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If You Want Growth, Help Others GROW!

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If you want growth, help others grow.” ~Tony Abbacchi

Do you remember January 1st, 2010? It seems like so long ago, but I remember it was my first foray into group coaching when I launched a six-week coaching program for  women.

What began with ten women ended with five. After the six weeks, I remember feeling very disappointed and asking myself what could I have done differently to keep the five who did not follow through. I hadn’t yet learned what coaching was about. I thought it meant shouldering the responsibility for the those five women, and if I didn’t and they failed, I was to be blamed. I remember talking it through with my own coach and she said, “You can take the horse to the water, but you can’t force it to drink!” Lesson learned!

That self-reflection and self-blame nearly caused me to miss the growth of the other five. What did they do differently? They stuck it out and did the work.

Of the five who dropped out, three are still struggling today, 10 years later. The point is not to call them out (because I would not), but to ask the “What if?” question.

“Dare to dream, but even more importantly, dare to put action behind your dreams.” ~Josh Hinds

Over the past ten years, I haven’t strayed from my mission of supporting women. While I began by engaging in many “under-the-radar” activities with through mentoring and pro bono coaching, in the latter years, the engagement became more public and group-oriented.

“Incremental progress keeps us engaged and helps us grow.”

The start of this particular decade – 2020 – is rare and special. Rare, because it’s the only time we will be able to say we have perfect, 20/20 vision, and claim that “we can see clearly now”. Special, because it’s ‘Double 20’, an opportunity to receive a double dose of whatever we are dreaming of, or aspiring towards – if we persist.

Are you ready to seize the opportunity? Are you ready to GROW?

My vision for 2020 is all about  – Transformation and GROWth. Through my Let’s GROW project, I have committed to helping 20 women grow in 2020. This is specifically for the individuals who are participants in my Sip, Paint & GROW project on January 11, 2020, International Vision Board Day.

We will also be tapping into the growth vs fixed mindset idea advocated by Dr. Carol Dweck in her book, MINDSET: The New Psychology of Success.

Here’s a quick overview of the program, which comes into effect after the January 11th Let’s GROW event. I will be:

  • Facilitating coaching conversations through a private Facebook group for one full year, literally for FREE!* There are restrictions. See below.
  • Putting together a generous and motivated group of women committed to building give and take relationships** to advance their own careers, and by default, advancing the careers of others. It will not only be taking, but giving back and helping others (e.g. giving of their time, sharing their resources and network, and making connections).
  • Writing a book to chronicle stories worth sharing:  personal stories, or our dreams and aspirations. While it’s not mandatory, this book opportunity is restricted to any attendee from this 2020 cohort, if they choose. If you are an original member of the Let’s GROW group, and you wish to be a contributor to the book, please contact me.

My overall goal for the Group is for all of us to “contribute wherever we can without keeping score.” (Dr. Adam Grant), and help someone else GROW!

CAVEAT:

  • These coaching conversations* are limited and separate and apart from my regular services. For e.g., if you have a question around interviews or need clarity on an issue, you can ask me, but it’s not a substitute for interview coaching or other services.
  • Other than me, no participant / member is expected to offer FREE coaching services. That would be asking too much of them. However, as part of building a giving and taking relationship, they are asked to offer and receive what I call “Five Minute Favours”. After all, we are building a community.

As Tony Abbacchi says “When you give with expectations, not only will your reputation suffer but so will your mindset.”

** The Give and Take and “Five Minute Favours” concepts come from Dr. Adam Grant’s book Give and Take: Why Helping Others Drives Success.

As you begin 2020, here are six questions to ask yourself:

  1. Am I happier now than ten years ago?
  2. What have I done?
  3. What have I learned?
  4. Who have I become?
  5. Am I where I want to be?
  6. Where do I see myself a decade from now?

Are you ready to seize the opportunity? Are you ready to GROW? Contact me now, or engage the services of a coach who can guide you, but please, do something!

To your success!

Stop the Procrastination! Do It NOW!

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It’s amazing what coaches can learn from their clients. That’s the reason I refer to coaching as ‘a collaboration’.

Lisa dropped by during the Christmas Holidays with a lovely Poinsettia (never saw that type before), and to give me an update on her year of personal development. We have been working together for the past three years, but mostly on an ad hoc basis over the past year or so. In fact, she was one of the first persons to join the Let’s GROW Project.

Our conversation was primarily about the tools and resources she had harnessed and been using during the year to get to where she is now.

As the conversation went on, she took out a wad of cards on which she had written affirmations that she uses throughout her day. Since I am a believer in prayer, in affirmations, law of attraction (whatever the label), I wasn’t surprised when she took out her stack.

Of all the cards she showed me, the one that got my attention was “Do it NOW!” There it was in bold print, sticking out like a sore thumb, pointing directly at me, the procrastinator.

As much as I hate to admit it, I do procrastinate. If it’s not a reluctance to getting my administrative tasks done, it’s some personal stuff, like folding laundry. Here’s an example of a time when I procrastinated. Although the idea to write my first book, No Canadian Experience, Eh? was percolating in my head for a while, it took me 10 years to finally bring it to life. It was all IDEA, but no ACTION!

When I saw Lisa’s “Do it NOW” in black and white, it resonated with me. As soon as she left, I decided to put the words into action. I looked at the two baskets of recently laundered clothes and told myself to “Do it NOW!” Before the end of the night, all laundry was nicely folded and put away. What an achievement! I sent Lisa a message the following morning to tell her what I had learned from her that evening.

Now, that act might appear quite small, or probably silly. After all, at some point or the other, the laundry had to be put away, but consider this on a bigger scale, or make it personal. What if it is something that you know MUST be done, but you keep procrastinating? What if it’s something you are afraid to do but you fear rejection? What if you decide to ‘Do it NOW’?

The New Year is but a few hours away. As mentioned earlier, I am not one for resolutions, so am not going to ask you to make any. In fact, if you have been a newsletter subscriber for a long time, you know I don’t encourage anyone to make resolutions. I suggest they set goals. This year, I won’t even ask anyone to set goals. The focus will be on TAKING ACTION; ‘doing it NOW’, whatever the ‘IT’ is.

What if your ‘IT’ is to:

  • Find a new job?
  • Reach out to someone in a company at which you would like to work?
  • Get a promotion?
  • Start a business?
  • Do a TED Talk?
  • Write a book. (Don’t take 10 years)?
  • Start your own Charity?
  • Experiment with freelance work if you haven’t found your ideal job yet?
  • Contact a celebrity, or someone influential for an informational interview?
  • Hire a coach (or someone you trust) to keep you accountable?
  • Travel, Sing, Act…?

Whatever your ‘IT’ is,  “Do it NOW!” Don’t put it off for another year.  Allow the phrase “Do it NOW!” to sink in until it forces you to ACT. I guarantee you will feel empowered just by taking that one small action.

Remember, “Inaction creates nothing. Action creates success.” – Stephen Richards

 

Watch for Part II:  The Case Study.

It is Time for Reflection, Resolutions, Goal Setting AND Action

Time For Reflection Message Means Ponder Or ReflectThe New Year is usually a time for reflection. We reflect on what went well and what didn’t, and then we begin, with all good intentions to make resolutions or set goals. But, before the end of January, goals will be forfeited, resolutions will be broken, old habits will seep in, and we are back to where we started. We default to complacency and inertia and never take the action necessary to accomplish our goals.

Resolutions never spur me to action because I perceive them as fleeting clouds ambling along without a clear sense of direction. On the other hand, goals appear more tangible, as if they can be touched, so I am a bit more motivated when I think in terms of goals.

Whether you subscribe to resolutions or goal setting, following through with action is a must. Write down your goals, review them regularly, then act. Begin by using the ACTION plan laid out below:

A – Abandon the old ways of thinking and doing things. If resolutions didn’t work, get smart, and set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.

C – Commit to your goals. Commitment is necessary for success.  Set aside at least one hour each day, no matter what, to work on the goal – whether it is to research your target employers, arrange informational interviews, or network with people who will keep you on their radar for opportunities that may be of interest to you.

T – Tackle your goal one piece at a time to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Break the major goal into manageable mini goals. Keep yourself motivated by reward yourself when each mini goal is achieved.

I – Invest the time and resources necessary to achieve the goal. Too many people wait until the last minute to start working on their resumes, for example. A hastily put-together resume and cover letter won’t reach your intended audience. It takes a carefully orchestrated plan and that takes time.

O – Open yourself to new opportunities. The promotion you were expecting may have gone to someone else, or your recent interview did not end with a job offer. Instead of staring at those closed doors, look for other windows of opportunity to showcase your brand accomplish your goal.

N – Network. As a job seeker, or someone in career transition, you need to invest time in your networking efforts. It is said that sixty percent of a job seeker’s time should be spent on networking. Many people have negative connotations about networking. They view it as a dirty word instead of relationship-building, and that takes a lot of time and effort.

If you are ready for a new job or a new career, set SMART goals, review them regularly then take action. You might surprise yourself.  Share your experience or thoughts here and let’s discuss.

 

13 Questions to Ask Yourself Before 2013

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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!

Happy New Year…What Are Your Plans for the Next 364 Days?

 

Did I catch you off guard with this cartoon? Well, it’s adding some humor to the first day of a brand new year!

Anyway, I want you to make the most of the remaining 364 days, so I have gathered some links, quotes and some of my own musings that I hope you will find helpful.

  • After setting your goals, plan to evaluate your progress each day. “If you believe that you need to improve your self-discipline – hire a coach”, says Glenn Llopis of Forbes Blog. Related article here: Top 5 Career Investments for 2012.
  • Start the New Year on the “Wright” foot. Reserve your spot today to join me on a FREE teleconference on January 3, @ 8 pm Eastern.  Register here.
  • Networking is still one of the most successful job search techniques, so nurture your network. Don’t wait until you are in a rut to connect with them.
  • Understand how to use the ‘Vacuum Theory’  to advance your career: do the jobs others won’t do, make a visible difference with your presence, and become known as the ‘go to’ expert.
  • Find a job you like and you add five days to every week. ~H. Jackson Brown
  • Don’t allow anyone to discourage you from dreaming lofty dreams. “People too weak to follow their own dreams will always find a way to discourage yours.” @WomenofHistory.

Hope you find them helpful. Happy New Year to you and much success in 2012.

Ditch Your Resolutions and Set SMART Goals in 2012

January is just around the corner and it’s time to start thinking about New Year resolutions, or is it? How many of your 2011 resolutions did you keep?

For several years now I have been advocating that people set goals instead of make resolutions. Goal setting helps you to decide what you want to achieve and create a step-by-step plan to do it. Resolutions, in my humble opinion, are ideals that are short-lived. Most people give up on them within a few short months. Goals, again in my opinion, are more realistic. You lay them out, break them down into small manageable steps, and they suddenly appear achievable.

The SMART acronym – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely – is usually the centre of any discussion on goal setting, but for this article, I have put a new spin on it:

Set Goals and ditch resolutions. As stated above, resolutions are transitory, so set realistic goals and then commit to them. Goal setting is such a critical element of one’s career, or life that it requires discipline, commitment and desire. Don’t just say “I need to get a new job, or I need to change my career”, then sit around and wait for it to happen, because it won’t. Create a plan.

Make it happen. Keeping your goals in your head won’t make them happen, but if you write them down and surround yourself with a circle of people who will hold you accountable, a major shift will take place.

Abandon negative self-talk and fear. These attributes – negative self-talk, being around negative people, and a fear of failure – coalesce to hold us back from achieving our goals.

Record and Review your activities. Identify and record the steps you needed to achieve your goal. This act of recording is essential to making your goal come alive. In writing them down, they become clearer to you. After that, spend as little as 1o minutes each day to review your progress.

Think Big and Bold! It is said that one of the mistakes we make in setting goals is not thinking big enough, but big goals generate excitement and passion. If you stretch yourself to set a few big and bold goals, it should be enough to capture and hold your attention.

2012 will be your banner year, if you focus, invest in yourself, and stick to your plan. Set your SMART goals and see what’s possible for your life. Surround yourself with positive people who will encourage and inspire you and share in your successes. Take time to reward yourself for each accomplishment, however small because these tiny rewards will serve as motivators for you to keep on going.

Become your own success story in 2012! Remember, “Successful people always do what unsuccessful people do not”. Be the change you want to see!

A Happy and Prosperous New Year from The Wright Career Solution, the company that moves your career forward…one step at a time!

 

Take a Leap of Faith, Not a Leap of Fear

My previous client newsletter briefly discussed the dreaded word “FEAR” – that scary monster that grips, paralyzes and keeps us from moving forward with our dreams. This short New Year’s message comes with a request that if you find yourself gripped by fear, make a concerted effort to replace ‘fear’ with ‘faith’ in 2011. That’s right! Start believing in yourself again!

Reflect on just one thing you would like to achieve for yourself in 2011. Don’t worry about what you didn’t do in the past. Darren Hardy, editor of SUCCESS Magazine said, “No matter what your past has been, you have a spotless future.” Imagine that! You do have a spotless future. You have a clean slate or a blank canvas to paint whatever picture you wish in 2011. In your mind’s eye, visualize or paint the picture in its finest detail, just as you would want it to be. Is it a picture about your health, career, finance, family, spirituality, or is it something as simple as retooling your skills just to be ahead of your competition? Whatever it is, start now. Let go of whatever it is that you fear – the fear of failure (or success), the fear of what people might say, the fear that you are not good enough, not healthy enough, not young enough, not smart enough – and go after what it is that you want.

As a gift to you, watch this short slideshow, and see if you will be motivated to start making things happen for you! Best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous 2011.

Don’t forget to visit us at the Careertips2Go Café to see what’s going to be brewing in the New Year! We might just be able to help you take a leap of faith and achieve something for yourself.

Slideshow:

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow