Craving Work that Matters

trade up craving work that matters teresa devine co
trade up craving work that matters teresa devine co

Craving work that matters has been my desire since my recollections as a young child. I was quite petite earning the nickname “Mouse” by my father. I recall scooping out smelly horse stalls barely able to lift the shovel up and over into the wheel barrel. As I rolled the soon to be garden compost out of the barn with sweat dripping off my nose, I thought, “Wow, this is hard work, but at least my horse will have a clean bed to lay in with a fresh aroma.”

Whether working as a barn custodian, part-time cashier during school and college or throughout my technology career, I always craved work that matters. I consistently wanted to make a difference. However, over the last ten years, the desire to work for a greater purpose, far bigger than me, became my life’s ambition.

There is a process for this stage of life that can help those seeking significance beyond fat paychecks, fancy titles, and expensive toys. It’s called the Halftime Institute.

In his new book, Trade Up, Dean Niewolny CEO of Halftime, shares his story of enlightenment and transitioning from big shot financier (my words) to leading one of the most renowned non-profit organizations focused on helping other Halftimers, like him. Trade Up is an all inspiring and humble account of Dean’s candid life experiences coupled with practical steps to jumpstart the Halftime journey to reach a life of joy.

Dean says, “Halftime is the journey of your life. As they say on television: do not attempt it alone.” The fear of stepping out of our cushy comfort zone to reach a new level of significance is tangible. Dean doesn’t sugar coat the transition process. Instead, he offers real-world insights and a proven roadmap to achieve purpose uncovered.

It’s important to note that we can find what matters in our work regardless of what we are doing. The questions that Dean asks in his book are:
1. What is all your gaining costing you?
2. What in your life is priceless and what are you doing to protect it?
3. If you were to reorder your life to finish well, what evidence would confirm that you were on the right track?

TradeUp_BookTrailer_DeanNiewolny from Halftime on Vimeo.

I didn’t attempt it alone and as a Halftime Institute alum, I’m thrilled to share that my days of barn custodian are far behind me and I officially transitioned out of my lucrative technology career. I own and operate a leadership development company equipping service-minded leaders with passion and purpose. Separately, I own and manage a social enterprise dedicated to enabling spiritual growth.

I found tremendous satisfaction in my fifteen year technology career which equipped the necessary resources, skills, and tools for me to trade up and I’m grateful for every opportunity. However, when asked the questions above, I didn’t like my answers and decided to change them.

When people ask me now, “How is it going?” My reply every day is, “Never better!”


The concepts in this article were inspirited by a book I just finished reading. Trade Up by Dean Niewolny released on July 18th and is a great resource for finding your deeper purpose in your career.
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