Tag: career development


More Coaches’ Advice For a Successful Career

Part 2

Last week, I shared with you the first five of ten rules for a successful career. These rules were garnered from the advice of some of the world’s greatest athletic coaches, as highlighted in the recent documentary series, The Playbook: A Coach’s Rules for Life.

This week I’m sharing the remaining five rules, one from professional soccer coach Jose Mourinho, and the final four from NCAA Women’s Basketball Champion coach, Dawn Staley.

5 More Rules for a Successful Career

1. “Understand your audience.”

Jose Mourinho – Professional Soccer Coach and Manager

I agree with Coach Mourinho. You must always know your audience. And, you must take the time to understand their challenges and needs so you can best serve them. Depending on your career goal, your audience may be the hiring manager at a new company, your current boss, your boss’s boss, or potential clients or customers of your own business.

This is important when marketing your experience. It’s so important, that I’ve created an entire exercise on how to better understand who your audience is. It’s available in my latest book on personal branding, and in the on-demand video course, The Three Super Powers of Successful Job Seekers.

If you don’t take time to understand your audience and their needs, you’ll likely be passed over for your competition. Don’t let this happen to you!

2. “Create a home court advantage.”

Dawn Staley – Head Coach for the Women’s Basketball Team at the University of South Carolina (my alma mater!)

Staley did a great job of creating a home court advantage out of nothing at the University of South Carolina. When she first started coaching for the Gamecocks, there was barely any attendance at the women’s basketball games.

But through her efforts, she created a buzz which drew in more crowds. And then she created buy-in from the crowds through the excellence of her and her team’s work, turning them into fans. Now, there are just as many fans in the stands for the women’s games as there are for the men’s games.

You can do this too with your career. You can create a buzz, and attract those who appreciate your work and who’ll cheer you on and support you. In turn, you’ll attract the attention of the people who want you on their team.

Create your home court advantage by building and growing authentic relationships with your network. You’ll also want to secure LinkedIn recommendations and skill endorsements. If you own your own business, you’ll want to secure positive Google reviews from satisfied clients or customers. By doing so, you’ll grow your audience as you continue your efforts to better understand them.

3. “The 24-hour rule.”

Dawn Staley

This is another good one from Coach Staley! She encourages her players to celebrate their wins and to mourn their losses, but tells them to give themselves only 24 hours to do so.

It’s always good to set healthy boundaries, and this includes expiration dates. Your career will have some wins and some losses. But you can’t rest on your wins, and you can’t wallow in your losses for too long.

Give yourself only 24 hours to celebrate or wallow in the way you choose to, and then get back to work. This is how you keep moving forward.

4. “Growth takes place outside your comfort zone.”

Dawn Staley

You can’t expect to grow or thrive in your career if you don’t step out of your comfort zone. This is along the same lines of much of the advice shared in last week’s Part 1 post. It’s risky to step out of your comfort zone, but without risk there is no opportunity.

Stepping out of your comfort zone in your career could mean different things for different people. For some, it may mean something as small as volunteering to chair a committee. For others, it could be as big as leaving their job to start their own business. And still for others, it could be something in between, like applying for a promotion or moving over to a different role or function.

In determining which step is right for you, the key is not to step so far out of your comfort zone you end up in the panic zone. Instead, the goal is to step out into the learning zone. It’s here where you experience a significant amount of challenge, without it being so much you become overwhelmed and paralyzed with fear. It’s all about striking a balance.

5. “What is delayed is not denied.”

Dawn Staley

Coach Staley had so many good rules from the documentary, which is why four out of this week’s five rules come from her. This last one is my favorite!

Sometimes you don’t always get what you want when you want it. But just because it doesn’t come to you in your own time, doesn’t mean you’ll never get it, especially if you’re working hard and ethically for it. Your career path requires your patience. This also includes patience when you find yourself between jobs.

It can be easy to get discouraged, especially when you see others advancing in their careers faster than you. But instead, be encouraged by this truth from Coach Staley.

Grow into a successful career

It’s not just athletes who can benefit from the wisdom of a good coach. Everyone needs a wise coach for a successful career. And you not only need a career coach when you’re between jobs, but also when you’re at the peak of your career.

Do you think Serena Williams quit going to a coach once she became good at tennis? Of course not! She’s been the best in her sport for years because she hired a good coach who’s stuck with her and challenged her.

Do you need someone to help you do the same in your own career? If so, click here to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. paNASH will assess what you need the most help with at this stage of your career, so you can become and stay the best in your field!

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

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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!

How to Know When It’s NOT the Right Time for Career Assessments

Let me preface this post with the fact that I believe career and personality assessments can be very useful tools when used properly and at the appropriate time.

I felt the need to state this upfront after I recently commented on a popular comedian’s spoof of the Enneagram. I thought his spoof was hilarious because I constantly hear people saying, “Oh I’m this way because I’m a 5,” (or whatever number they are on the spectrum). As if everyone knows what every # represents!

Because I’m a career coach, I received a little criticism for my support of the comedian’s post.

This criticism gave me the green light to write this blog post. It’s one I’ve been wanting to write for some time.

In the same week of coming across the Enneagram spoof, I met with a potential client who’s deciding which career coach to hire. She mentioned to me how one of the other career coaches she talked with wanted to start her off with several batteries of assessments.

I explained to her how my approach is different. When I told her why I don’t use a lot of career assessments, I could see the relief in her face. Her response was, “Thank goodness!”

My personal philosophy on career assessments

My services are geared toward those who are mid-career and are looking to make a career change. They’re tired of being treated like a number in their current job or company.

The last thing I want to do is make them feel even more like a number. (Or some kind of code they can’t remember.)

Instead, I want them to feel heard.

And what many of them are saying is,

“I’ve done assessments in the past and didn’t find them helpful at all.”

Also, I’ve noticed two major issues with doing career assessments when working with my target market.

Issue #1

First, when clients who’ve been in one job or industry for a while (like most of my clients have been) and are wanting to make a career change, they’re mindset is so accustomed to and entrenched in their current role.

When this is the case, their assessment results become skewed.

They’re responding to questions based only on what they’ve been used to for several years. Therefore, their results often point toward a suggestion to pursue the same kind of work they’re trying to leave.

This can be very disappointing and frustrating for these clients. They feel like the assessments are telling them they’re limited in their value and abilities and have very few options.

This makes them feel even more stuck in their careers when their goal is to get unstuck!

Issue #2

Second, the assessments designed to suggest possible career options don’t include all the newly-created jobs available in today’s job market.

Because job creation is happening so quickly due to rapid advances in this age, these assessments can’t keep up in order to provide a full picture of one’s potential.

And they don’t include quickly growing alternatives such as gig economy roles, side hustles, “solopreneur” opportunities, and more.

Because of this, many career assessments can be very limiting.

By the time my clients come to me, they’ve felt the negative effects of the limiting beliefs they’ve already imposed upon themselves. They don’t need anything else to limit them right now.

career assessments

Nobody wants to be treated like a number

My focus is helping people pursue their passions.

Instead of bombarding my clients with a battery of assessments in the beginning, I prefer to make the client feel like a person instead of a number.

I do this by getting to know them and listening to their concerns.

Then I help them discover their personal brand and develop a mission statement that’s authentic to who they are. (I provide this process in my latest book.)

Together we brainstorm the ideas they’ve pushed deep down because society told them their dreams were impractical.

I help my clients explore how they can incorporate their passions in their lives.

Are their limiting beliefs real or perceived? If it’s not realistic to pursue their passions as a career, can they find an outlet for them in other areas of their lives?

The point is to first let them dream big without restricting them. Then we sift through their ideas for the ones that are viable career options.

Then, and only then, will I recommend certain career assessments if necessary.

It’s about being intentional without adding another layer of limits for the client.

Things to remember

This approach isn’t for everyone. There are some people who do want or need to take a lot of assessments. I’ve just not found this to be true with the majority of my niche market.

To you who choose to start with a lot of career assessments or are working with a coach who requires them, I recommend always taking your results with a grain of salt. Remember these three things:

  • Understand your mood and stress level at the time of taking the assessment can affect your results.
  • Never allow the results to label you or limit you in any way.
  • Resist the urge to use your results as an excuse for your behavior (i.e. “Oh, I’m this way because I’m a ‘6’ and that’s just who I am.”)

Use of career assessments in the interview process

You need to also know companies shouldn’t make hiring decisions based solely on your results of any assessment.

I had a client who interviewed for a job she was highly qualified for. The company had her jump through a lot of hoops in the interview process. She excelled in each challenge.

They told her she pretty much had the job, but still needed to take a personality assessment to round out her interview process.

When they saw her results they were no longer interested in her and she didn’t get the job offer.

Of course she couldn’t prove their decision was based only on her results of the personality assessment. But it appeared to be true.

Regardless, she felt discriminated against because of a little code from one simple test.

Since it was a small start-up without a fully-developed HR department, the people conducting the interview probably had no clue it’s not kosher to make hiring decisions based solely on personality assessment results.

If you’re ever in a similar situation, ask if their HR manager has approved the use of the assessment in the interview process and ask how the results will be used in making hiring decisions. Ask these questions prior to taking the assessment.

Do you want to be treated like a person instead of a number?

Remember the potential client trying to decide which career coach to hire? She just signed a contract with me because she said my approach gives her hope since it’s not as “cookie-cutter” as the others.

Do you want to be treated like a person instead of a number? Are you more interested in real results instead of just assessment results? If you answered yes, take a moment and complete the paNASH intake form. You’ll soon be on your way to a career coaching experience that’s truly unique.

Subscribe to the paNASH newsletter to receive updates on the release of my next book, Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.

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