Do You Have a Rupert the Rooster Type of Distraction? 🐓

career advice career alignment Nov 03, 2023
Karen Kelloway speaking to a member of the conference

Last week I was part of a Human Library – a breakout session held by a  Young Leaders group where leaders and presenters hosted tables. I spoke earlier in the day on How to Craft a Stand-Out Career Journey Story and led the group through their own unique Billboard Speech using my 3-step formula to help create positive, forward-moving statements for networking.

One participant asked: "How do I even know where to start Reframing the negatives?" Right. Because sometimes the truth of why you want something different is buried a bit.

I shared a story from a recent experience with my teenaged daughter, who rides horses twice/week. It went like this:

My daughter: “I’m looking at other barns. I found one 30 minutes away. This one is a bit of a drive…this other one has a waiting list…I’ll add myself to it.”

Me: “Just hold on a minute. Why do you want to change barns?”

My daughter: “I don’t really want to, but I think I need something different.”

Sound familiar? Scrolling through LinkedIn jobs and not sure why? Trying to figure out what you’re missing in your current experience by searching out others?

We used my nifty Name It: Reframe It exercise. (yes I even use this with my kids). We started listing all the things that were Working in her current barn and then what Wasn’t Working so that we could Reframe what I call the “Slug” pile.

There was actually a lot of things that were Working, but in her Not Working pile was that she ‘didn’t feel safe’. Which of course set off alarm bells.

“Why don’t you feel safe?” I said. “Is it the horse?”

“No, not the horse."

"Ok. Is it the dogs? Mice in the barn?"

She looked up from her phone. "Mom, it’s Rupert. He appears around the corner of the barn and starts glaring at me. He gets in the ring and won’t move. He’s apparently gone after another rider. His talons are huge.”

“Ah, Rupert,” I said.

“I just can’t relax when he’s there. That rooster is nasty.”

“So by safe you mean you want a rooster-free barn,” I clarified.


Well, Rupert was staying. So we had to make the tough decision to leave.

We narrowed our search to three barns. While she spoke to one potential new instructor, list in hand, I stepped back and watched her have a thoughtful conversation about what was important to her. I was so proud. She was now crystal clear on what she wanted. She’s been at the new barn four weeks and I can’t believe how much happier she is.

Not everyone has a Rupert lurking in the wings, but sometimes we don’t even know what's distracting us until we go through the process of listing out What’s Working, What’s Not Working and figuring out what to do about it.

To your career success,

Karen Kelloway, BPR PCC
Your Career Story Editor


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