On this week’s episode, we have Valerie Mekki who used to be a retail buyer and product developer for major fashion brands for over 18 years and now she is a content writer and loves it!

In this interview, Valerie fascinatingly shares her career pivots including becoming an entrepreneur, returning to a 9-5 and a lot more! We discuss:

  • The false security of job security
  • How accreditations and side projects can really help in your career transitions
  • The mindset to handle your ego being crushed when working more junior roles in a new career
  • How to deal with tough times during your career transition
  • Practical ways to make money from your years or decades of previous career experience
  • A golden mindset trick to becoming prolific in sharing what you do on social media
  • How to restore balance during your transition so you don’t burn out

Resources:

Full interview transcription:

[00:02:02] Matt: I actually came across you on LinkedIn you had some really really interesting posts about a career change and I delved into your posts. I then found you had this amazing blog called Oh Hello Work-Life, which I think is a great name. You don’t just have one career change You actually have a series of pivots in your career. First of all from being a retail buyer for major fashion retail companies like Forever 21 to delving into entrepreneurship you started an interior designer and staging company for a couple of years. And then into being a sourcing buyer. So I think that’s quite interesting. Tell me a little bit about what made you go into entrepreneurship and actually leave your nine to five job and then also later on return.

[00:02:52] Valerie: Yeah Well I think my love for entrepreneurship actually really started being a buyer in the fashion industry always loved fashion since I was little I knew I wanted to be in the industry and actually I wanted to be a designer and I had a degree in design but I actually ended up being on the buying side, which really was more of my gifts and talents where I have to be analytical and creative at the same time And so when you’re a buyer you’re putting out a collection, you’re trying to make sure that it sells well. And that kind of goes along with entrepreneurship. So being in the industry being a buyer and a product developer for over 18 years, I kind of had this like itch that I’ve always wanted to itch of being my own entrepreneur because I was making so much money for these companies I thought to myself like one of these days I want to try it on my own because I think I know what it takes to run a business. So that’s what kind of sparked my interest. And actually my beginning into entrepreneurship, it started with a layoff. So I was in the industry for over at that point definitely over 15 years and unfortunately the company that I was working for they had some financial issues And so the first people who are let go was going to be middle-management and that’s where it was. But really to be honest with you at that point, I was already really burnt out in that role. I had already been doing product development and buying for over 15 plus years and it started to drain on me. I wasn’t the great mom that I was. I knew that something had to change And so the layoff actually forced me to like figure out what do I want to do and try next. And so I decided why don’t I just try interior design or a staging company, because I used to merchandise the stores and I thought it was just a very logical step into entrepreneurship because it wasn’t too far from fashion It still allowed me to be an entrepreneur and I was able to be creative but wasn’t passionate about it Matt. Like I wasn’t like into interior design I just thought I just had the right skill sets go into business but I truly believe you’re going to be a business owner, you should be passionate about what you’re going into business with.

[00:05:15] Matt: Tell me a little bit about some of the challenges that you faced in in being an entrepreneur and actually the I guess the change to having a job and and what that was like

[00:05:27] Valerie: You know when you’re in a job in a company and you have a full-on team with you, you don’t realize how much you are a part of one big unity, right? So even though you think you can do it as a business owner on your own. Someone’s doing the marketing, right? Someone’s doing the financial part in this company but when you’re on your own you have to wear so many different hats. And so, if you don’t have enough financial runway. If you don’t have the patience to learn all those things and especially if you’re not passionate about the business that you’re in, you’re going to get very burnt out quickly, because it won’t be worth it to learn all the accounting stuff, the marketing stuff. But I didn’t have any experience in that. I just knew how to buy, and was pretty good with numbers and margins but that doesn’t translate to being a successful business owner.

[00:06:19] Matt: I totally relate to that I mean I left the corporate world and you know I had the confidence to start a couple of businesses went into property investment and development and e-commerce as well. So I I delved into this entrepreneurship world and really I was kind of chasing money I thought well exactly like you, you know. Other companies are just making money and I’m working for them. Why can’t I do myself. And I realised you know I did have some certain skills that worked in those areas but I wasn’t passionate And and actually that wore me down that really wore me down And yeah I think particularly in entrepreneurship you need to have that burning desire, that passion to pull you through the hard times especially if you’re working on your own. You know when you haven’t got like a boss to say “Hey, do this” or teammates to prop you up when are tough which inevitably there are in in entrepreneurship. So you went back into becoming a sourcing buyer. Talk me around the decision behind that

[00:07:18] Valerie: So at that point I already was two years into almost two years into my business as a solopreneur And I think you, when you mentioned you know, you’re by yourself. I was a solopreneur, I didn’t ask for help I didn’t really seek out for help I always felt like oh if I’m doing this on my own as a business owner I have to do everything on my own which I don’t believe that to be the case where I am at today but I had to learn about that, right? But being a solopreneur, it was… I missed being on a team

[00:07:50] Matt: totally did miss that Yeah I’m quite a social person I think you might be as well

[00:07:55] Valerie: I would rather have a smaller piece of something big than something small and all to myself. A hundred percent And so at that time when my husband had this opportunity to open up a personal fitness gym with a partner I said to him “Hey we both can’t be business owners Probably one person should have one stable job and another person, you know start their own business. And he’s always been so supportive of my career. And finally I felt like it was my time to be the supportive partner in supporting his dreams And so even though I played it off like I was sad of closing my business deep down inside, I was so relieved close the business because at that point I was so burnt out I didn’t feel like I knew what I was doing And that’s really hard to take in when you have been a high performing professional for over 18 years And then it’s really humbling to not know what you’re doing for the for two years and always be a learner And I took that more as like you know a rejection I saw that as a fault but now I see it as like that’s a blessing you know to learn something new everyday I think that is a blessing But at that time I saw it as kind of like a failure like why can’t I make this business successful And that’s because it’s coming off of so many years as a high performer being something. Contributing to a large company So I think when you go into solopreneurship you have to have the right mindset of knowing that there will be failures and how are you going to push yourself through it, Or seeking out help So when I had the opportunity to go look for another job I was happy to do that And that’s how I ended up being back into the industry that I pivoted out of.

[00:09:44] Matt: Let’s talk a little bit about your blog I love your blog I think it’s fantastic I oh hello Work-life great name Oh hello Work-life dot com and people would check it out. Now i t’s got so much great content for people going through a mid-life career change and I I particularly love like the practical advice that you give for career pivots and you know the tough transition periods in career change What inspired you Valerie to start your blog Oh hello Work Life and how did you decide following on from that , that you were going to be a content writer?

[00:10:19] Valerie: So what sparked the blog I have to back up a little bit So I found a job as a sourcing buyer went back into a buyer role and I thought I had job security I was just like okay I’m settled, I’m good Like I’ve had a very successful career in the corporate life. I took a lower level buying role which I was totally fine with I just wanted to put my head down and work but that job security is a false security because a year and seven months later I was laid off due to the pandemic. The company wasn’t doing well I was the first one hired so I was the first one to let be let go So what I thought I was getting job security, it really wasn’t Right And nothing is ever guaranteed to us whether you’re going to get laid off possibly or maybe just even have a change of heart. So I just didn’t want people to have this false sense of of security and that people should prepare themselves for anything that may come to them A pandemic. A layoff. A change of heart So that’s what launched Oh Hello Work Life, as the blog.

[00:11:20] Matt: And as you as you launch that I mean I can tell that you’re passionate about this subject, career change.

[00:11:29] Valerie: Actually you know the blog it actually started off as a side project because in my resume I’ve always had only in store experience I’ve never had work around the e-commerce department I was never really exposed to like the digital part of the industry So but the only things that I saw that was out there that were available for a job Cause I I was still looking for a job to be honest with you when I started the blog was anything that was like had to deal with e-commerce or online presence, right? So I started the blog as a side project to show my future employers Hey I can stay digitally relevant Like I know how to launch a WordPress blog take a look It was supposed to be a case study But I also wanted to make sure And I know that if I was going to put time and effort into something that I better be passionate about the topic so that’s where I decided to choose

[00:12:29] career pivoting as main topic for oh Hello Work Life And so I was never a writer growing up I was always known to be like the creative one the artistic one in the family I was never known to be the writer. Horrible speller! But really I was just really just more curious about like learning how to be a better writer. Learning about SEO. And that kind of just helped build my confidence as a writer if you were to tell me like Val you’re going to be a writer in you know X amount of years I would have been Like that’s that’s not possible but it’s really my curiosity of learning that helped drive that through

[00:13:09] Matt: Obviously you are in this journey now of of like being a content writer and getting gigs and kind of developing this career Talk me through like how you developed your confidence that you could actually make this career

[00:13:24] Valerie: The confidence really came with putting myself online because you can publish a blog But you can’t expect it to be picked up by search engines automatically It takes a long time for any article that’s out there to get picked up from a search engine Right so meanwhile you as a writer you have to do your own marketing for your work So that meant that I had to put away my fears of showing up online on LinkedIn and posting every day So when I make a post I always referenced back to a blog article So that’s what this documentation on my career journey It kind of sparked with Hey I want people to read the blog so that actually meant that I need to show up on social media to share with them what I’m writing about. So I had to work my way up with my confidence but I was really showing up every day on LinkedIn and sharing my career change journey. That’s what has helped me become more confident as a content creator and also a content writer.

[00:14:26] Matt: You’ve been certified by HubSpot and you’ve kind of followed a accreditation route in your career Let’s talk about the effect of of accreditation’s and qualifications when pivoting and going into new careers How do you think that has helped you and would you advise that for people that are

[00:14:46] starting a new path?

[00:14:48] Valerie: Absolutely I would say that you should look into whatever courses that offer a certification so that you can show your certification on LinkedIn that is definitely has helped me gain some credibility because it

[00:15:04] will take time for people to trust that you know what you’re doing whether it’s a company or clients. So having accreditation will give you that credibility on your profile I’m very big believer in starting a side project that you can share to build your personal brand online like LinkedIn or Instagram. People are interested in what you’re doing and what you’re learning and you should share that with people It will never count right Like if you don’t share what you’re up to and what you’re learning it actually will never count Right so, but you need that credibility You need something other than you think that you’re going to make a career change and someone’s going to hire you. No your resume doesn’t… it won’t have the validation It won’t hold itself up. So you have to create your own opportunities by doing side projects and getting certified.

[00:16:03] Matt: I’m kind of also interested about like transitions because a lot of your blog is really around how to manage transitions and challenges in pivots particularly for mid life career professionals What do you think has been some of your biggest challenges in transition in career transition handled those?

[00:16:25] I

[00:16:25] Valerie: think for me my first experience is getting the clarity. Getting really super clear on what you want to pivot into next Maybe it’s because I was laid off and unemployed, I didn’t have the time to spend a lot to to experiment to to take my time to find out what I really wanted to do. I had to really hunker down and get really super clear What did I want to do next What is my purpose? Where are my gifts and talents? So I think it’s really good to have those personality tests They take those personality tests I don’t know if you’ve ever taken like Clifton strengths finder via Insta character institutes Those those personality tests really can help you kind of figure out what are your natural gifts and talents because maybe you weren’t able to use it in your previous career But now that you have the time to say okay what do I really want to do And what am I really good at Maybe that can give you that clarity that you need to to go into the career that you could be naturally good at because you don’t have the time to like learn so much right Like you need to go off with your inherent gifts and talents.

[00:17:41] Matt: I mean I totally recommend doing some psychometric tests to bring awareness about like your strengths I did an episode with with Terese Toohey who is who is a coach on that And we actually talked through my psychometric report the strength profile report and how it’s helped me in my own kind of career journey So for those listeners that are interested in how useful that is check out that earlier episode What is around the corner for you in your career like have you how much have you planned and

[00:18:14] Valerie: Gosh. What is unexpected? Well I know now

[00:18:21] I really enjoy content writing about SEO Like I finally feel like the passion that I had in fashion merchandising and buying like I feel that again. So that’s like a knowing.

[00:18:34] You know when you feel passionate and you find your purpose again, then you’re open to whatever happens You can plan as much as you can But now that I’m focused on this is what I want to do and I’m open to the opportunities that lead me to grow into this content writing and now content marketing for other clients I can feel it And I know that this is going to be a longer road for me I know that it won’t be a only two year blip like how I was with the entrepreneurship because I lacked passion Last time when I made the first career pivot I was just doing it logically I was like oh yeah I can do this because it seems like I’ve done something like it before I could do it again. But this time around it’s so different because I’m so excited about learning something new every day in the fields SEO and writing. So, it’s just really just finding that passion again.

[00:19:28] Matt: One of the things I noticed in a recent post you did actually Valerie was around actually having like multiple jobs during transitions And I know you mentioned about I think you were working in weekends as a Wedding coordinator coordinator and you’re doing like you know content writing And actually there’s a few other projects that you’re involved in actually the reality of of starting a new business or being freelance or having a new career is you need to be all hands on deck especially to manage things financially as well and a lot of people struggle with that You know you mentioned earlier about You know you were very experienced You’ve been in the buying industry for what 18 years You know you got to kind of senior position and when you changed your career it was like you were starting all over again It was same with entrepreneurship as well How do you deal with that Like cause a lot for a lot of people it’s like an ego crush It’s like can’t work I can’t job that paid less than what I was on before And I have so much experience in another industry How could I possibly do this Like you seem to like just take everything in. Is that natural or was there some kind of initial resistance and if so how did you overcome that?

[00:20:46] Valerie: I’m going to go back to being passionate about it Right Like. I am passionate about being a content writer and a marketer and whatever it takes for me to continue on this road I checked that ego at the door If it means that I have to work on the weekends and being a wedding coordinator assistant, I’m fine with that You know why Because that’s a Saturday night that I wouldn’t be doing anything anyways If it gives me the freedom to write for my clients the following week I am all in It’s really about the longterm goal not what the short sprints are in between but it’s the long-term goal And if you’re passionate about what you want once again to accomplish, then, you just have to just go for it and whatever it takes You of have to be like that resourceful scrappy 20 year old again right Like when you first started off in your career and you were like I really want to get into that dream job and that that dream company and I’ll be an intern I’ll just wait tables and like that’s what you sometimes have to do Granted I’m very blessed and have a supportive husband who allows me to have this time in my life financially to support us But we both, our family lifestyle has definitely changed And I am very grateful that my family is supportive that we all dial back how we are spending so that I can move forward So know that’s not for everyone’s situation,

[00:22:19] but I also then go back to okay then try that side hustle, try that side project. Make sure that you’re trying those things out first before you commit to making these big changes financially and like mindset wise.

[00:22:35] Matt: Yeah I mean I talk about this as well you know prototyping your career trying different things out and seeing how they feel when you’re in when you’re doing a least an area of what you’re thinking of doing And it manages your risk a lot better as well playing that way you mentioned about like you know having this strong vision of your future of like where you were going especially when times are tough and you you know taking on other roles that you not necessarily gonna be careers but they’re they’re getting you to where you want to be How do you set a vision like how do you know where you want to go And how do you regularly, I guess check into that like do. For example, do you have a specific goal in mind with regards to content writing Do you want to work for certain organizations or own a certain amount of money or publish books Like is your vision and how did you create it to to to drive you through these transitions you’ve been going through?

[00:23:35] Valerie: Yeah so I do have a vision and it’s all really it’s all coming from I’m not sure where I heard it on a podcast recently on it’s Hello Monday with Jessi Hempel. And she had this guest on and they created this exercise It was called the Ten Year Plan And basically you’re supposed to write down a day in the life 10 years from now or even five years from now. I did 5 years from now because I’m mid life I don’t have that much time I want to get going So a five five years from now would that day look like for me And it’s so descriptive time from the time you open your eyes to the time you’ve laid your head on the bed and it detailed every single thing And I think that’s part of visualization So when you start to write it down and you can like smell the coffee or it can you can see like what your home office looks like. That has really helped me keep that in line and vision every single day like I’m not working to get through this task today I’m working towards that Five-year what that day in that life would be like five years from now So holding on to that vision it starts with visualization for me and and it was in and it made sense for me to write it down So I know that there is a website that you can do that exercise is a pretty simple landing page but has helped me is is visualization

[00:24:57] Matt: Yeah that was pretty interesting that you’ve that and I’m a massive fan of visualization I’m an NLP trainer and I trained new linguistic programming and my career coaching clients we go through visualization exercises to basically get ideas from your unconscious about what it is you actually really want like what what would be an exciting future And you need to take time to explore that unconsciously I think And it’s really refreshing to hear that that you use that to get you through transition and it’s working well for you.

[00:25:34] What are some of the most practical ways to start making money when you are in a transition whether it’s online or offline like from your own experience or maybe from people that you know who’ve done career pivots how can people start to get into the side gig world and you know make money so they are able to even kind of think about new careers cause with zero money and and like just leaving your job you know it’s high stress and it’s probably not achievable for a lot of people to just do that So for those who are kind of looking for a transition and easing out of a career that they want to be in what are some kind of practical ways or paths that people can take to start making money?

[00:26:26] Valerie: So I have a definition of what a career There’s a difference between a career pivot and a career change. A career pivot In my mind I visualize it as you have one foot steps still in your last career and another foot pivoting out So that’s my first tip for someone who is not really ready to make a complete career change you have one foot planted in your old industry, be a consultant, right? Or write a course. There’s so much good information that you have built as a mid-career professional that you can share it with people. Granted like you know like you want you have your eyes that you want to pivot out of it but it doesn’t mean that you get rid of all of that great knowledge and wisdom that you can share with someone else. So I have been offering my services and I have a couple of clients that I help them through launching a fashion line. So I utilise what I learned before as leverage to monetize why I pivot to my new career as a content writer So I have a lot of things going on but that’s that’s just the season that I’m in but always making sure that you are leveraging whatever you have learned from your past And how can you monetize that first before thinking that you are going to make money.

[00:27:43] Matt: Yeah So that’s interesting So consulting is obviously like a a great route particularly for kind of mid-career professionals that have built you know kind of 10, 15, 20 years of experience in a discipline Like that is valuable knowledge and like how can you extract that knowledge and give that value to other people And it’s certainly possible. So consulting is one way. I guess like courses blogging like is there any other kind of routes that you can extract that and turn into some cash?

[00:28:16] Valerie: We live in such a great time where we have two things going for us We have self publishing platforms like Udemy or Kajabi right So all our expertise and our knowledge of what we’ve learned in the past. How can you narrow it down and get it simplified in a course so that other people can learn from it That’s how people are learning these days They’re going online and they want on demand learning. So you can create a course and that’s what’s amazing about being this time is that you can monetize your knowledge and then you also have social media like LinkedIn to promote it. So those are the two things that I would recommend that people start really focusing on is how can you monetize your knowledge, and then how do you build your personal brand online to share it with people so that people can sign up for your courses or your consulting services.

[00:29:11] Matt: Yeah I mean there are so many opportunities and I guess it can be quite overwhelming initially And that’s why you know kind of checking out useful resources on what other people have done blog is great for this around how to monetize side gigs, so please you know encourage people to check that out And many useful resources on the internet as well I guess some of the biggest lessons that you’ve learned in your in your journey so far you know with various pivots entrepreneurship and and you know now like a career that you’re you have a strong vision for. If you look back in time with hindsight the power of hindsight would you have done anything differently? And what lessons have you learned on this journey?

[00:29:59] Valerie: The biggest lessons I have learnt is that I don’t need a company to define my value or who I am. I have always leaned into the fact that even getting a part-time job I wish I had you know a company that I can lean into I always put my value of what I am professionally, attach it to a company So what I’m learning now is that I actually can do this on my own I don’t need validation from a company to say oh she’s really good at content writing We hired her part time No it doesn’t have to work like that It’s by creating helpful and valuable content out there And then people will reach out to you and say Hey I saw what you did how can how can I be your client Cause I need help with that So that’s why I think I love content marketing so much, just because you’re giving value You’re just giving value You don’t have to sell yourself You’re giving value and you’re not waiting for validation from a company to say you’re good at what you do So that’s what I’ve recently learned And I’m going to hold onto that belief because that I don’t want to go back down that false sense of security that I had before which ended me up here again And I Just want to take those blinders off and really start believing in myself and what I can provide And that’s just by providing helpful content or helpful valuable content out there.

[00:31:34] Matt: Yeah I mean one thing I really noticed about you and your posts is you’re prolific. You, you do a lot of content you write a lot and you know on your blog, on LinkedIn and and like on social How do you get so consistent with that? It seems like you’re passionate all the time when you’re writing. Is that is that just a natural thing or are you kind of disciplined in how you achieve that? Because I think that’s particularly for people that are you know going into freelancing or entrepreneurship getting yourself out there can be a challenge and yeah I guess you know it’s it’s partly a confidence and self-belief thing . How did you rise to that challenge And and what advice do you have for others who might be struggling with getting themselves out there online to share, you know, their talents?

[00:32:28] Valerie: I just did a video couple of days ago about If you don’t see yourself represented out there and that’s a really big thing for me then be the person inspires someone, right? Because even on LinkedIn I didn’t really see people like me sharing their failures and what was happening to them. And I think over the course of the pandemic people started to become more comfortable about hearing those journeys and they really It really touched them and I would get personal messages, DMs all the time, I still get them, so because I didn’t see someone out there like myself I was like well I don’t want anyone to go through what I went through So if I don’t see anyone else sharing so I’m I’m going to go ahead and and do it I had really nothing to lose And so I started to share and then I started to get feedback from people, you know, telling me keep going, because you’re sharing a story that I can’t share. So sometimes when you’re you’re putting yourself out there it’s not for you It’s for the people who are like watching it and commenting on it or sending you that private message. That’s what drives me to be consistent and to show up with my messages. It’s really for them. I write for them too. That’s what the blog is all about.

[00:33:46] Matt: You know people pick it up as you said . You had companies like HubSpot who picked up your blog and said this is great writing Like you’re a great writer . What was it like when you kind of first had a recognition of your work because when you’re doing stuff like blogging and writing it especially in the early stages. No one, you don’t get the recognition. You might get a few initially family members but it takes a while to to to develop first of all that discipline but then also to actually earn that recognition and and get it and get that feedback What was it like when you when you got that feedback initially from companies like HubSpot and how did that I guess change your motivation or experience in pursuing your career. Did it did it kind of spur you on further or…

[00:34:39] Valerie: I was completely surprised when they reached out to me. The reason why I was surprised is because I’m such a goal oriented person a high performer It wasn’t even in my realm of possibility that a company like HubSpot would even read my blog and reach out to me So that’s like the kind of unexpected beauty about a career change is like when if you’re just focused on building up your excellence in your new career And you’re just focused on doing that and serving out that value, people will start to notice You don’t have to tell people. You just show up consistently do it, give the value, share it. You have to share it online, right? That’s how people will notice you. But if you don’t have to have a goal like I’m going to have this company recognize me. That doesn’t have to be in your goal Your goal should just be striving for excellence in your in your new career and then all the opportunities kind of fall in place. So

[00:35:38] it was a surprise but it was a nice surprise.

[00:35:40]

[00:35:40] Matt: Let’s talk about you know you you you mentioned were a little bit burnout in in work in in your previous career how has Balance and work-life balance changed during your career journey it like now and balanced something that you is important to you and you want to kind of in check now that you in more control of your destiny of your career?

[00:36:12] Valerie: You’re right Absolutely And you’re more in control of your destiny, Before when I was in the corporate world I was such a high performer I felt like I had to go at this lightning speed to get promoted to be recognized from leadership That was the only way, was working on weekends working at night And that takes a toll but it takes a toll on you. And for me I ignored any how I felt. Whether that wa s mentally or even physically I just like pushed it down and just kept performing Cause that’s the only way I knew how to get promoted Now, where I’m at today is I am more in tune with my body. I pick up on the signs if I’m not if I’m feeling like my energy is low and I can’t give any more creative writing, I stop. I stop and I listen to myself and say “I’ll just pick up the work tomorrow”. And I set boundaries up for myself with my phone actually So even though I’m creating content online. Engaging online and have clients I do create this rule that my phone doesn’t go into the room with me at night and I don’t pick up my phone until after I finished my morning routine of working out and meditation. And that’s when I pick up the phone again. I think it’s really important to create that boundary and space for yourself so that you can show up in your best way and form.

[00:37:39] Matt: I I very recently went on another 10 day Vipassana retreat which is like a silent meditation retreat where you have no phone no internet nothing And then you’re meditating all day for ten days And I really noticed like how addicted I was to my phone yet again before the retreat And afterwards I’m like now I’m a lot more conscious of it but it’s having that discipline and that routine to meditate but also being conscious of being glued to your phone all the time I mean for me it gives it gives me so much more clarity my head’s clear so I can actually think about make better decisions and in business in life And so that resonates with me having that set plan to allocate for balance and and in life and in your career I think is very, very helpful and I’m glad you shared that

[00:38:38] Where can people find out more about you even contact you for opportunities to work together or just speak with you and connect with you. How can they do that?

[00:38:48] Valerie: LinkedIn is my jam I’m always on there That’s how we met I’m so glad that you reached out and so you can always contact me through messaging on LinkedIn I love voice notes on LinkedIn It’s my favorite type So that’s a hint. I will listen to your voice notes and I will send one back to you because I get so many connections. And usually it doesn’t have like a personal note or anything like that But if you want me to reply back, writing a personal note or leaving a voice message. That will get my attention I definitely will reply back. Another way of getting in contact with me is through Instagram at oh hello work-life or through my blog which is oh hello

[00:39:30] worklife.

[00:39:32] Matt: Awesome And all of those links will be in the show notes of this episode

[00:39:36] that leads me onto my last question Valerie which is, I see someone who lives with passion purpose and balance I call that mixture to burn from within What do you think is the number one thing that’s made the biggest difference for you to burn from within?

[00:39:55] Valerie: Well I would have to say this time this career change and this drive and passion I always have my daughter in mind. So when I was in the corporate world I was just so focused on being the breadwinner of the family and in such a high achiever. But now as my daughter she’s a teenager. I could see her becoming a young adult and she’s going to be a career professional herself. I want to make sure that I’m a good example of what it is to have that passion purpose and balance that you talk of. Not driven by you know, having, wanting to get promoted and validated from a company like being very fulfilled with who you are. Showing up with your gifts and talents I just want to be that example to her so that she doesn’t have to walk down that road of trying to find validation from different places with really it just really is you..

[00:40:50] Matt: Wow That’s

[00:40:51] an amazing drive And you know I don’t have kids at the moment Valerie but I planned kids And I think the path that I’m on right now in terms of following my passions and and making sure that I’m always in check of how how purposeful I spend my time and and I have a balance before the life They’re important to me I think you’re like that is in the back of my mind when I visualize my future Having kids for example like being the kind of person that I want I’d like to inspire them to be you know not coming home from work and maybe earning lots of money but that being miserable and unfulfilled and know do I want would I want my kids to like that and and have that path No And so that example I think is actually one of the reasons why it drives me to do is to kind of share these inspirational stories Valerie so that you know more can inspire their kids to to follow a similar path So that’s a beautiful share at the end Valerie it’s been an absolute pleasure

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