Meet Cynthia Jones...
I asked Cynthia...
What advice would you give your 20 year old self, looking back from where you are now?
Life isn’t a race, and it doesn’t have a set path. Be deliberate in recognizing what YOU want and value. Don’t do what you SHOULD - such marry because it’s the next step, buy a house because you should or can. Don’t be proud that you bought a house at 21, married at 22 - this is different from finishing the math test first... Relax, stay home, get to know and love yourself.
How does one step connect to the next?
Opportunity. While at Limited ~2003~ I was asked where I see myself in five years. I had absolutely no idea. I didn’t want to pick a person in the company and say I want their job. My boss was frustrated with me and wanted me to have a clear future plan. I told her I’m an opportunist and want to consider what’s available at the time and make a clear decision then. That disagreement with her helped me get comfortable with enjoying my role at the time, and taking advantage of opportunities that arise.
What does your path say about you?
I’m an opportunist who loves to learn.
What was one of the biggest challenges along your way?
When I was young I abhorred any sense of weakness. Before I got my drivers license I was certain that I should become a mechanic to take care of my own car. I was sensitive to what I thought other people thought of me. I was smart and didn’t want people to think I was stupid. I didn’t like my mistakes to be visible. Every step along the way I can look back and see how wrong, inefficient, and unrealistic I was. I continue to learn, grow and improve. However it used to embarrass me that my words and conversation reveal my weaknesses and fears, and that some people have seen and understood that years before I did. I’ve come to accept that I’m on a journey, that we all are, and that being right isn’t the goal.
What was the hardest part?
Two sides of the same coin: acceptance of self and of help.
Self acceptance. The value is in the journey, not in a perfect body or degree.
Learning to ask for help. Shifting from competition and independence to collaboration.
What felt like a "failure" at the time, that ended up being an opportunity?
What felt like a leap?
Switching industries: banking to retail, then retail to government.
A big thanks to Cynthia Jones for sharing her story.
~ I recently launched No One Way™ over in Instagram.
~ The project visually illustrates how people have really gotten to where they are now.
~ Every M/W/F, I post a new career sketch on IG. Every Friday, we do a deep dive into one of the sketches here.
Sheila Devi is a career transition coach.
She helps smart, talented people who are frustrated at work because they feel like there's something more out there for them. She helps them discover their best next moves ~ so they can enjoy work that uses their strengths, lights them up, and sets them up for an overall life they love.
Interested in coaching with Sheila? Email to set up a complimentary call.