paNASH blog


How to Deal With the Fear That Wreaks Havoc on Your Career

Voiced by Amazon Polly

When most of my clients first come to me, they express a lot of fear about their career. The fears shared include fear of…

  • Being rejected by hiring managers
  • Not finding the right job
  • Making the wrong decision on multiple job offers
  • Failing at a new career endeavor
  • Not making enough money to provide for their family
  • Staying stuck in the wrong job

A lot of these concerns boil down to deeper fears, such as fear of…

  • Losing control
  • Losing approval or influence
  • Change
  • Being wrong

You’ve probably experienced at least one (if not more) of these fears in your own career.

Steps to dealing with your fear

The first step in dealing with these emotions is to acknowledge them as normal, common, expected, and sometimes healthy. But letting them take control of you or paralyze your decision-making is when they become unhealthy.

By acknowledging your fears instead of ignoring them or denying them, you can make a conscious decision to take the next steps in dealing with your fears.

For some people, baby steps work best. One baby step you might take is to consider the worst-case scenario, and then ask yourself what the likelihood is of it ever happening, especially given your strengths and problem-solving skills.

Maybe you haven’t ever really taken an inventory of your strengths and skills. If this is the case, then you might want to take this baby step.

Perhaps getting help from a career coach is the best way for you to deal with your fears. An example of a baby step would be to set up an initial consultation just to gather more information on how the career coaching process works.

Other baby steps would be to start first with an online tutorial, or by following the tips in these two blog posts:

1. How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life

How to Overcome Your Fear of Risk and Improve Your Life

In this post, I share seven ways to gain control over your fear and improve your career.

2. Five Common Fears (and Myths) of Quitting a Job You Hate

5 Common Fears (and Myths) of Quitting a Job You Hate (Re-post)

This post is for those who may find themselves in a place where they can’t continue to stay in their current work situation, because it’s negatively affecting their health. There are times when some people may have to quit their job without another job lined up. This isn’t the answer for everyone, but if you find yourself in this situation, there are some tips in this post you can implement to survive the period in between employment.

Also in this post, I’ve provided some ways to challenge your fears and assumptions to help you be more realistic about your career. These tips are also and especially helpful for those who don’t have the option to leave their current job yet.

Start today

One thing to keep in mind is the fears you’re feeling will likely never go away. You’ll always experience them to some degree. The goal is to reduce the degree of your fear by doing those small things you have control over.

Taking small action steps will add up over time, therefore subtracting the amount of fear you feel.

What’s one step you can take, or one tip from the referenced posts you can implement today, to begin dealing with your fears?

Networking Don’t: Why You Should Never Use Empty Flattery

Voiced by Amazon Polly

While networking can be tricky, it should never involve trickery, which could cause your networking efforts to blow up in your face. There are several networking don’ts to avoid, which I’ve previously written about. One don’t I’d like to focus on today is empty flattery.

Empty flattery, also known as “buttering up” people, is never a good networking strategy for two reasons. One, most discerning people recognize it immediately and are turned off by it. And two, networking is all about taking the time to build genuine relationships, not being phony to get a list of someone’s contacts.

Story of a networking don’t

I remember someone who was trying to secure my business for his media promotion services. I had only met him once before, and therefore didn’t know much about him.

He told me he saw me as a thought leader in my industry. I couldn’t help but wonder why he’d think this. He’d never once “liked” or commented on any social media or blog post I’d ever made. When his actions didn’t match up with his words, I privately questioned his sincerity.

Then, he asked me to introduce him to one of my contacts, wanting an immediate connection with someone I’ve spent ten years building a business relationship with. I had to set a healthy boundary by letting him know, since my contact greatly values doing work with people he already has an established relationship with, I was hesitant to introduce to him someone I barely know yet. (A lesson I’d already learned in my career, and one everyone will learn in their career at some point.)

This boundary was an opportunity for the inquiring party to put in more time and effort to build a more meaningful networking relationship with me, which would’ve likely led to an eventual introduction to my other colleague. However, it’s been almost a year and I haven’t heard from him since, deepening my questioning of his original flattering words.

Networking do’s and don’ts

To avoid a networking faux pas like the one above, here are some networking do’s and don’ts to keep in mind.

When first trying to connect with a potential contact, don’t use empty flattery to manipulate the situation.

A sincere compliment is okay, but even then I suggest you first put some action behind it. For example, if you really like someone’s work, share it first with others you think could benefit from it, or help promote it to your own social media following.

Imagine to yourself, once you finally have the opportunity to compliment this person on their work, they ask you, “How much do you like it?” They won’t likely ask this question, but if they did, could you answer it?

Also, put less focus on compliments and more focus on being genuinely curious about the other person’s work. Ask appropriate questions about what they enjoy most about their work, what trends they’re noticing in their field, etc.

Then, listen to their responses for things you may have in common with them, especially regarding common values and ethics. This is a much better way to build rapport with someone.

Finally, don’t forget to set appropriate expectations. Understand it’s going to take time to build trust with someone.

No one is immediately going to trust a stranger with their network. Instead, they’re going to protect their contacts so as not to burn any bridges with them. You should do the same for your own contacts, and should hope they’d do the same for you.

More resources

For more networking do’s and don’ts, check out these resources:

How to Test Out a Freelancing Career to See if It’s Right for You

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Freelancing for additional income streams

My good friend Ashley just started her own small-scale bakery. She loves sweet potatoes, so all of her baked goods are made from sweet potatoes, a very niche focus. (Check out Hey Sweetie on Instagram.)

Ashley began her bakery for two reasons. One, she’s passionate about baking. And two, she knows her current job is not something she’ll be able to physically continue doing in the future.

To supplement for the inevitable, Ashley’s starting now to create additional income streams through various freelancing opportunities. This includes her new home bakery.

Start by keeping it simple

Ashley began her bakery in a simple way. First, she obtained the appropriate business license to be able to bake and sell food out of her home, focusing on baked goods sharing the same main ingredient. Then, she got connected with her local farmer’s market.

At Ashley’s very first market, she sold out of all her baked goods, even though it was the poorest attended market of the year, according to the coordinator. Her product was so successful that several buyers wanted to place orders with her for their Thanksgiving feasts. She was both ecstatic and a bit overwhelmed by the response!

When Ashley and I met for dinner a few days after her first market, she asked me for a few pointers on the things I’ve learned from having my own business. I was happy to share since I was so excited for my good friend.

Now, she’s tweaking her pricing and figuring out the deadlines she needs to set for custom orders, so she can manage her various income streams without being too overwhelmed.

Test the market

What I love about Ashley’s story is she just went for it. She didn’t wait until she had everything figured out to start her bakery. Instead, she tested the market first to see if there was an interest. Testing the market didn’t require a huge investment of her time or money.

Now, she has an idea of how to move forward, while accepting she’ll have to learn some lessons through sheer experimentation. The beauty of having her own thing gives Ashley the control to decide how much or how little of her business she wants to do. She gets a say in how many orders she’ll fulfill at one time, how many farmer’s markets she wants to attend, and how long she wants to continue baking for other people.

Get help

Independent work and “solopreneurship” comes in various forms, such as freelancer, consultant, side hustler, gig worker, or a combination of these. It’s not for everyone, but it’s becoming more common for those who work well independently.

In fact, a recent study shows 58% of workers in traditional settings, who started working remotely during the pandemic, are now considering freelancing. I’ve found this also to be true among many of my newest clients.

Is working for yourself something you’re considering for your own career? If so, check out the various resources below to help you know if it’s right for you, and to help you get started. Because there comes a time when you have to stop thinking about it and stop researching it, and you have to just start, like Ashley did!

But you don’t have to go solo when going solopreneur! paNASH has services available to assist you with starting your own thing. This includes helping you determine if it’s the right career path for you, how to create your brand, how to figure out your pricing and business structure, and more.

For assistance, click here and complete the paNASH intake form. Once you’ve completed the form, we can schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

Resources for starting your own freelancing business

We All Have Something Valuable to Teach and Share With the World

Voiced by Amazon Polly

I’m so fortunate to be blessed with the clients I have. Not only do I get to teach them about the job search and pursuing their passions, they also teach me so much!

For example, I recently was teaching a client how to network and to negotiate salary. We somehow got on the topic of negotiating with car salesmen. She was telling me how much more confident she is at negotiating the price of a new car than negotiating a salary. This is due to her personal experience and lessons learned from buying her own cars over the course of her adulthood. She said she’s gotten really good at it.

I told her I was in the market for a new car, but dreaded the thought of negotiating a deal. She kindly offered to put together a list of tips for me.

I put her tips to practice and was able to get the deal I wanted on my terms, without getting suckered into paying any unnecessary fees. Her tips made me feel so confident and empowered.

When I told her how it went, she was beaming from ear-to-ear. It made her feel the way I feel when I see my clients grow in their confidence. It’s my favorite thing when teaching clients how to market their skill set and negotiate a fair salary. The confidence is a by-product of the coaching program I provide, but I find it to be the most rewarding part of what I do.

Networking is about giving, not taking

When I tell my clients networking is about giving instead of taking, they often feel like they have nothing to give to someone they want to connect with, especially if they’re in a job search to change careers. This is usually because they’re limiting their thinking to just their past professional experience and work skills.

But we all have life experiences and life lessons outside of our work to share and teach others. My client’s experience of buying almost a dozen cars over her adult life taught her valuable lessons she’s able to pass on to others. It’s a great example of how we all have something to offer in networking relationships.

A simple conversation, where you show genuine interest in what others are currently experiencing, can uncover numerous opportunities to be of help. This requires listening more than talking. It means listening for the other person’s need, instead of trying to impress them.

What can you teach?

Now, every time I get in my new car, I think of my client. I think of not just how much money her advice helped me save, but also how she gave me the gift of confidence. This has lasting power, and I will always remember her for it.

The goal of genuine networking is to be helpful, which in turn makes you memorable. The by-products are mutually beneficial relationships lasting over time, increased confidence for both parties, and even some job opportunities and career growth along the way.

You can teach others and be of help to anyone, regardless of how high up they are on the org chart, or how much further along they are in their career than you.

So start asking yourself,

“What’s something I’m personally good at I can teach and share with others to benefit them?”

And when these ways of helping come up naturally in conversation, don’t hesitate to share your advice. You will be remembered for it!

Quote: “The basic idea is that those who help best are the ones who both need help and give help. A healthy community is dependent on all of us being both.” Edward T. Welch

Related posts

How Do You Make the Right Choice Between Multiple Job Offers?

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Last week I had a client who landed several interviews and job offers. Once she got past her initial excitement, she admitted some feelings of fear and nervousness.

You might wonder why she’d feel nervous or scared about having numerous opportunities coming her way at once. But these feelings can be normal, especially if you’re not used to it.

My client said this was the first time in her career she’d experienced more than one job opportunity at a time, and she wasn’t used to this unfamiliar feeling of being “in demand.” It was a bit overwhelming to her.

She felt some “analysis paralysis.” She wanted to make “the right choice.” But she also didn’t want to disappoint her networking contacts when turning down the opportunities they led her to.

What would you do in this situation? You might think you’d be ecstatic, but you may experience some of the same feelings she did.

When you find yourself in this situation, there are some things to help you in making your decision. To find out what they are, read on.

The choice between multiple job offers

One thing you need to keep in mind when faced with multiple job offers is, most of the time, there’s no such thing as “the right choice.” Sometimes, it’s just a choice. Each opportunity can have an equal number of pros and an equal number of cons.

Putting pressure on yourself to make “the right choice” can cause undue stress. It can also result in so much analysis paralysis you make no decision at all, and the opportunities pass you by.

Instead of pressuring yourself to make “the right choice,” try to focus on which opportunity will be the most compatible choice.

How to determine the most compatible job offers

Making a choice between multiple job offers requires you to know more than just what’s included in the offers. It also requires you to know a lot about yourself. Things such as:

  • Your core values
  • The future goals for your career
  • Your mission in life

1. Your core values

Knowing what you value most, and what your non-negotiables are, will help you determine if a job offer is compatible for you. You want to compare your own core values with the company’s values to see if they align with each other.

Also, you want to determine if the job itself helps you carry out your core values, either directly or indirectly.

While salary plays a big role in your decision, it’s highly likely other things will be important to you. Knowing how those things align with your core values will help make the decision easier, especially if the salaries are the same or similar among each offer.

Take some time to write down your non-negotiables for your next job. Do this even before you start looking for another job. paNASH’s one-on-one career coaching can help you in clarifying your values.

2. Your future career goals

It’s important to be clear about your future career goals so you’re making decisions on job offers that will move you toward those goals, instead of possibly away from them. Accepting a job offer without the future in mind could cause you to drift off course.

To learn more about setting good goals, subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive the free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan.

Subscribe & Receive 8 Steps to Purpose & Success

3. Your mission in life

I’ve previously written on the importance of having a personal mission statement. But as a reminder, a mission statement indicates how you plan to carry out your core values and arrive at your future goals, to make a positive impact in the world around you.

It serves as a measuring stick of sorts, and helps you to know what decisions to make. You should give serious consideration to agreeing to the opportunities supporting your mission statement. Opportunities not supporting your personal mission are ones you should seriously question, and likely say no to.

To write your own mission statement, check out the instructions in my previous post entitled, “How to Make Career Choices That Won’t Destroy Your Personal Brand“:

How to Make Career Choices That Won’t Destroy Your Personal Brand

Help in making the most compatible choice

I’m glad to say my client didn’t spend a lot of time stuck in her fear and nervousness about her various opportunities. She was able to make a decision for an offer she says is most compatible with her idea of her dream job.

She attributes this to the career coaching she received:

“I don’t believe I would be in the very happy position I’m in, had it not been for our work together” she says.

If you need help with making sense of the direction of your career, paNASH can help! We can assist you in determining your core values, your future career goals, and your personal mission.

We provide one-on-one coaching services and online resources to ensure you’re making the most compatible and productive decisions for your current and future career. This also includes assistance with salary negotiation.

To schedule a complimentary initial consultation, click here and complete the paNASH intake form.

Pursue Your Passion With paNASH

Related posts

How to Tell If a Company Is a Good Fit for You

How to Make Your Big Decisions More Simple

How to Make Career Choices That Won’t Destroy Your Personal Brand

How to Know If You’re In the Wrong Job