Category: Pursuing Your Passions


Why Your Career Decisions Require Focus, Patience, and Passion

When working with clients, I spend a lot of time delving into the deeper issues involved in career decisions and the job search. I’ve written several posts on this topic as well.

Today, I want to share some “oldies but goodies” with you. If you’re new to this blog, I hope you’ll find them refreshing. If you’ve been following me for some time, you’ll see it never hurts to be reminded of these topics. Repetition helps improve memory and learning.

How to make good career decisions

1. Don’t follow your heart

You might think since my work emphasizes helping people pursue their passions, I’m telling them to just follow their hearts. This is far from the truth! In fact, following your heart can actually lead to trouble.

To better understand how pursuing your passion is different from following your heart, check out my post titled, “‘Follow Your Heart’ is Bad Advice. REALLY Bad Advice!

“Follow Your Heart” is Bad Advice. REALLY Bad Advice! (Re-Post)

2. Get focused

You can’t expect to find the right job without having focus. Applying to jobs without really knowing your goal can lead to some very poor career decisions.

Learn how to get focused in my post, “Why Focus Is So Important in the Job Search.”

Why Focus Is So Important in the Job Search

3. Seek career advice that’s different from the same old, same old

In addition to providing some tried and true career guidance, I always strive to bring more to my clients with out-of-the-box career advice. This approach helps set them apart from their competition. It’s advice you won’t get with most other career coaches, or from a simple Google search on the topic.

Get a taste for this out-of-the box guidance with my post titled, “Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You.”

Career Advice No One Will Ever Share With You (Re-post)

4. Be patient

Learning to be patient is a difficult thing to master. In fact, it’s a lifelong learning process. Each time we fail, we’re given more opportunities to become more patient.

To improve your patience with your job search, check out my post, “How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs.”

How to Be Patient When You’re In Between Jobs

5. Try some proven life and career hacks

When your career or job search feels out of control, focus on doing the things within your control, while letting go of the things you can’t control. This will help you better prioritize your job search and career decisions.

For eight simple hacks, see my post titled, “How to Hack Your Way to a More Passionate Life and Career.”

How to Hack Your Way to a More Passionate Life and Career

Receive more goodies from paNASH

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If you’d like more personalized attention, please fill out the paNASH intake form. I’d love to talk with you!

Warning! Pursuing Your Passion Is Not for the Faint of Heart

I have a friend from my church small group who is an epidemiologist. No one becomes an epidemiologist without having at least some passion for the study of disease outbreaks.

About this time last year, he took a new job as the chief medical officer for the Tennessee Department of Health, right before the pandemic hit the United States. As you can probably imagine, my friend’s job has been extremely busy and stressful this past year. It’s definitely not for the faint of heart.

But it’s my friend’s God-given passion for his specialty and for helping people that keeps him going. God-given passion is what helps him push through the stress he’s dealing with and the overtime he’s putting in.

And when he gets a little time off, it’s his God-given passions outside of work which help restore and rejuvenate him, like spending time with family, hiking, and kayaking.

Your passion is meant to serve others

My mission is to help people discover ways to pursue their God-given passions in their careers. But pursuing a passion is not to be confused with finding the perfect job, because no such thing exists.

Also, it’s not to be confused with just finding what’s going to make you happy. You have not been given passions and skills to only serve yourself. They’ve been given to you to serve others, either directly or indirectly.

You don’t have to be an epidemiologist to make a difference in the world. Instead, you only have to learn how your own gifts and desires can be used in noble ways.

You do this by asking yourself what problem your own passions and skills help solve. Next, you determine who experiences this problem and is in need of your solution.

Once you discover who your passions and skills best serve, you’ll have to make some decisions that line up with your personal values and your family’s values. Clarifying those values is what will help you determine which sacrifices you’re willing to make when necessary, and therefore which opportunities to say yes to.

Knowing your values will also help you to persevere when the work gets difficult or stressful. Because make no mistake, it will get stressful at times.

Are you ready to pursue your passion?

No matter what your passions or skills are, you have them for a reason: to help serve others. One of the most God-honoring things you can do is to work in those skills and passions. Yes, there will be times when it becomes difficult. And when it does, it becomes a living sacrifice.

But it should not be difficult because you’re trying to do something you have no desire for, or haven’t been equipped to do. This only leads to a quick burnout.

If you need help figuring out how your passions and skills best serve others, or if you feel like you’ve been neglecting them and want to use them to make a difference, let’s talk. I’d be happy to schedule a complimentary initial consultation with you. Click here to take this brave step in your career.

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paNASH Adds New Career Coach and More Services

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 Stop Procrastinating During and After the Quarantine

As I sit down to write this post, I’m procrastinating. I don’t feel like writing it because it’s a beautiful day and I’d rather be paddleboarding. It’s one of the few things I was able to continue doing during the quarantine.

While I don’t usually procrastinate, there are times when I do. And this is one of them.

Another time was when I was a junior in high school. I had an English class assignment to read a book entitled, A Walk Across America, and write a journal entry for each chapter of the book.

I did read the book. But I was procrastinating on the journal entries. I told myself I’d go back and do them after reading through the entire book first. This was not a good idea.

After reading the book, the journal entry portion of the assignment now seemed too daunting. I never did finish the full assignment. I only turned in three or four journal entries and therefore did not get a good grade. Thirty years later I still remember this.

Better late than never

About five or six years ago, I decided to re-read the book and even journal the rest of the chapters.

In doing so, I learned the author, Peter Jenkins, now lives near me just outside of Nashville. I contacted Peter and told him the story above. He got a good laugh out of it and of course said, “Better late than never!”

I often wonder to myself, “What if Peter had procrastinated and never took his walk across America?” He surely wouldn’t have high school English instructors using his book to teach young minds about the importance of pursuing goals and adventures.

How to stop procrastinating during the quarantine: get to the root of the problem

Procrastination isn’t a good thing. But it’s easy to do, both when you have more time on your hands, like during a quarantine. And, when you’re busy getting back in to the swing of life post-quarantine.

Because so much has been put on hold due to the pandemic, it can be tempting to also put your dreams and goals for your life on hold.

How many years have gone by where you never did what you said you wanted to do? How many more years do you want this to continue happening once we’re past this crisis?

Make this crappy year of 2020 the last year you say next year.

Here’s how:  you first have to get to the root of what causes you to procrastinate, especially if you’re a chronic procrastinator. So let’s first figure out your reason for procrastinating.

1. Is your goal not urgent enough?

If you don’t think your goal is urgent, then ask yourself if you’ll be disappointed again if you haven’t completed it by the end of the pandemic. If the answer is yes, then your goal has now become urgent.

Look at some of the other goals you have for yourself and ask the same question. Then choose the most urgent of those you said yes to, and commit to beginning it now.

2. Do you feel like you don’t know where to start?

Well, whether you realize it or not, you’ve already started just by reading this post and determining which of these reasons are causing you to delay your goals.

And if you’ve read last week’s post (“How to Stay Focused on Your Goals During the Remainder of the Pandemic“), you should’ve already started with the first few steps in the complimentary 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. If not, go back and do so.

Now you have a place to start, so you can no longer use this as an excuse.

3. Are you afraid of failing?

You won’t be considered a failure if you at least give your goals a try. It’s when you don’t try at all you’ll be seen as a failure.

I’ve written a lot in my blog about the fear of failure. If this is your reason for procrastinating, I suggest you type the word “failure” in the search box of this blog and read what pops up!

4. Do you work better under pressure?

This might be about the only legitimate reason to procrastinate, but be honest with yourself about it. Is this really true about you? Or are you just saying this because you don’t want to admit any of the other reasons?

If you know this is true for you, and you honestly produce your best work having a tight deadline, then keep doing this (since it seems to work for you!). But go ahead and set your deadline for your goal.

5. Do you just not want to do the work?

If the amount of work it takes to accomplish your goal feels overwhelming, choose some other goals you’re excited about. Ones you won’t easily get bored or overwhelmed with. Start with those.

Once you see how you’re able to accomplish these goals, you’ll find it easier to accomplish your other goals.

How to stop procrastinating after the quarantine: take action

Now that you’ve figured out which reason or reasons for your procrastination, it’s time to set and prioritize your goals. Again, use the free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan I gave you in last week’s post.

Then, find an accountability partner. Someone who you can report to periodically on your progress (but not someone who’s going to nag you about it). Someone who wants to see you succeed, but doesn’t necessarily have a personal stake in the results of your goals.

Also, write down dates in your calendar and set alarms on your phone for check-in points (either every month or every 90 days).

I recommend using a Passion Planner since it’s specifically designed to help you accomplish the goals you’re most excited and passionate about. I’ve used one every year for the past five years. I honestly don’t think I would’ve accomplished as many things as I have without my Passion Planner.

Finally, at the end of each quarter, look back over what all you’ve accomplished thus far. This will give you the confidence and the momentum you need to finish out the remaining steps and tasks for your goals.

The truth is, post-quarantine won’t be any different than pre-quarantine if you don’t make the choice to change.

By the end of this pandemic, instead of saying, “I’ll do it later,” you’ll be saying, “What’s next?!”

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The Signs for a New Career Move Are Flashing. Do You See Them?

I just finished reading the book Everybody Always by Bob Goff, who also wrote the bestseller Love Does.

In the chapter entitled “Three Green Lights,” Bob talks about how in life we often circle around a place to land until we’re given the green light or a sign it’s finally safe, much like pilots do when landing a plane.

But occasionally the signs aren’t always there, even when it’s safe to land. Sometimes not all of the lights are working. It could be because there’s a malfunction, or it could simply be just a burned out bulb.

But there may be other indicators available to go by. Either way, you have to decide to land with the information you have to go on, or you’ll run out of fuel and crash.

Bob says,

“Don’t ignore the lights you already have.”

Signs for a new career move you should never ignore

When clients first come to me, they immediately want a guarantee their decision to pursue a new career move is the right one before committing to it. They want a sign. A green light. The all-clear. Permission to land.

They’re so busy looking for one specific green light they can’t see all the other green lights they already have flashing around them.

What are these other green lights you should never ignore? Bob says they’re the things that:

  • Delight you.
  • Fire up your imagination.
  • Fill you with a deep sense of purpose.
  • Draw you closer to God.
  • Will last in your life and in the lives of others.

Those are your signs, your green light, your go-ahead.

Removing the blind spots to your new career move

But what if you have no idea what those things are? I have several clients who aren’t sure what inspires them or what they’re passionate about. This is often because they’re too close to their situation. They have to develop a bird’s eye view (or in other words, a pilot’s perspective).

They need someone to remove the blind spots for them to see and recognize those things they have to offer the world. This is my favorite thing to work on with my clients.

It’s a bit of a process, just like learning to fly a plane is. But I promise it’s not as complicated. Being patient with the process and trusting it can lead to a clearer view of more than one place to land.

I love seeing the epiphanies my clients have when we work through this process together. They come in thinking they’re going to land one place and end up landing some place even better. A place more fitting for their skills, interests, and purpose.

One client recently shared with me how through this process it suddenly came to him he might be better suited for a different role in his career. One he’d never previously considered. As he realized this, we both agreed it’s a perfect place to use his strengths and past experience.

And don’t forget the example I shared in my post, “How to Create the Life You Want to Wake Up to Every Day.”

Don’t crash and burn

Do you feel like you’re circling your career with no place to land? Do you need help reading the signs for what’s next before you run out of fuel and crash? Please allow me to help you the way I’ve helped so many others. Let’s talk!

In the meantime, feel free to check out my “flight manual” Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic, available on Amazon.

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Interesting side note

The old landing strip in this photo has a very interesting history here in Nashville. It was part of Cornelia Fort Airpark, named after the first female pilot to die on war duty in American history. It’s also the runway Patsy Cline’s plane was supposed to land on had it not crashed the night of March 5th, 1963, 57 years ago today. The historic airpark is now part of Shelby Park for visitors to enjoy. On any given sunny day, you’ll find visitors walking and jogging on the airstrip. I’ve personally walked, biked, and land paddled this runway. Photo credit: Matt Bowden.

new career move