The Danger of Living Up to My Potential Thoughts aka LUMPT (and other crazy-making thoughts)

Have you ever woken up, or laid awake at night, or sat at your desk with the thought ‘Ugh. What am I doing? I’m not living up to my potential like [fill in the blank with names of others you admire]. What am I doing with my life?’ This is one of the cruelest thought tunnels you can get lost in. Possibly, it’s worse if someone else you know – a parent, a friend or spouse – tells you, or alludes to, this belief about you. I know. I’ve been there – on all accounts. It’s awful. I’ve really wondered about this phrase because I’ve heard it so many times; what does ‘your potential’ mean? That because you’re educated, clever, funny, attractive, got a good mind and heart you should ‘be someone?’, ‘do something extra-ordinary?’, ‘make more than a million dollars?’ Your potential just seems like a loaded… Read More

Vulnerability and The Job Search

Hunting for work is tough…No matter what. In most cases, the job search is happening because you’re 1) out of work, 2) feeling stuck at your current position and want to move up and into more challenging work, 3) need more money, 4) are moving to a new place, 5) can’t stand your boss or the politics at work. All of these situations come with their own stressors. Even if you’re just ready for new challenges and are ready to move up and out, looking for a new job without the pressure of needing to move – it still isn’t easy! Whether you recognize it or not, the very act of job searching makes anyone feel vulnerable. From the online search, to asking friends (or others we don’t even consider friends) and family for advice or help, from dusting off the resume, to the awkwardness of being interviewed… pretty… Read More

Your Burnout is Real: What It Feels Like, and What You Can Do About It

Burnout is real. Sometimes people don’t recognize what their burnout is. If you’re feeling cynical, bored, and exhausted, like you just can’t muster the creative mindset you once had, focus on anything for very long at all…you’re probably in the midst of experiencing burnout. This kind of exhaustion or dullness can be debilitating, and is usually kept secret from employers until the damage has been done. If this sounds like you, trust that you’re not alone. A Gallup poll of 7500 employees found that 23% of participants feel burnt out all the time, and 44% feel burnt out at least some of the time. Other studies cite that as much as 60% of workplace absenteeism is related to stress and burnout, with 40% of employees considering quitting their jobs because of these feelings. This is a BIG problem and if you’re avoiding looking at it, it’s only going to… Read More

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

What Do You Want? Do you feel like you still don’t know what you want to do when you grow up? You’re not alone. While actual statistics of the number of career changers is hard to pin down, roughly 30% of adults 25-44 are looking to make a career change! This aligns with my recent client stats; the average age of my male client is 35, and it’s 37 years old for my female clients, with a 50/50 split male and female. This includes the 50-somethings who are ready for a wholesale life change, and the 25-year-old folks who think they’ve already fallen WAY behind. Some of us are just seekers, always looking for new ways of creating and delivering something of value, so the word career is somewhat amorphous for them. There’s Always a Way It’s way too easy to believe there’s no way you’re ever going to… Read More

How to Manage Up Without Being a Pushover

What Does It Mean to Manage Up? The concept of managing up can be a bit tricky. For a simple definition, we can look at it in two related ways: on the one hand, it’s taking action to make leadership’s jobs easier, and on the other, it’s about managing your manager with feedback and solutions. Both sides of this definition look pretty much the same. As a valuable team member, it’s important to be proactive, to follow through, and to adhere to organizational policies. The closer team members follow management’s vision, the more neatly they fit together like cogs in a machine…But is that always a good thing? Putting too much focus on managing up, and thereby satisfying the wishes of the leaders of your organization at any cost, can quickly turn you into a pushover – a proverbial “yes wo/man” who doesn’t resist against bad ideas, or speak… Read More

The Wisdom of Depression

A client recently shared that she was working a lot of hours on the very work she wanted to get away from. ‘The projects just keep coming so I can’t get away from them’, she shared. I can’t walk away from the work. ‘I feel like I’m getting further away from my creativity,’ she sighed. ‘It’s making me depressed.’  Yep. That’s right. That’s exactly what happens when we aren’t being who we really are. Period. The best thing any of us can do when that feeling of dark dread shows up is to get curious, to pay attention and then get down to creating our real strategy for movement from what’s taking us down, towards what really motivates us. I’m very familiar with depression, and I’ve learned a lot from mine. Those days when I went to work feeling myself armored in clothing that didn’t feel like me,… Read More

Ready for a September Re-Set?

Ready or not, summer is officially over with the upcoming Labor-Day Weekend. I remember when I lived in NYC years ago, and had a share in a summer house on Shelter Island; I remember the slow, hot crawl of a bumper-to-bumper trafficky drive back into the city on Labor Day’s Monday night. We were all feeling the so-called Sunday night blues…knowing that we were going back to work the next day… those summer days behind us. Maybe you’ve had your pedal to the metal all summer long, but even so summer just has a different vibe. So now it’s time for that September re-set. How about a re-set that inspires you so that as September glides into place we come back to school (it always feels like school again, right?) and regular schedules feeling re-energized, with our sights set on ending this year with personal and professional goals accomplished?… Read More

Ready to Move Up? You Might Have to Move Out

We all want to move onward and upward. New job titles, pay raises, increased responsibilities – most of us that are growth minded seek these things out, but they can be hard to find in your existing workplace. Even if there’s some upward mobility at your current job, the research is pretty clear that people who change companies see bigger raises and bigger “jumps” in title, even if the actual responsibilities of the job don’t change much. It makes perfect sense, too. If you’ve been at one company for a while, and percentage-based raises are the norm, you’ll eventually stagnate (or close to it). The average raise rate in 2018 was 3.1%, and inflation was 2.44% – which isn’t a whole lot more money in your account. On the other hand, changing jobs means starting over with a new rate/salary, usually one that’s higher than your previous… Read More

What’s Your Story?

When you’re presenting yourself in social, or more formal, situations- in an elevator or at those mythical cocktail parties – you have the choice, and the power, to help listeners learn what’s really important about you. How you talk about yourself, what you start with and where you go with your story, is always up to you. This requires, first, that you know who you are, what you want, and where you’re going. Sound like pressure? It might. A lot of people feel kind of queasy when they work on their elevator pitch. They try to memorize a catchy, pithy statement to use when meeting people, making sure they don’t trip on their words. Personally, I prefer that my clients think more about having a conversation with someone in a way that genuinely conveys who they are – hitting the key points that are important. You can call that an… Read More

How to Make Great Connections and Build Your Network this Summer

Make the most of your summer fun by meeting the people who can help you grow in your career! Maybe it’s a residual from being kids going on summer vacation, but most of us, as adults, tend to take it a bit easier during the summertime. Yes, you are still working away, but the longer days just seem to spell ‘vacation.’ You can’t not want to head to the beach, take some time off, and enjoy the long, sunny days.  Thankfully, this is a great time to take advantage of your summer mindset by reaching out to connect with new contacts while you’re also taking it easy! Here are a few ideas how to use the long days of this summer so you’re ready to make the career moves you want post-Labor Day.  Connect at Summer Events One of the best things about summer is all of the relaxed, outdoor… Read More