How To Be a Mystery Shopper (in Your Own Life)

Daisy Swan – Career Coach Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle Do you love to look around to find the unexpected? Love to scour racks of clothes, or shelves of shoes, for that perfect surprise item that pulls an outfit (or maybe starts one) together…? Not everyone loves this kind of thing. Some people want the goods all laid out, put together, done. But some of us like the thrill of the adventure. We are mystery shoppers. Some people are actually employed as mystery shoppers…people who are planted in stores to surreptitiously shop the aisles, watching how salespeople manage patrons and merchandise. I’m not talking about that kind of mystery shopper. I’m talking about being a mystery shopper in your own life. Tuning into our own lives like a mystery shopper, means tuning into what’s really happening with us, and the world around us. We get… Read More

Think You Have to go to SFO for Cool Work? Think Again.

L.A. County Has Most High Tech Jobs in Country By MELISSAH YANG Los Angeles has more high-tech jobs than any other metro region in the country, including its northern neighbors in Silicon Valley, according to a report released Monday. The county in 2013 employed more than 368,500 people in its high-tech sector, defined as businesses with a large proportion of technology-oriented jobs. The biggest high-tech segments for Los Angeles were in aerospace, wholesale production, engineering, consulting and computer software development. High tech made up 9 percent of all L.A. jobs, above employment numbers posted by manufacturing; accommodation and food services; and trade and logistics. “Los Angeles’ tech industry is now as critical to our economy as our manufacturing and entertainment sectors – and we are outperforming New York, Boston, and Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti in statement. “If we want… Read More

SHOULD VS. COULD

Daisy Swan – Career Coach Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle We are all so good at ‘shoulding’ on ourselves. So very accomplished at this. I ‘should’ get that project finished tonight; I ‘should’ go to the gym; I ‘should’ make that call, etc. Think about it, though: What’s the next word that usually follows a ‘should’? [Pause. Think.] I would assert that the next word is usually ‘but’. ‘Shoulds’ have the magical effect of eliciting a rebelliousness or irritation that keeps most of us from taking action on that very ‘should’. Not always, but often. ’But’ I have three other things to do first; ‘but’ I’m starving; ‘but’ I don’t have the information that they need, yet…you know the drill. ‘Shoulds’ are real anxiety-provoking thoughts. When we have so many things to do, and so many options for actions to take, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. ‘Shoulds’… Read More

NEW! Manhattan Beach Mindfulness Group – Starts Thursday, May 1

I’m happy to be offering a new mindfulness meditation group in Manhattan Beach, beginning THIS Thursday, May 1. This group is for anyone who has completed the UCLA MAPs I class, or for those who have sitting meditation experience. We’ll begin at 7:00 PM with mindfulness meditation; I will facilitate a discussion on a particular topic related to our practice; and finish at 8:30 PM, leaving time for casual conversation afterwards. Light refreshments will be offered. Please join us, to meet others who are interested in living with a more mindful approach, bringing more balance into their daily lives. Start Date: Thursday, May 1, 2014 Location: Joslyn Community Center; 1601 N. Valley Dr., Manhattan Beach, CA 90266 (Street parking is available.) $125 for six (6) weeks; no meetings on Thursday, May 15 or Thursday, June 12. We have the option of continuing on into July,… Read More

Spring’s Transistions

April has arrived…and with it, more fresh starts. I’m excited to see how many great job openings have popped up lately, for my clients at every career level. Good news for people who are transitioning to new ways of working, and living. I have to say, the emails that I receive from former clients are incredibly touching and exciting for me to read…people who have completely changed course, switched to a new company or a freelance status, or have even started their own businesses. I am loving my work more and more these days, having the opportunity to see women and men round out their lives in subtle ways that actually change everything – for the better. New season, new announcements. I’m thrilled to announce that I’m offering a new day-long program, in one of my favorite places: Ojai, CA. Just a 90-minute drive north of L.A., sits the loveliest… Read More

How Long Does It Take To Make A Career Change?

I’ve done a lot of things in my life, lived in many places, and have gone through multiple personal transitions – some of which have been easier than others, while some have taken longer than others. Sometimes it seemed as though things had changed overnight, but really, the changes that occurred took years of marination…kind of like what they say about an “overnight success story”: They take 10 years. So how long does it take to make a real career change? Four years. In my experience, it takes four years to enter a new field, to (re-)educate, to develop a new network in that field, and to gain meaningful experiences that introduce you as a player – which then leads to gathering credibility and accessibility to your new work and new career. Of course there will be exceptions to this rule, but I do believe that even if someone… Read More

January 27, 2014: Daisy Swan on a SAG Foundation Panel, “LifeRaft: Goal Setting and Strategic Planning”

How do you define a successful year? What goals do you still have on your list from 2013? Do you have clear action items for each goal? During this January 27 SAG Foundation “LifeRaft” Panel, panelists discussed methods of goal setting and strategic planning to set Screen Actors Guild members up for a successful 2014. Panel members included Ryan Basham, Oona Mekas, Daisy Swan and Ben Whitehair, with Moderator, Dennis Baker, LifeRaft Program Director. The topics in this discussion don’t just apply to SAG members, so watch the video now!… Read More

HOW WELL ARE YOU COMMUNICATING AT WORK?

Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle Conducting a conversation with someone we don’t feel at ease with, can have us feeling a little rattled and unnerved. We wonder how the other person will respond to us, and we might feel apprehensive. Many clients tell me that they regularly have interactions with their boss(es) and co-workers that have them feeling uncomfortable, and wondering how they can – or could have – better handle those situations. How do you know if you’re communicating what you really want to communicate? One of the most important things to do when you know there’s possible tension or ambiguity in any given relationship – and/or the communication between you and another – is to become clear in yourself about what’s happening for you with this person. Spend some time understanding what you see as your role… Read More

Starting January 15: How to Acknowledge – and Conquer – Stress

Mindful Awareness Practices (MAPs) II: Cultivating Positive Emotions (formerly Finding Happiness) (a UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center program led by Career Coach, Daisy Swan) This MAPs II class emphasizes heart-based qualities that complement mindfulness and can be cultivated through meditation practices. We will explore loving kindness, compassion, equanimity (even-mindedness), joy, generosity, and gratitude. We will learn new meditations to develop these qualities, tools to work with when we find them ourselves stuck and not feeling positive emotions, and practical exercises to incorporate them into our daily life. This is a helpful expansion to our basic mindfulness practice. Each class is a dynamic, interactive combination of lecture, practice, and group feedback and discussion. MAPs is taught in a context of a supportive community environment with classes no larger than 30-40 students. Daisy Swan will be leading this class series; she has years of personal… Read More

Could Dressing ‘Too Sexy’ Be Career Suicide? Daisy Swan Offers Wardrobe Tips For Work

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A new study claims that if a woman’s office wardrobe is viewed as “too sexy” it may hurt her career. Daisy Swan is a career coach who agrees. She spoke with CBS2′s Rachel Kim about the so-called wardrobe secrets of successful women in the workplace, and says dressing too sexy for work could be career suicide. “It’s lack of good judgement to wear something that is inappropriate for the workplace,” Swan said, noting it’s become harder for women to know what’s appropriate because the work environment has become more casual over the years. That’s especially true in Southern California. “We do have a sector that’s very conservative; we’ve got the attorneys, we’ve got the finance folks, but we also have Hollywood and a start-up culture,” she said. Business etiquette experts say unflattering assumptions are made about women who wear provocative clothes and they’re not taken… Read More