I met Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter on Twitter (@valueintowords). I quickly learned that she was bright, knowledgeable, friendly and supportive. How could I not follow her?
Then I learned thousands of people follow Jacqui – she’s listed on many “Best People to Follow on Twitter” lists for jobseekers. You see, Jacqui is one of only 27 Master Resume Writers (MRW) in the world. Impressive isn’t it?
And since 1997, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, has had her own business, Career Trend where she’s chief career writer.
Does a woman with this level of success ever have self doubts?
With all her accomplishments does anything scare her?
Cherry: In your article about work and life merging when your husband and you moved from Kansas City, Missouri to rural Gordonville, Texas earlier this year, you said “living life on my own terms is centermost in my existence” and, I loved this line, you could “no longer steep in sadness nor languish in stress that often arises from continuing a life path that no longer fits.” Would you elaborate on that?
Jacqui: I believe we must take care of ourselves before we can truly take care of others – be it on a personal level or on a work level with clients.
When my husband and I, who’s now a partner in the business, were thinking about moving almost 500 miles away from family and friends, it felt selfish. I’d have doubts and conflicting thoughts about wanting to be physically available to my parents and siblings but also wanting to focus on my marriage and what Rob and I wanted.
I talked with friends who were supportive, which helped. Then I realized that the mindset I had about “needing” to be geographically close to my family was a myth. First, each of them had their own nuclear units and lives that were their primary focus. Secondly, with web-cams, email, airplanes it’s easy today to stay in touch.
Cherry: What made you realize that the life path you had once happily followed no longer fit?
My husband and I started sailing in 2008 and we fell in love with it. It brought us peace and relaxation, a counterweight to the demanding work lives we led. But with our erratic schedules we couldn’t sail as often as we wanted because we had to drive an hour each way to get to a body of water. We wanted to live on or very close to water so we could take our boat out more often.
It’s not that I’d been on the wrong path all my life. Not at all. But, over time, my priorities changed. In terms of geography I was stagnating because our new love of sailing couldn’t fit into the life that I had built and enjoyed previously.
Cherry: So you didn’t think you’d made a mistake in your earlier decisions?
Jacqui: Definitely not. It’s just that now I had a new interest – sailing – and was in a loving relationship I wanted to nurture more.
If you let yourself be open to change, other possibilities present themselves.
Cherry: Did you always have confidence in yourself?
Jacqui: Always? All the time? No.
I live a dichotomy of sorts. Since a little girl, I’ve had a competitive spirit and a willingness to stick my neck out.
I also have fears and can worry.
But when I’m enthralled or immersed in something, any fears I have get crowded out. It’s when I’m stagnant and not doing something stimulating that fears can creep into the empty spaces.
Action is a balm to fears. Sometimes you have to take your fears with you as you take the first step, but then they dissipate with action, with movement.
As I’ve grown older, I’m also more conscious of surrounding myself with positive people. Other people’s negativity, even if it’s about their lives, is wearing and contagious.
Cherry: Since we’re nearing Halloween, I’ll ask you for “Tricks or Tips” you’d suggest to help other people get past their fears and open themselves up to a world of possibilities?
Jacqui: Plan, plan, plan and then execute on your plan.
Being prepared makes it easier to step forward with confidence. Seeing tangible results, even if small, makes it easier to take the next step.
I think sometimes people don’t take action if their dream feels too big, or they can’t reach it in a short time. But even moving in the direction of your dream is positive.
Rob and I have talked about living by the ocean, and we still might. But right now we’ve accomplished a large part of our dream by living by a large lake. It’s movement and I definitely call it a success.