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Switching Gears in Careers: Keep the Mojo Flowin’

21 Jul

Monday’s teleclass on “Finding Your Niche in Life & Career” was a great success!  If you missed it, be sure to tune into the next teleclass on August 16, “Career REInvention 101”, as we’re going to cover some of the most important key points from Monday’s discussion, but in more depth, and pair them also with additional valuable information on successful preparation and planning for a career shift!

One of the key points we talked about in terms of defining a niche was how a true work-life balance successfully combines your personal values and interests with your professional purpose.  In other words, you’re identifying the aspects of who you are as an authentic individual, in addition to what you believe you are good at, and the values that drive everything you do, altogether as a jumping off point to figure out what type of work really best fulfills your personal agenda of feeling balanced, satisfied and motivated.  And even if you’ve known for awhile the type of work that perfectly fits that bill, the next step is figuring out how to move forward and even monetize it, which often involves making some kind of shift into a new career, or out of an old one.  Or both!

The trick is maintaining and manifesting (more) positive energy and motivation throughout this process.  How do you do that on a daily basis?  Do you do visioning exercises?  Do you give yourself a pep talk each morning when you’re in the shower (or wherever)?  Do you hang lists, images and other visual reminders around your personal space to keep you focused on the goal?  What works best for you?

We’re going to talk a lot more about that idea of “empowerment” through this whole process of career and personal reinvention on August 16.  Check it out here.  In the meantime, I’m curious what you do to keep that mojo flowin’!  Thoughts?

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The Real World vs The Real You

23 Jun

What comes to mind when someone sarcastically makes a remark or reference to “the real world”?  Hard work and low pay?  Settling for less than you think is out there?  The true story of seven strangers… picked to live in a house to find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real?  (Hint: If you picked the last one, then congratulations, because you more than anyone should be on my website right now.)

KindaSortaKiddingButNotReally…

Say it:  “The real world”.  It’s one of those awful terms that somewhere along the way got smacked with an unforgivingly negative connotation.  Because there is a real world, and you’re living, working, and in an ideal scenario, THRIVING in it.  But how about that last one – are you truly THRIVING?  So ask yourself this: You’re living in the real world.  But are you living the Real You?

Real…authenticity…not fake…in line with your true core values, drive, purpose,  passions, talents and interests for your life.  There’s a common misconception, particularly with “entering” the real world via entry-level status — i.e. “I hope you enjoyed that free burrito at the dining hall!  Here’s your building pass; you have 30 minutes for lunch.” – that you need to check your true self at the door to make a living or be successful.  The same concept presents itself even if you’ve been in the ‘real world’ for a couple years, or even a couple decades.  Are we really expected to tie the tourniquet and suppress all the desires and visions we creatively constructed from our life experiences over twenty/thirty-something years?

For everyone answering “Yes…” to that question… that’s just one more person putting me out of business.  Please reconsider.

Most of us probably have chosen to sacrifice those things at some point, and still do, and congratulations to us, as we just landed a seat next to that guy who you think works for marketing…or HR…but you really don’t even know because he never talks and is miserable all the time.  He also followed the rules.  Sounds like a great time…  You know where playing it safe got millions of people in 2009?  Still laid off.

Arguably, it’s not about fun.  Fun hopefully becomes a shining factor in the professional mecca, but the bigger picture is really about fulfillment.  Are you going to wait around in an uncomfortable, unfulfilling, unsatisfying (but arguably “safe”) position until you one day find yourself enjoying a sympathy cocktail and reaffirming yourself that the layoffs were “really a blessing in disguise”?  What a waste of valuable time!  Don’t get me wrong – sometimes it makes complete sense to hold steady and make the best of a less than perfect   situation –  if you enjoy the company and are working your way up, building valuable experience, or building your network.  There IS a such thing as career stepping stones.  But make sure what you’re stepping on is actually a rock and not a pile of….

It is important that no matter your objectives and regardless of outcome, that you understand that your every decision is a conscious choice.  If you are unhappy where you are, every day that you remain there is a conscious choice to do so.  Not settling for anything less than what you know you were meant to do in this life, and committing to doing whatever it takes to get there – that’s a choice as well.  AND A DAMN GOOD ONE, NO?

Fulfillment comes in many forms, and it’s a wonderfully tangible thing that manifests differently for every person.  That is because we all come into our lives and our adulthood with different values, different wants, different expectations, experiences and talents.  But the process of SHIFTING ourselves to a more positive and fulfilling place in our lives, no matter where we’re coming from, and no matter where we’re going, remains the same.  And what’s that?  It’s this.

So digest this food for thought again: You’re living in the real world.  But are you living the Real You?

Avoiding the Tendancy to Stray From Our Goals

31 Mar

Women in Technology International (WITI) had a great article today by Kathleen Barton on “Staying Focused on Your Priorities”.  Think of the typical scenario around New Year’s Day, where you make the vow to join a gym and [insert relevant weight loss goal here].  Day one, you’re gung ho- you map out a schedule of every day you can make it during the gym – 4 to 5 times a week, no exception- and you vow to give up drinking high-calorie beer, stop eating those after-lunch snacks, and cook a healthy dinner each night.  Great plan!  You’re completely on track to success.  Day 10 you’re feeling good – you hit the gym 5 or 6 times already, and you lost that first pound or two.  Week 3 sets in – work is getting busy, family issues are creeping up, your significant other has an event you need to attend.  Okay, you’ll only make it to the gym 3 times this week, but you’ll make up for it by going six times next week.  Week four rolls around, and so do the priorities.  You make it to the gym three times…if your lucky.  You’re grabbing pizza on the way home because you’re in a rush…again… and so on, and so forth.

Why is it so easy for us to lose our motivation and determination, when it seems we have the plans all figured out on paper?  Human nature, for one.  Non-human factors, for two.  And three… just life in general.  It’s hard to prioritize sometimes, when it seems like we’re juggling so many obligations day to day.  But the good news is that there are a few key tricks you can start implementing now to keep you on track with goals that you set in place:

1)       Visualize Success create your vision of success – the feel, the image, the surroundings, the circumstances- and imagine yourself in that setting, successfully living that vision.

2)       Review Your GoalsContinually be asking yourself if what you’re doing right now is driving your closer to your goals, and if not, what other steps you need to be taking.

3) Reward Yourself for the Small Successes choose something that motivating to you, and that you look forward to, so as to increase your productivity.

4) Work with an Accountability Coach By having someone else help you set goals and hold you accountable for them, you are far more likely to follow through.  Work with a friend, or a coach, someone to give encouragement, but who will also take your goals seriously and challenge you slightly to get move you forward.

For more information on coaching yourself toward your goals, check out Aspyre Solutions’ affordable coaching packages.  You can also read the rest of Kathleen’s article here.

New Tele-Seminar Series: Taking the Leap

30 Mar

This month jump-starts a fresh and exciting new 5-part tele-seminar series for young professionals and those entering into the career realm entitled Taking the Leap.

In an age where logistics and circumstances so often define our career decisions and our lives, it can seem like an impossibility to truly follow one’s passion in the face of adversity and challenge. The “Taking the Leap” tele-seminar series explores the lives of 5 young professionals who each made different decisions to take a leap of faith, and ultimately invent and reinvent themselves to create a career and life they are passionate about.  As young professionals  it’s easy to be blinded and overwhelmed by social, professional and financial obligations, and not realize the many different possibilities that are open to you when it comes to navigating your career path.  Not everyone opts to take ‘whatever comes their way’, to settle for earning a steady paycheck, or to take the road most travelled.  Hear the experiences of a few extraordinary people who faced the typical challenges of being a young professional, and redefined the norm in pursuit of their passions… and succeeded.

For more information and to register see the Events page.  Sign up for all 5 seminars and registration for the fifth one is free!

Register Now for the 5-Session Series

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