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Dear Dreams…

Dear Dreams

Dear Dreams…You Get Bigger Everyday!

This is your Monday Rx, and that’s all the reminder you need this week. Your dreams do get bigger everyday!

Keep watching this space for our next job search blog post.

 

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Ideas image courtesy of Chaloemphan of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Dare To Take Chances – [Your Monday Rx]

Monday Rx_CareerTips_Sept_27Have you ever wanted to do something – probably pursue a dream, or ask for a promotion – but got stopped by a big knot in your stomach? Or, did you allow a negative comment by someone to derail your dream? This happens all the time – in the workplace, at home, with friends, BUT…

Have those dreams remained dormant? Are you being haunted by regrets of “I should’ve…, could’ve…, If only I had…”? It’s not too late. You still have time to pick up from where you left off. It’s time try again. Social Media consultant Chris Voss said, The difference between try and triumph is a little umph.”

Whether it’s an entrepreneurial dream, a dream of a better job, a promotion, or a career transition, here is what you need to know:

  • You don’t have to go it alone. Ask for help!
  • You don’t have to risk your life, limb or livelihood. Start small.
  • You don’t have to become overwhelmed with negative thoughts and by negative people. Banish negative thoughts from your mind, and surround yourself with ‘possibility thinkers’.

Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics, said “Most people live and die with their music still un-played. They never dare to try. Mary Kay Ash knew it all too well.

After seeing all the men she was training being promoted over her, she decided to write a book to help women survive in the male-dominated business world.  One of the things she did was to make two lists.  One list highlighted the things her employers had done right; the other had things she felt they could have done better.  After reviewing the lists, she realized she had inadvertently created a marketing plan for a business. The rest is history!

Whether you are a male or female, you too, can make your two lists. One list could be what you have done; the other could be what you can offer an employer or a customer. Those two lists could be the beginning of your own marketing plan for your job search marketing plan or your business. Whichever one it is, are you ready to step out in your boldness, and try again? Phil Knight, Co-founder of Blue Ribbon Sports, now known as Nike, told graduates of Standford’s Graduate School of Business (his alma mater): “Dare to take chances, lest you leave your dreams buried in the ground.” 

You don’t want to leave your dreams buried in the ground! “Let your dreams be bigger than your fears and your actions bigger than your words.” ~Unknown

This is another dose of the Monday Rx. Have a great day!

Related link: Find Your Calling and Ask for Help

Who is Hindering Your Career Growth?

GrowthThis is your Monday Morning Rx. It is something I saved in my archives from 2008. I have been unable to find the author, but in re-printing it here in its abridged format, I am paying tribute to that Unknown Author:

One day all the employees reached the office and they saw a big sign on the door on which it was written:

“Yesterday the person who has been hindering your growth in this company passed away. Please go straight to the gym to pay your last respects.”

In the beginning, they were all sad for the passing of one of their colleagues, but after a while they became curious to find out who was the person who was so powerful to hinder the growth of his/her colleagues and the company. The nearer they got to the coffin, the more their curiosity peaked. Everyone thought: “Who is this person who was hindering my progress? Well, at least this person is out of the way!”

One by one the employees looked inside the coffin and they suddenly became speechless. They stood nearby, shocked and in silence, as if someone had touched the deepest part of their soul. There was a mirror inside the coffin, and everyone who looked inside it could see a reflection of himself or herself.

There was also a sign next to the mirror that said:

“There is only one person who is capable of setting limits to your growth: it is YOU. Your life does not change when your boss changes, when your friends change, when your parents change, when your partner changes, when your company changes. Your life changes when YOU change, when you go beyond your limiting beliefs.

Pause for a minute. Look in the mirror. Could this be you? Have you been looking outward and blaming someone for your lack of progress in your job, career or your life? Have you been the one hindering your own growth? If so, it’s time to stop playing the blame game and take ownership of your growth. And, even if someone is deliberately trying to hinder your growth, think of ways to circumvent that. Harness all the power that YOU have and begin to make a difference in your job, your career or your life.

Motivational speaker, Les Brown said: “The only thing that can possibly keep you from going after your dream is the person standing in your shoes, wearing your clothes, and thinking your negative thoughts.

What’s the one thing you could do today that would put you on a path of growth?

To our success,

daisyname

 

Job Seeker, What’s Holding You Back?

What's Holding You Back?

Image Template Courtesy of @HubSpot

Dear Job Seeker,

What’s holding you back from achieving your dreams? Have you failed too many times to get a promotion so you have given up on yourself? Do you have dreams yet to be realized, but something in your past is holding you back? Whether you are looking for a new job, a promotion or to attain some other personal goal, it’s never too late.

In one of Joel Osteen’s daily messages, he mentioned an article that says “..the wealthiest places on earth are not the oil fields of the Middle East nor the diamond mines of South Africa. The wealthiest places are the cemeteries. Buried in the ground are businesses that were never formed, songs that were never sung, books that were never written, potential that was never realized, and dreams that never came to pass.”

Author, journalist, and long distance swimmer, Diana Nyad, had an extreme dream – to swim from Cuba to Florida. Nothing could hold her back from achieving this dream. She made four attempts and failed, but she never gave up. On September 2, 2013, and on her 5th attempt, she accomplished that dream. It only took 35 years, and being 64 years old.

How many of us have the determination to hold on to a dream for that long? Not many. Thirty five years  and five attempts might be extreme, but there are many people who abandon even smaller dreams in months instead of years. They hold themselves back after having one or two failures. Nowhere is this more evident than in the job search.

Job seekers of all ilk, (entry-level professionals, managers and emerging executives), are settling for less. They are in jobs that are no longer fulfilling. They are bypassed for promotions and see this as a life sentence. Don’t let setbacks and failures hold you back. Begin to push yourself forward rather than being held back. Here are three quick tips to help you get a job or a promotion:

  1. Conduct a self-assessment. Find out, through formal or informal assessments, whether you have the specific skills and experiences required for your next role. If there are areas for growth, commit to investing in yourself.
  2. Meet with the boss. Schedule a meeting with your manager to discuss your desire to assume a new role. Ask him or her if there is anything you could take off their plate which would allow them to focus on other more pressing issues.
  3. Take on a project that others refuse to do. It might not be the most glamorous task, but you will be noticed for showing initiative, and you will learn new skills to add to your resume. Remember to document your activities so you can refer to them at your next performance appraisal.

When you are tempted to give up on your dreams of a better job or a new career, think of Diana Nyad and her tenacity. Remind yourself of these two things: You are never too old to chase your dreams, and never, ever give up.

 

Monday Morning Rx: Chase Your Dreams, It’s Never Too Late

Madame C J Walker_Recite

This is your Monday Morning Rx – a giant dose of inspiration for today!

The above quote is attributed to Madame C.J. Walker. “Her savvy business acumen led her to become the first female self-made millionaire in the United States who donated the largest amount of money by an African-American toward the construction of an Indianapolis YMCA in 1913.”

Mrs. Walker had many obstacles to overcome, but she did.

Take your eyes off yesterday’s closed door. Yesterday is gone forever. Today is all you have, and now is the right moment to begin chasing your dreams! What are those dreams?

  • Is it a new job? Well, what’s holding you back? Do you need some help moving your career forward?
  • Do you want to start a business? Grab the phone or send an email to someone you admire who has a business similar to the one you have in mind. Start the conversation rolling.
  • Would you like to learn a new skill? It’s not necessary for you to sit in a formal classroom to learn a new skill. Ample opportunities abound. Sometimes it’s as close as the cubicle next door, or in another department. Why not ask to job shadow someone at work?
  • Have you always wanted to climb a mountain? This may be a steep one, but if it’s your dream, then go after it. My neighbour recently returned from climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, and it was a climb of a lifetime she says. It took everything she had, she said, but it was worth it. She has returned with a new perspective on life.

What is it that you have always wanted to do, but excuses kept getting in your way? You have run out of excuses now. It’s time to chase your dreams and achieve success. Madame C.J. Walker did!

Want some support? Share your dreams right here and I will hold you accountable.

 

 

 

Put a Little Love in Your Career

Valentino-3

Today is Valentine’s Day…as if you didn’t know, and it’s time to “Put a Little Love in You and Your Career”. It’s also the birthday of one of my cats, Valentino, and he has certainly lived the past 17 years as if he’s ‘the cat’s pyjamas’ or ‘the best thing since sliced bread’. Look at him all curled up, with nothing else to do. In earlier years,we would tie a red ribbon around his neck and give him a special birthday treat, but today I have just enclosed him in a heart!

This brings me around to you. Have you shown yourself some love lately? What if today you decide to proclaim to yourself that you are, indeed, the cat’s pyjamas or that you are the best thing since sliced bread? What if you decide to stop being sorry for yourself, stop listening to your inner critic telling you that you don’t measure up; that you will never get the job or promotion you have always dreamed of? What if, just for today, you take a chance and put a little love in yourself?

I was speaking with a friend yesterday who delightfully told me she wanted to do some thing for herself. She said she needed to put herself first for once, having put others before her for years, so she joined Toastmasters. She said, “That one hour is mine, and am going to revel in it!” Having said that, what about you? Are you ready to put yourself and your career first? Here are six tips to help you put a little love in yourself or your career today:
  1. Do what you have never done or go where you have never gone. Think of something you have always wanted to do, or somewhere you have always wanted to go. Is it something you could do today? If not, can you begin right now to develop a plan for it? Have you ever wanted to reach out to someone who could offer you some career advice, but you were afraid to ask? Today is a great day to reach out to that person. Forget all those butterflies in your stomach and take up the phone, send an email, meet them face-to-face and ask them to join you for a coffee.
  2. Commit to growing yourself. The fact you may have failed at something does not mean the end of the world. Reflect on that failure and ask yourself what were the lessons you learned from that event. Many years ago when I first applied to work with the United Nations, I failed Shorthand. In those days note taking was a requirement that came with the prestige of added pay. I was disappointed, but told myself that regardless of how long it took, it was going to happen one day. By the time I ended up at the UN, the skill wasn’t a requirement any longer, but I was well prepared. Sir Edmund Hillary was one of the first persons to climb Mount Everest. When he failed at his first attempt, he said to himself, “Mount Everest, you beat me the first time, but I’ll beat you the next time because you’ve grown all you are going to grow, but I am still growing.” Have you, like Mount Everest, grown all you are going to grow?
  3. Invest in yourself. Some people invest a lot of time and money planning for exotic vacations, but little or no time investing in their own career development. A couple of Fridays ago, a man called to ask if he could come in to see me on Monday morning for a resume and cover letter as he wanted to apply for job that had a cut-off time of 5 pm the following day (Tuesday). I told him that resume development is a time-consuming exercise, and my turnaround time on a project like his would be 10 business days. He then told me that he couldn’t afford me anyway. That wasn’t even the point. I wanted him to realize that such a slap-dash approach to one’s job search, or waiting until a job appears on Workopolis before realizing you need to brush up on your resume is not a great plan and will most likely reap frustration.
  4. Be relentless in your pursuits. Whatever it is you are after, be relentless. You have heard the saying, “A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins”. Never give up on your dreams even if it appears insurmountable. Create a success plan and harness all the support you can get to see that dream through.
  5. Be generous and give of your time. Volunteer your expertise to someone. Wondering if you have the skills to be a mentor? Stop wondering, and start mentoring. You have skills that others would benefit from. Think of the world of good you would be doing by mentoring another person. Probably you’re facing the question, “What’s in it for me?” The Christian Bible says, “It’s in giving that you receive.” You’re actually getting something in return. Isn’t that awesome?
  6. Love yourself. Look in the mirror right now and say to yourself, ” I love you!” Sounds crazy, but when last have you told your unique self how much you love her or him? Compare that against the hundreds of times you have said to your unique self, “I don’t like what I see…I am too fat…too skinny…too short…too tall…I cannot become…”, and all those self-degrading negative conversations you have ingrained in your head. Stare at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, like Marianne Williamson said, “Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?” Actually, who are you not to be?”

There are many other tips you could come up with yourself, so use these as starters. See what you can do to put a little love in you and your career today.

Enjoy what’s left of Valentine’s Day, and even if you think you don’t have anyone to love, look within and love yourself!

 

13 Questions to Ask Yourself Before 2013

Questions2

Can you imagine that the New Year is almost 13 days away! Where did 2012 go? What were you able to achieve? Honestly, what progress have you made in your job search or your career since January 2012? If you haven’t made any progress since then, there’s nothing much you can do at this stage except to learn from the past and move on.

Having said that, what are your plans for 2013? More resolutions? More “If only I had had more, time, money, guidance?” What about setting aside some quality time for yourself to answer the following 13 questions, and then let’s have a chat in the New Year? I might just be able to help you move your career forward.

  1. Describe yourself in 100 words
  2. What are you passionate about?
  3. What are the achievements you are most proud of?
  4. What gives you strength?
  5. What is your favorite activity?
  6. What brings you peace?
  7. What’s your greatest fear?
  8. What are your values?
  9. What are your biggest goals and dreams?
  10. What’s stopping you from pursuing them? How can you overcome them?
  11. How important are these goals to you?
  12. What is your ideal career?
  13. How can you start creating your ideal career starting today?

Are you ready to move your career forward? Don’t delay. Any decisions and actions you make today will set you up for success in 2013. I am ready and willing to help, but only if you are ready and willing to help yourself. Let’s start the process now!

Monday Rx: Surround Yourself With ‘Possibility Thinkers’

Happy Monday!

What does Monday Rx have to do with your career or job search? Everything! In the midst of a job search or career transition it’s easy to become discouraged. The purpose of the Monday Rx is to lift your spirits, so take a respite from whatever you are doing and savour these words!

Henry Emerson Fosdick said, “Have the daring to accept yourself as a bundle of possibilities and undertake the game of making the most of your best.”

Today, surround yourself with ‘possibility thinkers’:

  • Those who believe in your dreams;
  • Those who will motivate and inspire you to stretch beyond your comfort zone;
  • Those who will help you reach your goal.

Look around for ‘possibility thinkers’ within and outside your network. You will need them in your corner when the going gets rough.

To your success,

Image: Attributed to Kelly Rae Roberts Wall Art

Monday Morning Rx: Don’t Sabotage Your Life with ‘BUTs’

How many times have you said to yourself:

  •  I would really like a promotion, BUT my boss is going to say ‘No’?
  • I would like to change careers, BUT I am too old, or I can’t be bothered?
  • I would like to start my own business, BUT I don’t have the time or the money, and it might just not work out?
  •  I would like to become a ____________, BUT my (friends, family, coworkers, spouse, kids) keep asking if I am crazy?”

How many of those questions resonate with you? These ‘BUTs’ are your fears that tell you that you don’t have the time, the money, the education, the nerve, or the skills to become who you should be. These ‘BUTs’ tell you to stay in your comfort zone, and not venture into the unknown, but if you continue to give in to these ‘BUTs’, a year from now you will still be wishing you had started today. (Karen Lamb)

Get rid of the ‘BUTs’ in your life and:

B – Become the person you were destined to be. Stop playing small.

U – Understand that obstacles are opportunities in disguise. Embrace them.

T – Try and try again. Don’t ever quit. Remember the little engine that said it could.

S – Stop engaging in negative self-talk. If you consistently have these conversations with yourself and allow the ‘buts’ to get in your way, you will never become who you were meant to be.

Today, ask yourself, What if I moved forward in spite of these ‘BUTs’? What if I take a chance?” You may be pleasantly surprised. Emerson said, Beware what you set your heart upon for it surely shall be yours. Set your heart on that dream, and see what happens to your life!

Don’t Sabotage Your Dreams with ‘Buts’

How many times have you said to yourself?

“I would like to find a new job, BUT I am too old.”

“I would really like a pay raise, BUT my boss will just say no.”

“I would like to change careers, BUT I am afraid it might not work out.”

“I hate my job, BUT if I leave it I won’t be able to make the same amount of money.”

“I would like to start my own business, BUT I don’t have the money.”

“I would like to … BUT my (friends, coworkers, family, spouse, kids) keep telling me I would be crazy to do such a thing.”

Can you relate to any of those? What’s getting in the way? The big ‘BUTs’ – no pun intended. Everywhere you turn, there’s a ‘but’ that stops you in your tracks. These ‘buts’ are your fears that tell you that you don’t have the time, the money, the education, the nerve, or the skills. These ‘buts’ tell you that you should stick to the evil you know of and not venture into the unknown. These ‘buts’ cripple you and prevent you from going after your dreams.

The biggest of these ‘buts’ is F.E.A.R. – False Evidence Appearing Real. Eleanor Roosevelt said “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” You are afraid of what people might say. You are afraid to put one foot in front of the other just in case you might reach somewhere. You are afraid to take a leap of faith in your endeavours. You are afraid to fail, and in some cases, you might be afraid to succeed! Do you see the power that fear has? It has gripped you so fiercely that you hang on to the same job day after day even though it no longer gives you the satisfaction it once did.

The other big ‘but’ is the negative self-talk you engage in. Have you ever listened to some of the things you say to yourself? “Duh … what a ditz I am. I can’t do it. I’ll never be able to have that. I don’t deserve a raise. It’s my fault. Here I go again, making a fool of myself. They didn’t like me. I didn’t get the job because I am too old.” and on and on it goes. While you are wallowing in self-pity, you meet another negative person who agrees with every word you are saying about yourself. That’s destructive behaviour!

One of these days when you are having such a conversation with yourself, try this little exercise. Write down everything you are saying or thinking. At the end, pretend you are telling your friend what you told yourself. “Duh … what a ditz you are! You can’t do it. You’ll never be able to make it. You don’t deserve the raise. It’s your fault. Here you go again, making a fool of yourself. They don’t like you. You didn’t get the job because you are too old.” Wow! Would you really say those things to your friend? If not, why are you saying them to yourself?

You need to change that mindset. You cannot allow fear and negative self-talk to cripple you and prevent you from moving forward with an idea or a decision. If you set your heart on engaging in negative self-talk, consistently allowing the ‘buts’ to get in the way of your dreams, you are destined to remain where you are. Instead, ask yourself, “What if I moved forward in spite of my fears? What if I take a chance?” You could surprise yourself and succeed!

I have known many people (including me) who have been able to clear some of the ‘buts’ out of our way and move forward in spite of our fears. We were once where you are. At every turn we saw the ‘buts’, but never allowed them to thwart our progress. It took faith; it took belief in self and it took encouragement from positive-minded people.

Surround yourself with positive-minded people who will encourage you to follow your dreams. It’s okay to listen to the naysayers, but continue moving confidently in the direction of your dreams, anyway.

I hope you have gained some food for thought from this article. It doesn’t matter where you are in your career or your life, if you want to make a move, forget the ‘buts’ and JUST DO IT!