The Keys to a Successful Resume and Job Search with Expert Meg Applegate

Ep: 165

When we’re looking for a career transition, most of us go straight to our resumes. We update our experience and polish it to better reflect what we’re looking for.

But we don’t often stop to ask ourselves if we’re truly clear about what it is we want.

In times of transition, your resume is a very important marketing tool that you have at your disposal. But if you’re looking for real change, simple updates might not be helping you find the best transition that suits your unique skill set.

The first step on the road to change is finding clarity. 

Professional resume writing services can help connect the dots between who you are and what value you can offer an organization, but in order to do that, YOU MUST BE CLEAR ON WHAT YOU WANT AND WHERE YOU’RE HEADED.

Today, Blake welcomes Meg Applegate, a certified resume writer and personal branding strategist who connects high-achieving women to career advancement. Recently named one of Jobscan’s Top Experts to Follow on LinkedIn in 2022, her work is also featured in ForbesWomen, Fairygodboss, and Expert Resumes & LinkedIn Profiles for Managers and Executives.

In this episode, you’ll learn why it’s important to explore your options and discover what makes you valuable to an organization— and most importantly, how to market your story to align you with the right kind of work. You’ll learn why career transitions are actually beneficial pathways to discovering your unique strengths and why asking for help and guidance makes the path less rocky and a lot more enjoyable than doing it alone.


What You’ll Learn:

  • Why career pivots and transitions should be normalized (6:30)
  • How to think about your brand and create a story around it (10:32)
  • What happens when you change jobs without really knowing what you want (19:03)
  • Why what you can do isn’t always what you can do best (26:13)
  • The relief you get by asking for help, especially when it’s from people who can understand your unique perspective (35:56)


Favorite Quotes:

  1. “Having pivots and having transitions, every single person has them. So it’s interesting that it feels taboo because everyone has some sort of pivot.” —Meg
  2. “The resume is a marketing tool. And if you don’t know where you’re going, then you don’t know how to market yourself best. So it’s really important that you have clarity.” —Meg
  3. “The resume writing process is a really good preparation process for the job search because you’re really understanding and distilling down your value.” —Meg
  4. “When we don’t understand who we are, we’re living a muted life. We see signs and symptoms that we’re not happy, we see all these things happening. We try to solve them. But sometimes it takes that outside perspective or that outside opportunity to really shift things. And it is life-changing.” —Blake


Additional Resources: 

Connect with Meg:


You can snag the first module of Meg’s digital course, The Resume Key –  Resume 101 + Your Materials Checklist for a Top Performing Resume by clicking “Free Preview” here.

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:


Meg Applegate 0:04 You need to soul search before you job search, you don’t know how to market yourself fast. So it’s really important that you have clarity and then that’s where then we can start the process of writing the resume because we know where we’re going

Blake Schofield 0:27 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. Today, I am introducing you to a guest expert Meg Applegate. And we’re going to be talking about the importance of storytelling and clarity in your job search and resume writing. Forever a girls’ girl, Meg traded her childhood BFF necklaces for Greek letters in college. She’s worked full time, part time, and stayed home with kids understanding the challenge and reward of holding a career and family in tandem and intention. While her professional journey has been anything but straight, now as a certified resume writer and personal branding strategist. She connects high achieving women to career advancement, recently named one of jobs scans top experts to follow on LinkedIn in 2022 and 2021, winner of the industry’s most prestigious toast of the resume industry awards. Her work is also featured in Forbes women, very good boss and the most recent addition of expert resumes and LinkedIn profiles for managers and executives, and enthusiast of antiques and old home she is driven by her faith, family love of dark chocolate, and her morning cup of coffee. Meg is such a ray of sunshine, and there’s so much in our conversations. And in my learning of her approach and her perspective that’s so well aligned. In this episode, she shares really amazing things like why reaching out to a resume writer usually is not the right first step. What you need to know before a resume writer can truly assist you and how to avoid a long and drawn out painful job search by truly having the important elements that you need for success up front. So without further ado, I’d love to introduce you to Meg. And have you join in in our conversation.

Blake Schofield 2:47 Hello, and welcome back to another episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment today. I’m really excited to share Meg Applegate with you. You know, sometimes when you’re in the career space or career coaching space, you come across somebody that you really feel like you connect with and you’d have a similar approach and understanding about things. And that’s definitely how I felt about Meg. And I’ve enjoyed, I guess being a colleague on LinkedIn with you. And I thought it would be a great conversation to have you on. So today we’re going to be talking about the importance of storytelling and how fair it is really critical to the resume and job search. But with that said, I’m going to turn it over to Meg so she can share a little bit with you guys about who she is and her background and what she does.

Meg Applegate 3:31 Hi, Blake, I’m super excited to be here and to be live together, right, we see there’s photos on LinkedIn, it’s just not the same when we’re kind of face to face even virtually. So I’m excited to be here. So a little bit about me, I own Hinge Resume, which is basically where I offer career branding for women to open stores. And so that looks like career collateral like you were saying like resume and LinkedIn, it looks like personal brand coaching as well as Job Search Strategy support. But I haven’t always done this. And honestly, probably five years, six years ago, I didn’t even know about the professional resume writing industry at all. My mother in law actually introduced me to a professional resume writer, resume writer. And at that point I was I made the decision to stay home with my three kids that were four and under. So even before that I was in nonprofit, then pivoted to higher education. And then there was a time where all the cards of my husband and I’s life kind of got thrown up in the air. We lost our daycare provider, he switched to a different job. And so then we were really making these critical career decisions for our family like what’s what fits, what doesn’t, how do we move forward in this so it was at that time where we decided okay, I’ll take a pause for a year stay home with my three kids who are toddlers and infants at the time. And then that’s where I was really imagining you know, as I am like mopping the floor and schlepping that huge car seat on play dates. And that’s where I was imagining interests me that is today. So that’s a little bit of my backstory. It’s not straight, it’s super messy, and really just learned along the way, I had a great resume writer who kind of showed me the ropes, she was looking kind of leaning towards retirement. So it was able to kind of share about the profession and what I needed. And it didn’t take that much time. On her end, we talked on the phone, and we emailed a little bit, but she kind of helped me kind of launch. And think about what a shingle would look like, which is now Hinge Resume.

Blake Schofield 5:40 That’s awesome. I often bring I don’t bring guests on that often. We only have a few most of my guests into the clients sharing their stories. But I would say of the guests, we do have the vast majority of those guests have career transition stories. And I think it’s a really beautiful thing, because a huge part of my heart is to be able to change women’s perspectives about what’s possible for them. And I think often it feels very challenging. When we think I’ve been doing something, this is who I am. This is my career, this is my industry and have to start thinking about something else. And I just would love to hear a little bit for you. You said you’re a nonprofit, you ended up going into higher education. What were you doing in those past roles? And, yeah, let’s start there. What were you doing in those past roles? Like, what type of work was it?

Meg Applegate 6:29 Yeah, that’s interesting. I kind of have a big beef with this kind of like, we have this one career calling. I know, when I was a college student, I went into college, having no idea what I wanted to do, and felt a lot of pressure to figure out that thing, right for the rest of my life. And I ended up working with college students feeling that same pressure. So it’s just so interesting, because I think like you’re saying having pivots and having transitions, every single person has them, women, probably more so but every single person has them. So it’s just so interesting, that it feels taboo, because everyone has some sort of pivot transition, turn, jump, leap, right. It’s squiggly. So I am with you on that. But I will say for my nonprofit, I actually chose my major nonprofit management, eventually, Junior, maybe senior year and landed in, basically event planning, and I hated it. I really, they pitched me the role as like community building and relationships. I’m like, Yes, I’m all in on that. And then it was like very minutiae details for very long events, which I really struggled with. And I knew eventually, that I wanted to have a family, I worked a lot, and a lot of nights, a lot of weekends. And I just knew long term, this isn’t going to be a big fit, or a good fit. So I did my homework, I kind of researched around, I really work life balance for me was super important. So I basically looked at a academic advisor at a local university where I live and asked her to lunch and said, hey, I’m interested in your job, what’s it like? What do I need to do to get it, and she agreed to come to lunch with me a complete stranger. And she helped me with my grad school application and helped read my essay like so kind. And eventually, that led to grad school, which then led to me being an academic advisor, and also doing career advising in higher education.

Blake Schofield 8:35 I love that one of the things I always find, especially you know, when you really do the work to understand who you are as a person, which is critical. By the way, anytime you come to a transitional point, it’s a huge part of what we do in my program. Because if you don’t understand who you are up, get to the root cause of what’s misaligned in your current life. And you keep making them something that we better only to find more of the same or worse. But what I find really interesting is there’s usually a thread, there’s a thread of something that is gone through everything. And so what I hear you say is, it was really excited about building relationships and community and there was this idea, at least, so I took it up, like the events being the story in this relationship with people. But that’s not actually what the job was, the job was all these tactical minutia details. And then you found yourself excited about helping, helping again, build those relationships, find that story, help people feel like they belonged in some way. And so you moved into into that from an academic standpoint. And then now, where you are today, in many ways, is using those same skills, desires, passions that you had in the other two roles, right, just in a slightly different way. And I think that’s really beautiful. And like I said, I tend to find that across the board. It’s just sometimes it’s really hard to see that yourself.

Meg Applegate 9:53 Definitely. And I even say as a as a child, I actually wanted to be an author and loved writing. So it’s so interesting. Now that I actually am writing just in a completely different way, and my daughter is kind of an upper elementary school and talking about careers, and what I do, and I always in college was like, I want to help people, that’s a lot of nonprofit professionals feel that way very mission driven. And as you know, young people were exposed to only a certain number of occupations. I think that’s a little bit different now with social media, but helping people looks like teacher or what we see. And so it’s like, actually, I am helping people in just a completely different way that I never knew existed. And telling stories, right, helping people own their story and tell it, and I agree with you. That’s what I do in my personal brand coaching, right? Because your brain is about like the core of who you are, as a promise in the marketplace. So it’s sometimes really helpful to have someone next to you have to kind of zoom out and see all the threads and see what’s connecting, because when you’re in it, you’re so in the weeds, you can’t always see the big picture. So it’s helpful because the brand is not only about you, right? A lot of people think, Oh, it’s a buzzword, like, oh, I need to create a brand, or I need to make it up. And it’s like, oh, no, it’s you. You just have to uncover what it is. So it’s your missions, your values, your passions, right? Your vision for your life for the world, right. And then it’s also that external piece of how you show up and what people see. And women especially we don’t see our strengths, normally, rightly. So kind of that external piece of seeing that, but then it’s looking above me like, Okay, this is a puzzle, let’s take the puzzle apart of who I am putting it back together in a way that matters to my career goals going forward. And so that’s some of my favorite work. I do that with my resume writing clients, but also, specifically with personal brand coaching, because a lot of people think, oh, I need to make this thing up, to then market myself towards something new job search is about marketing, but you don’t have to make something up, it’s you that you’re the promise, you’re the guarantee that they’re looking for.

Blake Schofield 12:08 Yeah, and one of the biggest risks of what you say if you are making it up, and I think so many people will approach it that way, is you 100% will not end up in the right fit. Guaranteed. One of the big things that we do is we take a far more holistic approach to the entire process, life business, all of it is really help women understand how they work best, what are the attributes of the right environment for them? And how do you show up and communicate that but also ask the right questions to ensure that it is the right fit. And one of the big things I saw when I was in human resources and started out my career. And I started out in recruiting. And so I was doing all of this just on the other side, right, was that I think people think there’s some perfect thing they’re supposed to say. And they’re putting on like this. I don’t know if I want to use the word facade. But I think it’s like why I need to show up in this certain way. But what I consistently see is, if you either aren’t clear on who you are, how you work best what you need, or you’re trying to convince somebody to hire you, instead of seeing it as a two way street, right? We’re both seeing if this is the right partnership together, it always ends up in a disappointment later. It’s like, Oh, I thought that this was going to be it. And then I got into this job. And it actually is right, more of the same, or this terrible thing I didn’t know. And I see that all of the time. And I’ve watched that throughout my career as well. And never forget when I went to Target, there were 12 of us hired for apparel and accessories actually hired Jr. Didn’t know exactly what job you would have. Yeah, I know that’s shocking. But they hired you, like hired me to be a buyer. And I knew I would be a buyer somewhere and apparel and accessories had no idea where and you went into like a 12 week training program. I think it’s much shorter now. And I’ll never forget, I was maybe three or four weeks in. And I was the only one out of 12 that was not complaining about the job. Oh, I didn’t know I have to do this. This is not what they told me at all. This is completely different than I expected. And I looked around the room and I thought, How did none of you know that? And it was because I understood what I needed. And I asked the right questions. And so when I walked into that job, I knew exactly what that job is going to look and feel like I wasn’t surprised at all. I wasn’t disappointed at all. It totally met my expectations. And it was one of those moments where I went, Ah ha, this happens all of the time. And I think it’s a really important element to kind of understand in the job search process. Because if you are that person who has moved, hoping that it would be exactly what you wanted, or thinking that you’re supposed to show up in a certain way for the interview. But then when you get inside the job, you aren’t don’t feel like it’s a fit, right? That’s part of the problem. And you can control and you can change that which is an awesome thing. So I know in a minute we’re going to dive into resumes and clarity and I want to be able to make sure to give our audience you know really some of your genius But before we do that, I’d love to backtrack a little bit to help the listeners know a little about kind of our conversation and how we connected. And one of the things I really loved about our conversation, um, anybody that follows me on LinkedIn knows that I talk a lot about how, if you want to transition in your career that most of the time, a resume writer is not the right person to go to, unless you have clarity on what is it the root cause of why I’m unfulfilled, and you understand the path that you want to go on. Because by and large, most resume writers are taking, right taking the feedback, taking the information, and then they’re packaging it. But if you have no clarity, if you don’t know what you want, if you don’t know where you are best fit, you’re not setting yourself or the resume writer up for success. So some of our conversation kind of centered around that you would kind of shared with me what your experience has been. I’d love for you to share that. As a resume writer, how does someone know if going to a resume writer is the right person to help them? And what are some things you see when people come to you and they’re not ready for you yet? What are those things? Because I think there’s a real lack of clarity about that. And you shared a lot with me that I was like, yeah, that really resonates with me, 100%.

Meg Applegate 16:14 Yeah, I usually have an angry call with people who want to work with me. And so the main reason for that call is not only to meet them, and to learn a little bit about them, but really is to understand that they have clarity going forward. So a lot of people come to me because this is just like the general thing of like, I’m job searching, I need a resume. And I’m a really big fan of Madeline man who’s in our fields. And she says you need to soul search before you job search. And so I think that you would agree with that as well. And so you have to know where you’re going. Because the resume is a marketing tool. And if you don’t know where you’re going, then you don’t know how to market yourself fast. So it’s really important that you have clarity, I don’t take on a client who doesn’t know where they’re going. And so usually that’s I’m looking for one to three complementary roles, kind of the what, like, what are you looking for. So when someone says to me on the phone, and women are very talented, I can do a lot of different things. That may be true, but you have to know what it is that you want to do. Because the resume will fall flat when you when you’re if you’re talking to a lot of people you’re talking to no one because the resume is addressing the pain points or the challenges that your target companies or target roles are dealing with. And if you can’t then match up who you are your unique skill set your unique approach to those pain points, they’re not going to spend time to connect the dots. So it has to be very apparent in six to seven seconds that you understand them. And that you can do something about the things that are bothering them that are keeping them up at night. If you can’t do that, then your resume is going to get passed over. So it’s in the job searchers best interests and my best interest that you know where you’re going. And so I partner with people like you, Blake, I have a great list of referrals as they Okay, that’s totally fine. You don’t know where you’re going. But that’s your first step, you have to know the what so usually I’m after kind of them knowing the what, where, how and why. What is the role? Where like, what kind of industry what kind of companies? And then the how and why is more about like you were talking about like the values like what kind of environment do I need to flourish? What are my priorities? What’s that match that fit alignment that I need? And then that’s where then we can start the process of writing the resume because we know where we’re going.

Blake Schofield 18:58 Amen, lady, there’s so much that like, I totally agree with every single thing you said, I think what’s heartbreaking is I believe you’re right. I think that by and large job seekers feel that they’re doing the right thing, oh, I need a new job. So I need to go get a new resume. And I think the hardest part for me after watching this for so many years, is how disappointed women are when they do that. And they go work with a resume writer who either doesn’t understand what you understand what you and I understand, or maybe the job seeker is and honest about that they’re not really happy. And so the resume writer doesn’t actually understand this person fundamentally has some things that need to shift in order to be happy. And so they’re taking what I call garbage in garbage out and putting it on a piece of paper. And it’s really heartbreaking to me when I talked to women who have been job searching and their confidence is completely destroyed because they have had no traction and they’ll say but I updated my resume. And to me that’s always a sign if you are searching for a job and you’re having no attraction. And you said, Well, I’ve updated my resume, you’re likely missing. Number one, clarity exactly what makes sense. You don’t understand who you are, what you’re looking for what the best environment for you is, but you’re also likely relying is your resume as like the way in. And the resume is a tool. And you’re 100%, right, it is an awesome marketing tool, when you have the right inputs. And when you have somebody like Mac who understands, okay, it is about telling a story. It is about personal branding, it is about making sure that you’re aligning what you’re saying with your pain points of the organization. So there’s a synergy. There’s a connection between who I am and what I offer you, and what it is that you value, and you’re looking for. And so I really appreciate you taking time to share your perspective here. Because like I said, I think I hear from so many women who are just depleted from the job search process, and they don’t realize the resume wasn’t the tool that they need it right. They went too early. They did it out of sequence. They were missing things up front. And so the resume, and generally I see is not the first thing that said, when would the resume be the first thing? Is there ever a situation where you’re like, Yes, I need to job search. And yes, your resume is the first step or the right next step.

Meg Applegate 21:19 I’ve worked with clients, for example, who are in a company, and they are seeking their promotion, like it’s an in house promotion. And so they then are let know ahead of time this is going to be posted, we want you to apply for it. And so in that case, because it’s in kind of that same line, that same company, that would be a first step of okay, yes, I need help updating my resume. With that said, there still is that branding component, because you have to know what you value what you uniquely bring to the table that no one else does. I don’t believe in a general resume that doesn’t have those components. When someone says, Oh, I just need a general resume. I’m like, No, you don’t, I don’t believe in them, I don’t think that they perform, I think they’ll do you a disservice. And so if you’re going to make the investment in a resume writer, you can definitely write your own resume, you can write your own high performing resume. But it is the resume writing process after the clarity process. The resume writing process, I’m a firm believer is a really good preparation process for the job search, because you’re really understanding and distilling down your value. Why does this matter? Why should someone care about this? What impact have I had, that then will translate to the challenges they’re facing? If you can’t articulate that or go through that process, your job search is going to fall flat, it’s going to be really frustrating. And it’s going to be very long. So I’m a firm believer, even if you write your own resume, which you can, you have to go through that process to be able to articulate it on paper online on LinkedIn, for example. And in person. So a lot of my clients will say, hey, just this whole process has made the interview process so much easier, because I know, this is what I bring to the table. And this is why it matters.

Blake Schofield 23:12 Yes, 100%. You know, my personal experience, and I love hearing you share the leveling up inside an organization. I think that’s a great time. For my personal experience, I would say the other time, I would, I would probably say so interesting to hear at some point is I’m really happy in my career, I feel like it’s a great fit, I love the work I do. I either am changing jobs, because locationally This does not work for me. Or I’d like to level up salary wise, to me, if you’re in that circumstance where you’re staying in the same path, you really are happy and fulfilled to what you’re doing. You have great results, but it is a matter of I’m changing a job for right, some of those tertiary reasons, to me, you’re not lacking the same level of clarity, etc. And a resume writer then could be a great shape for you because they’re polishing and understanding. Here’s what I’ve done, and how do I put that in the best way? Would you agree with that? Or do you also feel like Nope, that person still needs more clarity?

Meg Applegate 24:05 No, I think the clarity piece is the number one piece. So however you get there, if you’re there already great. If you aren’t, that’s fine. You just have to have the glue, you have to know where you’re going. It’s like a resume. Right? Her name is Tiffany Hardy put a really great LinkedIn post that was basically someone walking up in an airport to a flight counter saying, hey, I want to buy a ticket. And they’re like, Great where and it was like, I don’t know, that’s kind of like the end you have to know where you’re going. So if you know where it’s time to write the resume.

Blake Schofield 24:40 I love that. Yeah. And that’s so true. Because it could be an I don’t know, or to your point that well and he’s like, Well, I can do anything. It’s like well, I could fly to Australia or Hawaii or Florida. And it’s like no one knows what to do with that.

Meg Applegate 24:54 I know a lot of people don’t like to feel pinned down which I get that and I think they feel like if I pin my So down, then I’m excluding all these other opportunities. But in my experience, that’s not the case. If you are pinning yourself down to one to three complementary roles, you’re creating this magnetism, because you’re saying, This is what I’m looking for, this is who I am, then you’re able to recognize opportunities, either through networking meetings, where roles aren’t even open yet saying, Oh, I could do something like that. Or you’re seeing the job ad posted and being like, yes, that’s the role for me because you already have that piece. So that’s what I would say.

Blake Schofield 25:34 Yeah, I totally agree. And I think a big thing that, you know, I had a client Sharon on a few episodes ago, and she had worked with a traditional career coach, and she just said, Something felt off. You know, she’s doing some nutritional stuff, something felt off, she didn’t like it was the right solution. Then she came to me. And she talked about how one of the things what we do is very different, is a focus on the emotional plus the tactical, right? So this idea of, how do you want to feel when I’m at work every day? And am I passionate and energized and excited to go to work? Do I feel like I’m making a difference? Do I feel that positive momentum? Do I feel like I’m in control and creating my future. And what I would often say is, if you’re somebody who is like, well, I can do all of these different things, what that tells me is, you don’t actually really understand fundamentally what you’re best at, you don’t actually really understand how you work best. And you are living therefore a life of much lesser impact much less or happiness, much lesser energy than you could, because there’s a really big difference when you can work in your zone of genius, in terms of what that feels like on a day to day basis. And ultimately, what that means for your career trajectory. And so I totally agree with you, Meg, that if you’re trying to be all these other things, it’s a lesser outcome. But I think there’s not just the lesser outcome in terms of the job search is the F lesser outcome in terms of real life. Fundamentally, it’s almost as if like, you went through your whole life, I’ll give this example. So I have horrible allergies. From the time I was about 10 years old, I started getting sinus infections every single month. In fact, I was so sick in fifth grade that they actually should have failed me. I miss 4045 days, I think. And thank goodness for Ms. Barker shout out to you if you ever hear this. She actually saw what a hard worker I was. And she enabled me to pass fifth grade, I had been so sick for so long, I got CAT scans, I get all these things. As a child at 12 years old, I’ll never forget going to a doctor because I’d been at the library trying to solve my own problem because I was so sick for so long. And I went to the doctor and I said, I think I have allergies. Because I’m really sick during this time. And every time it rains, I get sick. And I’m gonna add all of this stuff. And of course, that 12 Back in the 80s Whatever. Doctors did not listen to kids. So I basically was told that I was completely wrong. Fast forward, it took me five doctors and until I was 19 years old until I finally found a doctor who would listen to me and test me for allergies. I got tested for allergies found out I was allergic to 50 things five zero, yes, crazy. And got put on allergy meds went through many, many years on allergy meds, and then I hit 32 years old. So now I’ve had 22 years of problems, basically, most of my life. And I got to a point where on a daily basis, I was struggling to breathe. So I became a mouth breather because it was so congested. And I’ll never forget, I went to this new allergist. And he’s like, oh, we’ll give you tests and whatever. I’m like, No, I don’t want to go through that again. I’ve already done it. I like I need you to actually look at what’s going on. Man, I had sinus surgery.

Meg Applegate 28:41
It’s amazing for people that had it. It was a whole new world.

Blake Schofield 28:44
Exactly. It was an entirely new world. And what happened after the surgery was over and I healed was I realized that my entire life I had never been able to breathe. What was normal for me was so bad actually had 90% blockage on one and like 70% blockage on the other side. I had never been able to breathe, which is why I was always sick. I struggled in PE to do the running because I couldn’t breathe. My entire life had been muted. I guess it’s for lack of a better word. And when I could finally breathe like everybody else did, I went, Oh my gosh, this is what everyone else’s life feels like. And so I share that story. Because I think often when we don’t understand who we are, we’re living a muted life like I was. We see signs and symptoms that we’re not happy. We see all these things happening. We try to solve them. I tried to solve it for many, many years. Right? But sometimes it takes that outside perspective or that outside opportunity to really shift things. And it is life changing. And so I think if you are a job seeker, and you’re listening to this and you think I don’t have that clarity, and yes, I do think maybe I could do many things. I would tell you, you are leading a muted life, period and the story. I know that to be true, because not only was it true for me, but I’ve helped hundreds of women. And I’ve seen the shift that happens when you can understand and own your value and you know who you are. And there are variations of lack of clarity, most of its aligned versus right, I really just don’t want to do this anymore. And there’s a lot misaligned. But in all cases, you aren’t allowing yourself to truly live the life that you deserve. Because if you don’t get up and 85%, of what you do, or more you love, hates where we spend the majority of our time the majority of our life is working. And I see so many people in general doing this, I see so many women doing this, and it breaks my heart, actually. Because I think we’re here to live a life of purpose period. I really do. Like I don’t think that life is meaningless. And it makes me sad to think how many people go through life, never actually understanding who they are, why they’re built the way that they are, and are able to be intentional about the life that they create. I wasn’t going to ask you this. But I’m interested in your perspective, as I kind of went on this diatribe. So thank you for letting me share that story. Yeah, one of the things I consistently see that stands in women’s way is we’re so used to doing for others that we don’t do for ourselves. Do you see that as a pattern and the women that you come across? Because investing whether it is investing in a coaching program, like what I do, investing in a resume writer that requires deciding that my career, my happiness, my life is important enough to seek help? And I’m interested in your perspective. Have you seen challenges with that with women? And what are your thoughts on it?

Meg Applegate 31:42
Do you mean seeing challenges with making an investment? Is that what you mean?

Blake Schofield 31:46 Yeah, often I hear from women who invest a ton in their kids and their husbands are fine spending $1,000 or $2,000, to put their kids in soccer camp or in tournaments, they’re fine supporting their husband to go back to Rice school or do these other things. But when you really look at their life, they haven’t invested in themselves since college, and usually college was paid for right many moons ago, or maybe even by their parents. And maybe what investing they’ve done is like, you know, maybe I’ve gone to work with the trainer at the gym. But they haven’t really understood the value of investing in themselves, or they felt selfish, investing in themselves, instead of putting the money in their kids or their husband or something else. Do you see that pattern? And I’m interested in your perspective on how you did invest in yourself multiple times to create change in your life.

Meg Applegate 32:38 Yeah, I see somewhat of like an embarrassment or a shame of people, especially women say, especially I work with some marketers of I tell other people’s stories, or I do writing or I or sales like I should, or even people who aren’t even in like a writing or marketing position like I should be able to do this. And makes me feel so uncomfortable. Or I don’t know how to a recent prospective client put it in a really good way like thread the needle, I don’t know how to connect all of my experiences, even though I’ve lived them. So there is some like in their assessment, I think that I hear because every phone call that I have, everyone is saying I don’t know how to talk about myself, I can’t seem to uncover my wins. They’re the people that have lived it. So I do see that as far as investment is concerned, because my surfaces are quite an investment. Usually they know ahead of time, hey, this is what we’re looking at. But I have plenty of women I have more kind of DIY options, like a course or individual kind of coaching that they can that can fit any budget. But I see a lot with women who take a pause and then returning to work that kind of that recalibration of who am I kind of like what you were saying, I know I experienced even when I quit my job and then when I started back into my business, this identity when I quit my job, which was my choice, no one said like I wasn’t fired. I quit my job. And then I realized I had attached a lot of my identity to my work. My email box wasn’t full. No one was giving me these like Pat’s on the back or my kids weren’t giving me good performance reviews by any means. couldn’t wear fancy jewelry, you know? So it’s like some of that is like the identity of being lost to which is in my opinion and unhealthy. You’ve already touched on that. It’s unhealthy to attach who you are to the work that you do. I’m a big believer of we have distinct wirings and giftings and skills. And then we have different assign means in our life to then use those. And so I think that’s what gets missed of, oh, I have this one we aren’t talked about this is the way I’m going, it’s very straight, where it’s like, I can have different assignments, I can take a career, pause and use those strengths with my kids and volunteerism and my community in my neighborhood, and then transition back to paid work and do those use the same giftings just in a different way. So I think I see it a little bit differently, as far as kind of that embarrassment, or shame or kind of the discomfort of not being able to articulate who you are.

Blake Schofield 35:37 I see that one all of the time. And I think it comes from if you are tend to be a high performer, you’ve tended to be successful doing things on your own, you appreciate self reliance, right? Sometimes that’s actually the thing, you’ll get midway to your career. And that’s actually the thing that stands in your way. I was actually talking with a client today, because she said to me, she realizes that she realizes she looks at the last two weeks of what’s been going on. And she realizes that she was creating stress and anxiety for herself because she wasn’t asking for help. And she didn’t feel like she was achieving the standards that she wanted to for herself. And I think that that’s so common, I feel like that’s what I lived through most of my life doing. And what I want women to understand is there’s so much opportunity and learning to develop yourself.

Meg Applegate 36:27
Well and there’s research out there that will say that you will place at a two and a half times higher level as far as executives if you have a tight knit circle of women, because you understand kind of the struggles and the emotions, and especially if you’re in a male dominated field, that having that group of women to speak the truth to you, when you’re down and bolster you up and open doors like that makes a difference, because we’re designed for relationship. And I think to have COVID While there’s been Silver Linings as far as remote work, I’m flexible work options, it also has even isolated us more. So that’s tricky to navigate. And also to build back up, especially when we know even though we can leave our homes, it’s like, Oh, I feel comfortable here, you know, on a personal level.

Blake Schofield 37:20 Yeah, I love that statistic two and a half more times. And I definitely see that I think that, you know, one of the things you talked about before we started is I think there needs to be more humanity in conversations with regard to work, you know, I know certainly growing up in corporate retail, that it can be a dog eat dog environment, it really can be. And often I did not feel that I could be really honest about what I was struggling with. And it’s probably one of my one of my favorite parts, honestly of the work I get to do because I get to work in small groups, doing one on one support with women, but to see the light bulb moments realize I’m not alone. And to hear that someone else’s struggle has been yours, or they’ve solved something you haven’t solved, I think is is so significant. And to be able to recognize that how do I describe this, it’s almost hard. I’ve had clients literally say to me, one of the greatest things I got through this journey together is the ability to have peace of mind, like my mind’s not spinning anymore. And to be able to like really articulate who I am and what I want for my path, which again, as a lot of, you know, kind of the work that I think we both are passionate about doing. And I share that because five years ago, I mean, I got my degree in psychology have always been an appreciation of these things, but just see how much my life has changed by opening myself up to feedback by opening up myself to investing in me knowing that an investment in me isn’t even investing in every single person I interact with my husband, my kids, my clients, my business has so infinitely changed my life. And I think you know, I go to events all of the time. And I would say they’re probably 85% or 90% men, and a very small proportion of women. And I just feel it’s so important to be able to open the door and help women understand that. Whether it is that you feel like you should, quote unquote, know something, right? That’s just a lie. We tell ourselves, because we all have blind spots, we all benefit from learning from one another. No one wins alone, but to also understand the power, and the importance of especially if you’re someone who wants to make a difference and give to other people, the more you invest in yourself, then the greater not only life you can leave for yourself, but the greater impact you can have on others. And so I just appreciate so much about what you do so much of what you’ve shared, I think aligns with my value system. And one of the things I really appreciated in our conversation is that you like I don’t do the surface level work. You really understand like who is somebody? And what is it that is special about them and how do I help them get where they want to go? And I think that that’s really beautiful and there’s a time and a place for the surface level stuff but we’re talking thing, in my opinion, is my personal opinion. We’re talking about somebody’s career, where right it impacts every single part of their life, their financial trajectory, their personal happiness, where they spend the majority of their time, the lessons that they’re teaching their children. Right at the end of the day, I started doing these, this research on this when I was probably in high school, what people’s regrets were at the end of their life. And one of the greatest regrets was the things that they didn’t do, the time they spent right on work, that wasn’t things that they were passionate about. And I think a lot of that is avoidable. By opening yourself up to the possibility or the opportunity that maybe there’s more for your life, that you can allow yourself to help other people shine that mirror for you. Right, and that you are worthy. And it is important to invest in yourself. Because it’s not just about investing in others, you can invest in others more when you invest in yourself.

Meg Applegate 40:54 I think it goes back to you to like when you’re talking about your recruiter and people were coming generic with their resumes, or with a lot of like, kind of generic adjectives that I think when we feel uncomfortable or not very confident, I know I did this even as a business owner that you come in pretty generic, because you’re looking around you trying to fit in, because it’s like, I don’t want people to know what I don’t know. And the kind of the light switch is, this is what I do know, this is what I bring to the table and as a job seeker and as a business owner, you have to be able to stand out, right? This is who I am. This is what makes me different. And so it’s that imposter syndrome that I think too can cause us to use the the jargon, the buzzwords, I mean, there is a place for using the language that the employer uses in your resume as far as key words is concerned and applicant tracking system. But generally speaking, people use that like seasoned executive or proven track record, write those kind of generic things because we’re kind of nervous or at the surface level or don’t know, because it is a lot of work to figure out who you are what you love, it takes a lot of reflection, it can be painful. So that’s the tricky part. I think that’s why it comes across. And it’s also like, Oh, this is what I’m supposed to do. Because the resume is right, like this is communication. So there is part where it’s like a little bit more formal, where LinkedIn, you can kind of weave in the personal and the professional as it Matt, like you’re telling stories as a way it matters to the reader. And I think that’s where we get generic because either the confidence isn’t there, or the clarity piece isn’t there. And that’s kind of where we fall there. And then we get skipped over because it doesn’t resonate with the human right, because business is human. So you have to be able to connect with the people. But also know, this is how I can affect the company bottom line, too.

Blake Schofield 42:54 Awesome. I couldn’t have said it better. With that set mag I know our time has gone so fast. I knew it would be a great conversation with you. Let me ask you, is there anything that I haven’t asked you or you haven’t shared yet that you really feel on your heart to share? Hmm, good question.

Meg Applegate 43:10 I think I would just say I think everyone has unique gifts and is wired differently. And I think a lot of times we as women, we can see our weaknesses and beat ourselves up over our weaknesses. But a lot of times the flip of the coin of the weakness is also our strength. And so a lot of times with my clients, we’re kind of we’re flipping that coin, as far as okay, this is a weakness, but this also is a strength and then why does that matter? So a lot of my work and that is okay, what are my quirks what makes me different, what makes me like a little embarrassed or ashamed sometimes that actually is like the secret sauce that you bring to the table. So that’s kind of the fun part that I get to see the light bulb moments in my work with people but also that everyone has gifts has unique talents, gifts, unique contributions and an impact. And a lot of people come to you like, I just do my job. There’s nothing really special about what I do or what I did there. And I’m like, Well, no, that’s wrong. You’ve had an impact, you’ve made a contribution. They’re paying you for something so you’ve done something. So that’s kind of what I like to impart to my clients is that you have unique gifts you have passions and a wiring that no one else has, or even that blended experience that no one else has. And we just have to tell in a way that it matters to where you want to go.

Blake Schofield 44:33 I love that. Well Meg if you know the listeners are listening. Yeah, like oh, I’d like to learn more about meg or you know, connect with her. How can they do that?

Meg Applegate 44:42 Yeah, I’m really active on LinkedIn. That’s how we met and so you can go to my profile Meg Applegate. And then you can also go to my website to learn more about the hinge

Blake Schofield 44:51 Wonderful. Thank you so much for just sharing your perspective your heart. Like I said, it was clear to me in our conversation, there’s an understanding between the work that we do and I just appreciate your passion for helping people really find their light as well. Right? It’s not just about putting words on a piece of paper, it’s truly about helping people understand their story. Then also understand when’s the right time for that? Right. For most people, that is not the right first step. But when you’re ready, it is the way to really put all of the pieces together in a way that’s really compelling and will give you the confidence and the tools to stand out. So thank you so much, man.

Meg Applegate 45:31 Yeah, this is super fun. I could have done this for hours.

Blake Schofield 45:35 I could too. It was lots of fun. Thanks for listening. And until next time, have a great week. 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.