Author: lori-bumgarner


Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You

As a career coach, I’m always responding to career-related questions. I recently received a question on Quora asking, “What are a few unique pieces of career advice that nobody ever mentions?” This is a good one because there are a lot of possible answers to it, but I chose two answers that reflect what most of my clients don’t know when they first come to me.

Number 1:

If you work for someone else, you still need to think like an entrepreneur. Why? Because no one’s job is secure. You have to view your employer as your client. And if your “client” decides not to continue working with you, you have to be in a good position to quickly land your next client. You do this by becoming a good salesperson of your skills.

Number 2:

If you work for yourself, then you need to think of each meeting with potential clients or potential investors as a job interview. For instance, I have several consultations with potential clients each week. Therefore, I’m going on job interviews EVERY SINGLE WEEK of the year! I know I have to clearly express the benefits of my skills as a career coach.

Determine Fit

In either scenario, you not only need to sell your skills. You also need to treat the situation as a two-way street. You need to find out if your next job or your next client is going to be a good fit for you.

This is why I always suggest job seekers ask their own questions during a job interview. These questions should be ones to help them determine if the company (i.e. “the client”) is who they really want to spend 40+ hours a week with for the next several years.

***Check out A Proven Interview Hack for sample questions to ask when being interviewed.***

Be Selective

For me personally as a business owner, I’m selective in who I take on as clients. Therefore, not only do I present the benefits of my services and make sure they’re a good fit for the potential client’s goals, but I also ask questions to find out if they’re the type of client I’ll want to work with.

I start with questions in my intake form and ask additional questions during the initial consultation. I’m looking to see how serious the person is about my coaching program. I’m also looking for someone with a teachable spirit, an open-mind, respect for others, courtesy, and professionalism. Someone who doesn’t possess these qualities is not a good fit for me or my company’s mission or programs.

You need to be selective too. If you’re a job seeker with multiple job offers, be selective. If you’re an entrepreneur with multiple potential clients, be selective (even when you feel like can’t afford to be!). Here’s how.

Before walking into an interview or a meeting, take some time to do an inventory of:

  1. your skills and strengths,
  2. how you uniquely demonstrate those skills and strengths,
  3. the benefits of your skills and strengths,
  4. your needs and wants,
  5. your deal-breakers,
  6. and the questions to determine any potential deal-breakers or to determine if the other party can meet at least 60% of your needs and wants (because you’ll rarely find a case that meets 100% of them! – BE REALISTIC!).

Choose only those opportunities that are at least 60% compatible with your inventory. Keep in mind too that numbers 1-3 will give you leverage to ask for numbers 4-5.

Following this advice will help you develop good habits and preparedness for those times when you find yourself at a career crossroads.

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 2)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“I was afraid, and…hid your talent.”   

Mt 25:25 NKJV

The master of an estate gave each of his servants a sum of money to invest for him. One man got five talents, the second two talents, and the third man one talent. The servants with two and five talents turned a respectable profit, while the man with one talent told his master, “I was afraid, and…hid your talent in the ground.”

What’s the lesson here? Simply this: Fear makes you unproductive!

A seasoned pastor writes: “Fear will stop you from singing in the choir…witnessing…giving cheerfully…and walking in love with your spouse…The underlying issue is fear that God won’t do what He says. But as believers we should be so full of the Word that fear can’t get a foothold…Jesus said, ‘Take no thought for your life’ (Mt 6:25). Paraphrased: Why would you even think fearful thoughts when I’ve told you I’ll never leave you…I’ll protect you…and give you everything you need to do the job? Bottom line: God is with you even when you can’t feel or see Him, and when others imply He’s abandoned you.”

Fear disguises itself behind many different faces. We want to do things our way, or we say we’re not interested, or it’s not the right time. What we’re coming up against isn’t a closed door—it’s repressed fear. If you’re wondering why you’re not progressing in certain areas, see if hidden fear is holding you back. And if it is, ask God to help you release your fears and start trusting what He says.

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-2-2

5 Books That Will Make a Huge Impact on Your Life and Career

I’m an avid reader, but I’m also very selective in the books I recommend to others, especially to my clients. I only recommend books that provide something tangible. Like advice that can yield actual results when appropriately applied.

Below I’m sharing with you my list of must-reads I’ve shared with my clients. Keep in mind however, to see results from these books, you have to be disciplined enough to read them and to apply what you learn.

If you don’t like reading, I suggest trying to find the audio version of each book or using a reader app on your phone that converts the book to audio. And if you don’t like spending money on books, several of my recommendations are available at your local library. I’ve included in my list how I personally obtained a copy of each book.

Enjoy!

Lori’s 5 Must-Reads

1. Start With Why by Simon Sinek

Most of you have probably heard of Simon Sinek, especially if you watch a lot of TED Talks. His is one of the most viewed TED Talks of all time.

Start With Why helped me refocus my business and redefine its mission. It forced me to look at why I do what I do and how to articulate my “why” to potential clients. His point is, people (including potential clients AND potential employers) don’t care what you do or even how you do it until they understand why you do it.

I recommend this book time and time again when teaching my clients how to discover their own “why” and how to develop and articulate their own unique personal and professional brand. While one of the earlier chapters in the book seems to drag on, I encourage you to push through it to the rest of the book because you’ll find it to be a great resource. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t wait any longer!

***Checked out from my local library***

2. Body of Work by Pamela Slim

Body of Work shows you how to make sense of all your diverse work experiences and the skills gained from them, and how to tie them all together to create a career portfolio and professional brand. This includes not just your “official” full-time job, but also your side jobs, passion projects, volunteer work, artistic creations, etc. All of those experiences can add up to future opportunities you may have never previously considered.

***Checked out from my local library***

3. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

Designing Your Life provides step-by-step instructions allowing you to experiment with different possible careers and roles for your life. These experiments lead to ways to design and build your life the way you want it to look at various life and career stages.

I’ve personally gone through the book myself, reading it twice and doing each exercise at least once. I choose which exercises I think would best suit my clients at their particular stage of career exploration and help guide them through those exercises. I’m also a member of the authors’ Facebook group for coaches and mentors. So, I use this book quite a bit and therefore highly recommend it!

***Purchased after originally checking out from my local library***

4. Finding True Happiness by Robert Spitzer, S.J., Ph.D.

I haven’t finished this book yet, but the first half is so good I’m confident in going ahead and recommending it. However, there is a disclaimer for this book. It can get very deep into theories of philosophy, psychology, physics, metaphysics, and theology by numerous pioneers of those fields.

At times in the beginning, Finding True Happiness was a little over my head. But don’t let the scientific and academic jargon intimidate you. There is real-world understanding and application with this book, resulting in true happiness.

***Purchased in a gift shop at a monastery (also available on Amazon)***

5. Do Over by Jon Acuff

This book was actually recommended to me by one of my first clients to recommend to my other clients. It’s perfect for someone who is facing a major transition in their career, whether it be an unexpected lay-off, hitting a career ceiling, a change in role or job function, or an unexpected offer in another industry.

Do Over teaches you how to develop the four necessary elements of a successful career:  relationships, skills, character, and hustle.

***Purchased on my Kindle***

5 Free Books

In the spirit of this blog post, I’m giving away a signed copy of my Amazon #1 bestselling book Advance Your Image to the first five people who purchase my latest book, SUP: Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard ($12 + S&H).

Advance Your Image contains advice from when I worked as an image consultant, and also includes job search advice to make you stand out above the competition. Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a SUP is a 30-day devotional and 100% of the profits go to support missions in Brazil.

To purchase Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a SUP and receive a free signed copy of Advance Your Image, be one of the first five people to inbox me at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com with the subject line “Advance Your Image.” I’ll also sign the 30-day devotional for you.

Share Your Own

What are some books that have made a real impact on your life or your career success? Please list them below so others can benefit from them as well. Thanks in advance!

When Was the Last Time You Challenged Your Limits?

I’ve viewed this YouTube video numerous times! I find it both fascinating and funny. It’s fascinating because of just how much the human body can be pushed beyond what we originally thought was its limits. And it’s funny to see how much what was once considered excellent has now become sub-par according to today’s standards.

What a difference 80 years makes, right? I wonder what these athletes would think or say if they could see the gymnasts of last year’s 2016 Olympics. They’d likely be shocked and amazed.

Improve By Pushing the Limits Incrementally

The differences between the gymnastics techniques of 1936 and and the ones of 2016 obviously didn’t occur overnight. These were incremental changes that happened over time. They evolved from those coaches and athletes who had a desire to always push the limits and improve.

What’s the best way to improve? To insert new, slightly more difficult challenges into your ordinary routine on a regular basis over time. This requires a little creativity, along with the ability to think just a few inches outside the box.

The challenges don’t have to be huge. They can start off with something as simple as raising the bar just a tad bit higher. Once you’ve mastered that, then you can add a small but new twist to the routine.

Looking Back

Think about the thing you excel best in. Looking back, can you remember when you first started out in this particular skill? Do you now find it funny how your initial efforts that once seemed difficult now seem ridiculously easy? Do you find it fascinating how far you’ve come since then?

Also looking back, when was the last time you challenged your limits, either in your best skill or even with a new skill?

Looking Ahead

Do you have a desire to improve your best skills or to learn something new? What’s something creative you can do to challenge your limits?

For me, I want to do two things. One, I want to improve my paddle board speed. I can tell my speed has plateaued and I’m overdue to learn some new paddle stroke techniques to help increase my speed. It’s time to challenge myself again by simply taking a paddle clinic the next time it’s offered.

Two, I want to learn to speak a foreign language, something that’s very new for me. This new desire comes from the fascination I had while on my mission trip with my interpreter’s ability to easily switch from one language to another.

This will be a big challenge for me. But there are several creative yet simple ways I can try to accomplish this goal. I can download an app on my phone that provides short, daily vocabulary lessons. I could look into doing some type of immersion experience. Or I could take a language class through one of the many MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) offered by universities like Harvard or Duke (well, maybe not Duke, since this diehard Tar Heel fan has some limits and has to draw the line somewhere).

What About You?

I’d love to hear how you plan to challenge your own limits, or how you’ve recently done so and the results of your challenge. Please share in the comment box below!

Need help setting goals that challenge your limits? Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary 8-Step Goal Achievement Plan!

Sunday Inspiration: Don’t Let Fear Stop You (Part 1)

Welcome to “Sunday Inspiration,” a bi-weekly devotional for those seeking spiritual encouragement in the pursuit of their passions. Each post comes from an outside resource (as referenced). I hope these posts will inspire and motivate you in your life and career in addition to our weekly original blog posts. Enjoy!

“Whom shall I fear?”      

Ps 27:1 NAS

Life’s filled with fear-inducing situations: fear of sickness, unemployment, rejection, other people’s opinions. Left unchecked, fear will steal your inner peace.

But as Chuck Swindoll reminds us: “David met fear head-on at his front door with two questions. ‘Whom shall I dread? Whom shall I fear?’ And he slammed the door in fear’s face by declaring, ‘My heart will not fear…I shall be confident’ (v. 3). Then he walked back into his house, reminding himself how to counteract fear’s attacks:

Prayer: ‘I have asked from the Lord’ (v. 4).

Vision: ‘I behold the beauty of the Lord’ (v. 4).

God’s Word: ‘I meditate in His temple’ (v. 4).

God’s protection: ‘In the day of trouble He will conceal me’ (v. 5).

Worship: ‘I will sing’ (v. 6).

Rest: ‘Wait for the Lord’ (vv. 13-14).

Determination: ‘Let your heart take courage’ (v. 14).

Courage isn’t limited to the battlefield…Its real tests are broader… deeper…quieter…like remaining faithful when nobody’s looking…enduring pain when the room is empty…standing alone when you’re misunderstood…It can be as simple as saying ‘No,’ as uneventful as facing a mountain of laundry, as unheralded as the inner struggle between right and wrong. God’s medal-of-honor-winners are made in secret… where most courageous acts occur…away from public acclaim.”

When fear nips at your heels, God says, “Be strong and courageous!” (Jos 1:9 NAS). Dick Mills writes: “Every commandment…comes with the assurance that we can perform it. God doesn’t issue orders we’re not capable of fulfilling…It’s incongruous to say, ‘I’ve lots of courage but no strength,’ or, ‘I’m a powerhouse of energy but I’m afraid.’ Courage and strength were given to you by God. Courage motivates our will, and strength accompanies our effort.”

Source:  https://jentezenfranklin.org/posts/dont-let-fear-stop-you-1-2