New Week, New Month – New Future

Happy May! This is the start of a new week and a new month – how optimistic do you feel? Your outlook determines the success you will have, mainly as it is the driver in taking action to make any success happen. If you feel iffy or fearful in some way, then you will hold yourself back from moving towards any goal you set; likewise, if you feel you can achieve anything – yep, you will. Mindset is everything: you can either think and feel positive or you will think and feel negative. The choice is yours.

That being said, I’m always a firm believer in starting over; just because something doesn’t work one time doesn’t mean it can’t a second (or third time – or more); it took J. K. Rowlings 43 times to submit her manuscript before it was accepted; Walt Disney was laughed at over his idea for Disney World, and even Einstein didn’t have immediate success with his Theory of Relativity. Point is – they did not give up. And you shouldn’t, either.

So, make today your ‘Do-Over Day’ – pull out all of those sheets of papers or notebooks that contain all your goals or things you want to do and see which make your heart race. Those are the ones you should not give up on. Once you’ve identified these goals, write them out with action words (i.e. I am achieving, I am working as a marketer, etc.) which the brain will naturally move towards that action, and then list specific tasks you think it will take to reach them. Determine what resources you need, i.e. time, money, support/people, etc. Now you can start taking one small step – not tomorrow or another day – NOW. You’re ready – just get to it. In the story of the tortoise and the hare, who won? The one who took the slow and steady course. So be a tortoise – GO!

It’s National Stress Awareness Month – How Do You Deal?

Although this is the last week of the month, April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a leading factor to many health issues, along with emotional ones. Stress take its toll on both the mind and body and can have long-lasting effects if not dealt with.

images self defeat

First off, stress is not always bad as the name implies. Stress can actually be a catalyst which can propel one forward; it can identify a situation that has not been dealt with and be a challenge to overcome. Challenge stressors, such as those from the work load, are pressures from time, too much work, or needing to perform at a higher level; hindrance stressors result from being kept from reaching a goal, such as policies or procedures, systems, financial constraints, or office politics. (Robbins and Judge, 2016). It is when these overloads appear too much for one to handle that they overload one’s ability to deal with them. That is when stress leads to problems.

How one copes and deals can predict how effectively they handle stress – or how much. There are individuals who are able to handle a lot, but have good outlets to let their stress out, or they are willing to face the stressor; then, there are individuals who are willing to deal with a situation but hold their feelings in, eventually letting them out in some way; and then there are individuals who hold all of their feelings in for whatever reason (i.e. don’t like conflict, feel they need to be strong, etc.). The last two types will have problems, especially the last one who never deals with their feelings.

The key to effectively dealing with stress is to first be aware of the cause: another person, a situation we are faced with brought on by others, a situation we are faced with which we took on, either voluntarily or because we ‘have to, or from outside forces beyond our means. Once we are aware of the source of stress, it is important to slow down and analyze both the issue and possible solutions; slowing down can be challenging as the stress chemicals tend to ramp us up. Also, recognizing how you do, or do not deal, with stress and then having good outlets or ways to deal with life’s challenges will keep you healthy and happy.

Here are some ways to deal with stress you may have in your life; the more you use them, the easier and habit-forming they become so that any other stressors will not feel as terrifying as we think they are:

  • deep breathing (4-7-8 Rule)
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • journaling
  • coloring
  • mindfulness (5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, 1 thing I am safe with
  • gardening
  • physical exercise, i.e. walking, running, playing a sport, Zumba
  • dancing
  • meditation
  • practicing gratitude

These are just a few suggestions but can give you an idea of ways you can get calmer, refocused, and be more in control of your life and what happens within. Awareness is the key, so start paying attention to your physical symptoms, such as stomach problems (even butterflies in the stomach), headaches, back or other pain, restlessness, irritability, crying for no reason, or fatigue (to name a few) as this is the time to use one, or more, of these outlets to get calmer, which will then allow you to determine the best way to resolve the situation. The more you practice, the less stressed you will be, resulting in a happier life.

If you would like help in identifying your stressors and how to effectively deal with them, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

He MadeWhat, Doing What??

If anyone says you only can make doing a job, don’t think of asking a man named Robert, who is a Professional Line Sitter – he’ll sit in the line you don’t want to, such as the DMV or to buy the latest iPhone – and makes $54,000; or how about Janet from California, a Mom blogger, making $150,000 by sharing her expertise to other Moms.

Yes, the second edition of What People Earn report came out and it’s eye-opening and shows how people are earning money (or not). As more and more companies are foregoing keeping long-term workers, there are many more options for people to create their own jobs, some of which can be called ‘on demand’ or contract/freelance work, or create their own companies. I don’t think there is any idea too bizarre or that wouldn’t work IF the marketing and promotion was done in a way that fits ‘right’ for the idea maker.

Take Herman from Baltimore, who has become a Street Corner Astronomer; Herman is 85 years old and invites pedestrians to share his love of stars and planets by looking through his telescope. Whatever Herman is doing – it’s working as he is making money ($6400). It may not sound like a lot but Herman is most likely getting Social Security payments and can’t make a certain income; but he is doing something that is novel and he loves.

Another profile is Jeremy who is an SEO Specialist, making $382,500; he is on the upper end of the scale but has created a profitable business helping businesses to get ranked online and get more traffic. They make more money and so does he. Robert has taken his love of surfing and now teaches others, making $17,000; he says  he loves his job “you get to share in the joy with them {clients}, which is the most rewarding aspect of my job.”

The report does not say how long each of these individuals have been in business, or if this is their full-time work, but I think they are inspirational and pursuing what they love, while taking their knowledge and experience for the greater good. It’s never too late to begin; it all starts with an idea which can easily be researched and worked on. It will soon become a necessity to stay in the workforce on some level.

If you’d like help to determine if your idea can be turned into a business idea, call today for a Complementary Discovery Session to find out.  http://www.cyscoaching.com

What People Earn Report Just Out

Every year I look forward to Parade’s annual issue of What People Earn. I first wrote about this back in April of 2012; back then, they did a then and now where income was reported for the same profession in two different time spans to see how things have changed. For example, a hotel desk clerk in Las Vegas was making $23,000 in 1993 where a Casino host was making $118,000 in 2012; a Funeral Director in Arkansas was making $45,000 in 1996 but their income increased to $101,500 in 2012; while a Tour Guide in South Carolina making $17,00 saw their income decrease to $7,200 in 2012.

I’ve written every year so here is the update this year; I don’t like to relay information on celebrities or sports figures so here are what ‘real people’ (every day ‘Joe’s) are earning (some are encouraging while others discouraging):

  • Brandon, Magician – $25,000
  • Matt, Chimney Sweep – $76,845
  • Hilary, Professional Hockey Player – $22,000
  • Karen, Field Rep for the U.S. Census Bureau – $22,000
  • Lori, Esthetician and Waxing Specialist – $58,884
  • Donald, Corrections Officer (FL) – $36,000
  • Paul, Dairy Farmer (VT) – $10,000
  • Edward, Automotive Sales (MO) – $103,000
  • Michelle, YouTube Personality and Beauty  – $3million
  • Samantha, Romance Novelist – $34,400
  • Christina, High School Cafeteria Worker (PA) – $4,636
  • Brian, Attorney (Boston) $875,000
  • Bryan, Parole & Probation Investigator (MD) – $61,130

I think there is some hope in salaries but in looking at some of these, there are some glaring disparities.  It gives pause as to why some career paths are more valued than others; how much does gender or parts of the country affect the differences in pay: these are questions that the survey does not answer. I look at a chimney sweep who is doing a job that others don’t want to do, as well the magician and think ‘they must be promoting themselves well’ – or are they? Could they do a better job of this, as Michelle the YouTube personality has done? How could the Romance Novelist increase her income and why would the farmer or cafeteria worker stay in jobs that don’t pay a lot of money?

The bottom line is that a career is for life and it is what you make it to be. It starts with doing research on both the self an the industries, it’s about going after what ignites your passions and needs.And it’s about how you think about the work, which do have the ability to do so one way or the other.

Here is what Paul, the Farmer had to say: “I always dreamed about starting a farm. Building a successful business in the Northeast Kingdom has been a great experience.” Edward the Car Salesman says “What I enjoy most about being in auto sales is helping people (or families) realize their dream.” While Christina the Cafeteria worker said “I love the interaction with faculty and students. I treat kids like they are my own.”

These people are have a fulfilled passion, or at least have identified what it is they like about their jobs, which does not always equate to money. All of these individuals have focused on the end results of the work they do; one to help people eat better, one to put people in cars they dream of, while the last enjoys the interactions with both faculty and students. It’s always important to evaluate what is your driving force and how you feel about your work and why you do what you do. I’ll be anxious for next week as the second part of the report will be released so stay tuned!

If you’d like to explore and enhance your career, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com for a Complementary Discovery Session

Don’t Believe Everything You See or Hear

“APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY FLOWERS”

I’m sure you’ve all heard this saying; we here in Florida did have rain over the weekend and my flowers are starting to bloom again. However, for parts of the country, particularly in the Northeast, their saying goes something like this:

“APRIL SHOWERS BRING…SNOW”

Yes, those folks (my family included) are now dealing with snow that has blanketed the ground and brought very chilly temperatures. What gives? Wasn’t it back in February that we saw Punxatawney Phil not see his shadow, which meant an early Spring. People were cheering, especially after temperatures did rise. But, not all is at it seems.

I wonder how many people will believe Phil, or his handlers, after this. It reminds me of our weather in Florida and hurricanes – the weathermen preach doom and gloom and ‘take cover’ predictions but then we only get a little bit of rain; the next time, people are dismissive and unbelievers (I remember people being unprepared and laughing off predictions when we had 4 hurricanes – they learned).

Why is it that we seem to believe everything we see or hear, or reject, and then wonder why things turn out the way they do?  Why are some people so willing to take opinions from others while others reject everything they hear? We do have to look at history and patterns which do influence our thinking and, ultimately, decision-making for how we lead our lives. One person can be so trusting, willing to follow the crowd; often, they don’t trust themselves or decisions they make out of some fear, such as rejection, being wrong, getting laughed at, saying the wrong thing, etc. They can’t face a consequence, which is made up in their mind.

And then the other group has been hurt in some way  – disappointed or rejected – so they have their ‘armor’ on and are not willing to entertain any other thought or take a risk. They face the same fears as the first group but these individuals have ‘proof’ that whatever is out there won’t work so they never try.

Our brains have this funny way of protecting us, which is not always healthy; denial is a useful tool in certain situations and time, such as during a death or divorce. But it is not meant to stay and be the ‘go-to’ coping mechanism for how we lead our life. If the painful situation is not dealt with, then one of the self-sabotaging behaviors above will emerge, acting as the director for the actions you take which will lead to facing the very situation you’ve been avoiding and feeling unprepared. The emotional effects begin to take their toll and lead to life-long patterns.

Only when you start trusting yourself, develop healthier ways of dealing with past hurts and being open to what those experiences taught you (you have survived, right?) will you begin to lead the life you desire. Begin to challenge and question your thoughts – “is this true? (Byron Katie). Stop stressing about situations you cannot get back or control. I love this saying: “We can’t control situations that happen to us; but we can control how we think about them” (abridged, Brian Tracy). Start today with this new month and start living your best life!

If you’d like help in creating your best life, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

How to Do a Career Exploration and Why it Matters

Throughout the life of you career, you will experience highs and low; some jobs will be a great fit while others will leave you feeling frustrated and depleted. This is why it is important to do a career exploration evaluation, which  involves assessing not just the self but industries as well as work environments. If effectively done, you would know your interests, values and abilities as well as the type of environment you work best in, along with the types of jobs available that match (Greenhaus, Callanan and Godshalk, 2010, Sage Publications).

There are many benefits to uncovering these traits, which can also include: passions, aptitudes, and personality, so that you can now set good, workable goals that will lead to finding and reaching them for greater career success. Knowing your interests, abilities  and aptitudes will let you focus on finding work tasks that relate and keep you engaged in those tasks; knowing your values will lead to finding the work environment that aligns with them so you will be involved within that environment. Knowing our traits should lead to doing the research needed that will get your desired outcome – both short and long-term, as well as overall job and life satisfaction.

Here are some areas to evaluate, which should not just be done when you are looking for a job; these are great to assess often, such as every month or quarterly. Keeping your ‘finger on the pulse’ will ensure your career needs are being met or identify and correct when not:

  • values – the things you hold dear, or that you either would or would not tolerate
  • interests – what you like, dislike, what you like to do, etc.
  •  abilities and aptitudes – what types of activities are you good at or come naturally or with ease
  • personality – characteristics that include: thought, behaviors, emotions
  • beliefs – what do you ‘live by’ regarding how and when work should and should not be done; how much of a strong-hold do you live by these beliefts
  • decision-making – do you make decisions easily or are they difficult; can you make independent decisions, rash decisions, or do you need validation when doing so
  • conflict style – how do you respond when conflict occurs, i.e. stay silent, yell or in an aggressive manner, get back a someone, etc.
  • leadership abilities – do you like to lead people or projects (or not); do you enjoy being in the ‘limelight;’ can you handle a lot of responsibility; can you see the ‘big picture;’ what characteristics do you possess that are leadership material
  • skills – knowledge and experience learned either independently or on-the-job
  • communication – effective listening skills; ability to send and receive messages effectively; appropriate use of body language; ability to convey messages in multiple mediums, i.e. verbal, email, text, reports, others, etc.
  • preferred work environment – type of environment that suits identified traits
  • preferred type of lead to work for – type of personal interactions or traits desired in a leader, and how you want to be directed in the work you do
  • preferred co-worker or team – what type(s) of character traits would you like to spend your time with (like you, not like you)
  • wants/needs – what work activities and environments do you absolutely need to have, versus those desired (example – money you can live on versus wanting a high desired salary; location and proximity; benefits; work-life balance preferences)
  • tolerations – what you’re willing to overlook, accept, adapt or learn to cope/live with

This is  long list to assess but isn’t it worth it ensure you are in the right career, with your needs being met, as opposed to being in a j-o-b. As stated earlier, assessing these on a regular basis will validate what you are currently doing or to recognize and make changes.You can compare a potential job opportunity with these as well, to see how much of a match there is between your list and an organizations.  Aren’t you worth it?

If you’d like help to perform a ‘good’ career exploration or put a career plan together, contact us today for a complementary Discovery Session to learn more: http://www.cyscoaching.com

 

Ending the Quarter and New Beginnings

Here we are, ready to end the first quarter of the year. It’s time to assess how things have been going for your career or your business, as well as your life. Remember when you set those big goals at the end of last year with every intention of making 2016 your best yet?

Well, it’s now time to face the music. The bad news will be if you have not done any of them; the good news is there is always a  ‘do-over’ which means you can re-plan and re-start over. As we are ready to embrace a new month and the season of Spring, why not use this as your ‘springboard’ to making them happen. So grab that paper where you wrote your goals (you did, right?) and answer the following questions:

  • What were the goals you set? As banal as this sounds, you might not remember what or how you said them, which does impact taking action – if goals are too large they can be overwhelming while goals that are too small will not motivate. Look at the exact words you wrote and see if the meaning and intent is still there
  • Which goals did you work on or accomplish? Why were these compelling to you?
  • Which goals did you overlook or ignore? Why were these unattractive to you?
  •  Which goals do you want to keep and move forward with? In the same manner, which goals do you want to let go of?
  • How could you re-write any of the goals to reflect your current situation (as things may have changed since you originally wrote them) to make them more motivating so that you will take the needed steps to get them accomplished?
  • Do you need to re-prioritize the goals so they are more manageable?
  • Do you need to get any support to reach them; for example, if your goal is to get a promotion in the next three months, you may need to hire a career coach to help you plan your steps out, or hire a resume writer to update and have a more compelling resume
  • Did you set start and end-dates for your goals and do you need to update them now?

Once you answer these questions, you can now rewrite, reframe, and reschedule any remaining (or new) goals. Put them in your calendar, tell others of your plans, put them in a visible spot where you can see them, and get the needed support to give you the accountability and get working on them or done. You don’t have to be a slave to your goals but without them, you will be a slave to the woulda-coulda-shouldas, which only leads to continual frustration and regret.

Remember, you also don’t have to do all of them at once but getting them all down gives you the bigger picture of a life plan. Start with the one goal you prioritized as the most important, working on it daily until this becomes a habit and then move on to the next. Celebrate your efforts and any results you get, which are continual motivators themselves. Soon, your life will be better because of your positive efforts. Welcome April!

If you’d like help with goal-setting and moving forward, call today for your complementary Discovery Session to learn more: http://www.cyscoaching.com.

 

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