Your Challenges Are The Key To Enhancing Your Career


When you feel like you’re grinding through your life, faced with challenges that seem to go on and on and you wonder what good could ever come of them, pay attention to this:

“All the adversity I’ve had in my life, all my troubles and obstacles, have strengthened me.” –Walt Disney

Problems or Opportunity

You may think your challenges are the universe testing you for some unimaginable reason, but I know you can draw on them to substantially enhance not only your career but all of your life.

I have witnessed this with many of my clients who are now thriving in their careers.

A Woman Re-Invents Herself Out Of Her Challenges

One client of mine who had been diagnosed with ADHD and lived with the effects of a traumatic brain injury is a great example.  She had periods of mental fatigue and brain fog that made a 9-5 job difficult for her.

During her years as a patient, she had learned the ins and outs of the American health care system. As a single mother of two daughters who themselves struggled with academic and behavioral issues, she had to rely on public assistance.  At desperate times she had resorted to fast money to support them by working as an exotic dancer. This work was temporary because she desired to not just entertain people but to impact the world in a positive way, especially by helping those in similar situations as herself.

Over time, my client had melded these two very different worlds. As an exotic dancer, she was a charismatic performer who exuded confidence in front of others. As a low-income patient, she understood the health care system and had become passionate about helping people whose income earning potential was limited through no fault of their own.  She formed co-ops and gained leadership positions in many areas of public assistance.  She had learned the legalities of government assistance and taken trips with social justice organizations to Washington DC to advocate for better treatment of low-income families and the chronically disabled.

I knew as soon as I met her that she was a dynamic salesperson and compelling public speaker. Her passion for helping others radiated from her, and she clearly had deep expertise about not only the US health care system but the government support in place for low-income and disabled people.

Together, we developed strategies to manage the symptoms of her ADHD and brain injury and maximize her productivity while always keeping in mind her passion and expertise gained through years of challenges.

Today, my client is a lobbyist who advocates for many causes. Her work has deep purpose; she discovered her “why”, as leadership guru Simon Sinek says. Lobbying has flexible hours that allow her to work around her cognitive symptoms and be available for her daughters except for the minimal amount of time she travels.

She Refused To Let Her Struggles Limit Her

If my client had let herself be defined by her past, or limited by her struggles, she would not have discovered her meaningful career.  But because she kept her mind open and her belief in herself strong, she was able to see how rising to her challenges had enhanced her life rather than detract from it.

We didn’t minimize or gloss over the things she’d faced in her life. Rather, we laid them out, took an honest look at them, and found the riches. Then we got to work creating a new career for her, one she loves and in which she’s thriving.

Find The Riches In Your Own Challenges

I encourage you to examine your life and discover the talents and expertise you’ve developed as you faced your challenges, just as my client did.  Many of us sense we have strong skills and unique expertise lying right below the surface of our everyday life, and we’re right.  We just need ways to see our struggles as the key to a fulfilling career rather than limitations to one.

And you don’t have to do this alone! A supportive third party such as a career coach can help you uncover the full range of your talents and abilities as well as support you if you falter and feel “not good enough”.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.





Transform Life Challenges Into A Perfect Career

Transform Life Challenges Into A Perfect Career

How To Transform Your Life Challenges Into A Perfect Career

Most of us perceive the challenges we’ve experienced in our life to be barriers or limitations on our choice of career. For example, if you have a learning disability you may believe you’re not cut out for a career requiring a lot of writing and researching. You may feel your lack of detailed understanding of business financials means you can’t be a corporate executive; or, conversely, your love of numbers and spreadsheets prevents you from being an effective people manager.

But when you dig down into the core of the challenges you’ve experienced, you mine the gold nuggets of your strengths, interests, and talents forged as you went through your struggles.

The Next step in life

Be Proud Of The Challenges You’ve Faced

While there are many people who go through similar challenges, your history and personality uniquely shape your responses to and outcomes of your struggles. Sometimes without even realizing it, you hone keen self-awareness you never would have without the circumstances you encountered.

Be proud of your challenges; they’re the source of so much of your resiliency and wisdom.

Your Challenges Become A Treasure Map

Here are 5 steps to draw on your wisdom and map a route to guide you to the perfect career for you. Gather up a timer, a pen or pencil, and a notebook. Choose a time when you won’t be interrupted. Sit in a quiet place and set the timer for 30 minutes. Then:

  1. Spend the first few minutes sitting quietly with your eyes closed.
  2. In your notebook, quickly jot down the challenges you’ve faced. The more honest you are with yourself, the more value you’ll get from this exercise. There’s nothing to be hesitant about or ashamed of – simply note what happened.
  3. See if you can find any patterns in your past situations: how they came to be, how you reacted, how you solved them, how you felt. Be curious, like a scientist collecting data.
  4. Write down any interests, talents, or strengths you believe came about from your challenges.
  5. When the timer goes off, stop writing, sit back, and relax for a few more minutes. Reflect on the experience

A neutral third party such as a coach is incredibly valuable to help you unearth the most compelling details and revelations; to keep you honest with yourself; and to point out strengths or talents you may not even be aware you’ve developed.

Let’s Follow The Map To The Treasure: Your Ideal Career

Once you’ve finished the mapping exercise above, you can follow the map to discover your ideal career. Here’s how:

  • Choose a tool that will help you refine the information you’ve developed about yourself. I recommend Holland’s Codes and Gallup’s Strengths Finder to start. And I’ve developed a number of exercises for you in my book Happiness, Passion and Purpose, which will be published in early 2019.
  • With your coach’s support, brainstorm even more career choices. You want to be thorough and not rush through this stage.
  • Set aside quiet time to reflect on and rank the possibilities.
  • Allow yourself to envision and play with different scenarios. Sketching or writing out the possibilities will unleash your creativity; as you play, you’ll hone in on your top one or two choices.
  • Draft a plan to explore the practicalities: for example, any training or education you may need; the typical work schedule of your chosen career; and the salary range.

If you get bogged down, don’t be discouraged! Simply pause and come back to this process when you feel refreshed. You may need to complete it in stages over a period of days or weeks, and that’s fine.

What Riches Will You Discover?

Rather than perceiving your struggles as barriers to a fulfilling career, I’ve shown you how you can deliberately mine your challenges to discover a wealth of insight, wisdom, and clarity that will guide you to a career you’ll love.

The reason most people drift to and through lackluster careers isn’t a lack of awareness, or smarts, or information. Rather, they don’t believe they can transform their challenges into careers where they can soar

But you’re going to be different, right?

You’re going to set out on a voyage of self-discovery and reap the reward of a fulfilling career crafted on your passion, purpose, and strengths. And when you do, you’ll discover how valuable your struggles truly have been.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.