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Daisy Swan & Associates - May 2009 Newsletter
Welcome & Introduction, by Daisy Swan, MA, CPCC: The Los Angeles Career Counselor & Coach
I want to thank the many of you who gave me feedback on my last newsletter. It makes me really happy to hear that people appreciate what I have to offer and that you find these newsletters helpful or inspiring. If you ever think of something that you’d like to hear more about, or have questions, I hope that you’ll let me know; I’ll do what I can to address these questions or topics in the future. I also want to thank all of the new subscribers to my blog - I'm happy to know that people are benefiting from my posts! I encourage everyone to visit my blog on a regular basis, and to actively comment and participate in the discussions surrounding my posts.
Many of you who receive this aren’t in L.A., and I love knowing that you’re reading this wherever you are and that I’m bringing you a little bit of the ocean breeze and the Southern California sunshine. Lately, I’ve been walking on the beach in the mornings as a way to re-energize my creativity and positivity. I’ve found that even a half-hour walk near the water helps to clear my mind and reinvigorate my spirit.
I’ve also been baking birthday cakes as of late, and exploring new ways of making them fun and surprising. This is all thanks to Chef Duff and his gang at Charm City Cakes, in Baltimore. (My son and I love to watch “Ace of Cakes” on the Food Network.) I may still get my business, Daisy Cakes, off the ground one of these days. ;-) I hope that you’re all finding ways to have fun and feel good, even when the news can be so unsettling.
I also want to share that I’ve recently completed my coursework at the Strozzi Institute, and am proud to be a Certified Somatic Coach in addition to my Coaches Training Institute Certification as a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach. While I share my somatic ‘noticings’ with clients, I have not specifically changed my approach to my work. I will, however, be adding more of this mindset to my work to help people ‘embody’ their authenticity to be more powerful and clear in their endeavors. I may even offer bodywork as a way to accelerate clients’ growth opportunities, but I’m not quite set up to do so, just yet – but I’ll keep you posted on this. Do check out the Strozzi Institute site for more information on what they do and what Somatics is all about.
“Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
How about some good news?
People who have lost their jobs are finding and securing new jobs. We know these people. And people are choosing to leave jobs, too. When the stress and strain of the wrong fit wreaks havoc on a life, sometimes it’s just not worth it to stay put – no matter what the economic climate. And there are wonderful stories of people making major changes to move into the work that really means something to them. The sun does continue to shine and new opportunities continue to appear. Seems like things don’t always happen as we expect them to, but then something else shows up that is just right.
The Truth. (Ready?)
The truth of our world is pretty hard right now. And geez, it has been for a while. It’s easy to feel a lot of fear and concern. And it’s just as easy not to feel it, and to go numb with denial or disbelief. Actually, I think there’s more of the latter going on than is truly healthy. While denial is a coping mechanism, I see how it’s doing - or has done - more harm than good in people’s bodies, relationships, finances, politics, careers. However, when we face the truth and move forward from there, we get more things accomplished and more progress is made – in all of these aspects of life and our world.
I want to share the truth about what I see around me. I am hearing through the news and firsthand, about ways in which people who have been laid off are dealing with their new situation. Some people are:
- Choosing to take some time off to relax and recuperate after going through months (or years) of stressful work;
- Living on savings and hoping for the best. Or, for the fortunate, living on the severance package that they received, with the belief that they’ll get to the job search when all of this craziness ‘blows over’ - they consider themselves to be ‘waiting out this downturn’;
- Realizing that this is a great time to think about new options and possibilities for their life. They are embracing this time of change to reinvent, and to flesh out the paths that they’ve been thinking about, which may have seemed too far fetched just a short time ago. They are gearing up for what’s to come in this changing world;
- Making pragmatic choices to handle the shifting financial obligations. They are doing what needs to be done – downsizing, or learning about finances and taking real steps to deal with pressing financial realities, even if it means changing their vision about what’s possible FOR NOW. They recognize that things will be different in the future;
- Using their time to learn new things, reaching out to people to reconnect and to get a ‘read’ on what’s happening in worlds they haven’t had time to understand or explore. They’re being proactive to adapt to the changing landscape of business and technology, and finding new ways of creating and collaborating with others.
Do you see yourself here? How do you feel about this? If you’re ‘waiting’ and haven’t yet formulated a plan, I encourage you to do more. If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed, but not doing anything to get focused and energized, I want you to know that there is a better way. Not being clear and proactive can create more stress and set you back in your game. There’s a phrase that I think of when I see I’m in a standstill:
“A confused mind says ‘no’.”
So if you see yourself saying ‘no’ and feeling confused, this can be a great indicator that you’re stuck and may need some help ‘unsticking’. And that’s what I - and my team - am here to help with. Whether it’s generating new ideas for approaching your job search, or coping with the family stress that results from changes, we will help you to shift your view in order to take new steps forward and find new solutions.
Being with others is a great way to ‘unstick’ yourself from fear, numbness, and the frustration of not knowing what to do next. You already know that we offer one-on-one coaching, but if you’d like to hear the truth from others and learn in more of a community setting, we have great group opportunities, too.
If you aren’t taking advantage of our groups or upcoming programs, I want to know: Why?! Please let me know what would help you to get going. Let me know what we could offer you and at what price. We have done what we can to make things more affordable. Do you want more panel discussions and if so, who do you want to hear from? Groups online, or over the phone? One-on-one coaching in different packages? Groups for you and a few friends? Programs or coaching at your office? ‘Likeminding’ or networking events? I am a very resourceful person and know a lot of great people who I can bring together to create interesting, informative and fun events that will help you to get where you want to go, even if you don’t know where that is or what it looks like. Please feel free to email us any comments or suggestions for future programs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is Your ‘Third Place’ These Days?
I loved Catherine Bergart’s article that I’ve now posted on my blog. After being laid off from her job in an advertising agency, she’s spending more time at home and realizes that her ‘first place’ of home, ‘second place’ of work, and ‘third place’ of gathering with others when not at work, has been reduced to just the ‘first place’. And this isn’t turning out to be that great of a fit on a day in and day out basis.
I wrote about this issue of losing camaraderie on my blog, a while ago…especially in regards to men when they lose their workplace, because they lose their ‘team’ (even, by the way, if they weren’t so crazy about the team) and their place to communicate in ways that men do at work. Women, generally speaking, are so wired for communication that they often find a way or place to communicate with others. I know this is a major generalization, since men have been communing in places especially for men – men’s clubs, golf courses, bars, sports teams and the like – for centuries. And women have had their informal ways of meeting and talking since time began, right? But now, when so many have lost jobs or are working as consultants or freelancers - or coaches, like me - they lose that ‘face time’ with others.
Where is the structure in your life right now? And how do you feel about it? Have you created a new ‘third place’ for yourself? A coffee shop or a particular spot in a park or on a beach?
A good friend of mine has been in a walking group for years. This support team shows up on a regular basis, and as they walk, they process whatever the members bring into play. Love that. Do you have a regular meeting place with a networking group or casual group of friends?
We, at Daisy Swan & Associates, have been offering our supportive Job Search and Networking Groups to create a kind of ‘third place’ for people who want to be proactive as they move forward with their career transition and job search. This is a place where we expand our perspective and listen to others we wouldn’t have met under usual circumstances; we develop and share ideas and create new ways to think about things and take new actions. I, and my associates, love these groups because we get to offer more of what we know with more people, who also enjoy getting to know each other in the process. Our next group starts on May 27th at 7pm. If you want to join us, click here.
Books and Other Resources
“Ask and It Is Given”, by Esther and Jerry Hicks
Some of you might find this just a bit to out there, but I find it inspiring and a great reminder that our thoughts have tremendous power to affect what happens in our lives.
“The Parents We Mean To Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children's Moral and Emotional Development”, by Richard Weissbourd
I love this book, and so do the others in my monthly book group. I think this is a very important read for parents of kids of all ages, because it really discusses the moral dilemmas in which we find ourselves everyday, as parents. When we look at the state of our world, I think it’s fair to say that we’re in the midst of a moral crisis. More candid discussion and questions about these moral issues will help all of us now and in the future.
“Happier: Can You Learn to be Happy?”, by Tal Ben-Shahar
This is my book group’s current read. There are a lot of books about happiness these days; read this or another one and strengthen your happiness muscles and spirit.
“The Martha Rules: 10 Essentials for Achieving Success as You Start, Grow, or Manage a Business”, by Martha Stewart
Fantastic book. It’s a great primer for those with an entrepreneurial spirit. No matter what you think of Martha, you have to admit she’s changed the world by adding more beauty to the lives of lots of people. And she’s an amazing business person. I enjoyed this as an audio book.
Debtors Anonymous, www.debtorsanonymous.org
This is not as scary as you may think, and can be more helpful than you can imagine. You can get terrific support and information to ease your weary mind if you are dealing with financial stress. Check this out for meetings and useful tools.
I recently found this really cool magazine that has lots of information on reinvention and creative solutions.
For more suggested reads, links to helpful sites, a Q&A with me, newsletter archives and more, check out the Resources page on my website. And for those of you who are in the process of updating your résumé, you can sign up to receive a FREE résumé template from Daisy Swan & Associates; the signup box is located right on our home page. Please feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about our FREE résumé template!
One last note: In June, I will be attending the National Association of Colleges and Employers’ 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, and shortly thereafter, I will be offering a program specifically for people in their Beginning LifeStage...so please be on the lookout for information about this and our other upcoming events!