Adam Torres and Diana C. Stephens, PhD, MBA, discuss career transitions.
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Career transitions can be tough and have a lasting impact on a person’s psychology. In this episode, Adam Torres and Diana C. Stephens, PhD, MBA, Founder and CEO of Mindful Job Alignment, explore career transitions and how Mindful Job Alignment helps its clients.
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About Diana C. Stephens, PhD, MBA,
Her mission in creating Mindful Job Alignment is to provide you with a safe calming space, loaded with resources and mindfulness solutions to help you find emotional peace during whatever difficult times you may be experiencing.
My relentless curiosity drives me to dig deeper for more innovative answers. Having been a casualty of five corporate lay-offs in 10 years, she know all too well the life disruption caused by a job transition. She walked that path, the career chaos, health challenges and eldercare for a parent with Alzheimer’s. All of this caused severe financial issues and deep stress in her life. her quest for emotional solace, became a journey to make sense of the chaos, understand why it happened and establish simple mindfulness practices for stress relief, balance and serenity in her life. This led her to complete her PhD in Holistic coaching. It was during my doctoral studies that her “mess became my mission” so, she created Mindful Job Alignment, based on her doctoral dissertation “A Mindful Approach to Job Search.”
About Mindful Job Alignment
Mindful Job Alignment, was launched to fill a void in the job search process – Emotional Support to job seekers, whether currently employed or unfortunately downsized. We’ve been in your shoes and we know how it feels, the uncertainty, the worry about what will come next. We can help! The idea for this company was conceived by Diana C. Stephens, PhD, in her dissertation “A Mindful Approach to Job Search.” We provide emotional support to individuals navigating through career transition. We enable them to “find their compass” through learning mindfulness techniques to support their job search. Think of us as your safe haven for emotional support as you embark on your career transition. We are experienced job seekers who have had multiple transitions over the past 15 years. We have an online program that introduces individuals to the concepts of space clearing in home or office, mindfulness, journaling, meditation, values assessment, vision creation and law of attraction. We have reading resources to share for career transitions and mindfulness. We offer team coaching through our Vision Accountability Groups and also 1:1 coaching support. If needed we also have affiliates who can assist you with the tactical side of job search for ATS proof resume writing and Linked In profile enhancement. However, our main focus is emotional mindfulness support.
Full Unedited Transcript
Hey, I’d like to welcome you to another episode of mission matters. My name is Adam Torres, and if you’d like to apply to be a guest in the show, just head on over to mission matters. com and click on be our guest to apply. All right. So today is a very special episode. We’re welcoming back to the show.
Diana Stevens, who’s the founder and CEO of mindful job alignment. And I’m proud to say and announce a new author in our best selling business leaders. Book series. So first off, Hey, Diana, welcome back to the show. Thank you very much. I’m very glad to be back. Oh my gosh. So we’ve been, we’ve been working on this book project for quite some time now, and it’s so much fun to finally have the book out to be promoting to obviously bring you back in the show.
And I guess just to start this off, we’re going to, we got a lot to unpack and a lot to uncover today, but we’ll, we’ll start this episode, the way that we start them all with our mission matters minute. So, Diana, we at Mission Matters, we amplify stories for entrepreneurs, executives and experts. That’s our mission.
Diana, what mission matters to you? Well, what really matters to me, Adam, is that people, when they’re in a career transition, either making that decision to make a transition from a job they’re in, or that they find themselves unexpectedly out of work, it’s to really help them and reassure them that that process, Does not have to devastate them and hurt them.
That there is emotional support and help for those transitional periods in their life. And it’s really a passion project for me. So I’m very glad to be here. It’s amazing and great having you back. And I guess just to get this kicked off, I don’t want to assume that maybe some of our newer listeners or viewers caught some of the previous work we’ve done together.
So how did how did this concept of mindful job alignment? How did all that evolve? Well, it really evolved a lot from my personal story. I’ve been in the career workforce for a number of years and had a number of different positions with some Fortune 500 companies in sales. And was in an unfortunate situation that between the years of 2004 and 2014, I was downsized five times.
Wow. And either through divisions going out of business, companies going out of business, or positions being eliminated. So through that time, I had outplacement actually three times, and I found that very, very helpful. for meeting new people and all of the tactical steps of job search, such as resume writing and networking and interviewing and putting together a job search action plan.
But the emotional side was, was a little bit lacking. So I, I moved ahead and in 2019 as part of a I always wanted to get my PhD and I started my PhD in holistic coaching and then in 2020 really. The COVID pandemic really kind of spawned this to push ahead to finish my dissertation.
And I completed my dissertation called the mindful approach to job search where I broke down the job search into about eight different areas, mainly that deal with. internal emotional subjects and helping to feel better and some, some other activities that would provide solace. So I received my PhD in 2021 and then have been moving forward with creating content and was very, very excited when your book opportunity came along because I thought, let’s Start at the beginning with this understanding the grief caused by these transitions and what we can do to overcome that grief and start putting a plan together to move forward.
Because these really are life transitions and sometimes these transitions can occur when new, when other things are happening in one’s life. In my particular situation, I had a 16 year ordeal with my mother. She had Alzheimer’s. I also had a personal health challenge during that time and not to mention what happens during transition is that there’s a tremendous financial consequence and especially as people are younger you need those jobs for medical benefits and then you want to keep contributing to your retirement plan.
So it is, it is a challenging time. Yeah. And so a lot, a lot of different things that you could have written about and you said you mentioned you wanted to kind of start at the beginning. So the name of your chapter of the title, understanding the grief caused by career transitions. Can you tell us just go a little bit further into why this subject was important and why now?
Well, it really is. You know, job loss does rank up in the top 10 of life stressors right there with death of a loved one and divorce. And people really need to understand what they’re going through and they need to. Pause for a moment, understand that this is a life changing event and take some time to process that internally because by processing that and working through the five steps of grief and really taking time to reconcile what went on and what they want to do and just.
To take some time. It’s really about slowing down and really being alone. Going inward and taking a look at where am I at, where do I want to go, is very, very helpful. And it’s almost a little bit heal. It’s healing and it’s medicinal actually. I find that too many people tend to rush back into the.
Search because of the fact that of course they need the money and they panic and they have family situations where they need to have a consistent cash flow. Mm-hmm. . But there is the aspect that if you don’t reconcile what has happened and put it into perspective that you could potentially be carrying negative.
Thoughts and feelings into the networking, into the job interview, and maybe even into the next job when you’re hired. So there’s a piece about completing what has happened, working from a blank slate and then moving forward positively. So just digging a little bit. Further into the book. So just, I’ll read off, I’ll read off a couple of these.
And for the, for the viewers and audience, just know, Hey, we’re going to, we’re going to tackle a couple of these, but we’re not going to go through it all. Cause they pick up a copy of the book. If you want it, I’ll read it in the book. It’s all there, but let me, let me read off a couple of these though.
So transitions are not one size fits all. Life disruptors versus life quakes job loss and transitions, spiritual changes and awareness, seven types of loss. So I want to start with this concept of life disruptors versus like quakes. So tell us a little bit more about that. Well, this comes from the work that Bruce Feiler has done in his book.
Life is in the transitions and he has a very interesting concept about defining Events that happen in one’s life. Now, a disruptor is something that could be a job loss. It could be in some cases, a divorce where it disrupts. It could even be the birth of a new child where it disrupts the everyday flow of life, but eventually everybody kind of realigns themselves in their lifestyle and they move forward.
Yeah. A life quake is much, much more of a life jarring, disruptive event, and it changes one’s life. forever. So in some cases a death of a spouse, a divorce, a serious accident, a serious illness diagnosis, something like that, where your life is completely permanently altered and you have to move on. And sometimes these are enforced changes.
Sometimes these happen over time, but it’s a really interesting distinction. And I think that it’s, it’s Applied to the job search because for some people this could be a life quake, especially if they’re a major breadwinner and they need to land quickly, you know, that type of a thing, a disruptor, you can, you can adjust and keep moving on.
So I thought that was a very interesting concept and I hadn’t really. Seen that before until earlier this year. So I think it’s an important concept to think about. Yeah, no, I think that’s and what I feel like is, and one of the big things I like about what I, what you wrote is that as I read these things, it kind of humanizes some of these changes that we go through, because as you mentioned in the beginning of this, you said, okay you know, you and your personal story and your personal situation, maybe you’d gotten some technical aspects of it.
And so it’s almost like, okay, the technical side is good. But what about the other side? Like, what about the healing side? What about like the trauma of it? What about and so by you applying these other things that are accepted in terms of grief to this transition in terms of job searches and things like that, when you’re downsized and all these other things, like to me, it lets me know.
And I was like, like, Oh, I can look back at times in my life where I’d be like, Oh, like I wasn’t the only one at that time. I was like. Feeling like, oh my gosh, this is the, you know, end of the world. Like, especially when you’re young, when especially young and you maybe haven’t, I shouldn’t stereotype. Maybe other young people deal with things differently.
When I was young, I was like, oh my gosh, this guy is falling. I don’t like this. So will there ever be another, whatever it was? Right. So it really humanizes this all right. Yes. It is a very human issue. I mean, and it’s out there all over the place and. It will consistently happen the days of, I think in, in our workforce nowadays, the days of working, of working in one career for 35 plus years and getting that gold clock or gold watch at your retirement party.
Those, those days are not around. I’ve, I’ve, I read that the average tenure and job tenure nowadays is about three and a half years. So people have to be mindful on both sides. Companies and employees and make the most of the time and, and keep a plan out there, keep, keep active in whatever industry people are in, publish articles, be a thought leader, do whatever you can to learn additional skills to be enhancing yourself, that all helps keep things stable.
Hmm. You also write about spiritual changes and awareness. So as we talk about like this, what was your goal for the reader in this section? I think my goal was for people to take a look at the spiritual side of this, because When you take a look at different people, okay, you know, you might know different people in your life.
You might even have relatives that have never, ever gone through this. Why do some people go through this and, and multiple times and other people never go through this. And I do think there is a spiritual aspect of that, about calling and purpose that perhaps when we are not in our right livelihood, we are then called.
Sometimes in a jarring manner to make a transition into something new, and I just read an interesting article on that online earlier this week about that, that as you start to ignore the signs that come. The signs that will keep coming will become more and more jarring. And then eventually a crisis erupts.
So it’s about being mindful and being conscious to what’s going on. And that’s something that takes a little bit of a muscle to develop because I think that our busy lives nowadays, everyone is so busy. rushing around, just doing the basic tasks and whatnot, that the idea of deep introspection and spirituality is not always there.
And I’m, I’m a big advocate for putting structures in place and practices that one can relate to in place. Any tips, like, like when you talk about structures, like I’m just, any tips or thoughts on like how to do that if somebody is watching this and they’re like, Hey, like, well, I don’t, I’m not the best at this.
Like, what, how can I get better? Well, I have actually an eight part process, which I won’t go into the whole process here, because I want people to read more of the book and check out my website. But I think one of the, the first thing we’ve been talking about is processing the transition. And then the second piece of that is really taking time to create space.
In your home, or maybe have a, have a favorite place outside that you can go be alone, contemplate and meditate and just think about what is going on. What do you want? Take, take maybe a small journal to take some notes about what you want to do and what you want to do next. That’s. That’s part of that. I also recommend gratitude journaling on a daily basis.
Oh yeah. You know, believe it or not, even when you’re in the middle of a job crisis, you can be very, very thankful for the roof over your head, the food you’re eating, and the clothes on your back. So, and I hate to break it down all the way to that level. I break it down to that level. I’ll tell you, Diana, I will wake up and I’m like, now that’s one of my big practices.
I can’t claim I have many practices. I fall off the wagon and I, you know, start something, stop it. I’m human, but that one, I’m like, I woke up, I’m breathing. My lungs are filling with air or whatever. And I’m in like, I’m in, I get, I started the very, very basic and go from there. And it’s important. And I think it’s important because I’ve known some people who this has hit very, very hard and they didn’t have a place to live for a while.
So gratitude is very, very important. I think spiritual reading is also very important, whatever that means to someone. I read a mix of, of, of things and, and a lot I. happen to like eastern philosophies a lot. I think they’re very simple, easy to understand. There’s a lot of books out there on self help and things like that that people can read as well.
And there’s another piece to this that I think is very important for people is to think about incremental income. How can you get in some incremental income while you’re in transition? Do you have a hobby you can monetize? Do you have a talent? Anyone who speaks a second language or third language fluently, you have a built in one right there with interpreting.
And my point on this is I think if you keep busy, you keep out into the community and you keep going, it tends, number one, it lessens the stress. And number two, you meet more people and you never know where your next position is going to come from. Well said. It’s very well said. I want to speak. Speaking of that, I want to, I want to circle back to to mindful job alignment.
So how does your company help job seekers with really the emotional slash kind of like the stress side of the job search? Like, how does your company do that? Well, what we do is I work with clients one on one. I’m also hoping eventually down the line to be starting some support groups because I know there’s a lot of different zoom calls online right now that have job search support groups and whatnot.
But what we’re going to do is walk through this eight part process, the processing of the transition, journaling,
gratitude practices, all of that. Just doing a check in on their diet and exercise plan, making sure that they’re keeping that going whatever that looks like for them. And then talking about the incremental income, seeing what can be done with that. And then we take a look at the values, personal values.
What are your top five or six personal values and how can that be incorporated into the job search plan and then creating a job action plan from those values. And then capping it off. You have the job action plan. So it’s about visualization, teaching about the law of attraction and visualization on how to make, how to be focusing on that.
Not, not talking about the negative. We do that through affirmations. We do that through vocabulary. We do that through asking the right questions. Things like that. Keeping that going all the time and even having a vision board of sorts with your targeted position and whatnot. What does that look like?
What does your lifestyle your desired lifestyle look like? And having that up invisible in the home so that you can keep. Bringing that in. So that’s that’s the process overall. Then, of course, we work on the tactical linkedin analysis, resume analysis. I have associates that are resume writers that I can refer someone to.
And then the linkedin and then the networking and working on articles that they could potentially be putting on linkedin, that type of thing. The tactical to keep them out there. And so as people as people kind of engage with you and your team and go through this process, I’m just curious about this, the action plan component of this.
Cause I know you’re, you’re pretty methodical. Like when somebody walks away with that action plan, is there kind of, is there an opportunity to follow up and continue to work with you? Or how does that piece of it, this all look like after they, after they have the job and they, you know, they’ve completed the goal, like, well, like what’s next for them?
Certainly. Well, the action plan that. That I used in the job search part of it is really an Excel spreadsheet. Everything’s recorded in Excel because you can sum it up, but it really has to deal with the administrative piece of it, getting all those things handled. And then the job contacts, how many contacts you’ve been making in a week, that kind of a thing, interviews, and then the visioning.
piece of it. But what it also includes is how long did you meditate? What types of gratitude practices did you do? Tracking all of the spiritual pieces on a regular basis to making sure that the pieces that you want to put in there, that the spiritual piece doesn’t fall out because you’re so busy focusing on the external.
So it tracks a little bit of both. And that’s where I work with people. Yeah. Initially, I think it would be about like a eight, eight part program, but I think then we’ll, we’ll have followups and things like that after custom tailored to people’s schedules. Oh, for sure. No, I get it. And, and that to me, like one of the best things about having a coach or in this case, someone helping them through that transition period is, is accountability’s big.
Like, when you say, when you tell, when you say to somebody else that you’re going to that you’re going to make X amount of contacts, you’re going to do this, you’re going to do that, well, I don’t know what it is, but it just makes you very much more likely to do it than if you just, if you didn’t have that accountability piece.
Right. And aside from the people who are working in a career who want to make a change. So their week is tied up working their full time job for people in a job search. This really is a minimum 40 hour a week endeavor. Oh, for sure. And they’re not having a job. I’ve always said is having a job to find a job.
Exactly. And it’s a minimum 40 hour a week endeavor. I’ve recently been working with a coach on an empowerment and motivational certification. J. Block has written the book five steps to rapid employment. I was just talking with him about that. And he said, you know, if you follow those steps and you’re out there 50 60 hours a week, you’re gonna land pretty quickly.
Yeah. And that’s even even in the face of what’s going on now with our economy. But and even across all parts of the country. So there is hope, but you have to put the work in. Yeah. Well, Diana, I mean, it’s been, it’s been a lot of fun first off, and I appreciate you being an author in our book and and I’m excited to continue.
I mean, this is just beginning where I’m excited to continue to continue to promote you, your work, your book like, like all of the above. It’s, it’s so much fun. That being said, I mean, if somebody wants to connect with you and they want to work with Mindful Job Alignment, I mean, like, how do they do that?
Well, they can go to my LinkedIn profile, Diana C. Stevens with a PH on LinkedIn. Also the website is mindfuljobalignment. com www. mindfuljobalignment. com and they can take a look at the blogs that I have up there. I’ve got a number of them on initial job search, top 10 things to do if you’re downsized and some philosophies that are Zen philosophies around transitions and whatnot.
So best way to reach out to me is that way. Send me an email. Message me on LinkedIn and happy to have, happy to have a chat. Awesome. And do you do any type of like initial call or consultation? Like, how does that piece of it work? Usually I do a 30 minute discovery call. We just talk about what they’re looking for, and I usually try to provide resources.
If I can’t help them, then I’ll provide resources to colleagues who can based on what they’re looking for. Fantastic. Well, like I said, amazing having you on the show. We’ll put all your information in the show notes. What’s next? I mean, what’s next for you? What’s next for the company? I’m going to really focus on content and want to expand out on this chapter.
I want to expand out and write chapters hopefully, and really put content together for blogs and, and be very, very much an information resource. for the subject, which is going to take more research and everything. Yeah, I love that. That makes me smile from ear to ear because I know that you are a researcher.
I know where your heart’s at. I know your passion for content. And when individuals like yourself put in like hard work and, and create that content, like the greater good, I feel benefits from it. So, so congrats on everything. And I’m excited to continue to get your message out there. And speaking of the audience, so for everybody that’s tuning in or listening.
to this on our podcast. If you’ve never been or listened to a mission matters episode, we’re all about bringing on business owners, entrepreneurs, executives that are mission based. We have them share their message, what they’re doing. And then and then we get, we put, we put that content out for the greater good.
So if that’s the type of content that sounds interesting or fun or exciting to you, we’d We welcome you hit that subscribe button. If you haven’t already hit the subscribe button, we have many more mission based individuals coming up on the line and we don’t want you to miss a thing. Diana. Thank you so much until the next time we get to work together.
Thanks again. Thank you very much.