Tag: career coaching


Don’t Quit Your Daydream (Or Your Day Job)

I used to have a full-time job with benefits with a very prestigious university. I later quit to pursue my own business. However, it wasn’t so cut and dry. There were (and still are) a lot of layers to pursuing a dream of working for myself.

The process I went through looks a lot more realistic (and doable) than some of the mythical stories you hear these days about making the jump from working for a boss to becoming your own boss. This process can also spark some ideas for you to realistically make the jump too. It may even help ease some of your fears and concerns preventing you from taking the leap. Here’s my story that began about 10 years ago.

Don’t Quit Your Day Job

For the first time in my career as a college career adviser, my creativity was being stifled under new leadership. I was also experiencing a lot of micromanagement under this new leadership. I couldn’t continue to work under both conditions and had to start planning an exit strategy.

This strategy wasn’t to quit my day job. First, I started where most people start, looking for another job working for someone else doing the same thing elsewhere. Of course I wouldn’t leave my current job until I found my next job. But, I never found the right fit. Instead, I found opportunities that only served as an escape from my current situation. Not opportunities I could truly thrive in.

Ask yourself:

Are you just running to something that could possibly be worse than your current day job?

Don’t Quit Your Daydream

Next, I started listening to what my friends were telling me. They kept telling me I would be good at wardrobe styling. This was something I’d been daydreaming about for a long time. Wardrobe styling would definitely provide a creative outlet for me. But I still wanted to use the skills I’d developed as a career adviser over the previous eight to ten years. Those skills included interview coaching.

After giving it much thought and doing some research, I decided to start branding myself as an image consultant since image isn’t just about how you dress, but also how you present yourself in an interview. Specifically, I branded myself as an image consultant for up-and-coming recording artists here in Nashville. I knew there were a lot of young artists moving to town to pursue music who didn’t know how to present themselves to a label (which is basically a job interview) or in a media interview (I’d also had some past experience in media coaching too).

I went and got a business license. This is when it became real for me. But I still didn’t quit my day job. Not yet anyway.

Ask yourself:

Is there something people tell you you’re good at? Is it something you enjoy? Do you see a potential market for it?

Making the Shift

I worked on my branding efforts part-time while still working my day job as a career adviser. Following my own advice to my students, I also spent my spare hours networking with the few contacts I had in the music industry and growing my network. I attended as many industry events as I could and conducted informational interviews with several people in the music business, always asking for the names of two or three other people I should talk to.

For nine months I did this and my efforts began to pay off. I slowly began getting clients. I worked with those few clients on weekends, evenings, and any time I had off from my full-time job. Then, one of my networking contacts approached me about a part-time temporary job at his small label. This opportunity gave me somewhat of a safety net to leave my full-time job and pursue my business full-time. (This is just one example of why networking is so important!)

However, I still wasn’t hasty in my exit from my day job. Instead of giving two weeks’ notice, I gave 30 days’ notice because the policy was I could work for the university again in the future if I gave 30 days’ notice. But not if I’d only given two weeks’ notice. I wanted to keep as many options open in case things didn’t work out.

I used the three months for the temp job to increase my networking efforts in the music industry and promote myself to potential clients. This way I would have more lined up once the contract was up.

Ask yourself:

What are some small steps you can start taking toward your daydream? Are they things you can do around your day job? Who are some people you can start meeting and connecting with? Can you come up with some ideas for an eventual exit strategy from your day job? Do you have a potential safety net you hadn’t previously thought of?

Don’t Let Fear Overwhelm You

Once I was on my own, I was already getting used to working for myself and there wasn’t as much to fear as I would if I’d left my day job and then started a business. This isn’t to say I had no fear at all. A few days before giving my notice at my day job, I experienced my first (and luckily my only) panic attack.

Then, when the economy tanked in October 2008, less than two months after I’d left my day job, I started to get nervous. But, what I saw happening all around me was people being forced into becoming their own boss with no real planning or preparation. I was way ahead in that department because I’d already been preparing for nearly a year. And I already had some clients.

When I was short on image consulting clients, I supplemented my work with resume writing and career coaching services for those who’d been laid off and were looking for a new job.

Ask yourself:

Are you still having some fears about pursuing your daydream? Are these fears real or perceived? What are some ways you can calm your fears or put them into a different perspective? What would be the worst case scenario if those fears proved true? What’s the best case scenario?

Rely on Connections to Supplement Your Income

Throughout my time as an image consultant I continually made connections through networking which turned into additional ways to supplement my income with my growing business. While attending a fashion show, I met the president of a small design college who hired me to teach a class on image at the college for a semester. He also ended up publishing the 2nd edition of my first bestselling book, Advance Your Image, through the school’s small publishing company.

While attending an event at the Entrepreneur Center, I met someone who needed a contract employee with career advising experience to do outplacement counseling for his clients. I still do this work to this day because I get to make my own schedule and it’s the complete opposite of micromanaged work. I love it.

The connections I’d made through my original day job led to a part-time (10 hours/week) temporary job at another university, which unexpectedly turned into a part-time permanent position. I was hired to fill in for one semester while one of their employees was on maternity leave. But when she returned, they asked if I could stay on indefinitely. I got to make my own schedule so I could work it around my business.

Eventually they asked if I could work 20 hours a week. As much as I loved working at this university, I’d already put in so much blood, sweat and tears into my image consulting business that I couldn’t afford to take that much time away from it to work for someone else. So I decided to be fair to both myself and the university and leave so they could find someone who was able to give them the number of hours they needed.

Ask yourself:

Are there connections you have now in your current situation which could benefit you in the future? Are there connections you’d like to start making? What are some things you can fall back on when your daydream business is slow?

Be Willing to Shift Gears When Necessary

After leaving that part-time job, I realized I was burned out on seven years of image consulting and wanted to do something different. But what? I had no idea. I just knew I didn’t want to lose all the work I’d put into developing my brand.

Then a year and a half later I realized I still wanted to do career advising, but this time on my terms. (Click here for the story on how this realization came about.) I still wanted to be my own boss. And I wanted to keep the same name of my image consulting business. I was able to do both with a slight shift in my mission and an overhaul of my services.

Now, I offer unique career coaching services focusing on helping people discover and pursue their own passions. This includes helping them either find a new day job they’ve been daydreaming about, or helping them take the steps (not the leap) to becoming an independent freelancer or business owner. Whichever they’re most passionate about.

My business became more successful once I was willing to make this change. I was also able to see how the experience I gained and the tools I developed in my image consulting business fit nicely with my new mission and offerings.

Today, I don’t have to supplement my income anymore. Now, I get to do it simply for the love of the variety in my schedule and the love of the creativity it brings me. Unfortunately my time only lets me do one additional gig to my full-time daydream. But I’ve never been happier in my work.

No one is micromanaging me or stifling my creativity. I get to choose who I take on as clients and which projects I want to invest my free time into.

Ask yourself:

How can I start planning my exit strategy for my day job and my entry strategy to my daydream?

How I Did It

I started setting goals and then taking small steps toward achieving those goals. You can do this too with the on-demand program Don’t Just Set Goals, ACHIEVE Them. It’s the same plan I created for myself that can be easily adapted by anyone regardless of their own goals, passions, or daydreams. You can also get the complimentary hand out for the program when you subscribe to my newsletter at www.howtoachievemygoals.com.

I felt the need to share my path to where I am today as a Passion and Career Specialist after reading Brad Stulberg’s article on “hybrid entrepreneurship” and something called the “barbell strategy.”

Bottom Line:  You may want to pursue your daydream as your own boss but think it’s impossible. And it may be impossible for you if you simply quit your day job to follow your daydream. I want to serve as one of several examples of how doing it with an alternative strategy can now make it possible even for you. Probably more so than you ever imagined.

How to Think Like an Entrepreneur (Even When You’re Not One)

I came across this YouTube video and thought it was the perfect follow-up to last week’s paNASH blog post How to Avoid Technological Unemployment. This guy is hilarious, but what he says in 3 minutes is so true:

As he says, of the 15 million new jobs created between 2009 and 2017, 94% were freelance jobs. You yourself may not be a freelancer or entrepreneur now. But by the year 2020, 40% of the workforce will be independent workers, according to a study conducted by Freelancers Union.

Will you know how to create your own job and be your own boss if future reality requires it? Will you welcome the opportunity as a way to finally pursue your passion?

Why You Need the Skills of an Entrepreneur (even if you’re not one)

Even if you never become an entrepreneur, you’ll still need to think like one to gain future employment. With more companies downsizing, competition will get fiercer. It’s already true you need to be a salesman of your skills. And employers are already hiring for the skills listed in the video above.

The 8 Skills Everyone Needs to Make a Living

Let’s look at each of those skills and how paNASH’s new on-demand coaching programs help you develop them:

  1. Salesmanship. In Steps to Acing the Interview and The 3 Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers, you’ll learn how to sell your skills and abilities in an authentic way that matters most to employers and potential clients.
  2. Likeability. In The Secret to Successful Networking: How to Do It Naturally and Effectively, you’ll learn how to make networking a more pleasant experience. Especially if you’re an introvert. It’ll teach you how to network more comfortably and naturally, in return making you more likeable.
  3. Negotiation. In Make More Money Without Taking a Second Job, you’ll learn how to negotiate a larger salary, a pay raise, or a promotion.
  4. Public Speaking. In Personal Branding: How to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic, you’ll learn how to find your authentic voice and develop your message for your audience. Your audience could include employers and hiring recruiters, potential clients, and more.
  5. Communication. Also in Personal Branding, you’ll learn how to clearly communicate your “WHY” and your “HOW” of what you do.
  6. Writing. In Resumes That Get You the Interview, you’ll learn how to write a clear, concise and effective resume that will be seen and be given full consideration.
  7. Creativity. The on-demand programs like 5 Ways to Pursue Your Passions in Life and Work encourage you and provide you a safe place to explore your passions and creativity.
  8. How to come up with and how to execute ideas. The Don’t Just Set Goals, ACHIEVE Them! program teaches you how to set, execute, and achieve your goals and ideas.

If you learn these skills now, you’ll be able to pursue your passions and make your own money with your own resources. Or you’ll be able to market yourself to a job working for someone else doing something you love.

Invest in Yourself

One way to begin is to invest in yourself. Take the money you’d spend on some new clothes or the latest tech gadget and put it toward some classes. This could include some continuing ed classes or online classes.

It could also include the new on-demand programs offered by paNASH. These programs are easily accessible, affordable (some are even free!), and allow you to work at your own pace. They’re designed to teach you how to market your new skills to a new employer or as a lifestyle entrepreneur to potential clients. What are you waiting for?

Are You Ready for the Future? How to Avoid Technological Unemployment

“Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?” This is a common job interview question, but it’s also one you should ask yourself. Even if you’re not currently interviewing for a new job. Why? Because in five to ten years (or less), you may be interviewing for a new job after having been replaced by artificial intelligence in your current job.

Think it can’t happen to you? The phenomenon of “technological unemployment” is happening at a much faster rate than in the previous century. Corey Koehler of SideHustleX discusses the ramifications of technological unemployment and how it will impact the future of work:

The Future Of Work: Something Called Technological Unemployment

The Future of Technological Unemployment

Unlike in the previous century, robots aren’t just stealing factory jobs. They’re stealing jobs at various levels in almost every industry, including the legal and medical fields. Eventually, robots will even replace doctors and lawyers! Can you imagine it? You better, because your job could be next.

What will you do then?

Will you panic? Or will you prepare?

Will you make yourself adaptable and marketable for the new human jobs that don’t yet exist? Will you know how to market yourself in a modern job market? And will you know how to create your own job and be your own boss if reality requires it?

There’s Good News

Now this all sounds like a lot of doom and gloom, but with every wave of robot-stealing-jobs comes another wave of newly created jobs for humans. The people most likely to be hired for the jobs that don’t yet exist will be the ones who are the most proactive in their career planning.

Therefore, career coaching is so important. It’s not just for the currently unemployed, but also for the employed (for now) folks. It’s why I’ve created paNASH’s new coaching track:  the Career Growth Track.

This track includes:

  • Successful on-boarding in your new job/role/business
  • Preparation for promotion and advancement opportunities
  • Transition planning
  • Establishing yourself as an industry expert
  • Staying relevant in your industry
  • Methods for asking for a pay raise or increasing your rates
  • “Fire”-proofing yourself
  • Maintaining joy and challenge in your career
  • Creating your own opportunities

How to Stay Relevant

Career coaching has always been important, but it looks different today. No longer is it just about helping you find a job or helping you progress in your career. It’s also about helping you be creative and be open to unexpected opportunities, including possibly working for yourself. It’s about helping you recognize where your various past experience is leading you next into an ever-changing world. And how to connect the dots from your past experience to new work that’s yet to be created. It’s the only way to stay relevant in the job market of the future.

To learn more about paNASH’s new Career Growth Track, email your questions to me at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com.

Should You Share Your Passions on Your Resume?

I’ve critiqued resumes for nearly 20 years, and oftentimes I’ll see an “Interests” section on a resume. One of the most memorable “Interests” sections I saw included “eating peanut butter.” Yes, you read that right. Someone actually put on her resume she likes to eat peanut butter. And she wasn’t applying for a job as a taste-tester at Skippy!

Clients will ask me, “Should I have an ‘Interests’ section on my resume?” and there’s no right or wrong answer to this. Allow me to make this a little clearer.

When it’s wrong to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough room on your resume because of all the great accomplishments and results you have listed from your work experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:  accomplishments are KING on a resume. This is what your reader most wants to see, so give your audience what they want first.
  • When your life passions are totally unrelated to the job for which you’re applying. Again, know your audience!
  • When your life passions may initially be viewed as odd. While liking peanut butter it is not unusual, it could seem strange to include it on a resume. (All I could picture was her with peanut butter smeared all over her face – not a picture of professionalism!)

When it’s right to share your passions on your resume:

  • When you don’t have enough work experience to fill a full page.
  • When your life passions might be relevant to the job. For example, if you love golf and the job will require you to take clients on golf outings to network and close sales, then it’s appropriate. Or, if you’re passionate about playing basketball and the job requires you to work with youth in an after school program that promotes healthy living, then it’s appropriate.
  • When your life passions are relevant to your work passions and have prepared you for the skills needed in the job. For instance, if you like doing improv, that skill is often a basis for good sales skills. A love for blogging can be a plus for a job requiring strong writing and/or social media skills. A passion for coaching little league can translate into good leadership skills.
  • If you’ve completed a passion project that would be of interest to your reader and would showcase your skills.

Always be professional

Whatever you choose to include, always make sure you present it in a way that looks and sounds professional. Perhaps it makes sense to include it on a section other than an “Interests” section. Or, maybe you rename the section heading to “Work-Related Passions” (which sounds more dynamic and attention-grabbing than “Interests,” don’t you think?).

Also, help the reader connect the dots on how your passions will benefit the company. Remember, your resume isn’t about you. It’s about the company and what you can do for them! Let your passion for them shine through in your resume, your interview, and all of your communication and interactions with them.

For more tips on what to include and what not to include on your resume, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter. I’ll send out announcements for the on-demand Resumes That Get You the Interview program, due out later this month.

Maintaining Positivity in the Face of Job Loss or Job Rejection

I applied for A LOT of jobs when I was looking for my first “real job” right out of grad school in the late ’90s. About 75 to be exact. And I got about 70 rejections. Rejection is difficult enough. But multiple rejections makes it nearly impossible to keep a positive attitude. Especially when you’re young and you’ve never experienced job rejection before.

I knew I had to find a way to not let it get me down, or else I’d develop a negative attitude that would be evident in my interviews. Going into a job interview with a negative attitude was sure to guarantee further rejection. I had to break the cycle before it started.

I decided for each rejection, I’d tell myself I was one step closer to the job that’s right for me. It also helped to think to myself, “If they don’t want me, why would I want to work for them?”

The Result of Positivity

I finally did get a job offer. It was working in two of my three areas of interest within my industry. I was promoted a year later and got to work in my third (and favorite) area, career development.

Interestingly, I originally applied for a director position even though I knew I wasn’t experienced enough since I was just coming out of grad school. I decided to apply any way, just to see what would happen.

While I got rejected for the director position (for obvious reasons — lack of experience), they called me and said the assistant director position was also open and asked if I would be interested in interviewing for it. I was, I did, and I was hired. A year later I became a director.

This goes to show that sometimes you can apply for jobs you’re not fully qualified for because you never know what can happen!

The Power of Positivity

My mantras made a huge difference not only in my level of positivity, but also in my confidence. They worked so well, I’ve used them in other areas of my life and career. I repeat them when I don’t land I client I want to sign, or when a relationship doesn’t work out like I want it to.

I never knew at the time just how powerful this positive mindset would be throughout my career. I’ve always worked as a career adviser in various capacities. Often I have to encourage my clients who’ve been laid off from their jobs or who are experiencing rejection in their job search. I share with them the same mantras that helped me. Also I remind them that, while they’ve lost their job, they haven’t lost their ability to work.

One client in particular was feeling very angry about being laid off. But after sulking for a few days, she decided to change her view of her situation. She decided instead of calling herself “unemployed” she’d call herself “FUNemployed!” I loved this and encouraged her to embrace that attitude.

Allow Yourself Time to be “FUNemployed”

 
rejection
Photo courtesy of Unsplash

Periods of unemployment can provide you the time to get some much-needed rest, spend more time with your family, improve your health, be creative with your time, and explore your passions. Consider it a gift, and take advantage of it while you can. There will always be more work to do.

Are you at a place of career transition where you need some guidance? Have you lost your job and need help with the job search? Or do you need help exploring other viable options other than going back to work for someone else? Let’s talk! Click here to complete the paNASH intake form and schedule a complimentary “Path to Purpose” session. I look forward to hearing from you!

Related post:  What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Job Loss

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