For many, finding a job that aligns with their passion seems insurmountable. So instead, they look for money-wise jobs and opportunities that allow them to provide for their families. But career coach, Diane Belz, works to inspire people to live out their God-given shape by finding their inner Peter Pan.
“We forget who we are because we're doing so much of what society tells us to do,” she explains. “We're looking at other people's judgment or their evaluation of us. And we're not looking at what God says about us. What were you created to do? Where is that 'Pan' inside you?”
“As a coach, I just offer them a different perspective,” she adds.
Quite appropriately, one of Diane’s favorite movies is the 1991 film Hook, a modern retelling of the famous story of the boy who never grew up where an adult Peter Pan (played by Robin Williams) must reclaim his forgotten childhood dreams and ambitions.
People often start to question their roles and the talents God gave them. But Diane aims to reaffirm their child-like passions.
Diane’s favorite scene happens towards the film’s end when one of the lost boys scrutinizes Williams’ face.
“And all of a sudden, he goes, ‘There you are, Pan,’” she smiles.
“It was like he was looking at himself [in a pool of] water,” she adds. “And all of a sudden, he could see who he was.”
Diane wants to be that little lost boy for jobseekers.
But somewhat surprisingly, Diane hasn't always been able to identify “Pan” in her own life.
Diane’s brothers and sisters seemed to have their future career paths planned out from childhood. One sister wanted to become a nurse, the other a teacher. Meanwhile, her brother dreamed of being an accountant, while another hoped to run a business someday.
But young Diane lacked such certainty.
“I felt like everyone in my life knew what they wanted to do in their life but me,” she explained “I could not figure it out.”
“I felt like I had this curse on me,” she added.
The lack of clarity felt frustrating to Diane, but one thing would help her out: her curiosity.
Diane had an intense curiosity, especially about the people surrounding her. Furthermore, she wanted to see them succeed.
“I was always a natural cheerleader,” she smiled.
And, in fact, for a short time, Diane was a cheerleader in elementary school. But her mother did not believe Diane’s passion had any long-term viability and promptly put a stop to it before she could try out for cheerleading in high school.
“That was the worst advice she ever gave me,” Diane laughs. “I should have tried and failed miserably and then decided if I wanted to try harder.”
Still, her brief stint cheerleading showed Diane that she wanted to somehow work with people. So, she pursued a business degree in college but didn’t want to go into marketing or finance. She decided to study Human Resources (HR).
“It had a little bit of everything,” Diane recalls. “And it felt like a really good fit, because I had visionary abilities.”
Diane thrived in her new job. She conducted over 15,000 interviews for various companies, honed her innate shape of reading people, and helped them step into jobs they're made for.
“I have been very interested in other people's careers,” she explains. “And I always [remained] interested in why people wanted to do things.”
But while Diane’s passion for people might not have changed, the corporate world around her did.
In the late 2000s, Diane could sense that the corporations around her were shifting focus.
People were increasingly treated like tools that could be interchanged or tossed aside when the company no longer needed them.
“They were just disposing of people,” Diane recalls. “Throwing them away and saying, ‘You figure it out.’”
“And people would say, ‘Oh, that's just business.’” She adds, “Well, that's not a business I want to be in.”
So, Diane quit her job to start her own career coaching business.
When working with clients, Diane actively listens to their stories and shows them the recurring elements that might point them in the right direction.
“I was always mesmerized by stories and the characters” in them, she explains. “How they were all different. How they all had different personalities and traits.”
Instead of helping jobseekers fit into the current broken system, Diane focuses on identifying how God has uniquely shaped them and how that could translate into the workforce. Diane teaches her clients how to share their unique gifts with the world and how they can tell part of their stories on resumes and in job interviews.
“I think that there are clues all along our life that are pointing to what God's calling us to do,” she explains.
“If we look, there are [also] clues that show us what we're passionate about.” She adds. And “there are clues that will show what we're good at.”
At Scatter, we call this our unique, God-given SHAPE. And these clues don’t just appear for young adults entering the workforce for the first time either. Diane recalls one instance where she helped an older man who had spent his entire 30-year-long career making sure that the filament used in cathode ray tubes for old computers was aligned.
“He would stand for hours staring at these tubes one at a time, making sure the filament was perfectly straight,” Diane recalls.
“I'm just like, ‘Man, I've never done any job but be ‘Mrs. Belz’ for that long,’” she laughed.
But the man did not seem to share Diane’s high opinion of his skills. He explained that a “monkey” could do his job. But Diane was having none of it.
"What would be lower than a monkey on the career corporate ladder,” she challenged. “I couldn't do (that job). So, I (must be) lower than a monkey.”
The man had been so comfortable in his job and had been told so frequently that his skills were no longer viable in the job market that he had forgotten how much time and effort he put into honing those talents.
“When he could all of a sudden see himself through my eyes, which I feel at times is seeing himself through God's eyes, it just changed his entire demeanor,” Diane recalls. “He became a confident man who was able to get a new job.”
Diane helped the man get a job, not inspecting filament but as a machinist. Diane had not seen an outdated job this man had held for 30 years but the God-given visual acuity, precision, and accuracy hidden beneath.
Diane draws much of her inspiration from the biblical parable of the talents found in Matthew 25:14–30. And she also wants her clients to be inspired and increase their talents.
“You have to be in control of your career,” she explains “Don’t bury your talents because of someone else’s judgment or the value they place on them.”
“If you don’t live out your talents, you're going to be frustrated your entire life because people aren't seeing you’re true and unique value,” Diane adds. “If you’re not using your God-given talents, you’re going to feel this void that you believe money, title, and perks will fill. That void exists until you give away your talents to those God gave you to bless.”
So, what talents and gifts did God give you? And how can you take ownership of them for the glory of his kingdom? Join the conversation and signup for our Scatter Email.
Written by Johannes Haasbroek
Johannes Haasbroek is a freelance content writer living on the outskirts of Frederick, MD. With a bachelor’s degree in strategic communication from Liberty University, he has a passion for helping people share their unique stories and skills with the rest of God’s people. He is also on a mission to try out every restaurant in the Frederick area.