Updated: Nov 6, 2019
At age 29, Laura managed an account for a Fortune 500 international ad agency – and she was miserable. “Advertising agency work was interesting, fast paced, and lucrative. But the more I moved up in the hierarchy, the less I liked it. The research and problem solving used my abilities, but I just couldn’t stand the politics. People in my family were lawyers, doctors, accountants, and a few musicians. My view of careers was limited. I got into advertising because a few Chicago ad agencies recruited on our campus and it seemed more exciting than banking, which I had been leaning towards. That’s about as much thought as I put into my first career decision.”
Then she took the Highlands Ability Battery and worked with a Highlands Certified Consultant to take the Whole Person Method to making career decisions. “I worked with a Highlands Consultant because I knew I wanted something different but didn’t have a clue about how to get there. I was dead stuck.”
Laura was at a turning point called the 30’s assessment. Regardless of the direction in which we launch ourselves in our early 20’s, we do reassess around age 30. If we jumped right out of college into a job and started working like crazy, by this time we begin asking some predictable questions. Is this getting me what I want? Can I see myself doing this for another 10 years? How far can I go with this company? What else should I be doing? Should I make a move to get married? Maybe it’s time to have a baby.
A Personal Vision is a way to see and plan your future
Start with objective information about yourself and then integrate the important factors about yourself into a creative mix. Researchers have found repeatedly that a Personal Vision based on real information is the one factor most predictive of a person’s success and happiness.
“The Highlands Whole Person Method planted the seed within me. I nurtured that seed a little bit at a time, mainly by continuing to be open to opportunities and keeping my dream alive. I referred back to my Highlands notes regularly. The first thing my Highlands Consultant did was give me incentive to think long and hard about what I really wanted to do. It took quite a few weeks of hard work until I began to see a pattern emerging. I have always loved history and research. My true passion is genealogy – the study of a person’s origins. I had traced my family’s and other relatives’ roots for years. It had never crossed my mind that I could combine these interests and fascinations into a career.”
Years have passed. Laura left the ad agency and moved out of the city. “I volunteered to teach a weekend workshop on genealogy. A participant in the workshop came from the Disney Institute. She told me that Disney had been thinking of offering genealogy programs at its new resort. We set up a meeting and within a matter of weeks, Disney offered me a position as the Managing Instructor.”
“Without the Highlands experience I’m certain I would have never pursued my dreams so purposefully. It would never have occurred to me that I could obtain a position that combined so many parts of what I do best and what I love.”