Interview with Belma McCaffrey: 3 Steps Process on how to Fall in Love with your Career

Interview with Belma McCaffrey: 3 Steps Process on how to Fall in Love with your Career
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    Welcome to professional seduction the place to find,flirt and fall in love
    with your career. I'm your host Chanel Caraway. Business
    leaders and industry experts will share tips and advice to help push your
    professional life forward and if you're trying to figure out a career we'll help
    you out with that too. Joining us is Velma McCaffrey she is the founder and
    CEO of Work Bigger Velma,thank you so much for being here, I really appreciate
    your time. Yeah thank you so much for having me. So first off tell us about
    Work Bigger. What exactly is this? Yeah, so work bigger is a platform with a focus
    of challenging the status quo and redefining work. So that work is really a
    vehicle for creativity, Making a difference and also living an awesome
    life and we do that in three ways. We have our programming and education which
    helps and gives women a framework for finding a career that they feel
    connected to. We have a really amazing community to help facilitate connections
    and the third piece is content. We have a platform where we provide resources and
    content to make that career transition easier. Excellent tell me how Work Bigger
    has evolved. Just an hour conversation,I came to understand that
    this has been sort of a labor of love it's kind of grown and evolved as you've
    immersed yourself in this. So Work Bigger started as a blog, In
    January 2016, I decided to start writing I was actually transitioning out of
    another company that I had been working to build, I was also focused on the
    career space and focused on women, I was also working at The Associated Press
    full-time and business development and my son was a few months old but I had
    these entrepreneurial ambitions and writing was the only way that I could
    pursue my mission in a way that felt healthy. So, as I started writing I
    launched the blog and was very consistent with it I would put out about
    an article a week and from there I accidentally started to build
    programming. I tapped into what it means to find your mission and what it looks
    like to work from a mission place and we launched the first pilot
    program in the fall of 2016 and when we did that we had sign ups right away and
    that's where I knew that was you know my proof of concept and everything. Yeah,I
    was like okay there's something here. So from there we started working on the
    community aspect because I saw how pivotal community is to our work lives
    and our lives in general. It's so important to have a place where you can
    feel safe, have shared values with other individuals and also make those
    connections in a way that doesn't feel awkward. So with the programming, the
    community and then the content we're now working on relaunching the platform from
    what was originally Boeing because Work Bigger didn't exist
    when I started writing to now Work So you're indeed working bigger it's
    living yeah I think you have a three-step process to sort of help
    people love their work and in fact work bigger without giving too much away
    because I want people to go to your site and really immerse themselves in the
    content so without revealing too much tell us a little bit about how this
    process, the three-step process works. Yeah so there's three questions that I
    always encourage everyone to start thinking about when you're thinking
    about wanting to find more meaning in your work. The first piece is what do you
    care about and why? So we talk a lot and first I'm actually gonna take a step
    back because what I've noticed is that we talked a lot about finding your passion
    right? that's something I grew up always hearing what is your passion? and always
    thinking I don't know what my passion is so that must mean I'm completely lost
    and I don't know what I want to do with my career. But what I started to think
    about as I started doing this work is that there's really three questions that
    we should be asking and it's really about finding your mission. Your mission
    is so much I think that's really what anchors you to your work whereas a
    passion is fleeting right you could care about something today yeah
    but not necessarily about it tomorrow but when you're working from a mission
    driven place you're working from a place of service and you're anchored to your
    work in a deep way. So that three-step process to find your mission includes
    getting clearing your passions and interests so passion is a piece of it
    but taking that a step further asking yourself why?Why am i passionate about
    cooking as an example, What experience does that come from?
    so really understanding the deeper side of that the second step is values what
    do you stand for right? So our values should govern every
    single aspect of our lives whether it's how we spend our money, who we hang out
    with, who we date right? And it should also govern the companies that we align
    ourselves with and if we're entrepreneurs the kind of business that
    we want to bring into the world. And the third piece is strengths and
    I'll even add weaknesses to that so what are you really really good at?And then
    also what are your opportunity areas? like where is your growth edge what can
    you focus on to continue leveling up as a leader so if you're doing all these
    three things or working to answer these questions then you're on your way to
    building that mission driven career. Definitely food for thought and prior to
    you saying this I had never even really thought about sort of separating a
    mission from a passion and because I've always heard pursue your passion,
    Chase your passion, Be relentless about fulfilling your passion but as you just
    said that can be so fleeting it changed. it can change as we age circumstances
    and situations arise that make all of a sudden change our passion so that's
    really some food for thought for me and I'll start to think about what my
    mission is because like you said that's that's the constant that's what really
    will anchor you and Center you so that everything else can kind of evolve
    naturally. Yeah very interesting so we'll definitely find out later how
    to get more information about the three-step process. But, before we do that
    talk to me about your professional paths if you will because you've had the
    privilege of working at you know major companies, fortune 500 companies,but
    you've chosen to sort of step away and really pursue your mission.
    Yeah so I graduated from Syracuse University and ended up in media right
    after college and was working on the media agency side for a while. I ended up
    at an incredible agency I worked at Group M for a few years and then
    eventually went over to the publishing side I worked at Conde Nast, working with
    a sales executive team there doing negotiations and business development
    and then eventually I went back to business school because well yes I was
    getting this amazing experience in media. I started to feel a calling towards
    business and entrepreneurship and I wanted to also have an understanding of
    the bigger picture outside of the work that I was doing in media. After that I
    ended up at The Associated Press which is another amazing organization but yeah
    so my experience has been in media throughout my whole career and I've been
    lucky and fortunate to work at these amazing companies and learn from great
    bosses. But, I am stepping away from that to run work bigger because yeah I ended
    up tapping into my own mission which is about challenging the status quo and
    helping to create a world where we redefine work and where we're leveraging
    our work to make that difference, to tap into our creativity so that we can solve
    some of the biggest problems and I didn't necessarily feel that I could do
    that through these other organizations that I was at so I'm essentially
    creating that path and that company for myself and others. Tell me how big a role
    do you feel social media plays when you're trying to pursue a passion, a
    mission or even to just you know learn how to work bigger where does social
    media fall into this? Yeah so for Work Bigger I mean social media plays a big
    role so our community lives on Facebook so it I think it's very important in a
    way to leverage connections, bring people together but you know I think working
    bigger is really about working from a place of service so social media is not
    a requirement for that, I see it mostly as a tool to help you make that
    transition, to help build those connections. Great,one of the things
    about professional seduction that I want to really resonate and sort
    of rise to the top is the fact that we can sort of strip some of the stress out
    of career exploration and trying to figure out the next step in your
    professional life. So, one of the things that I began to think about is what if
    we approach work in a similar fashion to dating you know what if we make it more
    fun? So what parallels if any can you draw
    between for instance a first date and putting our best foot forward on a first
    date and doing something similar when we're going on an interview or you know
    when we're trying to build solid healthy relationships at work? yes I mean the
    parallels I see between dating and work is what's most important is no matter
    what it is you're doing that you're coming from an authentic place right?
    You're tapping into who you really are and what you really want. whether it's
    from a partner or whether it's from your work. So I think it doesn't necessarily
    matter but understanding yourself on a fundamental level and being able to
    operate from that authentic place is you know that Center that we were just
    talking about. That's what will give you that and you know that can translate to
    having a successful relationship but it can also translate to having a really
    successful career. Staying true to self that's a common denominator I feel in
    anything. Anything in life so tell me what advice can you offer to young
    professionals who are just discovering their careers or maybe struggling just
    trying to figure out which direction they want to head in?Well so I
    definitely been there I spent all of my 20s feeling really stuck and really
    frustrated because I was looking for that thing in my career so I would say
    is try to answer these three questions as you're pursuing different jobs rather
    than letting them happen to you right just be mindful pursue them with
    intention so try to own in. What is it that gets me really excited and
    why like why am i excited by this aspect of this job? Tap into your strengths and
    when you really feel at your best at whatever job it is that you have right
    now. And also what do you stand for? So the values thing again and if you're not
    clear on all those three that's okay as long as you're pursuing
    each opportunity with intention and you're seeking out experiences that'll
    help you fill in those gaps. Yeah and the other thing I would say so I remember
    when I was going out networking and in my twenties early in my career I would
    feel super super awkward going out and having these conversations I feel like
    like I have to go out and impress everyone. I still feel that way sometimes. Yeah
    and I think that's that's putting so much pressure on ourselves so I would
    say do away with all of that and really be honest about what you don't know if
    there's something that you feel uncomfortable about just share it, say
    you know what I had these are my knowledge gaps I don't know anything
    about this interests industry can you help me out, and that'll allow you again
    to come from that authentic place and make a real connection with someone.
    Thank you for that,as I was again just diving into all the content that you
    have something really stuck out for me I am guilty of faking it until I make it
    you know it's it's something that I feel like I've just kind of heard since youth
    if you if you don't know something sometimes you just got to fake it till
    you make it yeah so I have been guilty of doing that more times than I care to
    admit. But tell me why that's not a good idea. Yeah so I do think that there's a
    lot of value and faking it till you making it I've done it too and I think
    the reason there is value is 'cause it kind of gives you comfort right it's like
    okay well none of us know what we're doing so let's just keep moving forward
    and I think that in itself is is really valuable advice I think where we go
    wrong is that we don't tap into what's really happening right when we're faking
    it totally making it and the reason that came up I wrote about that on the blog
    is because one of the work bigger graduates I was on the phone with her
    and she was really stressed out she was about to launch her pilot for her
    business and I said to her I was like well you know just fake it till you make
    it and I saw she had this like just reaction I'm like you know what I'm like
    that's not always really good advice is it?
    Because what I could sense from her what she needed in that moment was an
    understanding of really what was holding her back. So well I think that advice is
    valuable I think it's also really important to understand what's going on
    when we're feeling that lack of confidence. Where is that coming from?
    This woman in particular who went through the worker program she was
    really stressed out because she was transitioning from a nine-to-five
    corporate setting to now starting her own business and that's a big learning
    curve. Because nine-to-five, there's so much structure built into your day
    already. So, going out on your own,you have to create that structure and
    discover yourself. Yeah and we're not always allowed to fail in a corporate
    setting. So I think for her was really valuable was understanding why she was
    feeling so uncertain at the time and I think having some deeper clarity around
    that can allow her to move forward versus you know fake it till you make it
    like essentially just keep going and like don't ask deeper questions and I
    think that's when it can be a little harmful. And I think it's important to be
    in tune with the person you're saying it to because you could say it for instance
    to me and I'll laughing like okay I know exactly what you mean I'm just gonna
    plow through this it'll work itself out but someone else may not receive it that
    way I think that's a really good distinction to make and I will kind of
    dig deeper within myself and maybe not fake it until I make it so much and
    identify some of the things that may be holding me back from getting to the next
    level yeah what I'm hearing you say with that too is that you're almost being
    kinder to yourself right because I feel like when you're just plowing through
    it's like okay well I'm taking action and I'm moving forward. But I'll say yeah
    it helps to just be like all right it's okay I'm human like things are not gonna
    feel I don't feel really confident right now and that's okay,yeah I thought take
    a minute reset and then move home. Yeah so talk to me about some of the
    challenges or hurdles that you've had to jump over as you've decided to you know
    go from,evolved from just blogging at Velma McCaffrey to evolving into Work
    Bigger. Oh my gosh,there's so many,Well one of my biggest
    challenges is that or yeah has been that I started, I knew I wanted to be an
    entrepreneur I have been very clear on what my mission is and bringing that to
    life while I was originally working full time with baby. My son was only a few
    months old I would say that felt really overwhelming at first but sometimes I
    think our constraints can be our biggest blessings as they push us to be creative
    and I said you know what I really care about this, this is really important to
    me so I'm gonna find a way to make it happen. So, after we launched the pilot for
    Work Bigger and or even actually before that when I decided that we're gonna I
    saw that there was some momentum I negotiated a role at The Associated
    Press to work part-time and that was so challenging because and I you know we
    can probably talk about this but there was a lot of pressure that I felt I
    didn't know how they were gonna receive that asked I didn't know how you know
    what their opinion was gonna be of me like right she wants to go and like run
    another company while working. There was though anyway yeah yeah there was so
    much uncertainty but once I did that it was so challenging but once I did that
    then I was able to create more space and time in my day to work on my mission and
    my business and also be a present parent because that's super important yeah to
    me too and I didn't want to shortchange my family life for my work. Both are
    really valuable to me and I again that common denominator is; you spoke about
    your mission you were willing to sort of be vulnerable in a moment to fulfill
    your mission and because you did that space was created for you to fulfill
    your mission you know it goes back to what you were saying identify your
    mission and everything else will begin to fall into place and take shape right before your eyes. Yeah really powerful
    thank you, I have like chills when you talk about it because that's exactly how I feel about
    it, it really feels like that is my North Star and if I can tap into that in those
    really challenging moments because there's several of them like Building
    a team is another one like there's so much fear that comes with that but if I
    can tap into what I'm trying to accomplish and why what is the purpose?
    What is the larger purpose and I feel like I can make that decision and just
    feel a little bit more courageous versus coming from that place of fear which can
    be paralyzing. Right ,fear can keep you stuck totally and stagnant. Really
    powerful,so what's in the pipeline for you what's next yeah so we are in the
    midst of relaunching the website. It's gonna be again go from Velma
    so we're bigger we are building a team so we have an amazing
    team of coaches to start and then expanding beyond that we also have our
    programming in place the programming - to me and it's so important to
    the mission because that's really what I've seen is lacking in our education
    system right like we learn about science and math and all these other important
    subjects but we're not really taught to ask the bigger deeper questions that I
    think can pay dividends for years to come yeah so the programming the work
    for our program is gonna continue to be a pivotal part of work bigger and really
    providing participants with that transformation that they're looking for
    so they can go out and build a sustainable career path right because
    it's not about finding just finding that the next job it's about finding that
    work where you feel connected to or you can make an impact and ultimately just
    feel more fulfilled yeah yeah so the program does that so we're gonna
    continue to focus on that and expand that. That's great and I really am
    intrigued by you know learning more about what questions to ask particularly
    for Millennials as they continue to grow in the workforce they don't always know
    what questions to ask and an interview and you know culture are so critical to
    your success and it's like a job interview is as much for you the
    interviewee as it is for the interviewer because you want to make sure that it's
    a role you'll find fulfillment and can truly be successful in so one more time
    for our viewers where can we go to find out more information about the three
    step process and work bigger in general. Yeah so you can go to
    work bigger.Co that's our new platform and also we're on Facebook so the
    Facebook community is open to women only right now but you can go on Facebook
    /groups/work bigger if you're looking to join an awesome community of
    women that's a safe space to come together excellent Velma thank you so
    much for being here we really appreciate your time
    Velma McCaffrey joining us thank you for joining professional production tune in
    next time we will have Matt Levy who is a strategist and life coach to help you
    push your professional and personal life forward. As always a big shout out to
    Foreign Brooklyn media for helping to make professional seduction happen we'll
    see you next time.
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