Follow your nose.

Over the last few years I made a tremendous professional transition from media sales to learning and development.  I found my calling and purpose. Or was it so tremendous?

Hindsight is 20/20 as they say. When I look back at the twists and turns of my career, I can see the through lines, the story arcs so clearly. You see, I always followed my nose. I followed my nose despite my face and despite the voices in my head – the voices of my always frightened single mother, the voices of my traditionalist siblings, and the voices of my competitive peers.

I always gravitated and succeeded in roles that had elements of training, public speaking, learning design, advising, consulting, mentoring, coaching, upskilling, onboarding, perspective taking, culture minister. Whether I was onboarding new vice presidents in charge of entire regions or solo sales people in a far away office, I always taught, counseled, held confidences, helped to manifest.

I see how the gigs all stitch together so clearly.

  • media sales: listening to clients, teaching others highly technical concepts and tools.
  • small companies, big companies: good leadership, bad leadership, the pitfalls of ego.
  • onboarding and skill building: story building, designing right learning paths
  • pastry school: learn by doing, let go of outcomes, trust the process.
  • stand up comedy school: fearlessness about public speaking. Get right back up.
  • Bikram yoga teaching: empathy and the psychosocial connection of mind, body, spirit. Human suffering is seen and unseen.
  • world travels: cultures, groups are all the same, and all so different in any particular case.
  • quitting jobs over and over again: resilience. Everything always works out. (it helps to have some smart savings too)

So keep following your nose. It takes time and patience. But you’re building a masterpiece and isn’t that worth it?