My Journey Through Life

Hey there y’all! I hope you have had an amazing week! Mine was C.R.A.Z.Y., but I survived and actually learned a lot this week. I guess one of my biggest things in life is that if I have those moments that are not so great…aka challenges…I need to learn from them. Now, I have been in public education for 28 years and I have to say, I encountered an experience this week that made me have to put that learning hat back on and really use my brainpower to get through it! But again…I did it and I survived!

I was listening to a podcast this morning on my walk with the dog and the host was talking about how to best write a resume and interview in 2023. Now, I pride myself in interviewing well and actually writing a pretty great resume! I have had some good training in this area and, after conducting so many interviews over the years myself, I have found what definitely hits specific points home with me as the interviewer and can use them to not only help myself, but I have been able to help others. And the great news…what she was talking about basically hit everything I do when preparing for a job change and interview. We also both emphasized how you must remember that you can do your best job on the interview and your resume can be A-mazing…but sometimes you are just not the right fit. So, do not beat yourself up about that…YOUR perfect job is coming for you!

It also made me start to think about where I am currently on my journey through life and how I got exactly to this point. With the transition I am doing, I feel that not only speaking about my professional experiences but also my personal experiences…especially since so much of my own personal journey to get where I am, have influenced my decision to transition to becoming a life and growth coach. I also remind myself so often, people do not always care what you know (yes, you need to be able to do the tasks at hand), but care more about how you can help them and how you make them feel in the process (and that is just a little extra tip from me 😁). So, I wanted to take time this week and highlight my own journey in hopes that if you are looking to transition in life or in your own career, look for that promotion, whatever you are seeking to accomplish, I can help by sharing what I feel has been most beneficial to my success in life and in my career.

I want to start by saying, I believe I need to be a continual learner in life. There is so much to learn, experience and sometimes overcome, that I think that if we stop learning…which means to me resisting changes and challenges…we will become stuck, unfulfilled and miserable. So, let’s get started!

  • I decided at 6 years old I was going to be a teacher. In my world, teachers were superheroes and supported me in my own life. I definitely would not be where I am today without any one of the ones I had (good, bad or ugly) and I truly took time to learn from every one of them! My dream was to teach physical education…because I wanted to believe that I could single handedly stop obesity…yes, big dreams for a 6 year old. But, as I said, I watched everything in my world. My own mother struggled immensely with body issues and that too had a huge impact on this decision. Everything I did growing up related to teaching. I cared for my own siblings daily after school. I guided my own mother on so many different occasions due to her own struggles with mental illness. I supported/tutored my friends at school. Even when I took my first official job at a local restaurant at the age of 16, I quickly moved into a position where the management used me to train all new employees!
  • As I started college, we all know that I found myself pregnant and having a baby unexpectedly before I finished college and secured good employment. This was one of my first pivots in life, as I did have to change where I was attending college, as I needed family close by to help me with childcare…but I also had to adjust what I was studying and it caused me to change my major from physical education to elementary education. Changing this dream was pretty major for me…and took me a minute to adjust, but knowing I was still going to teach and have an impact on the future of children, I finally came to grips with it and moved forward, doing my very best. And, as I did my studies, worked full time at a nursing home during my time in college, I still found ways to excel and use my leadership skills as often as I could. I found myself receiving awards for different things in my job, supported my colleagues who were in my college courses, and volunteered at all of the places I could to “practice my teaching skills” whenever I could.
  • Once I began teaching, I really did feel that is exactly where I would stay…in the classroom teaching 22 students each year. I loved it! It brought me so much joy and although I worked hours after the day was over, I still had some flexibility so that I could be there for my daughter as she needed me. However, someone (or a few someones) felt that I had a skill and that I needed to begin considering more of a formal leadership role. I did all of the teacher leader things…ran committees, oversaw some PTA groups, mentored new teachers and student teachers, and lead my team as their team leader. I guess it all felt as if it were moving in this direction, but if you have heard me speak or read my words before, I wasn’t planning that as my outcome in education. Needless to say, 16 years later serving as a campus principal, the world put me on this path and I have to admit, I love it…while still having a huge impact on the world…and learning every step of the way! Being a leader has definitely taught me so many things about not only the managerial side of organizations, but also the leadership side…the taking care of people side. As a matter of fact, my experiences as a leader actually have landed me a new book project which will release in summer of 2023!
  • For the personal side…the part I don’t always want to emphasize as lessons learned…has definitely put me in a position to move into coaching and consulting in the future. I just told a colleague that if I haven’t experienced it, I have someone in my immediate circle who has and I have supported them through their journey. Divorce (both as a child and an adult), substance abuse, domestic violence, poverty, insecurities, menopause, dating in the mid-life, being an empty nester, being a mom…the list can go on and on. What I do know, however, is that we all endure challenges in life and the most important part of where I see my skills supporting others is helping them understand that they are worthy of support, can overcome most obstacles with the help of a mentor, and cheer them on when they make even the smallest amount of progress. I know this because this is exactly what I would have wanted for myself.

I can give you a very detailed, beautifully written resume that would make you do anything to bring me on board as an employee…and hopefully as a coach. But a resume is only going to give you the highlights of all I have done in my life. I hope that by sharing a piece of my journey with you today helps you understand what support I can provide and my true passion in regard to the work I will do in my future. Until next time! Cheri ❤️

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