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Stand Out by NOT Doing What Others Do

Do you remember the letter I wrote to myself? Well, I’ve come to realize that I have really struggled in my career, both in corporate jobs as well as in my own business, and a big reason is that I’ve always tried to fit in when I should have been ok with standing out. When I compared myself to others and thought, ‘wow, look at what they’re doing – I want to do them;’ or when I stopped doing what I wanted or knew was the ‘right thing’ because someone else didn’t approve, I really held myself back.

How many time has that happened to you? Have these times ever made you feel less than but yet you did what these others wanted? I have for sure; in my previous jobs I was in management so it is a big challenge to go against the grain (you may find this, too). But I now know there could have been ways I could have had my way while satisfying my upline. In your career or business, you may have the urge to go along with others so as not to stand out but you would be doing yourself a disservice.

Standing out is the only option if you want to be successful (considering success is personal to each of us). When you become a ‘sheeple’ you become just like everyone else and it is harder to get promotions or more challenging work, or customers for your business. Standing out among the crowd can be a bit difficult but not impossible. I think it’s everything.

Begin by asking yourself – from an outsider’s perspective – what makes you unique or special? What qualities attracts people to me that I can build off of? What feels authentic to me in my work or business? The answers to these questions will help you identify your unique selling propositions (USP) that you can now use in your daily work and, actually, your life. Start today to evaluate so you can uncover your USP and stand out in all ways.

 

Caught in Your Own Belief Trap as it Relates to Your Career

I’ve found myself feeling ‘stuck’ lately as I’m working to expand my business. It can be very frustrating to see the vision but be slow on taking the action on which is the exact direction to go. I know that I’m not alone as I work with those who are in a career transitional phase and come in for help to get out of their ‘stuckness.’

In looking to understand why, it comes down to thoughts and beliefs which have been embedded in our brain; often, these thoughts have been there for a long time which we don’t often realize. They are the result of an early experience we’ve had that imprinted in our brain; they become a belief as we think about them over as we try to understand them. Beliefs are individual and not necessarily true, although some will live and die by their beliefs even with proof.

Some common beliefs I’ve heard that are career-related include:

  • this job is too hard
  • I’ll never achieve what I want to do
  • I have to stay in this miserable job in order to have money
  • my boss (or coworker) hates me
  • I am a failure or I’m not as good as my peers
  • I’ll never get promoted or recognized for the good work I do

I could go on and on in this list. The sad news is that your beliefs can keep you stuck and forever. The great news is that you can let these thoughts go – all it takes is you to make the choice to do so. Here are a couple ways to do so:

  1. Write about it – the art of journaling is a great way to release all negative feelings and gain a new perspective on a situation as it acts like the ‘third eye’ for what you might not understand about your situation. All those thoughts get jumbled in your brain and your focus goes on the most memorable so taking them out and putting them on paper releases the replay button and helps you to really ‘see the situation while coming up with workable solutions.
  2. Challenge your thoughts and beliefs – we never know anything with any certainty, especially our own thoughts and beliefs so when we challenge them, they can either lose their power or strengthen; a great exercise is called The Work (Byron Katie) which asks the questions: a. Is this true? b. Do you know this to be absolutely true (can never answer yes)? c. What do you feel when you believe this thought? d. What would you be like if you didn’t have that thought? Answering these can be life-changing as you begin to realize your thoughts have no power over you; once you understand this you can now refocus on more positive ones and create new beliefs that will move you forward.
  3. Visualize your best career and life – our visual field is our most powerful so take advantage of this tool and ‘see’ what you want to do if you could create this life if time or money were no consideration. Whatever you visualize you can do if you make the decision to go after it and you take massive action.

Don’t allow your long-held thoughts and beliefs to hold you back from having the career you’ve always envisioned. Following these steps is a start to releasing them and turning your career around. They also can validate if you’re in the right career or doing the right steps to get there. These are steps I’m using so I encourage you to join me on this journey. If you want some help, don’t hesitate to contact me for help at http://www.cyscoaching.com

How many of the thoughts do you identify with? What has it cost you? Would love to hear your thoughts!

New Month – New Goals – New Purpose

Here we are facing another new month ahead – how exciting is that? I don’t know about you, but I always feel more hopeful and have renewed inspiration at the beginning of each month. It allows me to rework any plans or goals, to modify/change/enhance them, and to review what did and didn’t work. This is the only way I know to keep myself on track.

So what system do you use to keep you on track? Here are some tips that work for me and that can hopefully help you:

  • Stop – Look -Listen: in order to know if I’m on the right path, I need to STOP the busyness of life and take time to sit and unwind; this allows me to LOOK at the images in my mind of what I want, while I LISTEN to my intuition is telling me about the situation. This usually allows my creative brain to rev up (as well as my excitement).
  • Now that I have ideas for what I want to get done, I take time to WRITE them all down. I love the process of mind-mapping, and free-thinking, as they allow me to get all my thoughts and ideas onto paper without judging or rejecting any. Through writing, I’m able to actually ‘see’ my wants and desires more clearly.
  • Once new goals are written, I look at how they match up with any past goals to check for similarities or new slants on them; I also look at what got accomplished, what didn’t, and either why they did or did not. I assess the importance and compelling reasons for having them – what is the benefit I will get from reaching my desires. If it’s not as much, I reflect on this to uncover the reason(s); I try not to rush this process so it can take a couple of days for the answers to come
  • Once I’ve gone through these steps, I now can write my desires – with their purpose – very clearly, along with what resources I need; I prioritize them and set target dates to complete them. I also place them where I can see them – on my wall calendar and in my planner. Daily, I write out what I need to get done that done and go to work – I love checking off what I’ve gotten done as I feel really accomplished, which is the motivation I need to go for more.

I hope these steps will help you to take the time to develop and review your goals, desires, wants, wishes – along with your purpose – and create the month you want. If you were to look back at the end of March, what will you be able to say you’ve achieved?  If you’re not sure, I’d love to help so contact me today at http://www.cyscoaching.com.

Is a Portfolio Career Right for You?

With the disconnect going in how businesses are hiring these days it is much more important for job seekers, including those who are looking to change jobs, to be more creative in how they go about finding work.  One of the upcoming trends is to move into contract or short-term assignments; this is called having a Portfolio Career.  Included in this category are part-time and flexible jobs, i.e. work at home.  Years ago, these types of jobs were considered a secondary option but that way of thinking is changing as more companies are embracing more flexible schedules for their workers.

A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) (2006) claimed that 40%-50% of the workforce would consist of freelance workers; back then 31% of the workforce were independent or contingent workers. As companies are trying to please their workers while maintaining profits, some of these flexible jobs seem to address both.  A portfolio career can offer a lot – freedom, more control over how and when you work, as well as the opportunity to gain skills and experience in a particular area, something that is difficult for new college grads or those wishing to move to a new career.  This can be a solution for those who are out of work; one other option is that it can allow an employer to ‘test’ before they hire.  The disadvantages are the risk to find these types of positions and having a new one lined-up after a contract has ended.  Those who require stability or limited risk would not gravitate to having a portfolio career.

If you’d liked to learn more or want to check out opportunities, here are some resources:

http://www.flexjobs.com – part-time, flexible, telecommuting jobs

http://www.Mediabistro.com – jobs, education for the media industry

http://www.Ratracerebellion.com – work-from-home job leads and information

http://www.Elance.com – online marketplace and community for freelancers

 

What Seems Revolutionary is Actually Evolutionary

Being an avid horoscope reader, I found mine for today very intriguing as the phrase in the title of this post was in it: “What seems revolutionary is actually revolutionary.”  The other ‘advice’ told me not to spend money on toys, to postpone travel for now, and to test ideas to avoid conflict.  I didn’t pay much attention to that advice but that phrase really popped out in inspiring me to address the intent and meaning, not just for myself.

As I contemplated on what this was saying, I thought it important to define the meaning of the words:

Revoutionary: constituting or bringing about a major or fundamental change (Webster’s Dictionary

Evolutionary: a gradual process in which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form (Webster’s Dictionary)

As I equate these to life, which is what my horoscope was directing me to, the lesson is there: changes you want to make in your life don’t have to be major or instantaneous; they can occur over time if we allow them to.  We sometimes feel we have to make things happen, and happen now; it’s the phenomenon that’s occuring today of immediate gratification.  We often don’t recognize that those gratified feelings can vanish quickly.  If we would let those ideas marinate and evolve in a slower manner, one step at a time and with deep thought, focus and persistence, the outcome would be more meaningful. And those results would be, as the definition  states, better from your planned time and effort.

To be revoutionary, it starts with the big idea – allowing yourself to visualize what you want in your career, your business or your life and then writing those down; the focus here is on why you want to achieve that outcome and creating the awareness, such as through a vision board or journalng about the idea.  I would say this is how movements are started.

To be evolutionary, you need to take those ideas and put them into a written plan; you could mind-map or write a proposal plan that includes all of the steps/actions you would need to take, along with the people or resources.  The plan is what gives you the road map and helps you to be more methodical in moving towards that outcome.

It’s really amazing to me for when one can find inspiration, such as this horoscope.  I can’t wait to see what mine holds for tomorrow as it is special day for me.  Looking for inspiration or ideas can come all around us to I encourage you to find yours; it could spark your own revolution!

Career Reinventions

If you have been laid off for your job, you may be wondering “What now?”  Well, this might be the perfect time to reinvent yourself and your career.  Reinvention means to recreate, make new or different.  This definition can take on many meanings for your career and for your future.  Daily, I hear and read stories of ordinary people making the “reinvention leap” and living extraordinary lives.  Or at least happy and fulfilling ones, mainly because they are doing it on their own terms.

Reinventing one’s career usually starts out of necessity; namely, you may have lost your job either through being fired or laid off.  It is tough out in the job market and people are wondering what to do with their future.  They are not sure if they will get hired in their industry so they may be looking at other industries.  For example, the healthcare field is an area where a lot of job seekers are thinking of transitioning, mainly because it is an area that is needed.  But, you must love to work with people and be around illness and death; it can be very competitive, require specialization and offer low wages.  This is not to deter one from getting into the field but these are questions one needs to ask and research before they jump in.

A reinvention can offer you the ability to create the career of your dreams. Have you an idea that you have been thinking of for a long time? Do you see a need or service that you feel you could offer and, perhaps, better?  Do you want to help others and give back? Do you want something different or more simplistic in your life? Are you feeling stuck? Do you want to take you life back and work on your own terms?   The answers to these questions have led 500,000 people (who have started new businesses)  in the last year to reinvent their careers and thrive.  If you’ve heard of  Ray Croc, Grandma Moses and Armand Hammer, then you would know that they reinvented themselves later in life to create thriving businesses and gain world-wide fame.  (In case you may not recognize their names, Ray Croc started MacDonald’s when he was 58, Grandma Moses became a famous painter at 76, and Armand Hammer retired from business at 58 only to return and start Occidental Petroleum Corp).

Creating a new career is not easy – it takes a willingness to take a ‘leap’ into the unknown as well as the fortitude to stay the course.  Here are some steps to help in the process:

1. Write down your personality traits and how you view change, creativity, business acumen, resilience, and the willingness to be open to ‘newness’

2. Brainstorm your ideas for how you view your ideal life; ask yourself, “If I was able to name my ideal career, and it was granted to me, what would I want it to be?”  Throw out all the ideas you have or want – don’t limit yourself as this is where you need to tap into your creative brain

3. See which idea(s) resonate with you; the one that you feel excited in your gut.  Then, go research what type of career path or business it could be, what it would take to do it (more education, business, plan, funding, etc.), and see who else has done it before.  How could you make it yours?

4. Set goals for each of these steps, as well as target dates to complete as well as when you will officially reinvent

5. Don’t try to do it alone – talk to a career coach who will help you create a reinvention plan and keep you focused on your goals

Taking these steps may be hard but not doing them will be harder, as you will have to live with those “woulda, coulda, shoulda’s” that are difficult to swallow.  Look at your future as your ‘gold ring’ – grab it before it’s too late!

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