Birthday Sessions for Past and Current Clients

Hey, I’m turning 50 this month, and I’m in major celebratory mode. I’d like to do something to recognize the people I’ve worked with, so I’m offering a free coaching session to each of my past and current clients during 2016. Basically, you qualify if you’ve ever paid me money for coaching and/or resume and LinkedIn services.

How do you celebrate you?So that I don’t get overwhelmed, I’m asking people to wait until the first day of the month of their birth month before scheduling, and then get on my calendar during that month. I’ll take the first 3 people for each month.

I’m looking forward to catching up with you!

PS-If you’re sailing along, but you don’t want this offer to pass you by, you can gift it to someone else in your life. The only hitch is that it’s still attached to YOUR birthday month.

The Heart of Career Focus Has 2 Veins

The question “Who am I?” is vital to career exploration.

What's the view, both behind you and in front of you?You need to know your strengths, your limits, how you self-sabotage, what lights you up, how you unconsciously push money away, the impact you have on people. There are layers and layers to you, and it’s worth delving into them.

Most important in a career exploration process, you need to know what depletes you and what energizes you.

But there’s another, equally important question in play here. It’s got the same flavor as “Who am I?” but it’s distinct. It stands on its own, and it deserves your full spotlight of attention.

“Who do I want to be?”

Certainly, you’re shaped by your past, and it’s important to spend time on that arena. When I work with clients on a thorough career exploration process, we actually go very far back into your past to your earliest memories. What we discover there is vital to where you’ll steer in your next career chapter. In fact, the activity that’s built around your early memories is deeply soulful and intensely insightful.

As you turn in the other direction, facing forward, the massive possibilities of where you can go are mind boggling. And that can shut people down. That overwhelm can bring everything to a screeching halt.

Being armed with this understanding — that you may exceed your saturation point and withdraw or give up — is essential to this process. You know it’s coming, so you can prepare. The tool that I use with my clients is a Criteria List so that you can measure your new opportunities against something concrete. You can actually create a spreadsheet and use numbers, or if you’re more organic and you prefer a gut feel as your GPS, you can still use that Criteria list, one that’s specific to you.

On your Criteria List is what you know about who you are and where you’ve been, and there’s also content that’s constructed from the question of where you’re heading.

Who do you want to spend your time with? If you dreamed big, where would you want to spend your time? What would you be doing? What objections surface as you consider this starry-eyed vision of your ideal work day?

Bring all of these questions to your exploration and give yourself the gift of a heartfelt exploration as you design your next career chapter.


Career Spin, Reinvention, and Horror Movie Screams

I visited my neighbors’ house, and their 7-year-old asked me about my work.

“What do you do?” she asked.

“I work with people to help them discover their work and find jobs,” I said, feeling smug that I could encapsulate it that easily for a first grader to recognize its value.

“Oh…” Pause. “Is that it?”

Reality descended as I recognized I didn’t perform at the level I’d hoped. My face fell.

“Well,” I said lamely, “I also write.”

“Hmmm…,” she said as she wandered off.

So, maybe I couldn’t impress a first grader, but hopefully, my latest articles on Careerealism might hold your attention for a bit longer:





Career Change in 2 Parts

It’s simple, really, to change careers. Not easy, but simple.

Part 1: Answer some key questions

  • What energizes you?
  • What are your talents and strengths?
  • How do you hold yourself back and get in your own way?
  • Where is there demand for what you’re offering, and how can you communicate your fit for those positions?

Part 2: Specify exactly what you want:

  • What are the job titles you’re pursuing? (Get specific here. The more precise you can be, the better you’ll be able to hit your target.)
  • What industry do you want to be in? (Nonprofit, healthcare, manufacturing, renewable, transportation, IT, education, etc.)
  • Where geographically do you want to work?
  • What are 10 target companies that you want to pursue?


When You Cringe At the Mere Idea of Asking for Help

It's tough to reach out when you need a helping hand.When I’m talking to my clients and our conversation inevitably turns to networking, I often hear from people that they don’t want to appear needy, that they don’t want to enter relationships with their hands out ready to receive.

It’s uncomfortable, it’s awkward, it’s usually not well received.

All true.

At the same time, people want to support you, and if you give them the opportunity to do so, particularly when it’s a discrete task (coffee next Monday at 2 pm), it’s easy for them to show up for you. And, in a paradoxical twist, by specifying exactly what you need in way that’s inviting and easy for them without the overtone of entitlement or desperation, you actually help them.

Have you ever heard of “elevation”? It’s a term used to describe the high that we feel after we contribute meaningfully to someone else. We are literally hardwired to respond to others’ struggles.

Think about the last time you helped someone, really made a difference to them. It could have been as simple as opening the door for the person behind you who was carrying a heavy package. How did you feel right after you made that gesture? Pretty good, huh?

That’s how others feel when you allow them into your world, when you share authentically with them.

Let people help you.

You’ve done it for many other people, and you’ll do it again. Perhaps you’ll do it in a matter of moments, in fact, because you’re not helpless or inept. You are capable and whole and you help out (even when you’re in a job search). By receiving for just a moment, in a way that replenishes you and fuels you for the next steps in your job search, you aren’t rendered weak or without resources. You are simply accessing what’s right in front of you and connecting in ways that we all want to be connected.