Sep 20

Career or Business Cobbling Joys of Flexibility

Man touching his toes, careers and ADDBy now, most everyone knows that retirement from one company in which you start, work your way up, and end up retired with the Golden Parachute rarely exists. Besides, if you have ADD characteristics like me, you would not likely have the patience to stick with anything that requires taking orders, operating within a bureaucracy and doing the same things everyday, Granted, not all jobs are tedious, but as a group, we tend to require a bit more flexibility … or a great deal.

Today, many of us are “cobbling” our careers together with skills and talents that we joyfully love to use in a field that rings our bell and fascinates us. If we are successful, it is because we not only love it and have done our homework, we have also found a niche where our cobbled together business or career is of value to others – preferably a lot of others.

Someone said to me once, “Shell, you have to keep reinventing yourself to keep from getting bored.” WOW, how true is that? For me reinventing myself, means always considering the possibility that I have something new to offer of value. Then it is about having the confidence to actually offer that service or use a skill that I suddenly realized I’m great at and get a kick out of using. Like being a podcast interviewer!! Why hide? So I continue to cobble.

Getting to the point where we can cobble a career together means acknowledging that there are only a few skills we love to use frequently because they are fun to use at any given time. Then we rearrange them so the skill that is currently the most fun is being utilized the most during our day.

For me now it is communicating via coaching – uplifting – motivating others – using humor to help others make a shift – using my creativity at every turn, brainstorming, researching and, of course, writing, and of course, interviewing… you get the idea.

It also means taking a little of this and a little of that from my background and having the confidence to use what I love in my work and to say “NO” to the rest. My own next cobbling phase is as a podcaster. Why? Because one of my favorite things to do as a coach is to ask questions and hear juicy stories that can really make a difference to a lot of folks.

The first step to cobbling a career is to be clear about what you love, no matter how disjointed your various talents/skills may seem to be. What I’ve found over the years is that they always, almost magically come together to form a service or career that someone (or a lot of someones) need.

I recently received a great testimonial from a former client who described her cobbling experience perfectly. This is actually most of what she wrote so you understand where she began.

“My career history is a complete patchwork…

A b-iatch at work and at home. I’d wake up most mornings curled up in the fetal position and burst into tears at the thought of going to the office for even one more day.

…I’d spend my evenings scouring the internet for a weird blend of inspirational quotations, job advertisements, Shark Tank, and fall into bed square-eyed and despairing that I wasn’t a Park Ranger with a 4-Hour Work Week.

After years of changing companies like I do with my toilet paper, I didn’t do much. I was still at the same place – unfilled and always looking.

My whole approach and emotional relationship to my career change began to transform when I started working with an ADHD Career Coach…Shell..

I started to give myself permission to enjoy the journey. If it was going to take longer than I expected, I might as well have a little fun along the way, right?

Over the months, shifts began to happen:

  • I spoke about ADHD in the Workplace in front of an audience of 50 people
  • I got a organization to hire me as a consultant to work on disability in the workplace project
  • I turned down a contract job and they came back offering me a full-time perm position
  • I always envisioned leading a hiking group and starting my own outdoor excursion group. I’ve now created an opportunity to speak with the founder of a well known outdoors company to lead a hiking + coaching group.

I found a way to make money from those things. And be surrounded by people that made me happy.
… I’ve created opportunities for myself and expanded my comfort zone.

Being happy and fulfilled doesn’t happen until you sign a contract for work you love. This is it, so take a step back and celebrate your wins.”

Once Stephanie laid her foundation or Flower, the cobbling soon began.

If you are interested in chatting more about laying that foundation for yourself, simply send an email to Shell Mendelson or go to and use the pop up to schedule a convenient time to chat.

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