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Career Makeover Strategies

Career Makeover Strategies is a monthly career column written for Drexel alumni by Tai Goodwin '95. Tai is “The Career Makeover Coach" – a coach, consultant, and writer with more than 15 years of experience. Each month, she will share tips and strategies, along with her own experiences, for making over your career.

Alumni are encouraged to send comments, questions or suggestions for future column topics to alumni@drexel.edu.


When You Can't Choose Just One Career or Passion ...
June 2011

Margaret Lobenstine gets it – you don't have to choose just one career!

"Renaissance Soul." Finally there's a term that fits my work style. Back in high school, I used to cringe when people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. All I could think of was all the things I wanted to do. Writer, a teacher, a broadcast journalist, a fashion designer were all at the top of my list. Fast forward years later, 15 years into my adult career and I have been a financial admin, teacher, training specialist, e-learning developer, site manager for a service organization and instructional designer. And now I am a coach and writer. And to think I started my college career as a fashion designer.

Friends and family often wonder when I am going to "settle down", even though they have long stopped asking the question, "You changed jobs again?" While some people change jobs and careers out of necessity, I have always changed jobs as a result of finding a new passion. Each position was different because I always wanted to try something different, something new.

In her book, The Renaissance Soul, Margaret Lobenstine finally diagnoses my pattern. The sub-title sums it up: Life Design for People with Too Many Passions to Pick Just One. I could never pick just one. And I marvel at people who can stay in one job for 5 years, 10 years or over 30 years like my mother.

If you have ever tried to force yourself into a more tame pattern of work because it is what's expected, The Renaissance Soul will help you find the freedom to accept your desire to explore multiple careers and offer you a plan to make it work. I read the book through in one long rainy weekend and then went back and did the exercises over the next week. The real-life examples are helpful in realizing that you are not alone in wanting to pursue many different career options. One of the best chapters of the book centers on choosing your focal points. Lobenstine describes focal points as four or five interests that you want to pursue right now. She likens the process of choosing focal points to sampling different flavors of ice cream. And I loved the idea that these are the flavors that you are choosing for now – with the understanding that at any time you can swap out flavors and try something new.

Focal points don't have to be just about work. They can include anything you want to invest time in, like learning about gardening or spending more time with your children. The key being to plan the time you will give to each of your focal points. She offers a Focal Points worksheet that assists in resolving one of the biggest challenges that Renaissance Souls face: managing multiple interest without giving up because of feeling overwhelmed. Giving the different focal points structured focus time allows you to move forward on all of your current interests.

At close to 300 pages, The Renaissance Soul is not only a great guide book it is something to keep as a reference to use as motivation and to spark reflection when it feels like it is time to change focal points. This book is a great read for those of us who choose not to choose just one option.

About the Author

Tai Goodwin

Tai Goodwin '95 is a coach, consultant, and writer. Her résumé is a prime example of what it looks like to successfully “makeover” a career. It includes roles like classroom teacher, administrative assistant, employment coordinator, training specialist, and learning technologist. Tai’s professional journey has taken her from leading service learning initiatives in inner-city schools to managing large scale learning technology projects for companies like Barnes & Noble and DTCC (Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation) in New York’s financial district. Most recently she played a lead role in redesigning the new hire orientation program for Computer Associates, a global software development company.

As “The Career Makeover Coach”, Tai Goodwin is on a mission to help ambitious women reinvent their professional lives by creating a career they can love and live with. Holding as a core belief that we are all called to divine purpose and gifted with a unique passion, Tai uses a results driven, spiritually grounded approach to help clients create career paths to support the lifestyle they desire. Whether it’s helping people go from embittered to empowered professionals or making the transition from employee to entrepreneur, Tai is committed to helping clients tap into their own potential for brilliance.

Tai has been empowering others through teaching and coaching for over 14 years. A gifted and insightful communicator, Tai holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Drexel University and a Master of Science in Education from Capella University. She has completed ASTD’s (American Society for Training and Development) Coaching Certificate program and is pursuing professional coaching certification through the International Coach Academy.

Originally from Philadelphia, Tai currently lives in Delaware with her daughter, where she currently serves as the Professional Development Examiner for the Wilmington area. Her blog (www.careermakeovercoach.com) was recently listed in CareerRocketeer’s list of 100+ Must Read Blogs for All Professionals. More

Issue Archive

August 2009
5 Questions to Connect to Your Passion

September 2009
Same Company, Different Job: Finding Your Next Job with Your Current Employer

October 2009
10 Must Have People for an A-List Professional Network

November 2009
Worried About Job Security: Bulletproof Your Job

December 2009
7 Signs of Job Burn-Out and How to Rekindle Your Passion

January 2010
How To Use Your Business Card at Networking Events

February 2010
Six Ways Volunteering Can Boost Your Career

March 2010
When a Good Job Turns Into a Bad Trap

May 2010
Five Reasons Social Networking Isn't Working

June 2010
5 Questions to Ask Before You Start Your Job Search

July 2010
Seven-Day Résumé Makeover

August 2010
Must-Have Traits of Successful Career Changers

September 2010
Increase Your Visibility at Work

October 2010
Seven Deadly Workplace Sins

November 2010
Nine Ways to Be Happy in a Job You Don't Like

January 2011
Is Moving to a Management Position Your Next Best Career Move?

February 2011
The Absolute Worst Times to Leave Your Job to Start a Business

March 2011
How to Find the Courage to Pursue Your Professional Passion

May 2011
Four Career Lessons from Goldilocks


alumni@drexel.edu