Reframe & Reset Your Career Podcast

Episode 66. How Mindfulness Can Help Your Career, Job Search & Wellbeing – Alicia Ramsdell

What is mindfulness and how can it help boost your career, job search and wellbeing? Alicia Ramsdell and I discussed this and much more on Episode 66 of the Reframe & Reset Your Career podcast.

In this episode, we will learn about:

How Alicia built a successful career in Investment Management,

How she managed to balance work and family life by planning with and discussing her situation with her manager,

Transitioning from the corporate world to start her own business, incorporating mindfulness principles,

How mindfulness can help focus on the present and the process rather than worrying about the results,

Her TEDx talk and the importance of career fufilment,

Her top strategies for finding a new job,

How sharing personal stories which demonstrate your skills can boost your chances in a job interview, and

Not being shy about sharing your achievements with your boss and other insights on how to stand out at work.


The edited transcript of the interview is at the end. It has been edited for clarity and ease of reading. I hope you find it helpful.


Alicia is a TEDx speaker and the CEO of Mindful Career Path, LLC. With over 15 years of experience in Corporate America, Alicia has crafted a career that aligns with her passions and values.

As a Certified Career Services Provider, Global Career Development Facilitator, and with certifications in Organizational Mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction techniques, Alicia brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. She not only helps individuals develop their careers but also shows them how to use stress as a tool to elevate their work and find fulfilment.

Alicia’s top priorities are captivating audiences as a keynote speaker, revolutionizing career development as a corporate partner, and empowering individuals to achieve career fulfillment as a coach. Her recent TEDx talk in York Beach, Maine, titled “Don’t be afraid to fail in the career of your dreams. Be afraid to succeed in the career of your nightmares,” is an inspiring reminder to fearlessly pursue your passions. She was named as one of Top 15 Coaches in Boston for 2023 by Influence Digest.

Alicia and I talked about how can your personal stories help you stand out in an interview. She told me: “If you think about five people going into a job interview for one role, what’s the one thing that’s going to set you apart? It’s your stories. They don’t have your life. They haven’t done what you have done in your career specific to the people you work with, this specific project, the numbers, the quantifiable results … that’s what’s going to make you unique and stand out.”


People & Resources Mentioned

Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Power Of Now – Eckhart Tolle


Contact Alicia

Website (company):


Twitter (company):

Instagram (company):


Reframe & Reset Your Career Resources & Contact Info


YouTube Channel: 

LinkedIn Page:

E-mail –

Thank you for your continued support of Reframe & Reset Your Career, I do appreciate it. I now have a new website, see link above, please do check it out, I hope you find it helpful. The next episode is out on Weds 20th December with Tony Martignetti, leadership coach and facilitator, best-selling author, podcast host and speaker.

It would be great to hear from you, the listeners, and your thoughts about the podcast, YouTube channel or anything else, it’s always a pleasure to hear your views. I have had some great reviews but not had any way of responding. 


Edited Interview Transcript

Harsha: [00:00:00] Welcome to Reframe and Reset Your Career, a podcast to help if you’re looking for a job, feeling stuck in your career, or just trying to rediscover your why. I am your host Harsha Boralessa, and this podcast came from my passion for neuroscience and psychology and the interaction with career and personal development.

I will be interviewing recognized experts and successful professionals. And asking them to share the insights and strategies that have helped their careers thrive. Implementing change is not easy and does take time, but I do hope that their stories will inspire you on your path to greater success of fulfillment in your career.

Here are some highlights of today’s episode.

Alicia: What’s the one thing that’s gonna set you apart? It’s your stories and they don’t have your life. So my interest in mindfulness, uh, stemmed individually, um, but now I, it’s a much bigger part in the decisions that I make with my clients, with my business, with my family.[00:01:00]

If you don’t show how you align with your ideals for your future, your ideal future might not come about. Mindfulness is like that guiding light that helps us break free from, you know, our fixation on those end results. It makes us really enjoy and savor the journey and all the moments along it.

Harsha: Welcome to episode 66 of the Reframe and Reset Your Career podcast.

Our guest today is Alicia Rabsdell. Before we begin, I wanted to thank all the listeners of the podcast for their support. We have now been downloaded in 111 countries, the most recent being Papua New Guinea. Please note that in this episode we may touch on mental health and wellness topics purely in general terms.

If you have specific issues or concerns, please contact a suitable professional. Now back to the show. Alicia is a TEDx speaker and the CEO of Mindful Career Path LLC. With over 15 years of experience in [00:02:00] corporate America, Alicia has crafted a career that aligns with her passions and values. As a certified career services provider, global career development facilitator, and with certifications in mindfulness, Alicia brings a wealth of knowledge to the table.

She is recognized as one of the top 15 career coaches in Boston. Her recent TEDx talk in York beach, Maine titled don’t be afraid to fail in the career of your dreams. Be afraid to succeed in the career of your nightmares is an inspiring reminder to fearlessly pursue your passions. Welcome, Alicia.

Alicia: Thank you so much for having me, Hasha.

That’s an incredible intro. So sometimes it’s nice to kind of hear, you know what you’ve done in the past, because sometimes not that you forget it, but it’s You know, sometimes challenging to reflect on it while you’re busy.

Harsha: I think that’s such a good point, Alicia, because I think sometimes we forget what we’ve done and we forget about the [00:03:00] present and almost taking time to savor your achievements.

And I was actually having this conversation yesterday with somebody who’s a very high achiever. And it’s almost as if you’re always thinking about the next thing, the next. Book and the next, you know, whatever, without actually looking back and thinking, wow, I’ve actually achieved a lot in my life and I’m not saying you should do that in a megalomaniacal way.

Before this podcast, I don’t review every one of my 60 episodes, that would be crazy, but I think it’s good to remind yourself and give yourself a pat on the back and say, well done.

Alicia: Absolutely. And that’s actually something that I tried to instill in the career development clients that I work with.

It’s, you know, when you think about, you know, building up your brand and putting out there on their online presence for the social media or otherwise, you know, building up your resume to reflect those accomplishments, a lot of people second guess. That idea of, well, doesn’t that [00:04:00] seem like I’m bragging, I turn it around and say, well, if you don’t show how you align with your ideals for your future, your ideal future might not come about.

Harsha: Yeah. No, I just love that. I normally kick off the show asking, is there a performance song, book or film which you’d like to share? Because I’m a big fan of the arts.

Alicia: So, every day I read a lot of, or come across a lot of personal development books, but I’m not going to bore your audience, quit those, since I’m sure that they’ve heard them before, or, you know, during their professional pursuits.

However, I’ve always been amazed with people. that can confidently go on a stage and perform. I enjoy, really enjoy going to the theater. And one of my all time favorite experiences, and this may surprise people when I say it out loud, but when my husband and I took my kids, took our kids to New York City, we saw the show Spongebob, Squarepants on Broadway.[00:05:00]

And it’s not, it wasn’t like, supposed to be just for kids, right? It definitely captured any kids in the audience and their attention, but the audience was filled with adults and it really completely captivated everybody around me that I saw, you know, by the creativity and the expression on stage. And it was such a memorable experience as a family.

That’s probably one of, one of the ones I wanted to share. In addition to all the others I’ve seen on Broadway.

Harsha: Oh, I love that. I’m not sure that anybody has mentioned that before on the show, and I’m not sure that anybody else will do. But, that’s good. I love that, Alicia. It’s good to be. It’s good to be different.

So back to back to the beginning. We have quite a similar background because we both studied accountancy University, and then we both moved into tax. So what led to the decisions behind that, Alicia?

Alicia: Well, my early successes in math during school [00:06:00] led me to finding my strength in numbers. And so when I was deciding on which university I wanted to attend after high school, my focus was really on finding a place that would fit my lifestyle, right?

I wanted a great social environment. I wanted somewhere that had a lot of school pride, and I wanted to go somewhere that had the main recognition. And I, to be honest, I didn’t really give much thought to, you know, choosing a major at that time, right? I was 17 years old when I graduated high school, and I wasn’t really thinking that far beyond those next 4 years.

So as it happened, the, the university I ended up choosing and getting accepted into had, was a really well known business school locally. And the well intentioned adults in my life suggested, because of my strength in numbers, that I study accounting. And they assured me that, hey, there’s a high earning potential and there’s [00:07:00] job security.

And so I went into it because, again, I trusted in those adults. And then after I graduated school, again, a well intentioned adult in my life, who was my manager at the time, he had explained to me that if I went back to get my master’s degree, that the organization I was working with would pay for it.

Um, and he had recommended taxation just based on the avenue I was going down and, and where I was having early successes in my career. So I, I did, I went ahead and I pursued my master’s in taxation. And I didn’t really give much consideration about, how that was going to align with the lifestyle that, that I was deciding to pursue.

Harsha: I love that. And yeah, I can totally understand, uh, going down the tax route because, uh, I started off in audit, and I couldn’t really see it adding a lot of value but I definitely think [00:08:00] with tax, it’s much easier to have a conversation with a client and say, look, this is how, to plan for the future.

And these are the things that you can do to comply with the legislation. And generally they’re happier to pay your bills because they can see the value, which is always a good thing. So, yeah, and I love that. So what was it like working, in accounting firms?

Alicia: I worked in public accounting, right, when I got out of college.

But after only a few years, I actually made the switch to an investment management firm. And in that industry, I spent close to 15 years there, 11 years at one specific firm, and I have found that my interest in the tax work really depended on the specific products that I was working on. For instance, when I was doing individual or, standard corporate tax returns, it felt pretty mundane, right?

It was, I just kind of went about my day, didn’t really There’s no real excitement to it, [00:09:00] but then I got an opportunity to work on a specific product. That to me was a game changer because that product had a lot of interesting components. And when I say that, I mean, it had a real estate component.

I had to work through corporate actions. I had to stay on top of daily news to really understand, you know, what were the latest developments in certain corporate securities that were invested in these funds. And because of that, those complexities and those various components, it really kept me engaged.

And the other part about, which kind of leads me to where I’m at now, the other part about the industry, uh, and specifically that firm that I was at, it gave me the chance to support the career development of college interns, they had a really robust college intern program there and also help my, you know, team members that worked for me, supporting their careers.

And I had always had a passion for helping others grow and helping them achieve, [00:10:00] whatever it is they were looking to achieve in their careers. And it also gave me the opportunity to deliver presentations. In my role, which all of those areas are areas where I thrived, and they weren’t even a part of, you know, the job description that I applied for, or the job description I had throughout, you know, that time frame there, it was really opportunities that I sought out naturally, right?

Because I wanted to be a part of it. And I found a way. To intertwine them into the tax work that I was doing in all of those things that I just mentioned or something that I continue to do as the CEO of mindful career path.

Harsha: I just love that. And I think that’s really good insight for our listeners out there.

You start off doing one thing and then you try and transition into other areas because I don’t know if I told you this, but when I started working, I started learning Japanese and it had nothing to do with my job. But I thought at some point it might. Become useful and actually funny enough at [00:11:00] one point, about two years into my career, I met somebody who was in the Japanese business group, but also did tax.

And that’s how I went into tax. And it’s funny. There are these seemingly random events or serendipity. And I think that always opportunities around. But you have to keep your eyes open to make sure that you don’t miss any of these opportunities because I think they always do come up. So I just love the story you said.

So in terms of say, balancing work and your family life, because obviously I know that you have children. What are your thoughts about, you know, how to, um, have that discussion with your boss so that he understands your situation?

Alicia: There are a lot of different topics that you have to think about when you talk about balancing, you know, work life, work and family life, right?

So, there’s, you have to think about prioritization, time management, you have to think about effective communication, you know, [00:12:00] flexibility. Things like, you know, do you have a supportive network around you? Are you taking care of yourself and your well being? You know, are you setting boundaries?

And if you think about all of those, if you kind of think about them like buckets, right? I started to, once we decided that we wanted to have a family and, and have children, I started to think about these various buckets. Who is going to be our supportive network, right? Both me and my husband worked at the time, full time, um, you know, what sort of flexibility am I going to be allotted at my current, in my current role, in my current situation?

How am I going to set boundaries when I do come home from work? At that time it was pre COVID and, you know, every day I was in the office, right? How am I going to, the manage, the time constraints that I have to, to get my work done if I wanted that flexibility, right? And maybe, contemplate a part time opportunity.[00:13:00]

How am I going to work the time management of getting the job done so that I could come home and be fully present with my family? So, balancing. Work and family life was a profound journey for me, and I thought that I understood it, but I didn’t truly grasp it until I was actually living in it. Sometimes I feel like we can plan, plan, plan, but until we actually live through it, it’s something we really don’t fully grasp.

Completely understand. And so for me, the realization really hit home after I had my first child. So I have two children, but after I had my first child, it really hit home. And that’s when I decided to have an open and honest, and this is what I would recommend, for everyone depending on their situation.

But for me, it worked having an open and honest communication with my manager and, you know, my professional goal and my commitment to. Achieving what I wanted to achieve at work, but also be able to accommodate my family priorities. [00:14:00] And so, in that discussion, I came to the table with what I thought my ideal work arrangement would be, right, whether that was how many days in the week I was in the office.

And again, this is pre COVID, which wasn’t the norm, right? And then, you know, what were my ideal working hours? Could I come in earlier to leave earlier? And my manager shared his perspective, and what we were able to do was come up with something somewhere in the middle. Right, where we found a balance that works for both my career and both my family life.

And then it really wasn’t after until I had my second child, and as they grew up, and I began to have conversations with both of my kids about their future, telling them, you know, they could be whatever it is they wanted to be in life. And I felt this sense of incongruence and I realized that I was telling them that they could be whatever they wanted to be, but I wasn’t really living that truth myself.

And I kind of felt like an imposter to my own kids. Um, I was, [00:15:00] at a point where. I wasn’t enjoying the tax work anymore. I was really enjoying the career development side of things. So I had to envision, right, what’s this perfect equilibrium between my professional and my family life and having these conversations with my kids.

Really pushed me to a point where I could start to lead by example, or I wanted to live a life that my kids could admire and look up to. And that was really that catalyst, you know, for my mindful career path journey and starting my business. And if I could just add one more thing, if you fast forward to today, I now see that my kids look up to what I’m doing or what my husband is doing, and they see that passion behind what we do professionally.

And they’ve started their own entrepreneurial ventures or spirit, right? They’re raking leaves for neighbors. They’re selling homemade lemonade. They’re making bracelets. Even my son is making his own [00:16:00] candles that he’s selling at a craft fair at school. I think it’s because, I was willing to have these open and honest conversations with my manager about sort of my ideals and meet, you know, somewhere in the middle, you know, that made sense for the business.

For, for on their end, uh, but also made sense for the boundaries I was setting in my own way.

Harsha: No, I love all those points you’re making, Alicia. And I think, what comes out there is the idea of preparing, really trying to understand what it is you’re trying to achieve and how you can craft an arrangement which you think is reasonable, which balances work and family life.

But also having the courage to speak to your manager. And I think you’re probably lucky that you had a reasonable manager. And I do think probably accounting firms or some, some types of finance firms, they probably realized, look, it’s a knowledge based industry. So clearly all the knowledge [00:17:00] that you’ve picked up, it would be crazy to lose that.

So they really have to think, uh, how can they be accommodating? And I’m sure if, if you think about it from your boss’s perspective, He’s also not going to look good if, he suddenly loses you with all your experience and everything that you’ve done without actually being reasonable. That’s not going to look good on him.

So sometimes I think you have to almost reframe it and think, from his or her perspective, how, will they be viewed if you leave the firm? So yeah, I love those points that you’re making.

Alicia: Yeah, and you, and you bring up a really good point, right? That institutional knowledge and how you frame it with those conversations.

So it’s not just about you and your family priorities. It’s, I have this institutional knowledge, I really want to set the groundwork for, you know, the people coming up in the organization and whatever, you know, kind of like a business proposal is, but you’re, you’re right, that institutional knowledge is not something [00:18:00] they’d want to lose.

And if you frame it the right way, it’s certainly a benefit to both parties.

Harsha: And so turning to mindfulness now, funny enough, I was born a Buddhist, so I’m fully aware of meditation and mindfulness. And actually, before we came on to the call, um, I actually got on early. And then rather than just, idling on looking at the computer, I started taking some breaths, which I think is very powerful because, it just calms you down and rather than worrying, you’re just focusing on your breath.

So for me, I love the whole idea of mindfulness, but for some of our listeners out there, they may not be so familiar. So, do you want to tell us a little bit about it and how did you become interested in mindfulness?

Alicia: I love the fact that you just said that before you got on the call you did breath work.

It’s something that has really empowered my presentation skills and my preparation for, you know, big [00:19:00] meetings or whatnot, right? New client conversations and so forth. You know, I do one that’s in the 54321 technique. That’s I’m a big fan of right before I get on the call. Where you, uh, look around the room and say, you know, five things that you can see, and then you say four things that you can touch.

Three things that you can hear, two things that you can smell, and one thing that you can taste. And what it does is it just grounds you in the present moment. And it might sound like a, you know, a silly exercise to do, um, but I, I brought it to, uh, various groups, that I’ve spoken to, whether they’re students or professionals.

And it just provides so much of a relief right before your about to do something that would have caused you anxiety before, but it’s a simple exercise. So moving on, from that, my, my journey into mindfulness really started before I became a mom. And back in those, you know, pre parenting days, I used to [00:20:00] just power through life’s ups and downs, right?

I just thought that here’s the daily grind and this is just the natural part of being an adult and you just got to deal with stress It happens and just deal with it. And I really didn’t even know what that term meant deal with it, but I was just kind of waiting for it to subside, right? But as I mentioned, you know previously that all changed when I had my own kids and I realized it suddenly wasn’t just about me anymore and I had two little ones really looking up to me on guidance on how to navigate life and realizing, right, that stress doesn’t just disappear on its own.

I needed to find a way to harness that stressful energy in a positive way, whether I want to grow personally or professionally. So my first dive into mindfulness happened to be when I picked up a book called Strength and Stillness by Bob Roth. I don’t know if you’ve read it before, but to me, it felt like a [00:21:00] revelation because it was stories about famous people who, I just assumed they had it easy all the time.

Like as an example, Jerry Seinfeld, right? So he’s a comedian, he always seems like he’s, easygoing, relaxed, doesn’t have any stress. But it talked about how he faced anxiety and stress and what he turned to was Transcendental Meditation to really enhance his life. And then it talked about other individuals.

And the way that I first look into mindfulness and specifically meditation was through a transcendental meditation practice. And for me, that was, 20 minutes at the beginning of the day and 20 minutes at the end of the day. And then as I got more into mindfulness, I discovered Jon Kabat-Zinn.

And he created the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, or MBSR, which has its roots at the UMass Medical School. And I was going through this really when I started my entrepreneurial journey [00:22:00] with mindful career path? And what I was realizing is that these mindfulness lessons that I was learning had the potential to benefit not just me, but you know anyone else in my life especially in their careers and this is where I started to make sure that I was a thread throughout the work that I did in my business and that’s when it really clicked for me that, okay, this mindfulness journey doesn’t just have to be personal, but it can also be professional.

So I then participated in a certification program about organizational mindfulness. And it was really this, this full circle moment for me that I started something that you can practice individually. But then I also realized you can apply it at that organizational level, right, to promote, uh, growth and well being for employees.

So my interest in mindfulness stemmed individually but now it’s a much bigger part in the decisions that I [00:23:00] make with my clients, with my business, and of course with my family.

Harsha: Cool. I just love that and Alicia, it’s the first time Jerry Seinfeld has been referenced on the show. I love, I love Jerry.

I never actually saw Seinfeld the first time it came around, but I like his, um, coffee with comedians in cars. He’s so amazing. He’s such a funny guy. And I think one thing he was talking about, which I’m not sure whether it’s come from mindfulness is that every day he sits down for a moment. I think three hours or four hours with a yellow legal pads and just writes.

And that’s where his material comes from. It’s down to the process and actually talking about the process. I think, sometimes when we’re trying to get that next promotion or succeed in our jobs, we’re looking at the results rather than the process. And I think. If you can focus on the process and look, it’s a very cliche thing.

We all hear that trust the process, but I do believe that [00:24:00] if you stick to the process trying to get a little bit better every day, trying to add value in your job now, whether you get recognized in your current role you can’t really do a lot about that, but at least you are getting better and you feel you’re getting better.

So I think, in those terms, I think mindfulness can be very helpful because rather than looking to the future, you’re thinking about the present. I mean, what are your thoughts?

Alicia: I’m a firm believer in mindfulness and just how it can shift your perspective, right? So, like you were saying before, we’re focusing on the end result rather than, you know, the process, just the shift in perspective.

And I’m not the one that has created this saying, but somebody, once said shift, shift the saying to instead of I have to do this, I get to do this. Yeah. And I’ve done that. And a lot of occasions in my career. And just [00:25:00] that shift in perspective allows me to really be present in that process moment.

And I think of mindfulness is like that guiding light that helps us break free from, you know, our fixation on those end results. And it makes us really enjoy and savor the journey and all the moments along it. So, if we’re not just racing from, from 1 checkpoint to the next. Right, whether we’re talking about career milestones or even personal achievements, mindfulness can just be that gentle reminder to, hey, hit pause for a second, take a deep breath.

Let’s get fully immersed in what we’re doing right now. If we remove that idea of the destination is the only part of the journey that’s going to be the best part. I think what happens a lot of times is that people will get to that end destination without really enjoying that journey. And then, okay, now, right, they might relish in an, uh, an achievement or an [00:26:00] award, but then beyond that award or beyond that night of recognition, it’s.

Then what? So if you’re going to have these feelings, why not enjoy the every moment of the process along the way? I’m actually reading a book called The Power of Now, and there’s a powerful statement in there that’s shared by the author, and it really, I don’t know, it just clicked with me, right? It really resonated with me.

It says, we haven’t done anything in our past. We won’t do anything in our future. The only time we truly do something is in the now. So if you just take a moment and let that sink in, it’s true, right? If you think about your past, when you were doing those things, it was in that now. And then vice versa, when you think about your future and what you want, you’re not going to do it until that now.

And so mindfulness really encourages us to appreciate each moment, slow things down a little bit, regardless of how [00:27:00] small or insignificant something may seem, right? You could be giving a TEDx talk, or you could be, you know, just sitting down having a conversation with your 10 year old daughter, right?

But it can really transform, that constant feel of your racing to, you know, just this leisurely scenic drive and it just becomes that much more meaningful to get to the, uh, that destination.

Harsha: So, Alicia, it just makes me think about in high school and college, uh, you were a goalkeeper for your soccer team.

And as I think I mentioned to you offline, I also played a lot of sports and I always, always loved the whole idea of practicing and trying to get better, um, doing those, uh, doing the training. I mean, what are your thoughts, Alicia?

Alicia: Like you said before, the, practice should be the part that, of course, it can be a grind sometimes, but the practice part is really where you really should be enjoying not just getting [00:28:00] better, but also in working with your team, working with your coach, and you can relate that to sports.

You can relate that to your career. I have found that when I really loved a team, right, or that I’m working with, or that I’m playing sports with, I feel like no matter the outcome of the winner or loss at the end of the day, you know, I feel as though I’ve won in life because I’ve gotten to work alongside or play alongside some pretty incredible people.

You know, I’m a coach, so I think maybe I’m a little biased, but, it’s always great to have, you know, a coach alongside of you or a mentor to really kind of push you in maybe a way that you didn’t think you could be pushed like, I really don’t think I could learn this new subject matter or this new tax regulation.

It seems really challenging but I think, yeah, the enjoying the process and the correlation between, sports teams and careers certainly goes hand in hand.

Harsha: [00:29:00] And the one funny thing is on this show, for some reason, the majority of the guests, both male and female seem to have some sort of sporting link, but, and you’re the second goalkeeper I’ve had.

And the first was Ruth Gautien, who you may or may not have come across, who’s a terrific mentor. And I actually saw her last week. So yeah, obviously it does seem sports do seem or being good at a hobby. I think having excellence in a particular field does help. So moving on to your TEDx talk, I love the message, love how you presented.

I think there’s some very powerful messages there. You know, clearly there’s a lot of personal stuff going on there as well. Would you like to share with our listeners some of the messages? I’m glad to hear that your father is still around as well, which is very nice to hear.

Alicia: Thank you. I appreciate that.

So the TEDx talk was something that, remember at the beginning of this [00:30:00] conversation, I told you how I always, I always admire people that could just get up on a stage and, and be very confident in how they speak and how they, typically it was acting when I was, when you’re thinking about like theater. And I don’t have a lot of skill in acting or singing or dancing.

So I had to figure out a way to get on stage, um, where I could inspire people. Uh, without it being the singing and dancing piece. So the, the, the TEDx opportunity came up locally to be picked was an honor. And my theme in my conversation was about how can you achieve fulfillment? And in, I created this framework called the four quadrant strategy to career fulfillment, but it could really be used in life in general.

Now, at the beginning of the TEDx talk, I talk about, we spend most of our lives in two places in our careers. And in our sleep, and I say, why not optimize where and [00:31:00] how we spend that time. So, again, that 4 quadrant strategy is something that I created as a part of what I do, what I, how I work with my mindful career path clients in a career sense, but I realized that there was that correlation in life in general.

So. As a part of the TEDx talk, if you haven’t seen it, I talk about my dad’s life and my dad and, you know, the different quadrants about where he was successful, where he was thriving, and then where he wanted to learn more, and then, you know, where he was successful, but, you know, didn’t really care to pursue that.

Or where he just had responsibilities, but didn’t really care to pursue it and wanted to potentially delegate that. And, and my dad, you know, he’s had Parkinson’s, you know, for over 20 years now. Uh, and, and he’s at home, you know, kind of, he’s on hospice, you know. The TEDx talk was about career and was about fulfillment.

It was also. a credit [00:32:00] to the life that my dad led and his pursuits and, , things always weren’t perfectly easy for him but he was a role model, for me and my three sisters and my family. So, you know, the idea of fulfillment and it being possible, even when there can be very stressful situations many times in life really was what I was trying to captivate the audience with.

Harsha: I love the talk and, and there’s so many good points coming out of it. But one thing that struck me was this whole idea. I think when you talk about the end of your life, you’re going to focus on the things you enjoyed, the things that you did well, rather than the things that went wrong or the negative.

And I think sometimes during life, we focus on those negative things and not the positive, and I’m not saying that we should be delusional and saying everything is perfect because clearly it’s not. But I do think that, as human beings, we are focused to look on the negative [00:33:00] rather than the positive, just to help us survive and beat those, I think you said tigers in the talk? Yeah. No. So I love those points that you made and it was very moving and I hope our audience will definitely check that out and were there any other messages that you should coming from that?

Alicia: I think you hit on, the most important ones but yeah, I’m glad you brought that last piece up to about look at my dad now and he’s not thinking about all of the past failures he’s had or any stresses he had, right?

He’s just there with his family and, and it’s all about, the love and the admiration we have for him and, you know, just being able to talk to him even though he can’t talk for himself. This is kind of going down another route, but when I’ve seen other people, go through this process and they’ve been at hospitals, I always remember nurses telling us that even if their [00:34:00] eyes are closed and they, and they can’t speak.

They can still hear you. That’s the last thing to go, right? They’re hearing. Um, so being able to have conversations, uh, with my dad and, and my sisters too, and my mom, um, is Yeah. You know, it’s pretty powerful.

Harsha: Yeah, I’ve heard that as well about the hearing that even if, um, it appears that they’re not responding, they’re actually taking that all in.

And I’m sure that, even now that he must be very comforted by having his family around, having the grandchildren, you talking to him. I think, I think that’s so powerful. And yeah, and I think, I think in, in life, we, sometimes focus on things that aren’t, um, either good for us or aren’t really important. And I think it’s times like these, it really does help to put things into perspective, doesn’t it?

Alicia: It really, it really does.

Harsha: Now, moving on to important, but obviously less [00:35:00] inspirational, we’ve got a lot of listeners out there who are looking for work. So what are your top strategies, Alicia, for people who say they’ve been made redundant and they’re thinking, okay, what do I do next?

Alicia: So when it comes to finding a job, I have found it’s more beneficial to make it a journey of self discovery, self growth, rather than just a series of, job applications. And as I mentioned previously, because of the TED talk, I developed a framework called the four quadrant strategy to career fulfillment, and it’s a really a self reflection tool to, to know yourself better, right?

So, if you think of a piece of paper, you draw a line down the center and a line across the middle, you’re left with four quadrants. So, in that top left quadrant, I want you to think about or write down where you’re already thriving in your life, where you are already successful. And then if you move down to the bottom left quadrant, writing down where you’re curious .

to learn more about. Maybe you’re not successful in something yet, but you’re [00:36:00] curious, right? You, you studied Japanese and you really didn’t necessarily think or have an intention that it was going to help in your career, but it, but it ended up being so. And then on the far right side, top right, you know, where have you been successful, but don’t care to pursue more of it?

And then on the bottom right, where do you just have responsibilities? Maybe you’re not that subject matter expert and you don’t really care to pursue it more. Um, and using this tool for me, what I found and seen with clients is that it can be a really fantastic tool to start because it helps you shift your focus from just job titles to the actual functionalities and the responsibilities that you’re going to have that are going to truly light you up professionally.

Um, not just personally, right? I really enjoy cooking, but I don’t think I want to be a chef, you know, based on lifestyle. But, uh, so it’s like the functionalities and responsibilities from a professional standpoint. But after you do that, right, you, now you kind of understand your strengths and your preferences, [00:37:00] preferences, you can then talk about these aspirations that you have to others who are going to support you in your professional journey.

So if you’re going out and having conversations with people, networking, having informational interviews, you can say, you know what, I don’t specifically know the title I’m looking for, but I know that I’m really successful and thriving in this. And I really want to learn more about this, you know, in the role that you have, or in the company that you work for, in your network.

Do you hear of anyone doing things like this, any of these styles of functionalities? And then beyond that, it’s, you can just be proactive and, you know, thinking about, all right, what target companies am I interested in working for? Who are the key players that I could talk to in these organizations, you know, that I could share my career goals with?

And then you can start building relationships with these people, have that networking strategy, connect with those individuals that can help you open those doors. And what I found that [00:38:00] if you invest your energy in these styles of activities, your job search, Becomes a lot more rewarding than just, you know, endlessly scrolling through job boards or, you know, submitting applications, which eventually you’re going to have to submit applications, but it just allows for that again, enjoying that process of that journey.

And there’s actually. I know we’re on a podcast right now, but there’s another podcast that I recently listened to, uh, by Austin Belsak, , called the Dream Job System. And he offers a quick and easy framework for building a daily content strategy. And I think that’s a great way to also showcase your expertise or, you know, attract opportunities, uh, to move forward.

So really, it’s the self reflection exercise, just to recap, with that four quadrant strategy. Then, you know, uh, creating that target company list and starting to reach out to those key players and then if you’re comfortable and Allison Bell said creates a way [00:39:00] for, for it to not seem overwhelming, but if you’re comfortable, you know, crafting that daily content strategy, um, with confidence.

Harsha: No, I love that point. I’m a big advocate of the whole content creation thing, because it just makes sure that your network know that you’re still out there keeps you top of mind, because I think it’s quite easy if you’re out of the corporate environment for people to forget about you, because, you’re not the the go to person at that firm so you’re not getting the calls from your network if there’s a particular issue that comes up and then sometimes people can quickly forget about you and that’s not because they’re mean or they’re, not nice. It’s because they’re so busy in their own lives.

So in a way, you have to keep maintaining your brand. Keep putting things out there. And as you’re saying, it’s whatever you’re comfortable with, whether it’s [00:40:00] a short article. Yeah, some sort of Linkedin post, maybe you can do a little video that it’s much easier than one thinks. So I think there are multiple ways to get, , decent content out there, without putting a lot of effort into that.

So, yeah, I know I love that. And then I suppose moving on to say the interview scenario, Alicia, because I suppose for a lot of people, they’ve done the application, they’ve got the interview, do you have any thoughts about how to deal with that? Because for some people it can be very stressful. So apart from, mindfulness and doing the, the breathing and then try to reframe this as an opportunity.

Alicia: Preparation is key. And maybe that just sounds like an easy go to answer. But. There is obviously an essence of showing who you are naturally and just, you know, your, your energy when you’re in a conversation with someone, that’s going to be a key part of the interview. But before you even get to that part, [00:41:00] if you have a job description in front of you, it’s.

Looking at the responsibilities and the, the end of the responsibility section, you know, in writing out two little, not full stories, but bullet points of accomplishments that you’ve had so that if somebody is asking you, uh, whatever question they ask you, it doesn’t have to be, do you have, you know, accomplishments in this responsibility, but whatever question they ask you in the interview, you can share a story that relates to that.

To a responsibility that they’re looking for, and you’re prepared to talk about it. And I, I think sometimes we’ll get so hung up on the specific questions that are going to be asked in the interview that we prepare for those specific questions, right? Even the first one that people talk about a lot about, tell me about yourself, right?

You don’t even have to prepare for that question. It’s more about preparing the stories and accomplishments that. Relate to the role in the job description you’re going for. Sometimes a job [00:42:00] description is not all encompassing, right? It’s maybe something that was, they use when they hired someone five years ago, so it might be outdated.

So in addition to looking at the job description and writing down stories, next stage responsibility, it’s crucial to talk to people. Either that are currently in the organization that have roles that you’re either going for that or are aligned somehow, maybe an extension of that, you won’t be able to necessarily talk to the hiring manager because they’ll probably be the ones doing the interviewing, but trying to reach out to them and or connecting with people that used to work in that organization, maybe in that similar role or alongside that role, and a lot of this can be done easily connecting with these people through LinkedIn nowadays.

Yes. Not everybody will respond right away. Not everybody will even respond but typically if you reach out to enough people that are in the right, seats, in that [00:43:00] career spot, there are many generous people that are willing to have a 15 minute conversation, just so you can learn a little bit more about, all right, what are the true responsibilities when I get in here?

What are some of the pain points of this role and why they’re hiring?

Harsha: I love that. And at one point, I would say that if they do respond and give you time, do make sure you thank them. And because it is very important that they realize that it’s important for you that you’ve got some value, because also that helps maintain and build your network.

So, I love what you’re saying. And, and the other point I would say about stories is that they are so powerful and even outside aan interview scenario, if you’re saying in that working, um, environment. Yeah, rather than talking about yourself, talking about a story.

And it’s funny when I was at this conference, Thinkers 50, which I mentioned offline. And I was [00:44:00] speaking to somebody and I was just telling him some silly stories. And for me, I mean, it wasn’t a big deal, but then he, and he was somebody I quite admired and he was like telling me after as well, these are really interesting stories and you’re a great storyteller.

And I’m sorry, I’m not saying that to sort of bring myself up, but. But it does show the importance of having stories and telling them. And even if you think they’re trivial, yeah, I think that’s just very compelling in not just the interview scenario, but in all situations, work related, that having these funny little stories, uh, does work, I mean, what, what, what do you think, Alicia?

Alicia: Yeah, , if you think about, I don’t know, five people going into a job interview for one role, that one role has a list of responsibilities and qualifications. What I tell clients is always assume everybody has done all of those responsibilities and everybody has all those qualifications.

Assume everybody is at an even playing field. What’s the one thing that’s going to set [00:45:00] you apart? It’s your stories. They don’t have your life. They haven’t done what you have done in your career specific to like everything involved in the environment, the people you worked with, the specific project you worked with, the numbers, you know, the quantifiable results and so forth.

So that’s what’s going to make you unique and stand out. And yeah, can every, all five of those candidates come in with their unique stories? Certainly. And I say, I’d love for that to be the issue for the hiring manager, that it’s such a hard decision between five candidates. But sometimes what I hear about or see is that maybe one person comes in fully prepared.

Ready to go with unique individual stories, um, rather than kind of regurgitating what’s on the, you know, job description as part of the responsibilities. Like, I’m really successful in effectively communicating. Good. How? Right? Instead of telling us, show us. And that’s through the unique [00:46:00] stories.

Harsha: So now say, you’ve got the job and you’re trying to progress at work, any thoughts? Clearly you can write books about this, but maybe one or two ideas about, how you can stand out from your peers at work.

Alicia: Yeah. So, I mean, my own experience in my career and then, you know, certainly working with clients, you know, I have found sadly that. There’s a common challenge with people that are deserving from a, a knowledge based standpoint or a technical standpoint to get promotions or, or different opportunities, but for one, for one reason or another, they keep getting passed over, right?

You put all that hard work and you, you deliver results and those promotions keep being out of reach. So, in my own experience, but also what I share with clients is. It’s essential to have candid conversations with your supervisors, right? Asking for feedback, [00:47:00] you know, yes, you want to know what you’re doing well, but also in areas that you can grow and improve and then just making those adjustments over time, right?

And that will make a big difference. And is also sharing with your supervisor. Hey, here are my priorities this week. Here’s what I’m really enjoying. I’m really enjoying this project and why I really enjoy is because I get to do, you know, X, Y, Z, we assume that our managers. Just know what’s going to be best for us or know what’s, you know, the best next move for us.

But, managers are humans just like we are, right? They have life outside of work, right, where they have their own stressors, or they have Multiple people that they’re leading, or they have multiple deadlines that they’re trying to tackle. So that that’s a, that’s a big part of it. And I know, as, as you mentioned before, you know, there’s not, not every supervisor is going to be open to the conversation, but I have found, post COVID days, in a sense, [00:48:00] that there’s a lot more willingness to have open and honest conversations, specifically as it revolves around employee well being and career well being.

The other thing I found, a lot of people are shy about promoting themselves because they don’t want to seem like they’re, they’re bragging, but I would find a way to share your accomplishments in a way that’s comfortable with you.

So whether that’s. through regular updates with that supervisor, like in your meetings, or maybe like a weekly email about at the end of the week, Hey, here are my priorities at the beginning of the week. Here’s what has been accomplished. And, you know, here’s some reports and what I still have going on for, you know, next week.

But you want to make sure those contributions are visible, but also how do they then benefit the company or how do they benefit that project you’re working on. And then I guess the 3rd thing really is mentorship. When I was working at the investment management firm, as I mentioned before, they had a woman’s group, a woman’s leadership group, and you were paired [00:49:00] up with other women in the organization.

And I was paired up with another woman who had nothing to do with, the funds that I was working on. Really, there was no way, in a large company that we might ever have crossed paths or talked about, what we did in work, but because of this woman’s group, we both were able to, deliver a mentorship in a way that wasthat was really beneficial from an overall career development perspective, rather than just “Hey, can you help me with the technical knowledge of my tax work or about this technical knowledge about these funds and how they work?”

It was about how to pursue your professional pursuits. And they were there to provide guidance or sharing their own stories and so forth.

Harsha: No, I think there are a couple of great points which you raised there and just talking about my own personal experience.

I remember trying to get out of actually [00:50:00] moving multiple departments, um, because I was not happy with the way I was, progressing what I was learning. And actually it was only by being quite forward and almost, I suppose, being a bit of a pain. That I managed to get that, that move, and I did that at one firm and then at another firm, I actually, managed to get a promotion.

I’m sure the only reason I got promoted was because I actually said, look, I’d like to be promoted. And the manager obviously you must have thought I was competent, otherwise he would not have put me forward. But if I had just kept quiet, nothing would have happened. So it does really show the power of actually asking and not just sitting back and waiting to be promoted.

So, yeah, no, I love those points you’re making. Unfortunately, Alicia, we’re coming to the end of our time. So before we do go, you know, obviously I will make sure you have, uh, the LinkedIn details, um, and your website and any other contact [00:51:00] information on, uh, the show notes, but how can people get in touch with you?

Alicia: Sure, so if you go to mindfulcareerpath. com, there are all of the social media links to get in touch with the company in general, but also it will come to me as well, so you can reach out there. I’m on LinkedIn way too much, so you can always find me on LinkedIn, send me a message, click connect, send me a message, and I’d be happy to have a conversation.

Harsha: Fantastic and this has been so much fun, you know, loved our conversation. And before we go, I’d like to give my guests a chance to give somebody a shout out, for somebody who’s helped you in your life or in your career, or just, you just want to honor them in some sort of way. Is there any one or two people, not an Oscar speech?

Alicia: So, I’d like to [00:52:00] say two different people, , one who I’ve never met. They’ve never met me. We’ll, we’ll probably never meet, but Donald Miller wrote a book or he writes a lot of books, but how to grow your, uh, your small business and where he’s really influenced me is in this book, he talks about the four personas.

And that we can embody throughout our lives. So the villain, the victim, the hero and the guide, um, and we all go through these stages where we feel like the victim, or we were the villain, or we feel like the hero in our story, or we feel like the guide. And I’m grateful to say right now, I feel like I’ve transitioned into being the guide.

Right? Whether that’s as a mom, whether that’s as a business owner, a career coach, I feel like I can be a guide. It’s a, it’s a really good place to be. So I’m appreciative for, for Donald Miller’s knowledge, uh, and his willingness to share this, uh, through his various outlets, but specifically in his, in his books.

And then from a personal perspective, uh, my husband, he has been, my super supporter, I don’t [00:53:00] know how else to explain it, but coming from the accounting and tax industry, it’s a very much, here’s a lot of job security and here’s a good paycheck to up and leave that industry and start a business was terrifying to me when I don’t think I could have ever done without his support.

The business is my own and the things I’ve done in my business on my own, but knowing that I had his support behind it and, how seeing that he’s proud of, of where I’m at in my business that brings me a lot of joy because. You marry somebody and there’s a lot of ups and downs as you go along with, you have families and a mortgage and careers, um, but to feel that support continue throughout, you know, my journey as a business owner is a big step in that process

Harsha: Also your parents as well. Ggot to, got to give a shout out to the parents out there. Moms and dads.

Alicia: Absolutely. The parents are the biggest [00:54:00] part of. The biggest part of my journey because I wouldn’t be here where I’m, where I’m at today without them and their support.

Harsha: Fantastic. And the funny thing is that I didn’t realize that your maiden name was Botticelli.

And I love, The birth of Venus and La Primavera. I’ve never seen them which is crazy considering I’m in the UK and Italy’s only an hour and a half away. I’ve been lucky enough to see the Last Supper in Milan, which was amazing. But yeah, not, unfortunately, never been to the Uffizi. Have you been there?

Alicia: I actually lived in Italy, Florence, Italy, when I was in college and I visited Uffizi. And yes, it’s my maiden name, but at that time it was my, my actual last name. And it was such, it was so influential to, to just be in front of, uh, Sandro Botticelli’s paintings because, we’ve talked about it a lot as kids and with my grandparents and so forth. So [00:55:00] it was cool to be standing in front of it in person.

Harsha: Oh, wow. Fantastic. The other interesting thing, I don’t know if you’re an opera fan, but there’s an opera by, Puccini, I think Gianni Schicchi, which is based, I think, in Florence or has something to do with Florence.

And there’s an amazing aria from that. But anyway, I digress. Well, Alicia, it has been so much fun having you on the show. Look forward to seeing how your work progresses in the future and yeah, thanks so much for joining us today.

Alicia: Absolutely. I really appreciate the time and the energy that you bring to this every day, not just in this conversation, but all of your podcast episodes with your guests.

Harsha: Thanks so much, Alicia. You, you take care and, uh, yeah. Have a great, rest of the week. Bye-Bye.

Thank you so much for listening and staying to the end. That was such a fun interview. If you’d like to listen to more episodes, please subscribe to the podcast, which is available on your favorite providers and subscription is free.

If you wish to learn more about any of [00:56:00] the resources mentioned in this episode, please take a look at the show notes, which are available online. Thanks once again for listening. Wishing you success with your career. I hope you will join me again in the future.


*Reframe & Reset Your Career, including any comments made by the host and guests, is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any description, including but not restricted to financial, legal, investing or medical advice.*

This site uses cookies

Some of them are essential while others are used to serve you a customised browsing experience.