Jennifer Watkins's Story

I was pregnant with my second child and was attending a Human Resources conference at the Samoset in Rockland, Maine. The conference is an annual event that draws some 600 professionals and is held over a period of several days.

I was searching for something different from the typical HR workshops and I found it in Ray’s presentation on his Core Themes program. I didn’t know Ray and hadn’t heard of his program but I was curious to hear what he had to say as I am a person who is constantly learning and exploring both personally and professionally.

What I learned that day intrigued me as I had been somewhat dissatisfied with my career direction, but didn’t really know what I would do if I left the field of Human Resources. Ray‘s message really resonated with me as he spoke about the importance of doing work that you felt passionate about and that when you do work that you truly love, that you will find true success and happiness.

I thought, there weren’t many people I knew who really loved what they did, including myself. Sure, I felt okay about my career…but it didn’t rise to the level of really loving my work. And yes, I was reasonably effective but was I really successful to the level that Ray talked about?

jennifer watkinsI left the conference mulling over Ray’s words and his definition of Core Themes-“those essential values, needs and interests that define a person.” But, with a baby on the way and the need for a steady paycheck, I didn’t feel the sense of urgency to do anything about my career. It wasn’t that I was miserable or terribly unhappy, yet I had to admit that something was missing.

It was a couple of years later that I contacted Ray and began my Core Themes work. But with a demanding job and travel schedule, an active family and plenty of other obligations, my commitment to doing the CoreThemes program evolved over a period of several months.

Going through the four phases of the program was intense, comprehensive and enlightening. I came to know myself at a deeper level and for the first time in my life had clarity about what I really wanted to do and understood the reasons why…my Core Themes!

Today, I am in a career that is totally aligned with my Core Themes. One of my Core Themes is a need to be assertive and be within a business environment where I can express my thoughts and views openly and candidly. And with colleagues who appreciate my “debating style.” I also require a good deal of autonomy as I do not function well with a boss who is controlling. I need to be respected for my abilities and given the freedom to exercise my ideas and talents.

One of my frustrations in my previous career was the lack of opportunity for real growth and advancement. The Core Themes work with Ray confirmed these needs and resulted in my accepting a position that provides opportunities for advancement and continuous learning.

I realize that knowing my Core Themes isn’t a cure-all, but it has given me the “roadmap” that I needed and as long as I stay focused and follow my Core Themes, I am confident that I will be successful and fulfilled in my life and in my career.