By Giselle Galper
Midway through my seventeen-year career as a general counsel, I was lacking purpose. I had three kids (nine, seven, and four), and I was in the thick of it as a working parent: my husband was a chief technology officer (CTO) at a busy tech company, and while working long hours was normal for both of us, it was more typical for him.
Thankfully, we had a lot of flexibility. I worked from home most of the time and my husband was able to do so part of the time, especially in the evenings. Neither of us had to travel for our jobs, so we saw our kids every day and were able to eat together on a regular basis. But professionally, I wasn’t satisfied. It felt like my job was an endless cycle of “press and repeat”—I had no control over it.
Eventually, I found a book called Creative Confidence: Unleashing the Creative Potential Within Us All. Soon after that, I learned about a concept called “design thinking,” a unique approach to problem-solving that served as the basis for the New York Times best-selling book Design Your Life: How to Build a Well-Lived, Joyful Life. Thanks to those two books, I came to two realizations.
First, I realized that I really wanted to keep working but that I was unhappy in my current role.
Second, I saw that I was at a precipice.
I had always assumed I would spend my whole life working—I placed a high value on both my independence and my ability to contribute financially to the household. I hadn’t grown up in a wealthy household, and while I worked hard, I also knew I was lucky to be paid well enough to not have to worry about putting food on the table or the cost of summer camp for the kids.
Still, I knew I had to make a change. I started with the “simple methodology” laid out in Creative Confidence. I took a notebook and drew a quadrant chart based on two qualities—intensity (high or low) and my associated feelings (positive or negative). I wrote down how I felt about various aspects of my work, and then every few weeks or so, I’d go back to the chart and figure out how I could decrease or eliminate the things that fell into the “high negative” quadrant. At the same time, I worked on adding things into the “high positive” and even the “low positive” portions of the chart. Following this methodology, I created my own path to a career that worked for me.
And that is what chea seed is all about—checking in with yourself to determine whether you are satisfied with your work, figuring out what makes you happy and productive in the workplace, asking for what you need out of your career, and finding the training and support you need to make a change. Whatever step you’re at, whatever information or guidance you’re seeking, chea seed is here to help you create a career that you love.