176 Transcript: Having a Career You Love (with Alison Hemmings)
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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast episode number 176. We're talking about doing work you love, not considering it a daily grind, but actually choosing and doing work that you love; it is possible. Stay tuned.
Hey there, welcome back, my friends, happy August and welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I am Jen Riday, your host, and I love August because I am relaxing and doing more of the things I love. And that leads me to today's topic for this episode which is about doing work that you love. I can't tell you the number of people I know who hate their jobs, and they try to have a good mindset and they try to have a good attitude, but when all is said and done, they have that crazy boss or that strange co-worker who is doing inappropriate things in their cubicle (Laughs). Anyway, you know, time is short, life is short and you need to be doing work that you love. And that's why my guest today, Alison Hemmings, is fantastic. I met Alison at a Tony Robbins event in Florida in January called Business Mastery, and she has a business where she helps people identify their dream job and then go out and grab it. And it's a beautiful concept and it works, she has so many successful clients and it's really inspiring to hear how she talks about work. So whether you have a job or not, I want you to listen to this because you've got to know someone who works, and it's all about knowing what you're passionate about, identifying what you're passionate about. So many of you know that you have a purpose that you're here on this planet for, some gifts and talents you're meant to share with the world to better the world. And whether that's working or volunteering or anything else, it's incredibly important that we identify those passions, those gifts, those talents so we can use them in the way we're meant to use them. That's why this episode is so important. So I won't keep you on pins and needles any longer, let's hear Alison's wisdom on this topic.
Hey, everyone, I'm talking with Alison Hemmings today. She's my friend, I met her at a Tony Robbins event and she's amazing, but let me tell you about her. Her superpower is helping people find jobs that they love are passionate about. She teaches people how to recruit their future employer and make their candidacy look so good that human resource managers and recruiters will jump at the chance to bring you on board. Alison lives in Montreal, and in her free time, she loves hot yoga and exploring the city. Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, Alison.
A: Thank you so much, Jen, for having me, I'm excited to be here.
J: Yeah, I'm excited to have you. So let's tell everyone how we met. Okay, so I was going to a Tony Robbins event, Date with Destiny, in Florida and you were going, too, and the way these things work… you tell it, Alison, it's more exciting to hear from you. How did we meet?
A: Well, in the Tony Robbins world, people tend to share a lot of accommodations. I always say it's like one of the only events that you would meet strangers with and decide that you're going to live with for 5 days without meeting them first.
A: But we, for Business Mastery, well, we ended up having a mutual friend who had an Airbnb. And literally, I think you've walked in the door and it was instant connection, like we sat and talked for hours, the 4 of us and went through the whole Business Mastery program. I was crewing because I love crewing at those events and you're attending, and we just had a lot of heart-to-heart conversations and, you know, fun trips on the way to work or on the… (on the way to work?) but on the way to the event and then on the way back. And it was just a great time and like the 4 of us just gelled like, you know, like family.
A: And that's why I love going to those events, right, it's like meeting siblings.
A: (Laughs) Like long lost siblings, you know, cousins.
J: Right, right, right, totally. So, Alison, you're originally from the US, right, where was that again? You're really Canadian, eh?
A: I'm super Canadian, yeah, yeah.
J: Okay, so you we were born in Toronto though?
A: I was born in England and then…
A: … I moved.
J: I didn’t know that.
A: Yeah. See, there you go, fun fact, I was born in England and then moved to Canada when I was 5 and I grew up in Toronto. And then I've lived in a bunch of different places and then came to Montreal about a year ago and I love it here.
J: So do your parents have a British accent?
A: My mom does.
J: Aaw, that’s so fun.
A: That and a Jamaican accent. (Laughs)
J: Ah, gotcha, gotcha.
J: Ah, how fun. Okay, well, let's hear your favorite and then we'll get more serious here. (Laughs)
A: For me, the quote that's really helped me a lot, especially like from a business perspective, from a life perspective, is definitely, “If you want to take the island,” that, “you got to burn the boat,” because, you know, I had… and maybe it’s because I'm a Pisces, I'm like either in or out, and I just find that with any decisions when it came to me opening up my business or deciding to change careers or moving to a different place, it's always been, if I can't go back, you know, if I burn that boat, it always helps me. So that quote has been a life-changing quote for me and it's just something that I live with and like I talked about with my clients a lot is, you know, “If you really want to do something, you really got to burn the boats and just not lookback, just full throttle, full force ahead.”
J: Can you give us an example or two of how you've done that so we can see how it's applied?
A: Okay, so I’ll give… okay, a perfect example, when I was opening my first business (which was my recruitment business), I was really stuck because I like the security of having a job, right, but I knew that I wanted to do more with my life, right? And so I just… I made this decision I was like, “If I'm going to go into business, I cannot look back.” So I left my job, I didn't have any… it's not… you know, like a lot of people have businesses and they say for years to open it and they have all these backup plans in case of a back-up plan, like I have no choice, it had to succeed, right? (Laughs)
A: It was like quit the job, start a business, and it has to turn and make a profit within 30 days, and I did. And, you know, there was a lot of people at my old organization that I worked with that we're looking to make that change as well, and they're still in that job. And a lot of it is because if you wait till it's perfect, it never happens. And that's why I like that quote so much because I had faith in myself and I knew that I could do it, but I knew that if there was something to… like the security was the hardest part for me to let go. And so once I was really able to just say, “Okay, you know what, girl? Like you got to do this,” it was full speed ahead, and I never… I can tell you never looked back.
J: Mm, that's so cool. So burning the boats is like cutting off your other job for you?
A: Yeah, it was that for me because I was… I kept on saying like, “Okay, if I get to this point of my savings or if I can close this amount of my own and if I can do this,” and it was just like, “You know what? Now's the time. You know, I'm not happy,” I did not like… I liked the function of my job, I hated the people I worked with, I hated my boss, we did not see eye to eye at all, she was an absolute nightmare to work with, and I was always underestimated. And I just had this feeling like, “Either I'm going to stay here and just keep complaining about it or I can get up and do something about it.”
A: And I didn't have an option. Like, it wasn't like, “Well, if I don't make money this month, then I'll make it next month,” like, no, I had no choice, there was no a back-up plan, like that was it. And, I mean, that was 5 years ago and I've never looked back. So I think a lot of times, people get really stuck in indecision, but if you feel it in your heart and, you know, you can do it, sometimes you just got to trust and just not take… don't look back, just keep looking forward.
J: Mm, that's so good. Does burning the boats also mean like you could tell people publicly you're doing something? Does that give you more of that leverage or I mean what are other ways to burn the boats besides quitting a job, you know?
A: Yeah, I mean…
A: … certainly, for me, definitely making that declaration that I was going to do it as well, like because once you put it out there, you know, there's a lot of crappy things about social media, but there's… like when you say, “I am opening a business,” and people start… like, you know, and people start asking…
J: (Laughs) Yeah.
A: … now you got to do it, right? (Laughs) And when you know that that's the only source of income that you're going to have coming in, you're going to make it work, you'll find a means to an end, you know?
A: When you tell your potential clients and your candidates and the people that you work with that that's your intention, for me, I had so much positive reinforcement about it as well that it just… I didn't want to let myself down, but I also didn't want to let the other people who were so happy for me for making that decision, right?
A: I recall that there was not one person that ever said to me, “You can't do this,” or, “Are you sure?” they were all like, “It's about time, finally, you know, you can do this,” or, you know, like…
J: Oh, nice.
A: …”Let me see.” So that… that also helps too like keeping the positive people around you that support you.
J: Yes, for sure, for sure.
A: And, you know, I just… I had really strong goals and deadlines, I just made it a point, it was like, “I'm going to make sure that I'm going to do this,” and I held myself accountable, right? And so once you put it out there and people are supporting you, you don't want to let them down, you don't have any other way but to go forward, it makes it a lot easier.
J: Yeah. Well, I would normally go into the low point here, but I want to keep going with this topic because I think everyone listening feels stuck in some area of their life.
J: For example, some woman listening is probably a stay-at-home mom and they kind of hate it.
J: I know a ton of people listening have jobs they don't love, maybe a ton of people listening are in a marriage that they don't love, you know, all the things. So tell us or walk us through why we stay in these kinds of situations longer than we should, how do we know when it's time to get unstuck? Because life isn't all ups, right, we have to struggle a little, but where's the line (Laughs) where we say, “Dude, I'm done,” you know?
A: Well, I think at every point, there's… you know, and even Tony Robbins talks about this is that there's almost a breaking point when you're like, “That is it, I am never doing this again, like that's it,” you know? And, for me, in my job, it was just a comment that my boss made. Like, I distinctly remember, I had this company that we were working with and the hiring manager at the time was pretty like interviewing my candidates, but they’re not hiring anyone. And so I asked her, I said like, “What's the problem?” and she said to me, “You know, I don't want to hire any more minorities.” And I'm a minority myself, a woman and a black woman, and she said, “I don't want to hire any more Indian candidates,” and I was like, you know, I said, “Well, I'm going to send you the best people that are available.” And I went in and I told my boss, I said, “Listen, I don't think we should service this customer” Like, you know, in Canada, we have really strict humanitarian and human rights codes, and this is a strict violation of it. And my boss said to me, “I don't think, you know, you have a choice.” And that wasn't really deciding factor for me, I was like, “Okay, if I continue with this now, I'm… not only am I suffering my own self because I know I deserve bigger and better than this, but I'm also break… I’m like compromising my own integrity,” and that was the breaking point for me as well and I was like, “I got it, this is a sign from the universe that it's time for me to go.” You know, people get stuck and they stay stuck because they feel certain. There's a piece of certainty that comes from, you know, “Okay, yeah, my job sucks, but I know like I can go through it, I know it's Wednesday then there's a few more days until it's Friday and I live for the weekend and, you know, I'm going to get paid and I don't have to go through the interview process. And I, you know, I have… I’m too old, I’m too this,” and you start mess… like just messing with your mind and letting all these thoughts come into your head that aren't even your own thoughts, right, (they're not even rational half the time) that stops you from getting to where you want to. And it all comes from the fact that it's just you don't want to be uncomfortable for a little bit or, you know, you're certain that in this job, you're not going to get fired. And may be if you take a chance that and you go to another company and you may have to struggle a little bit or maybe you just feel like the grass isn't always greener on the other side and you're just not willing to take a chance. But, you know, usually on the other side of that taking a chance, I mean, there's always their fear, right, and then when you get to the other side, most of times, people are like, “Why didn't I do this before?”
J: (Laughs) Yes.
A: I mean, that was like when I opened my business, literally like the first thing I thought about to myself was, “Why the hell did I not do this before?” like it felt natural to me, I felt alive, I looked forward to going to work every day, I didn't have this idiot that I had to report to you that just didn't understand me, was unethical, that was literally trying to hold me down. And once I let that go, I was like… like I felt like I had stepped into my own. And it really changed the way that I looked at my life as well because then I kept thinking, “Well, what else is there that (Laughs), you know, I could do that I am not doing?” Because once I made that decision, it was life-changing and I'm so glad that that circumstance happened that pushed me into making that decision.
J: Yeah, the breaking point.
J: So would you call yourself an adventurous person?
A: It's funny because people describe me as that and I… some things I am and then other things that, you know, I don't think I am. But I think if you were to look at my life in a package, you’d say that the last 8 years, I've been way more adventurous than I was before for the other 30 odd years before that.
J: Yeah, yeah.
A: (Laughs) Yeah.
J: Oh, it gets addicting (doesn't it?) to be adventurous. (Laughs)
A: It… you know what? It's always… because again, it's that same thing, it's like once you start doing it, you start realizing like, “Wow, that was easier than I thought it was going to be,” right?
A: And that I was so scared, but once I got there, you know, I love that feeling of being nervous and excited at the same time, you know?
J: Oh yeah.
A: That's the best feeling, I mean, you can get really addicted to the that (Laughs)… that peace. And that's where your life kind of begins is when you're a little bit uncomfortable, when you're a little scared. If you know how every day's going to turn out, it’s kind of boring, you know, like “oh, great”, you know?
A: “I gotta leave my house and do that again?” Like I don't want to live a life like that.
J: And there's a thrill when you take the leap and you don't know if the net’s going to appear, but when it does, you're like, “Oh, I knew it all the time, it was going to there,” (Laughs) you know?
A: It’s so… yeah.
J: There’s a thrill. Also, for me, is thinking I know something intuitively and then there's the gamble of ignoring your logic and following your heart and, yeah. You know, but you never hear of people where it doesn't really work out where they take that leap (I've noticed), unless they're just not in my circles. What do you think?
A: Yeah. Well, you know, I think sometimes, even if it doesn't work out for you, there's always a lesson that's learned. Like, two years ago, I moved to Costa Rica and I actually did think that I would live there forever, like I thought I'd burned the boats, I'm done with the… although I love Canada, it's like the best country, but I hate the cold, like I really…
J: (Laughs) Yes.
A: … hate the cold, right? And I thought, “I will never have winter again and I'm going to live in Costa Rica and my life is going to be great.” And I lived there for a while like, you know, over a year, and there were some really great things, but then it was time for me to come home. And for some people, they could look at that and say that could be failure because you said you were never going to come back, you know?
A: But I'd still… I'm grateful for the fact that I took the chance, I don't know when else I would have done it. I didn't know everything before I went into it, I just kind of jumped into that as well. And I loved living there, it just… when it was time to come back home, it was time to come back home. Will I go back there again? 100%. I mean, I don't feel any regrets about making both decisions to go there to come back, it was an experience. And, I mean, I got to live on a beach for, you know, a year and a half, no complaints, you know? (Laughs)
J: Yeah! No kidding, oh my gosh.
J: Well, Brené Brown has a quote she likes to share from Teddy Roosevelt about being in the arena with the blood, sweat, and tears, but not being one of the people standing behind the fence criticizing those who are in the arena. I guess it's that concept of seeing failure as a win.
J: Because Brené says, “You will fail, you will fail, and that's part of being in the arena.” I'd rather be in the arena and fail than just sit out and be secure and certain all the time because…
J: … there's so much thrill to it. What do you think?
A: I agree with you. You know, it's like even when I was talking about starting my business, like when I worked at… well, in my previous job, there were so many people that I want to do business with that I went and spoke to. And this is like 6 years… no, I was like I'm on my 5th… so 6 years ago and they were like, “You know, I'm so scared, I really want to do it,” and when I went to do it, they were the first people to be like, “Wow, she doesn't have this, she doesn’t have a website, it’s going to take your so long,” and they're still in those same jobs doing the same thing while they were criticizing and it's like, you know, I changed my life by opening this business, being able to help people, changing it into a different kind of service. I didn't sit and criticize anyone else, you know what I mean?
J: Yeah, right.
A: I took a chance. And you can sit on the sidelines and life will pass you, like you don't really have that much time, you know?
A: And if you're wasting it by not taking advantage of it, you're going to end up at the end of your life and with a lot of regrets, and that's not the kind of life that I want to live.
J: Exactly. And you made a good point. So when you started your business, you didn't have your website, so you were essentially taking imperfect action. And that's, I think, super important because people that are waiting for perfection never take action.
A: Well, that's the thing, the perfectionists are… those are the people who get in their own way, right, because if you're going to wait for everything to be perfect, right, you'll be waiting for a very long time.
A: Like, nothing is ever perfect, right?
J: Exactly, exactly. Being willing to show up as the B or B- student, that's my goal.
J: People don’t get it, but I get it, entrepreneurs get it, you know?
A: Yeah. Well, the A students know, I always say they make really great employees, you know?
J: Ah, truth, truth.
J: Sometimes I’m like, “Just be a little sloppier, you know, you don’t have to be perfect,” yeah, I get it.
A: That’s the fusion, right? It's like you can… you know, recently, I was working on a project with somebody and for a day, they were delayed because they were trying to decide on what PowerPoint template to use, and I was like, “I don't care, like it's not that big of a difference, like just do it.”
A: “No one's going to say, ‘That was really great information, but I really wish that you used a different font.’”
A: “No one cares, it's not that important,” you know? Like…(Laughs)
J: But you know what?
A: “Why is this holding us up?”
J: I found those silly things that hold us up, it's because we're afraid and we're just pinning our fear on that one little excuse, you know, right there at the end, you know?
J: Yeah, it's true. Well, let's go back and talk about your low point. What is a low point you want to share with us today?
A: Well, I think just… you know, it's funny because this is… we had to reschedule our call, and I had a low point that I didn't even realize (Laughs) until. So for about a couple… for maybe 3 months, I was having a really, really hard time with just staying focused. And I love what I do, I love the fact that I get to help people, and that's always been a motivator, like no one's ever had to force me to go to work, but I just found myself just feeling off, it's the only way I can explain it, you know, just tired when normally I would not be tired, like things that would normally just I could do with ease was just taking me longer. And because I have, you know, clients that I want to serve and a business that helps people, I never wanted to let anyone down. So I just kept them putting it aside, I kept saying to myself like, “You know, it's Thursday, I know my energy is really low, I just got one more day, Saturday and then I’ll take some me time and I'll rest up and I'll feel better for Monday,” and I never really looked into my health and it's just… it started to slow… when it happens slowly, you don't really see it all of a sudden. And then I guess it's probably 3 weeks now, I had a call scheduled with you and I wasn't feeling good that whole weekend and I was like, “You know what? I have a call, I don't want to let Jen down, like I'm so excited, you know, to be on her podcast, so let me just push through.” And I got up to go to the washroom… or sorry the restroom, because I'm Canadian.
J: Wait a minute, so you guys say washroom there or restroom there?
A: It's washroom here.
J: Okay, gotcha, gotcha.
A: (Laughs) So and the next thing you know, I was on the ground completely passed out…
A: … and I was so scared, I had to call 911 to come to my apartment to take me to the hospital. And, you know, you know you're sick when you do not wait for a doctor. You know, my heart was beating so quickly, I felt so dizzy. My dad had had a heart attack, you know…
A: … like 8 years ago in the hospital, so all these things are going through my head, I'm like, “Oh my gosh, it's happening to me!” I’m by myself because my parents live like 6 hours away my, you know, my boyfriend was away, like I just… I was… I felt so alone and I'm in this hospital by myself and I have no idea what's going on. And the doctor said to me, “Your hemoglobin levels are at 30,” and I said, “What is normal?” And he said, “129.” And he was like, “How have you been walking around?”
J: (Laughs) Oh!
A: And I started to realize like all these things started, you know, you have those warning signs like, you know, I even remember coming back from Business Mastery, I was in a rush to catch an airplane and I was trying to rush and I was like, “Man, I am so out of breath, this is nothing for me.” Like it would have been a light jog and I was like gasping and I thought, “Okay, maybe I need to like go to the gym more,” but I never even thought to really look at my health. And, I mean, there's no excuse, healthcare is free here, you know, right? Like, I could have gone to the doc, and I just kept on putting my business, work, everyone else before myself. And then so once… you know, when I was in the hospital, I had to have a blood transfusion, I was there overnight, you know, the nurses and doctors were talking and they were like, “You have to take better care of yourself.” And I realized like in terms of my values and with everything that I put forward, I was forgetting myself. And then I just… I had this like sudden feeling of just like depression almost, you know?
A: Because I started thinking to myself like, you know, “All I have is my health.” When I was sick, I wasn't worrying about my business per se, I was just worrying that I was going to be okay.
A: And, you know, God gave us this gift the, you know, we're healthy, we're alive, you know, we're alive and… but, you know, but we have so many different opportunities now, right, and things have made so much easier, I'm taking that for granted by not taking care of myself. And, you know, when you're sitting there in the hospital and you're by yourself, all these things pop and I'm like, “How many times did I miss lunch so that I can jump on a call?” or, “How many times where, you know, I pushed myself when I was tired to make sure I got something for somebody else?” right?
A: I really have to take a moment. And, I mean, I totally like scared the crap out of my family. Like, my mom is at home in Toronto, she gets a call, “Your daughter’s in the hospital,” you know, and…
J: Oh yeah.
A: And I just kept them thinking to myself, “I have to just start taking the health more seriously.”
A: “Because I could do all these great things for everyone, but I have to take care of myself better.” Literally, I took immediate action when I came home, like I went through it, I threw all the junk, there's no sugar here and, you know, I got all the right foods, and I'm really just cognizant of it, like making sure I take 10,000 steps a day, you know?
J: And what made your hemoglobin get so low? Because lots of people who don't take care of themselves don't have that problem necessarily.
A: You know, I have always had problems with iron.
A: I've… it’s just always been an issue for me, and a lot of women go through that. And I was taking a supplement, but the supplement wasn't really being absorbed into my body so I have to take… like I went to Whole Foods and got like, you know, diagnosed by (Laughs)… like, “Oh, these vitamins seem great, they're going to work,” and I wasn't taking the ones that, you know, the medical strength ones was which I should have been taking. And I just was really running myself down, like I was working 60 hours a week. I used to pride myself on just being really organized with do RPMs and being really organized, and I started to mistake activity for results.
J: Mm-hmm, oh yeah, big one. (Laughs)
A: You know, “I'll just keep working,” (Laughs) and it caught up with me, you know?
J: Yeah. I want to share a tip with you and anyone else listening, Yellow Dock is an herb that's one of the best sources of naturally available iron. So I've taken it for a long time and my iron is top-notch.
J: So we'll check it out. And it's one that you absorb better than some of those lab-made supplements, you know what I'm saying? So…
J: You can just order a pill form on Amazon. I like the Nature's Way brand (Laughs), just random Yellow Dock for iron, yeah.
A: I love that.
A: You know, my mom… my mom was like, “You got to drink Guinness.”
J: Yellow Dock’s healthier than Guinness probably, yeah.
A: (Laughs) It's like we get used to it, and now I actually crave the taste of Guinness, so…
J: So it has iron? I didn’t even know that about that.
A: Yeah, yeah. Like, I don’t know, like it might be an old wives tale, but you get to drink beer so…
A: … it can’t be that bad. Like that’s like why I don't mind it. (Laughs)
J: Yeah, yeah, oh my gosh. So you're better now, you're balanced?
A: I’m much better.
A: Yeah, I'm much better, I'm taking care… better care of myself, I'm exercising and eating right, and I’m listening to the times that my body gives me. Like, when I'm tired, I stop, you know?
A: I can't… you know, somebody wants to meet with me at 6 o’clock in the morning, well, it's not going to work, like I have to start putting…
J: (Laughs) Yeah.
A: (Laughs) You know what I mean? Like I… you know, like I have to start putting in some boundaries. And, you know, I feel better and people have said to me, even people who haven't… didn't know what happened to me, like my neighbor the other day said, “Wow, you look so much better,” and I was like, “Oh, thank you.”
J: Wow. (Laughs)
A: Yeah, I was like, you know, “Thank you,” you know? (Laughs)
J: That’s great. Well, let's take a quick break for our sponsor and then I want to come back and talk about your advice for anyone who doesn't love their job and what they could do to find something they love a little more (Laughs). We'll be right back.
Okay, welcome back. And, Allison, tell us how you help people have first the courage to leave that job and burn their boats, and second, how do they even find the right next job? Is there really a job out there that they're going to like?
A: You know, that's a question I get asked a lot. So there's always a job, there's a job for everyone, right, and essentially, also if we spend so much time at work, you really want to find something that's going to make you happy. And it's just progress, right, like it's not like you're going to just go and find this one aspect of your job and stay there until you retire forever, like there's going to be ups and downs and you may decide that you like different avenues of different things and you're going to change. But, you know, what I teach people is to have clarity, right? A lot of times, people, it's that fear and you're picking up on these advice that doesn't always make sense, you know? Like, I've had people who have literally been like, “I cannot go into this career because…” I had some of the other day actually (I'll use this as an example) and they were a store manager and that's… they worked in retail for many years and they're starting to hate it; something I can relate to you because I came from the retail world as well. And they were like, “If I have to fold it one more sweater, like I'm going to kill myself,” (Laughs) you know?
A: “I need to do something else.” And so as we were doing our discovery call, I said, “What are you really passionate about?” and they said, “You know, I really love hiring people, I love being part of the selection, I… you know, my teams are great, my stores look great because I can hire really great people. I have a really great process, I did… like even my district manager has pointed out that I'm really great with this aspect has asked me to contribute on a district level and then eventually regional level with the hiring because it's just… I love doing it.” And I said, “Well, have you ever thought about being a recruiter?” and they were like, “My whole life, I wanted to be a recruiter, I could see myself going into this field. I'd love to work at an agency, you know, like a, you know, a big agency and recruit retail and fashion professionals, but I just don't have the skill set.” And I was like, “Why don't you have the skill set? You're hiring people all the time now, right, you know you’ll have to be an HR,” and I said, “Well, listen I went to school (Laughs)…. like I went to the same school as you, I didn't go to school for HR and I was a recruiter for 7 years, you know, and I had my own bus…” and they were like, “Really?” And she was so stuck thinking that that was the only answer was to go back, you know, at 44 years old and take a 6 year program to become a recruiter, and it was like, “You have the skill set, you know, you're doing that function of your job, now you just have to really be able to find a company that can see you as an investment and see the value in you, right…”
A: “… and that will hire you. And you do that by positioning yourself, right, and by making sure that you're in line with what you do the best, not what you think. Like, if you just think that it's a matter of getting more education or more… it's not, it's a matter of applying yourself and speaking to people who are in the industry; because if you knew a lot of recruiters, you'd realize it's not even really that much of an HR position.” And so she started looking into it and she's had a couple of interviews with agencies. And that was something that was a block for her for moving forward because she literally thought that that was the only way. So, you know, if you are stuck, you're never stuck permanently, there's always solutions, there's always a way. And companies really value people who, you know, seek change and who can add value to their companies, right?
A: And so you just… it might just be not the traditional way of just applying click-click-click (and, again, that's that activity versus results), but really stepping outside of your comfort zone to find out the real information, talking to people who are in that field and making a point to really understand what that job entails. Then you gotta go… then you burn the boat and then you go for it, right?
J: I love that. So deciding on the outcome, “I'm going to be a recruiter,” like that's…
J: … a big step.
J: But then to go back and do the sub steps, and you're saying the first one would be talk to someone who does it. It makes perfect sense.
J: And a lot of people don't even get that far or even as far as saying, “This is what I want. Step 1, ‘What do you want?’ Step 2, talk to someone else doing it,” wow, not too hard, everyone can do that.
A: Absolutely, and you have to be genuine with yourself, right…
A: … and realistic. Because a lot of the things that people want to do, they start telling themselves this story, “I really want to be this. I want to be a nurse, but I can't be a nurse because I didn't do that and it's going to take me this amount of years. And if I do this, then it's going to…” and it's like you've already psyched yourself out or you can talk to somebody. And there's people who make changes when they're in their 50s and their 60s, like you got 5 years left then you're going to start a new career? Yeah, it's worth it because that’s what’s going to make you happy.
A: My mom's like my biggest hero, you know, she just retired from her job actually just a couple of weeks ago, like a less than a month. So she retired three years later than she could have because she loved what she was doing. And one thing that really stuck with me is that, you know, we had a retirement party for her and all the people from her work came in to, you know, to wish her goodbye and to say, you know, “Thank you,” and there was literally not a dry eye saying goodbye to my mom as she was leaving.
A: So my mom is… you know, she's a social worker, she's worked for the same company for 20-plus years, you know, and she loved her job, she's never complaining about it, they're those ups and downs, but that… she was truly doing her life's work.
A: And on her retirement, as I said, you know, we all had speeches, and I remember looking and people had their hand on their heart, you know, and it was genuinely saying like, “Thank you so much for helping me. Thank you so much for your… you know, you probably don’t even remember this, but I was a student when I joined and you helped me get this, you know, or help me accomplish this goal or get over this fear, and it's all stuck with me. And now, I can't believe you're going to be gone.” And it made me really think to myself, “You know, when I get to the end of my career, I want people to… I want to feel like, one, I had… I made a contribution and I added value, but I also want to be able to know that I impacted people,” right?
A: Well, if you're in a job that you hate, that doesn't fulfill you, when your retirement party comes, you’re like, “Adios, bitches! Like I’m done!” right?
A: You know what I mean? You’re like you can’t wait to get out of there, you know, you’re not looking back, there’s no… you know what I mean?
A: And people, like sometimes you got to kind of reverse engineer your life and say, “Okay, you know what? At the end of my career, what do I want to be known for? You know, what do I want people say it about me at my retirement party?” right?
A: “Is it going to be, ‘Man, she was one miserable…’” you know?
A: “‘… can’t wait for her to go,’ or is it going to be like hand on the heart and like, ‘Thank you for everything you've done for me,’?”
J: Aww, that's beautiful, I love that.
J: Well, speaking of your friend who thought she wasn't qualified to be a recruiter, I've noticed that's a common theme among the women I talk to thinking they must have a certification or a degree to go get that job. Well, speak a little bit to how our world is changing and how that's really absolutely untrue these days; in my opinion, maybe it's not yours. What do you think?
A: No, your… I think you're right. I mean, there's certain things, like if you're going to be a lawyer… well, actually, you can go to the state of California because Kim Kardashian is becoming a lawyer, right?
A: You know, there's always ways. Okay, so I'll use a doctor. If you're going to be a doctor, yes, you’re going to have to go back to school to be a doctor.
A: There's going to be some kind of training, there's… you know? And that's fine, but a lot of people really get held up on degrees and what that means.
A: And I remember, even when I was in college, people would get so stuck like, “I have to have straight A's,” and I have recruited thousands of professionals in senior roles, engineering positions, VPs, CEOs, I've never had a company ever asked me for grades.
A: I've never asked the company to see transcripts or anything. I'm not saying fake your way, because that's not a great way either. So I know there's some people who might be thinking along those lines, well, that's not the case (Laughs). But, you know, certainly life experiences have way… you know, have value as well, right?
J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.
A: Expertise has value. If you're really good at a function in your job and you want to focus on that, you can isolate that job and market yourself so that that's a skill set that's a really strong and take that in and move it into a different area. It doesn't mean that you need to go back and do… you know, like with my friend who wanted to be recruiter, going back to school doesn't even make sense.
A: You know, where you are in life, you’ve got kids that you're preparing to go to school, now you're going to go to… you know, you're going to get all his debt, for what? Whereas, she's already doing a big portion of that job, you know, hiring people, understanding the process, there's no difference of what she was going to be doing; well, once she understood that. So women definitely suffer from that the most because we think that we have to be perfect.
A: We have got the perfect résumé and we have to have all these perfect experience, and that's not always the case. A lot of the stuff that we do that comes natural that we… you know, that you naturally is a strength for you, if you're doing that and that's what you love, maybe that's the part of your job you should focus on and isolate and go do that all the time.
A: You know?
A: You don't need to go back to school all the time to do that; or at least full-time. Maybe you want to take a course or maybe you want to… definitely, educate yourself and learn about it, but you don't need to give up your whole life and go back to school and, you know, get a huge debt…
A: … 4 years of college.
J: For sure.
A: It doesn’t make sense.
J: And I think there's another cool way you can go about it. You know, we talked about talking to someone else who does it, and that's a great first step, but a really quick and easy, one of your first steps might be simply to go help someone do something you enjoy…
J: … and hear what they're struggling with, learn about that maybe ideal customer, like maybe you love to organize or maybe you're good at planting herbs and you're going to help someone heal something with your herbs. And, you know, I think if you've helped a few people with it, that's a viable reason to have a business, why not? “I helped such-and-such, if you want to know how it works, talk to them,” (Laughs) you know?
A: I think a lot of times it comes to that fear and then you pick up on all these… you get a lot of… you know, a lot of times, the people who love us the most give us the worst advice.
J: Oh, for sure.
J: Don’t tell your families you're trying any of this or your close friends, ignore them.
A: You know, it's not that they're… they’re not bad people and they love you and they want you to do the best, but it's just natural for them to pick the world of least resistance for you. Nobody wants to see someone that they love go through pain, right? And like I know from with my mom, I know my mom loves me, I've never doubted that a second in my life, you know, when I first started telling her I want to be an entrepreneur, my mom was like, “Get a job that’s steady, be a teacher. You know, if you're a teacher, you’ll have the summers off.” Like, I hate kids.
A: I have no patience. (Laughs)
A: Like, do you know what I mean? I would be the worst teacher, but that's something for her that would make some… you know, “You’ll have the summers off and you can…”
A: “… you'll never have to worry about pay.” And so a lot of times, people push us because they provide security and they want to feel that you're secure and that you don't have to worry about them… well, they don't have to worry about you, right?
A: But, you know, if you're a fearless person you're a badass woman who wants to, you know, really live their life, you know, by their own means, you do what you feel like we can make it happen. I mean, my goodness, I'm going use Kim Kardashian, who would have thought that that girl was going to become a lawyer and can find a loophole around it? And working 16 hours on top of running all the businesses and all the stuff that she does, she's going to make it happen.
A: We have the power, there's always a way, there is always a way.
J: So someone listening is like, “Ah, I got to take that leap, but I'm too scared,” how could you help them?
A: One, you got to get real clear, you know? So I’ll tell people, “Start with clarity. Like, you know, if you don't know what you're looking for, you're never going to find it, so you got to have to get some clarity.” Mindset is always key. So I can't tell you how many times I have seen people who all it is just a matter of just believing in yourself, you know, aligning your understanding what you're going after, making an intention, getting some goals set out there and just making sure that you don't hear… because it's not even your own voices that are holding you down, it's the other voices around you, right? It's that fear, you know, “Don't open the business because you can lose everything,” because someone's great-grandfather said that and it just trickled on and it's something you…
A: … have in the background. It doesn’t even mean anything to you, you know, because you're…
J: “Don’t start a business, my grandpa failed at his.”
A: Yeah, exactly, “Uncle Jerry didn’t work out, so you don’t…” you know, and you’re like you’re just suffering, like…
J: Oh my gosh. Well, so you could walk someone through all of those steps though, let's say they're like, “Oh, I'm too nervous. Help me set the goals, Alison,” or, “Help me fix my mindset,” you do that, right, for a living?
A: Absolutely, yeah. I mean, I think the third part, too, is once you understand that your mindset and you have to have this unstoppable goal that you feel so stirred that you can do it that you're going to do it, you need to get a coach. Because all those voices are going to come, and if you don't have somebody keeping you in line, you know, or, you know, pushing you saying, “It's okay, don't settle, you will find this path,” right…
A: … it's easy to go back to what we know.
A: I'll give you an example. I had a candidate, a professional that I was working with for a long time, this guy was 38 years old and he's been in school since he was 20 years old, University, went to undergrad then went into the PhD, international student, living in New York City, came back from school 38 years old now after doing like apprenticeships and all the stuff that you do and wants to get into medical science, and had been after work for a year. He… his debt was 150,000 US dollars, which in Canadian dollars is 4 million dollars, okay, like it’s just ridiculous. And had gone on a series of interviews and hadn't landed a job and was going to give his dream up, what he went to school with 18… that's half of your life (Laughs), okay, the debt that he put in because he couldn't bear to go on any more interviews, he was like going to just settle.
A: That's the kind of craziness that happens when you don't have somebody pushing you. And everyone around them was just tired of him suffering. He's suffering because of the symptoms of not having a job, but it doesn't mean that you give up on your goal in life. Yeah, maybe you got to work at Starbucks, you know, and get your benefits and just make enough to get by, but you still keep pushing towards those goals. If you… why work so hard just to give up at… when you're that close?
A: And, you know, within a couple of weeks after keeping that mindset up and working with us and practicing the interview, because he was also bringing all those fears into the interviews, and…
A: … people pick up on that.
J: Oh yeah, for sure.
A: Right? Like, you know, if you interview people all day long, you know when someone's defeated, you can feel it. You don't want to hire someone who's defeated, right? So we had a couple of coaching sessions, you know, learned to shift that energy, and now he’s working, right?
J: Oh, that’s nice.
A: And that's someone who was willing to give up on their dreams. You know, the way that people look for jobs now is almost completely counterintuitive than it was 10 years ago.
A: You know, the internet really broke the job market. Like, if you're applying for positions on Indeed or on Career Builder or ZipRecruiter, the chances are your résumés not even being seen by human eyes. And, again, that goes into mixed a key activities for results. So I've known people who sent 2000 résumés out and got 6 interviews.
A: Like, that is not you, there's a problem with the system. And so if you're not ready to go outside of your comfort zone, you're just going to end up, you know, attracting the best of what's available. But if you're a really confident person and you have a good key strategy behind you, you can eventually get to the point where you are recruiting your employer and you can go out and pick the companies that you want to work with and… and show them how you add value and get the job that you want without settling.
J: Wow, that is that's so awesome; makes me excited. Maybe I should get a new job, Allison…
J: … and I could work with you.
A: Call me. (Laughs)
J: I really do (Laughs)… I really do like what I'm doing…
J: … but I will send people your away, for sure; it sounds so cool, I love it. Well, where can people find you online?
A: You can find me, I'm on every kind of medium right now, but you can find me and my website is www.hemmingsconsulting.com. I have a Facebook group, the Work Happy Project for people who are, you know, really looking to make some lasting change in their careers and are tired of just doing activities and not getting results, they can join my group on Facebook. And I’m on LinkedIn all the time, so you connect with me on LinkedIn and you can set up a call and figure out how we get you to be able to work happy.
J: Nice, awesome. Well, let's talk a little bit about time and priorities and balance. What's your best time-saving tip, Allison, or that helps you be efficient?
A: For me, I'm a firm, firm believer in RPMs, the Rapid Planning Method with Tony Robbins. A lot of people, they make it so complicated, for me, I just look at my outcomes, “What do I want to achieve today? You know, what's the result that I want to achieve?” and then I write my list every morning and then I pick… I look at the activities that I need to do to get those done, I pick a few that I know that are attainable. I make my goals fun. Like, I don't just write, you know, “Create social media post,” boring!
A: Right? Like, I'm like, you know, “Create a social media that's going to engage awesome professionals,” you know?
A: You know, “Try to inspire somebody today in social media so that someone will take some immediate action,” I just make them creative. I mean, they don't need to be like poetic because it's just me who's reading it, but I get excited looking at my planner and looking at the activities that I have to do. They don't bore me by any means and I look forward to doing them, right? And that makes a huge, huge difference with me. And I find that when I'm not consistent and I'm like… yeah, I can get through the day without making an RPM, but then at the end of the week, I definitely see that my results are not as high as when I do. It's a lot of discipline, but it's definitely worth it. I do them every day and it's helped me so much. And now I do it for my health.
J: Yeah. Do you do weekly RPMs and monthly and quarterly and yearly and all of them or just the daily mostly or weekly?
A: I do them daily and then I look at them like in the beginning of the month and I'll be like, “Okay, what do I really want to get done for the month?” and I put those up… well, the goals for the month on my vision board. And as I go through the weeks, I make sure that I'm working on those ones for the month as well. I don't do them for the year, it's just too much. For me, it’s just my mind it doesn't work like that, I know people have been successful, but I like to keep them simple. If they're too complicated and I'm like, “Okay, my 25 year plan,” then I just go like…
A: I get lost in that, right? Like, I just need simple week, month and, you know, I'm always anticipating issues that may come up in my business or how to avoid things and try to look ahead, and that just helps me keep on track.
J: Mm, that's awesome. And tell us a time when you feel like you followed your intuition or God or the universe, whatever you call it, whatever words use, a time when you just followed instinct and gut and heart instead of logic.
A: You know, I would say when I decided to really focus on career coaching, that was a time where I really, really used my intuition. So I've been involved in the hiring role for a long time, you know, 20 plus years of being involved in hiring people and, you know, I just… I started… I mean, obviously my health was an issue too, but I just… I stopped enjoying the way that companies were hiring and I saw a big amount of people in my practice that were really good at their job, but just didn't know how to interview, they didn't know how to present themselves. Their résumés were horrible and they were spending… and once I spent time with them, they were able to get what they were looking for, but I couldn't help people I wanted.
A: And so literally when we're at Business Mastery and Tony was saying, you know, “One of the things that people forget is that they focus on their service that they do and they don't really think about their clients. And if you really want to take your business to the next level, you got to fall in love with your clients.” And then I started thinking, “I don't really like the companies that I'm working with, I really love the candidates and the professionals and I'm working with. I love inspiring them and I'm good at it,” and I was like, “Why don't I do this, you know, full-time instead of doing something that I'm not… I'm like over?” right?
A: And it's like we… that's why I'm saying I understand that it's hard because so much of your identity is held into what you do, right?
J: Yeah, instead of the who. (Laughs)
A: Yeah. And so when I came back, I… you know, I prayed and I was like, “You know, I really… I've been trying to have a breakthrough in my business for a long time, but I…” even when I would have refer to myself like, “I'm a recruiter, I'm a recruiter, I'm a recruiter, I'm a recruiter,” like a broken record, and all of sudden, I was just like, “No, I help people get jobs and that's what I want to do. And, you know what? That's what I'm going to do.” And I cried, like I literally cried about it. Like, I remember just being really emotional and being like, you know, and I kept trying to think of myself as, “What do I want to do? You know, what do I want that retirement party to look like?” And it's not going to be the companies that work with you that are going to come back and say, “Thank you for hiring that accounting manager,” or…
A: … right?
J: Yes, it’s true.
A: It’s the people.
A: And I made that choice and I tell you, it hasn't been the easiest path, but it's been the most rewarding for me. And it lights me up when I get a call from… you know, I was saying this is to my mom the other day that usually on Monday morning is when I got like, you know, 4 or 5 phone calls of somebody to say, “You know, I just want to thank you so much for helping me get this job, you know? It's my third week, I'm really enjoying it,” or, “You know, thank you for helping me, you know, start this new career and I never would have been able to do it… for you,” that's what lights me up inside, as opposed to like a company calling me and saying, “We need more electricians,” you know?
A: “We need a process engineer’, like yeah, yeah, yeah, you know, right?
J: Yeah, oh that's so beautiful, I love that; that's fantastic. And all you had to do was shift the who and not necessarily the what so much.
J: That's cool. Well, Alison, what's your favorite book?
A: That is a good question, what is my favorite book? you know, I'm reading Michelle Obama's, ‘Becoming’, and I really love that. That's the story that I cannot put it down. I was up until like 3 o'clock this morning reading it, like I do… I kept on like putting it down, and then I was like, “Okay, just one more page,” like…
A: … “I’m almost here,” you know? I love that as well. You know, I love the Malcolm X book, that was a life-changing book for me. You know, I read that with my dad when I was like 16 years old and we had so many great conversations about that book. And even now, like I'll be like, “Remember, you know, remember that story?” or, you know, that's a really inspiring a novel for me that really changed me. I like ‘The Alchemist’ a lot as well as, I’ve read that book so many times, I really enjoyed it. But, you know, ‘Becoming’ is literally becoming my… I got to get to the end before I can make it 100% official, but I would say that that's probably the best one I’ve read. I literally…. Like, Jen, like when… like at 5 o'clock, you know I'm going to be reading that book. Like, I don't even want to go out tonight, it's Friday, like I don't even want to go out.
A: I just want to read it.
A: I want to know about that girl. (Laughs)
J: I haven't read it yet, but it's on my… very high on my list right now so I will get it now, you've inspired me. (Laughs)
J: And one last life hack, a life hack that helps you.
A: You know, I would say, “Fake it till you make it,” I think people really underestimate that, the power of that. Like, for me, whenever I'm stuck in somewhere and I really want to push through and I feel like I can't do it, I will pull on someone in my life that has that superpower and I will literally step into that person and take on what they would do. So like, you know…
A: Yeah, that's helped me a lot. Like even when I was starting my business, like I… please don't judge me, okay (Laughs)? But I'm a big “Real Housewives” fan and like my favorite franchise is the New York franchise. And Bethenny Frankel, I’ve been watching from the beginning and she's a spitfire and she does that Skinnygirl Margarita, made her billions of dollars and she think that's successful until she was in her 40s and she had lots of businesses before, right? And so whenever I'm like, “Oh man, I got to make another call,” or I just feel like stuck, I just step into my Bethenny Frankel mindset and I think to myself, “What would she do?” and I find myself really pushing myself through. I do a lot with my mom as well, I’ll be like, “Oh, what would my mom do? You know, what would Tony Robbins do? You know, like what would he…?” you know? And like I'll like take it on and put it into my body, and that helps me a lot. And I use that trick too with my candidates that are going out for interview if they're nervous. I'm like, “Okay, you know, put your who… you know, who do you know who's really confident? Bring that person’s power with you,” and it helps. So that's a big hack for me.
J: That is really great advice. And, Allison, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant and happy woman?
A: You know, happiness, my last lesson is definitely be healthy, be happy, and having love, like that… those things are just… and it doesn’t necessarily have to be love from like your partner or, you know, from… just loving life. You know, like I get up in the mornings and, you know, when I go for my walk, then I just… I just try to put love out there, just be helpful to people when I can and to give more that I try to, you know, receive and just put myself out there, and it's helped me so much. Because the more you put yourself out there, the more that you get back, even if you… even on a subconscious level, you know, and just gratitude, I have my gratitude. I have a sticky pad by my desk, and whenever something comes into my hand that I'm grateful for, I write it down and I put it into this box that I'm keeping and it’s just… there's so many things to be grateful for, you know? Health, you know, being in the country that you live in, you know, having friends, having a computer, the internet, like everything. Just when you come from that standpoint, you start having a better appreciation of your life.
J: Mm, beautiful. Well, let's have one last challenge from you to our listeners and we'll say goodbye.
A: So one challenge, you know, I'm going to challenge people is to really think about what you want your retirement party to look like, what do you want people to say to you when you get to the end of your career? You want to be the person who's like, “Deuces, I'm out! I never want to see these people! I hate you guys! This sucked! I want to…” you know?
A: You know, are you just waiting for that moment or, you know, do you want to have a career where, you know, at the end, people… you have a legacy that you leave behind, you know, that you're proud of, that you can say that you made an impact or people who, you know, will genuinely miss you and things that you'll miss. I mean, you'll transition and it'll be great, you don't have to work and you can spend more time doing other things but, you know, do you want to be able to say, “I had a really great career and I loved it,” or you want to say, “It was alright and I'm glad it's done,”?
J: (Laughs) Exactly.
J: “And now I’ll step into my grave.” (Laughs)
A: Yeah, “And now I'm going to…” exactly, “I’m going to live in the cottage.”
J: Oh, Alison, so much fun, I love everything about you, but wow, I had no idea you were doing such inspiring awesome work. Thank you for being on the show.
A: Well, thank you for having me, it was such a pleasure, I really appreciate it.
J: Take care, my friend.
A: Thank you.
J: There you have it, inspiring, right? We can do the things we love. And when we do the things we love and we live our purpose, we light a fire inside of us that others can feel that's contagious; it's like sparkling again. So if you feel like you've lost your sparkle or you're stuck or you're not loving what you do all day, then think about identifying the things you love and going out and making it happen, like Alison talked about in this interview; you deserve it. And your family, your loved ones, your friends deserve the energy you're going to bring to the world when you do it. I appreciate you all so much. Thank you for being here, for listening, for supporting Vibrant Happy Women. If you liked this episode and you're a person who likes to give back, do me a favor, go to jenriday.com/itunes, leave us a review on Apple podcasts. You can do that at jenriday.com/itunes; I appreciate you doing that, thank you. Thank you so much for listening, I will see you again soon. Until then, take care.