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Crafting the Arc of Your Career and Life Story One Life-Stage at a Time

Careers, businesses and family lives develop through a series of phases. When fully—some would say success"fully" lived—each phase has an arc that rises, peaks, descends and resolves as the next begins. If you approach your career, business and personal developments with this natural structure and rhythm in mind, it allows you to live the current stage fully, anticipate and plan for next phase. This is true no matter your age, life stage or generation. Coaching can help you excavate these aspects of your life, oftentimes making a life feel richer in the reflection and taking intentional action. Nowadays, with such long-life, you have the opportunity to approach each decade, each 10 - 15 year phase acknowledging an underlying natural rhythm, focusing the arc of your activities toward outcomes—the personal and career growth, self-development learning and chronological life-stage accomplishments you desire—as you design, craft and create your life story. If you are a business leader, business owner or entrepreneur, on this foundation you can successfully craft the arc of business developments and plan the future with eyes wide open. Couples and Dual-Career Couples can integrate personal and professional with eyes wide open.   It's Your Story—You Get to Rewrite and Build Each Stage When you acknowledge the context of multiple 10-15 year phases, your career story takes on personal meaning—because you write it, and live it. Like many authors, the outcomes for their characters are not always fully known, but various factors compel the actions and eventual outcomes. The [...]

7 Ways to Focus and Use Career Coaching When Unhappy and Looking for a New Job or Career

If you are dissatisfied with your career or looking for career advice, you are not alone. A study by the nonprofit, Mental Health America (MHA) surveyed 17,000 workers across 19 industries. The overwhelming results show that 71% of employees are unhappy and actively looking for a new job or career. You may be job searching also, but questioning how to manage your emotions, behavior, as well as productivity while still on the job. Gallup's 2019 survey uncovered 85% of people disengaged on the job. Forbes says more than half are unhappy. With the 2020 pandemic and still coming out the other side of this major life disruption, everyone is wondering if the meaning, and the way, of working has changed forever. With many women's employment trajectory hitting the skids, so many out of work, not knowing if you'll stay working from home (WFH) or be returning back to the office anytime soon, the future outcomes are yet to be seen with full clarity. Let's Break This Down Career Development With Integrated Career Coaching Choice Points in Career Development Seven Ways to Stay Focused, Engaged, and Develop Your Skills Your Career Development Deserves Career Coaching That Integrates Your Life So how can you approach your own career discontent at this or any time? You need and want to be ahead of the game as we come through the pandemic and downturn, so it's actually a wonderful time to reach out for career conversations. Good career change coaching or career transition [...]

Are You a Target for Negativity in a Toxic Work Environment?

Are you in a company or corporation and feel like you have a bulls-eye pinned to your forehead? Are you in a position of attracting undue negative attention from your boss and coworkers? Do you wonder “How did this happen? It’s never happened to me before. Why ME? Why now?” If this sounds like something you’re experiencing, even though it may not make logical sense let me describe what may be going on and give you 10 Tips to “Ground” Your Lightning Rod Aspects. But first, let me explain the basic dynamics that are going on in such a dysfunctional system. The Analogy of a Dysfunctional Family In dysfunctional families, there is a concept called the IP or Identified Patient. This is the one family member who is like a “sponge” for the family negativity—secrets, things unspoken, co-dependency, addictions, lies, and so on—all the dysfunction. That “elephant-in-the-room” stuff that nobody talks about in dysfunctional systems. Thus it stays dysfunctional and people act "as if" it's normal—or even defend it. Like a Sponge: The Identified Patient often soaks up all the negativity and feelings in a family. It's confusing and sometimes they feel they really are bad, wrong, or embody the characteristics assigned to them. So subconsciously they take on the dysfunction and acts it out until they become conscious of the dynamic and hopefully get support and coaching to change their participation in the system. Which can be an uphill battle. Becoming a Scapegoat: The IP becomes identified as The [...]

When You Feel Stuck—Or Choose to Remain—In A Difficult Relationship

COVID-19 Lockdown Update: This timely article has been broken down into the following sections: Introduction and Resources Facing Challenging Relationships Example Situations 9 Tips to Help When You Have Difficult Relationships When You Feel Stuck—Or Choose to Remain—In A Difficult Relationship With Someone Who Will Not, May Not, or Cannot Change The Pandemic has brought out the best and the worst in relationships. While there are no data on the numbers of people in difficult or disastrous relationships as yet, we do know that large numbers are struggling—be it in a relationship with a mate, a child, an older parent. Maybe even an employer or coworker with work from home (WFH) arrangements sometimes being unstable. My background has been working with people on the continuum of relationships. On one end of the continuum are those struggling all the way to people who call on me to ensure continued success or to make a good relationship even better. My goal is always to give people the confidence, tools and skills to come together so they achieve their dreams, goals and objectives personally and professionally. Sometimes it's not possible, so we partner to help some uncouple in as healthy a manner as possible. Some need to let go of difficult choices and rework agreements. Some just need to exit with support. As the data emerges I will share what I'm learning in the coming months as we wend our way through "these unprecedented times." In the meantime, relationships are relationships. Yes, the [...]

Are Your Finances in Order to Give You Career Freedom?

If you've followed me on social media or my blog, you know by now that I'm a total advocate for self-reflection in life—especially during Choice Points and transitions. My desire is for you to achieve you goals and dreams. Meaning you must soul search to uncover what those desires are. With help if needed. The next step is assessing your personal foundation—that's family, friends, home, interests, and anything else that makes you feel safe, secure, vibrant and alive. It's impossible to be creative or to explore new ideas, new options when you are feeling anxious or afraid. If perchance unhappiness in your work-life is happening, chances are there's fear, anxiety, self-judgment or blame, maybe anger or lack of confidence. So you really need to know who and what are on your team and supporting you to figure this next life step out. And, your finances are a part of that security and foundation. To some of you knowing your finances is a no-brainer and it's all at your finger tips. But you'd be surprised (or maybe not!) at the huge numbers of people who tell me they don't think about it (head-in-sand) or they leave it to a mate or expect parents to simply bail them out or fund them as needed. My years of experience partnering with people to help them achieve their dreams consistently comes back to finances being bedrock if you are going to  make any career development plan, career change, or career transition. Your Financial Short [...]

Feeling Out of Step in Your Career? Tips for Unconventional Creatives to Get on Track #2/2

This is #2 of 2 articles (along with many others) I've written on the mash-up of feeling behind in life, being creative in ways that are quirky, and struggles with self, career, and sometimes other aspects of life. I’ve worked with lots of uniquely creative individuals who have struggled to create a fulfilling, satisfying career path in which they can grow and personal life which feels enriching. If you missed Part #1 here it is. Falling Behind? Tips For Late Bloomers and Unconventional Creatives You can do this with the right kind of career coaching and guidance. A Necessary Mix. You may not know this yet, but as an Unconventional-Creative, you also have a sensitivity that may sound counter-intuitive. It's a high need - combining traditional life basics such as responsibility, systems, structure, goal setting, and accountability, follow-through that is not stifling but rather supports your desires. At the same time, you need enough of the spicy, wacky, spontaneous, off-the-wall, or unusual life elements and people that keep you from drifting. If you don’t know you need both responsibility and some pizzazz, but in a nice mix, you may choose relationships that derail or bore you. You may choose work or outlets that have no focus and drain you. The high-potential, high-achieving, highly motivated you will come across as unfocused, unmanageable. Balancing Inside - Outside. Since unconventional-creatives frequently experience and live in extremes, you may need to exercise greater self-care, attend to your body, learn about those highly introverted [...]

What to do Instead of Being Impulsive in a Career Slump

Maybe you're feeling your particular company or corporate environment isn’t a life-giving, vibrant or creative match for you?  Or you're at a crossroad and need to design a whole life, not just a work-life. You're career-focused and your work IS your life but right now, but it’s not a reflection of “you.” So you're feeling unchallenged or bored. And it may be that it’s just time and something has to change. You don't want to wake up 3 or 5 or 10 years from now feeling regretful that life has passed you by. All of these are reasons to pay attention and begin to create time, space and action steps to figure out your next life and work iteration. It’s not a great time to be impulsive. If you’re not going to be impulsive, the question becomes: Where Do I Start? Start With A Mindset We know that you want to dive right in and get answers to the ultimate question you are asking—Where am I going to be in 3 months or 6 months or a year from now? What is THE fastest way I can make the changes I desire because I want to be THERE now? You may be tempted to be reactive at such a time. Another way to look at it is that it's a Choice Point, an opportunity to reimagine your future, to consider how decisions in one area of your life affect all other areas. It's complex. So at any given choice point [...]

Falling Behind? Career Tips for Late Bloomers and Unconventional Creatives #1/2

This is #1 of 2 articles (along with many others) I've written on the mash-up of feeling behind in life, being creative in ways that are quirky, and struggles with self, career, and sometimes other aspects of life. I’ve worked with lots of uniquely creative individuals who have struggled to create a fulfilling, satisfying career path in which they can grow and personal life which feels enriching. In this article and others found in the Resources below, you'll find a new understanding and tips on how to proceed so you achieve the results that may feel out of reach. They really are not. It's a matter of investing in the right support and expert coaching to create a life and career path that truly expresses who you are. Does Any of This Sound Like You? You don’t get encouragement or support on the job—and maybe some well-meaning (and some mean) people even try to discourage you. It's led to lots of self-doubts. You have jump-started a number of projects that could draw positive attention or bring value to your department or manager, but nothing has come to fruition. You've been overlooked; your attempts have gone unnoticed or unrewarded. So you don’t trust yourself. You feel like a yo-yo with moments of clarity and enthusiasm followed by huge self-doubts and stagnation that makes going to work just a daily grind. You’re tired of always going through another job transition—you’d really like to transform yourself, what you do, and get on track [...]

7 Tips When You Resent Being in the Lead with a Colleague, Employee, or Mate

  Ridding yourself of resentment of being in the lead means taking responsibility for your role in the ongoing dynamic,  then taking action to make positive change.  Try these 7 tips and let me know how it goes! Are you in a relationship where you secretly wish or overtly want another person to take the lead sometimes?  Do you find yourself thinking “I always have to…” or “He never does…” or “She never brings up…”? Whether at work or at home, some people have a tendency to let resentment about taking the lead build up.  But it doesn’t have to be that way.  You can take that step to rid yourself of resenting being in the lead by encouraging others to participate and by asking for what you want…..after all, your colleagues, boss, employee, or partner can’t read your mind!  Here are some tips on taking the lead on banishing resentment and sharing the load: Specify What You Want Evaluate where you want the other person to take the lead?  On the job maybe you find yourself heading up every meeting when there are others who share responsibility?  Or perhaps at home you continually wish that your partner would decide where to go on “date night” and not always leave it up to you?  Make your list so you clarify what it is you want.  Be concrete in your request. You are asking for specific behavioral change. Clarify Territory Take a look at your list and make certain that you [...]

When Men Don’t Fully Engage, It Deprives the Women In Your Life of Growth

No matter how successful you are in your leadership, or in your business or career, many men still cringe when it comes to talking to the woman (or women) in their life, about making a change that would please them. Especially if that change would meet their own needs--needs for understanding, support, intimacy, closeness, or just plain picking up a consistent mess. While culture is changing, we can blame this on socialization and a bit of nature. Do any of the following statements resonate with you when it comes to your wife, girlfriend, daughters or your mother – even though you are a grown man?  Or maybe they remind you of your female boss or workmates. You want to please the woman in your life; sometimes you feel like you don’t know how. You sometimes feel like she doesn’t acknowledge what you contribute to your relationship and the family. You want her to be happy; when she’s unhappy it makes you feel helpless or shut down. You wish she’d let you know when she’s unhappy about something else in her life versus when she’s unhappy with you; you wish she’d do more things to make herself happy. You want her to simply tell you what she wants or likes – because you can’t read her mind or when she does tell you what she wants it sounds too vague or global and you’d like more concrete requests. If I were showing these statements to a roomful of men, you’d see [...]

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