The Quiet and Strong Podcast, Especially for Introverts

Ep 56 - Finding career clarity with Val Nelson, especially for introverts and highly sensitive people (HSP)

February 07, 2022 David Hall, M.Ed. Season 1 Episode 56
The Quiet and Strong Podcast, Especially for Introverts
Ep 56 - Finding career clarity with Val Nelson, especially for introverts and highly sensitive people (HSP)
Show Notes Transcript

Have you ever felt overwhelmed or like your job was not a great fit for your personality?

Val Nelson is a career and business coach for introverts and highly sensitive people (HSPs) who want meaningful work without the overwhelm. She enjoys helping people clarify their career or self-employment decisions.

As an introvert and HSP herself, she used to think self-employment was not for her. Yet now she enjoys having a thriving business and has learned there are a lot of myths about what is possible or not.

She believes strongly that living your true purpose is a practical possibility. She helps people through individual coaching, her small groups, her online courses, and her blog.

Gain clarity on why some careers are a better fit than others, and how you can succeed in your career.

Guest: Val Nelson

Contact Val:


Career Clarity Course:

Coaches Circle:

Linked In:

Article: Best Careers for Introverts, HSPs, and Other Sensitive Souls 

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Contact the Host of the Quiet and Strong Podcast:

David Hall

Author, Speaker, Educator, Podcaster
david [at]

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Minding Your Time: Time Management, Productivity, and Success, Especially for Introverts

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Val Nelson [00:00:00]:

Unfortunately, what most people have done is they've looked outside first. They look at job listings, or they look at what other people are doing, and they try to fit themselves to those molds that they've heard of. But I suggest that we flip that we first look inside. Okay. Who am I? What do I believe in? What am I good at? And really get that down clearly and then look out there for what matches us. It changes the whole game.

David Hall [00:00:39]:

Hello. Welcome to the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for Introverts. I'm your host, David Hall, and the creator of This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced normally. We'll air each episode on a Monday. Be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform, leave a review, tell a friend, help get the word out there. Val Nelson is a career and business coach for introverts and highly sensitive people. Also referred to as HSP, who want meaningful work without overwhelm. She enjoys helping people clarify their career or self employment decisions. As an introvert in HSP herself, she used to think self employment was not for her. Yet now she enjoys having a thriving business and has learned there are a lot of myths out there about what is possible or not. She believes strongly that living your true purpose is a practical possibility. She helps people through individual coaching, her small groups, her online courses, and her blog. All right, I am very excited to welcome my guest, Val Nelson. Val. Welcome to the quietest, Strong Podcast.

Val Nelson [00:01:57]:

Thank you. This is such a fun topic, and I always enjoy speaking with you, so.

David Hall [00:02:02]:

Thanks for having you know, I first became aware of Val when I started blogging. I was on Twitter looking for different introvert thought leaders, and I started following Val a long time ago, and then I connected with her on LinkedIn and she had a coaching group where got together with other coaches in a small group, and that was very nice to do, that kind of thing. And now I'm excited to have Val on the.

Val Nelson [00:02:30]:


David Hall [00:02:31]:

Yeah. So Val is a career and business coach, especially for introverts and highly sensitive people. We definitely talk a lot about introverts on this show, but maybe if you could talk just a little bit about what it means to be a highly sensitive person.

Val Nelson [00:02:46]:

Oh, good. Yeah. So I'll just say for myself, I always thought, or once I first learned about my own introversion and what that meant, I thought that was the main reason that I got overwhelmed in certain situations and come to find out later that I also am a highly sensitive person. And that has its own set of overstimulation potential. It's not just social situations, but it's any kind of sensory input. So for me, things like driving in a car can be if I'm in the backseat that's hard. I'll tend to get sick or heights or smells or sounds or certain kinds of touch. So things like that can be overwhelming to our senses, which is different than introversion. But I just have, like, sort of a double whammy when it comes to situations with lots of people. I can get very overstimulated and I have to be very careful. You can actually be an extrovert and a highly sensitive person, so they're not combined. It's two different things.

David Hall [00:03:57]:

Yeah. Thank you for making that point. And not all introverts are highly sensitive and some extroverts are highly sensitive.

Val Nelson [00:04:06]:

Yeah. It seems to be two different parts of the brain. I'm not a neuroscientist or anything, but people have researched it and they're definitely two different things. And it's different parts of the brain affected.

David Hall [00:04:17]:

Yeah. And just with the point of this show is learning to understand your strengths and gifts. And strengths and gifts come with introversion and highly sensitive folks, and so definitely it's all about understanding that.

Val Nelson [00:04:34]:

But can I add another thing about that? I was actually just speaking with someone the other day, and she was thinking of herself as an introvert and highly sensitive. And the more we talked, I said, have you considered that you might be an extrovert and highly sensitive? And all these things you think of as introverted are actually the high sensitivity, and that sort of lit a light for her. So it's just something to think about. For people, it's just an interesting combination to get overwhelmed and excited by being around people. We're all different and unique and it's just interesting, all the different things that come together.

David Hall [00:05:12]:

Absolutely. And it's so important to understand that because yeah, if you think of the highly sensitive traits as being introverted, you might be missing out on understanding yourself.

Val Nelson [00:05:22]:

Exactly. Yes.

David Hall [00:05:24]:

I wrote a blog post a while back on public speaking, and someone I knew very well was associating that fear of public speaking with introversion. And definitely this person is an extrovert and has a lot of great extroverted gifts, and it's like, no either introverts or extroverts could fear public speaking. You just have to get to know what you need, and the preparation for that is going to be different. That's what it's all about. So it's really great to have you on today to talk about how we can get to know ourselves and especially around the careers. So I do like to start out with tell us about yourself and when you discovered you were introvert and a highly sensitive person and how you embrace that.

Val Nelson [00:06:07]:

Thank you. All right, so when I was younger, I was definitely thought of as the quietest person in the room. And looking back, I now understand that was about more than introversion. There was also a lot of stuckness or fear going on for me, which is not the same thing. So shyness or chronic shyness is not the same as introversion. But anyway, fast forward through college and through my early career, I started to get much more comfortable speaking and even did a lot of public speaking and started to go into teaching. And I ended up getting quite exhausted when I was doing teaching. And eventually I quit that job even without another job because I was so exhausted I didn't know what to do. And I ended up going to a career center at a local college where it was the only thing I knew to do at the time. And they gave me the Myers Briggs type I. So I saw the word introversion there because I got the I the first letter for introvert and so I read about it, read what this all meant and the definition they used. Didn't have any judgment in it. It was just like, oh, this is how your brain works. And that was a big light bulb moment for me, like, oh, this is just how I am. And that's why I got exhausted. With so much people time in each mean, the rest of the Myers Briggs was also helpful. I actually really like that tool. I use it with my clients if they're open to it. Has a lot of good information, not just about extrovert introvert.

David Hall [00:07:52]:

Yeah, and I enjoy that one as well because it gets other pieces of our personality. I think introversion extroversion is a huge part, but we're multifaceted people and so I think it helps a lot with that too. So I enjoy that one.

Val Nelson [00:08:08]:

So that was a big wake up call for me. But I didn't do a whole lot there in that first round of getting career help. I just kind of went away and was like, okay, well, maybe I should just do something a little more behind the scenes. Ended up getting into human resources and various sort of management kind of jobs instead of front of the room kind of jobs. But still I kept hitting burnout walls here and there and didn't really understand, but at a certain point it just kept happening so much. Now let me back up and say I've had some really amazing jobs and wonderful fulfilling experiences and then for whatever reason moved on to something else and then hit that wall again. And so I just didn't understand what the pattern was until I finally saw a career coach and started putting things together. And for various reasons it also hit me like, maybe I want to be a coach. And the more I looked into that, that's when the light bulbs really went on for me. It was just like, oh, so many of my strengths and my interests and my values kind of came together in that one place. I realized I had been trying it in different ways through human resources or supervising and mentoring people. And when I finally landed like, oh, it was just such a relief. I feel like it's a great match for an introvert because you can make it what you want. You can do more the one on one deep conversations that introverts tend to really like and excel at. Or you can also do workshops and things like that. So I've done some of each. I've brought in my experience, so I've done workshops and I lead groups, but I tend to like small groups. I tend to really love my one on one. That's a bit of the story.

David Hall [00:09:56]:

Yeah, I think that's the key. One on one, if you figure out yeah, it's not that you don't want to work with people, but there's certain ways that are better for you, and that's the key, is discovering that or small groups or the workshop setting, but also just how you approach all those things. I like giving workshops, too. Some people might think that's strange for an introvert, but no, but I have to prepare for it.

Val Nelson [00:10:24]:

Yeah, I totally agree with what you're saying, and it's an ongoing thing, I have to say. I'm always tweaking what I'm doing. I'm noticing at the end of a day, like, wait, why am I feeling a little bit off today? Why was I drained? And I've discovered that too many Zoom calls can be draining. And so times have changed and there's been a little more Zoom stuff, so I have to adjust. There's always something new in the environment or in your life and your aging or what's happening in your family, so I'm always adjusting. I actually decided that I'm going to do less and less workshops because that was the most overstimulating for me. And I've decided I really love. So what I've done instead is do more online courses so I'm pre recording material that people can watch as videos. And that teacher in me still comes out in the teaching something and then creating worksheets that go with that. So I love putting those lessons together that way.

David Hall [00:11:24]:

Yeah. And that's the thing, understanding that this is how I want to work, this is what gives me energy, this is how I want to be. Or in my case, I do like the workshops, but I know that I'm going to need a break afterward. And you just need to plan for that, for sure.

Val Nelson [00:11:43]:

Yes. And when I did do that, I would still really like it, but I really had to plan, like, a day off after or something like that.

David Hall [00:11:50]:


Val Nelson [00:11:51]:


David Hall [00:11:52]:

So on the Quiet and Strong podcast, we definitely talk about introverted strengths, honoring our introverted needs. We do some myth busting. Is there a myth or two that you would like to bust about introversion?

Val Nelson [00:12:08]:

Oh, sure, yeah. There's so much misunderstanding about this. No matter how much it's in the news, no matter how many things are around on social media, there's still a ton of misunderstanding, which is so sad, because it gets in the way of us being able to actually make good use of this self awareness piece.

David Hall [00:12:29]:


Val Nelson [00:12:30]:

So one that we've already started to touch on is just this idea that introverts are antisocial and even introverts will perpetuate this myth. They'll say, well, I'm an introvert, but I'm social. I'm like, you need to erase that sentence. It assumes that introverts are antisocial, which we're not. We have good social skills, we really know how to read people really good at deep connections. So we are social. We just do it differently than an extrovert might expect. So it's really extroverts that might have labeled us as antisocial because we might have said, no thanks, I want to stay home and read a book. We still do like our people time, too.

David Hall [00:13:17]:

I'm glad you put it that way, because sometimes I hear people say, oh, well, you just need to act like an extrovert or pretend. And I don't agree with that because, like, you're saying, if you're saying, yeah, I'm being social, well, then I'm being social. I'm always an introvert, I'm never an extrovert, but if I'm being social or doing something, it just means I'm doing that and I'm doing it using my strength. So I like how you put that.

Val Nelson [00:13:47]:

Yeah. In fact, I agree with you when people say, so this kind of leads to the next myth that bugs me when they say, oh, I'm just going to go put on my extrovert mask to go to that party or go to that networking event. And I'm like, please don't do that. No, be yourself. Focus on one on one conversations and you're going to have more flow and ease and enjoyment and it's just going to work better too.

David Hall [00:14:11]:

Yeah, that's the thing.

Val Nelson [00:14:13]:

No masks.

David Hall [00:14:13]:

Yeah. When you have a mask or you try to pretend, it's very draining and it also just really doesn't work.

Val Nelson [00:14:19]:

Exactly. That's what's draining when we put on that mask. Yeah, it doesn't work and it's useless.

David Hall [00:14:30]:

What are maybe some strengths, or even I like to call them superpowers that you have or you work with a lot of different people, a lot of different introverts. We're all different. We all have different strengths. But what are some big strengths that can come from being an introvert?

Val Nelson [00:14:47]:

Well, two come to mind right off the bat, and I'm going to guess that most introverts have these, and I do. We can read people really well, and it's partly because we tend to observe and take in information before speaking, so we can be in a meeting and listen to lots of things. And then when we have a moment to think or jot down our thoughts, then we can sort of come back with a synthesis of everything we've heard. Or people are seeming really upset about this one thing, and I heard these three points and here's what I'm thinking, how it comes together. So I think that being able to read people can almost seem magical sometimes, like the way we can pick up on energy, pick up on how things can come together. So I think that's a superpower and I think I'm good at that. And it's part of why I think coaching is a good fit for me, because I can really pick up on things.

David Hall [00:15:53]:

Yeah, and you let all those ideas roll around in your head like you're saying, and you're putting them all together and you're never bashing extroverts, but they speak in order to think, but you're thinking first and you're putting all the best stuff together and you're sharing what you think is important. And I think that is a big strength of ours. I think so, too, coming up with those great ideas. But like you said, taking all ideas in from lots of places sometimes yeah.

Val Nelson [00:16:23]:

It can look like and I've just been playing with this idea of sometimes people can say, oh, you're overthinking, and they use it as an insult. I think what they are saying is, you're thinking too long and we would just want to hurry up. And sometimes we're not overthinking, we're just thinking.

David Hall [00:16:47]:

Amen to that.

Val Nelson [00:16:48]:

I think taking time to think before acting is actually a very effective way of making decisions. In fact, there's so much evidence of that. There's so many very successful entrepreneurs who take time to think and deliberate, and the fast acting ones are not as successful. So I think it's interesting, the whole slow thinking. Fast thinking.

David Hall [00:17:17]:

Yeah. So sometimes we make quick decisions, but often as I reflect on decisions I've made and the time that I took my time, I think, you know what? If I would have made a hasty decision here, it would not have gone so well. But I really came up with something good because I did take the time.

Val Nelson [00:17:36]:

Yeah, that's great.

David Hall [00:17:38]:

And sometimes I think I know for myself I might need a deadline. So I don't think for too long at some point have to make a decision that helps me.

Val Nelson [00:17:48]:

Sometimes, yes, sometimes I absolutely get stuck, that's for sure. But I've learned to when I feel stuck, I've got my systems, one of which is to talk to a good friend who really understands me, who can ask me the right questions. She's also a coach, a wonderful coach. So that really helps me when I know I'm spinning a little bit.

David Hall [00:18:13]:

Yeah. So the main part of our conversation that I want to get in today is you help people find clarity and purpose in the work that they do. And sometimes that might be working for somebody else and sometimes that might be self employment. How do you do that? How do you help people find especially introverts or highly sensitive people, how do you help them find that clarity and purpose? And who's coming to you and that type of thing?

Val Nelson [00:18:43]:

Well, it's a big question because such a core of my work is helping people around, struggles with their work. And so most typically the people that are coming to me are introverts and or highly sensitive women. And they have been in a workplace situation where they're hitting some sort of burnout. They're questioning it sometimes, especially these days during this great resignation we've been in. Sometimes they've already quit. They're like, wait, what do I do now? So I've discovered that part of what's been off for them is that they've been trying to put on an extrovert mask and things like that. Like me, I was working in an environment that was a cubicle environment for a while, and that just drained me so much. I couldn't deal with all that noise. I couldn't concentrate. It can just be so many things, but it's usually far more than just the introvert or highly sensitive piece. It's also they don't really know their best strengths or they've taken a real confidence hit. They're thinking that, what do I really have to offer? Sometimes it's someone who's been out of the workplace for a while, like maybe while they're raising kids and they're going back and boy, they've got a confidence hit there. They're just like, things have passed me by. I don't know what to do if really anyone's going to want to even interview me. Often they're coming to me where there's just like a big tangle around, like, what do I do? And am I going to have to be self employed? And I don't know if that's really going to work for me. And there's confidence issues. First we just help with a little breathing room, help them just kind of find their solid ground again. And then we start to look at some things like, okay, what do you value? And making sure they truly understand what introversion is or extroversion, whatever the case may be, or high sensitivity or not. Like, all these things you need to know about yourself to understand what kind of work environment is going to work for you and also your strengths. So, like, what kinds of things you're going to be good at and have the most flow and enjoyment with. Most people don't know their strengths. Most people don't even know their values. And they don't really understand their personality factors. So they might think they do, but mostly they don't. When I actually ask people, they really don't. And so just bringing those into full consciousness and helping to reflect to them based on our conversations and tools that we can use and guided imageries and all kinds of things, things start to come clear and they start to develop what I call their dashboard. So they've like their values, their strengths, their personality factors. They're talking back to their fear, like, where they get their courage and what's their vision for what they're looking for. And so then once we have those puzzle pieces on the table, we can start to look at possibilities like, where might this combination be needed out there in the world? Unfortunately, what most people have done is they've looked outside first. They look at job listings, or they look at what other people are doing, and they try to fit themselves to those molds that they've heard of. But I suggest that we flip that we first look inside. Okay. Who am I? What do I believe in? What am I good at? And really get that down clearly and then look out there for what matches us. It changes the whole game. So then we're not drained. We go to work and we can enjoy it, and we're not drained. And there's no burnout once I did that, no burnout anymore.

David Hall [00:22:37]:

Yeah. And that's the key, is really starting inside. It still surprises me, especially as I do this work that people aren't taking that time for, that self awareness. You said it. They look at the job first, and sometimes it's a really narrow focus. Like, they look at what type of people they've interacted with, what kind of services they've interacted with, maybe TV shows. And it's just really narrow. But I can tell you I've been through something similar where I didn't understand myself, but once I did, and I really tailored the work I do to my strengths, it's amazing. I love to be home, but I love to work, too. I don't dread Mondays. And that's the place to be, is where you really understand yourself and what you can contribute to the world and what you use the word flow. That's amazing when you can do that kind of work that you kind of enjoy and lose track of time in.

Val Nelson [00:23:56]:

Yeah, natural flow is one of my favorite words. That's what we're going for. That's where we can have our best contribution to the world, where things just start to feel easier. Like the best way I can describe it is like you're swimming downstream, so you're still working, you're swimming, but the stream is also with you. So imagine what you can accomplish, how much further you can go when you're working in that direction, how much of a bigger difference you can make, if that matters to you, and hopefully it does. Whereas if you're going upstream, imagine how much effort, how exhausted you'll be and how very little you'll progress.

David Hall [00:24:36]:

Yeah, I love that. That's great because so many people focus on their weaknesses, and we have weaknesses. We have to deal with those. But if we could really focus on our strengths, it's going downstream just like you described. That's a really good way to put it.

Val Nelson [00:24:54]:

Downstream swimming. Yeah.

David Hall [00:24:58]:

There's some power behind you.

Val Nelson [00:25:00]:

Exactly. And we're not all strong in every area. It's just impossible. So we need our people that we go to for those other areas, or we just need to whatever thing you think you're doing, everything you think you need to do, that's actually in a draining it's a draining talent you need to switch to looking at. Okay. Actually, I'm really good at this. Let me just do it in this way instead. Now, again, most people don't know what those strengths are or what those true weaknesses or weakening talents are. And so doing a little assessment around that with some help to interpret those assessments can be really helpful.

David Hall [00:25:39]:

Yeah, absolutely. And the help interpreting is really important. Working with somebody can be life changing. Having them help you understand what your strengths are.

Val Nelson [00:25:52]:

It has been for me that's for.

David Hall [00:25:54]:

It'S a you're familiar with strengthsquest or it's called Clifton strengths now.

Val Nelson [00:26:00]:

Yeah, Clifton strengths, that's what I use most often with my clients.

David Hall [00:26:04]:

Yeah. So I was in a workshop again, I'm still in the self discovery phase, and I was sitting by somebody and their number one, and if people don't know, it's a great instrument. It gives you your top five and the ideas you focus on your strengths. I was sitting by someone, and their number one was empathy, and they were describing it to me. And again, people on listening, don't judge me because I know you're going to, but she was describing it to me at how she feels other people's emotions. And I think probably Val, you're probably a little bit more like that than I am, but I am not made that way. I don't know why. Actually, if you pay a little more, you can get all 34, and empathy is down, like 33 or 34 for me. But that was so helpful to have that conversation with her and realizing how she's experiencing the world and the strengths that come from that, and that I definitely take a more logical approach, and it's not good or bad, but understanding that made all the difference. I have empathy, but mine is I'm going to imagine what it's like to be you. I'm going to put myself in your shoes, in my head. Now, this other person, she has a gift to be able to feel people's emotions that I don't know why I don't have. But my gift is I have a great imagination, and I'm going to think about, okay, what's it like to be this person. So, again, it's so important to know our own strengths yeah.

Val Nelson [00:27:42]:

And how we might come at something we're trying to. And by the way, on the Clifton strengths, a lot of people just get their top five, but you have strengths that go all the way to probably ten to 13 in that list. And so there's a lot of strengths to draw on that you'd be missing out on if you don't get the full report.

David Hall [00:28:03]:

Yeah, so I like looking at my top ten, and then my bottom three were really helpful. And then after that, it's kind of a repeat. You said sometimes you might just approach something a little bit differently, and anyway, we could definitely talk about that for a long time.

Val Nelson [00:28:23]:

Yeah, right. I think of the bottom five are probably your weakening talents. Or the ones that are draining. So those are the ones to that's. Another piece of the gold of that tool is to find out what's at the bottom so you can avoid those things.

David Hall [00:28:38]:

Yeah. So do you ever get the question, what's the best job for introverts?

Val Nelson [00:28:44]:

Oh, yeah. It is by far the most popular blog post on my website too, because that question came up. So I decided to write a post about it and lots of people searching on that. What are the best jobs for introverts? Or in my case, for highly sensitive people. The article and the answer is yes. There's a lot of things that introverts might gravitate to, like more behind the scenes, or more one on one type interaction, or more quiet environments or respectful environments, things that a lot of people might like. But as I've alluded to already, we need to know a lot more than just introversion in terms of choosing. We need to know our values and our strengths and all those other things. So that's the other thing that I try to help people with. You don't just look at one piece. There's a number of puzzle pieces.

David Hall [00:29:42]:

Okay? And again, it's just a matter of how you would approach a particular type of job. There's many jobs that could be done by introvert or extrovert, but I think the question becomes how? Instead of can I do this? It's like, how will I do it?

Val Nelson [00:30:00]:

Yeah, that's a great point. In fact, I'll say this. A lot of people don't realize how much say, they have over their existing job or even within the existing company they're working for. When you really understand who you are, what your needs are for doing your best work, your best flow, then it's so much easier to a stop apologizing for it and to turn towards, here's what I'm good at. Hey. And you might start seeing those opportunities where you already are like, hey, I could just switch my job in this way. Like, I knew this woman who she was in a management role and feeling very drained by it. And when she realized what she was really good at is those one on one mentoring things, she was able to switch her job to more focus on the people she was supervising and less of the sort of PowerPoint orientation or whatever was going on. And they were just able to shift things around. And she started to actually like her job and excel at it and get a promotion. And it surprised her, but she thought she had to change careers altogether.

David Hall [00:31:06]:

Yeah, that's amazing.

Val Nelson [00:31:07]:

But I see this over and over. When people get really clear, it's easier for them to speak up and to ask for what they need, and people are more likely to respond, especially in this environment where there's such a shortage of workers. In many areas. I've seen people get job offers where they say, well, now. Well, I'll do this half, not that half, and I'll work from home and I'll do this and the people are going, okay, so that's pretty cool.

David Hall [00:31:36]:

Yeah. And I think that's the key is being able to articulate here's how I'm going to do this best and not apologize, like you said. And also, sometimes it's a matter of us that we can do something differently. Or maybe it's partnering, maybe it's working with somebody that has some different gifts than you do. And that could be a key too.

Val Nelson [00:32:00]:

Yes. Let's talk about self employment for a moment.

David Hall [00:32:04]:


Val Nelson [00:32:05]:

A lot of people, including myself, a lot of introverts, will say, well, that's really extrovert territory. But I would say it's actually a great territory for introverts. The more independence we can control, our own environment, we can still have even if you're a solopreneur like myself, working from home with no business partner or anything, I still have colleagues, I still can collaborate. So you can kind of pick and choose your coworkers and make it what you want. It can be just so good. And even the marketing part, there are ways to do it that are introvert friendly. I don't do anything that's draining to me for client attraction, like, for instance, podcast interviews, that's a one on one conversation that totally draws on my introvert strengths, and it still helps with visibility. So there's lots of ways we can make self employment work.

David Hall [00:33:03]:

Yeah. So that's a lot of what you do. People end up going into self employment. Maybe they were thinking that that wasn't for them. So how do you help somebody work through that?

Val Nelson [00:33:15]:

Yeah, it's one of my favorite things for some reason, just because it was such a powerful journey for me to sort of discover that I could do this thing that I was drawn to. But I thought it wasn't for me, but to start to open up that world and see how exciting and creative it could be. I love helping people go from that, oh, I can't do that, to oh, maybe I can, maybe I can explore that. And I kind of break it down step by step, like, okay, here's what you think about first, making sure that first you're choosing the right career path in general, and then we look at what's the structure that's going to help with that. And it might be self employment or it might be something kind of in between, like being a contractor. Like you have one or two major employers, but really you're an independent contractor, so you keep some of your independence too. So there's lots of different ways to make it work for you. So anyway, I love helping people with all those pieces. I don't do everything. I'm not an accountant, I'm not help them with set up taxes or whatever, but I help people understand what they need to think about.

David Hall [00:34:27]:

Yeah, and we were talking about that. We all have our different gifts. And I think that's on purpose, we do need each other. Maybe you're not the accountant or with somebody that's starting their business. Maybe that's something that they would gravitate towards and maybe it's absolutely not right. I run a business with my wife and a lot of that she's the creative one, but that's something that I took on, is the accounting part of it. I don't love it, but it's something I can do to contribute to our business. And it's something that she could do it, but she doesn't enjoy it as much.

Val Nelson [00:35:08]:

It's funny, I used to hate the whole accounting part of the business because it just felt like I didn't understand the software and all this stuff.

David Hall [00:35:16]:


Val Nelson [00:35:17]:

But now I just have a tax account. But I do all the bookkeeping myself because I discovered the soft now that I understand the software and someone else set it up, it's so easy. It's like a go to relaxing thing now. It's funny. You never know what parts that you think are so impossible actually turn out to be so easy.

David Hall [00:35:37]:

Yeah. But you help people work through those different pieces to figure out what they need to be successful.

Val Nelson [00:35:44]:

Exactly. Helping them see where their fears are and how can we make it easier.

David Hall [00:35:51]:

Okay, so how would you sum up really helping people find that clarity and purpose in work, whether they're working for someone else or for themselves?

Val Nelson [00:36:03]:

To sum it up, I would say you got to go inside first and understand what you're about. What are you naturally good at? What are you naturally drawn to? What is your heart saying now, these are hard questions. Like I was saying before, these are hard things to know about yourself. So usually it takes getting some outside support, even if it's from friends, to reflect to you what they see. But I do think the most efficient path would be to work with a career business coach, and then another path could be doing like a course. So I wanted to help more people because I tend to get kind of full. And so I decided to create a Career Clarity course so people can walk through on their own time. But I wanted to still support people, so I have calls they can come to and interact and bring their questions and situations that's included in the course. Very nice. That's another way that brings the price way down. And it's like in between, a lot of people try to do it with a book. I tried that for years. Luckily, I've collected lots of career books. Yeah, but there's only so far you can go completely on your own. So having a system to kind of help coax you through the steps, support you in certain ways, and then also have some people to talk to in the process.

David Hall [00:37:25]:

Very nice.

Val Nelson [00:37:26]:

Really helpful.

David Hall [00:37:27]:

Did you say what the course was called?

Val Nelson [00:37:30]:

It's called career clarity. Course. And then the subtitle is simple steps to uncover the best use of you.

David Hall [00:37:38]:

Yeah, that sounds amazing.

Val Nelson [00:37:40]:

It's been good. I've had it out for about a year and a half, and so a number of people have been through it and have given me great stories about what's come out of it for them and even some ideas for how I can make it better. And so I continue to tweak. I like I like how that's going.

David Hall [00:38:00]:

So, Val, this has been a great conversation. Is there anything else that you want to talk about that we haven't hit on?

Val Nelson [00:38:07]:

I think that's it. I do love mentoring other, and so that's been a fun part of my work as well.

David Hall [00:38:14]:

Yeah, tell us a little bit about that. How do you approach that work, helping other coaches?

Val Nelson [00:38:18]:

Well, some people work with me one on one, and most of them are in one of my groups that I call the Coaches circle. All my groups, I have four groups running, and they're all a max of six people. So I really like that sort of small group community that introverts tend to like to.

David Hall [00:38:35]:


Val Nelson [00:38:36]:

And then we really turn to each other and support each other along the way. And so in the Coaches Circle, they really are turning to each other, like, hey, how do you do newsletters? And what about video? And do I have to do social media? Just talk very honestly so we can share ideas about what are the introvert friendly ways to do marketing and what kind of coach are you, what style of coaching? So it's been very powerful. I love that.

David Hall [00:39:08]:

Yes. And again, I went to a get together. You had, like I said in the beginning, and I experienced that exact same thing. It's really great to talk to other people that are working towards similar things.

Val Nelson [00:39:22]:

Yeah. I have a group that I call Sol, so it's about soulful self employment. So that's for people doing any kind of service based self employment work to also have that sort of camaraderie. And then my other group is my other two groups are both career explorers, so people who are still in that process, because it can take a while and it can be discouraging when you're going through your career exploration process, even to clarify what you're doing and then to go try to find it. Those groups have been really powerful to just keep people going, keeping them encouraged and helping them find their way.

David Hall [00:40:04]:

Yeah, I think that's a really good point. It's definitely not something you figure out overnight. Usually it's a process, but it's an important one. And as we've talked about, it can make all the difference in the world if you get to know who you are, what your strengths are, what your needs are. And you can really find fulfilling work because, again, we've both been on the other side of not having that fulfilling work and it makes all the difference. You spend a lot of your time doing work, and hopefully it's providing for what you need, but also it's very fulfilling.

Val Nelson [00:40:38]:

It is possible. It definitely takes perseverance, and it definitely takes finding your way and having a support team of some kind. No one does it alone.

David Hall [00:40:47]:

Yeah. Such a great conversation today, Val. Of course.

Val Nelson [00:40:51]:

Great. Thank you, David.

David Hall [00:40:52]:

Yeah. Where can people find out more about the work that you're doing?

Val Nelson [00:40:57]: V-A-L-N-E-L-S-O-N.

David Hall [00:41:02]:

Sounds great. Again, thank you so much for you being on the show today.

Val Nelson [00:41:06]:

Thank you very much.

David Hall [00:41:07]:

All right, take care. Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at Check out the website I'll add social media channels for me and my guests to the show. Notes. Please comment on social media posts. Send me topics or guests you'd like to see on the show. There's so many great things about being an introvert, and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.