Take Charge of Your Career & Life with Tammy Gooler Loeb
“We have to start from the inside out because that’s where we have the power and control over our own lives. We have to drive our own bus. That’s where it begins.” – Tammy Gooler Loeb
I had the privilege of speaking with Tammy Gooler Loeb, a career and executive coach helping people pursue meaningful and fulfilling work. She also hosts the Work from the Inside Out podcast and is the author of Work from the Inside Out: Break Through Nine Common Obstacles and Design a Career That Fulfills You.
- Common uncertainties people experience when making transitions in their lives or careers
- The complexity of career fulfillment and satisfaction
- How fear can prevent us from making changes in our lives and careers
Common uncertainties people experience when making transitions in their lives or careers
Transitions unanimously coincide with uncertainty. When we move from one profession to another, move states, or even go from single to in a relationship, many unknowns follow us down those paths. It can feel easier to stay put, but that’s not always best.
Tammy has seen a consistent pattern of doubt and uncertainty in clients making substantial changes.
“They are ready to make a change—that readiness and desire are key, and that awareness of themselves is key. And yet I think they also don't want to make decisions about where they're going from that place of unhappiness or unsettledness,” she says.
People generally want to feel more sure of how they will achieve the changes they’re looking for and have confidence that they’re taking the right path. The only problem is sometimes it’s hard to tell what “the right path” means.
“We don't know how this is going to turn out; there are no guarantees,” Tammy continues. “However, if we can establish some baseline core values and areas that we know are most important to them, then we can use those as a foundation to work from and then use those to establish the idea that we're not going from A to Z, there are all those letters in between.”
That’s where Tammy’s core philosophy comes in: We must work from the inside out to find true career fulfillment, which takes trial and error.
The complexity of career fulfillment and satisfaction
What does it mean to find fulfillment? Well, the answer is different for everyone. Herein lies the complexity of humanity. What fills one person up may deplete another. There is no quick fix for fulfillment and satisfaction.
“That fulfillment and satisfaction is complex—I don't mean that it's complicated, but it's got many layers and levels to it,” Tammy shares. “Sometimes people, when they come from a reactionary place, they're looking for that quick solution.”
Instant gratification only goes so far. When we aim for a hasty choice, we’re likely to end up in a less-than-ideal situation that does not meet our long-term needs, leaving us unfulfilled and unsatisfied.
“We need to allow ourselves to let things unfold so that we can really find that fulfillment and satisfaction,” she continues. “It doesn't have to check off every box on the list. If we can allow ourselves a little bit of time and space and maybe even grace, we're going to find a much more contented place.”
A common concern among those seeking fulfillment is that they will have to sacrifice their lifestyle and earning potential. The truth is much more accessible than that. We do not have to give up our lifestyle to do meaningful work—there are compromises and routes that include both.
How fear can prevent us from making changes in our lives and careers
Fear is one of the most intrinsic human emotions we have. It’s baked into us first and foremost for survival. Fear’s main job is to keep us safe. Yet, in a space lacking mortal danger, it has nowhere to go but inward—that means second-guessing ourselves, cowing at change, and convincing ourselves with seemingly logical reasons to stay in one place, to stay still.
There are a few top logical reasons why we put off transitioning and investing in a career change:
- Responsibility (family or otherwise)
- Loyalty to our current career
- Not wanting to start over
- Financial concerns
“There's a lot of assumptions in that, thinking they're starting all over again, when in fact, who says you have to throw that all away in order to make a change?” Tammy says. “You'd get to take that with you, even if you're learning new skills, taking a course, or even getting another degree. There are all kinds of ways for people to make these changes.”
Learning and growing are part of what keeps us alive—no matter if we’re 25 or 65. It is never too late to try something new and explore different ways of living, working, and thriving.
When was the last time you made a challenging transition in your life? Are you fulfilled in your work? What logical reasons are fears disguised as for you?