Tag: career coach


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

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?

Why There’s Always Room for Improvement in Your Career and Your Life

This week is the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics. My favorite Olympic event has always been women’s gymnastics, with diving being a close second. This YouTube video of what women’s gymnastics looked like in 1936 always cracks me up.

What was once considered impressive, is now funny because it’s sub-par based on today’s competitive standards. But the video is also a reminder of how there’s always room for improvement in our careers and our lives.

The improvements and advancements in gymnasts’ skill levels and techniques since the 1930s didn’t happen overnight. These changes occurred incrementally over time. They evolved as athletes continued to improve and push their limits with the help of their coaches.

How can you find room for improvement in your career and your life?

Do you want to evolve in your career or your life? If so, there are things you can do to create room for improvement. And you can do so over time. In fact, sometimes it’s better to take small steps over an extended period of time. Incremental improvement prevents you from getting overwhelmed, frustrated, and discouraged. It keeps you from giving up too soon.

Therefore, I suggest inserting slightly more difficult challenges into your ordinary routine on a regular basis over time. This may require a little creativity, along with a few steps outside your comfort zone.

The challenges don’t have to be huge. You can begin with something as simple as raising the proverbial bar just a tad bit higher. Once you’ve mastered your new challenge, you can add another small but new twist to your routine.

Looking back

Think about the areas in which you excel. Looking back, can you remember when you first started out in this particular specialty or skill?

Do you now find it funny how what once seemed difficult now seems ridiculously easy? Do you find it interesting how far you’ve come?

When I first started my coaching business, I remember I knew nothing about the logistics of running a business. Now, many of those logistics have become second nature for me.

And when I first began paddle boarding, I remember how slow I was. Then, I increased my speed significantly, especially after getting some training from former canoeing Olympian and pro paddle boarder, Jim Terrell.

Looking ahead

Looking ahead, what’s something creative you can do to challenge your limits and improve your skill set?

For me, I want to do two things this summer. One, I want to read more books to improve my knowledge on the topics of economics and investing.

Two, I want to advance my current communication skills, particularly in the areas of interpersonal relationships, discourse, and even car sales negotiations. I’ve already started practicing the latter with the help of one of my clients. She’s a master at negotiating a fair price for a car. Her tips have helped me so much in shopping around for my next vehicle. I feel much more confident and in control.

Making more room for improvement

Gymnasts improve their skills with the help and motivation of their coaches. My friend who’s a gymnastics coach does this for her athletes. And I do the same for my clients, helping them challenge their limits and encouraging them.

Do you need a coach to help you make room for improvement in your life or career? If so, you can schedule a complimentary initial consultation by completing the paNASH intake form. I’d love to talk with you and see if paNASH’s coaching services are a good fit for your personal and professional goals.

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Do You Want to Keep Working Remotely Now That COVID Is Ending?

In recent weeks, I’ve had several people contact me to begin a new job search. The reason they’re now looking is because their current company no longer needs to enforce remote work, due to the decline of COVID. Therefore, employers are now requiring employees to return to the office. For those who’ve enjoyed working remotely, they’re considering a career change to a company that embraces this type of flexibility.

Of course, some people are looking forward to getting back to the office full-time. They’re not cut out for working from home. It’s definitely not for everybody. However, even those who are looking forward to returning to the office have said they’d still like to work remotely, at least one or two days a week.

I had a feeling this would happen. I get it. Since I started working from home, I’ve never had a desire to return to an office setting.

This is why I wrote a post at the beginning of the pandemic, about how you can use a temporary remote work situation, as an opportunity to convince your company to continue offering flexible work locations, even after the pandemic.

What I didn’t anticipate, and neither did anyone else at the time, was just how long required remote work would last. Remember when the idea of being in lock down for two weeks sounded like an eternity? Who would’ve thought it would last for over a year?!

How to keep working remotely

If you’re someone who’s grown accustomed to this new way of working and don’t want it to end, you can still try some of the tips I previously shared to convince your company to continue offering remote work options.

Let’s see what this looks like in a post-COVID work-place.

Point out the obvious

Companies have no doubt seen the positive impact remote work has had on their bottom line. This includes:

  • Savings from lowered overhead, such as reduction in operating costs, rent, utilities, travel, etc.
  • Expanded talent pool, since geography no longer limits their access to good workers.
  • Better employee morale.
  • Less attrition.

Remind your employer of this! Sometimes you have to point out the obvious to be heard. And you don’t have to do so in a way that sounds like you’re being insubordinate. Instead, ask your employer what the positive impacts have been. And ask if those things outweigh the negative impacts. Getting your employer to say out loud what’s working reiterates it for him or for her.

Point out the not-so obvious

It may not be so obvious to your employer the positive impact remote work has had on an individual level. You’ll need to show how the positive impact you’ve personally experienced also impacts the company’s bottom line.

Can you show how you have:

  • Become more productive?
  • Had less distractions and therefore had less errors in your work?
  • Been less sick and therefore have reduced your absenteeism?
  • Had happier clients and customers due to a better work-life balance of your own?

If you haven’t tracked this as I previously suggested at the beginning of the pandemic, try your best to go back and look at anything quantifiable, to see if your numbers have improved since working remotely. Put this into a report to share with your higher-ups. The data will speak volumes!

Consider other companies

Even if you don’t succeed at convincing your company to continue remote work, there is some good news. Several other companies are now likely to offer remote work options, based on the benefits they’ve seen in the past year. Therefore, it may be time to look into changing companies.

However, before doing so, I suggest getting some career coaching. This will help you sell yourself in interviews with other companies. It will also teach you how to get the truth about a potential company’s culture, before you change jobs.

Click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation.

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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.

Quiz: Do You Really Need to Spend Money On a Career Coach?

Or Do You Just Think You do?

Hiring a coach to help you improve your career can be very useful. But it can also be a big expense. Since I work as a career coach, I know what the cost can be.

Not everyone can afford it. Some can’t afford not to get coaching (since the services can help them increase their salaries). And for others it will be a complete waste of their money.

For this reason, I don’t take on every client.

I actually turn clients away if from our initial consultation it’s evident they’re not going to benefit from coaching.


When hiring a career coach is a waste of money

Signs that coaching will be a waste of money for someone include:

  • Their unwillingness to learn something new.
  • A negative attitude.
  • An expectation that I’m going to do the work for them (i.e. write their resume for them, find a job for them).
  • An inability to receive constructive feedback.
  • Only doing it because of pressure from someone else instead of doing it for themselves

(If any of the above describes you, don’t waste your money! If it doesn’t describe you, keep reading for the main quiz.)


The Red Flags

Just to give you an idea of what I’m talking about, let me share a little story with you.

Early in my business I had a potential client reach out to me wanting my services. We’ll call him Steve.

I scheduled an initial consultation with Steve to discuss his needs and determine if he was a good fit for my services and vice versa.

When I met with Steve, I asked him,

“What’s brought you to the point that’s made you seek out a career coach?”

Steve’s response:

“Well, I haven’t been working for the past couple of years. And my girlfriend is tired of me mooching off of her. So she made me call you.”

(Red flag #1: he’s doing it for someone else instead of for himself.)


While trying to uncover additional information about Steve to help me determine fit, he continued to push his resume in front of me trying to get me to give him a free resume critique on the spot.

The more I tried to reiterate the purpose of the meeting, the more it became obvious he just wanted me to “fix” his resume for him (at no cost to him).

(Red flag #2: he has an expectation of getting something for nothing and not having to do any work on his part.)


Once Steve realized I wasn’t going to critique his resume for free, he said (in a rather negative, cynical tone):

“Well, how important is a resume any way?”

(Red flag #3: he has a negative attitude and is showing another sign he’s not willing to take responsibility for his part of the process.)

The response I was thinking in my head: “In a job search? Pretty darn important!”

It was obvious from Steve’s attitude that not only would coaching have been a waste of his money, it would’ve also been a waste of his time and mine.


Luckily, I’ve had very few potential clients quite like Steve.

In fact, the clients I’ve ended up working with have brought me so much joy and vice versa.

I firmly believe that’s because I don’t take on every client. Instead, I have a vetting process in place that allows me the chance to determine if my coaching program is going to be a good experience for everyone involved.


Sneak Peak

Once I determine the potential client is a good candidate for my coaching programs, then I help him or her decide if coaching will be a good investment.

I do this by asking questions and often walking the candidate through a list of statements to see which ones apply to his or her current situation.

So for the sake of this post, I’m going to give you a sneak peak to part of my vetting process.

Below I’ve turned my list of statements into a little quiz. You may want to print the list out as a hard copy so you can participate in the quiz.

Once you have a hard copy of the list of statements, mark each one that applies to you right now.


The Quiz

  • You’re dissatisfied, frustrated or unhappy with your current life or work situation and feel stuck.
  • There’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be.
  • You’re not exactly sure what you want to do next in your career and need guidance.
  • You know what you want but aren’t sure where or how to start and you need direction.
  • You want a job you love and enjoy at least 60% of the time.
  • You’ve tried several things, but nothing’s worked.
  • You know if you don’t do something, things won’t change or you’ll miss out on “what could’ve been.”
  • You’ve already mastered one area of expertise and you’re bored and ready for the next challenge.
  • You want to move from talking about your passion to actively pursuing it.
  • You know what you need to do, but you lack confidence.
  • You’re committed to improving your life and/or work.
  • You want to avoid the same mistakes other people have made.
  • You need unbiased and objective advice your friends or family can’t provide.
  • You’re ready to put yourself high on your priority and values list.
  • You need someone to show you your blind spots.
  • You’re willing to make an investment in your happiness.
  • You accept that a 30-day to 90-day commitment is a small investment for long-term change.
  • You know no one else can do this for you.
  • You’re open to new ideas, new routines and new mindsets.
  • You know change starts with you.
  • You’re willing to do or try something different for a new result.
  • It’s costing you more (either financially, emotionally, or physically) to stay stuck where you are, than it’ll cost you to invest in coaching services.

How do you know coaching is for you?

If you found seven or more statements that describe you or your current situation, then coaching will likely be an investment and a benefit for you instead of a waste of money.

In fact, if you even made it to the end of this post and are still reading this, I’d say your level of readiness is pretty high.

At this point, it’s just a matter of finding a coach that is a good fit for your specific career goals and your personality.

My career coaching services focus on helping infuse passion into your work.

While this often attracts a lot of creative types (especially since I’m currently based in Nashville — a very creative town in more ways than one), I work with people with diverse passions from different industries and geographic locations.

Other career coaches will have other niches that might better fit your needs.

You just need to do a little research to find the best coach for you.


3 Calls to Action (Choose One)

I know I’m breaking all the rules of blogging by listing more than one call-to-action. But first, I’m not a blogger, I’m a career coach.

And second, only one of the following actions will apply to you. So choose the one that best fits your own level of curiosity and take that small step towards action!

You’d like more information before jumping in:

If you’d like to learn more about my career coaching services, go to my web site at yourpassioninlife.com and subscribe to get a free 8-Step Goal-Achievement Plan. This resource is designed to help you get out of your current rut.

Also, my blog provides a lot of free advice and tips for you to “test-drive” for your own career.

You’d like to dip your toe in the water:

My on-demand career success videos provide an affordable option if you’re still testing the waters. You can work at your own pace and at a fraction of the cost of personalized one-on-one coaching.

You’re ready to dive in:

If you know you’re ready to take the next steps in coaching, complete the paNASH intake form and we can schedule an initial consultation to determine if you’re a candidate for my personalized coaching programs.

Related post:

Get Unstuck! How to Know When It’s Time to Invest in a Career Coach

career coach