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

 

 

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Feeling Trapped? How to Get Unstuck

Feeling Trapped? How to Get Unstuck

Feeling Trapped? How to Get Unstuck

Feeling Trapped By Life? Learn How to Set Yourself Free…

 

Do You Feel Trapped By Your Circumstances? If so, you’re not alone. I see it all the time: People who show up for growth-oriented online therapy and life coaching often do so because they feel trapped, they feel stuck, and they do not know how to move forward.

They say, in their first online coaching session, “I feel trapped in my job,” or “I feel trapped in my marriage,” or “I feel trapped by my life.” What they’re saying is, “I’m unhappy, but I do not see a path forward.” Although they desire change very much, it really feels like in every direction there is a barrier or an insurmountable obstacle. It’s like they have no good options. They are paralyzed.

So they sit on my couch (if we’re meeting for life coaching in Denver) or on my computer screen (if we’re meeting for online life coaching), feeling beaten down, helpless, tense, and often certain in the futility of any effort to create change.

Then, we talk. And we often talk a lot about the obstacles. The many, many obstacles:

  • A career coaching client talks about how much they hate their job but can’t find a different one for various reasons. Or not one that pays as well. Or that they don’t have to go back to school for. Or they’d be totally starting over.
  • A life coaching client might talk about how they want to change their habits but haven’t been successful yet so therefore they can’t ever be. Everything they try to do fails. They have stopped trusting themselves to implement changes, and do what needs to be done to create positive change. They have tried it all. Nothing works. They can’t xyz and have so many reasons why. They are stuck. S T U C K
  • A relationship coaching client needs me to know their relationship feels acrimonious, toxic, not emotionally safe, and not satisfying. Communication is terrible.  They want so much to love and be loved but feel helpless because their partner won’t change. But on the other side, getting divorced feels signing up for a whole new set of terrible problems. And the kids. And the money. And the heartbreak. They feel stuck in a bad relationship that they can’t fix, and they can’t leave.

What to Do When You’re Feeling Trapped

In all of these situations — while the specific circumstances leading these folks to feel trapped are different — the result is the same: It feels like the door to their ideal path has just slammed shut and now they are facing a wall. A high, high wall.

Emotionally, they feel helpless and that their problems feel too big to overcome. Every opportunity quickly becomes a snarl of more problems and negative outcomes, and paralysis takes over.

“Being stuck” becomes a purgatory, and as you can imagine, fertile ground for depression to sink roots and wrap them up in tight black vines of hopelessness. It’s hard to go through, and even as a therapist or coach (hi), it’s hard to watch.

Why does this happen? Most importantly, how do you move past feeling trapped and set yourself free?

Why You Feel Trapped: The “Black and White” Trap

The truth is that when I sit with my therapy or coaching clients, I become very, very aware that 1) their adverse circumstances are very real 2) they may not have great options, and they do have to make hard choices and — here’s the important part — 3) they have more options than they think they do.

If your immediate reaction to that last part was, “NO I DO NOT!” Please, hear me out.

In my experience as a therapist and life coach, and an empathic observer of humans, I have learned that there is a very specific way of thinking that inevitably intensifies feeling of being trapped, and will always make you feel helpless and overwhelmed by obstacles: black and white thinking.

Black and white thinking severely limits available options.

If you’re feeling paralyzed, stuck, or helpless there is a good chance that, at the core, and without even realizing it you might be engaging in “all or nothing” / “yes or no” / “this or that” /  black and white thinking.

When a black or white thought process is active, everything becomes an “either / or.”

“I need to get into this graduate program, but I can’t afford it so I’m destined stay in this unhappy career forever.”

“I’m going out on dates but not meeting people I feel a connection with so I’m going to die alone.”

“I must feel better in order to do something differently.”

“My partner needs to change or I can’t be happy.”

All options are starkly opposed in black and white, and have the power to either save or crush us completely. Words like, “Always,” “Have To,” “Can’t,” swirl inside your head. It’s exhausting.

Whenever someone gets into a stuck, helpless place its almost always because they perceive too few options. Things become polarized: Black and white, yes and no, good or bad.

They have more options than they think they do. It is actually never black or white. Even if they have to choose between two options, they still have a great deal of opportunity to cultivate differences in the way they think about those options, and the way they feel about this options.

But when people are feeling trapped, they do not see that. They can’t. And we’ve all been there: Stuck, disempowered, and feeling trapped.

The black and white mindset that underpins feeling trapped is why people so often need the support of a great, growth oriented therapist or a dynamic life coach to get unstuck. They are not trapped so much by their own circumstances, as they are by their own mental process. However, because we are all limited by our own perceptions, the mental walls we unknowingly create are very real, and very high. It is nearly impossible to scale them alone, without outside perspective.

Great therapy or coaching can sometimes reveal different options and solutions. But what it always does is help you create inner flexibility and a fresh perspective that sets you free from the inside out.

Many decades of research into cognitive-behavioral therapy have shown that the basis for much human suffering can be found in unhelpful ways of thinking. Also, that when people can cultivate more helpful ways of thinking they feel happier, more content and more empowered, whether or not they change their circumstances. (Though often, feeling better mentally and emotionally helps people create actual change).

This is important: Psychological health and happiness is found through mental flexibility, creativity, and openness.

There is always a middle path. When you tap into your own inner power and resources, you will find it. Then, you have so many more possibilities.

How To Liberate Yourself Mentally and Emotionally, When You’re Feeling Trapped

I am going to tell you a secret. I will preface this by saying I’m aware that what I’m about to say can feel impossible when you’re trapped in black and white thinking. If you can’t do this on your own, it’s a good call to connect with a therapist or coach who can help you do this. But here it is:

If you don’t like the options you currently have, insist on more.

Whether you believe this to be true, it is: You have more options than you know. Some of your options may be a bad idea. Some options may be fantastical. Some of your options may go against your core values. Some of them may be so ridiculous they are not even worth entertaining.

But under the heap of terrible, dumb, unthinkable options, there may be a few that are worth entertaining. But you can’t get to those options, unless you give yourself permission to be creative, be weird, think about things you don’t usually think about, and insist on more.

This openness to any and all options is the psychological process of liberating your mind from entrapment. Only when you can set yourself free psychologically, are you able to move forward literally.

Here’s an example:

Did you ever read the story when you were a kid about Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator? (It’s the sequel to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I know you’ve heard of).

Anyway. At the end of Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, if you remember, Willie Wonka has made Charlie the heir to his magical candy empire, and is going to take him on a tour of his new dominion.

They get into the Great Glass Elevator, which Charlie assumes, sanely, will carry them up or down to different levels of the factory. (Up or down. Black or white. Sound familiar?)

However, the wall of the elevator is covered with buttons. Strange buttons. Buttons indicating that this elevator will go not just up or down but diagonally, in circles, side to side, and more.

Willie Wonka gleefully pushes the big red “Up and Out” button which sends them crashing through the roof of the factory and into outer space. OUTER SPACE! What kind of elevator goes into outer space??

One of the characters asks this reasonable question:

“And what keeps it up?” said Grandma Josephine.

“Skyhooks,” said Mr Wonka.

Skyhooks. Skyhooks, as far as I know, are not actually a thing. Perhaps they will be (I have not personally rummaged around in Elon Musk’s desk drawers to look for the notepad with the “List of Things to Think About” I’m sure he keeps.)

But the point is that you, too, get to make it all up as you go along.  We all get to design our own reality. Just like Willy Wonka, nothing exists anywhere — certainly not in your life or mine — unless we think about making it happen first.  The rules that govern our lives are largely our own construction. You have many, many options — we all do.

Getting Unstuck: Cultivate Creativity And Mental Flexibility Like it Was Your Job

Here’s what getting unstuck from the outside in actually looks like, when you do it.

The next time you’re feeling trapped, try taking out a piece of paper and writing down as many alternative options as you can think of. Make them as zany and wildly unrealistic as you possibly can, just to loosen up the thin-lipped British governess that has taken up residence in your head— the one holding two alternatives out to you on a silver tray. Slap them out of her hands and get weird. Brainstorm with abandon.

“I could sell all my possessions and move to a little village in Armenia. In three years I will be mayor.”

“I could quit my job and live in a tent in my next-door neighbor’s backyard.”

“I could make [insert goal here] the sole mission of my life and number one priority every day.”

“I could stand up in the middle of my next team meeting and scream cathartically, throw a chair at my boss’s head, and walk out.” (Not advised. But you could.)

“I could apply to a different school, or change my major.”

“I could break up with this person.”

“I could read some books and learn how to do this thing that seems so impossible. Other people can do it and I can too.”

“I could make it a goal to meet four new people every week.”

“I could save x amount of money every month for the next year, and do the thing I really want to do.”

“I could get rid of my television and use all that extra time to pursue [something important that you feel you don’t have time for].”

Operant point: Start every sentence should start with “I could.”

Of course you will immediately hear the snarky voice of the uptight, uber-rational British governess telling you all the reasons that you can’t.

The correct response to her is, “Shh. Skyhooks.”

Break Free: You Are the Author Of Your Life Story

The truth is that you can actually do pretty much anything you want.

You CAN decide to take out a massive loan and spend every cent riding motorcycles around Australia for the next six months. You could simply stop paying the mortgage on your house and use the proceeds to finance a diet of nothing but the most expensive chocolate money can buy every single day.

You can. No one is stopping you.

Of course, there are consequences to every decision that you’ll have to sort through, obviously, but just getting in contact with the fact that your options are immense is enough to break through the paralysis that is choking your life and creating the stuck-ness that you’ve been feeling lately.

In addition to some foolish ideas that might very well destroy your life if you followed them, your creativity and openness to new ideas will also generate some reasonable, healthy, fresh and exciting new options for you too. Trust me.

What are the skyhooks that could lift you up-and-out of the tiny little cognitive box you’ve been stuffed into?

What could you do?

 
I know that this article and the podcast are not in any way, shape or form a substitute for working with a therapist or life coach (which is what most people who are profoundly stuck really do need). However, I hope this conversation helps you find your way forward, even if it’s just to take the steps to get in touch with a great therapist or coach who can walk with you, help you break out of black and white thinking, help you brainstorm new possibilities, and cultivate the inner strength to transform your life from from the inside out.
 
That is what you deserve!
 
 
 
xoxo,
Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby

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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.

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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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Online Therapy: What You Should Know About Teletherapy

Online Therapy: What You Should Know About Teletherapy

Online Therapy: What You Should Know About Teletherapy

All Your Questions Answered

Teletherapy is also referred to as Online Therapy, Telehealth, TeleMental Health, Telemedicine, and E-Health. Although it has many names, it serves one purpose: to make your physical and mental health services more accessible! The use of Teletherapy has become more common as technology has grown to make life more efficient. 

The truth is, traditional therapy (going to a therapy office) just isn’t always convenient or even possible. There have been times in my life when I’ve felt too busy to squeeze in one more “stop” on my drive home, and other times when I just wished I could conduct my day from the comfort of my bed. 

Even now, with social distancing efforts underway, it seems that we are forced to cut certain social interactions out of our life, and unfortunately traditional therapy may be one of those. However, with Teletherapy services you don’t have to wait to see a therapist in person.  

What Actually Is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is essentially just a platform for your therapist to communicate with you. This can be through online-video, a phone call, and even sometimes texting or email. Here at Growing Self, we are advocates of teletherapy counseling via online HIPAA compliant video. I personally love to see my online therapy clients through online-video because I feel more connected with them when I can see their faces.

Here’s a Guide To Online Therapy if you’d like to learn more!

What Teletherapy Is Not… 

It is not a modality or a “type” of therapy. Basically, therapists will conduct their sessions, as usual, using their specific clinical training. In other words, I don’t switch to a new style of therapy just because I’m using technology. Instead, I allow technology to help me reach my clients so that I can use the clinical training I’ve already received. 

Teletherapy is also not a 24-hour crisis hotline. A therapist using telehealth may not be equipped to handle immediate crises. It is true that technology increases the accessibility of your therapist, however calling a 24-hour crisis line, such as 1-800-273-8255 (Suicide Prevention Hotline), may be more helpful if you are in need of immediate assistance.

If you are looking for emergency resources, we have put together a list for you here: Emergency Resources

What Are The Risks And Benefits Of Teletherapy? 

One question as an online therapist that I receive from my online couples therapy and individual therapy clients is, “don’t you miss certain cues when you can’t see someone in-person?” The answer… yes and no. 

For the most part, I can read people’s facial expressions and body language as long as the video quality is good, yet there are times when I wish I could see someone’s foot-tapping, or when a couple reaches out to hold hands during a session. Despite some “missed cues”, video therapy can also increase the effectiveness of the therapy process because people seem to feel more comfortable in their own homes. 

Other benefits include the efficiency of Telehealth. Pulling out your phone and hopping on a video session takes much less time than getting in your car, driving to the therapy office, finding parking, and then walking through the door. Not to mention the cost of travel saved!

Overall, I find that most people are pleased with the convenience of Telehealth. 

One risk to note is privacy. As an online therapist, I strive to do all that I can to protect my clients’ privacy. However, I cannot control what happens on the other side of the screen. It could be harder for some people to find a safe and secure environment to conduct an online therapy session, especially if they have family members in the next room! 

Doing things like closing the door, using earbuds, or starting a sound machine outside the door can help. Also using HIPAA compliant software. Growing Self offers a secure business HIPAA compliant Zoom link to consultations and clients. Using a secured video platform can help provide extra security. 

Lastly, Telehealth may not be a good option for you if you experience serious mental health issues. In this case, seeing an in-person licensed therapist in your state may be a better option. 

In-person therapy may also be better for you if you struggle with extreme anger or emotional reactivity, especially for couples therapy. 

Is Teletherapy And Online Couples Counseling Affordable?

Here at Growing Self, we believe that you and your relationships truly matter. We care about YOU! This is why we provide affordable online therapy and work with your insurance when it is appropriate to do so. 

Money is never the most important thing. Not in life, not in love, and certainly not in good business. Money is never, ever as important as people. Just like you, we have values and integrity. Our values are centered around helping you.

Because your well-being is so important to us we will not allow money to stand between you and the Love, Happiness and Success that you deserve.

We will explore solutions with you, be flexible with you, and help you get connected with the right services to fit both your needs and your budget.

Does My Insurance Cover Teletherapy?

We can help you use your insurance for your sessions at Growing Self IF:

  • You are doing therapy (not coaching)
  • Your policy covers behavioral healthcare with out-of-network providers
  • You meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis
  • AND you are working with a clinician who is licensed in your state of residence.
  • For couples, we help you use your insurance if you or your partner has a diagnosis that your couples work is focusing on. (As well as the above criteria).

How Do I Find A Therapist For Teletherapy Sessions?

Overall, Teletherapy is effective, convenient, and easy to use AND can be an extremely helpful tool for those seeking psychotherapy from their own homes. 

Research consistently shows that the key component of meaningful and effective personal growth work is working with the right person.

Because the goodness of fit is so important, as part of our dedication to your success, we offer you a free consultation meeting with the expert of your choice so that you can meet them face-to-face, learn about their background and approach, discuss your hopes and goals, and talk about what your work together might look like.

If it feels like a good match, you can then continue meeting until you’ve achieved your goals.

Growing Self has an excellent team of therapists experienced in providing therapy services through online-video. If you’re interested in learning more or would like to schedule a free 30-minute online therapy consultation, our client services team is here to help you find the right fit for your individual and relationship goals. Please visit us here to get started: Powerful Online Therapy and Coaching.

Wishing you Love, Happiness and Success on your journey,
Georgi Chizk, M.S., LMAFT

Georgi Chizk, M.S., LAMFT is a warm, compassionate marriage counselor, individual therapist and family therapist who creates a safe and supportive space for you to find meaning in your struggles, realize your self-worth, and cultivate healthy connections with the most important people in your life.

Let’s  Talk

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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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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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This quiet time offers an invitation for introspection and new self-awareness, as well as the opportunity to create a sanctuary — both without, and within. Life Coach Olivia of Decluttered Intentions shares how, on this episode of the podcast.

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