What it takes to make a successful career transition:

Let’s face it changing careers can be stressful, but there are a few steps that you can take to make the transition less daunting.

 

Here are the 4 things you’ll have to do to make your career transition successful:

 

  1. Allow yourself to evolve and be creative
  2. Be committed to finding your passion
  3. Compartmentalize your fear
  4. Get out of your own way and just go for it

 

Let me me explain exactly what I mean here:

When I made my massive industry change from Wall Street broker to Pilates instructor the first time around (that’s right, I actually did a double whammy, which I’ll tell you about soon.) I unknowingly gave myself permission to evolve and think outside the confinements of a typical career. I got really creative with what I wanted and how I could make it happen.

 

I was fed up enough with my current work environment which meant I was 100% committed to making the leap to find my passion. This strong urge to find something that would make me happy made it a little easier to tell my fear to take a back seat while I figured out what I wanted for my future. You see, I didn’t allow my fear to block me from going for what I wanted most in life. I also realized that the longer I stayed in a job that I strongly disliked the harder it would be to leave eventually.

 

To remind me of this fact I had a whole bunch of older co-workers who were miserable in their jobs but were completely stuck because they never allowed themselves to think outside of the box or pushed themselves outside their own comfort zone.  I knew I didn’t want to wake up one day and be one of those people.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely didn’t have it all figured out up front, but here’s what I did know:

  1. I knew I was interested and loved movement,
  2. I knew more or less how much I could earn teaching Pilates and that it would be enough to support the lifestyle I wanted

 

I gave some room for the process to evolve creatively and didn’t pressure it to be a specific way. Most importantly: I kept believing in myself and worked towards fulfilling my dream of finding a career I was passionate about.

 

Now I’d love to hear from you: 

Have you made a career transition? How did you overcome your fear? What helped you make a successful career transition?

Or

Perhaps you’re thinking of changing jobs? Which one of these tips was most helpful to you? Or what’s holding you back?

 

Remember your question or answer could help someone else have a rich learning experience too!  

GA

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

If you’re planning a career transition and want more tips and advice on how to develop your career and find what you love to do, come and hear me speak at General Assembly and VentureFizz’s #OFFCAMPUS event March 24th. Grab your tickets here and read more about this week long festival! 

Can you really have your cake and eat it too?

In the modern world that we live in, with so many amazing opportunities, it’s so easy to overeat at the success buffet, biting off more than you can chew and then being overwhelmed and unsatisfied.

Social media shows us everyone’s wins and amazing accomplishments. In magazines we read all about how celebs have it all: looks, successful acting careers, hot husbands and kids, etc… If you’re an ambitious cookie like myself, all of this may create some internal pressure to start saying yes to any and all opportunities.

That’s normally where it all goes ‘tits up’ as my British broker friends would say. In my last blog entry with Diane Daly, I loved her honest tip: “My advice to working moms or working women who are thinking of starting/expanding their family is that you can have it all – just not all at once.”

Her advice also got me thinking about a few of my favorite topics: goals, choices, balance and of course opportunities. How do you measure the right quantities of each to bake your perfect success story?

 

If you’re going to have your cake and eat it too, you first need to know exactly what kind of cake you’re baking. Get crystal clear on what you want for all parts of your life: your career, friends, family, fitness, health – what are all the ingredients?

cake

Being crystal clear on what you want will help you to stay focused on your own path and stop you from comparing yourself to others. It will also be way easier to figure out what opportunities to say yes too and which ones to let go.

Here are a few questions to help you get clear and figure out your unique life cake:

What is your definition of success?

What kind of work-life-balance are you looking for?

What are your personal and career goals?

How many hours a week do you want to devote to work, fitness, family etc?

Knowing the answer to these questions will help you seek out specific companies or career opportunities that will help you land the balance you’re looking for.

Try to get as specific as possible and take time regularly to evaluate where you are, where you want to be and adjust accordingly. Remember you can have your cake and eat it too by making choices and saying yes to opportunities that are in line with your ultimate career and life goals.

Now I’d love to hear from you: are you struggling to figure out what the right steps are to take for your career? What’s making it difficult for you? Have you cracked the code to striking the perfect balance between your life and career? Tell me your insights in the comments below. Your question/comment/answer could help someone else!

Freaking Fear!

There are two culprits that mostly get in your way when you’re trying to achieve a career or life goal.

One of them we covered in my earlier blog entry: “Rob Gronkowski admits to only reading 80% of his book” where I talk about the correlation between preparing and success.

So the first obstacle between you and success: Failing to properly prepare.

The other convict is: FEAR.

This four letter word will kill any creativity, inspiration and motivation at contact.

I just recently had an ugly encounter with our four letter friend. In early September I started to promote my new Maternity Coaching package to companies looking to retain their female workforce.

( Psst -I’ll let you in on a little secret: this is the first time in about 5 years that I have had to sound, look and be corporate.)

I banged out the service offering in no time and did some research on the cost implications to companies on failing to retain their female talent. Even my Best of Boston® award came at just the right time to give me some solid street cred. Everything was perfect and I was really proud of my brochure. Then as soon as it was time to start sending it out to actual corporate companies, I ran into a major wall of fear!

Holy freaking F.E.A.R… all of a sudden I had 110 excuses as to why I was going to wait until tomorrow to send out the brochure, why now wasn’t a good time to call a couple of leads…and the list of self sabotaging procrastination went on…

Luckily I have you guys to hold myself accountable too and I really like to practice what I preach! So, I got right in there with my little frienimy. I was like: “Ok, girlfriend, spit it out – what’s the matter? Why are you so scared? What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen here?”

And just like that my little furry friend subsided – you see it had the usual concerns about failing, looking like an idiot, the “who the hell do I think I am to take this product to massive corporations.” As soon as I acknowledged it and identified exactly what I was so scared of, I was able to move forward.

I’ve also taken Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice on fear:

 

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Accepting that I can’t eliminate fear or even push it away, has allowed for smooth sailing ever since. I wrote down my little pitch, practiced it out loud a couple of times and started making some cold calls! Now I’m well on my way to getting new clients and my little furry friend fear has not said bleep.

Ooh, I feel a tweet-able coming on: “FEAR is my frienimy, all I need to do is acknowledge her and then she’ll be quiet!”

Next time your four letter friend trips you up, follow these quick steps to move right out of your own way and on to your goal:
1) Ask yourself what’s stopping you from going for your goal?
2) Name all the things you fear will happen. What’s the worse thing that can happen if they all come true? What’s going to be worse: Failing or regretting not achieving this goal?
3) Embrace fear, make peace with her and accept that if you’re going to live a big, exciting, best version of yourself, fear will come along for the ride. You do however have a choice how much power you want to give that fear. Choose carefully!

Here's me minutes after my interview.
Here’s me minutes after my interview.

Ooh and guess what? My cold calls paid off! I pitched my first big company last week! Fingers crossed for me please :) I’ll let you know when I get some updates!

Now I’d like to hear from you – how do you overcome your fears? What goals are your fears holding you back from at the moment?

When is it ever Enough?

When is it ever enough?
(first of a two-part series)
 
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Since I was very little, I can remember always wanting more. The first time I experienced it was when I was in kindergarten, and I won my first track sprint. From there on, I wanted to win every time. Later I started doing ballet and aced my first exam, and every time afterward I wanted to achieve those same amazing grades.
 
This went on until I started working on Wall Street. Then the success was measured in money and there, too, I wanted to accomplish more and more. Somehow no matter what I achieved, it was just never enough.
 
Until one day the question suddenly popped up: When is it – and will it ever be – enough? We basically spend our entire lives reaching and striving for the next big thing. This journey can be both exhausting and extremely stressful at the same time. Think about it: You spend way more time striving and working toward goals than the time spent achieving them. Once a goal has been reached, the high you get from the achievement wears off pretty quickly. It’s not long before you’re already fixated on the next big shiny thing.
 
I am not saying you shouldn’t have any drive or lofty goals. They give us a sense of purpose, something to look forward to and something to keep us motivated.
 
The key is to explore the “why” behind your goal.
 
In today’s Action Steps, find out if your goals are serving you for the right reasons:
 
1) What is your goal?
2) Why are you setting this goal for yourself?
3) Does the reason give you internal satisfaction or external status? In other words, is it something you want for YOU and YOUR dreams, or are you striving to reach this goal to please others and garner outside recognition?
 
When you pick goals that will provide internal satisfaction and growth, you’re more likely to feel fulfilled. Goals set for external recognition almost always lead to disappointment and the feeling of “it’s not enough, I want more.” And guess what: The most successful people of our time are those who set goals that are in line with their internal dreams and passions.
 
Watch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk, “WHY” for more on this.
 

 
Want even more? (Pardon the pun.) Sign up for my weekly newsletter and stay tuned for next week’s blog entry on how to turn what you have into enough.