Sharon 0:04 Monday, I met three people in the organization. And by Tuesday afternoon, I had my initial offer, it was literally that fast. I remember interviewing people and being like, oh, we can’t let that that won’t get away. But I’ve never been the fish who was being caught, if you will. And then to see the initial offer the opening offer, I just couldn’t believe the numbers I was writing because I honestly never felt that in my entire lifetime like because I don’t have a degree that I was ever going to be able to achieve that kind of money and abundance.
Blake Schofield 0:43 My name is Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of Connections Illuminated, mom to three, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to change women’s perspectives about what is possible, empowering them with the tools to create greater impact at home and at work without sacrificing their health time family or income. This is The Bridge to Fulfillment. Hello, and welcome to The Bridge to Fulfillment today, I have the honor and privilege of sharing Sharon’s story or actually sharing sharing with you and while she’s going to share with you her client success journey. And I couldn’t be more honored to have her sharing her story because I think she has a really strong voice and some really important messages to share, not just with those of you guys who are unfulfilled in your career, but those of you who are leaders, inside organizations, about understanding talent, and about understanding the potential and opportunity for people. So welcome, Sharon. So glad to have you.
Sharon 1:48 Thank you.
Blake Schofield 1:50 All right, lady. So can you share a little bit with us about what was going on in your life when you and I connected?
Sharon 1:57 When you found me on LinkedIn, I was feeling pretty lousy about myself and what I was feeling about my job. I knew this was a really rough year being in the pandemic that was also equally hard. I found that I was misaligned to my values and the values of the corporation, and how I was being measured. And I could no longer do it. I was feeling overwhelmed. I didn’t know what skills were really transferable. I didn’t know what skills were valued, what was desirable. I was a bit of a hot mess. But I really couldn’t identify at the time. I can now. But I really couldn’t identify what was really messy about that period for me, and how to really overcome it.
Blake Schofield 2:42 So when you look back, what were some of the things that you could see a signs and symptoms that your life or your job were misaligned. Like what were you experiencing on a day to day basis?
Sharon 2:51 The way that I was being measured really was not a win-win. As far as I was concerned, what I do is I you know, I’m in procurement, so I make deals, and I make deals with third parties for my stakeholders. And if I make a great deal, and I provide, you know, and I yield savings and you know, get stuff at a better price with far less risk, the business would have to give back that money to the to the mothership, and budgets are very tight. And I just did not feel that that put me on the same side, the same side with my stakeholders. And I felt that I was becoming an adversary, as opposed to being a partner. And that was really hard for me, because I’m somebody who really values the stakeholder relationship, the customer relationship, I think is very, very important. And I don’t ever want to be on the opposite side with my stakeholder. And so I just that was really where it started. And I just didn’t, because why would they work with me? What’s the incentive? Right? If they know if they work with me, and I get a good deal, they got to give money back. And so I just felt that was a lose lose, to tell you the truth. And in doing what I do, I just that didn’t make me feel good. I felt like it was really hard for me to kind of look them in the eye, tell you the truth, and really feel like I was doing a good job because I was so conflicted.
Blake Schofield 4:19 Oh man, can I relate to that for some of my previous experience as a buyer where I worked for an organization that even if a vendor was profitable for the year, if one of their items was really bad, we would go back and try and get all of the money for that item, even if they were profitable or over profit as a vendor. And it always felt really wrong to me. It was a real struggle. And so I understand that a lot because from a value standpoint, I just felt like that’s wrong. How can you punish somebody for one thing and then not reward them for the total? So I totally get that. So when we connected you were unfulfilled. Were you job searching? What was going through your mind? What were the challenges you were having and trying to figure out what was next for you?
Sharon 4:58 I really could not define the criteria that I needed. I couldn’t define the criteria that I wanted, you know, the whole skill, you know, skill piece, I also was just a blank slate. And I think in the one of the documents I shared with you, I kind of felt like I lost my taste buds for a while, I would look at roles. And I’d be like now, then the net like, it was just like, nothing tasted good, until you actually said to me, don’t look for roles, Sharon, look for companies, and make sure that they stand for what you stand for. And I have to tell you, like, that was the big turning point. For me, the defining criteria part of your program. I don’t know if I’m using the right word. But it was a catharsis, like, it was very powerful for me to be able to just sort of put that out there. And even now, when I read it back, it is still very therapeutic. And it really did help me so that when I did go to these interviews, or I did, even though there was one interview that I had, I passed on the roll, I could see things that were just not going to be good for me. And with that missing link of the define criteria piece, like just being able to write that down was very, very powerful for me.
Blake Schofield 6:13 And how was that different than what you had done in the past or what you were doing? Because you were job searching? Right? When you came to me you had already been selling? Tell me a little bit about that, and how this process changed that for you.
Sharon 6:24 So I did it the old fashioned way, you know. I had spoken to another job coach who was really pretty much the cookie cut, right? It was let’s do your resume, let’s look for the roles that you’re interested in. Let’s look for the words that have to go into the resume in order for you to get some hits. And so, you know, even though it had been a long time, I was like, alright, well, let’s see what the and then like it just didn’t feel right again, that it fit me. Because I’m, you know, I’m a little different. Everybody’s a little different. Everybody’s got a little je ne sais quoi that makes them, them. And when I met you and The Bridge to Fulfillment, it really, and even some podcasts, I’ve had, you know, done my research and saw sought out some podcasts that you had done with others, not on The Bridge to Fulfillment, there was a fitness person, and I was like, wow, that is speaking to me like that is me. Are you talking to me? I think you’re talking to me, and it really hit home. And so you know the other thing too, I think when you when you start the bridge to fulfillment, you don’t look at roles. You even say even on a particular document, I don’t recall which one it is, but you say don’t look, now, it’s hard not to do that, because that’s the muscle memory that you have. And so you also said to me numerous times, if you want a different outcome, you have to have a different behavior and a different mindset. And between the, you know, the calls with Britt and hearing some of the other women and looking at their documents and being able to be in a safe space. It just changed the game. It just literally changed the entire game. And it’s like I took my baseball cap and I put it on backwards. And when that happened, I think the word that you use is unlock and unlock is what it did for me.
Blake Schofield 8:20 Awesome. So I’m gonna dig into that. There’s so much good stuff to dig into. But I do want to make sure because you’ve said a couple of things. And I think if I don’t know you, and I’m listening, what would I want to know? And you said to me, before you felt, you know, fear, you didn’t know how to transfer your skills, you had already worked with another career coach, what led you to say I need to go find someone else, and I’m willing to invest in doing something else. Even though the first time it didn’t work.
Sharon 8:50 I knew that I got to a point with that job coach. And I was just like, it’s just, this just isn’t hitting the mark for me. It just isn’t in my heart. It just wasn’t feeling right. And I wasn’t sure if it was the person or the process, or both. Turns out it’s both. And then along on LinkedIn comes Blake Schofield, and you were speaking to me, but you were speaking to me. Do you know what I mean? You were reaching me with your experience. You were reaching me where I was with, you know, different paths. It doesn’t have to be that way Sharon, you don’t have to take giant pay cut. You don’t you know, all of these things that you don’t have to have, you know, have happened to you because you’re not fulfilled in your current job. And at first I was like, It’s too good to be true. This is a scam. This there’s no way like how you know, because I just, you know, I had been 10 years it’s been over a decade since I looked for a job and didn’t even so much has changed and looking for a job in last 10 years, but the more you and I spoke, and the more research and the people, I listened to the podcast like this that I listened to, and I learned, the more I was like, I can’t find any reason not to do this. And then when we spoke about the investment in me, that also really hit home like because you’re right, like, everybody was put before, you know, at me in my, in my house, you know, the boys college, my husband, we got his master’s degree, completely unplanned. And then you know, but here I am supporting the family because you know, I am the breadwinner, I hate that word. But I don’t know how else to say it. And so I knew I had I felt pressure, there was anxiety, I knew I had to do something different. And I leaped, and I leaned in, I leaned in hard. And, you know, the one thing I also remember you saying is trust the process. And trust me, I’ve been doing this, I know, I’ve dragged my family twice across the country. And I thought to myself, my goodness, if I don’t listen to that, I’m not listening to anything. And I will also tell you, I’m a little bit of a spiritual person, it might be a little woo-woo for people. But I do firmly believe that the universe will never open will never close the door without opening the window from for me, and probably for many others and people. And when I did that, as soon as I did that, and I leaned in and I trusted, that is exactly what happened. I can’t even tell you. I don’t believe in coincidences. Like, I don’t believe I believe that things happen for a reason. I think sometimes we hate the reason, or we never know the reason. But there’s a reason. And you even said that to me also about something when I said, you know, I felt like I left the company too soon. And you said to me, there’s a reason you did. And you are 100%. Right? You are very sage and wise individual because you’re 100%, right. And there’s a reason that we met, there’s a reason that you changed my life, my mindset and every single thing. And I am so grateful. But But that’s really, that’s really
Blake Schofield 12:12 Awesome. So, gosh, there’s so much to talk about. I’m like, this is a rare for me, I’m like a little bit stumped about what to ask next. Because there’s so many things going through my head, because I know so much about how incredible Your journey has been. And we’ve talked a little bit about where you’ve been, there might be a couple things you and I want to hit and come back to. But I’d like to kind of move forward, there was a moment when I always say is the hardest moment, the moment when you are sitting on the conversation, and you realize, oh my gosh, this thing might change my life, this program might actually change my life. I think that’s the hardest moment for any woman is to make a decision in that moment when she feels a mix of feeling excited and terrified at the same time. Do you remember that moment? What were you going through? And what ultimately led you to say, I’m going to believe in it? And I’m going to go forward?
Sharon 13:03 The fact that you I never met you. But you spoke so deeply and clearly about how I was feeling because you knew you probably could see it. I felt you know, it was it was both of those, you know, areas that you just mentioned, what did you just say fear? Terrified, but also selfish?
Sharon 13:23 How could I be so selfish to invest the time that it’s that it will take and the money, right? And the investment? And it felt very selfish. But yet, why wouldn’t I? Why not. And this protects me, this protects my family, this protects, you know, my well being it protects because, you know, the spiral that I was headed to was awful. It was awful, it was going to be, you know, degrading. And I didn’t make my numbers for the first time in 40 years. And that felt awful to begin with. And it just felt like I just was gonna have to push this rock up for the next however long and I was gonna wait every day and count one more day towards retirement, one more day towards retirement. And I also felt like, what’s the worst that’s going to happen? What is the worst it’s going to happen? I’m going to spend the time I’m going to probably learn a few things about myself and about my abilities. And what’s the worst that happens? Okay, so I will have invested money, okay, how many times have you invested money and it went out the window. But if I hadn’t done that, I’d never know. That was what I said to my husband. And it was just like when we started our business, if we don’t step on that limb, we will never know if that tree will hold us. And that was what happened. And I literally just leaped onto that tree branch. And I just was like, Well, it’s kind of holding me and it’s alright, hard at the same time. And it’s hard dig deep. And every time you challenged me dig deeper, tell me more, dig deeper, it was hard to a deep breath, a heart swallow, but I was able to get there. And sometimes I felt like oh, is that even deep enough, you know, even when I went deep, and it did allow me the opportunity to really sort of have have have a chance to take some self inventory. When you’re on the squirrel wheel, professionally, I want to tell you this, you know, this, you’re on that squirrel wheel, you’re never really stopping to get that gap of thought of just sort of deep introspective thought. And your program fosters that it nurtures it, it requires that it requires all of those things for the better.
Blake Schofield 15:45 So you decided, made the decision? I’ll regret it if I don’t do it. And then you came in and you started the work? How was it? How was that journey and what was different than what you expected?
Sharon 15:58 I loved everything’s there, I could look ahead and see what could be coming. I could, you know, kind of, you know, explore the whole workbook, the whole I called it, you know, and the portal. And to be honest with you, it made me feel good to hit completed, completed, completed. And then, you know, being able to go back and look. And sometimes I would write, and I would share copy. And I would go back to day after and sort of sit on it and digest. And I would be like, nope, Yep, that’s right. Or I would tweak it. And so even you know, all of the documents, all of the videos, it is incredibly helpful. And at the end of the day, the time to invest in you and your career. It’s tiny compared to what opportunities you can put in front of yourself, and really achieve if you do the work.
Blake Schofield 17:03 I’m so proud of, you know, your journey, I think you really have come in and you have embraced the work, then as a result, you have gotten phenomenal results. And you’re only at only seven and a half weeks in the journey. So can you share a little bit about, you know, what has happened and transpired in your life? In the first I guess two thirds of the program.
Sharon 17:24 As I said before, the Define criteria was probably for me, even though I’m just you know, sort of halfway through here. That was probably the crux, because I knew that I was able to and I read that document a few times after I after I wrote it. And I was like, No, that’s true, that’s still true, I really was able to take that and carry that as part of my toolkit for interviewing and kind of knowing that I was going to be able to identify what I needed. I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to be able to identify the company, what they stood for and that bit yet, because anybody could put anything on a website, right. But yet, I was really happy that I was able to take that use it when I interviewed with the company who ultimately hired me, and that I think also empowered me, it empowered me because knowing that I wasn’t necessarily looking for a role, but I was looking for a company, it kind of took a little bit of the pressure out to tell you the truth.
Blake Schofield 18:23 And I think a lot of people talk about criteria for job, or company. But the way we do that at The Bridge to Fulfillment is, I don’t know, kind of unique than what you’ve probably done before, because you worked with a prior career coach, right? How different is what we do inside the bridge to fulfillment and how we help women find jobs from what you typically see out there with a typical career coach?
Sharon 18:47 At least from my experience, when I was talking to you know, the career coach, the criteria was skills. Right? It was your laundry list of what will you do for me? It had nothing to do with, how will you feel about doing this for me or for this company. And so I think that’s what separates people who are appropriate for your program, versus those who may not be because I know that I have a good skill set. I know I also have a transferable skill set. And even in my darkest moments, I knew I had that. I had a successful business. We sold the business. You know, I was able to reinvent myself a couple of times. I knew that even if it was in a very quiet way inside of me. I still knew I had that. What your program talks about is the emotion that comes with it the feeling and when you feel like you’re contributing when you feel good about something. Doesn’t the cake come out better when you feel something about the person you’re making it for? Right? Does it the dinner feel better when it’s for your special Valentine? Doesn’t it taste better? And those are the things And that’s why I really feel like your program is different because it is it has more to do with the human attachment to your job than just a list of skills. And how do you get the hits on your resume? Because well, it’s bigger than that. And I for a long time, like I said, my job does not define me. But you know what? I was wrong? Because it does. It always does. It has. And even though I tried to deny that, at the end of the day, I’m here to tell you, it does. It does. It really does. It matters to me. And when I walk away from my desk, and I put my pen down at the end of the day, I want to feel good about what I did today. Other job coaches, I don’t think necessarily cover that. They just don’t cover that. They just don’t go there. You know, business today is supposed to be business and personal. And, you know, one of the reasons that I was interested in the company that I’m going to is because one of the very first sentences on their HR page, it says, ‘business is personal to us.’ And I was like, oh my god, I can’t, I can’t believe I just read that. Like, I can’t. I love like, like who says that? Who says that, you know, in front of God and everybody on their website,
Blake Schofield 21:15 When I think that’s the thing that often those of us who come from really large organizations, and a lot of my clients come from large organizations, we have a really limited perspective about what types of companies out there the breadth of cultures and personalities. And I loved it. Because when we looked at we were doing the negotiation for you, and going through all that we were looking in the CEO has a 91% approval rating. I’m like, Haha, you found a good one. Right? You have really found a good one. And I love when you say it’s, I often describe what you describe as holistic, right? We’re looking at the entirety of who you are as a person. And I think that’s really important. Because if you truly like number one, you spend more of your life working than you do anything else. Right? And so if you don’t love what you do every day, why the heck are you using two thirds of your life to do something that isn’t meaningful? To do something that you dread going to to do something, right, where you’re pushing buttons or checking lists, but it doesn’t mean anything? Right? And I think such a huge part of what we do is actually connect you to who am I? And what do I value? And what am I really good at? And where do I want to spend my time. So you’re right. So every day, I am excited to go to work because I get to do stuff that makes me happy, and allows me to work in a way that I naturally would work. And I get to go home at the end of day and feel peace of mind that I made a difference. And I helped people and the time that I spent was worthwhile. And now I can go enjoy the other pieces of my life.
Sharon 22:37 Exactly. Because the other thing too is then your job didn’t rip you to shreds. You know, like, there were days where I just like I I couldn’t even eat dinner because I was so upset about an interaction when I had to literally ask my stakeholder, okay, you know that, you know, whatever money that I got on this amazing deal, you got to give it back. And, you know, not being measured on the deals that I make. And my ability to do that like that. Just just that conflict just upset me. And so being able to leave, work and leave work behind and leave work feeling good. Like I did something today, it might not have been huge, but I did a little something today. And I’m good. And I can’t wait to go back tomorrow and do a little more, I think is really it’s really important. And I think we underestimate the value of that. We’re not robots where people were human. I’m not saving lives. But yet I still have to feel good about what I do.
Blake Schofield 23:34 And so tell us a little bit about this transition for you. So you shared before that you were in procurement, what will you be doing now? And what what does that look like for you? How has this changed your life?
Sharon 23:45 I will be in procurement still. But in a very different world. i Right now I am on what they call indirect procurement. And I will be on direct procurement. So I will be on the other side of the procurement world. And so I have a lot to learn. And so this is in construction, architecture, engineering, and construction. And so I think to the big thing as well is that procurement at my new role is in the process, as opposed to where I am now. Procurement sits outside the business process. So you’re always pushing a rock up the hill. I’m always trying to get stakeholder engagement, like I’m always trying to sell I’m always trying to reach I’m always trying to chase. It’s the salespersons job, except on the other side of the table. Now I’ve been in sales. So I understand. And so I work when I work with salespeople, I completely understand their gig because of that. So this is a little bit different where I’m still working with salespeople, but in a very different area and in a very different way because I’m part of the process. I’m not going to have to, you know, chase the engineers or chase the architects or chase the estimators. I’m in their process. And I’m going to be part of the team as opposed to being on the outside of the team looking. And so that’s the first thing. And the second thing is just I still will keep the swim lane of commercial versus operational. I’m not a subject matter expert in construction engineering or architecture, I leverage that, like I always have. And the one thing I will also tell you, Blake is, that is the way I think I might have told you this. But that is the way that my husband and I set up our business, we had an operational side, and we have a commercial side. And we both agreed that we were both going to know the suppliers. And we were both going to know the customer base. And so we completely set that up intentionally. And I was commercial, he was operational. And that’s where I am today. And when I tell a stakeholder, I am not going to go into your swim lane, you are the subject matter expert. But please don’t go into my swim lane, because I’m a subject matter expert when it comes to the commercial parts of things. And so that is when the magic happens. And that is what I crave is that partnership. Because I also feel like when I talk to my stakeholders, I thought this was might be on a tangent. But when I talked to my stakeholders, and when I talked to the supply base, I feel like I got a little smarter, because I’m open to learn and understand stuff that I didn’t know before. But it’s not something, it’s just sort of information, it’s not necessarily something that I have to take and do anything with. And respecting that line is what I’m going to carry forward. And I also think that that has served me well, from very far back place. So I’m really excited to learn new stuff.
Blake Schofield 26:41 Awesome, awesome. So if we had to do like the ‘Reader’s Digest’ version of what your biggest troubles were coming in, before the program, and then what your results have been as a result of where you are so far, because we’re going to continue this journey together, and continue to allow you to benefit and grow in these next few weeks. What would the Reader’s Digest version be like? What was your biggest struggle before you came in the program? And then what have the results been?
Sharon 27:05 My biggest struggle was confidence, imposter syndrome, fear, anxiety, that would be the four bullet points. And so today, I don’t have fear, my future is full of my hopes, not my fears, I feel confident. And that, even if I don’t know something, I’ll find it out. I’ll learn it. I’ll seek it. It’ll be okay. From imposter syndrome. I’m worth it. I’m valued. This company is paying me for my abilities, my stability. And they also said to me, and they didn’t even ask for references like because they said, You’ve been doing this where you’ve been doing it for for as long as you’ve been doing it, you were fine. We’re fine. So that is a huge confidence builder. And me, the other thing is for me to be able to stand firm, and strong and brave, and really good. And I can pay it forward for people, whether it’s people I work with young people, you know, coming in coming up, as well as you know, people in your in your program.
Blake Schofield 28:14 Awesome. And so what are the results? What happened with your job interview? And what does that mean for you financially as well, because again, this is a big piece where I think women go, it seems too good to be true.
Sharon 28:27 So I know, and I definitely am one of those people. They found me the HR director found me on LinkedIn. And I leaned in, he was like, you know, would you take a call? And I said, Sure. Because again, what’s the worst that happens? absolutely awful. So okay, so nothing ventured, nothing gained. So we had a conversation. And he asked me for my resume, which I said to him, and he called me back and he said, you know, this person would like to meet you. And so we arranged a meeting. And so that was a Friday, and we had a video call. And the following Monday, I met three people in the organization. And actually on LinkedIn, when I was doing my research on the company, there was a person who was at my company that I’m at with at now. And so I reached out to her and I was like, What’s it like, you happy with this data, you know, very different, blah, blah, blah, and she’s in marketing. So very different area than me. And she spent a little bit of time with me a couple of times, actually. And so that was a Monday, I met with the three people and by Tuesday afternoon, I had my initial offer, it was literally that fast. And I was amazed because it was so fast. And I mean, I remember, you know, interviewing people and being like, oh, we can’t let that one get away. But I’ve never been the fish who was being caught if you will. And so you know, even just that even if the offer was awful, even that feeling that somebody wanted me was you know, interested in me was incredibly invigorating. And then to see the initial offer the opening offer, I just couldn’t believe the numbers I was writing because I honestly never felt that in my entire lifetime, like, because I don’t have a degree that I was ever going to be able to achieve that kind of money and abundance in the money category that I was at that was ever be possible. And so, you know, I did my analysis after that, you know, comparing and looking and, you know, looked, there was a couple of gaps, and then you and I spoke about it. And when we decided to go back, we strategize about how to go back. And the cool thing about that Blake is your style of negotiation actually is my style of negotiation, you were just able to help me script it because my head was going a million miles a minute, because I was like, Oh, my God. And of course, you know, in the back of your head, you’ve got help, what if they say no, what if they say no? And what if they say no, I still had a strong offer. So we countered, you know, I countered, and the next day at noon, they agreed to the entire counteroffer. So they made it much easier for me to say yes, and then I accepted, and that is a 30% 30 plus percent increase to what I’m making today, which even when I say those words, it still blows me away.
Blake Schofield 31:08 Awesome. I love that. So this has been so much fun. I always want to end by asking you, is there anything I didn’t ask you that I should have? Or anything you feel in your heart that you want to share that you haven’t?
Sharon 31:21 Yeah, I really want to say that the bridge to fulfillment is the highest quality program that encompasses modern women and their profession, you know, their professional and their personal lives, holistically. that’s out there, there is nothing else that’s out there that will support the total self. And the book support, the mindset, the success and empowerment calls. Those are incredible. Your team Britt, she’s amazing. Megan is always there on the on the steady. And so I really feel that it was it’s time well spent, and I can’t wait to you know, to finish the journey with you and just, you know, be a part of your family.
Blake Schofield 32:10 Thank you, it’s been an honor. And like I said, I’m excited for this next piece as we talk about transitioning and really setting you up for success. And I just appreciate you sharing so much of your journey, because I think so much of what you’ve experienced is so much of what I see in here. And I think it can be hard to process that these types of results are possible. And yet right time and time woman after woman after women I share because I want you to know, right, we are a part of a movement to change women’s perspectives about what’s possible. So thank you for being a part of that journey with me. Like Thank you for trusting me in this journey.
Sharon 32:46 Oh, absolutely. I do want to say one thing. At what point do you really bring this into companies, into universities, into, you know, places where women if they could start like this, if we could start strong like this, Blake, your impact, it’s infinite. It’s really amazing how you’ve touched and you’ve really changed my life and my family’s life. I’m incredibly grateful.
Blake Schofield 33:14 Thank you. And for those of you listening, thanks so much for joining us on today’s episode of the bridge to fulfillment. Thanks for joining me today. Rather than hope the grass will be greener, identify what the right next step is. We can help you do just that. Get clarity on where you are in your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optimal paths to get there, and the right next step to take. Start your complimentary personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan. Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan. Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead.