A colleague asked me what process I used to figure out that I wanted to work independently rather than in a traditional job. I told him that it was like going to an art museum.

Most self-help and career coaching books advocate that you ascertain your strengths and do exercises to find your purpose, but for me, it was an evolutionary process that was a lot like looking at art. Initially, could not describe to you what types of paintings struck my fancy but I could instantly tell what I did not like. My process was one of eliminating jobs or aspects of positions that did not appeal to me until I found myself in the metaphorical gallery of works that I loved.

In essence, choosing a career path is like picking a painting to hang in your home. There may be many that are possibilities, but only a select few that really speak to you. Keep wandering through those hallways until you find one that you want to be with for many hours each day.


I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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