Liminas Exclusive: L.A. Career Expert Interview


Daisy Swan, a career strategist, coach and counselor and head of her own career private practice, knows what it means to be a Liminas woman.  Her career {and passion} was born from the confusion and uncertainty of her days during that time.  We went to Daisy with all the concerns, stress, and questions our readers are struggling with and she shared great career advice and life tips to help all of us Liminas women find the balance and happiness we  seek.

Ashley: First of all, please tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in this line of work. Also, are you familiar with the Liminas concept?  Do you feel that you are/were a Liminas woman? 

Daisy: I was absolutely a Liminas woman.  I did not go on a straight path in my twenties—I went to college, left, came back.  My parents divorced and I had no direction, at all.  I took a soul sucking clerical job, but I did teach myself a lot.  That’s the thing—if your first job isn’t on a “career” path or a training position, then you’re going to be self-taught.

When I was 29 I went back to school because I wanted to be a teacher.  I had always been interested in education and I worked at the career center during grad school.  That’s where I discovered my field—where education meets business.   I worked with a lot of different types of people and it was a great way to learn about business skills, ways organizations work, etc.  I also worked in retail and even catering—that was actually a lot of fun.

Ashley: So eventually you found your passion in this field where education could meet business?


Daisy: Yes, I have always been fascinated by the idea of work—this idea of us finding our passions.  People want to feel this but don’t know how.  The kernel of our passions is always there, but you don’t always listen or aren’t encouraged.

If you want something—go for it—keep the fire lit.

The line, “This too shall pass” is really true.  Everything is always changing.  We need to continually remind ourselves of what’s important to us.  It’s not always a straight line—it can be circuitous.  Life requires us to be persistent and not to let anyone undermine what we are doing.


Two important things to help you Liminas women with this are to:

1)    Remember what you want

2)    Do in increments


Ashley: Yes, but looking for a job in this job market/economy can feel overwhelming!  When competing with hundreds of other applicants, how can we we Liminas women stand out?

Daisy: Think, what do I need to do or learn and who do I need to meet to help me build my passion? What things am I missing to get me there?  Build relationships.  Ask for help. Find the people who can help you.  Create your baby and expand on it—find connections that are important for you to reach your goal.  There are also organizations out there that want to help—SBA and networks of entrepreneur, SmartyLA, Ladies Who Launch.  Even Facebook and LinkedIn are great for connecting.


Ashley: So it’s not as simple as sending your resume to these people that you find and asking them to forward it to HR.  Basically, we should tell them—I like what you do.  How can I do it too?


Daisy: Yes, a lot of people are willing to help.  It’s important to show your enthusiasm and get people excited about what you’re doing.  When {pursuing} a creative end, it’s important to actually create something and show people—don’t just talk about it.  But it can be as simple as asking this person, “can you give me advice?”


Ashley: What’s the best way to promote ourselves in an interview without seeming arrogant?


Daisy: I was surprised by this question.  I think you can discuss your abilities, interests, and contributions you can make.  An interview is not about you—it’s about what you can do for your employer.

Ashley: I think that line right there will already help our readers—just going into an interview thinking, “This isn’t about me.  It’s about what I can do.”  I think that will help us.


Daisy: Put yourself in the position of a hirer.  What do they want?  They want someone who will care as much as they do.  Someone who is going to make his or her life easier.  If you have something to crow about—do it.


Ashley: So what can our readers do to be taken seriously in an interview and in the work place?


Daisy: You don’t necessarily need to take YOURSELF seriously, but you can take what you CAN DO seriously.


Ashley: I’m interested in the idea of “self-sales”–the idea that you need to sell yourself and your abilities not just simply in an interview to get the job, but also throughout your career to maintain your job and move up.  Do you believe in this idea?  What has been your experience with women who sell themselves too little or too much?

Daisy: We can all get insecure and worried—everybody worries that they aren’t measuring up.  Arrogance, puffing yourself up, comes from insecurity.  It’s important to be aware of what you can do, but it takes time to learn that.  In working with a lot of MBAs I saw that they have a great sense of entitlement—they have this assumption of who they thought they were {because of their schooling}, but it’s not based on their actual capabilities.



Ashley: I tended to undersell myself in my everyday work.

Daisy: Why do you think you did that?  Why do we do this?

Ashley: Hmm, I really don’t know.  I suppose it’s because I wanted to get along with others in the office—I’m very aware of people’s emotions, opinions, and feelings.  I suppose I wanted to maintain friendships.  Actually, that’s probably exactly what it was.  Maybe it’s a weakness of mine.


Daisy: Yes, that’s probably why, but this may be your gift.  How do you manage the politics of getting things done while also taking advantage of opportunities?  Being able to spot an opportunity is important, but going for it is what allows you to succeed.

Ashley: So maybe it’s better if we aren’t “self-selling” all the time?


Daisy: It’s about awareness.  If you just promote yourself all the time you’ll get a reputation for that, but on the other hand DO let people know you’re doing good work and you’re excited about it.  There are people who won’t like what you do no matter what.  Read cues.  Be savvy.  You know there’s that quote, “Well behaved women rarely make history”—sometimes we do need to push the envelope.  Life takes a lot of bravery—bravery and a little luck {chuckles} and good relationships.

Ashley: Most of our readers are struggling with finding a career that’s right for them.  We worry about investing too much of our time in the wrong field or that settling just to have a job will hinder our future career development–what are your thoughts on this?



Daisy: Balancing everything is important.  This generation is more concerned with balance than any before it.

Ashley: Why is that?


Daisy: There are a lot of reasons:

1)    Upbringing.  There was more of an interest in raising happy kids.  There was a trend of encouraging a lot of activity and positivity.  That leads to two things—a lot of burnt out kids and a lot of proactive kids.

2)    Global marketplace.  People realize things are tough all over the world.  There’s more of an interest in keeping balance and happiness.

I mean, even look at the trend of Positive Psychology—it began 10 years ago and more people are doing this.  More people want to be happy.  Trends are an important way to measure what’s going on.

Ashley: Yeah, I hear a lot of our readers say things like, “I know I should be doing more to be happy in my free time because I don’t really like my job…” but then they don’t always do anything about it. For someone who feels lost, is there anything we can do to focus our interests and needs and figure out what we should be doing as our career?



Daisy: Yes.  Look to extra activities, but look for activities that will maybe also help you with work.   There is volunteerism, or for a creative person maybe quilting or designing, etc. These interested could be something you can turn into a career.  Being engaged outside encourages not only happiness, but also other work opportunities.  It’s an organic way to make your career.


Ashley: Yes, I feel like it’s easy to let your interests fade away and then I fear you would wake up 20 years later and wonder, what have I been doing with my life?


Daisy: Yes.  Pay attention!  What you pay attention to, grows. If you really try, you’ll be able to build up those skills.


Ashley: Yeah, a lot of Liminas women feel lost and confused about their careers–what advice would you give a woman feeling this way?


Daisy: Worry about your career and path isn’t temporary—it’s reoccurring.  It doesn’t go away.

Ashley: So what, we just need to hunker down and weather the storm?


Daisy: Oh no, I wouldn’t say that.

Ashley: Ha, does that sound too bleak?


Daisy: There are lessons in every part of our lives.  We learn the most from the hardest times.  Work that we don’t want to do at the beginning can really teach us about what we DO want.  It can take a while for the real fit to emerge especially if you aren’t paying attention.  Honor and nurture your interests.