Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!

Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!

Career Growth: How To Set Yourself Up For Success!

Career Growth and Transition Tips 

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. When it comes to talking about career growth and how to use this time productively, there is a lot you can do without making big drastic lifestyle changes. 

This is a great opportunity to take time to explore your options, make decisions, and prepare yourself to take steps towards your ideal future! As an online career counselor, I wanted to give you some activities that you could explore to help you find clarity about career growth and career transitions while also tackling that looming feeling of “Where do I go next?”

Take Your Time: Reflect

Whether you are out of work, working from home, staggering shifts, or continuing work as essential personal, create a space for you to tune in to yourself and reflect on your career beliefs. 

Be intentional while thinking and answering the below questions, taking note of the answers that you come up with or that feel scary to admit. This is a beautiful space to begin wondering about your career growth choices and figuring out what feels like the best next step for you.

Ask yourself:
Am I happy with my current employment situation?
What would I want to change about it?
What’s most important to me when it comes to career options?
What would I like out of my career? 

Think about things such as:
When would be a good time to pursue this?
What does it take to achieve this goal?
Where do I see myself in this job?

Write down the pros and cons of transitioning careers. Some things might be both a pro and a con! Go through and give each topic a point value between 1 and 5. With 1 being the lowest importance. 

By attributing a value system to your list, it can help you recognize what’s most important for you right now.

Do Your Research

So you’ve taken the chance to reflect on your beliefs and desires; congratulations! As a career coach and individual therapist, I view taking time to reflect on big life transitions as a huge area of potential. 

It takes a lot of courage to think about change and what might feel uncomfortable. 

Take a moment to write a list of 5 different career options that seem interesting to you. Remember, writing them down does not mean you have to pursue them! 

Take the list you’ve created and search them individually at both of these sites: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/ and https://www.onetonline.org/

These sites are helpful in providing details such as; demand for the job, pay range, qualifications, as well as other related positions. Give yourself permission to go down a rabbit hole and explore things that look interesting to you!

Update Your Professional Information

Think about what resources need to be updated to appeal to your ideal or prospective job. Some jobs use social media more than others, some are more focused on your resume and cover letter

Put yourself in a hiring manager position and think about what they might want to see out of a prospective applicant. Linkedin, Indeed, and even Instagram and Facebook can be media sources your future employer might want to review (depending on the job of course). 

Keep your profiles up to date to reflect YOU! Let your personality shine through. Yes, employers want to see your accomplishments but they also want to see who you are! 

Go through and tailor your profile for the job you want – cutting out redundant content, elaborating on your accomplishments, and creating uniformity throughout your profile.

Your Resume Matters! 6 Useful Resume Tips

Updating and keeping up with your resume is critical to pursuing the job you want. Most jobs are looking for a one page ‘summary’ on your professional experience. Make sure your resume looks clean, consistent, and easy to read. [If you want to work with a professional, view here is information on connecting with an expert resume and interview coach: Resume Writing Services in Denver | Online Resume Consultant]

  1. Keep important information on your resume that applies to your ideal position while omitting information that might not be completely relevant. I like to keep a ‘full length’ resume that I can copy and paste my experience in and out of.
  2. Highlight aspects that might be important to the job. For instance, if the job you are applying for is in education, it might be important to highlight your academic accomplishments. (If you are applying to jobs in several fields, it might be handy to keep a couple of different versions of your resume like, professional, service industry, education, etc. on hand.)
  3. If you are looking to apply to a specific job, look through the job description, and incorporate keywords into your resume. Hiring managers are looking for those keywords and this can help you organize your experience.
  4. Use concise summaries of your experience using bullet points and action words that match the tense. For example, if you are currently working as an office assistant you might use: “Organizes specialized data spreadsheets.” If you are not currently working there, go back through and change ‘organize’ to a past tense verb.
  5. Formatting should be consistent throughout your document including font, text size, punctuation, dates, etc.. Keep an eye on small things such as; are there periods at the end of every sentence? Is the date format consistent throughout (03/2020 vs March 2020)?
  6. Find someone you trust such as a mentor, professor, or career coach to review your resume and give you feedback.

Some positions require a Curriculum Vitae (CV) or you might have the option to submit a CV in place of a resume. 

A CV is an extended version of your resume that expands on your life accomplishments and academic pursuits. Unlike a resume, which typically is only 1 page, a CV can be as long as you would like. 

Keeping an up to date CV allows you to track your accomplishments, awards, certifications, and projects that you’ve worked hard to accomplish. Here’s a good guide to writing a CV:

https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/job_search_writing/resumes_and_vitas/writing_the_cv.html

Time To Upskill Yourself

Due to the pandemic, companies know there are a lot of people with more time on their hands. Take time to think about what skills your current or next job is looking for. If you have the time and means, take a course or a training to update or learn a new skill that will contribute to your career growth. 

These could be courses from your local college, classes taught online through your field’s board, or one you found through Google. This can be valuable information when going into an interview or preparing to get a new job. 

Financial security is also important to consider during this time. There are ways to upskill yourself for free. Khan Academy offers free courses on several subjects. Plus, there’s no harm in looking! 

Many public libraries have opened up their online databases and have made it more accessible to read Ebooks. Look at your local library and find a book relating to the subject you’d like to learn more about. 

While reading, take notes. It might seem silly but taking notes can help you retain information. 

Youtube can also be a great resource for free information and techniques. Make sure you are looking for credible information in whichever free course you choose. 

It might seem like the world is in a standstill in terms of employment. Although there might be a freeze currently, this pause creates a great opportunity to reflect and spend time with your thoughts about career growth. 

Our professional life is always changing and developing and sometimes it can be easy to lose sight of that. I want to encourage you to be kind to yourself during this time and give yourself permission to explore those ideas that may have gotten tucked away.

Wishing you success,
Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC

 

P.S. If you have recently lost your job, you’re not alone. For helpful tips and encouragement read: Coping With Job Loss and article focused on self-care, career-care, and hope. 

Denver Career Coach Online Career Counselor Therapist in Broomfield Online Therapy

Megan Brice, M.S., LPCC, NCC is a career counselor, life coach and therapist who creates a warm environment for you to explore the depths of who you are, so you can grow. She challenges, encourages, and empowers you to embrace transition in order to create future fulfillment.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

Resiliency In The Face Of Chaos

COVID-19 is scary, but what we are experiencing as a community is encouraging and empowering. Online therapist and life coach, Megan Brice MS, LPCC, shares tips for building resiliency in the face of chaos. Read here…

Coping With Job Loss

Coping With Job Loss

Coping With Job Loss

Unexpected Job Loss

As of March, 18th 2020 the US government officials are concerned that due to COVID-19 US unemployment could reach 20%. State unemployment websites have crashed as applications surge, leaving job seekers coping with job loss amidst a sea of questions.

Unexpected job loss is something many Americans are either currently experiencing or are concerned with.

If you recently lost your job, you are not alone. This is happening to many people in the US and globally. After losing your job your mind might go immediately to main concerns like loss of finances and security. This is understandable. I encourage you while balancing serious concerns, to also be open to finding some perspective in this experience. It is possible for you to successfully manage this sensitive time in your life.

As an Online Career Counselor & Coach, I work often with people who unexpectedly find themselves jobless and feeling like their world has just been turned upside-down. When you suddenly lose employment you can start to question everything that you felt secure in previously. If these negative thoughts are left unmanaged, you could suffer long-term issues of self-image, confidence, hypervigilance, and increased anxiety.

For those who find themselves jobless, you are not doomed to a life of suffering. Instead, you actually have a lot of power in this experience, but you have to be willing to use it. You can recover and more importantly, you can thrive again.

How to Cope with Unexpected Job Loss

Slow Down and Process the Emotions

“A Plan B life can be just as good or better than a Plan A life.” – Shannon Alder

So much of coping with an unexpected job loss is letting go of what we thought our life was supposed to look like. We plan our lives based around the ideals of a career, and when we lose this pillar in our life we can feel lost.

It’s okay to feel disappointed, stunned, sad, and confused. This is completely normal. Life rarely goes according to plan, even when we really want it to. Allow yourself time to grieve this loss. That’s healthy. What’s not healthy is allowing the loss to overcome you; to turn job loss into a broader statement around who you are as a person.

By giving yourself time to process the feelings of loss and understanding your anxieties, you can open yourself up to being more honest with all of your feelings. Instead of feeling only fear and anxiety about your job loss, you can start opening up to seeing the bigger picture. 

This job loss might have had nothing to do with you, rather it was an outcome of economics, poor management, or a million other reasons. The main point here is to be honest in how you are evaluating your circumstances.

If there is something you think you could have done to improve – be honest with yourself. If there is something you had no control over – be honest about that too. Giving yourself compassion with your emotional experience is an important part of building trust within yourself.

Create a Timeline, Prepare, and Adjust Behaviorally

If I could give you one piece of advice – it would be: take a couple of days off. Take time away from ruminating about what happened or what your next steps are going to be. Slow down for a moment in time before you collect yourself to get back on your journey. This would be a perfect time to take a rest stop.

This can be hard for some who define themselves by their career. You can feel a strong urge to attach yourself to a new job as soon as possible. But making rash decisions due to anxiety can impact your career longer-term. Not only could you find yourself in a career path that you don’t enjoy, but you’ll also be enforcing the concept that you don’t have control in your career. Rather, you are making decisions based on fears. This will keep you functioning at your lowest level – survival.

After you take a break, ground yourself in your timeline. Ask yourself how you can best position yourself to get through this career rut, as well as how to launch yourself into your successful career future. This might mean you take time to fully evaluate your current career path. What are you willing to change? What are you not willing to compromise in your career?

Lastly, be an informed worker. Take a look at Occupational Outlook Handbook website. This website offers information on most careers and is an invaluable resource when researching aspects of a career including salary ranges, educational experience required, and details of what to expect on the job.

If you need more support you can also work with a Career Coach who will guide you through your experiences and interests to help you find a career path you feel most aligns with who you see yourself as.

Check-in Mentally, Encourage an Empowered Mindset

If there is one thing we could all probably agree on, it’s that things change. And if there’s one thing I know as a Licensed Professional Counselor, it’s that people don’t like change. 

When change occurs, especially when we don’t have control over it, we can feel resistant to accepting the new norms. The longer we take to accept the reality of change, the longer we stay stuck. If you can accept that things are no longer going back to the way they were, the quicker you can make adaptations to prepare yourself for your future.

One way to do this is by checking in with the way in which you are framing the situation in your head (aka your self-talk). If your self-talk is repeatedly framing your situation in a disempowered/resistant mindset – you most likely will stay trapped in the resistance, making movements forward feel extremely difficult.

I invite you to allow yourself to be empowered while jobless. Try to reframe your thoughts to be surrounded around opportunity and new chances rather than fears as you begin coping with job loss.

For instance, a disempowered/resistant mindset looks like this:

“What’s the point of looking for something, no one’s hiring.”

By listening to this thought, you are choosing to believe that anything new is not sufficient. The new norm could never be as good as the past.

A healthy, empowered mindset looks like this:

“I’m going to see what opportunities are out there for me. I’m not sure what’s out there but if there is something, it will be me who finds it.”

By choosing to take the empowered approach you are being honest about what you don’t know yet and what you are willing to do to figure out how to adapt. It’s not overly optimistic or pessimistic – rather it’s based in reality and your will to try and find your way in unknown territory.

Know This…

You are not alone. There is no need to feel shame. You can recover.

Wishing you success,
Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC

Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC mission is to help you create authentic happiness and satisfaction in your life, your relationships, and your career. She supports you to create a deeper connection with others, find clarity and direction, and actualize your life’s purpose.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career

Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career

Find Your Focus: 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career

Be Prepared…Even In A Crisis

As an Online Career Coach, Clients are asking me, “Are companies hiring now?” The answer is definitely, Yes! Companies are still hiring AND it is true that the future of the job market is a big unknown right now. If you want to get ahead, you need to find your focus now.

The truth is, many companies and a lot of industries will suffer, while others will still grow and continue to hire. As people begin to recognize the thriving companies, competition will drastically increase. It’s important to find your focus now and get ahead of the competition

To assist you on this journey, I have put together my 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career, but first, I want to discuss how to find your focus while job searching, working from home, and preparing for your next career move.

Find Your Focus – While Job Searching

The best thing you can do is be proactive. To find your focus while job searching, here are 3 key things you can do to get ahead and take charge of your job search.

  1. Target industries and companies that are growing despite the outbreak
  2. Be proactive by leveraging Linkedin to increase visibility and network online
  3. Be polite and persistent with your follow-ups and show empathy during the interview process

Find Your Focus – While Working From Home

If you are working from home and adjusting to a virtual work culture and wondering, “How do I get motivated and stay productive?” My answer is, “First, give yourself some grace, as you adjust to a remote work environment, which requires flexibility and adaptability.”

To find your focus while working from home, recreate your day by breaking it into three blocks of time. For example, Morning (from the time you wake up until Noon), Afternoon (Noon – 5pm), and Evening (5pm until the time you go to bed). 

Focus on managing only one block at a time by identifying your work responsibilities as well as your personal needs. Do your best to pace yourself and create balance. If you don’t get something done, let it go so you don’t fall into the habit of carrying it with you for the rest of your day or week. 

If you would like more advice on working from home, read: Working from Home: Be More Productive & Meet Your Deadlines!

Find Your Focus – While Preparing For Your Next Career Move

Here is how you can find your focus if you are unemployed, laid off, furloughed and wondering, “What do I do now?”

My answer is, “Once you have secured your unemployment benefits, turn your attention to the things that are within your control.”

Focus on things you can control right now in your job search, not on the things you can not. 

Things You Can Control:

Take action. Continue to develop and manage your job search action plan. Don’t yet have one? Now is the time to create one. Assign activities and for each day/week and work to address them systematically leaving room for adjustment as needed.

Prepare. A robust job search revolves around preparation. Take advantage of quieter times to reassess and update career tools, do research, or make virtual outreach with connections. 

Commitment. No need to take your foot off the gas, unless of course, circumstances warrant it (you fall ill or have other pressing family needs). Avoid distractions or an urge to sit back and wait. Remaining on top of job search tasks and outreach may put you at an advantage.

Emotions. If you are starting to feel overly anxious or overwhelmed, reach out for help. Speak to a licensed therapist or career coach about how you are feeling and take a break. It is healthy to build breaks into your job search activities (go for a walk, read a good book, listen to music, take a nap).

7 Simple Steps To Your Dream Career

Regardless of the unique situation you find yourself in, we are all dealing with a heightened level of stress, anxiety and uncertainty that not only impacts our livelihood, but also our health, safety, and general well-being.

There’s a TON of information circulating in the media – some good, some bad, some true, some false and it can feel overwhelming to say the least. When overwhelmed we can easily become paralyzed and do nothing, or do things that just aren’t productive or helpful in caring for ourselves and our future. 

As a licensed mental health professional and online career coach, I am not immune to the stress and anxiety that is fueling many of our reactions and decisions during these uncertain times. However, I am grateful for my coping skills and career tools to help me channel this frenetic energy into creating resources for my clients so that they can THRIVE! 

With that said, I have compiled 7 Simple Steps to Your Dream Career that I hope will boost your spirits, help you take charge during this time of crisis, and find your focus again. 

Slow Down, Re-evaluate, And Find Clarity

This pandemic is forcing us to use the resources we have in a creative way as we are pushed out of our comfort zones. This can bring to light new opportunities and ways of doing things that are more aligned with our strengths and values.

Get clear on the value you add (think outside the box). This is the BEST time to plan to be on top once the crisis is over.

Reframe Worry And Concern As Opportunity

Getting involved in serving others can boost your spirits and be a healthy distraction from the constant state of worry and concern. 

How can you look for opportunities to support others (businesses, communities, and industries)?
What do they need right now and how can you provide value at the greatest time of need? 

Invest In Yourself

This is one of the best times to invest in yourself. Learn new skills, take online courses, start projects, listen to podcasts, and focus on strengthening your mindset.

Stay positive and keep your head up!

Keep Your Options Open

Do not leave jobs out of desperation and do not take jobs out of desperation. Uncertainty can lead people to do things they may not normally do. 

You may feel as if you have to take a job that you aren’t happy with or a job that pays significantly less. Keep your options open and think about what is best for you long term as you are making decisions.

Reallocate Your Time

Are you buying back time since you no longer have a commute? The job market is evolving rapidly, if you want to get results you have to act now. 

Define your job search process, create a daily schedule and stick to it, update your resume, optimize your LinkedIn profile, and create a list of contacts that you want to network with. 

Be Adaptable, Flexible, And Patient

Know that job searching almost always takes longer than you think.

Putting together a great resume can take a professional resume writer a whole week; putting together a well-researched target company list can take days; setting networking appointments can take weeks and that’s under normal circumstances!

Stay Relevant And Prepare

If you’re preparing for an interview you’ll want to feel confident in talking about how you’re thriving through this situation. 

For example, “What did you do to control your “controllables?” “How did you handle the things you couldn’t control?” 

Be prepared to have your phone and video conference interviewing skills honed. Make sure you know how to use the equipment to conduct the interview. Do a test run with a friend. 

Be prepared for a longer than normal hiring process as employers have to base their data through the camera lens versus in-person. They may want to bring you into the office to meet you and that may take time.

Find Your Focus – Prepare But Don’t Panic

I get it, everything is so uncertain right now and it can be very nerve-wracking! I would caution you to filter what information you are consuming and if you notice your anxiety level increasing, take a break and catch your breath. 

Setting your phone down or not checking the news for a couple of hours offers a much-needed reprieve from the stress of current events.

During this time prepare but don’t panic. Think about what you need to do now to find your focus and give yourself security and peace. Maybe that’s managing your mental health, supporting your personal growth, designing a career plan, updating your resume and LinkedIn profile, connecting with recruiters in your industry, amping up your online networking efforts, or engaging more with your current connections. 

You don’t want to be blindsided and it’s not disloyal to your current employer to take the necessary precautions to manage your own career.

Please know that professional support is available to you! You don’t have to figure it all out on your own and having a career coach can help you gain the clarity you need to move forward and plan for a bright future. 

Stay safe, healthy and well,
Teena Evert MA, LMFT, BCC, CCTC, CCC, GCDF, CDBS

Teena Evert MA, LMFT, BCC, CCTC, CCC, GCDF, CDBS is a certified career coach, conversational intelligence coach, and licensed therapist who specializes in helping her clients create greater clarity, confidence, happiness, and success in their life and career. If you are stuck, recently graduated, dreaming of a career change and don’t know where to start, in need of interview preparation or a resume and personal branding critique, she can help.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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A Self-Care Plan to Cultivate Calm

A Self-Care Plan to Cultivate Calm

You plan your day, meetings, outings, grocery list, and events – but are you taking the time to plan your self-care? We are all busy, but forgetting to take care of yourself is a sure-fire way to burnout and neglect your personal health. Here is a self-care checklist from a therapist and life coach who understands wanting to “balance it all.”

How to Stay Motivated

How to Stay Motivated

How to Stay Motivated

The Battle Within Us All…

Here’s the thing about motivation: It’s not just something that “is” or “isn’t.” Motivation is a force that you cultivate a relationship with. You have to nurture it in specific ways in order to keep it with you.

And also, interestingly, when motivation seems to be absent it’s not necessarily. It’s just that an opposing force has taken its place and is currently in control. 

It’s weird to think about, but it’s true. We have competing goals, all the time. When we’re motivated and taking action towards our conscious goals, we feel good. But we have other goals that are not conscious. And we have other forces in ourselves that often overpower motivation. 

Gaining self awareness about those competing forces inside of you (inside us all) can help you understand what’s happening when you’re getting off track and feeling completely unmotivated, so that you reconnect with your motivation when you want to or need to.

First, let’s talk about what this power struggle looks like in action. Here’s what those opposing forces show up like within me. Can you relate? Or are yours different?

The Power-Struggle Between Motivation and Instant Gratification

Immediate Gratification sees an opening. It elbows its way past Motivation, to grab the wheel at the helm of my mind.

Sometimes, when Immediate Gratification is in charge, it steers me towards a lagoon of lounging around, and making ambitious lists of things I never do (which is a very satisfying substitute for actual activity). Sometimes we careen back and forth between small, time-frittering tasks. Sometimes we drift along, scrolling… scrolling… scrolling. Sometimes it has me impulsively make cookies, which is kind of fun. But we usually just scroll.

Sometimes we sail madly for The Emergency of the Day, firing off emails and phone calls in every direction, and that’s very exciting — but never actually connected to anything truly meaningful or important. Sometimes I am marooned on a sandbar of stalled time where fifteen, thirty minutes slide by when I could be something productive but instead am sipping tea and “researching” something that seems inexplicably important at the time but never really is. (How, exactly, are star sapphires formed? I can tell you…)

I am relieved when Motivation finally frees itself from whatever dark corner of the bilge it’s been temporarily trapped in, and strides back in to re-assert it’s authority. I’m saved.

Immediate Gratification chews it’s nails and watches Motivation spread the chart out on the table, plot points with sliding rulers, take notes, perform elaborate calculations with sextants and compasses, and then competently steer me towards an attractive destination.

When Motivation is in charge it prods me to get up at uncivilized hours and do important things I’d not otherwise have time to. It compels me to exert myself, tolerate discomfort, set boundaries around distractions and move forward every day. Immediate Gratification pretends to stand respectfully in the distance, but has a long fishing pole with shiny lures on the end that occasionally dangle in front of my face: Online shopping, trip-planning, the (never true) idea that Something Really Important is happening in the world so I should check my phone right now. Motivation swats them away, keeping the other hand steady on the wheel and eyes on the horizon.

Does this sound familiar? I bet — This struggle lives inside us all. Your counter-point to Motivation might be different. For me it’s definitely Immediate Gratification. For you it might be The Sloth, or Miss Comfy-Pants, or Mr. FOMO. Does not actually matter how this shows up, just that you know how it shows up inside of you so that you’re prepared to deal with it when you need to.

3 Tips to Help You Stay Motivated

Here’s what I’ve learned over the years about how to keep Motivation in charge most of the time. (And also how to have it be okay to intentionally be unmotivated for a little while if I need to be).

1) Make Friends With Anxiety

Tony Robbins (love you Tony) astutely pointed out that we’re motivated not just by anticipation of positive reward, but by clear understanding of the negative consequences of our actions. This is supported by research in the study of motivation and persuasion. Fear is a powerful motivator.

We (and by “we” I do mean “I”) can lull ourselves into believing that when Immediate Gratification or The Sloth is in charge, it’s really okay. It’s fine. You can spend an afternoon watching the entire series of some dumb show or adding and removing random things from an Amazon cart because it’s just fine.

But what’s actually true is that what we put effort and energy into every day creates our future reality. So indulging Immediate Gratification really equals Future Failure to meet our goals. I’ve found it helpful to also attach a mental image / persona to “Future Failure.”

My own personal vision of Future Failure is a version of me who is basically an exhausted, anxious mess who is always late and who can never find her keys. (I’ll let you have fun imagining your own Future Failure persona — enjoy.)

It also helps to have a self concept that is absolutely not Future Failure. Knowing that the real you is competent, effective, and generally has your crap together is a useful point of contrast.

But the power lies in this part: Envisioning Future Failure and then linking that negative vision to something pleasurable (like watching TV). Doing so “reframes” the activity in not just an intellectual way… but an emotional one.

Reminding yourself that: “Future Failure would totally sit here for five more hours and watch this entire season. But I’m not Future Failure. I’m generally competent and effective. I know that I’m not just watching TV, I’m loosing the opportunity to [insert important goal here], or feel competent and effective. Choosing to watch TV instead of doing what I know I actually need to do means that I’m choosing to not feel good about myself or my outcomes.

Watching TV is not a benign activity when it’s a conscious decision to fail or embrace something you don’t want. When it becomes associated with unpleasantness and failure instead of pleasure, you’ll feel less comfortable with it. Miss Comfy-Pants doesn’t seem quite as comfy anymore. Then it’s easier to reconnect with Motivation. (Motivation doesn’t watch a lot of Netflix, in case you’ve guessed).

Anxiety gets a bad rap. To be a little anxious is a good thing. Go ahead and worry about what will happen if you DON’T follow through. Immediate Gratification will seem less like a laid-back friendly buddy, and more like a flaky, chain-smoking neer-do-well with trembling hands. You’ll run right into the arms of clean-cut, trustworthy Motivation. And bask in his/her/it’s approval as you competently and effectively do the darn dishes already.

2) Don’t Get Exhausted or Confused

I don’t know about you, but I’ve noticed that when Immediate Gratification takes over it’s because I’m either tired, or because I don’t know what to do next.

That awareness helps me 1) Not beat myself up for getting off track once in awhile and 2) Regroup. Because in the ebb and flow of motivation, sometimes you really do need to rest and re-group before moving forward again.

Motivation will flag if you get burnt-out. It is not a reasonable expectation to stay motivated all the time. And if you do get a surge of motivation, don’t go crazy and try to achieve big huge goals quickly.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Build time for rest and renewal into your day, every day. Just stay the course and keep working towards your goal a little bit every day too.

But you’re not going to be perfect all the time. You can be laser-focused and achieve an important goal and then…. Drift for a little while. And then sooner or later you’ll look around and say “Hey. What am I doing?” and then you’ll have to reconnect with Motivation.

This requires looking at your map again, to see where you are in the arc of progress. This is why it’s so important to have written goals, and a clear plan of action to refer back to. This is especially true when you have a big goal with lots of twists and turns.

You can make a lot of progress, but you will periodically falter. At those moments you need to pause and re-orient yourself as to where you are now and what needs to happen next. Without that clarity Immediate Gratification will jump right in, swing the wheel around and head for Vegas.

3) Do a Little Bit Every Day

In order to keep Motivation in charge long-term, you must intentionally check in with it every day. You need to have conversations with it. You need to have a relationship with it, and take influence and guidance from it. This helps you stay committed to Motivation and less inclined to get jumped by The Sloth or Instant Gratification.

They’ll still whisper at you like the conduct-disordered teenage friends you had in junior high who were always trying to get you to do morally questionable things with them, but you will be able to say, “Nah guys, I’m busy” when you had a huddle with Motivation first.

The way I maintain my relationship with Motivation is by journaling. I just check in with myself: “What’s the most important thing for me to be doing today?” And then write about it for a few minutes. I often re-write my goals in order to keep track of what I’m doing and why. When there’s an ebb in motivation, or when I loose track of The Most Important Next Step, this moment of touching base re-orients me and helps me prioritize my time.

But the single most important thing I’ve found is to create a routine where time for me to work on my goal is blocked out every single day. It is much more important for you (us) to work consistently than it is to do huge amazing things once in awhile. Twenty minutes of jumping around in front of a work-out video every morning is much more effective than a big heroic three-hour work out once a week.

When you work a little bit every day, you know what to do, and you have the time to do it. You don’t have to start over every time you re-engage with a project. You don’t have to re-motivate yourself. You just stay the course.

Bottom Line

So: Go forth and cultivate a little anxiety, don’t over do it on any given day, check in with Motivation and “The Plan” frequently, and create routines that support progress. Also, be kind to yourself. It is 100% okay to indulge a little instant gratification, or sloth-ness, or comfy-pants wearing sometimes. It could be that those parts of you are also healthy and good, and helping you get other important needs met like the need to relax, rest, and unwind. Those are not bad things. 

There’s light and dark in all things, and the key to long-term happiness and success is finding balance through it all. 

I hope these ideas, mental strategies, and Jedi mind-tricks help you cultivate a healthy balance between the competing forces inside of you.

Let me know how it goes!

xoxo, Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Stocking Up On Emotional Intelligence

Stocking Up On Emotional Intelligence

Stocking Up On Emotional Intelligence

Your Newest Job Description: 

To navigate the reality of social distancing, school, restaurant, and gym closures. To work within an uncertain economy with nearly 100% of your interactions online, no quick hallway meetings, no getting together to share ideas at the coffee shop, no happy hours after work. This job will include working in an uncertain economy with little-to-no travel; conference attendance not allowed. Oh, and stocking up on emotional intelligence!

Sound familiar? As an online therapist and a certified emotional intelligence coach, I have some good news for you. You can continue to work on your success even in this new and challenging time by stocking up on emotional intelligence. 

Today I want to share with you four areas of emotional intelligence that will help set you up for success now so that when things are back to “normal” you’ll be ready to tackle your career goals and build better, lasting professional and personal relationships. 

Here are four focal points when stocking up on emotional intelligence:

Resilience

Resilience is a big necessity and you’re going to need to develop a lot of this. The American Psychological Association defines this as the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. These stressors include family and relationship problems, serious health problems, and workplace or financial stressors. Resilience ultimately means “bouncing back” from difficult experiences.

Resilience will help you recover from and adjust more easily to misfortune, change and life’s many challenges.

My colleague, Toni Qualantone, wrote an article outlining how you can build resilience and better adapt to change. Check it out here for more on stocking up on emotional intelligence through building Resilience: Resilience, How to Adapt to Change.

Perseverance

You need perseverance to take you to the end of the task. It is the energy and drive, the tenacity and focus to see your challenge through.

Perseverance requires self-compassion, patience, and transparency. Know that it’s okay to have hard days and that you will get through them. Be patient with yourself and your progress, change doesn’t typically happen overnight. And above everything else, be transparent and honest with yourself. 

Honesty with where you are and where you want to be will allow you to better prepare yourself for the coming challenges on your journey to success. 

Empathy and Compassion

Don’t leave (or better) stay home without empathy and compassion. Understanding and caring about the world your friends, family, and colleagues are dealing with matters. It creates solid and meaningful connections that will sustain you over time.

If you want better relationships, empathy and compassion are required to build lasting connections. 

“To have a sense of another’s anxiety, hurt, or joy is a pre-requisite of being able to understand them. Without the context of feelings, people are often mystifying. Understanding feelings is like being at the theater and seeing the stage, props, and costumes of a play—it provides the setting for the words and actions of others to make sense. Empathy is a fundamental skill of Emotional Intelligence, as well as the foundation of evidence-based marriage counseling and approaches like Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.” – Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

Excerpt from Empathy: The Key to Connection and Communication

Motivation

A must-have when stocking up on emotional intelligence is motivation. Motivation is the personal drive to improve and achieve. The new reality of work may look and feel different right now but your commitment to goals, showing initiative, and optimism should not.

It’s hardly easy to focus on these ideas when worry and fear, uncertainty and disappointment surround you. 

Know that there will be days that are tougher than others to keep up an emotionally intelligent approach to these challenges. And that’s okay. Your job right now is to continue stocking up on emotional intelligence, and reaching out when you need a little support.

With Kindness,
Linda Pounds, M.A., LMFT 

P.S. How are you preparing for and developing your personal growth for success? Share with me in the comment below!

Linda Pounds, M.A., LMFT is a relationship expert with years of experience as a marriage counselor, executive coach, leadership coach, and emotional intelligence coach. She’s here to help you cultivate positive relationships in every area of your life.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Coronavirus & Career: How We Make This Work — Advice From a Career Coach

Job Loss? Worried About Your Career? Working From Home? 

ADVICE FROM A CAREER COACH | In addition to everything else in your life being upended by the coronavirus pandemic, you probably have a slew of new “coronavirus career anxieties” in addition to the usual coronavirus anxiety that’s buzzing inside everyone right now.

Many people are very worried about their career future right now. Many jobs have been lost to coronavirus, and with the threat of recession, there may be more layoffs to come. (Read: Coping With a Layoff) For those among us lucky enough to have stable employment, we now figure out how to maintain our professionalism via online video meetings, work from home while balancing childcare, homeschooling and more.

In times like these it’s absolutely normal to be worried about work, and help is here.

Advice From a Career Coach

I’ve reached out to two of my colleagues here at Growing Self: Therapist and career coach Markie Keelan, M.A., LPC, and resume writer and interview coach extraordinaire Allison Aranda. 

Markie and Allison have been gracious enough to share their career advice around:

  • What to do if you lost your job
  • How to get a bridge job right now if you need one
  • How to use this time to develop yourself professionally and make long term career plans
  • How to protect your long-term career goals from coronavirus, if they’re getting derailed right now
  • Managing anxiety about your career
  • Best practices when working from home for online video meetings
  • Balancing work and life when you’re working from home
  • And more!

 

Join Markie, Allison and I for some timely coronavirus career advice on this episode of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast. 

xoxo, 

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby, Markie Keelan & Allison Aranda

PS: One of the resources we mentioned to help you stay in a good place emotionally during all this is our online coronavirus support group. Here’s the link, if you’re interested.

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Protect Your Career From Coronavirus: Advice From a Career Coach

by Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby | Love, Happiness & Success

Music Credits: Mr. & Mrs. Smith, “Gravy Train”

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Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is the founder and clinical director of Growing Self Counseling and Coaching. She’s the author of “Exaholics: Breaking Your Addiction to Your Ex Love,” and the host of The Love, Happiness & Success Podcast.

Let’s  Talk

 

 

Real Help, To Move You Forward

 

Everyone experiences challenges, but only some people recognize these moments as opportunities for growth and positive change.

 

 

Working with an expert therapist or life coach can help you understand yourself more deeply, get a fresh perspective, grow as a person, and become empowered to create positive change in yourself, your relationships and your life.

 

 

Start your journey of growth today by scheduling a free consultation.

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