Career Check UpErin (not her real name) is a rising high potential director now reporting to a new VP. He was hired from the outside with a mandate to revitalize their department. Erin is upset and struggling. The personal values and leadership approaches that made her so effective were seen as too soft and not results-focused enough by her new boss. As she became increasingly frustrated, she asked for career coaching on leaving her company and entering the training and consulting field.

We discussed her career highlights, strengths, passions, and aspirations. She was so caught up in the stress and frustration of dealing with her boss, she’d lost sight of the bigger picture. We discussed the differences between a job, career, or calling. As she sat back and painted the vision of her ideal future it became apparent to her that most of what she wanted was available to her in her current company. She needed to sharpen her skills of upward leadership and learn how to manage her boss more effectively.

The coaching conversation with Erin coincided with us recently updating my LinkedIn profile. We decided to move beyond treating my profile like a resume and focus on my core strengths and skills. This exercise was a powerful reminder of the value of stepping back periodically and looking at where our strengths, passions, and Client/organization needs intersect. Go to if you’d like to see where I landed on culture change, executive coaching, keynotes, retreats, and workshops. If we’re not already connected, please send me an invitation to connect.

As we spring into a new season of growth, here are suggestions for a career check up to keep you growing:

  • What are your career highlights? What strengths, passions, and circumstances came together to create those high points?
  • Describe key elements of your ideal job. How does that fit into a bigger picture of your ideal personal/family relationships, social life, community involvement, financial picture, health and well-being, and/or spiritual growth?
  • What’s your balance of having (position, stuff, power, and security), should-ing (family, friends, society or others “should-ing on you”) or being (mindfulness, aligned with strengths/passions, values, or loving/giving)? Is it time to rebalance your priorities?
  • If your current role feels like you’re heading off to day prison every morning, you can’t energize and effectively lead others. Don’t wait for your “fairy job mother” to magically appear. Figure out what your ideal job is and go find it or create it or realign your work with your passions.
  • If you’re a sumo wrestler, don’t waste time trying to be a ballerina. Are you a race horse trying to fly? Play to your strengths. Don’t let your limitations or weaknesses define you.
  • Keep a private blessings and brag list. Use it to reenergize yourself when things aren’t going well or you’re having a “doubt day.”

During a career check-up, you might not want to do a major revision of your LinkedIn profile. But you can use a similar process to reflect on your 3 or 4 key areas of expertise, what you love and excel at doing, and successful experiences you’ve had. You can use a version of the template I used to focus on what you do, who you currently or ideally would work with, how your approach for that skill works best, what differentiates you from others doing similar work, and what co-workers or others have told you about your strengths.  Go to and adapt a similar approach for yourself around your major skill areas or competencies.