
[00:27:53] Kelly Shields: Um, but just staying in touch with that and figuring out, Hey, at what point is it going to actually feel better and help you reach your goals? Maybe to add
[00:28:02] something into that mix, like getting a part-time job, doing some
[00:28:05] consulting, work, getting a bridge job, something like that.
[00:28:08] Jeremy: And that is actually the formula that I'm following. So that that's a good advice. Um, so again, as a 45 year old man, uh, with two kids, are you.
[00:28:17] ever too old? Is there ever a point in your life where you're like, oh no, just grind it out. You're almost there. Retirement's Right.
[00:28:22] around the corner. What like, is there a point where it's, it's too late?
[00:28:28] Kelly Shields: I don't think it's ever too late to make a change. I do think the question can change as you get older. And I think a better
[00:28:34] question can be what's the right change for me. Now, if you're approaching retirement, you certainly
[00:28:40] have different considerations than someone who's 27 and that's going to matter.
[00:28:45] So we
[00:28:45] want to take that into account, but all sorts of amazing
[00:28:48] people. Didn't start on the careers that they're well-known for until later on I'm Julia child, didn't go to
[00:28:55] culinary school until
[00:28:56] she was 39. I believe.
[00:28:58] And joy bay heart didn't start standup comedy until she was 48 and had been
[00:29:01] fired. Um, it's just not too late.
[00:29:04] And even if you have five or 10 years until retirement left asking the question in a slightly different way,
[00:29:11] what changed would be, right? Yeah. Maybe you don't want to walk
[00:29:13] away and
[00:29:15] have a start-up at that point or maybe you don't want to only
[00:29:18] do that. Maybe you'd want to do that on the side or start laying the groundwork so that when you hit more retirement age, that can really take off and you can enjoy that.
[00:29:26] But there's always a change that you can
[00:29:29] just tailoring your
[00:29:29] circumstances and, what you need and making sure that the change fits that.
[00:29:34] Jeremy: Yeah.
[00:29:35] All right. So I'm in, I want to make a change. I'm ready. What are some really simple, small steps that like literally today I can do to start taking , the journey on, on wherever it's supposed to be on. Instead of the one that I landed on, uh,
[00:29:49] Kelly Shields: I mean, first of all, good for you.
[00:29:51] That's fantastic. And I would actually say, first of all, celebrate, I know that might sound
[00:29:56] strange, but I think kicking, I think celebrating all of these milestones is a really great
[00:30:00] step. You know, a simple step you can take.
[00:30:04] To do This start figuring this out for yourself is start writing down.
[00:30:10] What you enjoy at your job and what you don't enjoy at your job. And if you're not sure, start actively
[00:30:17] checking in, So many of us check out during the Workday or have had to kind of numb out what we don't like, because we have to show up every day. And so we're not really sitting there in full awareness
[00:30:29] of how we're reacting to
[00:30:31] I think that's, that can be so simple that because maybe
[00:30:34] there's a really easy change you can make still within your company or within your field. That's just going to give you more of the things that you like doing
[00:30:41] every day, or get you away from an environment
[00:30:44] where you're not flourishing. So that would be the first step I would suggest taking Um, there's also some great books on this, If anyone wants to read them, They're not my books, but they're still great. , there's one called career clarity by Lisa Lewis Miller. That's probably my favorite on this, , really recommend it. There's another one called pivot by Jenny Blake. That's also a great book and um, oh yeah, there's a podcast called career clarity and one of the, co-hosts of it now, and there's some great stories and great information on that as well.
[00:31:12] Jeremy: And that is a great podcast. I checked that out earlier today. , anything important here that we have not touched on that you want to make sure, make sure people are aware of before we let you
[00:31:20] Kelly Shields: I think the important thing is just to realize, oh, it's not normal or something we're supposed to do to just put our heads down and you know, just, okay, this is what work is. That's why they call it work. I'm not happy. I'll be happy when I retired. You don't have to settle for that.
[00:31:36] There's nothing wrong with having a job. That's just a job. In fact, one of my, I have a client whose success and change was shifting from a career mentality to, oh, it's just a job and repositioning himself into that. But yeah, you don't have to buy into the hype that work just has to suck. It really doesn't.
[00:31:56] It can be good and it can still.
[00:31:58] Jeremy: that's amazing. Where can we learn more about you and your work and, uh, and seek you out if we need your help to make this.
[00:32:04] Kelly Shields: The best place to find me is my website. It's www.kellyshields.com and that's K E L L E Y.
[00:32:11] Jeremy: Thank you so much. This was awesome. I really appreciate your time.
[00:32:14] Kelly Shields: Thank you so much. It was great to talk with you, Jeremy.
[00:32:16] Jeremy: thanks to career and leadership, coach Kelly Shields. You can find links to her and her work in the show notes for this episode at the fit mass dot.
[00:32:23] Zach: So one of the takeaways I had there was, yeah. You know, it, it is work.
[00:32:27] There is. No job. That's a hundred percent perfect. It's not always going to be rainbows and unicorns. , but there's a difference between being passionate and enjoying most of your job and hating little bits of it.
[00:32:38] And it being a really bad fit and having a negative impact on your life and wellbeing. If it's the latter of those two straight up, get the fuck out.
[00:32:46] Jeremy: Exactly and, but don't necessarily just take a leap of faith. It sounds romantic. It sounds amazing. But if you don't have a plan, if you don't have a bridge to get you across to whatever it is that you're trying to create, if you aren't able to save. Take some time plan this out. Don't, don't be dumb about it, but it also doesn't have to be all or nothing.
[00:33:06] If, if you can live a little more simply if you can live in a cheaper area, if you can just find ways to downsize to make it work until you figure out what that end goal is, do it because you don't want to be reckless about something like.
[00:33:20] Zach: And also don't get caught up in the comparison game. There's always people who make more money and seem to look really great on the outside, but I would be willing to bet that it's a pretty huge mess on the inside. It's just there for appearance sake.
[00:33:34] Jeremy: And it could be a situation where even coworkers, people that have the exact same job as you and they're thriving and they love it and they can't wait to get there every day. And you hate it in your. That's a good sign that it might just be a bad fit. It could be a great job for somebody else, but it doesn't have to be great for you because other people are thriving in it.
[00:33:52] So, yeah, again, don't get caught up in that comparison game. It's so toxic focus on what you need to be fulfilled, not what others seem to be.
[00:34:00] And whether it's a job you love or a job, you hate don't forget to take care of yourself in the process. And that means, , getting the activity that you need, getting the nourishment you need taking supplements for me. That's why I use athletic greens.
[00:35:11] Zach: Well, that's a wrap for this show, but don't let the conversation on there. Join us in our Facebook group, where you and fellow fitness listeners can connect from monthly challenges, accountability to reach your goals.
[00:35:21] And a super awesome supportive community.
[00:35:24] Jeremy: That link is that our website, the fitness.com where we will be back next week with a brand new episode. Thanks for listening.
[00:35:31] Zach: It's everyone.
Career & Life Coach
Kelley Shields is a career and life coach for stressed, unhappy professionals who feel stuck in careers that make them miserable. She helps them find meaning and enjoyment in their work so they can successfully pivot into careers they love.
Before launching her coaching business, Kelley spent 12 years as an outwardly successful, inwardly unhappy corporate attorney. She lives in Arlington, Virginia with two fluffy orange cats that enjoy making surprise appearances on client calls.
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