A Surprise Gift: Turning Job Search Dread into Joy & Peace (Sandra’s Story)

Ep: 159

Asking for help isn’t always easy. But when you’re stuck in a job that doesn’t motivate or excite you, getting out of that rut requires looking at your skillset a bit differently and gaining a better understanding of what you’re truly looking for from a company. A fresh perspective can make all the difference in turning job sear dread into joy and peace!

Today, Blake welcomes Sandra to the show to share her story. When Sandra first reached out, she knew she was ready for a change, but the dread of the job search had her feeling stuck and unmotivated. Sandra was able to leverage the support of Blake and her team to really understand the scope and breadth of what was possible when she equipped herself with more resources.

You’ll hear how Sandra’s job search went from dreadful to joyful as she learned how to confidently ask for what she wanted and needed without fear or hesitation. In a few short months, Sandra has gained confidence and invaluable skills that now make her a better, more effective communicator. Not only did she have life-changing “aha” moments, but she truly enjoyed the process— which led her to discover a few other unexpected gifts along the way.

What You’ll Learn:

  • How Sandra found the courage to ask for help (4:10)
  • The biggest personal shift she experienced through the program (6:56)
  • One lesson that helped push her to get through difficult situations (10:13)
  • The secret to Sandra’s “aha” moments (22:59)
  • A life lesson that Sandra has learned from her experience (26:39)

Favorite Quotes:

  • What we think we need versus what we really need sometimes are very, very different. —Blake
  • This program has shown me that I can truly have what I need, and what I want without sacrificing what I don’t want. —Sandra
  • It’s okay to ask additional questions, it’s okay, to ask for help, and it’s okay to not know something. That is something that I will definitely carry forward through the rest of my career in my life, is that I don’t have to know everything. —Sandra
  • I think if every woman took this program and applied what they learned, we not only would be living better lives, but I truly think we could run the world. —Sandra

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 www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/plan

Want free resources to set your job search up for success? You can get them by going to:http://www.thebridgetofulfillment.com/mistakes


Sandra 0:03 You know, I was reflecting the other day and I realized I had never turned down a role in my entire life. And through this program, I turned down two, actually, because I realized through the criteria process that they weren’t the right companies for me. And that was so eye opening to be like, I have never. But I’ve never turned down a role. And I think this program has shown me that I can truly have what I need and what I want without sacrificing what I don’t want. I think if every woman took this program, applied what they learned, we not only would be living better lives, but I truly think we could have run the world.

Blake Schofield 0:59 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 another episode of The Bridge to Fulfillment today, I’m really excited to have my client Sandra on to share her journey. You know, at this point, we’ve had I don’t know, almost 30 women, I think, share the success stories on the podcast. We’ve talked a lot about, you know, new jobs and movement. But we haven’t always necessarily talked about the personal journey, what the experience looks like, and how the work we do at The Bridge to Fulfillment is so much broader than just helping give you the skills to transition into the right next job. And so I’m really excited to have Sandra come on and share her experience because she’s had some really profound personal growth and learning. And you know, not only is it inspirational, but I think it’s also really helpful to understand the scope, and breadth and depth that’s really possible when you leverage the resources around you. So welcome to Sandra. So happy to have you.

Sandra 2:22 Thank you.

Blake Schofield 2:23 So lady, can you share it with our audience a little bit about your background and what was going on when we connected?

Sandra 2:29 Yes, so I had been in human resources for 10 years, and I just had a baby and COVID was happening as well. And so I really had a moment in my life where I was at a crossroads. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to continue in health care, let alone, I didn’t know if I wanted to continue in human resources. The whole dynamic had changed. And I was really unsure if this is was the place for me. And I was struggling, I knew I was leaving my job, actually. And I had kind of started the job process. And when I came across your LinkedIn, and I was like, You know what free call, let’s see what happens. And I think when we connected, it was one a great conversation. And then we also had some similarities, we were in the same sorority, we had worked at the same corporation. And in my gut, I was like, You know what, I think this is the right path. And you also showed me in that first conversation of cuz I was very unsure about the investment piece. But you gave me the tools and resources as well to have that conversation with my husband. And by having that conversation with my husband. That was the first kind of glimpse of what potentially this program could do. And so that was a great conversation with my husband, and then I continue forward in the program.

Blake Schofield 3:59 Awesome. So career crossroads really common. I have so many women come to me at that same point definitely was where I was at. You said you had started the job search process. I think one of the biggest things I always hear from women is like, I think it’s that internal debate that we say to ourselves, like maybe I could just do it on my own. What led you to say that you didn’t want to do that?

Sandra 4:22 Oh, my goodness, I just dreaded it. It was just mind numbing of going through the job boards and looking at the jobs and then submitting your resume. And it just it wasn’t enjoyable. My anxiety was high doing it. And it was just this level of uncertainty to do I want this role do I like this role? Is this the right company? Is this the right position? And I just was not looking forward to the entire process.

Blake Schofield 4:50 So you talked about the investment piece and that piece being you know, a piece that you had to go through in the journey which I think is really true. Most of us have not invested in ourselves since college. We’re not used to investing in ourselves, we’re used to investing in everyone else, our kids or husband, or jobs or employees. Right. But you said, the tools and support that I gave you to help have that conversation with your husband gave you a first glimpse of what this program might be like, how so?

Sandra 5:18 I don’t remember what you said exactly, but I went in that conversation with the confidence of this is why I wanted the program. This is what the program is gonna provide me, this is why I feel that I will be successful. And I just kind of hit all the bullet points. I had the confidence in that conversation, which therefore led my husband to see that I was confident in the decision, and therefore made him help see that as well. And it worked.

Blake Schofield 5:50 And so when you said that started to give you a glimpse of what it might be, did you look at that and go, Wow, this is different from how I normally would do things. And so or was it about confidence in that conversation that made you think, Okay, this will make me more confident in the job search?

Sandra 6:05 It was not the way I normally approach conversations. And just that insight of the tools that you provided me to have that conversation. I was like, This feels really good. I feel good having this conversation. I feel good that how he responded in that conversation. And it just played out. And I was very amazed really like me. And that was easy. And so from that point on, I was like, alright, yeah, this is definitely the right decision.

Blake Schofield 6:39 Oh, that’s cool. I had no idea. I love hearing the backstory you came into the program got started. And you know, what would you say was the first shift or first thing for you that started to go, okay, I can see what’s happening, or I can see the progress and momentum?

Sandra 6:56 I would say definitely the calendar piece, I think, working through changing my schedule that having time to, for myself, I was able to start reading again, I haven’t read in such a long time, I was able to make up commitment to my facemask Fridays, I was able to also look at just slowing down time really, I think having a little one in the house. And you know, sometimes there’s a lot of rush, rush rush, you got to go here, you got to go there. But having that calendar in place, really allowed me just to take it piece by piece day by day. And knowing that if I didn’t get to something today, then you know, it’ll be there on the next day that it’s on my calendar. And it gave me the grace to slow down and say, Hey, it’s okay. And I think that was the first big thing that was another aha moment in the program.

Blake Schofield 8:01 Awesome. And I watched how you took what you learned at the beginning. And then you continued to refine what you learned about yourself and your calendar, it to a place where you’ve really been able to actually help guide and mentor some of the younger women, so to speak younger meaning younger in the program, shorter time in the program, help mentor them and help them understand the journey, what it’s like now that you understand and have a much better grasp about yourself personally, and how that relates with your productivity and your calendar and how you live life. What would you have told yourself back then, because I think a lot of women come to the program that are very busy working women right now, like I don’t know how you’re going to help me find more time, like there’s no more time etc. Or we’ve been told that we need to sit down and do a calendar. But the way that we do that in the midst of the filming, I think is very different. And so I’m interested now that you know what that looks and feels like and the how that has continued to improve your life. throughout these months that you’ve been applying it. What would you have told yourself or how would you have described it to help yourself understand it differently when you came in?

Sandra 9:08 I would okay, my future self, I would say see Sandra, your mind is going to calm down, your anxiety is going to decrease. You are going to find peace, calmness and positivity in moments that you used to find stressful. And then I’m getting goosebumps and just being able to enjoy every second and not have your mind completely thinking about something else or you know, rushing through something else is such a great feeling just to have this calmness in my mind, which was not the case when I was not the case at all before the program.

Blake Schofield 9:53 Awesome. I think you did such an amazing job describing it. Thank you. Okay, so let’s start with the calendar and just allowing you to start To have more space, less stress, right, more peace. Tell us a little bit about your journey.

Sandra 10:05 What are some of the key things that you sort of experienced and learned? Kind of going in order of the program? I would say, there was a quote, that was huge for me. And it was practice asking for things that seem too much. And that I think, correlated to the program so well, because there were times when one wasn’t asking for help. Or two, I was afraid of having a conversation with someone, or I was just afraid of doing something, let’s say because we’re women, we get into our minds. And by saying that piece, I think that definitely helped keep pushing me forward. So I think just showing up differently when it came to having conversations with friends or family, and being more mindful of how I approach the situation, in regards to just the negativity, sometimes that occurred, or the way the conversation was going, and being able to allow myself to not go that way, in a way to step back and say, Okay, this is not where I want the conversation to go, how can I steer it in a different direction that is more positive, that is more beneficial, because this isn’t going anywhere that’s productive, that has allowed me I think, to not only have better conversations with family, but also I’ve seen relationships being improved by being the way I am, and also being a little bit more assertive, and sharing what I need to share, when before I would just go with the flow, not speak up. And I realized that I’m an adult, I’m strong. And these things need to be said. And so I think that was that’s been really impactful for me.

Blake Schofield 11:59 So you say it improved your relationships. What does that look and feel like on a day to day basis? What are some examples of the ways you see that your relationships have improved?

Sandra 12:08
So I’m Hispanic, and sometimes gossiping is like a sport in my family, it just naturally how something’s happened. And so, you know, be more mindful of that gossiping piece. But it’s also really learning about my husband, or my mom or my brother and saying, like, who are you as a person? What makes you tick? Who are you at a deeper level, because I feel like there’s so many times where we don’t have those conversations, it’s very superficial, and really going down to that next level, like, I know you, but I really want to know you. And that has been just amazing to see and watch and learn. And I’ve seen relationships get stronger because of that.

Blake Schofield 12:56 Awesome. I often hear improvement in relationships is one of the big, big key things from this. Because I think when we shift our perspective about ourselves, it also shifts our perspective about other people. That’s really cool. So for you and your personal journey, I think you’ve had this mix of a lot of personal learnings about this. But you said right, what was my perspective or lens on life, I’ve learned how to speak up and advocate for who I am. There’s a lot in the communication realm, which we’ll probably dive into in a minute, because it dovetails into the second part of I think, a lot of areas that you’ve had growth on, which is like going through the job search together. I hear a lot of times for women like Oh, I really get that you get the clarity and you want to get the foundation. But do you really get into the job search with me. And I think this is a place that you and I have really gotten into it with. And I’ve seen so many amazing learnings and aha moments for you. As we’ve gone through the job search together. Is there anything you’d love to share about that? Because like I said, I think understanding breadth and depth about what’s really possible. I think a lot of times we’re really blind to our own opportunities. And we’re we walk in thinking this is what the journey should look and feel like. And when we experienced that it is so much broader and deeper than what we thought it would be.

Sandra 14:13 I think for one, I think the abundance of opportunity has been super, really eye opening. Through the process, I discovered an area that I didn’t even know existed within the human resource field, but the way that you and I had worked together and there was a lot of support through that process, because, you know, there was a time in the beginning of the program where I was interviewing for this position that I was really excited about. I love the culture of the company. But when he really looked at it with you know, God down with the magnifying glass, it was not the company for me, it lacked structure, I need structure. And you really helped me see that because I was excited about Got that position too. And you just was like, that’s not the right company. And, you know, in hindsight 100%, it would not have been the right company, I would have been not happy. And I’m probably would have struggled as well. And that was very helpful. And then working through the networking piece, I wanted to make sure I was having the right conversations. Again, I think I was reaching out to people that were a little bit more low level. And again, you elevate that as well. And so really just gaining that confidence of saying, Yes, I can reach out to the Chief Human Resource Officer, because I can have that conversation in that networking call. And so I just had to get to that level. And when I did, it’s opened a lot of doors through those conversations, then that led me to my resume cover letter portion, which was really eye opening, and very impactful because things that I never even thought of, but made so much sense, and discovering what needed to be really showcased on the resume as well as the cover letter piece. And then ultimately, the bridge story process. So coming into the program, I knew that the bridge story process was going to be where I needed the most work. But I allowed myself to build upon getting there, I didn’t rush there, I really worked through each area to make sure that I got to the bridge stories, I was ready. And you and I opened up a huge mindset issue I’ve had since I was younger, which really opened up a lot. And it allowed me to not only make great steps of improvement, but also even the way that I had the conversation. So feedback through my entire career had been that I did not have enough scope in regards to my interview process. And the framework that you provided me completely changed the way that I communicate in the interview process. But I’ve also used it in my personal conversations of how you know, even thinking back and thinking, Okay, how could I have rearrange this to make more of an impact in my conversations, and I’ve seen that making improvement as well, just in my day to day life.

Blake Schofield 17:36 Awesome. So you kind of walk through each one of the steps is interesting to hear when you came in, you said yourself the bridge stories is going to be the most impactful piece for me. Now that you’ve been through the journey, and you know what, you know, what didn’t you know, you were missing that you came to understand, right? So I think that’s always interesting, what we think we need versus what we really need sometimes are very, very different once we actually go through the journey.

Sandra 18:00 Oh my gosh, very different. I learned something from every single piece of the program throughout the whole process. The one thing I think I didn’t know I needed was just peace of mind, of my mind not going non stop. That was really great to have. Because I think that allowed me to be open to the rest of the steps in the process. And allowed me to say, Okay, this is what I need next.

Blake Schofield 18:30 I personally look at your journey and what you’ve learned throughout the journey as a really good. I don’t know if litmus test as the right word. But really such a beautiful elimination of the aha moments. And the most common mistakes I see women make all the time is almost like I wish you guys that are listening, I almost wish that I could show you a video of the journey of what Sandra went through. Because I think it’s very common that women think, well, I just need to go for this job search. And I just need to have a great resume and know how to position myself. But often we don’t realize are we actually positioning ourselves at the right level? are we actually talking to the right people? Are we actually seeking out companies and roles that are aligned with how we naturally work in what we need to be successful? And every time you went through those one of those steps, it was like an aha moment of you getting a wait. I’m not doing that. And so often, I think for me, knowing this and knowing the breadth and depth of each one of these steps, it’s so hard when I watch women who are missing that and they’re spending all this time and energy job searching for the wrong stuff. To move to the wrong thing to find the criteria I think such an important step then often say this, we go so much deeper than anybody else. But really there’s like six different levels to assess if something is the right fit, and it’s so hard to see that yourself. Like do you think looking back and knowing what you know now Do you think he would have been able to see that you were positioning yourself for too low of a level? You were reaching out to the wrong companies that ultimately wouldn’t have been the right fit? That you weren’t communicating at the highest level? When you were out there? Do you think you would have been able to figure that out on your own?

Sandra 20:19 There’s no, no way, I don’t think I would have, I think I would have just continued on that same path that I was on, you know, I was reflecting the other day, and I realized, I have never turned down a role in my entire life. And through this program, I turned on to actually because I realized through the criteria process that they weren’t the right companies, for me. And that was so eye opening to be like, I have never, what I’ve never turned down a role. And I think this program has shown me that I can truly have what I need, and what I want without sacrificing what I don’t want.

Blake Schofield 21:05 Awesome. And there’s power in that right. I think there’s a peace of mind in the power and I can create the life I want. There is abundance, there are opportunities, I don’t have to go after something that doesn’t work for me just because on a piece of paper, or just because it meets my salary, right and some life experience. One of the things that I loved watching you do through this journey, and through our deep dive calls was mentoring and helping the other women in this program. I think, like I said, not just from your journey of I think, literally aha moments all the way throughout the entire process, which is beautiful, because to me, that tells me that you really leveraged the program. You understood, and you figured it out. We were talking about this a minute ago. And I didn’t ask you, but I’m going to ask you now. There was a moment in this program was something switched for you. And you went from being fearful of asking questions, or used to doing things on your own to saying, Well, when I actually asked questions, right, things exponentially open. What was that moment? And what happened that then created the trajectory for you to have so much growth? Do you remember?

Sandra 22:09 I think I was at the point where I was getting close to the end of the program. And I was like, Blake is such a resource, I need to get all my questions answered. Because I do not want to lose the opportunity to have you look at something or ask you something in that process.

Blake Schofield 22:26 And when that happens, a lot, I think really began to shift in your journey, places where we uncovered things that maybe had been sitting as challenges or opportunities for you back to your point to childhood or feedback you’ve been given consistently in your career, but you didn’t know what to do with it. And so what would you say? Because like I said, I feel like you’ve done an amazing job leveraging support and an amazing job understanding this journey, what would you say to somebody to help them see or understand how to do that for themselves?

Sandra 22:59 I actually told someone that put in more support than you think you need to. Because I think, even if it’s just giving you an update, sharing, having a quick, simple question, or maybe it’s a mindset thing, being able to just run it by you and either get reassurance or just a second opinion, or completely get your feedback, it was extremely helpful. And I would tell someone going into this program, take advantage of it, ask us support. I actually almost made it a goal of mine to say, Okay, I need to reach out to Blake at least three times this week. If I have something sometimes it was twice sometimes it was four, sometimes it was once. But knowing that you were there and available, was just a great reassurance to getting my questions answered.

Blake Schofield 23:55 Yeah, because to your point, a lot of the aha moments you had I think were completely unexpected. Yes. And that’s when I think you went, Oh, maybe I should ask for more support, because maybe there’s something I don’t see. And that’s what I often talk about. This is an emotional and a tactical journey. You can only see the label from inside the bottle. And I can only see as much as you open up and allow us to see right. So that partnership, that collaboration, I think is one of the things that makes our program really unique. But it’s also a huge part of why we get such life changing results is because all of a sudden you have somebody that can see the full picture saying Wait, let’s talk about this. This seems a little off, or hey, have you considered X, Y or Z? So Sandra, you and I talked about this earlier that, you know, at the end of the three months, you were like I still feel like there’s more I want to learn. I want to continue this partnership, as I’m continuing my networking, interviewing job search. And so I often say I have women asked me what happens if you get to the end of the three months and You haven’t landed your job. And I often say one of three things happens. Number one, you’ve already either landed your job and you’re moving on. Number two, you are in the networking and interview process and you feel great. You just keep applying what you’re doing, right, or the third circumstance, which is you’re like, you know, I want to continue this journey and partnership together. And you chose to do that. And I would love to hear a little bit about why, and how was that part of your journey? How has that impacted your journey in totality?

Sandra 25:28 So at the end of the program, I knew that I wasn’t done, I knew that there was, I think you and I had just broken through my mindset issue. And I knew that the bridge stories I knew I needed the most on. And I knew that I needed to continue another month, just to really hone in on those bridge stories, and get the feedback to make an impact. And we did, and that was great. Because that piece by itself has given me a lot of confidence in the way I communicate. And the way I come across. And so I honestly, I don’t look at it any other way. Like that was that was literally my next step. And I knew it at the time. And so I am so glad I continued. That’s awesome.

Blake Schofield 26:16 And I think as you continue to work through the bridge stories, then it gave us the opportunity to then start really diving deeper on your actual networking, your job search your interviews, we had an opportunity really to spend time talking through cover letters resumes, how you were approaching that? Was that what you expected? And what did you get from that part of the journey?

Sandra 26:39
No, actually, you know, being in human resources. I was like, Oh, my resume is fine. But no, it wasn’t one la completely one ad for what I thought was right. And, you know, something I got out of most recent call was to slow down. You know, I’ve already slowed down so much with the calendar and through this entire process. But there’s still room to slow down. And to really in conversations in, you know, daily life, just remembering it’s okay to ask additional questions, it’s okay, to ask for help. It’s okay to not know something. And that is something that also resonates with me. And something that I will definitely carry forward through the rest of my career in my life, is that I don’t have to know everything.

Blake Schofield 27:37 So freeing, isn’t it?

Sandra 27:40 Yes, very freeing.

Blake Schofield 27:43 Awesome, thank you, I have no doubt that that will probably help a lot of women, because at the end of the day, learning that you don’t have to have all the answers, and learning that the most successful people leverage their resources. Right, I think those two lessons can be really hard for women who are so used to taking care of everybody else. But at the end of the day, that’s one of the biggest things that I learned. And one of the biggest lessons that I think you can learn to this program, which opens up so much more space, peace of mind, growth, etc, is to recognize the value of not having to know everything, not having to be perfect. But really just having dialogue and learning and opening yourself up to somebody else’s perspective. And I think you’ve done such an amazing job with that. And like I said, I’ve been such a great mentor to some of the other women in this program. And it’s just been such an honor to be a part of your journey, because I know that not just have you learned lifelong personal skills, which I think has been huge for you. But I see so much in your development as a leader and so much in your development as a professional woman. And I just can’t wait to see how you use those skills to continue to develop others and give back. So thank you so much for sharing your journey today. And for like I said, being a part of the bridge to fulfillment family. I’m going around that by saying, Sandra is there anything I have not asked you today that I should have or something that you really feel on your heart to share that you haven’t?

Sandra 29:07 I think if every woman took this program, applied what they learned, we not only would be living better lives, but I truly think we could truly run the world.

Blake Schofield 29:18 Awesome. Thank you. Definitely my goal, right? That’s a huge part of what this mission is. 14% of the C-suite is women. And most of those women are sacrificing their life for that job. And it just does not have to be that way. And you are a part of this family alongside me championing that change for women. So thank you for that. I really appreciate you. And for those of you guys listening, I hope that Sandra’s story has helped inspire you to see more about what’s actually possible for your career in life. Until next time, have a great one.

Blake Schofield 29:53 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