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Meet Rachel: Professional Dabbler

My beautiful cousin Rachel is our guest today!!!! The girl is so genuine and you are just going to love learning from and about her. Since we were young girls playing teacher in my basement, Rachel has ALWAYS known who she is. She is genuine, sweet, kind and the best kind of real you could hope for in a woman. And can I get an amen for WHY she focuses on her spiritual life?!

Tell us a little about yourself and your career

I am a self-proclaimed, professional dabbler. You may wonder why I would choose to define myself by such a term when it has a connotation of one who superficially dips a toe into tasks or is mediocre at everything, and not proficient in anything. However, I imagine a professional dabbler as one who, while walking confidently towards a professional goal or destination, makes time to play in the puddles along the way. The moments taken to splash around in the puddles enrich the path, and the dabbler often arrives at her destination with extra skills or knowledge. Plus, it’s way more fun.

My career path so far has been filled with dabbling. While finishing up a bachelor of arts degree in English with a minor in Psychology at Utah State University, I had the opportunity to work at the on-campus writing center. My bosses were two competent, innovative, and creative females who taught me not only to become a successful writing tutor, but also to pursue my passion along the way. I developed my writing skills as I tutored students each day. I helped start a community writing center in Logan that provided personal guidance and writing workshops for community members. When I became a supervisor, I worked to empower other tutors to develop their own skills.

Throughout these experiences, I dabbled in creative and academic writing, tutoring theory, educational videos, website design, community service, business, marketing, and teaching. In subsequent jobs, I have also dabbled in youth mentoring, technical writing, coding, and graphic design. Currently, I work as a documentation specialist at a software company. As I keep developing my writing skills, I’m splashing in the puddles of writing a series of children’s books intended to teach kids how to identify and cope with their emotions (you can see my love of psychology peeking through the pages). Sometimes it is hard to tell what is the path and what is the puddle (and sometimes they switch on you), but I think that dabbling is an integral part of building a career.

How does your community of women you surround yourself with support you?

At age 11, I watched my mom enter law school. She successfully juggled her family, job, and homework, eventually graduating from the University of Utah with a law degree. She started her own firm, and recently became a partner at Clyde Snow & Sessions. She taught me to pursue what I feel is right, even if I experience resistance from others or my inner critic. I also have been surrounded by inspiring friends like Emily Bagley who creates a community wherever she goes using art and her immense capacity to love. She started a women’s group called WeCan that has helped many individuals work through challenges like sexual abuse, infertility, and depression. My friend Shauna LaBeau devotes countless hours to the refugee population in Utah, providing helpful financial and educational resources. Being surrounded by friends who pursue their passion no matter the push back helps me move forward every day.

As previously mentioned, I was lucky to have two powerful female mentors during my time in Logan, Utah: Star Coulbrooke and Susan Andersen. They teach by example. They create a space for every tutor to explore branches of writing, tutoring, and community involvement. They inspire confidence by trusting their employees with important tasks instead of micromanaging the details. Even when they are fighting through personal battles, they continue to support those around them. I am forever grateful to have these two as my examples of successful, professional women. I hope to become more like the inspirational women in my life as I continue to walk my career path.

Why do you think being spiritually minded is important for women?

People used to tell me that after those awkward teenager years, I would magically care less about what other people think; I’m still waiting for the magic. I feel terrifyingly vulnerable when I’ve created something with my soul and other people see it. As my inner critic picks apart the flaws, I tremble in insecurity.

My spiritual life reminds me that what matters more is if what I am doing feels right. For me, I feel something is right when I feel directed by God. When women tap into a higher power, it can give them a sense of confidence despite the reactions or opinions of other people. My spirituality grounds me, because it has taught me to let my internal environment direct me more than my external environment (although, of course, it is still a battle).

What do you wish you could go back and tell your younger self re: your career aspirations? 

Trust your instincts. If your environment or job feels restricting or suffocating, don’t be afraid to look for something else. The feeling of discontent is often a push towards something great.

What is your career-related mantra? 

True courage is not the absence of fear, but the act of pushing through fear in pursuit of what feels right.

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