The following is a contributor blog from CDR Certified Coach, Stacey Abella. Stacey currently serves as a Corporate Financial Services Global Digital Innovation Strategist at ExxonMobil. Her multi-faceted 15+ career spans the spectrum from finance and sales positions with Fortune 500 companies. 

I was doing some “reciprocal mentoring” with a recent MBA grad. Our conversation turned to millennial attrition… “Why do you think it is so high?” I asked; she seemed self-aware enough that she might know the answer. Pausing for a moment, she said reflectively: “Growing up, we were always told to follow our passion… So I think that if we don’t find it after being at a company for a little while, we think that we just need to move on.”

Fast forward to a year or so later… I had been doing some thinking in what I wanted to accomplish over the course of my career and went on a quest to retest what finding my ‘passion’ meant for me.

Uncovering My Passions

Over time, I had taken many assessments. Most of the ones out there will give you some insights… You might experience a few “ah-ha’s” and then file the results inside a drawer or computer folder. Meanwhile, you tell yourself that surely you will look back at the results later when you have time to do some more introspection (which may or may not ever happen… even during COVID19!)

Then I took the CDR Assessment. Backed by more than two decades of research, it combines together the dimensions that make you who you are: character (strengths, personality, values), drivers (motivators, passions), and risk factors (derailers) when under stress.

As an example, one of my motivators is my enjoyment around public speaking. Throughout my professional life it had always given me energy, but I had given it very little thought. In some roles in which there would be an annual update or workshop to present at, I would look forward to the opportunity all year. Then it would end and I would get good feedback from it, but would return to the day to day demands of what my role required.

Getting Into Specifics

When I took the CDR assessment, my coach mentioned public speaking in the debrief, highlighting it as something I should seek ways to do more of because it was a strong motivator for me. My mouth dropped open. It was like I was able to stand outside of myself and see truly myself for the first time… and not just who I am but what could be possible by simply being able to clearly articulate what it was that I enjoyed and was good at.

Unlike with the other assessments, the motivators CDR uncovered were specific enough to turn into an action plan. Instead of getting locked in a drawer, they became an essential part of the job description that I could pinpoint and create with my team.

How can we take this further? Many people don’t even know what really motivates them. How can they tell you? Some people get lucky and have someone else see something in them that they’re not aware of… Most people never have that good fortune.

In finding my own motivators, I was able to realize that others, too, could find theirs. Help yourself, your millennial staff – and that of any generation – to direct their focus around what gives them energy. Watching them jump ship only to repeat the cycle somewhere else will not help our post-COVID-19 recovery! Start leveraging CDR today!


Stacey Abella CDR Certified Coach

Stacey Abella

Corporate Financial Services Global Digital Innovation Strategist, ExxonMobil