What If Your Career Ideas Feel Impossible?

Feeling stuck between staying or going, like the classic cat in the doorway syndrome? It doesn’t have to be so hard.

I hear people all the time stopping themselves from wanting what they want because they think it’s impossible or think it will be too big of a leap for them.

In essence, they are thinking the devil they know is better than the one they don’t know. Think about that. The logic is flawed. It’s just that you don’t know yet.

That idea to stay with the “devil you know” comes from an inner fear voice that wants to stop you from trying anything new. It thinks it is keeping you safe. But it is just keeping you small… and unsatisfied.

Wavering between what you want and what you’re afraid to check out is a place we could stay stuck forever if we don’t take some conscious action.

It’s like that funny thing cats do when they cry to go outside, but when you open the door to let them out, they freeze in the doorway, wondering whether to stay or go. We laugh at them, or even get frustrated at them for not getting going on what they said they wanted. But isn’t it just like us when we stop ourselves from checking out what’s out there?

I know I’ve done that. Yes, no, maybe, but yes, but no…. on and on. It’s classic human stuff, not just cat stuff.

How do we get out of that doorway when the unknown feels so daunting?

I’ll explain what I’ve discovered, and what many others have discovered, about how to move past the doorway, even when it feels scary.

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Oh Those Beautiful Interruptions. Say Yes.

I’ve heard so many people being hard on themselves for not getting further along with their goals by a certain made-up date. Actually, it’s been mostly women who express this worry.

So much to do and not enough progress! Sound familiar?

Yes, I’m one of those people with the “never fast enough” syndrome. There’s all those to-do items staring at me. There sits one more blog draft or workshop draft that hangs in limbo for months and months. My ego thinks I must finish everything in order to be a good person.

So, let’s rethink this.  Continue reading

How Do I Answer “What Do You Do?” When It’s… Complicated?

“What do you do?” seems to be one of the most dreaded questions. Especially for people in transition or who feel like what they’re doing might be judged. It makes us squirm a little…. or a lot.

It can be especially hard for introverts and perfectionists who like to think before talking and then speak in a thorough way. It’s hard to find a good simple answer!

And yet, we are faced with this question so often. It might sound like this in your head when you get that question:

  • “I better have something good to say, Now!”
  • “They’ll think I’m a freak if I tell the truth!”
  • “They’ll think I’m a loser if I don’t have a ‘legitimate’ answer.”
  • “I feel like I have no clear identity like other people have.”
  • “I don’t want them to know I have family money to support me.”
  • “Staying at home with kids doesn’t seem like a real answer. Maybe I should do more.”
  • “I have tons of ideas but they’re still messy and I hate talking about it at this stage.”
  • “I don’t want to tell them I’ve been sick for a year. Ugh.”

Can you relate? It’s… Complicated.

Even people who know what they do for work can get nervous with this question. It almost feels like the asker wants us to define ourselves, right now, in one sentence. It’s just impossible to summarize ourselves like that.

Since I talk to so many people in transition, I get this question about how to answer “What do you do?” all the time. I want to share some things I’ve found helpful. Continue reading

Top 3 Concerns of Women Returning to Work

Image: From the white board during a coaching session. "It's hell in the hallway."

Image: This is from the white board during a coaching session with a woman in transition.

A lot of women come to see me when they are at a point of returning to work after a hiatus. Maybe the kids are growing up, or it’s a divorce or other transition. Sometimes it’s by choice and sometimes not.

Whatever the reason, they often have these 3 worries:

  1. Has the world passed me by? Will I be able to keep up with today’s technology?
  2. Do I really have something to offer when my brain has been focused on other things for so long? I’ve lost my confidence.
  3. How the heck do people juggle professional and personal lives? I’m so busy already!

You’re not alone with these worries. I get it that they may be weighing heavily on you.

Those worries will get in your way if you don’t address them head on.

I’m going to address each concern briefly here. I can’t solve all the stress here, but I hope you will discover that it might be easier than you think.

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LinkedIn Profile Essentials: Why and How

It’s time for a post about LinkedIn because I’m spending a lot of time explaining it. Even people who have been using it a while are not using it as well as they could be. You’re leaving money on the table if you don’t use it, or if you don’t use it well. It’s not just for stuffy “businessy” people. You’ll find plenty of heart-centered people in there.

And it doesn’t take much time at all! There’s really no down side to having an updated LinkedIn profile. And plenty of up sides.

Below are a few specific reasons why you should spiff up your profile, followed by quick tips on how to make it work best. I’m including links to step-by-step instructions.

Even if you’re sure social media is not for you, it might be worth getting a free listing in LinkedIn.

My LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn says I’m an all-star. That’s fun to see.

Who am I to advise on this?

I’ve been using LinkedIn longer than most people have even heard of it, and I’ve tinkered around to see what works. I have gotten business from LinkedIn with very little effort. And I’m in the top 5% of most viewed LinkedIn profiles. I understand social media and I enjoy sharing the shortcuts.

So here’s my checklist for you…

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