Three Questions to Ask If Rethinking Your Career with Cheryl Czach

Nov. 4, 2020

Three Questions to Ask If Rethinking Your Career with Cheryl Czach

Three Questions to Ask If Rethinking Your Career with Cheryl Czach

“Oftentimes when you want to make a change in your life, you hear a little whisper. You ignore it, it gets a little louder, and then you ignore it again. You do not make the change until it is screaming in your ear, and then you quickly make a change when you start hearing that in your gut and in your intuition. Start planning for it now, and don’t wait until it’s a scream and you can’t take it anymore.” 

As the year progresses and we still find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic, many people are reflecting on their lives and careers. This is why I’m bringing back a returning guest expert to Brave By Design, Cheryl Czach, to talk more about this challenging time and to share the three questions to ask yourself if you do find yourself in this situation.

As a business leader, Cheryl Czach has been guiding professionals through their work and life journeys for over 20 years. Her passion for coaching employees, at all levels of the organization, to reach their personal and professional goals led her to start her own coaching practice, as well as pursue her coaching credentials through the International Coaching Federation.

Cheryl’s professional experience includes executive leadership in human resources, finance, operations, business development, organizational growth, strategy development, staffing / recruiting, and entrepreneurship. She brings this tactical experience to her coaching practice, which allows her to fully understand her client’s organizations and how individual contributors support the whole.

This powerful conversation with Cheryl will show you not only how to reflect on and assess where you are right now in your career, but it will give you the steps to push past the fears of moving forward.

Connect with Cheryl:

Connect with Laura Khalil online:

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What You’ll Hear In This Episode: 

  • How this time of forced pause due to the pandemic has caused many of us to re-evaluate what we really want in life [2:53]

  • A look at Cheryl’s journey from leadership coach to career transition coach [3:58]

  • A way to start determining what is next for you, starting with a deep dive into your values [5:30]

  • Cheryl talks about self-image and how to overcome the worries of what others will think [10:09]
  • Her strategies for being realistic while making a plan [16:52]

  • Why you always needs to be listening to the whisper inside of you, and what can happen when you don’t [20:56] 

Additional Links & Resources:

Cheryl’s Facebook & LinkedIn

Her Previous Appearance on Brave By Design

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

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Cheryl Czach:

You know, oftentimes when we want to make a change in our lives, we hear a little whisper, and we ignore it. And then it gets a little louder, and we ignore it. And we do not make the change until it is screaming in our ear. And then we quickly make a drastic change. And as I'm talking to people, and they're starting to express this idea, like, I know I need to make a change in my life, and I don't love the life I was living and I didn't even realize it until now. When you start hearing that in your gut and your intuition, start planning for it now you don't wait until it's a scream, and you feel like you can't take it anymore. Welcome to brave by design. I'm your host, Laura Khalil. I'm an entrepreneur, coach and speaker. I love thinking big, exploring the power of personal development and sharing the best strategies from thought leaders and pioneers in business to empower ambitious women and allies to bravely rise and thrive. Let's get started.

Laura Khalil:

Everyone, welcome to this episode of brave by design. I am so pleased to bring back to one of our most popular guests. Cheryl's actually came and talked with us several months ago on the show, go find that episode. And she is back. Because it's been about I don't know, six months, Cheryl, since we talked and so much has happened in the world of COVID. So before we get into our topic for today, I want to reintroduce Cheryl to you, Cheryl is the founder of Cheryl's that coaching and consulting and a Forbes coaches council member, she works with motivated visionary executives, managers and professionals to fine tune their leadership, cultivate higher emotional intelligence, communicate with greater impact and influence, think more strategically manage overwhelm, and burnout and essentially perform at their highest level. Cheryl is a badass, okay, she didn't write that in her bio, but I'm going to tell you that myself. And Cheryl, welcome back. I'm so excited to talk to you. Thank you. I'm really excited to be here. It's great to talk again. It is and you know, people loved your episode. There we were sort of talking about like, how do you transform teams in COVID. And it's been several months since we've talked. And I think that you and I are both feeling what a lot of people are feeling. And that's our topic for today, which is we're reflecting on our lives, we're reflecting on our careers, we're thinking, Okay, this has not been a blip. This created really maybe seismic shifts in how I approach life in question my path forward. And that's what I want to talk to you about today. For people who are going through something a bit of a existential crisis around what the heck do I do? Let's let me just start with how have you been doing? Because it feels like you have been dealing with that, as we all have. We are a little bit about what's been going on with you. Yeah, absolutely. You know, it's interesting, prior to this global pandemic, I was mostly working in corporate coaching situations. So I have an automotive background, I was doing a lot of leadership coaching in Tier One, auto suppliers. And of course, I'm still doing that. But I've seen a shift in private clients coming to me talking about career transition, it seems like this global what I call forced pause, because we didn't see it coming. It isn't that we chose this. So this global force pause has caused people to really take a step back and reflect and they start questioning is this really what I want to be doing with my life? You know, is this I refer to it as the rat race, which I guess is not necessarily a positive term. But, you know, they think is this really what I want to do? Am I am I still judging my career success on the same standards that I once was. And so you've had some shifts. So it sounds like you've gone. I want to bring that up. Because people sometimes they think when they hear us on podcasts like that, we're just sort of bumbling along and rolling along, like we always have. But we've all gone through like pretty tectonic shifts. And so you've gone from doing more, as I understand it, you're still doing some corporate but doing more individual coaching now, just totally different. Yeah, absolutely. And so people started reaching out to me, and talking about career transition. And prior to this, I wasn't really a career transition coach, you know, as a leadership coach. And after and I kept telling people, you know, it's not exactly what I do. It's not exactly what I do. And I always give advice to fellow coaches, listen to who your seekers are. And I thought, these are my speakers. I mean, this is what people are really dealing with right now, this idea of, I don't want to do what I was doing before, but I do not know what's next and I feel lost. And so I've made that shift where I'm working with private clients on kind of figuring out what's next for them, but also traditional career coaching like resumes and cover letters and LinkedIn and, you know, folks who found themselves in a transition that they didn't expect to be in and maybe haven't been in years. And what do I do next? Yeah, Cheryl, I love that. And I love that question asked, What is your seeker asking for? Yeah, yeah, who are your seekers? Who are your seekers? That's very, very, I've never heard that. That's very interesting. And for those who are listening, I mean, I've gone through a big shift as well from speaking, which, hello, I don't see a stage. So


I'm zooming like,

Laura Khalil:

zooming, you know, all the time. But it's not the same thing. And also, it's not for me anyhow, this same impact, you know, it's not I feel like something has really shifted. So I've even moved, I've said, Well, listen more if you can't reach people in the corporate world the way that you used to? How do you bring the product to them in different forms. So I've even moved into doing more online coursework, individuals, individual coaching, which are things that I've done in the past, but never really had to, like, steer the whole ship in a new direction, right. And so I want to level set that for everyone who's listening who thinks that Cheryl, and I have it all figured out? We don't have it all figured out. We're figuring it out. But we have some tools to share with you. And so sheriff, let's start there. Yeah, someone is in their job. And they've got the kids hanging off their leg, they got the zoom running, they've got you know, the house and the workplace are all in mashed. And it's sort of like, what am I doing? Where do we even begin to answer that question in the midst of all this overwhelm? Yeah, absolutely. So I have three things today, okay, that you can start to think about and actually even start to take action on to help you answer that question of what's next for me, What could it be? So the first one is, let's go look to your values, for clue. So the Cambridge dictionary defines values as the principles that help us decide what is right or wrong, and how to act in various situations. But values are actually far more than that. In fact, when you're living a life that is not aligned with your values, you feel anxious, unsatisfied, stuck, those types of things.

Cheryl Czach:

So and I can give an example of this in my personal life, you know, when I was working in the corporate world, before I started my coaching practice, I was feeling very out of align with one of my top values, which is autonomy. So autonomy is in my top five, it might be my number one, it's a huge value for me. And I didn't have a lot of autonomy in my life. And I felt dissatisfied with it. When I made the shifts to my own company, my own coaching practice, and now I have all the autonomy in the world that I can easily watch. And it's a much higher satisfaction level for me. Okay, so you say, think about your values? Yes. If you're not really on track with them, you might be feeling a little bit anxious, or, yes, and here's what you can do, like, okay, some real practical things that you can do, make a list of your top five to 10 values, and write down what they mean to you. Because words mean different things to different people. And what autonomy might mean for me could be different, what it means for you, Laura, so top five to 10 values and what you mean by that? And then give yourself a rating and how you think you're living it in your life and look for those discrepancies. So if I had done this exercise, back in my corporate days, I probably would have given autonomy, a six in my life, okay. And then I can ask myself, okay, if I'm living a six right now, what doesn't eight look like me, I was giving this value as an eight, what would be different in my life? Well, now you have some real tangible things, some steps you can take towards living that value at a higher level. Okay, I have to jump in here, because that reminds me of something that I very often teach, which I learned in reading atomic habits. And one of the things that I believe the author's name is James clear. One of the things he talks about is, wherever you are, if you want to get to the next level, or whatever it is, I often say if you want to become if you're a couch potato, and you want to run a marathon, you've got to start thinking like a marathon runner. What would a marathon runner do? Do get prepared because a couch potato was a couch potato gonna do to get prepared, they're gonna go pick up a bag of potato chips, put on real housewives, that's how they're gonna get prepared. Okay. So I say that, by the way, as a couch potato, I am. I'm an unabashed couch potato friends, I don't want to be a marathon runner, but that's why I use that example. So do your point. If you're at a six level of satisfaction, what I hear you saying is, and you want to get to an eight, what would an eight do? Yeah. Why would an eight be in your life? If you were an eight? What would you be doing differently? Right, I start to take the steps. Exactly. I hope you're listening to this because this is like why

Laura Khalil:

Coaching right now on the podcast. Okay, I hope you are paying attention to this. So Cheryl. Okay. So is that the first step? That's the first. Okay, where do we go from there? So the second one is getting over this mentality of what would they think if I make a change? So a lot of times when we're considering making a significant change in our lives, we worry about what others will think. Or sometimes we say, how will this impact my reputation, you know, I have a certain reputation as this or that. And if I make a change, are people going to see me differently. And we get so used to people seeing us in a certain way that we worry that they would never accept us as something different, this is huge. This is huge. This is huge. And I see it a lot with clients who are thinking about making a change, I actually recently had a client who a position came available to work, it was a little bit of a step backwards for her. And she wanted to take it because she really wanted to be a writer. And she thought, you know, if I make this shift, if I take this role, I will have more time to pursue a writing career and maybe make a side gig and then it can be a full time role for me. But what will people think they're going to think I got demoted, if I take this role, they're gonna think something bad happened. And through our work together, what she discovered is what was really blocking her was the image that she created in her mind about herself. And once she got past that, and decided, Okay, I'm going to do it and started to talk to people about it. Like I'm making a shift in my career, because I'm going to focus on my writing, people were incredibly supportive about that. That's the truth. Yeah. Yeah. That's the truth. And what was really holding her back was her own image of herself, you know, disguised as a, what would they think about me, you know, Cheryl, that one really, really hits for me very deeply. And I know I work with a lot of people who are going through, I consider almost like a personal identity crisis, to be able to see yourself and accept yourself, because it's all about you, in a different way, in a different role. And, you know, what does that mean? And to your point, so many people are so scared that they're going to be judged for it, that they're going to be mocked for it. embarrassed. But more often than not, people are actually very supportive of you just doing what makes you happy. Instead of talking about it all the time and never doing anything. Hello, you know who you are? Yes, absolutely. And here's the thing. Most people aren't thinking about us at all.

Cheryl Czach:

Truth, but it's the truth, right? They're going about their lives, they're doing the thing. And the people who are thinking about us generally are the people who care about us and want us to be happy and are supportive of us anyways, yeah. Oh, gosh, that is really, really beautiful. So for somebody who is considering they're sort of shifting identities, or they're shifting, like, they're trying to figure out how do I make this shift? Is there one piece of advice that can help make it a little bit easier on them mentally? To get through it? Yes. Think about what you are making it mean, you are assigning some sort of meaning to this. I was talking to a friend actually, who was thinking about making a major shift in her life. And we started down this path of what will people think about me and what how this will impact my reputation. And she said, you know, if I do this, I'm going to have to make sure it's 100% perfect. Oh, God, because people are gonna judge me by it. And I said, that is what you are making it mean, right? Nothing is 100% perfect, but you don't have to make anything 100% perfect. You are assigning that meaning to it. Most people aren't even really paying attention to what we do. They're really not nobody is as interested in you as you are in yourself. That's a game changer when you can realize that that's a funny aside here. I grew up with my mother. I've never talked about my mom on the show, but my mom,

Laura Khalil:

like she would walk down the street and she's essentially she should have been a cult leader. I'm not even kidding. She's so freaking charismatic. Everyone who meets my mom loves her. She's the woman who in this, this is a true story. This is one of about 1000 she would be in home depot in line waiting to check out she'd start a conversation with someone 40 years younger than her in front of her. Next thing you know, that guy and his wife are over at her house for dinner. That's how she is I Honest to God, that's a true story that really happened. But my, I swear she's she's really she's something. So but one of the things about her is she just she's like, I'm just going to do myself and so I remember growing up with my mom, she would take me to school and She would it would be like a holiday or really any day doesn't matter. But I really what sticks out to me is what's the St. Patrick's Day I was like, what's the Irish St. Patrick's Day. My mom loves holiday. She loves dressing up. And so she would I remember her picking me up from school as a young kid. She's wearing a greenbrae. She's wearing two giant St. Patrick's Day earrings that are different, because she couldn't find the matching ones. So she's like, I'm just gonna wear whatever she's got on a green scarf. She literally has. My mom used to use those like Velcro rollers in her hair. And they would stick to her clothing. She's got rollers all over her. She's walking. I'm not making my mom sound like a hot mess. She's not. But my point is I was so embarrassed by her. I'm like, What are you doing? What are you doing? But I realized as I got older, and as an adult, it's like, my mom knew that nobody cared. Nobody was paying attention to her. She was happy, wearing her mismatched earrings and wearing her greenbrae. And she didn't care about the curlers. Everyone's so focused on themselves. Yes. So yeah, absolutely. And we've been conditioned, then that's a whole nother topic. But we've been conditioned, especially as women to have that perspective. But in the in the reality your mom knows the secret, which is make yourself happy. You get to set the rules for yourself. And people love that kind of authenticity are attracted to it. They're super attracted to it. Yes. That's why I think she should have been a cult leader. That was her thing is like everyone, like loved her because she's so just, she seems so at ease. She seems so fully free. And everyone's like, how do I get that? Yeah. Okay, so I had I had to take that detour just because I feel like I'm going down memory lane Cheryl right now. So I love it. All right. Okay. So what is the third piece of advice you have for us. So the third one is pretty practical. And it's about being realistic and making a plan. You know, we're, we're often encouraged to chase our dreams and follow our passion, which is great. I'm doing it, I believe you're doing it, it's great. But it makes it seem like, we can make a drastic change in our life, and everything is just gonna fall into I don't care. And that's not right. That's not reality. No. And so I would say, you know, think about what impacts are going to happen in your life. If you make a change, obviously, there's financial impacts. But there's also things like how it impacts if you have a spouse, if you have children, like be realistic about it. Use this time when your intuition is telling you something needs to change to plan for it. Do not wait until you're angry or frustrated. And you just kind of blow and make an impulsive decision, right? I'm done with this. Take this time. Now listen to your gut, we often do not listen to our guy and feel it screaming add on, right. So take the time now and make our plan for transitioning. I love that. And you know, what I love about what you're saying. And what I hear in it, Cheryl is these things don't happen overnight. So I remember always hearing the advice, start looking for a job when you have a job, you know, you want to be doing things, ideally, when you're not feeling the stress and the pressure of trying to make something work because then like the weight of the worlds on you. So I love this idea. And what I also love and what I hear you saying is one step at a time. Yes, this is not like, you got to blow everything up in one day, you got to just take the steps and every day, make a movement towards that vision or goal or that plan that you have in place. I love it. Yeah, you know, I'm gonna paraphrase Oprah right now, because I love Oprah. I was watching a show a long time ago. I mean, it was probably I don't know, in my 20s. And she said, you know, oftentimes when we want to make a change in our lives, we hear a little whisper, and we ignore it. And then it gets a little louder, and we ignore it. And we do not make the change until it is screaming in our year. And then we quickly make a drastic change. And as I'm talking to people, and they're starting to express this idea, like I know, I need to make a change in my life. And I don't love the life I was living and I didn't even realize it until now. When you start hearing that in your gut and your intuition, start planning for it now you don't wait until it's a scream and you feel like you can't take it anymore. That is so true. Cheryl, you know, I think about my own career and I think about all the dissatisfaction that I experienced working in a startup world where I just had so many challenges as a woman and you know, all the microaggressions and being told to be nicer and smile more and all that garbage and there was always a list. whisper of something saying, Laura, this isn't for you. Or this isn't for you, Laura, this is and I would just say, Yeah, no, no, no, no, no, no, go away. The next job will be the right one. I'll finally I'll figure it out next time. But anything you repress just gets expressed in a new form. Yeah, because I kept repressing what I was really supposed to be doing, which in my case was becoming an entrepreneur. The knock at the door just kept getting louder, and louder and louder until after six years, in my case, the door finally knocked the hell down. And it was like walk through the door, Laura, walk through the door, stop ignoring the call. But it doesn't have to get that bad. No, yeah, it doesn't. And oftentimes, when it gets that bad, and I know this is speaks to me in my personal story, as well, you make a drastic change, you might over change, you might go too far, because you think that's what you need in your life. When really in reality, if you had just listened to that whisper, and when it started and made a plan, you wouldn't need to go so far in the change. Okay, so if someone's listening to this and is like Cheryl, the whisper has become a thundering roar. And I am losing my mind. What do they do? What's the first thing they can do right now to just sort of like maybe it's like calm the nervous system? Maybe it's, is it get a plan? What like, what's the first for people who are like at a nine out of 10? In anxiety over I shouldn't be doing this, I should be doing something else. Oh, my gosh, what do I do? How do we get them on track without over correcting or without making really drastic, potentially very harmful decisions for their well being? Yeah, the first step? And this seems too simple. But the first step really, is to acknowledge, okay, yes, I'm going to make a change. Because I think a lot of times, we're just circle in our mind and our mind around and round and round about it. And it creates tension, and it creates stress for us. And once we say, Yep, I'm going to make the change, it automatically becomes calming. Okay, now we can think about really clear headed, what will that look like? Do I need to take a lesser role? Do I need to completely change my career path? You know, let's look at it calmly. But first, we just need to acknowledge and accept, okay, I'm going to do this, I am going to make a change in my life. Oh my god, I love that. I just feel better hearing that. I mean, seriously, it's really powerful. That's so cool. Okay, as usual, Cheryl, our time is like rounding out to a close. I love talking to you so much. I think that our listeners are going to adore this episode. So for people who want to learn more about you, where do they go? They can go to my website, Cheryl's at coaching comm I'm on LinkedIn. I'm constantly on LinkedIn, so you can reach out to me there as well. Those are the places That's awesome. And Cheryl, do you have any final piece of advice for the audience? Yeah, you know, and I think it's what we've spoken about, which is really trust your gut, you know, trust your instinct, especially as women we're used to minimizing that and dismissing it and putting others before ourselves and trust your gut and trust your instinct. And you're not alone. Many people are going through this right now. And know that you can make a change. Oh, my gosh, I love it. I just I feel so energized. Cheryl, thank you so much for joining us on brave. Thank you for having me again. I want to thank you for joining me and remember to subscribe to your favorite app so you can stay up to date. And I would love your review. If you've enjoyed this episode. Please leave a review and comment on Apple podcasts. You can also keep in touch with me online. You can find me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Instagram at force of badassery. All that information will be available in the show notes. Until next time, stay brave