Photo by Kat Stokes on Unsplash

I ran across an article I posted on LinkedIn in May of 2020. In looking back, I have come a long way from that uncertainty and ensuing identity crisis of a job loss.  When my position was eliminated due to COVID last summer I licked my wounds and set about the task of taking control of my destiny. And by control, I mean I put in the work to understand who I am, how do I want to show up, and what impact do I want to have on those around me? I prayed, meditated, listened, journaled, attended webinars, read articles, and leaned on my village. I eventually leaned into the challenges and turned them into opportunities. Cliché? You bet. But, over the last year I have had the most transformational experiences by seizing control and creating a vision for my future. I worked my C.O.R.E.

Clearly C.O.R.E. is not a formula for tight abs. When I first set out to create a vision for my future, I did not intentionally discover a kitschy acrostic for the process. Chalk it up to decades of an instructional design background and writing acrostics to make training stick. However, by putting in the work consistently and thoughtfully I found my way on an exciting new path to that Janet Jackson level of control. I am proud of my progress. And now that I have the words to describe my journey, I’ve been boasting to anyone who will hear about my C.O.R.E. work.

Core Values. You have heard employers or well-known brands express their core values. What are your personal fundamental beliefs and guiding principles? Write down all the words that come to mind then rank them in order of importance. Your core values should be the foundation for how you interact with the world and rarely if ever compromised.

My top five core values are faith, family, flexibility, service, and creativity.

Observe. This is your chance to take a step back and observe the landscape around you. What trends are you seeing in your profession? What if any new niche can you create or enter? How can you better connect with your network, community, or neighborhood? Observation allows you to gain insight and potentially see places you can go that were not so obvious before.

My observations opened the way for me to start my own consulting practice 2nd Thought Communication.

Reinvent. Make an honest assessment of what you have to offer and how you can leverage your talents. Maybe you will build upon existing skills, seek new experiences, or produce new ideas. Seek out opportunities to stretch beyond your situation. Be creative and think outside the box for how you want to present your personal brand.

I invested in myself by taking this course Purposeful Careers Initiative (PCI) at LUC.

Explore. Look for openings to explore partnerships and alliances within and outside of your network. Chances are you have not nurtured meaningful relationships as much as you would like. Your network is bigger and better than you think. You will find you have a great deal in common with others who are also interested in self-growth and collaboration.

Exploring connections and finding mutual benefit has been the most rewarding part of my journey.

I recommend everyone go through a C.O.R.E. exercise at least once a year to ensure you are leading a life in alignment with your vision and values.