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Spring is Upon Us.

Spring is upon us…at least here, in Los Angeles. And with spring comes a strong reminder that everything changes, whether we work to make that change happen, or not. Yesterday, it was 85 degrees and sunny here; and today, it is 65 and cloudy. The trees are turning green with fresh growth, and new roses are opening up for the first time since their pruning last November. So what does this have to do with career transition and job search?

Sometimes we are forced into a 'pruning' of sorts: A layoff, a move we didn't choose, a divorce, a coming of age, or a recognition that it's just time for a change...the pruning occurs and then something else has to follow. That's just how it goes. So the question is, how can you exist with this change and be open, proactive and take enough action so that something new can appear? Something that may be exactly as you want it, but perhaps something you never expected. Really, how many times in your life have things – wonderful things – happened when you didn't expect them? Life is like that…full of surprises.

The tricky part is that we often get in our own way of the opportunities that we want to stumble upon. The introduction, the job description, the person we've hoped to meet our whole life, the class or book or teacher that turns on the light bulb for us. Just like the seasons change on their own, right on time, things are happening around us, changing constantly. Our work in career transition is to take notice, shift our awareness from fear or anger, or sleepiness, to be able to recognize new options and of course, help others to recognize how right we are for these options, too. That's where your résumé (that thing that makes you cringe when you think of having to re-write it) and your connections with others (dare I say 'networking') come into the picture. The really big piece here is how you're thinking, and how you're getting things done – or managing to avoid getting things done.

Those of you who have worked with us know that at Daisy Swan & Associates, we take into consideration who you are as whole person. Each of us has developed a wide range of gifts and capabilities that can be tapped into to do many varied kinds of work. Learning the truth about your gifts, skills and ways you like to work are all a part of the process of discovery, or re-igniting of you. One of my clients was convinced he was just finished...too old, too out of the loop, too quiet, too lost for anything to happen for him. Happily, I can say he did come back to life, his curiosity sparked and he was able to reconnect not only to his talent, but to other talented people who could see what he had to offer. With a good bit of work on his résumé and some updating of his skills, he was on his way down a slightly different path, and with a new perspective. 

So, how's your perspective? Have you gotten stuck in a mind loop that's keeping you from new opportunities and options? Are you convinced there's nothing out there for you and your background? Have you been trying furtively to control the uncontrollable? Without a bigger perspective, a kinder one at that, you could be truly exhausting yourself and doing yourself a real injustice.

Here's an activity for you: Make a list of all of the things you'd like to do for work. The list can include those things that would also be good for 'play', too. Next, research a bit to find out what this kind of work really requires in the way of skills. Be careful not to stop yourself with your “I’m too, I'm not, I can't” and whatever else you can throw at yourself while you're doing this exercise. Then consider what skills you can develop and how.

If we take a bigger view, we can achieve the changes we want to make, step-by-step, over time. Perhaps the next position won't get you to exactly where you want to be: This would be acknowledging the truth. But maybe the next one after that will. Or the one after. We create trouble for ourselves when we shut down and believe we can't get where we want to go. If there's an 'in the meantime' job, look for it but keep that bigger plan in place. Others have done it. You can, too.

To support the development of this bigger view I've been talking about here, I'm happy to share that I will be co-leading a class at InsightLA on Saturday, April 9, from 1-4 PM. Jane Davis, a seasoned meditation instructor, and I have joined together to provide a place to explore how meditation can help you transform the anxiety and stress of the job search, and to invite more peace and clarity. Many of you know that I began my journey of meditation in my teens, and this provides a valuable backdrop for the work I do with clients.

In April we will be offering a résumé writing workshop on Wednesday, April 20 from 7-9 PM, followed by an interviewing excellence workshop on Wednesday, April 27, also from 7-9 PM. The cost for these programs is $59 each if you register before Friday, April 15, and $69 thereafter. You will receive valuable handouts as well as one-on-one feedback from our experienced career coaches on resume writing strategies that work, and interview skills, respectively. Interviews can throw even the most seasoned professional, so practicing and prepping are key to building confidence. If you’ve been going on interviews and not received calls back, or if you’re stepping out for interviews soon, come and brush up on your skills.

Starting Wednesday, May 4, we'll be offering an updated version of our “Job Search Support Group”, called “Career Reinvention and Job Search Strategies”. In this program, participants will complete the Myers Brigg Type Indicator (MBTI®) to help in discovering new potential career options. We will meet for five (5) two-hour sessions and the fee, including the MBTI, is $199. (There will not be a class meeting the week of Memorial Day.) Participants will receive direction on career exploration, job search strategies, and resume and cover letter preparation. Accountability and support from our career coaches helps everyone set goals and meet them, and our groups are always filled with smart people who have plenty to offer each other – so networking opportunities and new ideas are always percolating. This group will be limited to eight (8) people.

On Wednesday, June 8, we will be hosting a panel on “Entrepreneurship: What It Takes and Do You Have It”. Panelists will be speaking about how they started their businesses and what challenges and opportunities they’ve experienced. This will be an opportunity to hear the truth about working for yourself, from a variety of people who transitioned from employee to employer. More information about the specifics of this event will be coming your way, soon. If you know of someone who would be interested in this discussion, please forward this email to them so they can register for future mailings. It's clear that entrepreneurship is our way out of this recession – whether you head out on your own while working, or want to be a more innovative and proactive contributor in your current workplace – it’s essential to hold on to that bigger view of what's ahead of you.

In the interim, I hope you'll be inspired by several of these books. I certainly have been.

“Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness”, by Jon Kabat- Zinn

“The Money Class: Learn to Create Your New American Dream”, by Suze Orman

“Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program”, by Sharon Salzberg

“The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life”, by Twyla Tharp

You can also find a wealth of resources on my site, from other suggested reads, links to helpful sites, a Q&A with me, newsletter archives, and more. And for those of you who are in the process of updating your résumé, you can sign up to receive a FREE résumé template from Daisy Swan & Associates; the signup box is located right on our home page. And please feel free to tell your friends and colleagues about our FREE résumé template.



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