Posts Tagged ‘making a career change’

Are You Distracted?

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

Did you know that the average person only works about 2-3 hours per day?

I know. You get up early, take your place behind your desk, and spend your day dealing with whatever comes up. By the time five o’clock comes, you’re exhausted. But how much of your workday is actually devoted to work—and how much is spent dealing with distraction?

This is a common theme among my job search clients. “I want to meet my goals for networking/phone calls/prospecting/working on my resume,” they tell me, “but all these other things keep coming up!” It’s easy to see how this can happen. We don’t live in bubbles (well, most of us don’t, anyway) and so there is always the chance that distractions will come into our space and break our focus.

Here are some common distractions:

(more…)

Franchise Business Owner Transitions to a Career in…

Tuesday, February 1st, 2011

Coach DQ Client Case Study


What was happening in your life when you called Coach DQ?


I owned a few fitness franchises and was working as a regional developer the corporate headquarters and was considering a career change. I was referred to Coach DQ by someone I look up to. My friend had recently made a big career transition, and said, “I didn’t make my choices alone. I had the help of a coach.”


At that point, I didn’t even know what a coach did, but coaching had worked for my friend, so I decided to give it a try.


I loved my job, but the company had lost sight of its mission statement, and I felt that its values no longer aligned with my own. The problem was, I wasn’t sure what my own values were, let alone how to use them to construct a plan for shaping a new career. Using her Bridge mapping techniques and other tools, Coach DQ helped me find my core values, articulate my vision, develop a game plan, and much more. Everything suddenly became much clearer.


What was most helpful about the process?


To me, the best part of the process was the accountability. It was a soft accountability, though. Coach DQ wasn’t an enforcer; rather, she was pleasantly persistent. She knew what I needed to do to get where I wanted to go, but also respected the fact that my schedule can be very hectic at times. Instead of pushing me, and trying to establish concrete goals and deadlines for my progress, she just put ideas out there and let me run with them. In this way, she was able to keep me on track and moving forward at what felt like a natural, rather than a regimented, pace.


What have you accomplished since working with Coach DQ? What was the “end result” of your coaching experience?


Well, the “results” are still in the works. But I’ve been able to establish a clear vision for my future, and I feel good about the direction in which I’m moving. Currently, I’m in the negotiating process working feverishly to bring things to a close. I also have two exciting new opportunities in the fire. Although the loose ends have yet to be wrapped up, I know my results are right there, waiting for me.


I feel that Coach DQ’s methods and assistance allowed me to create positive shifts in my professional life in a much more organized, systematic, and effective way than I would have been able to implement on my own.

Share


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.

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
Share


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.

The Voice of Reason?

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

Over the years, I’ve found a common theme in successful people, they have a great idea and they follow through on it.


Most of the time, the first part is easy: everyone has a passion, and most of us have at least a vague idea of what we might possibly, someday, be able to do with ours. It’s the second part that’s tricky.


As much as we’d all sometimes like to live in a vacuum, we don’t. And often it’s natural that the follow-through can be helped or hindered by the people around us. Whether it’s starting a new job, starting a business, or simply changing focus, our nearest and dearest will surely express their feelings about it.


When I left my position as an executive recruiter to start my own recruiting business, my husband was, shall we say, less than enthusiastic. I know many of you can at relate to this situation. It took six months for me to get his buy-in and those six months were hard on both of us. (I was already taking classes at Suffolk University, studying for my coaching certification and I wanted to start my own business!?) It was important to me to share with him my business plan, and in doing so I engaged him with my passion and determination. This helped our relationship a lot. Then when the numbers came in at the end of that first year, he truly did put his weight behind my business. I don’t say this to criticize: his doubts were legitimate. But if I had listened to them over the calling in my heart, I would never be where I am today. And it’s our opposites that give us a nice balance.


One of the most challenging factors I work with in my coaching practice is the “Unsupportive Spouse”. The significant other in any relationship likes to think they’re the voice of reason—and sometimes they are, but more often, what they’re voicing are their own fears and doubts. “If you start your own business, will you make enough money?” they’ll ask. “Will you still have time for me and the kids?” “Are you sure that’s a smart idea?” “Will anyone really buy that product or service?” These questions, coming from the one who’s supposed to love you ‘till death do you part, can feel like an attack, because they’re mirroring the voice of your inner critic.


Now, I’m no marriage counselor, and I would never presume to offer my clients advice on how to handle their personal relationships, but I will say this: there’s a difference between compromise and control. If your spouse is worried about having enough money to live on, come up with an amount that you need to save before you leave your job. Do you feel comfortable with six months’ salary in your savings? Twelve? Is money a factor at all, or is it about time and attention? Be willing to compromise, and the ride will be a lot smoother. If it’s about control, well… that’s a deeper issue, and might require a different approach.


Rational, objective discussion of your spouses’ fears and concerns can go a long way. Change can be a scary proposition, and it often leaves people behind. Sometimes, your partner only needs to be heard, and feel that they’re included in your plans.


As someone I knew once wrote, “When mama’s happy, everybody’s happy.” If following your personal and professional passion will make you a happier, more fulfilled individual, it’s truly the best choice for everyone around you. Through compromise, compassion, and understanding, you can often help that “voice of reason” become a voice of support and solidarity.


Share


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.

Don’t Stubbornly Hold Onto It!

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Often, our biggest obstacles to success are the things we hold on to—fears, insecurities, and ingrained behavioral patterns that no longer serve us. Inevitably, there comes a time when we have to let these things fall away; when we have to clear away the debris of the past to make way for new growth. After all, if the trees held on to last year’s leaves all winter, there would be no room on the branches for spring buds, and no beautiful foliage to celebrate come autumn.


In many ways, the key to progressing is learning to let go. When you relax your rigid preconceptions around your goals and dreams, new possibilities begin to unfold. When you stop scrutinizing every detail, the big picture comes into clear view. When you stop thinking about what might happen and focus on what is happening, fear melts like ice cream on an Indian summer day.


When it comes time for the maples and oaks to put on their brilliant fall coats, they don’t resist or complain. They don’t stubbornly hold onto their summer green because “I might never see a summer like that again.” They don’t shrug off all their leaves at once in a show of defeat. They flow with change, because change is part of life, and even the most challenging changes can yield beautiful results.


If you’re finding yourself resisting change in your life, ask yourself why. What are you afraid of? What good things about what you have right now are you reluctant to lose? Sometimes, we’d rather stay in a bad but familiar situation than strike off into an unknown place where we can’t predict what will happen—but if you’re doing that, ask yourself if you’re really content to stay where you are forever. Sooner or later, autumn comes, and you’ll have to shed your skin for something better and brighter. It’s not a question of if, but when. Will you flow into change like the trees, with grace and optimism, or will you be dragged kicking and screaming through your next metamorphosis?


Most of the people I work with are trying to be more like the trees. They’ve recognized the need to shift something (or several things) in their lives, but aren’t sure where to begin. Unlike trees and forest creatures, we can’t always rely on our instincts to direct us—but we also have the unique ability to shape our lives and create our dreams from nothing more than a vision and a plan.


Part of my job is to help people figure out how to create change in their lives, why they’re resistant to change, and if the decisions they’re making are coming from a place of security or fear. Just like the most brilliant foliage is a result of several independent factors (temperature, soil conditions, rainfall) coming together in harmony, positive change comes from the alignment of planning, vision, and good old fashioned hard work.


If you’re ready for change, and want to come into the next season with a new outlook and fresh, bare branches just waiting to bloom, it’s time to let your leaves fall! Let go of what no longer serves you. Silence your internal critics and commentators (or at least ignore them), and step into the life that’s waiting for you! The big question is what do you need to let go of? Email me your biggest obstacle. DQ@CoachDQ.com

Share


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 Certified Coach, radio show host and workshop leader. Through the use of her B.R.I.D.G.E. programs she helps creative professionals and business owners 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.

The Missing Piece

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

When you find your ideal company culture, it can feel like you’re the “Missing Piece,” the element that’s needed to make the greater whole operate seamlessly. Conversely, your ideal company culture can fill in the pieces which are currently missing in your career.


In the last two articles, we’ve explored “A Week in My Life,” where you created a description of your ideal week; and “Cultural Consciousness,” where you identified your ideal company culture. Now, it’s time to discover where you fit into that culture, and use that information to seek out your ideal job/role.


Here are some questions to ask yourself in order to get a clearer picture of your ideal role. It can be helpful to have your description of your ideal company close to hand as a reference. Remember, all these questions should be answered within the framework of your ideal week and ideal company culture.

  • What is your job title and description?
  • What is your salary range? (Go for the gold, here. After all, this is your ideal world!)
  • What are you creating in your role? What types of problems are you solving on a day-to-day basis? What type of information are you working with? (If you have trouble answering this, look back over your career, and identify the projects/solutions/incentives that you’re most proud of, or which were most fulfilling to you. What role would provide you with those types of situations regularly?)
  • How many people do you answer to? How many people work directly for you (or as part of your team)?
  • How do you interact with your bosses, coworkers, or team members on a daily basis? Do you work mostly alone, or as part of a group?
  • Does your ideal job require frequent travel? To where, and for what?
  • What is your ideal work schedule? Flexible hours, weekends, nights?
  • In what ways does your ideal job align with your personal values, goals, and commitments? 
  • How do you feel that you can make a difference on a larger scale in your ideal role? What contributions will you be able to make in this role which will allow you to feel more fulfilled and productive?

 


As with the last two exercises, you might choose to make two lists: one for your ideal job, and the other for your not-so-ideal job. Become clear about what you want, and what you cannot or will not accept. When you have a strong vision about what’s right for you, you’re more likely to find it.


Sign up for my FREE BRIDGE E-COURSE.  DQ’s BRIDGE Process, proven to help you find your ideal job faster, is being featured in the soon to be released book “101 Ways to Enhance Your Career”


Share

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.

Client Case Study

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

What was the problem/situation which drew you to seek out Coach DQ’s services?

After two years in an advertising job that wasn’t going anywhere, I was in a rut unlike any rut I’d ever experienced. I was working with a client who wasn’t treating me well at all, and my boss had decided that not only should I suck up to the client, I should view this experience as a test to see if I was “happy” with the company.


Happiness. That was a big thing for my boss. He had an instinct for it, but not in a good way. The moment I started feeling unhappy, he’d hone in on it, and try to exploit it. Rather than managing my issues—like my problem with the client—he would insinuate that this might not be the right job for me anymore. This had the effect of compounding the frustration I was already feeling.


After a while, my rut became a valley. Instead of looking for a new job with a more supportive boss, I tried to combat my boss when he sniffed out my unhappiness. In the end, I ended up hurting myself more than I hurt him, and I found myself in need of some serious self-repair and outside perspective.


A good friend of mine suggested that I work with Dawn, because Dawn’s coaching had really helped her accept responsibility for the situation she’d been in, and move on. Coaching sounded like just what I needed.


What specific issues did you hope to address with your coaching sessions?
The first thing I wanted to concentrate on was rebuilding my self-esteem. My boss’s habit of making everything my fault had really done a number on my confidence and judgment. I’ve always known myself to be a positive, capable person, but I had allowed those qualities to erode. I knew it would be difficult to interview and secure a new job without self esteem intact.


Second, I wanted to define what I wanted to do with my life—or at least what I wanted to do next. I was feeling confused about marketing as a profession and felt overwhelmed by the notion of a “career” that would span the rest of my life. I was also fearful that I would land a new job, but wind up feeling unfulfilled again in another year or two. I’d held six marketing jobs in ten years, but I didn’t have a sense of purpose in my job choices. And, I was frustrated by the fact that although I spent a lot of time working—even to the point of sacrificing my own healthy creative outlets—I was still unsatisfied


Finally, I wanted to learn to set boundaries and establish ways in which I could deal effectively with difficult people—like my former client.


What was the best part of the coaching experience for you?
The best part of the coaching experience for me was that I no longer felt alone. I’ve always been encouraged and empowered by supportive friends and family to navigate life as I saw fit; I never thought I would “fail” at being happy. But the truth, for me, is that that empowerment can be overwhelming without tools and proper guidance. The structure of my weekly meetings with Dawn kept me accountable for what I was supposed to be thinking about, and gave me the thing that matters most to my success: time to reflect.


What was the most challenging part of the coaching experience for you?
The most challenging aspect of the process for me was to be disciplined about making time each week for the coaching. I was really great at it in the beginning, but after I landed my new job, I began to put a lot of pressure on myself to have some sort of “status update”—some progress on which to report. There were times when I would have a strong urge to cancel our call, because I hadn’t accomplished our objective from the week before. But Dawn reminded me that the process isn’t always linear, and that learning happens both during and outside of calls. I still worry that I’m not maximizing my time with her, but I now have a better understanding that my time with her is also time I give to myself to keep my life balanced and fulfilling—regardless of what I may or may not have accomplished. In many ways, I’ve discovered, taking this time for myself is an accomplishment!


Was the issue you originally intended to work on resolved through your coaching sessions?
Yes, my core issues were resolved through the coaching process. But more important even than the problems solved are the valuable skills and tools I learned—including the ability to clarify what I can and cannot control. These help me navigate the workplace in a healthier way. I know now how to consciously put myself in situations where I can succeed.


What was the outcome of your work with Coach DQ? Did it meet your expectations?
Here are what I perceive to be my key outcomes as a result of my work with Dawn:
• I’ve gained self-confidence. Dawn’s tactic of asking, “What evidence can you identify that leads you to that conclusion,” was a great reminder that sometimes my perception of a situation can not only be destructive to my self-esteem; it may not even be reality.
• I am less intimidated by the notion of a “career.” Now, I see a career as something in hindsight and retrospect. What’s more important is being aware of who I am today, and having a job I enjoy.
• I’ve learned not to take everything personally. On Dawn’s recommendation, I purchased Richard Carson’s book, Tame Your Gremlin. After reading it, I learned to differentiate between the Gremlin in my head, and my better judgment, which has helped tremendously.
• I realize that I need a professional mentor (not necessarily my boss) who can serve in the role of coach on an ongoing basis.
• I have a greater appreciation for the power of creative visualization. It’s one of the best ways to achieve what I want. Whether I use a vision board or meditation, the process is an anchor for me, especially for when life gets chaotic and confusing.
• I’ve landed a great job marketing the arts. It is at an appropriate level for my skills, and I am marketing something I’ve always loved. During the interview process, I was able to deliberately assess cultural and managerial fit.
• Finally, even though I love my job, I am acutely aware that it does not have to serve as the sole definition of who I am.


I am not quite done with my coaching experience, so I’m not sure what the remaining month will bring, but overall, I would absolutely recommend working with a career coach to anyone who is feeling a bit lost in the process. I am confident in my new skills, and would love to revisit this experience in a year or two, to see how these lessons progress for me over time.


Share


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 following a track in the woods, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for before you’re ready to aim. When you’re prepared and focused, you’re more likely to capture the opportunities that are out there waiting for you.


They say that for every $10,000 in salary you’re asking for, you should add one month to your job search. But my BRIDGE for Job Search “hunting” strategy is proven to cut job search time by 50% or more.


Now that Fall is here, the hunting season is in full swing. Don’t miss out on your ideal job. Find out How it works, click here.


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, creative professionals, and business owners 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.

Itching to Get Out of Your Job?

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

“Start With the End In Mind” ~ Coach DQ


If you’re like many of the people with whom I communicate on a daily basis, you want to make a move. You’re practically itching to get out of your job. But you’re worried about the economy, and the availability of positions in your field or salary range. Or, you cringe at the very thought of the job search or resume development process. Or, you’re worried about the fact that you’ll end up in the same unsatisfying situation in your new job, with the same unreasonable or manipulative boss and the same ill-fitting work culture.


Do not wait; the time will never be “just right.” Start where you stand, and work with whatever tools you may have at your command, and better tools will be found as you go along.” Napoleon Hill


Well, don’t despair. The economy is starting to rebound, and now is the time to start becoming clear about what you want from your new position. Do you want to make a lateral move to a company with a culture you admire? Do you want to advance to an executive or high-level position? Do you want to change careers, or start your own business?


Becoming clear about what you want and need from your job is also important to avoiding career déjà vu—when you wake up in a new job to find that your new boss is the same as your old boss, your stress level hasn’t gone down, and you’re dissatisfied with the same elements of your new job as the old. Often, our unconscious patterns lead us toward specific types of people and situations. But we can break that cycle through careful planning and creative visualization.


Remember that there’s a solution to every problem—you just have to find it. You’ll never get out of your rut if you don’t take action.


Today, and over the next few weeks, we’ll be looking at solutions to help you break out of your rut and start moving forward. If you’re unhappy with your current job but aren’t sure what to do about it, I invite you to create “An Ideal Week in My Life.”


An Ideal Week in My Life. I’m sure you’ve been asked at some point in your life to describe your ideal day. But an “ideal” day is hard to come by, even in imagination-land. Instead, I will request you to take 20-60 minutes to sit down with a pen and paper, and describe your ideal week. Here are some elements to consider when envisioning this ideal week in your life.


•Where are you living? Are you in your current home, or elsewhere?
•What is your schedule? Are you working 40 hours? More? Less?
•How long is your commute?
•What time do you wake up? What time do you get home from work?
•What is your job like? What field are you working in? (You can be pretty general in this area, since we’ll delve into more specifics next week.)
•What do your nights and weekend look like? What creative and social activities do you make time for?


Imagine that you are a character in a novel. What emotions do you feel in each situation in your ideal week? What goals are you pursuing? What things do you look forward to? Once you have everything down on paper, take a moment to close your eyes and summon the emotions you would feel during your ideal week. Since we attract what we think about, visualizing yourself in a space of contentment, joy, creative inspiration, and forward momentum can help you attract those things.


If you’re not sure what your ideal week looks like, start by making a list of the things your ideal week would NOT include. Maybe you’d write, “My boss would not engage in manipulative behavior,” or “I would not have to drive sixty miles each way to my job.” Knowing what you don’t want is just as important as knowing what you DO want!


If you still need help getting clear, take the time to Ideal Day Exercise, which can help you identify your strengths, goals, and common life themes. Next time, we’ll take a look at your ideal week’s ideal job, and delve into your ideal company culture. Stay tuned!


“It’s the job that’s never started that takes longest to finish.” – J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) Writer


Share

My 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 following a track in the woods, you’ll know exactly what you’re looking for before you’re ready to aim. When you’re prepared and focused, you’re more likely to capture the opportunities that are out there waiting for you.


They say that for every $10,000 in salary you’re asking for, you should add one month to your job search. But my BRIDGE for Job Search “hunting” strategy is proven to cut job search time by 50% or more.


Now that summer’s over, the hunting season is in full swing. Don’t miss out on your ideal job.


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 creative professionals and business owners 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.

Lessons from Mother

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own.  You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology or the president.  You realize that you control your own destiny.” – Albert Ellis (1913-2007) American Psychotherapist


When it comes to growing our careers, there’s a lot we can learn from our mothers.


My mother passed when I was 21 so it was still very early in my career, yet, one of the best things I learned from my mother about growing my career was to “try it out”. She would say to me, “Dawn you can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it!”  That wisdom has stayed with me all of my life and I truly feel it’s part of my purpose to share that inspiration, motivation, and curiosity with you.   


One of the ways I incorporate Mom’s wisdom into my work with clients is to support them with resources to “try out” and explore a job change, a new career or start a business. 


Sometimes, managing a business, a department, or a project team can feel a lot like parenting—so take your cue from those who did it best.  Here are some tips to integrate the wisdom of mothers into your professional life, and nurture your career at the same time.

  • Guide, but don’t smother: Sometimes, people have to fall down to realize that standing on their handlebars is a bad idea. (Although that never really stopped me. I had pretty good balance, “Daring Dawn” standing on my seat, riding backwards and teaching my brother how to ride a bike.) Micromanagement almost always creates a tense atmosphere, and can actually reduce employees’ sense of personal responsibility verses teaching and guiding.  Set the general direction, but let your employees or team members run with their ideas whenever it’s practical. You may be surprised with the results.  

  • Write an action list:  When people know what’s expected of them, they’re more productive. An “action list” creates clear duties for each team member, and adds a sense of personal responsibility. As a bonus, this also eliminates the blame game if someone doesn’t pull their weight.   

  • Praise good deeds: Your team looks up to you, and your opinion matters to them. When people do good work, let them know that you’re aware of it, and that you appreciate their efforts. Also, people tend to try harder when they know their work makes a difference, so if numbers are up, spread the positive stats around.  

If you feel you’re lacking in the leadership department, reach back into your childhood, and remember what effect positive leadership had on you when you were young—whether it came from a parent, a teacher, or some other adult. Make a list of the qualities this person exhibited which you feel assisted you in your personal growth. Now, see if you can integrate those qualities into your own leadership style.


Conversely, if there were situations where you felt that an authority figure had a major negative impact on you, make sure to steer clear of that style of leadership, since it will likely feel unnatural and will almost certainly be unproductive.


Often, we search for direction and inspiration in our professional lives. Looking to your own past can be a great way to find it. For example, if you’re considering a career change but don’t have a clue what you really want to do, revisit your childhood. Stephen Spielberg made 8mm adventure films, Oprah was known as the preacher.  I use to play this job interview game with my neighbor, “Courageous Kathy”.  She was so funny!  I would sit at the desk and she would come in for an interview dressed up with a hat and glasses down to her nose and she called herself “Casey Fresh” and every time I asked her a question, she would say she forgot and then say, “Let me look that up in my little black book”.  It was hysterical. We still laugh about it today.  She’s a nurse and has worked with Alzheimer patients and if you’re new to my blog (WELCOME!) I was a recruiter for many years, and today; I interview people on the radio and coach people for interviews. What did you love to do when you were five, seven, or ten years old? How did your parents’ actions and words encourage and shape those old fascinations? Finally, is there some way you could integrate either your childhood loves or your parents’ wisdom into a new, rewarding career?  Not everyone can be a dinosaur hunter, of course—but a copywriter could look for a contract with a natural history museum, or a banker could try grant writing for archeological expeditions.  One of my recent clients went from being a personal trainer and business owner to becoming a Police Officer.   “You can do anything you want to do as long as you put your mind to it.” 


When it comes to creating positive forward motion in your career, sometimes looking back is a way to start. If you have a story about how your mother’s (or father’s) wisdom helped you get to where you are today, I’d love to hear it!

“Diligence is the mother of good fortune; idleness, it’s opposite, never led to good intention’s goal.” – Migues de Cervantes (1547-1616) Spanish Poet, Dramatist and Author 


Share


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