How the Changing Workplace Could Affect Your Job Search

Job Search

Have you lost your job after many years with the same company? Has it been more than 10 years since you last did a job search? Do you know how to navigate a job search in this market? Are you a non-millennial? If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, you need to keep reading.

According  to a recent study “Workforce 2020” by Oxford Economics (https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/workforce2020) there are some major shifts happening in the labor market including the increasing number of intermittent/seasonal, contingent or consultant employees, difficulty recruiting employees with base-level skills – companies and employees are unprepared for the growing need for technology skills, and the globalization of the labor supply.

Here are a few interesting facts from the Workforce 2020 study:

  • 82% of Canadian companies say they are increasingly using contingent, intermittent/seasonal, contingent or consultant employees
  • 60% of Canadian executives say that when a senior person leaves, the company tends to fill the role from within the organization
  • 30% of employees are most concerned about their position changing or becoming obsolete

So, if you have recently lost your job, are returning to work after a period of absence or are thinking of changing jobs or careers, consider some of these strategies to help you secure your next career opportunity:

  1. Take Personal Inventory – Your passions and experiences may have changed considerably since you last did a job search. Start with listing your greatest accomplishments to date. Pull out the most current resume you have as you will need to decide what you will change, add or delete. Identify any new skills, strengths, training/certifications, that you may have acquired since your last search. Also, identify what you are not good at, or any development areas you need to work on or address in an interview. Take the time to really understand yourself, your strengths, skills and be discerning about what makes it onto your resume.  Your resume needs to paint a picture of who you are.
  2. Know What You Want – Start with a review of what’s most important to you – is it flexibility? Or is it a base salary of x? or is it something else? It’s important that you know the difference between what is negotiable for you and what isn’t. Sometimes, you need to take a step back in your career for what could be a potentially ideal role for you. Holding out for a 6-figure job just because that’s what you were earning before might result in you missing an opportunity to walk to work or have the flexibility to work from home 2-3 days per week. A recent client of mine left a permanent role to take a maternity leave contract role at another company at 33% higher salary (because income was important to her at the time). It worked out for her. After being on contract for over a year, she was offered a permanent position and another salary increase.
  3. Do a Reality Check – By now, you may have decided that you really need that 6-figure income and a permanent job in your preferred industry. But guess what? While that may be your desired outcome, that may not be realistic or even available to you right now. You need to do some homework and that means getting out and talking to people. Perhaps checking in with a coach, a recruiter or two, or with people who work in the industry. The more research you do, the better prepared you will be to understand what’s available to you now, how to best sell yourself, and land your ideal role.
  4. Develop a Plan – Doing the above 3 steps really is just the beginning. You next need a plan for how you will go about your job search. How will you source potential jobs? If you are relying on online recruitment websites alone, you’ll miss out on a lot of job prospects as 4 out of 5 jobs are still found through networking connections. How and when will you reach out, follow up, prepare for interviews, prepare for networking meetings? Looking for a full-time job, IS a full-time job and you should approach it as such. Working with a recent client, I shared that he could expect to apply to about 100 jobs (he applied to 87), meet with at least 2 dozen people in person or over the phone, to land a handful of interviews, with perhaps 1-2 second interviews which would land him a job at his level. He did land the perfect role for him, and he did have to make some concessions.
  5. Take Action – There are many, many actions to take. In the job search process (and it is a process), the order and sequence are important. As is tracking your daily, weekly and monthly activity, whether that is who you have reached out and connected with, or which jobs you have applied to, or who you are now following up with. This is no time to procrastinate.

Whether you are an old pro at job search or a newbie in this changing workplace environment, sometimes you need a little help. You may need some motivation from time to time (or a kick in the pants support), you may need help developing your plan, or you may need an accountability partner to help you stay focused on your goal. Regardless of your job search needs, a career coach can assist.

If you are currently in the job search process or considering changing jobs, and would like more information or help navigating the process, contact Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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5 Leadership Mind Traps and How to Navigate Them!

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Every once in a while, you come across a book that really gets you “thinking” and maybe even “changing the way you think”. “Unlocking Leadership Mind Traps: How to Thrive in Complexity” by Jennifer Garvey Berger was that book for me.

My first introduction to Jennifer was through an online course I took recently (The Art of Developmental Coaching). Jennifer was one of the instructors and I found her to be very engaging and very deep in her perspectives and facts regarding adult and leadership development.

To quote Jennifer Garvey Berger:

“We are living in this strange, paradoxical time in our world where the massively increasing complexity around us could lead us to grow faster and more compassionately and more together, or it could lead us to get more defensive, closed, hard, and smaller.”

There is no doubt that the world in which we work and live is complex and becoming increasingly more complex. But just as we must deal with the complexity “out there” or external to our selves, we are challenged to understand and deal with the complexity “in here” and internal to our selves.

In Jennifer’s book, she refers to 5 Mind Traps. The premise is that we act as if the world is simple when in fact the world is quite complex. Recognizing these mind traps within our selves helps us to see things through a broader lens and provides us with greater resources for dealing with the actual complexity.

These are the 5 Mind Traps:

  1. Simple Stories – We love our stories. Stories often have a beginning, middle and end and are filled with heroes and villains. Often, we are the hero in the story and the other person is the villain. Our problem-solving nature looks for short cuts and so the story is riddled with our beliefs and bias. But simple stories keep us small and presume a certain outcome based on the past. One way to expand beyond our story is to consider the other person in the story. How might they be considered a hero?
  2. Rightness – Our sense of being “right” enables our decisiveness but on the flip side it can kill curiosity and openness. You may even confuse feeling right with being right. Ask yourself “what do I believe and how can I be wrong?” There are always 2 sides to a situation – exploring the other side is good practice. Make sure you listen carefully to learn rather than to win or fix things.
  3. Agreement – We are programmed to be connected to other people. Agreement fulfills our desire for belonging and connection. Sometimes, we want so much to belong that we down play our difference of opinion. We are oriented to not be socially disconnected because the pain of being left out is experienced the same way as physical pain in the body. To release this mind trap, consider how conflict could serve to deepen a relationship. Or how disagreeing might lead to expanded thinking and ideas.
  4. Control – Our sense of being in control is directly tied to our feeling of being happy. In fact, our being in control and perceived by others as being in control is often equated with good leadership. However, sometimes great leadership requires us to let go of control to enable better outcomes, especially in complexity. Ask yourself: What can I help enable instead of what can I make happen? Or what could enable me/us?
  5. Ego – Our sense of who we are helps us function with purpose. The person we are now is a culmination of our thoughts, experiences, beliefs, to this point in our journey. The problem however, is that we are protective of the person we are being now vs the person we are becoming. We believe we have changed in the past but for some reason probably won’t change much moving forward. This leads us to want to protect the person we think we are. For true personal growth to happen, we need to pay attention to the map of our own development and ask ourselves “who would I like to be next?”

If you’d like some assistance in identifying your own commonly used mind traps and how to navigate your personal and professional development, I’m here to help. Contact me linda@resultscatalyst.ca or call me at 416-617-0734.

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Discovering Your Life’s Purpose

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Lately, many of the clients that have made their way to me are in search of uncovering their passion and in search of figuring out their life’s purpose.

And while there isn’t a magic bullet to help you figure out why you are here and what you are meant to do, it can be hugely satisfying to finally figure out how to live your life on purpose, in alignment with your goals, dreams and values.

In the work I do with my clients, that’s the journey I take them on. I take them through a journey of self discovery, curiosity and exploration. Together, using many tools and processes I assist them in uncovering their passion and their purpose. And once they have a clear vision, we work on an action plan to align them and move them in the direction of their goals and dreams.

One of the many ways to help you self discover your own life’s purpose is to read books. Here, I’ve identified some of my favorite books on the topic

1. The Life You Were Born to Live (A Guide to Finding Your Life Purpose) by Dan Millman https://amzn.to/2J3Ik37

I love this book. This book will appeal to pragmatic as well as woowoo types. I think Deepak Chopra’s assessment of the book sums it up best: “The Life-Purpose System as expressed in Dan Millman’s book is absolutely amazing in its predictive value. It will help you sort out the conflicts in your life and guide you on the path of fulfillment.”

2. The Passion Test (The Effortless Path to Discovering Your Destiny) by Janet Bray Attwood & Chris Attwood https://amzn.to/2IKlEpC

This is a simple and easy to follow book to help guide you through a process and series of exercises to assist you in uncovering your passion and what fulfills you in life.

3.  You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay https://amzn.to/2X4q5PY

This book is my go-to book for self help and healing. I believe you can’t achieve and manifest your goals and dreams unless you’ve eliminated the self limitations and roadblocks in your way. This book will help you identify what’s in your way and assist you in setting clearer intentions for what you want instead.

4. The Artist’s Way (A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity) by Julia Cameron https://amzn.to/2X2VEP4

Sometimes you need to see things from a different perspective. The Artist’s Way will inspire you and allow you to think outside the box with numerous exercises and activities to get you creative in your thinking and your approach. If you participate in the journey this book takes you on, you will gain greater clarity.

5. The Road Less Travelled, Timeless Edition: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth by M. Scott Peck M.D. https://amzn.to/2NmXeGS

This book takes you deeper into self reflection. “The Road” is meant not as a destiny but as a unending journey of spiritual growth.

While some people are very clear about their passion and purpose, others can wander most of their lives looking for greater fulfillment. If you find yourself wandering, wondering “is this as good as it gets?” Perhaps now is the time to make time for some inner work. If you need some guidance and coaching to assist you on your quest and journey, I’m here to help.

If you would like more information or assistance with your personal journey to greater passion and purpose, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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Turning Dreams into Reality

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By Guest Author Matthew Brajuka, Competitive Long-Distance Swimmer

She’s doing it again. It frustrates me to no end. Finally, wide eyed, she stares up at me from the water’s edge, like something I say might unlock the secret to immortality or teach her how to swim backstroke properly. She wants to be fast so she foregoes the “unimportant” things like technique and flails down the lane in a frenzy. I don’t blame her. Every swimmer at that age wants to lead the lane. They understand that being fast is good but they have yet to comprehend the means by which one achieves speed. One of the other kids passes her and she starts crying.

The tears roll down her cheeks and memories from when I was that age come flooding back. In that moment, all the coaching courses and certifications in the world couldn’t have prepared me to deal with a crying child, but experience could. Besides, there was a time I was just like her. A past coach of mine often jokes about how this is divine retribution for all the years I put him through hell and, to some extent, he’s right: Coaching definitely isn’t easy. Maybe it’s because every practice is a different experience.

What works today might not work tomorrow and as a result, practices that have been carefully planned in advance are often pushed to the wayside. Maybe it’s because coaching is not simply giving an instruction. People must choose to follow the instruction given and to inspire others to follow that order is a challenge, especially when those you are trying to inspire happen to be children.

So, why is it difficult to inspire children? Well, it turns out kids are like goldfish. They can only remember things that happened within the last three seconds and spend a lot of time swimming without a clue as to what’s going on. So, to teach a kid anything you have to make it fun for them and often that means finding ways to relate to them. To teach this girl that everybody has to start somewhere, even if that somewhere isn’t the beginning of the lane, I shared my own experience with failure and what I did to overcome it. I told her about the first time I tried out for my swim club.

I was six. They had asked me to swim two lengths of every stroke. Determined, I poured every ounce of my six-year-old heart into them. When I finished, I watched intently as the assessor talked to my father about my future with the team. I was giddy at the thought of it. I showered, still excited, and asked when I was going to be starting. Calmly my dad explained that they really liked me but they wanted me to come back when I was a little older. How could they like me yet turn me away? Then it dawned on me: I wasn’t good enough. But I knew what I had to do. To my six-year-old self it seemed all too simple. All I had to do was get back in that pool and swim two lengths of every stroke until, finally, I was good enough. The tears rolled down my cheeks as I tore off my clothes, determined to get back in that water.

I don’t know if sharing my story made a difference for her, but from there on out she listened more intently, asked questions when she didn’t understand, and was content wherever she was in the lane… she swam with a purpose.

I know what brought these kids here, I know what they have to do to achieve their lofty dreams, and I know it will be anything but easy.

We will not fail.

Matthew Brajuka is only 17 years old and a competitive swimmer specializing in distance events. When he isn’t competing he coaches the next generation of young swimmers. Starting in the fall, Matthew will continue his swimming career while attending and competing for La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Leadership development is a journey and a process. If you would like more information or assistance with your personal leadership development, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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Are You a Leader or a Manager?

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You may be a great manager, yet not a great leader. And if you are aspiring to elevate yourself and your career, regardless of your current job level, you need to be a great leader as well.

So, let’s begin by looking at some of the differences between “leadership” and “management”:

Management is…

  • often bestowed upon an individual through title, hierarchy, or assignment
  • managing by directing, controlling, planning, organizing things, processes and people
  • the transactional side of the business (getting things done)
  • focused on efficiency and productivity
  • operating within shorter time horizons

Leadership is…

  • mostly earned through consistent demonstrated leadership behavior like being a great role model
  • leading people by inspiring, motivating, coaching, impacting and influencing them (even if they don’t report to you)
  • the transformational side of the business (making an impact)
  • focused on effectiveness
  • longer term focused, purpose-driven

You don’t have to be a manager to be a leader. In fact, leadership can happen at any level within an organization. Leadership is about “being” a leader and demonstrating leadership qualities. Competencies such as: building strong collaborative relationships, setting an example for others, developing follower ship, interpersonal intelligence, maintaining composure, courageous authenticity, good decision-making skills, purpose-driven, and the ability to think critically and strategically. And while this is not a complete list of leadership qualities, what we do know is that few people are born with these qualities.

So, why develop leaders?

  • There is strong evidence that links leadership effectiveness to business results
  • Effective leaders outperform ineffective leaders
  • Organizations face escalating complexity requiring more leadership from their people at every level
  • Building leaders is a process

No matter what your role is today, you can be a better leader in your workplace. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Do your best work and be a star performer. Most people are just average, so with a little bit of effort you can be above average.
  • Build strong working relationships with your colleagues, peers, direct reports (if you have them), and others in your circle of influence.
  • Get better at managing yourself. This includes time and task management, punctuality, preparedness, as well as how you show up.
  • Model the behavior you observe and admire of effective leaders in your organization. Be a student of great leadership.
  • Hire a coach to assist you in developing your leadership competencies.

Leadership develops over time with experience, coaching and training, access to good role models and mentors. You can enhance your leadership competencies and become a great leader.

Leadership development is a journey, a process. If you would like more information or assistance with your personal leadership development, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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5 Steps to Move from Employee to Entrepreneur

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Have you been considering quitting your day job in favor of starting a business? Have you just lost your job and are currently exploring alternative ways of earning a living? Have you always dreamt of owning your own business some day?

Before you take the leap of faith into self-employment, consider these 5 steps:

  1. Get clear on your goals/passions – It’s not enough to decide to become a business owner. There are several questions and things to consider before you move forward in becoming a business owner. You will need to think about what kind of business you wish to run. You`ll need to determine if you wish to grow it from scratch, buy an existing business or purchase an available franchise.  But even before you decide that– you should think about how the business will fit in with the rest of your life. Running a business can be a huge commitment of time and money. So ask yourself what do you enjoy doing or what will bring you joy?  You will spend much of your day on your business so it’s a good idea for the business to provide work you actually enjoy doing.  Ask yourself what you are most passionate about? What would you love to do? What is your dream job/business?
  2. Do your research/homework – Don’t make any rash or impulsive decisions and don’t leave your day job until you are absolutely sure of what you want to do and have a plan for doing it. Take the time to do good research by researching the industry, the marketplace, your potential target clients, your competitors. Do proper business research including a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis. Get a good handle on projected revenues and realistic operating costs as well as an understanding on how long it will take to breakeven and generate more revenues than expenses. Identify your personal strengths and skills and determine if there are any skills gaps. Determine how you will close any skill gaps or lack of expertise. Which gaps can be closed through skills training? Which gaps can be closed through recruiting the right people? Which gaps can be closed through coaching or mentoring? Determine what options and opportunities are available to you right now?
  3. Learn from others’ mistakes – There is no shortage of people who have started or run a business. Speak to as many people as you can who have gone before you. Learn what you can about what works, what doesn’t, and what mistakes others have made. Don’t waste valuable time and money.  Be open to hearing others` perspectives on what they would have done differently. Hindsight is always 20/20.
  4. Business Plan ahead – Do the work and develop a business plan.  While it may be a lot of work, it will be time well spent and most financial institutions will require one if you are searching for financing. The process of business planning is not only to prove to the bank that your business will be a success, it’s also a roadmap for you to follow to ensure success. Running your business finances can be like running your weekly, monthly or yearly personal budget – so if you haven’t developed good budgeting and financial management skills, it might be particularly challenging and doubly important to have a solid business plan.
  5. Hire a mentor – Starting and running a business can be challenging or even lonely at times. In addition to the day to day operations of the business, you may be mentally or emotionally overwhelmed by being a business owner.  Having a safe place to go to for advice, guidance, and accountability or simply as a sounding board can be just what you need to help you make the transition into entrepreurship easier and smoother.  Good coaching and mentoring can really help you fast track your transition.

While there are many advantages to being an entrepreneur, it`s important for you to also consider the downside of self-employment. Become a business owner armed with as much information, skills and tools you can to ensure a successful transition from employee to entrepreneur.

If you are considering making a transition from Employee to Entrepreneur and need some support and guidance, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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Stuck, No Options?

Stuck, No Options

We have an epidemic! People everywhere feel stuck in their jobs. Some feel like they have no options to get unstuck. Unhappy at work, they know they are not passionate about what they are doing. Yet, many are unsure of what would make them feel excited to get up and go to work in the morning instead.  They know they need to make a change or at least feel motivated to make some changes. However, moving away from what they are doing to some unknown doesn’t feel right either.

So if this sounds like you, what options do you really have?

  1. Don’t jump ship, just yet – The worst thing you could do is quit your job to try and “figure it out”.  Without a plan, this approach rarely ends well. Unless you have lots of money, you may be forced to take any job and potentially end up in a worse situation than you were in to begin with.
  2. Do your homework – Get to the root of what’s making you unhappy. Is it the company, the work, the people? Or is it you? Maybe, you lack the confidence or the skills to do the work. Perhaps, it’s the commute you dislike or the lack of flexibility. It’s important to identify the elements that you most enjoy, the things you really dislike, and the items that you are okay with. No job is perfect, so there will always be some amount of compromise.
  3. Connect to your “WHY” – I love facilitating transformation and change in people. And while making a difference in people’s lives is my life’s purpose, I recognize that there are many jobs and professions that would have allowed me to serve and live my life’s purpose. I chose to become a “coach”. Others may have chosen to become teachers, counselors, managers, change consultants, etc. Life purpose is not necessarily a job or a career, but rather, how you show up.
  4. Get clear on what’s most important to you – Values shift over time. So what was important to you when you started your career, may not be important to you any longer. Take inventory of what is really important to you now and prioritize the list. You may find that providing a nice lifestyle for your family is number one on your list, perhaps higher on the list than career satisfaction.  If that’s the case, it may keep you in a job or career that you don’t love until such time as the kids grow up or you’ve saved enough money. As your priorities shift and change, so do your choices and options.
  5. Get the right support – It’s not always easy to be objective when it’s personal. Getting an objective third party perspective can be very helpful. Enlist in a good mentor or coach to help you “figure it out” and get you on the right path.
  6. Set a plan – While the decision to change can happen quickly, sometimes there are many steps involved in the process. Identifying what steps to take before you take action will save you time and angst in the long run and give you tremendous clarity.
  7. Take action – Take the first step, no matter how small it is – move towards what you want. Before you know it, you will have made major progress towards what you want.

You probably have a lot more options available to you than you might realize. It’s not always easy to see them for yourself when you are stuck. Start by getting unstuck. And if you need some help to get unstuck, contact a professional coach.

If you would like coaching or some assistance in making this year your best year ever, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email linda@resultscatalyst.ca

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5 Life Planning Steps for Career Professionals

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Many people are unfulfilled and trying to get unstuck in their life or career.  Often they can’t pinpoint why they feel the way they do.  They just know they aren’t happy, and they may have no idea how to make themselves happy. Our work together is focused on helping them figure out their passion, and their purpose in life (not just in their career) which leads them to more clarity in direction, to take specific action steps and to have a greater sense of control over their life and their career.

If you are currently feeling stuck or lacking direction in your career or in your life, here are 5 life planning steps you can take:

  1. Clarify your values – Values are what’s most important to you right now. And while values do not change in the short term, they do change throughout your life as you enter and exit various life stages. It’s good practice to regularly review your values to ensure you are aligned to what’s most important to you. I remember a time early in my corporate career, when career progression was important to me and I worked long hours, took night classes and did what I believed was necessary to get promoted. As I moved into motherhood, I found kids and family were more important to me and while my career was still important, I did forgo career moves that would have meant relocating my family. Later, I left my corporate role in favor of running my own business to create more freedom and flexibility. If you are finding yourself at odds in your career or in your life, it may be that your values have shifted and you haven’t yet aligned your life to support what’s most important to you right now, in this stage of your life.
  2. Identify your passion and purpose – What do you most enjoy doing? Are you doing “it”? Many people believe their passion should be their career. But there are many ways to fulfill your passion even if it’s not your main career. I know an artist who is accumulating some amazing pieces of art he sculpts hoping to exhibit them one day. Art is his passion, and yet he earns his living as a teacher. He finds many ways to integrate his passion into his work. For example, he volunteers for set design for school productions, he teaches art during the summer months at a local art studio, and he sculpts in his spare time. If you are one of the lucky ones where you are passionate about the work you do in your career, congratulations. And if you are not, there are still many ways to feed and nurture your passion.
  3. Define your goals – Do you have a clear set of goals for this year? And for the next 3-5 years and beyond? Life is a marathon, not a sprint and your life plan should reflect that. A methodical, disciplined approach to realizing your dreams and goals. What do you aspire to be, to have? Even if the goal seems too big or too unattainable, think about and plan for how you can move forward in the direction of what you most desire? Taking regular, baby steps will get you the results you desire eventually. Also, make sure you look at all areas of your life not just your career. Consider: money and finance, relationships, personal and professional development, health and wellness, spirituality, family, fun and recreation, and physical environment.
  4. Organize your finances – Do you have a financial plan? Many years as a banker taught me that some goals need to be planned for financially to be achieved. Generally, people don’t adequately plan for their future and then live a life of many regrets. You may have a goal to retire at 65 or start a business at some point, but unless you have planned for it financially, it may not be attainable.  I worked with a client who desired to leave his corporate job and start a business. Through our coaching work, he determined the amount of money he needed to cover his expenses until his business broke even.  He continued with his corporate job long enough to amass the money he would need. While it was not easy to save, be disciplined and continue with his job, it set him up for success and took a lot of pressure off his finances in the early stages of his business.  Make sure you have adequately planned for emergencies, set aside monies to realize your goals and plan for your future including your retirement. A good financial plan is an important component of your overall life plan.
  5. Create your career plan – No matter where you are on your career path currently… at the start of your career or perhaps nearing the end and thinking about retirement – you need a career plan!  A good career plan will include a review of your values, interests, passions, strengths, skills and experience as well as your career goals, options, and opportunities. A good plan will identify and address education/experience gaps, personal and professional development needs as well as available support and mentorship. Having a well thought out plan provides you with focus, direction and the confidence to take action. The better prepared you are for the future, the easier it will be for you to slide into your next career move.

If you wish to live a life of fulfillment and abundance and no regrets, it will take some personal reflection and planning. If you don’t have the motivation or know how to do it on your own, seek the assistance of a professional, whether it’s a financial advisor to assist you with a financial plan or a professional coach to assist you with your life and career plan, take the first step and get on track to realize your dreams and goals.

I’m currently taking on new clients, If you are thinking about working with a professional coach to help you with your life or career  challenges, or desires, schedule a no-obligation 30 minute consultation with me, : https://my.timetrade.com/book/FX6ZQ

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Wrapping Up The Year!

This is a great time to reflect on the past twelve months and acknowledge your personal and professional growth,Christmas gift

your accomplishments, and all of your experiences. As you look back and review the year, it‘s also a terrific time to celebrate yourself!

Consider the following questions to help you wrap up the year and get ready for next year:

  • What were your greatest successes and accomplishments? Sometimes a series of minor successes and accomplishments can add up to major strides forward. It’s a good idea to reflect on the small wins as well as the major accomplishments. Consider maintaining an annual journal to track your successes all year long.
  • What would you like to celebrate? Perhaps this year you received a promotion, started a business, grew your family, moved residences, or left a job you didn’t like. Whatever it was, whether you initiated the change or not, you grew from the experience and that’s cause for celebration.
  • What risks did you take this year that you are most proud of? Perhaps this year you stepped out of the box and did things differently than what comes naturally to you. I.e. you are an introvert and you chose to attend networking events to break out and meet new people.
  • What areas did you experience breakthroughs in this year? Did you have a shift in perspective? Did you breakthrough a mental, emotional, or physical boundary you previously held? Reflect on your breakthroughs and how you have evolved.
  • Who and what are you grateful for? These may be your friends, family, employees, bosses, colleagues, mentors, or others in your life. How did they support you? What role do they play in your life? Who do you wish to acknowledge most?
  • What was your biggest learning this year? How did you grow from it? How will you apply this learning moving forward?
  • What was your biggest disappointment this year? How did you handle the situation? How did you or how will you move on from it?
  • What do you wish to complete before the year ends or early in the new year? What’s left undone that needs to be wrapped up before the year is out. Prioritize what’s left and do what’s most important to you. Delete or delegate what you can. Most importantly, determine what action you will take.
  • What was the central theme for you this past year? If this year was a chapter in the book of your life what title would you give it?

You are now ready to start thinking about the next year and all that has to offer you.

 

 

 

The History of Holiday Greeting Cards

seasons greetings

Wishing friends and family a Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays via an annual greeting card is something we take for granted today. But have you ever wondered when it all began or how greeting cards have evolved?

  • Early greeting cards started out as simple slips of papyrus that were exchanged by both the Egyptians and Chinese as messages of goodwill.
  • The British Museum has a Valentine from the 1400s that is considered the oldest known greeting card in existence.
  • By 1840, the introduction of the postage stamp assisted the popularity of greeting cards. These early cards were created as works of art.
  • In 1843 Sir Henry Cole (London) commissioned a card illustrated by John Callcott Horsley. The focus was on the image rather than the greeting card message. 1000 of these cards were produced and sold for 1 shilling each.
  • By the 1860′s when cheap colour printing came along almost everyone could afford cards and a new industry took off. What was once relatively expensive, hand-made and personalized item, became an effective and affordable way to communicate.
  • In the 1900′s greeting cards, particularly christmas cards evolved based on the designs and fashions of the times. These were the influences of the 1920′s Art Deco movement, the satirical commentaries on poverty and prohibition during the 1930′s and finally the humour oriented cards of the 1950′s.
  • Humour continues to be popular today, as does religious motifs, winter pictures and romantic scenes of times gone by.
  • Today greeting cards are a billion dollar industry and come in all sizes that include singing cards, digital cards and e-cards

Finding the right card or perfect message can be alot of fun and for many people a way to get into the spirit of the holiday season. Happy Holidays everyone!