Butterflies. Stage fright. Game day. First day of school. There’s lots of ways to describe that tingling feeling in your stomach before you do something for the first time. Some people relish this feeling and others avoid it at all costs.

American author F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “For what it’s worth… it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again.”

Here’s the really exciting part… even if you decide to change careers to a new industry or type of work, you’re not technically starting over again, as Fitzgerald referenced. You have TONS of great experience that you’re bringing with you. 

I don’t know about you, but I for one am very glad I’m a different person now than I was in my 20’s! I’ve had the opportunity to work for many different companies and leaders. It’s given me time to reflect on and develop into the type of leader I want to be in my professional and personal life. I’ve learned many valuable lessons and skills and those travel with me wherever I choose to go and whatever I choose to do. And the same is true for you! 

There will be many new things to learn, sure. But there are also many more things you already know. When you’re starting over, it’s easy to freak out! Sometimes, just reminding yourself of all the simple stuff you know how to do can help (sounds weird, but try it!). You’ve been to meetings, you’ve worked at other companies, you know how to interact with co-workers, and you know how to figure out how things really get done. See! It wasn’t so weird. Now don’t you feel better? 

Are you ready to start over? Maybe you aren’t sure you’re ready, but your company has decided it for you through a layoff. Regardless, seemingly big leaps are actually made up of a whole lot of small steps. And remember, you’re bringing all that amazing knowledge and experience with you! 

If you need help figuring out what your next steps are, reach out to me.



unable to move, or set in a particular position, place, or way of thinking

Do any of these definitions of stuck describe you?

  • be fixed in a particular position or unable to move or be moved
  • be unable to progress with a task or find the answer or solution to something
  • remain in a static condition; fail to progress
  • be or remain in a specified place or situation, typically one perceived as tedious or unpleasant

There are times in our careers when all of us have felt stuck. It could be that there was no further room for advancement in a role. Or maybe you had a ton of personal stuff happening in your life that didn’t leave a lot of mental energy for giving 110% at work. Or maybe it was a mismatch of skills and expectations that made it difficult to be successful in that role. 

Being stuck doesn’t have to be a bad thing. There are seasons in life when you need your job to be more on auto-pilot. I’ve talked to lots of people who need exactly this in situations like when providing care to small children or aging parents or when the storms of life are rocking the boat (death / divorce / drama). If that’s the season of life you find yourself in, know that you’re not alone. Make sure you have a solid support system in place to help you get through it.

Meanwhile, if you’re in a role right now where you feel like you’re “phoning it in” vs. giving it your best effort, do you feel stuck? How long have you been feeling that way? There’s no shame in getting stuck. The key question you need to ask yourself is, “What am I willing to do to get unstuck?”

If you’re ready to start living your best life and doing your best work, I’m here to help!

Adulting (the act of becoming an adult) is hard. There’s lots of advice out there from friends, family members, the Internet, even perfect strangers, on what responsible adults do. Responsible adults should floss every day. Responsible adults should eat their vegetables. Responsible adults should find a stable job with decent pay, benefits, and a retirement plan. Responsible adults don’t get to have fun because they’re too busy being responsible. 

In the words of punk rock poet, Frank Turner:  

“Oh maturity’s a wrapped up package deal so it seems / And ditching teenage fantasy means ditching all your dreams / All your friends and peers and family solemnly tell you you will / Have to grow up be an adult yeah be bored and unfulfilled / Oh when no ones yet explained to me exactly what’s so great / About slaving 50 years away on something that you hate…”

Bored and unfulfilled definitely describes the majority of American workers, but it doesn’t have to define you. The first thing you need to do is recognize that this is how you’ve been feeling. Note – if you’re reading this blog, you may have had the realization already! Check one off the list!

The second thing you have to acknowledge is that just because a job sounds good doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good match for your talents, skills, interests, beliefs, and values. Trust me, I’ve been there. I once spent more than a year trying to convince myself to stay in a job, because on paper, it checked all the metaphorical boxes. Great pay. Decent benefits. Reasonable hours. Retirement plan. Matched my skill set. 

It should have been awesome… but I was miserable and to top it off, I felt guilty for feeling that way. Lots of other people wanted that job and would have enjoyed doing it. But I didn’t. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. I would love to go back in time to encourage my past self to leave that job sooner. My misery was making everyone around me miserable too and that’s no way to live. The rear view mirror eventually allowed me to reflect and see what was happening in that scenario. Spoiler alert: it was the fact that I wasn’t working authentically and it’s helped me make better career choices moving forward. 

The final piece you should remember as you are on your career journey is that everyone makes mistakes (chooses the wrong role, stays too long, etc.). Don’t beat yourself up over it – you’re already feeling bad enough if you’re in that position right now! Instead, make up your mind to get clarity on what exactly you like and don’t like about your job so you can make an informed decision moving forward. I am always here to help you on your unique career journey.

Hi! I’m Allyson. Most of my friends call me Ally. Welcome to the Authentic Ally (see what I did there?) blog where I share my thoughts on careers and life, partly because I’m interested in those topics and partly because we spend so much of our time physically at our careers (as well as worrying about them when we’re not there!) that it’s hard to separate them from our lives.

One of my favorite quotes on work comes from the comedian Drew Carey:

 “Oh you hate your job? Why didn’t you say so? There’s a support group for that. It’s called everybody, and they meet at the bar.”

It’s intended to be funny, but there’s a large kernel of truth in it. More than 70% of American workers range from unhappy to downright miserable in their jobs. There are a lot of reasons for the disengaged feelings so many people experience and we’ll explore a lot of those reasons here on this blog, but first let’s all agree that the embarrassingly high number of unhappy workers is not ok. It’s bad for people and it’s bad for companies. 

So I’m here to change that. I want to increase the number of happy workers because happier people are healthier people. They’re better partners, parents, co-workers, friends, leaders, and volunteers. And just imagine how our world changes when the majority of people are doing work that they love, that excites them, and that brings about high levels of creativity!  

Who’s with me? *Collective cheer rises up… or at least a nodding of heads in agreement* Great! Let’s get started.