My Graduation Gift

What’s the best graduation gift? Money? A watch? A car? A trip to another country? All good! But I’m giving something some might think is rather dry. I’ve decided to give the gift of education…I’ve been reading about the difficult time new grads, and those who haven’t even graduated yet, are having finding jobs this summer and I want to do something to help. I’m offering our Interviewing Excellence program on June 10th for free to those people out there who are under 23. I may even do that with our Navigating Career Change panel on July 10th, too. There’s just so much you don’t really know about work when you’re just getting started. I know I didn’t know much about how to handle an interview when I was 21, or 23 (and sometimes when I was older, too, although I did get really good at it). My life… Read More

How do you eat an elephant?

As I sit here with my 12 year old helping him to study for his Humanities final I am bored and interested…and inspired to re-read an article I clipped a couple of weeks ago. I loved the May 12th issue of The New Yorker. Chock full of interesting articles about innovation. One article, by James Surowiecki, really grabbed me: ‘The Open Secret of Success’. It made me think of the riddle about how to eat an elephant: one bite at a time. In Surowieki’s article he discusses Toyota’s approach to innovation…they implement a million new ideas a year — small process oriented ideas. What I thought was particularly interesting was that he states, parenthetically, that ‘Japanese companies get a hundred times as many suggestions from their workers as U.S. companies do.’ Why is that? Are our companies not willing to hear ideas from workers? Are US workers not looking for… Read More

Born Old

I think I was born old. When I was 8, 10, 14, 21, 25 people always said I was mature for my age. I was the person everyone could talk to — no matter how old I or they were, they’d tell me everything. I said hello to everyone who looked my way by the time I could talk — and never stopped. Except, that is, when I realized that the creepy guys on the subway also managed to accept my open face and started talking to me, too. Then I started to do what a lot of NYers do — I started to avert my gaze. It wasn’t until I was about 25 that I felt like I was getting younger — and less confident. I started to question what I thought I knew…I always knew everything before that. I still sounded like I knew everything, and tried to… Read More

Why I Didn't Go Into Investment Banking by Guest Blogger Vanessa Van Petten Vanessa Van Petten is the teen author of the book “You’re Grounded!”—a parenting book from a young perspective. She keeps an active teen blog for parents who want to know what their kids are really doing online, at High School parties or when parents are looking the other way. Her candid and young perspective, as well her constant survey of resources and updates about this generation of young people are a treasure trove for parents. I was on the perfect track. Was student body president of an upper snuff Los Angeles private school. Got accepted into a top 20 University and became a Mandarin and East Asian Studies major before the wave hit?????–so everyone was in desperate need of white female Asia specialists. Wrote an honors thesis and graduated Magna Cum Laude. I had a bid from a top investment banking firm in New York—everything was perfect. It… Read More

Learn to Use Technology to Find Who and What You Want

Knowing how to properly use technology, and specifically sites like Linked In, Facebook, and Myspace, can be instrumental in your search for job opportunities. However, these sites have the potential to do more harm than good if they are not used effectively. The first thing to consider when using technology to aid in a job search is the specific message you want to send. Remember that people often assess you based on information from a variety of sources, so having a consistent message is essential. Everything from your photos online to the voice message on your phone should be kept clean and professional. In addition, you can show your initiative by creating your own website that has your resume, writing samples, or a portfolio of work experience on it. From here you can start to think about creating or updating your profile on the various social networking sites. Keep in… Read More

What about jobs?

We, at Daisy Swan & Associates, love to help people get clarity on their LifeStage, direction for their career direction and provide strategies to live an authentic life. You may have noticed that we offer lots of classes and one-on-one coaching. We’re trying to offer what you need. So we’ve also partnered with in LA to provide a source for local jobs. The more people they serve the more jobs will circulate through them so it’s a win-win. So take a look at our Resources and check out the job postings there. Also, plan to attend the Net(not)Working? Networking and Research Class on May 7th to learn how to use online and other resources to find people and opportunities that you want to know about. If you have other suggestions of ways we can help, let us know by emailing us. Read More

Hmmm. What to wear?

I can’t believe that jeans cost $200. I couldn’t believe it when they went up from $40 to $70, and then $125. For those of you in your 20’s and 30’s this probably sounds ludicrous because jeans have always seemed to cost more than $70…or else they’re cool and from H&M and a steal. Many of you only know casual Fridays, and every other day too, as a reality. Many of us remember when they began and the khakis and polo shirts that became an accepted reality. Look where we are now. Uggs, jeans and t’s, flip flops. Does not seem to be working… The Wall Street Journal had a great article in the Personal Journal today about Business Casual and the problems it’s caused for everyone. I guess Laurie Graham and I were ahead of them because we created a program to help men and women of all… Read More

Tips for Navigating Career Change

I thought it might be helpful to connect some of the dots that we covered at our April 3rd panel on navigating career change. While we had several entrepreneurs on the panel the themes are the same for anyone making career changes. – Have a vision of what you want, or let a vision develop. Life tends to be a series of accidents, and often they are happy accidents, if you let them be. That means stay aware of what you’d like to have happen and then be open to when it does. Things rarely happen as we expect them to! – FEAR: Making any kind of change – looking for a new job, making a step towards a change, calling a potential contact to let them know what you’re looking for – can bring up fear for anybody, and everybody. You just have to do it. Read More

Navigating Career Change Panel Discussion

Presented by Daisy Swan, MA, CPCC: The Los Angeles Career Counselor & Coach Date: Thursday, April 3, 2008 Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Location:, 12100 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 320, Los Angeles (at Wilshire and Bundy) Tickets: Call 310-820-8877 Looking for a career change but not sure how to proceed? Gain insights into how career change really happens. Along with inspiration and practical tips, hear from an expert panel at the Navigating Career Change Panel Discussion presented and co-moderated by Daisy Swan, MA, CPCC: The Los Angeles Career Counselor & Coach. Panelists include Mary Astadourian, a well-known professional organizer who also served as a TV producer and executive; Rashi Khangura, who switched career paths from corporate accounting to the growing Corazonas, a company that makes heart-healthy snacks; Stephanie Palmer, business owner and author of the recently published “Good in a Room,” which teaches individuals how to… Read More