Don’t Go It Alone!
RE-IGNITE YOUR JOB SEARCH
Join the ICT Collaboratory 4-Week Intensive.
Starts July 9, 2019
The Collaboratory is ICT’s community hub for anyone navigating a career transition.
Focus and energize your job search with ICT’s 4-week all-inclusive onsite program to manage your work in-between work.
ICT, founded by MIT researchers, helps job seekers accelerate their job search. Our personalized, intensive, team-based program will help get you ready for your next opportunity.
Join our deliberately developmental community. We’re committed to your personal and professional growth as you navigate your job search.
Show up at your best with a renewed sense of confidence and well-being.
We provide expert support and job seeking strategies in a collaborative, supportive environment where you are learning and practicing the skills needed for success.
The ICT Collaboratory is located in the new 60 Vibe co-working space, at 60 Island
St, Suite 209 West, Lawrence, MA. Walking distance from the Purple line.
ICT Collaboratory membership includes:
Personalized Coaching | Career Tool Box | Interviewing Skills
Peer Support | Crafting Your Story | Networking
Implementing Your Job Search Strategy
24/7 Coworking Space Access
4-Week Intensive $497
(a $2,500 value)
Reserve your place: Contact Deborah Burkholder, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Institute for Career Transitions mission is to better understand and help others navigate the rapidly changing nature of work, income, and wellbeing. We envision a future where everyone can build a career to create a sustainable livelihood and where “work” is understood as multifaceted, transitional, and evolving.
Institute for Career Transitions is a not for profit 501(c)(3).
The holidays are a time of celebration! This year, Ginger is a year old! It’s been a year of training her and more work than I remember, but we’re having fun with her and look forward to more walks and seeing friends as time allows! She keeps me mindful… you just have to be present and enjoy each event in the moment. Although they are late, the most important things on my list are happening… like sending this holiday email, making Christmas cookies, and spending precious time with loved ones!
Each year, I send these questions as my gift to you… this has become a tradition that I do with all my clients at the end of December. The idea is to take a few minutes, maybe with a glass of wine, or a cup of tea, and write your answers to them. Unwrap your gifts, celebrate your accomplishments, see what others have given you… what has 2018 brought you, what are you most grateful for, and what do you really want in 2019?
If you’d like to schedule a session with me to map out your intentions for 2019, and do these questions in person, please send me an email… Or, if you’re inclined to share, I’d love to hear from you!
- What was your greatest accomplishment? What are you most proud of daring to achieve/do (whether you did it or not)?
- Where did you nudge yourself out of your comfort zone?
- What gifts did you see in yourself? What’s the most valuable lesson you learned?
- What are you grateful for this year?
- Who are the people YOU had the greatest positive impact on this year?
- Who are the people who had the greatest impact on your life this year?
- What’s one piece of unfinished business, and how might you complete it, address it, or let it go?
- Overall, what was the theme of this year for you? (It’s your life story, what’s the title of this chapter?)
- What will the theme be for you this year? (What’s the title of this chapter?)
- How will this theme manifest in your life?
- What are your intentions or goals for this year? What dreams or passions would you like to pursue?
- What have you learned from the past that you want to use this year?
- What old habits, fears, or patterns might get in the way?
- How will you overcome those obstacles or deal with those fears (what structures will you put in place) so that you can follow through and move forward?
Wishing you all the joy and magic of the season… may you enjoy it with family and friends in health, peace and love. I am so grateful for all of you and look forward to hearing from you in the new year!
ICT (Institute for Career Transitions) held a workshop Saturday, June 23rd on the status of work and well-being. I wasn’t there, but I wanted to share some of the highlights with you. If you’re a job seeker, you’ll relate and realize you’re not alone.
Headlines are missing key facts:
- If under-employment is factored in, unemployment is around 7.5%.
- 15% of college-educated people earn < $15/hr and 1 in 5 are under-employed.
- 20% of unemployed are LTU (Long-term unemployed).
- 30% of age 50+ unemployed are LTU.
- For workers >= age 62, between the years 2005 and 2015, the % of people earning <= $15k went from 10%to 15%.
- Full time employment (FTE) continues to drop overall as a % of all jobs. The % of contract and part-time jobs continues to rise.
Don’t let the headlines get you down! It’s tough out there, but keep going…your fellow job seekers are your biggest allies.
More people are exhausting their retirement savings and/or are on programs such as SNAP. People are turning to survival jobs- renting out rooms on AirBnB, driving Uber and Lyft.
Older, well educated workers are finding it harder to get a job like the one they had before, so they look more broadly, either going down, or transitioning to a new field. Going down levels leads to objections that they are over-qualified; switching to a new field leads to objections that they have no experience.
A growing number of people are in emotional crisis which leads them to self-blame, isolation and heightened stress and makes it hard to focus and conduct an effective job search.
Networking! It’s not easy for some and it takes time to network effectively which can lead to more stress. Building rapport and long term relationships is “an incredibly difficult feat” for people in emotional and financial lows.
“This game sucks.” We need to change the game, but individuals who must play the game can’t change it. There is no Magic Formula and many job seekers are disappointed.
Ofer talked about the Collaboratory and its strategic and social/emotional benefits. Members meet 15 hrs/week and help each other in a place where they feel valued, a sense of belonging and accountability, decreased isolationism, and affinity with others.
Someone asked about a recent Boston Globe article on older workers being unable to gain employment in this “robust economy”, and how Governor Baker’s office is building a list of older-worker friendly companies.
Ofer saw this before when he was invited to the White House during the Obama administration. Companies included their names on a list but there hasn’t been follow through by them or the government.
The majority of workers in the USA face issues, not just the unemployed. Many are unhappy, have lost benefits, are under-employed, stressed, but afraid to quit or ever take time off.
3 Questions Asked:
As one of my clients said, “What people wrote in response to these questions is so moving and true to life.” The unemployed continue to amaze me in their perseverance, their determination to keep going, and in their humanity. It is hard not to get emotional reading these now; I can only imagine how it was to be in the room. Our country really ought to be serving them better…
- I am most proud of:
- The friends I have
- My unpaid public policy advocacy
- Getting my fashion biz certificate (64 unemployment)
- Helping people who are important to me when I don’t feel I can
- Reinvented my career with recognition worthy success
- Helped others to find path to make positive change
- Not sure anymore; there are things I enjoy; a great meal I’ve created
- That my children are living the values that I feel are critically important to how a good life in community should be lived
- My 401K (sounds awful to say but represents 15 years of night/weekend work invested
- My teaching; my kids
- Being non-judgemental and forgiving and raising my children with similar values
- I have had the courage, repeatedly, to leave jobs that were inauthentic and treated employees as ‘pieces not people’ and creating life supporting options
- Helping people build and develop their skills
- My 2 adult children (boys); proud of who they are and what they’ve done and our relationship
- Spending my life helping people
- When I inspire others to believe and use their strengths
- Of my achievements at previous jobs
- Perseverance; creativity; resourcefulness; relationships where people have stuck by me regardless of my emotional state
- Being reliable, supportive, caring, open-minded
- My work ethic, especially in the face of adversity
- Being part of an improv group (I am an introvert)
2. The most challenging part of being unemployed/underemployed/no meaning in work (besides financial) is:
- All the extra stuff that fills my non-work time
- I am so bored
- How I feel about myself
- Not being able to contribute/use my skills
- Staying positive
- Not knowing if anything I’m doing is making a difference
- Meaning (lack of)
- Life is passing by and I am wasting it
- Trying to be productive; fill your day to check things off your list; taking advantage of your new found free time
- Meaningless job; irritation; depression; I want out
- The feeling that I’m not hitting certain life ‘mile stones’ that others in my age group (and younger) seem to be completing or entering (owning home, married, more degrees)
- Being perceived as a has been; defective somehow; undesirable
- Feeling that you lose yourself
- Isolation; missing stimulation of ideas and colleagues; not feeling comfortable knowing how to talk about ‘situation’ without burdening others or ‘complaining’
- Not being able to contribute fully because it took too much to be managing day to day
- Emotional challenge
- Losing sense of self worth
- Not using skills
- Friends moving for jobs and to pay for less expenses; friends not understanding; periodic negativity and sadness from disappointment
- Loss of perceived status- it really hurts to feel lesser/lower than
- Sense of having no control; being powerless
- I’m not doing my part to contribute- wasted resource
- Keeping my intellectual spirit high and not mentally checking out
- The fact that I derive so much of my value and sense of self-worth from my work and when I am not producing tangible, quality outputs, I begin to lose my confidence and experience a feeling of incompetence and less worth
If I had 2 more hours before I went to bed, I’d:
- Write (mentioned 7 times)- write in my journal, compose, creative writing, hand write letters to friends
- Listen to motivating Ted Talks or books on tape
- Meditate/Guided meditation (mentioned 3 times)- meditate/reflect
- Read (mentioned 12 times)-about fashion, about people’s different stories, read more fiction, read without worrying, reading my journal, read for fun
- Watch TV, watch friends stories on Instagram, watch shows on You Tube
- Play musical instruments and sing
- Yoga; yoga/stretch; yoga for an hour
- Unwind; relax; rest
- Do something just for me
- I’d spend more time creating: canvas, painting, crafting, drawing etc.
- Have sex
- Be outside at night for more than 2 hours
- Rethink the current direction of our World
- Improve the appearance of my home, make it more welcoming
- Spend more time with family and friends
Wow, that was powerful and moving for me just to type and take in- now, what can we do about the situation? I don’t know but I think we need to raise public awareness big-time: About ICT and the work they do, about how companies could be hiring LTU and workers over 50 more, about what legislators could do, and about how we can retrain workers for new jobs to name a few. What do you think? Please share your ideas with me or Ofer Sharone at ICT. It’s going to take a village…
I’ll be offering a free meditation session on Friday, July 13 at Noon-1:30 for anyone who’s interested. Details are on my website…hope to see you there!
Often people attempt to live their lives backwards; they try to have more things, or more money, in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier. The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you really need to do, in order to have what you want.
Most people live according to the Do Be Have model- in order to have something, we must do, do, do, and then we’ll be successful. We’ve been taught this. For example, if we want to have career success, we must do something, like work 80 hours/week, and then we’ll be happy. This becomes a neverending treadmill of always needing to do more in the pursuit of happiness, which can lead us to stress and worry so much that we block potential possibilities.
Being Requires Reflection and Connection
In truth, if we stop the constant striving, worrying and planning every moment as a human doing, then life flows, and we can live more authentically, as the human beings we were meant to be. If we can take time to figure out our “why”, our purpose or intention, from a place of love and mindfulness, envisioning ourselves as happy, then the Universe will fill in the “how” and we can take advantage of opportunities as they come. Be first, then do, and you will have all that you need.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this since my trip to Brittany. I felt like more of a human being there and it was wonderful! I was relaxed and happy. My days flowed from one joyful moment to another… I enjoyed precious time with my daughter as we filled our senses with art, flowers, food and the beauty of the villages in the area, speaking a little French and connecting with locals who were more than happy to share stories with us. Yes it was vacation and we had no real “to do’s”, but we were present being as we were doing things.
“Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” ~Brene Brown
In Brittany, I was living authentically…I was being me. I vowed to keep this feeling when I got home- not to worry, or get caught up in other people’s treadmills, or spend my time doing things that don’t really matter to me. It has been a challenge, but I’m committed to making it part of my daily mindfulness practice to be more human. If I feel myself starting to slip into Eeyore mode, worrying about not getting enough done, or meeting people’s expectations, I go to my toolbox and choose from my energy boosters- meditation, yoga, walking, connecting with a friend, going to a music or dance performance, or going to my kitchen and cooking or baking something delicious…and pretty soon, I’m back in my flow, being me…
Be, Do, and Have…
What about you? Do you feel like a human doing or a human being? The choice is really always yours. Take some time to reflect and just be…Set an intention for the life you really want and take small steps towards it every day with messages of loving kindness to yourself…We can’t get away from doing things that need to be done, but we can come from a place of love and enjoy being while we’re doing.
January is the best time to make positive changes in your life. It’s a time when many resolutions are made, but few are kept. You have to stay motivated if you really want to manifest your goals and intentions. How? Here are 3 great tips from JJ Virgin, New York Times bestselling author…with my thoughts sprinkled in…
1. Find an accountability partner.
Once you have a clear goal, you need to write down the action steps that will help you reach that goal. (I like Vision Boards, and I use a Goal sheet that has different sections for areas in your life, such as Business/Work Goals, Home Goals, Personal Goals, and Fun Goals. I fill this out at the beginning of each year and post it on my bulletin board where I see it every day.)
Next you want a partner, a friend or two, or a coach to hold you accountable. Ideally, they’re available weekly and act as your personal cheerleader. Share your goals, strategize, and plan with them. You can ask them to check in with you for a progress report and/or schedule a call or in-person meeting with your accountability partner at least a few times a month for updates. (I like having a coach for this, as well as a coaching group, and this year, I’m going to try it with a friend in TN, where we can be each other’s accountability partner!)
2. Track your progress on a regular basis.
In order to review progress, you have to track it. Do this in great detail; you’ll see when and where you’re most productive and you’ll learn lots about your habits and patterns. As you move towards your goal, you may notice that you procrastinate: Ask yourself, when and why do I procrastinate? When do I do my best work? Am I overwhelmed? Am I eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep?
Once you’re aware of your emotions and habits, you can tailor your action steps to them. Look at your calendar and decide how much time you have for action steps, and block out your schedule. Then track the hours you spend working towards your goal. On a scale of 1-10, how focused and productive were you? Write this info down and share it with your accountability partner. (I put my action steps on my wall calendar in time; this helps me be realistic and not put too many things in one day. At the end of the day, I check things off if I’ve completed them. If I don’t get to something, I move it to the next day I know I’ll have time to complete it. At the end of the week, I check and see if I missed anything and if so, I do it on Friday or the weekend. But my goal is to have weekends free, so that motivates me to finish things Friday!)
3. Celebrate your small successes and your big wins.
Acknowledge your accomplishments along the way! Completing action steps and goals is intrinsically rewarding, but plan small extrinsic rewards as well…Take a walk in nature, see a movie with a friend, take a relaxing bath… Enjoy small pleasures and celebrate each goal as you achieve it- this will keep you motivated to set and achieve goals that really matter to you. (This is so important. Make sure your goals and intentions are ones that you really want to achieve-in your heart and your mind. I write my accomplishments in my gratitude journal each night and I do celebrate them.)
Feeling good about your big goal or project will keep you motivated to keep setting conscious, authentic goals and and action steps to create the life you want!
I originally posted this in 2014… Because of the discouragement and confusion I have been hearing from some of my clients, I decided it was worth sending this message out again… May you all choose happiness and joy… it is out there for you…
Recently, a client shared this anonymous quote with me and I just had to share it with you: “Life is like a camera; focus on what’s important, capture the good times, develop the negatives, and if things don’t work out, take another shot.” I love the metaphor and vivid reminder that there are always choices and opportunities in life… happiness is really a choice.
What does being happy and successful mean to you?
Many of you may remember Steve Jobs’ message, “…Don’t waste your time living someone else’s life- follow your dreams and passions…” And yet, I see many people doing just that- working at a job they don’t like, doing what they feel they “should” as opposed to what they want, feeling stressed, and stuck in a rut. Sound familiar?
In The Top 5 Regrets of the Dying, Bronnie Ware, a palliative care nurse, recorded her patients’ biggest regrets in a blog:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
- I wish I’d let myself be happier.
Deep down, I believe we all know what’s really important in life, but often we get caught up in the “shoulda, coulda, have to’s and must do’s” that society dictates will bring us success. But at what cost? It saddens me to read that 80% of Americans are unhappy with their jobs! Why waste 40-60 hours a week doing something you hate? Take a good look at your life now. Are you stuck on a treadmill you think you can’t get off? Are you ready to redefine success and happiness and live a life true to yourself?
What’s your dream?
Imagine living a life you love- doing work that’s meaningful where you’re valued and appreciated…sharing work and life with people you care about who are being true to themselves. It’s possible! You can create a life around your passions and dreams. Sure, it takes courage, perhaps shifting your mindset, or working on self limiting beliefs… and yes, there will be challenges and obstacles, but you always have choices and choices are always better than regrets.
If you’re unhappy or feel stuck in your current situation, if you’re unemployed or underemployed, and you’re ready to see what else is possible, I have a super special offer for you! (details below) Together, we’ll craft a strategy to attract more of what you want, define happiness on your terms, and create your own personal road map for success. Sound good?
Special Offer- *50% off Career and Life Coaching with Clare!
The first 5 people who respond to this email will receive coaching with me at half my regular (unemployed) rate! Why am I offering to coach people at half price? Mostly, because I’ve seen it make a difference and I’m committed to helping people find work (and a life) they love; it’s my passion and brings me joy... plus recent research has shown that coaching helps job seekers find work faster by providing emotional support, objective feedback and accountability that keeps their motivation and momentum strong. It’s a win-win!
So, what do you really, really want? And what are you waiting for? It’s your life, and you can make it work! I can’t wait to work with you!
The Upside of Procrastination
Instead of seeing procrastination as a terrible thing, I now see it as a tool that helps me learn how I work best. Here are six different reasons why we seem to procrastinate…
and a few tips on what you can learn from (and do for) each.
Reason 1: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy the entire task or job.
Solution: One of my life coaches told me several years ago that if I didn’t like doing something, I should “delete it, delegate it, or automate it.” What a great way to look at things! I’m a big fan of ONLY doing tasks I enjoy or am good at. The rest I give to people who are good at it and/or enjoy it. (If you can’t afford to hire someone, try bartering.)
Reason 2: You are procrastinating because you don’t enjoy a PART of the entire task or job.
Solution: If you’re putting off a whole project just because there’s one part you don’t want to do, figure out how you can get away without doing that part. Again, delete it, delegate it, or automate it. Or, if applicable, ask a friend to do it with you; teamwork helps!
Reason 3: You are procrastinating because you don’t know how to handle the task or job.
Solution: The answer will not drop in your lap. Get help — a friend, co-worker, or family member to teach you how, a book or home study course to show you how, or give it to someone who can do it for you.
Reason 4: You are procrastinating because you simply can’t find the time.
Solution: Schedule future time to do it, or get rid of other tasks to create the time you need. If you still can’t do this, and timeliness is important, then find someone to do it for you. I put everything on my calendar, in time, so if the day is full, the item goes to an open day. And I try to space projects out so I don’t have too many going at once.
Reason 5: You are procrastinating because you feel stuck.
Solution: You may just need to jump start your momentum. Give yourself permission to do just one small part of the project. Or do the easiest part first to get you on a roll. This usually creates momentum, and you end up doing a lot more than you intended to! I have some coaching buddies who I’ll call sometimes for a “Do It Now” session, usually 3 hours…we call each other at the top of the hour and say what we’re going to accomplish; then we report back on our progress each hour…again, teamwork works for me!
Reason 6: You are procrastinating because you don’t really want to do what you thought you should do.
Solution: This means you may have the wrong objective or strategy in the first place! Is this something you really want to do, or do you just think you SHOULD do it? Or is it an old goal that doesn’t fit you anymore? Your answer may surprise you. Let the goal go for awhile and see what happens. Maybe this is someone else’s goal, not yours and you now have free time to do something you want to do!
Start Paying Attention!
Once you start paying attention to which activities you put off regularly, you’ll know sooner when to be stricter with yourself or find help to get those tasks accomplished in a more timely manner. So take a minute and make your list right now of what tasks you’ve been putting off! Don’t beat yourself up about it, just make a note and figure out how to get them done. (Or delete them and find an alternative to help you reach the same goal.)
Hope these tips help you find peace with your procrastination:)
(This is adaption from one of my previous coaches…)
“Don’t worry what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman
Passion is defined as a compelling emotion or intense enthusiasm, but it’s so much more…it drives us and propels us towards life’s larger purpose. It is where we find our uniqueness and what gives our life meaning. Often we’re so busy with our “to do” lists, we forget what really matters to us. As a coach, I have clients who tell me they’ve never thought about who they really are, what they really want or what ignites them.
How can you find your passion?
For many, it’s a calling, something they’re drawn to and love doing, and it comes
naturally. For others, it’s a hint, a feeling, or something you notice that emerges slowly, like a seed that if cultivated, will grow and bloom. If you’d like to rediscover or unveil your passion, start by answering these 5 questions:
1- What did I like to do as a child?
Did you like to do art projects, read, act, organize others in games? What did you get absorbed in and get lost in?
2- What could you talk about for hours on end?
What subjects rev you up, give you energy, or get you going on a rant? What really matters to you? Justice, family, the arts or science? What’s your favorite subject?
3- What would people close to you say you were awesome at?
What are you known for? For me it’s food and just about everyone knows I love to bake! I’ve been making cookies since I was a little girl and I look for every opportunity to share them with friends, family, and clients. What is it for you? Look to your natural strengths and interests; what do others say you’re good at?
4- What could you do all day and never notice the time go by?
What hobbies do you get immersed in so much that you avoid doing your Power Point presentation or accounting paperwork? Again, it’s food for me and also connecting with people, sharing an idea, a concert, or movie…explore your go-to activities and notice next time you’re happily absorbed in something.
5- If money and time weren’t an issue, and you knew you could only succeed, what would you do?
What have you thought about doing, or said you’d do when you retire? Write a book, travel for a year, start a business? Let your subconscious guide you here and know that your first answers may not show up as a fiery passion…keep asking and listening…the answers will come.
Uncovering your passion(s) takes practice, like anything else. Start with these questions to help clarify your values and what you want, identify fears and obstacles that might get in the way, and bring those passions back to life!
If you’d like to rediscover your passions, join me on Friday, March 10 from 12:30-2 pm for a Discover Your Passions session in Acton…To register and for details, simply reply to this email by March 8th.