441. Are You on Your OWN Career Path?
Her mother’s career change from teaching to accounting was perfect for her, but Alison was just going through the motions at her own accounting job. “I knew it wasn’t the right path for me.” Volunteering at a crisis and suicide hotline changed her life.
Alison Cardy, author of “Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career,” is a career coach who has guided hundreds of people to innovative and functional career solutions. She is a practical advocate for achieving your heart’s desires, improving your workweek and making a difference, all while keeping an eye on your financial success. Her work has been featured on Monster, Forbes, LearnVest, the Huffington Post, and the Chicago Tribune. She is a certified coach and a graduate of the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business.
How Did You Start Using Your Talents?
It took Alison awhile to start using her own talents instead of passively following a path suggested by loving parents and family. First, she followed the engineering path of her father and older brother, then stepped onto her mother’s career path in accounting. “I was just showing up. I was physically there, but I wasn’t bringing a whole lot to the table. I knew it wasn’t the right path for me, but I struggled for a couple of years.”
The Most Impactful Turning Point?
While still working as an accountant, Alison volunteered for a crisis and suicide hotline. “That was a real breakthrough for me. It gave me an opportunity to be in the kind of helping role I had thought I would like. I received amazing training there. I got experience actually helping people. I got validation and learned for the first time that I was really good at it. I was quickly promoted to be a trainer within that organization.” She credits that volunteer experience with her decision to enroll in training to become a coach.
The Most Powerful Lesson Learned?
“Children and young adults are not exposed to the wide range of job possibilities,” Alison explains, “so they tend to aim for only a handful of the more visible professions. Added to this, they are not taught much about introspection, reflection and listening to their own inner voice. Often, the most loving family and friends can unwittingly steer us away from our own natural abilities and passions. It’s crucial to show up for your own life, not someone else’s.”
Steps to Success from Alison Cardy
1. Spend some time in reflection and introspection about your career.
2. Try things out. Use an agile, startup mindset, take a “side hustle,” experiment.
3. Use someone you trust—who understands what you are trying to do—as a sounding board. Just having a second set of eyes, a second brain, may help you see things you’ve missed.
4. Work with a professional coach or career counselor.
On Her Bookshelf
Never Eat Alone, Expanded and Updated: And Other Secrets to Success, One Relationship at a Time, by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz
Career Grease: How to Get Unstuck and Pivot Your Career, by Alison Cardy
Top Tools on Her Browser
Connecting With Alison Cardy
Step-by-Step Career Change E-Course
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