More Fulfillment and Balance Without Changing Companies (Kari’s Story)

Ep: 197

Do you feel overwhelmed in the face of change, unsure how to make the first step?

Most people believe that a fulfilling career and work-life balance require massive shifts and changes to achieve…

But that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Fulfillment is about creating a life with intention…and that doesn’t always require huge shifts at all.

Today on The Bridge to Fulfillment®, Blake welcomes Kari to share her story. Feeling overwhelmed but not knowing what she wanted or what the right next step was, she decided to give herself grace through the wisdom of support. Her story helps dispel the myth that better balance and more fulfillment require huge shifts.

In this episode, you’ll learn how a series of small shifts created a HUGE impact in Kari’s life and career. You’ll hear about the steps she took to create the changes she desired, and why gaining clarity made such a big difference. She shares what surprised her about the process, and the bigger-than-expected effect the program had on her life as a whole, from her career to her relationships with her husband and children.

Listen to Kari’s incredible story that showcases how you can create incredibly positive shifts in your life without having to start over or change companies…

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why Kari decided she was ready for career coaching (4:29)
  • What surprised her about the overall program and the impact it had on her life (5:56)
  • How a shift in perspecitve helped her move into a new, more satisfying role (12:05)
  • Why developing clarity plays such an important role in the process (15:29)
  • How life coaching has positively affected her personal life and relationships (20:19)
  • An important ah-ha moment Kari had about change (25:13)

Favorite Quotes:

  1. When I committed to this, it was like I’m doing it! I’m going to carve out the time, I’m going to have somebody that I can lean on. I can have other women to learn from, I can have a plan, I can have someone to keep me accountable. And I felt like I really needed that support system to do it. –Kari
  2. When I came in, I was like, this was all about career. But what it’s unlocked for me is far more than that. –Kari
  3. Many women are unfulfilled because their life is hectic and crazy. They either think I can’t progress up my career because I’m not willing to sacrifice or I just need to find a job where I have better balance. But a lot of times, both of those things actually aren’t true. –Blake
  4. When you get to this crossroads in your life and your career, you want to be looking at developing lifelong skills. Not just putting a bandaid on your problem, but lifelong skills that you can benefit from and continue to move forward. –Blake

Additional Resources: 

Rather than hoping 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 on your journey to career fulfillment, where you’re headed, optional paths to get there, and the right next step to take.

Start your complimentary, Personalized Career Fulfillment Plan by going to

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to:


Kari 0:03
Sometimes you’re so focused on the future or what you envision this to be that you don’t even take a step forward, because you’ve already laid out every scenario. And you’re like, oh, that won’t work, or I can’t do that, because we’re, I’ll fail or that conversation won’t go, right. And it was like, a realization of like, I been so doing that, and it’s all in my head. And so just take one step forward, just one step forward, and it can be. It’s like in the past, or where I was getting so hung up, is I was trying to go from point one to point 100. And that’s hard. So like, actually doing little things helped the progress be made in a way that just didn’t undo overnight when you have a bad moment.

Blake Schofield 0:54
Hi, I’m Blake Schofield, founder and CEO of the bridge to fulfillment mom to three, USA Today top 10 professional coach, and former corporate executive who got tired of sacrificing my life for a comfortable paycheck. My mission is to expand women’s perspectives and empower them to achieve greater impact at home and work without sacrifice. This is the bridge to fulfillment. Hello, and welcome to another episode of the bridge to fulfillment I am so excited to share my client carry story with you today are actually for her to share her story with you. So I’m not sharing it she is often I think there are perceptions about hiring a career coach, going through a process of making a change in your career and what success should or could look like what actions or steps you have to take. And I’m really excited for Carrie to be able to share her story because her ending is probably not what she thought it was going to be when she came in probably not what most people would think about when they come into the bridge to fulfillment. And yet to me, it’s a perfect example of exactly what we do here, which is really about how helping each woman figure out what success means to her and giving her the skills, tools, knowledge and ability really to be able to create that more fulfilling career and life for herself. And Carrie has done that and done that in spades. So with that said, Welcome to the bridge to fulfillment podcast. So happy to have you period theory, b&q As you know, I always like to start these and give people a little bit of a background. So when you and I first connected what was going on in your life and your career?

Kari 2:39
Yeah. So when I reached out to you, I would say I had been at my company, my entire career. And I’d been in my current role for some time, four ish years. And I felt like I was at a standstill of what do I want to do next. And I’d felt like this for a while. And although it was there, I just never had made any steps forward and like figuring out what that could be. And I felt so overwhelmed and thinking about it. I would also add in like I am a working mom, I had three kids at the time that were 235. And I just felt exhausted, overwhelmed. And that like each day was like Groundhog’s Day of just like going through the motions. And as I paused it was like was I be my best for them as a wife as a mom at my work. And I just felt kind of lost at the time.

Blake Schofield 3:37
And what ended up leading you to connect with me and decided to invest in making a change?

Kari 3:44
At our first meeting, I was just super intrigued about kind of the process. And for me, I’m kind of linear thinking I like to have actionable progress. And I needed that somebody to hold me accountable to doing it. And I talked to my husband, I felt like it was something that I kept talking about, but I never actually carved out the time to do it. And when I committed to this, it was like I’m doing it, I’m going to carve out the time, I’m going to have somebody that I can lean on. I can have other women to learn from, I can have a plan, I can have someone to keep me accountable. And I felt like I really needed that support system to do it.

Blake Schofield 4:24
Was there a moment that triggered you to say I just can’t do this anymore on my own?

Kari 4:29
I think a little bit was just in reflecting and realizing that I felt like I was having the same conversation over and over again with my husband of like it just kind of living in the state of the same conversation with no progress that was like How long am I going to allow myself to just spin on this. And I also think I had reached a point in my career where I was having conversations of like, what’s next? And I felt like I didn’t even know what to say Like I couldn’t articulate what I wanted. And so as I even was trying to explore, like, I just felt like I wasn’t going in the right direction.

Blake Schofield 5:11
That’s such a good point. And often I actually now that you say that have a lot of women say that to me that they’ve been in their job, they’re unfulfilled, they’re unhappy, and their boss is asking them, what do they want to do next? I have no idea. And it’s a very difficult place to be in because you feel this massive pressure that I should be I should know, I need to tell them, what are they going to think? Are they going to realize I’m unhappy, but to your point, you’re sort of just stuck flailing in the water with no lifeboat because you don’t know where to go next. So as you decided, okay, this is great. I’m gonna come in, I’m gonna get out accountability, I’m gonna get a process, I’m gonna be able to really move through this when you stepped into the process of creating change for yourself. What did you think it was going to be like? And how was it different than what you expected? coming in?

Kari 5:56
I’ll be honest, I thought it was going to be solely focused on career, how do you network? What are your strengths? How do you explain them, which is for sure part of it. But I actually say one of the things that I think I’ve taken away from this is just overall kind of like your life coaching, as well. And the impact that’s had on me. So as I mentioned, I felt like kind of so so in all areas of my life. And I feel like having this time of reflection of what makes me happy, what do I want to do? How do I want my family to be what kind of Mom what are the things that bring me joy, actually, spending the time to think through in real goals has helped me rebalance my life and feel so fulfilled, not only in my career, but on all of the other things that are really important at the end of the day. So I think when I came in, I was like, this was all about career. But what it’s unlocked for me is far more than that.

Blake Schofield 7:02
Awesome. Well, we’ll definitely dig more into that as we go. But let’s maybe take our listeners a little bit through the journey. When you kind of think back on your journey, where you were when you started burned out tired. Last, one of the things you said to me, one of your biggest fears was the negative impact on your kids feeling you weren’t present or that you were putting work ahead of them the impact it was having in your marriage. So you came in, you’re like, I’m ready to get started. When you look back on that journey. What’s the first big win you had? And the first thing that you said, Okay, great. Like I see progress, I see I’m being able to start to move forward. Finally,

Kari 7:36
I think two things. One is just like really ruthless force prioritization of what I need to do every single day. So like, I started on like, a weekly basis, feeling like if I can accomplish these few things, then the week was good. And then even on the day, what are the two things I need to get done today? And if I walk away from if I shut off my computer at five, and I’ve done those two things, great. Like, I feel like without that, sometimes we can just get caught up in the day. And so that was like one, I think the other thing that kind of made me laugh is you talked about, well, gosh, I’m gonna forget the word. But like the best use of your time, high leverage time, high leveraging, and I realized that I was multitasking all day long in work, multitasking, checking email, popping around, even as a mom, you know, you’re like, I’m half listening. I’m also checking my email, I’m also making dinner at multitasking at all fronts. And that was one thing that like, just, I remember just thinking, like, how could I not check my email all day long. And then I started to actually block time where I focused and I saw how much more efficient I was. And even with my kids, I’m like, Okay, I’m done. I’m going to focus and how much more special those moments where and how much more engaged. And it just like unlocked moments of really focusing myself, I could accomplish more and gain more out of the day than being trying to do seven things at the same time.

Blake Schofield 9:09
I love that the calendar process that we do at the beginning is probably one of my favorites, because I think most of us have not been taught. We’ve been given planners, we’ve given all this advice. But as you and I both know, there’s both the tactical How do I do it, but there’s the emotional, there’s the mental part of how do I do it, and to be able to unlock that and recognize that you have more power over your calendar over your time over your focus than you ever thought that you did, I think is so powerful, and such an important lesson because so many women are unfulfilled because their life is hectic and crazy. And they either think I can’t progress up my career because I’m not willing to sacrifice or I just need to go to a job where I have better balance more time, etc. But a lot of times both of those things actually aren’t true. When you have the right skills right then you’re able to be able to influence the invite airmen make better decisions and be able to actually get what you need to get done. But then to your point, really enjoying your life. So I love that. So as you went through this process, one of the big things that we talked about early on was that you really wanted to get clarity on what it is you really wanted to do and be able to articulate that what did you learn through the process? And how do you see how that was different than what you were trying to do beforehand?

Kari 10:21
I think one of like, my eye opening moments was almost like how much confidence was getting in my way. And what I mean by that is you talk a lot about your secret sauce. And as I went through that process of what do I like, what am I good at it felt were had been, I almost was always downplaying that type of thing, where it was like, Well, I mean, I’m good at that. But like, everybody’s good at that a little bit, you know, like, where you see the strengths and others, but you can’t see it in yourself. And so I think when I spent a lot of time reflecting on that, and going through some of the external Yeah, the documents, and what are the moments that we had with that coach?

Blake Schofield 11:07
Britt? The success and empowerment calls?

Kari 11:11
Yeah, yes. When we went through some of those, I feel like I had a few moments of like, Yeah, I’m getting in my own way, by not celebrating the things that I actually am really good at. And it feels good to be good at those things. And so when I leaned into that more of what is it that I’m passionate about? But also, who am I what makes me special? What are my natural strengths, I felt like I was able to unlock a little bit more of articulating what I must have, in my next role.

Blake Schofield 11:41
Awesome. So you went through this process, you gained confidence, you got control your calendar, you’re having the ability to have more space time presence in your day. And now you understand what it is that you’re really looking for what you’re gifted at, tell me a little bit about your journey to finding your next role. And ultimately, what has happened and transpired for you since then.

Kari 12:04
Yeah. So I would say I went through the process of, shall we say, casting my net wide, but like really trying to open myself up like, Okay, now that I can articulate these are the things I want? What types of roles would that be? What type of company would that be? And I started to kind of do all the work to think through and connect and network and have great conversations. Interestingly enough, the role that I ended up moving to was within my own company. And it’s not far from the job that I had to be honest. But I’m very happy with it. And I think what I had talked about earlier, as my boss was saying, what next? And I couldn’t say or, you know, I felt like I had been spending so much time focusing on a title and what would that do? And what does that own? And maybe that’s not for me, I don’t know, you know, I feel like I had gotten in my own way, a bit on that front. And so when I could actually say to her, I’m ready for my next move. These are the things that I want to gain experience in. These are the things I definitely want to continue to do. This is the type of team environment I would want to join. Like when I could say exactly what that was, she gave back to me nearly immediately and was like, I think I have a role that could be a great fit. And she was like now that you’ve said it, I’ve just so clearly saw a good space for you. And we could talk about that. And I ended up applying and moving to that job. And it just has been really rewarding. And not what I thought would be the end of my journey. But I felt very happy with where where it brought me to.

Blake Schofield 13:41
Yeah, awesome. And I’ll just say words matter. So it’s never the end of your journey, not when you see the next step. Right. And I think that’s beautiful, because there’s an evolution there. And I think often we get caught in this very black and white perspective about things right. What do we focus on at the bridge development, we focus on getting you to the right next step. Right, it’s it you should continue to evolve. And the skills tools and knowledge that you have will be the foundation of which you continue to build on as you look at because several years from now, you might be ready for something else. Yes. But now you have the tools, knowledge and experience to go I know what to do. I know how to take this I know how to keep moving myself forward, which is I think such a beauty of this process. And what I think is so important for people to understand is when you get to this crossroads or this place in your life in your career is you want to be looking at this as developing lifelong skills. Right, not just putting a bandaid on your problem, but actually lifelong skills that you can benefit and continue to move forward. You shared something earlier and I’d love to dig into a little bit more if I could. Yeah, you said the work I’m doing is not far from what I was doing before. Often, I think women look at what we do at the Bridgestone summit and think it has to be this huge, massive drastic change. And what I often say is the level of change always depends on the level of misalignment for each individual person and what they need. So can you dive in a little bit more about you saying it’s not far from what you were doing before? Because that, I think, to some people, they might be like, well, then did you even really need help? And then I didn’t really change your life that much? Or could it have been more simple? And I love to hear a little bit more about how is it different? How was your life today, your career today different? And what did you learn about what was misaligned, from the get go that you were able to shift and adjust to make the right move this time?

Kari 15:29
It was good for me to go through the process of the exploration of what do I like? What am I passionate about? What are my strengths, and for me, it was a journey that I needed to take to ultimately say, there are parts of what I do that I love. And when I think about not doing those, that doesn’t really seem like the right thing, either. And so for part of that was just like, I needed to kind of do the exercise to even get myself there of like, yes, this actually is a good fit based on the things that I’m doing. But in my move. I also think as we went through it, to your point of it being like an ongoing progression, I think that I had never taken the time. And obviously, it’s always an ongoing thing of Butler, can I see myself in the future future? What would I have liked to be doing? And I think I have a little bit more clarity on like, some routes that might make sense for me. And it helped me also identify what are the steps I would need to take in the short term or in to get there. And so I think that was also I opened up like why of the role that I ended up moving into is being able to articulate the things that I wanted to gain helped me move into a higher leader role work on developing a team. So it’s like helping me gain skill sets that I know are necessary for the where I would like to get to, if that makes sense.

Blake Schofield 16:59
100%. So it was I would describe it. You know, in my words, as you create a roadmap for what you wanted? What was the journey that you wanted to go on? What are the skills that you needed to learn to get there, so you could take that next step and know that it was aligned and getting you progressing you towards what you wanted long term and that before this process, you didn’t really have that it was sort of this blank slate? I don’t really know where I want to go?

Kari 17:24
Yes. Yes, that is very well done.

Blake Schofield 17:28
Okay, good. Well, then I caught it. Well, you talked a lot about this journey earlier, both being helpful for you professionally, as well as personally, I’d like to dive into both a little bit if I can, because there’s some things you shared with me on the professional front that I think are really impressive. And I was super proud of you for you had shared that since you went to this process, you’ve been getting some different feedback, things have been happening inside the organization that were different than what you had experienced before. As a result of having this clarity, understanding her position, communicate who you are, what you need the confidence levels, can you share a little bit about how these skills that you gained knowledge that you’ve gained have impacted how you show up on a day to day basis at work and sort of what’s happening there?

Kari 18:09
For sure. I mean, I think being my own advocate definitely has not gone unnoticed of being able to voice over what I’m looking for what I want what I mean, goals are, I would also say I have definitely shown up as a better leader, and a better partner with in my team just because of kind of this new life skills I gained to be honest with you of like, prioritization and support. And I don’t know, almost like a little bit of vulnerability of what we’re working on beyond work and how we’re taking our time and what we’re focusing our efforts on. And so I think there’s been an unlock of just who have like my own, but also the benefit that I’ve had on the people that I work with everyday.

Blake Schofield 19:00
That’s awesome. And so obviously, you feel that yourself, as are, are there feedback or signs and symptoms you’re getting from the people that you work from that leads you to see that they’re seeing that too.

Kari 19:12
Yes, it’s sort of become a running joke with, like, the key people I work with have goals, and we call it manifesting, but it’s just like, what are the things that we want to get? And like, what are our hopes and that book that we read of you kind of create a vision for yourself and you unconsciously work towards it, like, just like unlocked something in me. And so I’ve been sharing a little bit of that wealth with people and people aren’t This is such a positive environment now of not only the stuff that we do, but the support that we have for each other, which has been definitely a size that I did not expect coming out of this but it has been really fun to see the positive impact even on others.

Blake Schofield 19:51
I love that. It’s like the old adage that I say right, you throw the pebble into the water and it’s the ripple effect of that and I love that you’re sharing what you’ve learned. to being able to help other people understand the power of what they think and the power of their actions to be able to create what they want. That’s beautiful. All right, so how about on the personal side? You said, there’s been a lot that this program unlocked for you there. What are some changes? And how are you seeing that show up?

Kari 20:18
Yeah, I mean, I think it’s really boiled down to an intentional use of my time and really planning. Like, I mean, it sounds silly, but it’s like, I feel like I was we were in the state of, you know, you’re just so busy with little kids and your career, and it’s carving out the time to do the things that really bring us joy as a family. So I’m going to set a goal that once a month, we get a babysitter, and we go out on a date. seems so simple, but I would say we had gone months without doing that. And so it’s something small, but it makes us happy, it’s a chance for us to connect. That’s a small thing, devoted time with kids, I’m going to focus when I’m with them, I’m going to do 10 minutes where I’m undivided attention playing with you, you know, it sounds small, but I can just see the impact that it has on them. And it’s been just so wonderful as a mom to feel and see that firsthand.

Blake Schofield 21:19
I love that. What are the things that you’re seeing from your kids? And you said, you can just see the impact? What are you seeing that’s coming through and that that you can recognize that the things you’re doing are positively impacting them.

Kari 21:30
I mean, I’m like semi embarrassed to say this, but I feel like before I was always, you know, had my phone around, and you’re checking emails, and I’m like, kind of distracted. I feel like they see now that when I’m focused on them and focus on them, the phone is away, I think I was running myself so thin, but then my own patience was gone. And having this time to, you know, I’m going to spend a little bit of time reading, I’m going to go on the date, I’m going to schedule that get together with my girlfriend and go to lunch. It’s things that I think sometimes we get in our head that it’s like selfish, but it’s also I have seen it gives me the moments that helped me then come back with the patience to be a better mom and still, you know, go through the life craziness with them, which I hope I think that they can see that maybe Mom’s not as overwhelmed as she was before.

Blake Schofield 22:26
Mm hmm. Oh, 100%, I have every confidence they can because I’ve personally experienced that I was the same mom constantly on the phone distracted. And I think what happens when you can show up and be fully present is you recognize the things when your kids need things, right, the hug or the support, or the cheering on or whatever that might be because you can fully connect to what they’re experiencing and what they’re living. And that creates a bond that ultimately, if we talk about, you know, second, third and fourth order consequences, which is what happens years down the road or months down the road, normally, we don’t connect that we normally think I take an action. And here’s an outcome. And then that’s it. But the reality is, that’s not true. Usually we take an action, but then we don’t see especially if it’s behavioral, we don’t see the outcome for months or years to come. And so the fact that you’re able to be present and give your children that undivided attention, and they feel loved or appreciated and seen, will have humongous benefit long term on their personal self esteem values, how they feel about themselves, their ability to talk to you about the bully at school, or the girl or boy that they like, right, all of these things that sort of start with the foundation of that relationship really early on. So I think that’s so amazing that you’re able to do it. And I know that you’re not alone in having had that struggle. I personally went through that I think a lot of women do. And some of the things that you mentioned today, I love because you said it sounds really simple. But here’s the thing, I think it’s really important. Just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean it’s easy, right? And I think that it’s important for people to understand that if you’ve tried to apply these things on your own and you struggle, understand that you’re not failing at that, right, you’re not a failure. And I think many times we can get to that of like, Oh, I just can’t do it. But usually the reason is because you’re only applying tactics to situation that needs both the emotional and the tactical side of things. And we have to address both, because in order to be able to not check emails all day at work, you had to get past a lot of fears about what if I let down people what do people think I’m not doing a good job? What if XYZ, right a lot of survival fear based things. And if you don’t address those things, you’re not going to take the action because you’re going to be driven by I can’t do this because my job will be at risk. And then my family will be at risk. And the same thing happens just across the board. Anytime we’re looking at any type of significant change in our behavior. Our lifestyle is to understand that if you try these things in the past, they seem simple. You’re beating yourself up because you can’t do it. It’s likely because you don’t have the right process. You’re not dealing with both the emotional and the tactical, or you need some support to be able to see different ways around or different ways to do it. Because the best answers are simple, doesn’t always mean they’re easy.

Kari 25:12
And I think one thing I hadn’t mentioned, but I do, like what you just said, sparked, it reminded me but one Aha I had with you is you’re like, sometimes you’re so focused on the future, or what you envision this to be that you don’t even take a step forward, because you’ve already laid out every scenario and you’re like, oh, that won’t work, or I can’t do that, because or I’ll fail or that conversation won’t go, right. And it was like, a realization like I am so doing that. And it’s all in my head. And so remember, even just some of your advice of like, just take one step forward, just one step forward, and it can be small. Okay, it sounds scary to not check your email all night. Okay, why don’t you try to not do it for a little bit. But I feel like having those baby steps in helped me to actually make progress because it wasn’t like, like in the past, or where I was getting so hung up, is I was trying to go from point one to point 100. And that’s hard. So like, actually doing little things helped the progress be made in a way that desk didn’t undo overnight when you have a bad moment.

Blake Schofield 26:23
Yeah, thank you for sharing that. I think that is one of the biggest lessons of my life. I think those of us that are Type A planners, we’re used to doing that we have an opportunity to rewire and learn a different way to be successful in a way that’s a lot easier, a lot less stress and a whole lot more momentum. So I love that you shared that because that was one of my biggest lessons. And I think it’s one of the consistent things I see for women in this program is to learn how to get out of that stuckness is this is the only way I can be successful and actually start to live life with a lot more ease and create what you want with a whole lot less strain stress. All of it. Yeah. Well, Carrie, I know our time is coming close to a close. So I will ask you this, is there anything that I haven’t asked you that I shut up, or that’s on your heart that you really want to share?

Kari 27:12
Thank you for your wisdom that you share. And I want to emphasize that like the benefit that this has had, for me, personally far exceeded what I came in envisioning. I know I hit on like the career like that was really all I was focused on when I came. And as I reflect of my happiness level, and having the time and the purpose and being able to feel like I’m really devoting my time and energy on the things that bring me joy both outside of work and is head to work, I just didn’t expect to this degree. So I’m just thank you for that. And I just want to make sure that that point is clear that there’s so much more benefits that get unlocked through this program.

Blake Schofield 27:58
Thank you, thank you so much for allowing me to be a small part of your journey. Thank you for coming and sharing your story to help inspire and help other women understand what’s possible for them. And like I said, when I asked you to do this, I was like this is will be so amazing for you to come share. Because I think that there’s a real perception around what it has to look like to be a part of this program. And you showcase a different dynamic of that, which is that success looks different for every single person, maybe it doesn’t have to be a drastic career change. Maybe it actually is figuring out how to position yourself from a career path and the current company that you’re at, and also that the keys to fulfillment and happiness, we often think are just about moving to the next job. But the reality is it isn’t and when you can gain the right lifelong skills for what you need to appreciate who you are standing your value and understand how to focus your time, your energy, your efforts on what really matters to you, you can create a much more fulfilling life than you probably ever even thought was possible. Thank you. So thank you again for joining us. And until next time, have a great one.

Blake Schofield 29:16
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  Again, you can get your personalized career fulfillment plan at  Thanks again for joining and have a great week ahead.