The Job Not Taken…

This evening I decided to make one of my favorite cakes: The Glazed Lemon Cake from the Silver Palate Cookbook. While eating dinner with my son I told him about the beginnings of The Silver Palate company and how Sheila Lukins and Julee Rosso had changed food forever with their little shop on Columbus Avenue and the cookbooks that followed.

But then this led me to the story about the job not taken. The summer after my first year in college I’d worked as a swim instructor at a camp and then headed back to my hometown of NYC. I was reeling from my parents’ divorce and had decided not to return to college in Massachusetts opting instead to live and work in New York. Somehow I got information about a job for a little food shop, The Silver Palate, that was just opening. For a girl who loved to cook and bake this was a dream first job — I put on my dress and clogs and walked over to the shop on the upper west side. I had worked hard to lose my ‘freshman 15’ that summer and had vowed to appreciate, but not indulge in, the food I admired in the shop.

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Human Doings vs. Human Beings

Who are you? Change the intonation a little and ask, again: Who are you? Now, again: Who are you?

Who do we each want to be in our lives? And in the lives of our loved ones, and others? What sort of impact do you want to make in the world? These are big questions, I know. And they might make you squirm a little. Or you might find them so familiar because, like so many of my clients, you may be struggling with that nagging tug of trying to figure out what your work and life is all about, at this new time in our history.

I hear my 20-something clients saying with surprise, “I thought I was on a track, but I found out that I’m not.” Or the 40- or 50 -somethings realizing that, “Everything has changed so much, and I want a new kind of stability, or a new way to use my skills – and I don’t think the experience I have will translate to anything else.” Scary stuff, this identity shift -work. (Or, is it an identity awakening?) But as always, we have ways to break down these scary places into simple things to think about, and to take into action.

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You Can Get It If You Really Want…

Daisy Swan – Career Coach Guest Contributor for My L.A. Lifestyle It’s true. Jimmy Cliff sang it, so it must be true. You really can get what you want. The trick is, as the song goes, “…you must try, try and try, try and try.” Sometimes, I think the tougher issue is that you must know what you want. We tend to want so much, and yet don’t seem to stop and really consider what it is that we really want. Perhaps it’s out of fear, not inspiration, that we want what we want. And if it’s just lusting for something – craving something – it can feel kind of empty, and fear-based, like a greediness instead of a fullness and inspiration. Feeling a sense of yearning can show us what we want. Taking time to reflect and listen when we are open and clear, can allow us to hear… Read More

Informational Interviewing – Again

When was the last time you did an informational interview? Contacting someone you may not already know to learn about what they do, and how their company works, can be an eye-opening opportunity. You can gain important information about the work you want to do, and learn about the culture of the place you hope to work at. Many of you have already done this kind of interview – from either side of the table – interviewer or interviewee. Some people, like me, love doing these interviews, and others, while they know it could be very valuable for them, are uncomfortable reaching out to talk with a stranger. While I really love doing these, I haven’t done one in a while so I decided to reach out and talk to a variety of people in hiring positions to learn more about what’s happening in hiring, and to be able to share this information with clients and other readers.

I had the opportunity to talk with someone who does a lot of hiring at an advertising agency with offices in Southern California. She graciously talked with me for about 20 minutes, the usual amount of time that we’ll be able to get from a busy professional who’s willing to help out. I was ready with my questions and she with answers. Below, read some of the most pressing questions my clients and I wonder about.

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Entrepreneur Characteristics – The 5 “C’s” of Success

Mompreneur, dentist, franchisee, CEO, brick and mortar retailer, E-commerce Business Owner, Service Provider? How do you define yourself?

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines an entrepreneur as “one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise.” That’s true, of course, but this definition doesn’t tell the whole story—namely the entrepreneur characteristics that define their success and, more importantly, the intrinsic drive it takes to achieve that success.

There are 5 entrepreneur characteristics that are common among anyone who strives to start and run his or her own business. These characteristics are found in entrepreneurs at any age, in any industry, and at any socioeconomic level.

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Sick and Tired and Burnt Out.

Not very inspiring words. But doesn’t speaking the truth help sometimes? I’ve been talking to so many people who are feeling this way lately. Those of you who have been looking for work — I know it can be draining and truly it takes a lot of mental discipline to keep at it. And those who I talk to who are employed are feeling the anxiety of the ‘what if’…what if things change here and my job goes away? What if I don’t get all of this work done — which is so much more now because staff has gotten leaner. Lots of burn out brewing out there one way or another.

So what are we going to do? PRESS RESET.

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What’s Next?

It’s easy to get down and depressed when it seems like so many things aren’t happening the way you want them to. I meet with men and women who are working hard to find the next right thing for them and they come in stooped and frustrated. But they do perk up and become inspired once we scratch the surface and find the quiet possibilities that lie, often, just below the surface.

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A Lesson from The Suns

Steve Nash has been an inspiration to me since the first time I saw him play, live, at the Staples Center years ago. I recently read a great article about him in Sports Illustrated. What struck me was Stoudemire’s statement here about how success on the court manifests — through creative vision and seeing. “When you have creative minds, you get involved in different sports, in different cultures, and it allows you to open up on the basketball court and just be yourself. Steve’s a heck of a soccer player. He’s one of those skateboard guys. For the most part, you want to be yourself. Being yourself allows you to play better, to have more fun. It opens up your spirit.” Take a moment to assess how open you are to what’s going on around you. What energy are you leaving on the table? How engaged are you in a… Read More