Archive for the ‘Career transitions’ Category

Your Greatest Partner

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Do you know who is your greatest partner? If they arrived today and you had a chance encounter would you even recognize them?

Some of my clients say, “ I don’t know” or “ I haven’t thought about it?”

I’m asking this important question now and do you have an answer?

“Two things define you: Your patience when you have nothing, and your attitude when you have everything.” John Lubinski

I will tell you the story of how I found my greatest partner. I started my business 6 years ago and I knew that I was intelligent, hard working, and I was shrewd. I thought for sure I would start my business and I would do great.

Well, if great was financially struggling, getting pissed when things went badly, feeling absolutely terrified of what to do next, and TRYING SO HARD at everything -then yes I was doing great! As a matter of fact I was doing FANTASTIC (note the strong hint of sarcasm).

The truth is I needed a business coach and I needed a community of other business professionals and entrepreneurs to connect to and learn from. I had no idea how isolated I was while starting my business. I am an extrovert (which helps to promote your services) but not a very good at marketing myself. This is very common for nearly all entrepreneurs.

I am thrilled to say after three years of business I am in the black and so many other entrepreneurs never made it this far. I am truly blessed!

I did hire a business coach and I have several business communities that I am a member of. However, that is not where I discovered my greatest partner.

My greatest partner was ME!

I had spent and (sometimes I still do) years of doubting myself, fearing the worst, living through one disaster to the next. I honestly felt like I was in a dryer cycle filled with rocks that banged, clanged, and slammed together. Who goes into business for themselves? Who survives this madness?

Am I perfect at my business now because I have survived so much? NOPE!

I discovered my greatest partner is my BEST SELF, The REAL ME, and MY GENIUS at work. It’s the part of me that doesn’t just put out fires at work. It’s the part of me that believes in me no matter what. It’s the me that has been there the whole time. The ME that wanted to share and shine my gifts and talents on the world, because I felt called.

Why did it take me so long to discover this secret? Did I forget to mention my mother died about a year and half after I started my business? I was bereft over her loss for 3 years. I also had to deal with her estate and be a wife. To say I was overwhelmed with grief was an understatement.

How did I recognize my greatest partner when I knew I had failed at my business and what seemed like my life? I remembered my faith in myself when I started my business. I remembered even if I had done everything wrong, it didn’t matter because NOW I CHOSE to make the best choices and allow for my business miracle. (Btw, there are several companies that promote business miracles)J

What created my business miracle so I found my Greatest Partner? I went back to the things that I said I couldn’t do, and didn’t need to do.- doubt is so powerful. I knew I needed to be assertive and let go –remember the doubt. I needed to ask for the right business contracts.

There I was flat broke in a business networking meeting, did I forget to mention I had no cash for the networking meeting and my friend sponsored me? Yes it was that bad. I believed in that moment ALL THAT MATTERED was that I smiled to everyone and accepted my business was taken care of  because I believed it would happen now matter what! I wouldn’t leave the room until I made the connection. Guess what I received 3 business contract offers that day! I was finally in the black and I lived to survive another day.

“Faith is a palpable living and intelligent energy which creates, heals, and attracts what you have faith in.” Doreen Virtue.

I coach women daily on how to cultivate their enthusiasm and desire so they can find their strengths, use their talents and gifts at work and in life.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.

When a good person meets a bad system, the system always wins…

“When a good person meets a bad system, the system always wins.” – Frank Voehl”

In light of our current political or corporate climate we may believe this quote on a bad day. I remember hearing over and over early on in my career that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I would see this all the time when somebody was a nice person, a good friend, or a mentor and they would seem to change overnight. We, the front line folks, thought the administration, the top brass in the ivory towers, finally heard us and gave us a good supervisor. This supervisor understood us, our day-to-day business duties, and could give us the information we desired. They could stand up to the bad system!

Instead, we the common folk would watch in horror, as our favorite soon became our unfavorite. We suddenly see our sense of value at work just deteriorate and the same problems happen over and over again.

We would complain to a mentor and ask how to deal with them and ourselves? Shock, disbelief, anger, and sadness are all forms of a grieving cycle. Frankly, it sucks to grieve at work.

I remember more than once working with “good” colleagues that seemed to know how to stay above the fray at work, had excellent working reputations, and were effective communicators. What some of us didn’t foresee, that these newly minted leaders became gruff, stopped listening, and would just “deliver” new policies and procedures without direction or consideration. Sounds familiar?

What I witnessed was a transformation of good colleagues that really weren’t good. In order, to be good one cannot just “act like it.” The new were self-serving and dubious.

This (long plunge into a pit of despair of ruined expectations) happens daily at work for so many employees and colleagues. So why do we fall pray to believe that perhaps one person can change the system, when most just fail and act more like the system?

When I hear from my clients, my peers, my community, and my family whom do they admire a person who change the system or person who can play the system well? The answer is the one good person CAN change any system. Why else have hope?

So how does a good person communicate change in a bad system?

When change is about to happen in an organization here are few things to think about, does the following occur from leadership?
1. Describe what is going to happen.
2. Explain why the change is necessary.
3. Ask for reactions; listen to comments and feelings.
4. Acknowledge comments or objections and check for misunderstandings.
5. Ask for suggestions.
6. Follow through.

This seems simple enough because even mediocre leaders will do this.
I want to give you a secret I learned about good vs. bad leaders, colleagues, and supervisors.

There really is no such thing as good vs. bad. There is likable vs. unlikable and there is effective vs. ineffective. I discovered that good labels created such high and unachievable standards of greatness that invariably I and everyone else I met would eventually feel “crestfallen” with their choices. A professional bad label also created such a negative stereotype that no matter what this person did it wasn’t good enough.

However, when I realized I liked and didn’t like some folks that was my choice. I have professional values and so does everyone else. I also accepted the fact that some professionals only consider themselves at work- because that’s all they can control. I also learned effective vs. ineffective qualities are quantifiable. This meant that if the new leader wasn’t up to snuff that wasn’t my issue only a reflection of the current leadership abilities and choices.

The bottom line is that I never have to hand my power over to a “bad system.” When I all I need to do is look at my professional values. I could also choose to be an effective employee, colleague, or supervisor to the best of my ability. It may not be my choice if other professionals like me but I could certainly do my best to try.

The next time you are told there is a bad system out there and it’s a fixed game, notice how quickly everyone else hands over his or her power. That is the first sign of an ineffective, unlikable, and powerless person.

I coach women daily on how to cultivate their enthusiasm and desire so they can find their strengths, use their talents and gifts at work and in life.
If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.

How to Reset your Career in times of Layoffs

Have you ever been laid off? If you have or feared you might be it’s often the most devastating professional experience you can have.

One of my clients expressed to me that getting laid off wasn’t a good thing. She said it was like “being thrown into a murky red sea filled with sharks and monsters.” She wasn’t sure about what was safe, what would make her ok, or what else she could do?

If you are like some Americans they live paycheck to paycheck and a layoff with some notice is helpful, but most are laid off with less than two weeks notice. This is frightening!

What do you tell your creditors, your friends, and your family? Where to start to pick up the pieces?

Here are some tried and true things to remember during a layoff:

1) Remain professional AND don’t burn any bridges. This is not the time to tell people what you really think of them in person or on Social Media. If you can thank your prior employer and co-workers for the experience, this is good enough.

2) Ask for contact information and reference information from your coworkers and the company. You will need this information for your next job and once you remember step 1 to be professional it will help.

3) Consider lateral transfers, both permanent and temporary. If you are able to negotiate your layoff by accepting a different position in the company or a temporary place do if you prefer to have more time at your current employer.

4) Remember to run a cash flow analysis of your funds.

So then what?

In my opinion, this is where the real work begins. Yes if you are willing, able, and the opportunity presents itself you can accept temporary work assignments for as long as you need to.

However, what does it mean to restart your career after a layoff, just work for the other companies’ competitor? Or does it mean you find what makes you spark?

Here are some important steps to find your spark?
1) Get clear on what you don’t want with your next permanent assignment or position. That’s really the most important first step. Many times we try to “go for the gold” position and quite frankly we aren’t always ready. We aren’t ready because sometimes we try to bargain with our fears if we are really worthy of the gold position. This comes across sometimes as we don’t know what we want and we remain uncertain. The best way to deal with uncertainty is to accept it as a moving state and focus on for sure we don’t want the following things.

For me, when I was laid off I didn’t want to work another supervisor that I didn’t trust. I was laid off same day with no pay, no prospects, and no contacts.

I wanted to be able to feel and see their support as a manager and anytime I felt it waned I looked for another job. Guess what? That has never happened I have never been laid off again because I learned that as soon as my supervisor’s support waned it was time for me to move on.

2) Get clear on what you do want. This is when creating a list of needs, duties, and FEELINGS of what you desire is good. The feelings are the most important because if you can’t feel what the new will be like go back to what you don’t want. a kernel of truth will show up and that’s what you want to focus on.

3) Start to evaluate and utilize what you do have. This means evaluate your resources. Review your contacts, skills, talents, and motivation. This will help formulate your choices. When I was laid off with no warning I was on my phone before I hit the parking lot calling and texting friends for support, reaching out to see if they knew of any jobs in my field, and how would they describe me as a job candidate? Because right then I couldn’t think of myself as marketable. Within 48 hours, everyone I knew had contacted me given their support, made suggestions, looked at my resume, took my resume to their bosses, offered up leads, and then asked the most important question, “What are you going to do?”

4) It is our choices that define us not our abilities. Do you know what my answer was? I have a new job right now! It was that simple and it worked!

But what about Shock and Grief?

Any kind of transition in our lives requires reflection and time to process. The important thing to remember is once the basics are handled never forget your choice to stay committed to yourself. You can work “doing a job” while you learning to delve into your passion. Most folks I have met it takes them sometime to figure out what they really want to do with their careers and their lives. Part of the reason for the layoff is to call to your attention this isn’t working and what else could I be doing?

I coach women daily on how to cultivate their enthusiasm and desire so they can find their strengths, use their talents and gifts at work and in life.

If you would like a free 30-minute consultation please feel free to connect with me at http://jeanniedougherty.com/contact/.

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