I haven’t been bored in so long, but I know what it looks like, feels like, and what it can do to a person. Boredom can take us in a few different directions… * motivate us to do something to change the situation that’s boring us * frustration, irritation and anger toward who we think is boring us * demotivate us into depression and the blob state of no movement A lot of parents romanticize how they were bored when they were kids during the summer and how that spurred them to figure out new games and spend time outside exploring. There’s something to that. Being forced to change your perspective and look for something can jumpstart a person into action towards a new activity from which they learn. I think adults have a harder time with boredom because it’s so insidious. Work and family demands can keep you in… Read More

How To Fail Successfully: When to give up on our ambitions? Glenn Kurtz learned the answer the hard way

By Chris Colin, Special to SF Gate Monday, June 18, 2007 It’s not that Glenn Kurtz coulda been a contender. He was one, contending more in his little finger than most of us do in our lives, and then it all came apart. OK, not one little finger but 10. At an age when the rest of us were mastering shoelaces, Kurtz was setting out to become a classical concert guitarist. As best I can calculate, this is statistically like setting out to become a seven-foot-tall lottery winner who gets struck by lightning every few weeks. “The number of people who make a living as concert guitarists of the kind I was trying to be is extraordinarily small. I can think of at most 10 people who make their living exclusively by performing classical guitar. And that’s what I wanted to do,” Kurtz,… Read More

Saying something meaningful in 5 minutes. Not.

Five minutes of conversation on TV feels like the wind at the beach — it rushes past you and you can’t catch it. You just have to experience it. This afternoon I had the opportunity to talk about career and life coaching on ABC News Now — for about 5 minutes. It’s a funny situation. You’re looking at a camera, talking to the camera, hot lights on you, people in the room are silent, and the person interviewing you can see you and is talking to you, but you’re only hearing that person through the tiny earpiece that’s in your ear. I’ve seen enough movies to know about this earpiece (think Broadcast News. Love that scene when Albert Brooks is sweating) but it is a little odd to experience this. You hear yourself talking and for a moment you know that everybody else in the room is only hearing you… Read More

The New Yorker Conference: Stories from 2012

When I saw the advertisement for the conference I knew I had to be there. I grew up with The New Yorker magazine — in fact, a little known fact about me is that at the tender age of 14 I sent a poem I’d written to The New Yorker. Of course it was a pretty lousy poem which certainly was rejected; I received a nice letter thanking me for my submission. I don’t think I even told my parents I’d submitted anything. Anyway, I’ve read a lot of NYer magazines in my life and have loved and hated a lot of the writing I’ve read in it. But the New Yorker Conference was a must. I had the good fortune to hear Malcolm Gladwell, son of a mathematician, tell stories just as he does in his books — rambling, not sure where they’re going, full of rich language… Read More

multi-media vacation

I’m on a working vacation. Anyone who has their own business — forget it — most of us — know this isn’t the oxymoron it sounds like. My life and my work are fully integrated, which is how I like it to be, actually. My son, who is almost 11, is on Spring Break which means that I get to enjoy the things I wouldn’t do if I didn’t have him for my excuse. Yesterday we went to Universal Studios and today we’re off to the Science Center. I think of these excursions as part of my work because while I’m experiencing these environments I’m always thinking about how they work, who’s done the work to create these attractions and what it takes to keep the jobs that these people have. How did this all develop, what skills are needed to create these entertaining and educational, creative and profitable (I… Read More

2007 update: More information about what we do

I love what I do — helping people get clear about what they want and then figuring out how to get there. Most of us don’t get enough of the right kind of encouragement to go for what we want and that’s what I, and my associate coaches are here to provide. It’s not just encouragement and support that we provide– I certainly don’t want to discount the encouragement we might get from family and friends when we’re going through an important transition– But a career coach can offer the various other perspectives and approaches that can really stimulate personal growth, decision making and action that leads to the sought after results. And it’s the start of 2007 — a time of year that many people decide to get moving so that they can see some results by the next December. We’re here to get things going. Maybe it’s time… Read More

Making Work Work

Making Work Work: A Women’s Group for Mothers Transitioning Back to Work and Those Adjusting to Being Back at Work Facilitated by Daisy Swan, MA, CPCC, Career Coach and Sharon Berg, Ph.D. Starting Saturday, January 27, 2007 10AM- 12PM Limited to 8 Participants Making Work Work is designed to be an empowering place for mothers to sort out the challenges of working in two vital places – home and work with the intention of holistically increasing satisfaction. Participants will enjoy lively discussions and supportive facilitation by a team of two professionals an experienced Career Coach, and a Clinical Psychologist – who know the terrain of the juggling act and all that it demands. Join us as we explore, and find, creative and satisfying solutions to make work and home life work better. What you will get: Monthly supportive and engaging meetings with other women who are grappling… Read More


I hear that everyone likes ‘tips’ — I’m not talking about tips in a jar– Tips on how to do anything are supposed to be useful to people. But I’m a little bit anti-tips. Here’s why… Tips are neat tidy packages of info and real learning doesn’t usually happen that way. Real learning comes from getting messy and going down a few different roads and then coming to a clearing where everything makes sense. I’m also little bit anti- ‘elevator pitch’ for the same reason…I prefer to engage with people in a more real way and that takes just a little more time than a 30 second sound bite. I know we’re a sound-bite culture, or that’s what we’re told, but really I think we’re all looking for meaning and having things make sense. Tips sound like they make sense, but then there’s that ‘chinese food’ effect of feeling empty… Read More

Success Stories

I am so grateful to work with clients who are willing and interested in changing their lives as they make major or slight career changes. I will be posting success stories of my career coaching clients on an on-going basis. My aim is to provide hope and inspiration to others who are feeling stuck or discouraged. Life has a way of giving us what we want at odd times — and usually things don’t look exactly as we’d expected, but we get what we’d had in mind nonetheless. Sometimes we need to do some personal ‘resuscitation’ before any changes can occur in our work lives. Here’s a letter that I received from one of my clients shortly after we finished our work together: Where do I begin? To put it lightly, you’ve done nothing less than help me to change my life. When we met I had been fired from… Read More

JumpStart Job Search Bootcamp

Ready to get started and figure out what you really want your life to look like? Want to find the work and lifestyle that makes it easy to get out of bed for? Whether you’re just out of college, ready to retool yourself and your career, or looking to leave the ‘rat race’ completely, this workshop (done over the phone in teleclass * form) is for you! JumpStart Job Search Bootcamp – New classes starting As a result of years of working with clients to help them clarify their career direction and make the career changes they want to see, I’ve put together the tips and actions that can simplify this process — that’s what the JumpStart Job Search Bootcamp is about. Teleclasses are a somewhat new phenomenon in the education world, and they work wonderfully – I’ve done many and find them to be really effective. This teleclass… Read More