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Leaving one of the “best places to work” in the world like Google is a really tough choice, but that’s exactly what former Google marketer Colby Chilcote chose to do when she left to become marketing director at Huron Pines, a nonprofit organization in northern Michigan. In this episode of Career Relaunch, we’ll talk about finding meaning outside of work, coming to terms with difficult decisions, and trusting yourself especially when you’re making seemingly unconventional career moves. I also share some thoughts on how my sources of validation have evolved over time.

Key Career Insights

  1. As an employee of a large company, sometimes you have to step back and recognize that your job will go on with or without you, which is especially important to remember when you have personal events or situations arise that demand your attention.
  2. Having a stable job at a reputable company can be a major source of validation, so if you lose that, you have to think about other ways you can still feel complete.
  3. Sometimes, other people can more easily see how unhappy you are before you’re able to admit it to yourself.
  4. Just because others think you’re at the perfect place to work, it doesn’t mean you should feel the same

Resources Mentioned


Listener Challenge

During this episode’s Mental Fuel segment, I challenged you to think about where you seek validation from. How much of your own sense of validation comes from within? How much it comes from others? And are you happy with this blend? Take a moment and jot down what makes you feel good about the choices you’re making in your career and life.

Decide if those sources of validation feel right. If they are, use them as a guide whenever you’re wondering if you’re really on the right track. If they’re not right, make a choice right now to adjust them.


About Colby Chilcote, Marketing Director at Huron Pines

Colby ChilcoteColby Chilcote is Marketing Director at Huron Pines, a nonprofit organization that protects the health of the Great Lakes through the conservation and restoration of Michigan’s natural resources. Colby started her career at Google where she worked for a decade in marketing and online advertising, helping small businesses and nonprofits build an online presence. Colby holds a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Notre Dame. She lives and works in Northern Michigan where she enjoys exploring the woods and freshwater with her husband and two sons.

She’s also been involved with Huron Pines opening its first nature preserve in 2019, on an 80-acre piece of property donated to the organization in 2018. The environmental nonprofit has been raising funds to support everything from trail maintenance to community programming at the preserve. The core of the Huron Pines mission is to connect people to nature in order to build vibrant and sustainable communities throughout Northern Michigan. The Hubbard Lake Nature Preserve will help achieve this goal. You can help support environmental education and learn more about the Hubbard Lake Nature Preserve or Huron Pines.

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About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu is dedicated to helping people relaunch their careers and have more meaningful careers. As a public speaker, career consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, he shares insights from relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals to more effectively marketing their personal brands.

About Joseph Liu

Joseph Liu helps aspiring professionals relaunch their careers to do work that matters. As a keynote speaker, career & personal branding consultant, and host of the Career Relaunch podcast, his passion is helping people gain the clarity, confidence, and courage to pursue truly meaningful careers. Having gone through three major career changes himself, he now shares insights from building & relaunching global consumer brands to empower professionals and business owners to build & relaunch their personal brands.