Posts Tagged ‘goal setting’

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Top performers not only keep their word to others, they keep their promises to themselves.
And what are those promises?
They do what needs to be done to get that raise or that promotion. Or get out of dodge!
Yup. Sometimes top performers make that decision that they can’t get what they want where they are. And if that sounds scary to you, then maybe 2013 is your year.
A goal is a dream with a deadline. When you set a goal, you say to yourself,

  • “This is what I want, and this is what I’m going to do.”
  • When you make a plan around that goal, you’re adding, “This is how I’m going to do it.”

Pretty simple, eh? The tricky part, though, isn’t saying it. It’s meaning it.
If you’re tired of paying lip service to your career, now is the time to get on track once and for all. 2013 can be your best year ever, the year you take that next big bold step in your career.

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The Robins Are Doing the Deal

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011


 

Spring in New England is a wonderful, busy time. When I look at my yard, all of nature seems to be networking, planting seeds and making new contacts. Everything is focused on renewal and reconnection.

“Spring Fever” isn’t just for lovers: there’s a real surge of energy in the air at this time of year, and that makes April the perfect month to jump-start your business. Everyone’s coming out of their winter hibernation, anxious to be part of the world again, and that makes this a prime time for networking.

Here are some steps to take to help you take advantage of Spring’s buoyant energy:

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Using Your Business Intuition

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

On February 2, Tara and I did an interview on BrainTalk Radio with Carrie Hart, author of A Call to Greatness. It was a great exploration into how intuitive thinking can serve the businessperson in very practical and tangible ways.

Carrie says that the expansion of her business began with getting in touch with her intuition. This didn’t mean denying her practical nature; rather, it meant incorporating her “right-brained” self into her left-brained business.

One of Carrie’s primary gifts is intuitive hearing: she quiets her mind, asks a question, and listens for the answer. She started with a “word of the day,” which she would write down without allowing her mind to ask any questions. While the word might not make sense immediately, she would understand it clearly by the end of the day. Every morning, she put herself “in the pocket,” until she was able to slip into that receptive state comfortably and easily. Then, she moved on to asking bigger, more complicated questions. Always, the answers she received guided her in the right direction.

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Your First 90 Days (Part 2)

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Phase 2: Clearing a Path
During days 45-60, it’s helpful to step back a bit and observe the interpersonal dynamics of your new company and workplace. No matter how autonomous you are in your job position, no one works in a vacuum. And if you’re part of an office or corporate team, your success is even more dependent on how you relate to the people around you.

When you enter a new work environment, it’s worth it to take the time to get to know the people who work around you: your boss, your colleagues, your team, and the people under your direction. Learn how they work, and make note of their communication styles. Make it clear that you want to be part of the team, and ask questions about work flow and communication within your direct group of influence. Identify potential trouble spots— like, “Well, Judy likes to hide those project files on her personal desktop, so no one else can mess them up,” or, “John never copies anyone on those e-mails. He just replies directly to the clients.” Consult with other staff members to learn more about personal and company priorities, ongoing projects, and any workplace dynamics which might impact how you get your own job done.

Here are some questions to ask yourself in this phase:

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Your First 90 Days (Part 1)

Wednesday, February 9th, 2011

During your first 90 days in a new position, there are a lot of positive steps you can take to ensure both your confidence and competency in the position, and your potential longevity in that position. Taking steps to ensure that your communication is clear, your role is defined, your boundaries are firmly established, and your objectives are identified is vital to success in this competitive job market.

Phase 1: Mapping the Territory
The first 30 days at any new job, no matter what field or specialty, are going to be all about settling in and establishing boundaries. This is the time to get clear about what exactly is expected of you—and if you’re in a management position, what you expect of your team.

This sounds easy, but sometimes it’s harder than it seems. Make a concerted effort to pin down your job description in writing. Get confirmation from your boss about what exactly is expected of you on a daily basis. What are the standard procedures you’ll be expected to adhere to? Do different rules apply to different projects? What items or issues are recurring, and which are project-related?

Establishing well-defined boundaries about what are (and are not) your responsibilities can help you delegate more effectively, streamline communications, and establish a clear chain of command. When questions or issues arise during this critical “introductory” period, be sure to adhere to the protocols you’ve established, and when appropriate, make it clear that your staff are expected to do the same. There’s no time like the present to build good habits!

Here are some questions to ask yourself during your first 30 days on the job.

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A Crisis!

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Let’s take a little trip back in time.


Before I started my coaching business, I was one of the top recruiters in my company, and the number one biller out of six offices in a down economy. The pressure was enormous and the hours brutal, but the money was great and I enjoyed the work, so I put up with it.


One day, my new manager wandered into my office. (our company was acquired by a large franchise staffing firm) “Hi Dawn,” she said in that chirpy voice. “I see you’re  married.” She literally picked up my hand, said, “nice ring”. I nodded, confused. “Well,” she went on, “I hope you’re not planning on getting pregnant. I’ll be putting pills in your OJ,  Hah, hah” and she walked away. This is no joke.


The truth was, I hadn’t been planning to try for a baby anytime soon at the time.  But I knew I wanted a family, and this lady was NOT going to tell me I couldn’t have one.


That day, I reached what I call a “crisis point,” and I knew it was time to get out.  It was the push I needed. I had been talking about with my associates and husband for the last 6 months. I couldn’t work for a company that that didn’t value me except as a golden goose.


I’d known for a while this was no longer my ideal work environment. The boss that had promised me a BMW if I hit my target two years in a row. Never followed through and I learned the hard way, that I should have gotten it in writing. I’d seen the people around me burn out under the pressure, and I’d had more than a few tough days myself. But it took that comment from my new to be boss that truly make me realize how unhealthy the situation was.


Many of us know that it’s time for a change, but instead of initiating that change ourselves, we wait around for something to push us into it. We don’t change the problems in our marriages until divorce is looming, and we don’t change the problems in our careers until the only options are burn out or get out or it’s too late and you are laid off. Sometimes, not even burnout will stop us from holding on—we’ll keep showing up anyway, hoping that they’ll kick us out. In other words, we give our choice away, because owning it is too big a responsibility.


I know a woman who hates her job in the marketing department of a construction company. I mean, truly loathes it. A graphic designer of her caliber should have no trouble at all starting up as a freelancer, but she won’t do it. When you ask her why, she’ll mutter something about benefits, and a weekly paycheck. Sometimes, she says that she hopes her boss will fire her, because that would force her to do something—but right now, she’s too drained by the end of the day to even think about putting a resume together. She’s waiting for a crisis, hoping that someone (or something) will make her choice for her.


For others, a major life event is what sparks change: a birth, a death, a divorce, a wedding, a layoff. But do you really need such a major shock to wake up? The tighter the crunch, the fewer options you’ll have—so why not act now, before things build to a head?


One of my most important jobs as a coach is to help people in transition. If you’re feeling a career crisis coming on, don’t wait—take the reins now, and take control of your career.


This quote sums up my story – “If you can’t be a good example — then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” Catherine


“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.” Eleanor Roosevelt
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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit www.CareerLifeBalance.net or http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information email me.

Over-Performing

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

The other day, I was at a networking group meeting, and one of the officers asked me if I’d like to take on an ambassadorship. “You’ve got a great background in recruiting, and we could really use your help to generate new membership,” she said. “You’re exactly what we need.”
And she was right. I was a perfect fit for the job. But I didn’t want it, and I told her so.


The next day, the President of the group called me personally, to ask again if I’d take the ambassadorship. I told him no, too. “Thanks for the opportunity,” I said, “But it’s my time, and I need to spend it on other things right now.” Don’t get me wrong – my networking group is important to me. I value the relationships I’ve built there, and we really could use a boost in membership. But is it more important than my time with my daughter and husband? Or my time with my clients? Or the time I spend exercising and taking care of myself? Because hours in one of these areas would have to be sacrificed in order to make time for the ambassadorship—or, I could allot a very small number of hours to the networking group, do a half-assed job, and leave everyone dissatisfied. So as much as I would have liked to say yes, I had to say no.
I can’t tell you how many years it’s taken me to learn this lesson.


If you’re the type of person who likes to say yes, you are probably also the type of person who wakes up in the middle of the night, thinking, “How the heck am I going to get all of this done?”  “Why did I commit to doing this?” Time is one thing that we can’t make more of, and if yours is already scheduled to the hilt, you may be suffering from a serious case of over-performing.


Here’s a perfect example: One of my clients recently took a new job, in part because there was so much pressure at her old job. She took a pay cut in her new position, and was determined to find more balance. She’s a self-admitted perfectionist, and now, after only 90 days in the job, she’s coming close to the point of burnout. Turns out, she can’t do her best every day in the number of hours she’d scheduled for work, because she over committed to too many initiatives, so she’s pulling hours from home, family, and herself. The fact that she wants to do her best is commendable, but she’s back in the same position she was in at her last job, and working for a lot less money.


Why do we do this to ourselves? Call it self-competition. Once we’ve established ourselves as performers at a certain level, we believe we always need to perform at that level.  Worse, we feel that we need to continually get better, and do more. We never want to be at a level with the bar—even if we set the bar ourselves. What’s more, we don’t take time to revel in our achievements. Once we finish a project, rather than sitting back and basking in the warm glow of pride, we immediately move on to the next thing, and the bar is raised yet again. I know this because I did it for years and now it’s easy for me to recognize in my clients.


If you’re in search of balance, ask yourself a few questions. Listen carefully to the answers that arise. You might even make this a journaling exercise. (If you automatically replied, “I don’t have time for that!” ask yourself what could possibly be a more important use of your time than YOU.)

  • Why do you feel you need to say yes to every project that comes your way?
  • What do you feel that you’ll lose or jeopardize by saying no?
  • Who are you competing with?
  • What goal is being served by your over-achievement? Is there a light at the end of this tunnel?
  • Does having free time make you uncomfortable? Why?


Answer these five questions honestly, and the answers might change your life.
After offering my apologies to the president of my networking group, I hung up the phone with a smile. Any guilt I felt was immediately erased when I looked at the picture of my daughter I keep on my desk. She’s the biggest reason for balance in my life, and my best insurance against over-performing.
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WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit www.CareerLifeBalance.net or http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information email me.

Evaluating 2010

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

I have a tradition that I’d like to share with you. No, it doesn’t involve cooking, shopping, or any other usual holiday stuff—although I have those traditions too.


Every year, as I mentioned earlier this month in the article titled “Bad Hair Day“, I look back in gratitude for what I’ve accomplished in my business, and assess how far I’ve come since the previous year. I take an inventory of whom I’ve worked with, and determine some markers for the success rates of both myself and my clients.


After reviewing the average time each of my new career clients spent working with me, and comparing their results with that timeline, I was able to determine that, on average, my clients with a prospective salary range of $60-$130k are able to transition into a new job within four months using my BRIDGE Method. Clients in the $150k+ salary range found a job within six months.   


I have faith that the people I work with, whether on a short-term or long-term basis, are the right match for the services I offer. And so we’re able to work collaboratively to create amazing results. When I plan my next business year from this place of gratitude, the forecast always looks rosy—and as we all know, what we think about is what comes to us when we take action on it!


This week, take some time to reflect on your own business’s performance. Don’t waste time judging or saying things like, “If only…” or “I should have…” Instead, take note of your milestones and your positive accomplishments. Look at the results you’ve generated. Which feel really good to you? Which can you improve next year, using your new experience and knowledge? What were your goals for 2010, and how many of them did you meet?


It’s important for all of us to recognize our positive accomplishments as well as acknowledge our shortcomings. Maybe you could have done more prospecting this year—but you did build that database, which will support you in your dealings with new clients in 2011. Remember that while some years are banner years, some years are more about balance, transition, and learning. According to some, this year (2010) has brought not only personal transition for many people, but a global shift toward a higher consciousness and a different way of thinking about life and business. Now that’s encouraging!

“People should think things out fresh and not just accept conventional terms and the conventional way of doing things.” R. Buckminster Fuller


Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! http://www.coachdq.com


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Getting an Education

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

My friend Trish, founder of The Healing Moon Wellness Center, used to send me quotes every week from Terry Lynn Taylor and Mary Beth Crain. Sometimes when I’m feeling stumped, I often go back to look over these little tidbits of wisdom. Here’s one that stood out for me this week: “I know that true learning is a process of discovering my own thoughts and feelings about life.” I guess this is what Mark Twain meant when he said, “I never let my schooling interfere with my education.”


When we want to make big changes in our lives, we often have to unlearn the things we were schooled to believe. If you read my article titled, “Are You Working from Assumption” earlier this month, you know that apprehension-based assumptions are one such hurdle. Others are ingrained beliefs about work and work ethic, success, and what we really deserve out of life. These thought-habits can really hold us back if we don’t make an effort to change them.


Have you ever taken a course or workshop that made you sit back and say, “This is going to change my life?”  Probably, you got all revved up for a couple of weeks—but then, you fell off the wagon somehow, and went right back to the habits you were trying to break.


They say that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit, and 90 days to create or change a behavior. The habits which hold us back in our lives and careers often have roots as far back as our childhoods.  Many times, these behaviors are unconscious: we don’t even realize that we’re living them.


If you’re feeling stuck, do something to shift things up. Take an inventory of your behaviors, reactions, and go-to remedies. If you’re having a hard day, do you remind yourself that it’s no more than you deserve, because you didn’t do well enough in college/work hard enough last year/please your parents when you were a kid? That’s a behavior and an outdated rule, you can change it at anytime. When you complete a project, do you smile for thirty seconds, then move immediately on to the next challenge, because you could have done better? That’s a behavior, too. (I am notorious for that one!  Much improved on it over the years though.)  Step back and observe, make your list, and then pick just one behavior to work on over the next 90 days (or 60, or 30). When you notice yourself participating in this behavior, stop, take a step back, and try something different. You can do this with a partner or without; what’s important is that you do it.


If you need a simpler place to start, put a rubber band around your wrist. Whenever you catch yourself thinking habitual negative thoughts that don’t serve you, give that rubber band a snap. It’s an old trick, but it works.


No matter what changes you decide to make, or what habits you decide to break, may your personal ideal of success and fulfillment be your guiding light. Just because you’ve always been somewhere doesn’t mean there’s nowhere else for you to be. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side…but sometime it is. In other words, if you’re not standing in the sunshine, it’s time to find a new yard.


ShareWANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE, BLOG OR WEBSITE? Please do, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now!  http://www.coachdq.com

Cultural Consciousness

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

“Happiness is that state of consciousness which proceeds from achieving one’s values.” – Ayn Rand


Two weeks ago, we created “A Week in My Life”—a tangible description of your ideal week. Now, it’s time to delve deeper into your work experience during your ideal week: specifically, your experience in your ideal company culture.


Work culture is often discounted as a secondary factor in choosing a new job or career. But the social dynamics of a company can make even a mundane job great—or make even the most interesting job unbearable. In order to truly enjoy your job, you need to enjoy the culture.


If you’re like many people I’ve spoken with over the years, you find yourself falling into the same type of culture over and over again, in job after job, without really knowing why. No matter where you go, you end up working for the same micromanaging, manipulative, or absentee boss; or, conversely, you end up managing the same resentful, uncooperative, or scattered people. You want to make a move, but you’re afraid that the only difference between the new job and the old will be the color of your office walls.


The truth is, we attract certain types of people into our lives and careers based on our conscious and unconscious thoughts and processes. But if you take the time to become clear about what you really want, rather than simply falling into whatever comes your way, you’re more likely to avoid the trap of “same, same.”
Take 30 minutes or so this week to envision and flesh out your ideal company culture. Here are some points to consider:

  • In what industry does your ideal company operate? What types of product or service does it provide?
  • Where is your ideal company located?
  • What does the building/campus look like?
  • What is the layout of the office/production space? Do you have your own office? Work in an open space?
  • How big is your ideal company? Do you like having many diverse co-workers, or do you prefer to work with a smaller, select group of individuals?
  • What is your ideal boss like? In what ways does he or she support you? Consider a specific situation (perhaps one from your own recent experience): how would your ideal boss behave? Is your boss a mentor? Does he or she offer consistent guidance and support, or allow you to operate more autonomously?
  • If you’re considering a management or executive position, what are your employees like? What qualities do your team members possess which make them easy to work with? How do they support you in your role, and how do they allow you to support them in theirs?
  • What is the pace of your ideal business or office? Do you thrive under pressure, or do you like to take your time? How would your ideal company culture support your natural working pace?
  • What social, environmental, and financial goals are important to your ideal company culture? What causes does your company support?  


As with the first “Week in My Life” exercise, it’s just as important to know what you don’t want. You might choose to make a list based on the above criteria of what is unacceptable to you in your ideal company culture. For example, you might write, “I don’t want a boss who dates his secretary,” or, “I don’t want a boss who says she’ll give me a raise/a better position/flexible hours, then never follows through,” or, “I don’t want to manage unmotivated employees,” or even, “I don’t want to feel lost in a sea of desks.”
Once you’ve identified your ideal company culture, it’s a whole lot easier to see how you can fit comfortably into it. Next week, we’ll look at your role in your ideal company—in other words, we’ll narrow down your ideal job description!  It may sound like a lot of work, however, the amount of time you spend doing these exercises upfront will save you years of wasted energy and frustration which directly impacts your overall well being.  You only have one life.  Make it a great one!


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DQ’s BRIDGE strategy and job search coaching services are designed to help you identify and zero in on your target company, salary range, location, and other vital factors. Like using a Rapla lure to catch a bass, you’ll know exactly what you’re fishing for before you’re ready to cast. When you’re prepared and focused, you’re more likely to capture the opportunities that are out there waiting for you.
Dawn Quesnel, CPCC, PCC, known as Coach DQ, is a professional coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps marketing, advertising, and creative entrepreneurs navigate career or business transition while maintaining a healthy career-life balance. Her core belief that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to, consistently leads clients to uncover hidden resources and strengths. B.R.I.D.G.E. the gap and accelerate your career so you can love your life now! Visit www.CareerLifeBalance.net or http://www.coachdq.com today or for more information click here or email me.

You can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it.
— Dawn Quesnel - Coach DQ