Look beyond the obvious...Connecting the Dots

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Welcome to the website of Mary Johnson

Work is a big part of our lives. It provides us a ready made social network, interesting work, opportunities to grow professionally and personally, structure and form to our days. As the saying goes, “when it’s good, it’s very good and when it’s bad, it’s horrid.”

One cause of of work gone bad is a situation or relationship that has soured in some way thus throwing you into conflict and stress. You worry, mull over conversation and behaviours in your mind, perhaps become short tempered, on guard, forgetful, lose sleep. A difficult situation can take over our life!

Are you dealing with a difficult situation at work?
Are you having trouble seeing how to best handle it?

First step is recognizing you can’t change someone else - as much as you’d like to! You are the one who can make the difference by coming to understand what will and will not make a situation better and developing a game plan. Including if you need to walk away. This process takes you out of your fired up (emotional and /or reptilian brain) and put you back into your good thinking.

My work of 35+ years has afforded me a depth of experience and skills in coaching individuals to shift the dynamic(s) of a difficult situation or relationship. I have had the good fortune of applying my skills in a variety of roles within the Healthcare, Petrochemical, Telecom Education and Financial fields.

If a particular relationship or situation has knocked you off your stride, let’s talk about how I could help. I invite you to Call me for a complimentary consultation.


I have had the privilege and pleasure of experiencing this unexpected insight into my own personal and professional leadership journey with Mary as my coach and mentor. Fostering the right balance in a relationship, she centers the discussion and is able to bring forward meaningful questions that drive to the heart of the subject, yet convey a wisdom that I believe is remarkable. Mary's creative approach pulled my career, home life and creative self into a collaborative journey that was transformational for me. Thank you Mary, you are the best.

Eleanor - former Dean NAIT
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Mary Johnson PCC, Bridgeworks Consulting, Edmonton Alberta

Latest Post

To retire. A loaded topic

Mary Johnson - Thursday, February 23, 2017

Retirement. Do you? Don't you? Why would you? It's a loaded topic these days amongst the Baby Boomer crowd. 

For example, last week we had our first session of Life's Third Act. Coming to terms with when (and if) paid work wraps up was one large question for this group of woman. Heck I'll be honest, it dominates most conversations with friends and colleagues. There's a new or added pressure these days. The whole premise of you don't need to quit work at 55, 60, 65. Chances are you could have kept working past 'Freedom 55' but lots in my parents generation opted not to. Now it feels like a bit of a contest. Look at me, I'm still loving it at 70, 75, 86. I watch others pull back and hedge in the face of that. 'Well I still need to work'. 'Haven't quite decided'. 'Still have my health (don't wait until this goes to think about a shift!).' etc. It has become rarer to hear - 'I'm done. Can't wait to quit!'  That statement seems to net a lot of poo pooing. Don't misunderstand me. I'm excited for you whatever you chose. Its simply brings up lots of thoughts and questions. 

Our group the other night looked at leaving a professional job/role through the lens of Wm. Bridge's Transition work. Any significant Change begins with an Ending. You don't just skip through to the new beginning. A part of your identity, old self, old way of interacting in the world is in good part over. There are aspects of who you are that you need to say good-bye to. This is especially true with a life long career/ work. No different that the ending of a marriage, death of a parent. Your work gives you a built in structure and you pretty much know what you will be doing on any particular day. So the 'now what?' is up for grabs when thinking about leaving paid work and it's damn uncomfortable. Many of us have no clear idea as to what this time will look like. Oh sure vague notions of travel, volunteering, time with grandkids, catching up on the pile of books I haven't got to, a few projects around the house. Good grief! What about the other 80+% of your time? Then there are the even bigger question. Who am I now? Am I still relevant? These can stop you dead in your tracks. For some it sends them scurrying back into the familiar.

Here's an idea for you. I believe options for our 3rd Act are high and wide. We can't see or truly consider them though if we haven't acknowledged and let go of what we have filled our life with up until now. There is no room. So with the proviso about money aside, I invite you to consider what retirement means to you in terms of what's ending. For example a built in social network, a ready answer to 'what do you do?', my cleaning lady. The list is yours alone. Write it out. All of it, even if it seems silly. No one will see it but you. As you do you will notice a whole lot of feelings arise. Spend time in the soup of those feelings. This can take awhile - a few weeks, months. It's okay to feel sad, mad, frustrated. If fact it's good if you do. Let the feeling come, so they can go. Stuffing them away doesn't work. At some point you will recognize a lightness of being, a bit more energy. Possibilities begin to appear. Decisions are easier. You can move ahead with ease. This is a highly creative time. Good luck!

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