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The Greatest Coaches Share the Best Advice From Their Playbooks

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Coaches’ advice for a successful career – Part 1

I know a lot of people have cancelled their Netflix accounts, and in many ways understandably so, especially since last week a Texas grand jury indicted Netflix for the film Cuties. But despite this controversial film, Netflix has some great documentaries highlighting the good in this world. One of my favorites has been a perfect example of pursuing your passions in your career. It’s called Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, and I highly recommend it! It’s very inspiring and encouraging.

But, in this post, I want to focus on the lessons and advice shared in another documentary series called, The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life. In this series, several well-known sports coaches lay out five to six rules they’ve developed for their athletes, which can translate to success in your own life.

Below, I’ve selected the coaches’ rules that can also translate to your career, and bring you career success.

5 rules for success in your career

1. “Risk is opportunity.”

Jill Ellis – Coach for the US Women’s Soccer Team

A lot of people come to me feeling stuck in their careers. This is usually because they’re afraid to take a risk. Sometimes it’s fear of the risk of rejection when applying for something they’re not 100% qualified for. Or, it’s fear of the risk of failure when starting their own thing.

But more frequently, they have a fear of financial risk. This includes fear of losing a job offer when negotiating a higher salary, fear of rejection when asking for a well-deserved pay raise, or fear of spending money on career coaching without knowing what’s going to transpire from it.

Coach Ellis talks about the importance of passion over paycheck. If it’s not obvious from my web site, passion is something I specialize in helping my clients discover. But I also understand the importance of earning what you’re worth. Which is why I also help my clients earn back the money they spend with me, by teaching them their worth, and how to negotiate a higher salary or pay raise.

When you take calculated risks in your career, you discover more opportunities, like jobs you’d never previously considered, better benefits, or exciting entrepreneurial endeavors. Is it time to let a career coach help you calculate the risk?

2. “Never be afraid to get fired.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

This can be a tough one to apply, especially if you’re an over-achieving rule-follower. But some rules are made to be broken. What Coach Mouratoglou means is the same thing Coach Ellis means by “risk is opportunity”. He’s basically saying, “Don’t be afraid to take risks.”

These risks could include sharing your ideas on how to do things better in your job or company, even if they might get shot down.

Also, this piece of advice could refer to the need to have a back-up plan for your career if you suddenly find yourself out of a job. In fact, I talked about this in last week’s post, “What Happens When a Pandemic Disrupts Your Career?

Having a back-up plan for your career can reduce your fear of getting fired, and give you more confidence to take more calculated risks, resulting in more career success.

3. “Emotions are the worst advisors.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

Coach Mouratoglou hit the nail on the head with this one! Emotions cloud your judgement. This is why I always tell my clients to never make big career decisions when they’re emotional.

If you find yourself making a career decision based on fear, anger, sadness, or too-good-to-be-true happiness, it’s best to at least sleep on it and make a decision once your feelings have subsided.

4. “Mistakes are inevitable, but don’t let them define you.”

Patrick Mouratoglou – Professional Tennis Coach to Serena Williams

Many of my clients who are on the fence about starting their own business are so worried they’ll make mistakes or experience failures. You may have similar concerns about your career, especially if you’re also thinking of starting your own business.

Let me go ahead and tell you, you will make mistakes and you will have failures. This is inevitable. And the same is true even if you continue working for someone else.

But you don’t have to let your mistakes or failures define you. Instead, learn from them and keep moving forward.

5. “Keep moving forward.”

Doc Rivers – NBA Head Coach (Boston Celtics and LA Clippers)

You’re going to experience obstacles and set-backs in your career. But, according to Doc Rivers, you must keep moving forward.

Keep in mind though, “forward” doesn’t always mean “up.” When it comes to your career, it could mean moving “over” to a company whose culture is more in line with your values. Or it could even mean moving “down” to a job that pays a little less but provides more flexibility and better fulfills your purpose or passion.

Even if your resume gets rejected, you get ghosted following your interview, you get furloughed or laid off, keep moving forward in your career.

You can do this by strengthening your networking efforts, being more proactive in your career planning, and making your job search more focused. Career coaching can help you do all of these things more effectively and efficiently. And the investment will pay off in dividends. Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

Stay tuned for more coaches’ advice!

Check back next week for more coaches’ advice in Part 2. I’ll share five more rules for success in your career, including advice from professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho, and women’s basketball coach Dawn Staley.

paNASH was recently voted as one of the top coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for the fourth year in a row!

What Happens When a Pandemic Disrupts Your Career?

A couple of years ago, I wrote a post about the importance of having a back-up plan if something disrupts your career. I shared about a past client of mine who was a recording artist with a unique story. His former career as a high school social studies teacher was disrupted by stardom in the music industry.

I’ve been thinking a lot about him lately, especially how the pandemic has disrupted his and other performing artists’ careers. But even if he can’t work right now due to COVID restrictions on live performances, I know he’ll be okay. Why? Because he had a plan B, which most recording artists don’t have.

What about you? Do you have a plan B if some event disrupts your current career? It’s a question you need to consider. As a result, I’m re-sharing my post from a couple of years ago to help you start thinking about a plan B (or C, or D) for your career.

My client’s story (originally published August 29, 2018)

It was 2011 and I was waiting for my new client in his publicist’s conference room. We were beginning the process of preparing him for his upcoming radio interviews.

In our first session he told me his life story, how he got to where he was, and what his future looked like. He was different from most of the other recording artists I’d worked with. His values and priorities were on a whole other level.

What was typical

He told me about how he grew up poor with humble beginnings, and how he’d always been passionate about music, with goals to pursue it as a career. Not an uncommon story among most musicians who eventually make their way to Nashville.

He was the first person in his family to finish not just college, but also high school. This inspired him to become a high school social studies teacher, something else he was very passionate about.

After college, he pursued teaching to support his music career goals. He did both until he couldn’t any longer.

His music caught on like wildfire. In fact, he was getting so many bookings and selling out so many venues, his music career completely disrupted his teaching career. He had to leave his students to fulfill his new obligations to his fans.

Again, this is not an unusual story or scenario for most recording artists as they begin their careers. Most start off doing something else to make a living until they’re able to afford to pursue music full-time.

What was different

But here’s where it gets different with this particular artist:  he said to me,

“When this whole music thing dries up, which it probably will eventually, my plan is to go back to teaching social studies.”

I had never heard a recording artist talk like this. Most get so caught up in their rise to fame and fortune they think it will never come to an end. They don’t think long-term.

In fact, most of them believe, and are also told by numerous music industry executives, if you truly want to make it in the music business you can’t have a Plan B.

The music executives’ theory is, if you have a Plan B, you’ll never be fully motivated to pursue the Plan A of a music career. They believe you’ll give up too soon and default to your Plan B before Plan A gets off the ground.

This client was the only artist I knew who didn’t fall for this mindset. He strongly disagreed and felt it was totally irresponsible not to have a Plan B. Like everything else, he knew Plan A will eventually come to an end.

He also told me something else I’ll never forget. In describing a recently sold-out show, one where Brantley Gilbert and the Zac Brown Band were opening for him, he said to me,

“To this day, there’s not been one stage I’ve walked onto that didn’t beat the feeling I got the first day I walked into a classroom.”

Talk about a mic drop!

Whether he realizes it or not, this musician is still teaching others in his role as an artist. There are so many lessons from this interaction and his statements I almost don’t know where to begin.

But let’s try to unpack as much as we can here.

1. It can’t be all about the money

It’s obvious he wasn’t doing any of this for the money. Everyone knows there’s very little money in education. And for someone willing to go back to education after a more lucrative career in music shows money isn’t a top priority.

As a career coach specializing in helping people pursue their passions, I can tell you if you’re pursuing something only for money with no passion behind it, it’s likely to fail. All the experts will tell you this. This includes business experts, successful entrepreneurs, other career coaches, and the ones who learned this lesson the hard way.

And not only is it likely to fail, you’re also likely to be miserable. If you’re not passionate about what you do and you find no meaning in it besides earning a paycheck, you’re likely to dread going to work everyday. This will wear on you over time.

2. You have to think long-term

Nothing lasts forever. You could be laid off tomorrow from your current job. Your business idea could take off like a rocket and then just as quickly crash and burn. My former client’s bookings could easily dry up since music fans’ tastes are fickle.

So then what?

While it’s important to learn to live in the moment, there needs to be a balance between living in the moment and considering the future.

One of the things I work with my coaching clients on is establishing long-term goals and helping them figure out how their passions can evolve with those goals.

Sometimes this requires re-evaluating and altering their short-term goals. And sometimes it may require them to alter their long-term goals.

3. It’s not a bad idea to have a back-up plan

As a result, you may need a Plan B to your Plan A, or even a Plan C to your Plan B.

These plans don’t have to be completely different from each other like they were for my former client. They could be something in the same industry but in a different role or function. Or something in the same role but in a different industry.

Back-up plans can be a great solution when you’re feeling stuck in your current career situation. I’ve helped many clients brainstorm and test potential back-up plans which eventually got them unstuck.

Do you see any other lessons here I missed? (If so, please comment below!)

What if something disrupts your career?

My former client had two very different careers he was equally passionate about. One disrupted the other much more quickly than he expected. And it could happen again some day. This happens to almost all of us, including myself.

What will you do if something disrupts your career? What will happen if you don’t have a Plan B to fall back on?

If you don’t have an answer to these questions, it may be time to consider the lessons outlined above, or even some career coaching for yourself. 

To find out if career coaching is your next best step, click here and complete the paNASH intake form. Completing the form does not obligate you in any way.

Resources for when something disrupts your career

How to Stop Looking Desperate on LinkedIn

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Most professionals have a LinkedIn profile, but typically say they don’t do anything with it. That is, until they need to start looking for another job.

After their profile has sat dormant for months or even years, they will dust it off, update it, and do one of two things.

Either they will go back to ignoring it after they’ve made their profile updates. Or, they’ll go overboard with their use of LinkedIn, to the point of appearing desperate to recruiters.

Neither strategy is a good one.

I’ve already written several posts on the importance of utilizing LinkedIn to its fullest, instead of taking a “set it and forget it” approach. But today I want to highlight some of the things you should avoid when using LinkedIn so you don’t look desperate to recruiters.

And trust me, recruiters can sense desperation from a mile away!

4 ways to stop looking desperate to recruiters

1. Stop using the word “seeking” in your headline

I know recruiters who say they immediately avoid LinkedIn profiles with the word “seeking” in the headline. Not all recruiters do this, but a lot of them do. They say it indicates desperation on the candidate’s part.

You’re not limited to the default headline listing your current or most recent position. Your headline can be anything you want it to be. So why not make it grab the reader’s attention, in a good way?  And always include keywords relevant to the type of work you want to do next. This brings me to my next point.

2. Stop being too general in your headline

At least once a week, I come across a LinkedIn profile with the headline, “Looking for new opportunities.” That’s it. I want to scream, “Looking for new opportunities in WHAT???”

If you don’t clearly state what you’re targeting, the right recruiters will never see your profile when they do a keyword search on your chosen field or role.

And if by chance you do pop up in their search results, they’ll bypass your profile for the ones clearly and immediately indicating their professional goals and what they have to bring to the table. Recruiters will not spend their time digging through your profile to figure out why you’re on LinkedIn.

Make it easy for readers to know exactly what you’re looking for, and how you can help solve their problem.

3. Stop joining job search groups

Yes, you should always join LinkedIn groups to improve your networking efforts on the platform. And yes, you should be in a few job search groups when between jobs if you find them helpful.

But if the majority of your groups are those just for job seekers, you’ll really appear desperate to recruiters. Plus, when you do this, you’re not putting yourself in front of the right people.

Instead, you need to join the groups relevant to your industry so you can be in front of the industry’s decision-makers. Your participation in these groups is how you get noticed.

Also, if you’re planning to relocate, you’ll want to join some groups based on your targeted geographic location. This not only can be a great networking resource, but also an information source for relocation logistics.

To learn the etiquette of LinkedIn group participation, check out my post, “LinkedIn Etiquette You Need to Know When Networking Remotely.”

4. Stop spamming recruiters

No one likes to be spammed on LinkedIn, recruiters included. Be sure to always personalize any InMail messages you send recruiters.

You don’t want to send the same standard email to every recruiter, for the same reason you don’t want to send the same cover letter for every job application.

How to get help with LinkedIn

LinkedIn is ever-changing and can be confusing and cumbersome to use. paNASH has taught classes, led group sessions, and individually guided clients on how to maneuver and leverage LinkedIn for a successful job search.

Now, paNASH has added a new coach, Dr. Denisha Bonds, who is a nationally certified LinkedIn strategist. She can help you optimize your LinkedIn profile to increase your responses from recruiters.

Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

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paNASH Adds New Career Coach and More Services

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Press release – new career coach and more services

New career coach – Dr. Denisha S. Bonds

paNASH LLC is excited to announce the addition of career coach Dr. Denisha S. Bonds. Dr. Bonds combines creativity and expertise to help clients design the careers of their dreams. She sees career development as a strategic two-step process:  identifying compatible career options for the client, and helping the client develop the tools necessary to successfully follow his or her unique path.

Dr. Bonds adds an additional 30 years of experience to paNASH owner Lori Bumgarner’s 20 years of experience, for a combined 50 years of career coaching experience. In fact, Bonds and Bumgarner previously worked together in North Carolina in the field of higher education as college career advisers from 2002 to 2006.

“I’m so excited to have Denisha come on board and to work with her again! Even after I left North Carolina for Nashville, she and I continued to support one another over the years as we each developed our own niches in the career coaching industry. With everything currently happening in the job market, it’s the perfect time for paNASH to add her as a coach and expand our services,” commented Bumgarner.

More career coaching services

Dr. Bonds brings an expertise that enhances and complements paNASH’s career coaching services. In addition to paNASH’s current offerings of…

  • Exploration and discovery of passion and purpose
  • Personal and professional branding
  • Out-of-the-box job search and networking strategies for mid-career professionals
  • Interview coaching and salary negotiation
  • Guidance for career advancement and promotion
  • Freelance and business start-up guidance
  • Online job search courses
  • Support for clients who are new to Nashville

…Dr. Bonds will provide:

  • Professionally-written résumés and cover letters
  • Creative résumé design
  • LinkedIn profile customization and optimization
  • Out-of-the-box job search and networking strategies for recent grads and new professionals
  • Administration and interpretation of select career assessments
  • Support for clients making the transition from college to the real world

“When Lori approached me about joining paNASH, I was thrilled. She has built an impressive coaching business that has had a positive impact on her clients. I am honored to become part of the work she is doing in the career services arena. Working with her again is such a pleasure!” said Bonds.

Dr. Bonds holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education; a Master of Science in Higher Education, Student Affairs, and Career Development; and a Bachelor of Arts in Music. She is also a certified professional résumé writer and a nationally certified LinkedIn strategist.

About paNASH

paNASH LLC is a career coaching service that’s been ranked in the Top Ten Best Coaches in Nashville by Expertise.com for four consecutive years. Its mission is to serve, educate, and encourage people, both in Nashville and across the country, by assisting them with the discovery and pursuit of their passions in a way that honors their purpose and their own vision for success, while amplifying who they are personally and advancing them professionally.

Click here to book a complimentary initial consultation with a paNASH career coach.

How to Keep Recruiters Interested in You

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This Wednesday is the virtual Amazon Career Day. Amazon recruiters are looking to fill more than 30,000 technology and corporate job openings, 500 of which will be located here in Nashville.

Whether you’re in the market for a job with Amazon, or with another company, there are some things you can do to keep recruiters interested in you as they sift through all the potential candidates.

Don’t do the things that annoy recruiters

In the past, I’ve written about how recruiters annoy job seekers, like ghosting candidates after an interview, and more. But there are also things job seekers do that annoy recruiters.

Here’s a perfect example: A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from a colleague of mine who’s a human resources and recruiting expert. She was clearly frustrated with some of the job seekers she’s been recruiting to fill the open positions at the companies she represents.

She asked me to remind all job seekers who read my blog of two things if they’re serious about finding a new job:

Check your email spam box, and answer your phone!

1. Not paying attention to your spam folder

At least three times a week, I get an email from a potential client in my junk folder. This is why I check my spam box daily. If not, I could miss out on potential work. You could too!

If you’re applying for jobs, most recruiters or hiring managers are going to first reach out to you via email. Make sure their emails aren’t going to your spam folder. If they are, mark them as “not junk” so they’ll start going directly to your inbox. You should especially keep an eye on this if you’re using Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook.

Check your folder daily. If you don’t respond to a recruiter within 24 hours, they’ll likely move on to the next qualified candidate.

2. Not answering your phone

I have to admit, I myself am bad about this one. I usually don’t answer my cell if I don’t recognize the number. I’m guessing you might do the same because of all the robocalls you probably get on a daily basis.

But if you’re in the middle of a job search, you can’t afford not to answer your phone. It could be a recruiter calling to schedule an interview with you!

Familiarize yourself with the area codes and prefixes of the numbers for the various companies to which you’re applying. Add this info to your notes about each company, so you can have a better idea of who it is on the other end of your ringing phone.

Set yourself apart from other candidates

Imagine how boring it must be for recruiters to read through a ton of résumés and LinkedIn profiles that all look the same. Or having to listen to over-thought and over-rehearsed elevator pitches, which don’t lend well to a natural conversation.

Every interview they conduct probably feels like Ground Hog Day to them. They interview so many candidates who use the same canned answers, and ask thoughtless questions they could’ve found the answers to on the company web site.

How do you keep from blending in with these candidates? By following some of the out-of-the-box career advice I’ve shared over the years in this blog and in my on-demand programs. In fact, I’ve just created a new blog category to gather together everything I’ve written on out-of-the-box career advice. Click here to find advice guaranteed to set you apart and make you stand out from other candidates.

Related posts

In honor of National Online Learning Day on Sept. 15th, paNASH is offering a 35% discount on all paNASH on-demand programs/online job search classes. Click here and enter the discount code NOL2020 on the check-out page. (Discount good through Friday, Sept. 18th.)