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Archive for December 2011

My 2012 Career and Business Plan

Career PlanningAs we head down the final stretch of 2011, I (like the rest of the world) am engaging in a little annual professional planning and review session. Today, I thought I’d share some of the highlights with you. After all, plans are much easier to keep when you share them with the world, don’t you think?

I would say, all in all, I’m pretty pleased with 2011. In total, I’d call it a productive, successful year for me professionally. I had some amazing clients, I created a lot of cool products, and I made a decent living financially.

But there’s always room for growth. So, I’ve done a lot of analysis over the past few weeks (and a little soul searching as well), and I’ve created a plan for 2012 that I feel honors my true gifts and the areas of my work that really feed my soul.

Mind you, there are a few fairly major changes here. But I’m convinced that they make sense. And, best of all, I truly believe that plans are never set in stone. So, if these things start to feel “wrong”, I’m giving myself permission right now to rethink my strategies and course-correct as needed. (You should give yourself this same leeway when making your career plans!)

Here’s a quick overview of the items in which you may be interested:

1.    Shift of Focus

As you may know, I run two businesses. One is what you see here. I provide a variety of products and services dedicated to helping people just like you to achieve career success and fulfillment. The other is a freelance writing and editing business. This year, I’ve had a hard time figuring out the perfect mix of work. I like having two different gigs—the diversity of work means I’m never bored—but it often leaves me feeling fractured. So, I’m making a very clear commitment in 2012 to maintain a 70/30 split. 70 percent of my time will be spent on writing and editing projects for my various clients, and 30 percent of my time will be spent on my career services work. Hopefully, this very intentional way of thinking about my time will help me feel more in control of my choices.

2.    No More One-on-One Coaching

This one is a biggie. While it was a hard decision, I don’t question that the time has come to move away from this work. I absolutely love my clients, but (considering the shift of focus discussed above) my schedule can only handle a limited number of one-on-one appointments each week. Over the last year, I’ve also found that many of my clients have similar questions, concerns and situations, and I know they would benefit greatly from working together—not just with me, but also with one another. This realization has inspired me to shift my 2012 coaching focus to…

3.    New Group Coaching Programs

Instead of one-on-one coaching, I’m now only going to offer group coaching, which thrills me to no end! This will give my future clients amazing new opportunities they wouldn’t have had in a one-on-one setting. They’ll be able to learn from others who are going through the exact same thing as them, and they’ll develop bonds that simply don’t tend to happen all that often in life. The people in group coaching programs end up feeling like family. I’ve experienced it time and time again (as a participant and as a leader), and I can’t wait to help facilitate it for you. Plus, group programs are significantly more affordable (about one-fourth the cost of an individual program).

The first group coaching program will be 4 months long (running from March through June) and will be on the topic of “Finding Your Right Career Path.” So, if you’re a job hopper, or if you’re simply not content doing what you’re doing but you have no idea what the next step should be (or how to go about doing it), this program is for you.  Every group program will include a variety of activities: webinars, Q&A sessions, buddy calls, etc. You’ll be busy, but it’s well worth it.

Registration isn’t open yet for the Finding Your Right Career Path program, but if you think you might be interested, get your name on the list early and you’ll get special Early Bird Pricing. Just visit this page and submit your info. When registration opens, you’ll get first dibbs plus a $50 off coupon. By getting on the list early, you’re not obligated to join. You’re just expressing possible interest and getting the coupon.

4.    More Webinar Series

Earlier this year, I held a very successful 4-part webinar series called Building Powerful Professional Relationships. The feedback was astounding! And I loved doing it. So, in 2012, I’ll be offering this same series once again, along with a brand new one called Winning the Inner Game of Career Success.

The first series, Building Powerful Professional Relationships, will be held in May so mark your calendar now. Registration isn’t yet open, but you can learn more about it here.

Note: Because the material has been slightly revised, everyone who attended this series in 2011 will get free attendance to this. You will receive an email with details.

The second series, Winning the Inner Game of Career Success, will be held in July. Details aren’t yet available but will be soon.

5.    More Corporate Group Coaching

I’ve also decided to focus more on leading small group coaching programs for teams. As you may know, my core audience is administrative professionals. I really enjoy going into companies and working with teams of admins to help them feel more productive, more empowered, and more motivated. The two-day program I’ve developed is pretty amazing (if I do say so myself) and it has seen a lot of success in the past. And I’m always happy to customize my work to meet the specific needs of the company and team I’m serving. I’d love to tell you more about it if you’re interested.  If you think your team and your organization would benefit from working with me, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Or, you can always connect me with your HR Director or another appropriate individual at your company.

6.    Free Stuff Continuing

While I’m hoping to have several new products available (for sale) in the next few months, I also want you to know that I’m planning on continuing to offer my monthly free coaching calls as well as a variety of free webinars and free video training in 2012. These have been so popular—and I enjoy doing them so much—there’s no reason to stop!

I could go on and on, but I don’t want to bore you more than I already have. If you haven’t started working on your 2012 plan, I encourage you to get started! (If you need help, I recommend grabbing a copy of my Build Your Professional Development Plan e-Workbook). This kind of planning is really fun and it helps give you a sense of focus and control. After completing mine, I feel ready to hit the ground running in the new year.

What can I do to help you on your professional journey in 2012?

Photo Credit: J’Roo (Flickr)

A Must-Listen Interview for Job Hunters

No matter who you are or what you do, I’m willing to bet you know who Richard “Dick” Bolles is. Maybe the name itself doesn’t ring a bell, but the title of his book most certainly will: What Color Is Your Parachute?

Sound familiar?

Dubbed the “Job Hunter’s Bible”, this book is considered the gold standard of career guides. With a focus on finding and living your life’s purpose, this book covers every conceivable job search topic including networking, research, resume and cover letter creation, successful interview techniques and so much more.

I recently received a complimentary copy of What Color Is Your Parachute 40th Anniversary Edition, which features a whole slew of updated material to help job searchers navigate today’s difficult economy. I found the added focus on technology and our current economic landscape especially insightful.

A little while ago, I was fortunate enough to sit down with Mr. Bolles (a spunky 85-year-old) for a candid conversation about his latest work, as well as the modern economic climate and how it impacts job hunters. As you’ll hear, we discussed a wide variety of career-related topics and shared a few laughs along the way.

I highly recommend that anyone considering a job change in 2012 take a few minutes to listen to our conversation. You’ll learn more about what to expect—as well as how to succeed—in the modern job search market.

Plus, you’ll also learn:

  • What inspired Mr. Bolles to write the first edition way back in 1970 (and how he negotiated an amazingly clever contract to revise it annually!)
  • Where the idea for that wacky title came from
  • What every job hunter needs to know about looking for work in today’s economy
  • What new insights are offered in the latest edition of the book

Listen to our conversation now:

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Career Fulfillment Starts With Belief

This time of year, it’s always fun to play along with the whole “Santa Claus” thing. Yes, Virginia, he’s real and he’s awesome! Belief is a powerful, magical thing. Why throw that away just because we’ve grown up? Why should children get to have all the holiday fun?

So much in life begins with belief. In your heart, in your mind…you have to believe before magic is possible.

Career fulfillment is no different. It always shocks me when I speak with people who tell me they want desperately to find a career they love, a career that fills them with a sense of satisfaction and maybe even happiness. And then, in the next breath, they tell me they aren’t even sure if it’s possible.

What?! How on earth can you expect to find something you don’t believe in? It reminds me of the movie “The Last Unicorn,” one of my favorite childhood cartoons. Some people, upon looking at the beautiful unicorn, simply see an ordinary mare because they’ve trained themselves not to believe. Only the people who truly believe she exists are able to see her in all of her magical glory. The others are fooled. They’re blind to what’s right there in front of them.

If you don’t believe career fulfillment is real—if you don’t honestly think you can and will find it—you won’t see the opportunities that surround you. They only appear when you really believe. But they’re there, I promise you!

Your mind has an amazing ability to shape the reality you see. What you look for, you find. That doesn’t mean belief is the ONLY step in finding career fulfillment; it’s just the first, most critical and often neglected step.

So if you’re fighting to believe, let me suggest this: Go to the mall. Watch the children as they wait in line to talk to Santa. Remember what it feels like to believe anything is possible—even the idea that a fat man from the North Pole might drop down your chimney with toys. Remember the sense of awe and joy and wonder that comes with experiencing true magic.

As adults, we get jaded. We let the dark, cold reality of life wear us down. But what does that get us? What might be different if we approached life with that childlike sense of belief? What if we allowed ourselves to be open to new and amazing things we’ve never before heard of and we don’t really understand? What if we simply said, “Okay! I believe!”

What then?

Our world would change.

So embrace the spirit of the season. Believe in something you’ve given up on—whether it’s the possibility of career fulfillment or finding a soul mate or becoming a millionaire.

Entertain the idea that it’s possible.

See what changes.

Photo Credit: Premier-photo.com (Flickr)

Your Dreams Are Waiting

The other day I heard the following:

You’re not waiting for your dreams to come true. Your dreams are waiting for YOU to come true.

At first blush, this sounds so strange. What does it even mean?

I thought about it for a while and soon, I became fascinated with the idea. It’s simple really…and yet, so powerful.

Here’s the way I see it:

Your dreams are out there, alive and well, waiting for you to do your part. They’re begging for you to step into your true potential—to be the best YOU you can be—to grab them with both hands and turn them into reality.

We have it backwards when we sit around waiting for our dreams. They’re far, far ahead of us. It’s our responsibility to reach out, into the darkness, and pull ourselves toward them—not the other way around. Our dreams beckon for us to become more than who we are today, to take action and live up to our highest calling.

Your dreams do exist; they are real. Let this give you comfort, but also motivation.

Your dreams are dancing in the future, just “killing time” you might say, waiting for you to become the person worthy of their gifts.

Do your part and go find them.

Be true to the highest and best version of yourself and your dreams will appear you will appear for your dreams.

Photo Credit: Nicole.Pierce.Photography (Flickr)

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