Activate Your Network

Individuals who are looking for a new job or professional path frequently make the error of reaching out to their network too soon. Prior to making the first contact with your network, it is important to have a vision that is clear or at least a vague idea of what you are looking for. Once you are clear on your goals, your network will help you get there. 

Here are 6 tips to help activate your network:

  1. Polish your digital presence: To network online, your online identity must be up to date and professional. Make sure that your profiles are current and are full of PAR statements which highlight problems (P) you have solved, specific actions (A) you took, and the measurable results you achieved.
  2. Get comfortable asking for what you need: Be very specific with your ask. Recruiter Jen Selverian  suggests that you, “talk to me like a lawyer, not a genie. When you’re working with an attorney with a high hourly rate, you want to make sure every minute counts, right? You’re asking only the most essential and concise questions.” 
  3. Let people know you are looking for a new opportunity: Take the time to carefully comb through your email, phone, and LinkedIn contacts for people with whom you have enough rapport to contact. When you message them, remind them of how you know each other. Get comfortable asking friends, colleagues and family members to help broaden your network. We each have vast networks of people and most people are willing to help when they understand how they may help. 
  4. Attend Industry events—both in person and online: Often people have extra passes and tickets to these events that you can use. 
  5. Follow up and be patient: The average job hunt takes six to nine months of intensive searching, follow-ups, and interviewing.Be patient with the process but also ready to respond quickly to the people who do respond. 
  6. Be willing to Give Back: Comment on others’ posts, make introductions, give feedback and support to those who are supporting you and beyond. 

Remember, networking is not just about making connections; it’s about building and maintaining meaningful relationships. Be genuine, show interest in others, and be willing to offer help and support as well. Your network can be a valuable resource for both personal and professional growth.

Seeking Growth through Career Transitions

Almost 50% of people in the workforce today are actively seeking a career change. This is a staggering number and represents our collective values to strive for more money, meaning and flexibility in our work. I believe that people seeking career transitions are also seeking personal growth. Transitioning to a new role, organization, industry or profession can be a powerful catalyst for personal and professional growth. Here are a few areas of potential growth through career transitions: 

  • Adaptability: career transitions require individuals to adapt to new circumstances, which builds resilience, flexibility, and the ability to manage uncertainty.
  • Clarifying Goals: during times of change, people often reassess their goals and aspirations. This can lead to a clearer sense of direction and purpose, fostering personal growth.
  • Creativity and Innovation: new situations and environments can stimulate creative thinking and innovative problem-solving as individuals seek solutions to the unique challenges that transitions bring.
  • Expanding Networks: transitions often involve meeting new people, whether in personal or professional contexts. Building new relationships can expand one’s network and offer fresh perspectives.
  • Increased Self-Awareness: transitioning often involves questioning assumptions and exploring new aspects of oneself. This introspection can lead to greater self-awareness and personal development.

Do you want to take a risk?

Having a social safety network can help

Taking risks increases activity through our neural pathways and allows us to see from a different perspective while experiencing a new environment, sensation, and way of being in the world. This exposure can serve as a rich source of inspiration for creative thinking and future planning.

To take risks, it helps to have a safety net; knowing that we have people to rely on gives us the resilience to get out there. Interestingly, studies show that risk taking is positively correlated to prosocial behavior. So as we try new activities, behaviors, and environments, we become more other-focused and act more to benefit others. Conversely, as we hold ourselves back from activities and actions, we become less social and less apt to help others/seek help from others. It is a loop which leads further into loneliness.

What is a social safety network?
If you have at least 6 trusted people with whom you can have authentic conversation, you have a social safety network. Having at least 6 trusted people as your essential support network is like having an insurance policy—I can take a risk and don’t need to worry as someone is going to be there to catch me. I can dare or make a mistake and someone will be there to help pick me up.

Success on your terms

One of the topics that I often touch upon with coaching clients is what success looks like. For many that I coach, success is deeply personal and meaningfully aligns with their values and strengths. Their pathway to success is not a linear journey; it is filled with peaks, troughs and detours which teach you something new about yourself and your path, helping you refine your definition of success. 

Achieving this kind of success often requires walking away from a seemingly safe path to wander in the dark for a while. It requires being vulnerable and putting yourself out there. It will probably include some “failure.” It requires getting to know yourself to be able to define your terms. This self-knowledge is the foundation upon which your unique definition of success is built. Here are some good questions to start with:

  1. What does a successful outcome look and feel like in vivid detail?
  2. How will my success impact the people and communities around me?
  3. What are the potential obstacles or challenges I might encounter?
  4. What personal values and principles align with my definition of success?
  5. How will success impact my relationships with family, friends, and colleagues?
  6. Is my definition of success flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances?

If you are working towards success on your own terms, It may be lonely at times. For some it is the only way forward. And for you, I am here…book a free consultation!

How to Own Your Ask

Have you ever asked for something and heard nothing back?  Are you getting tired of asking and hearing nothing but crickets?  It may be because you are not really asking for what you need. On balance, people like to help one another. Helping someone else actually boosts your own happiness. So, if all this helping is good for us, why do we sometimes not receive what we are asking for?

When you are asking and not receiving a response, take a look at the question you asked.  Are you calling out an action?  Are you giving a deadline?  Is your voice authentic?

Read More

Protect Your Creative Brain Space

7 tips to enhance Creativity!

Protecting your creative time is essential for personal growth and overall well-being. Several studies have shown that creative hobbies, such as art, writing and music, can reduce and even prevent stress. Often, when you are engaged in a creative endeavor, you are able to enter a flow state. This happens when you’re completely focused on a task, to the point where you think less about things that are worrying you. Being this absorbed can be rewarding and enjoyable – your brain is flooded with dopamine, that feel-good chemical that actually helps motivate you toward similar behavior.

  1. Get Curious: Curiosity and creativity have a symbiotic relationship. It is unclear whether being curious enhances creativity or whether creative activities lead to openness and therefore more curiosity. In studies, one common personality trait emerges across the spectrum of creative people….they’re curious.
  2. Create a schedule: Incorporate regular blocks of creative time into your daily or weekly routine. Treat these time slots as non-negotiable appointments with yourself.
  3. Avoid multitasking: Focus on one creative task at a time to maintain flow and productivity.
  4. Stay with it: Having clear objectives and timelines can keep you motivated and accountable during your creative endeavors.
  5. Set boundaries: Communicate with others that you need uninterrupted time for creativity. Let them know when you’ll be unavailable to avoid distractions and interruptions.
  6. Experiment with different creative techniques: Trying new approaches or art forms can keep your brain engaged and open up fresh avenues for creativity.
  7. Seek feedback and collaboration: Share your creative work with others to gain insights and new perspectives. Collaboration with like-minded individuals can also stimulate creativity.

Remember, everyone’s creative process is unique. Experiment with these ideas to find what works best for you and helps you protect and nurture your creative brain time. Establishing a creative practice or creative time in your life takes time and persistence, however your brain will begin to crave this creative time and that is a healthy practice for a life well lived!

Ready for your Next Chapter?

Transitions mark the turning points of our life chapters and shape the course of our lives. Whether we are changing careers, moving to a new city, enrolling in a course of study, beginning or ending a relationship, or simply navigating the ebb and flow of life, transitions are opportunities for growth and self-discovery and allow us to craft the next chapter of our lives with confidence and purpose. As a coach, recognizing the potential for growth during these times can be the foundation for assisting others in their journey.

In this Next Chapter Coaching Package, we will reflect on past chapters to uncover valuable insights and discuss practical strategies to embrace change and uncertainty with grace. Together, we will uncover the keys to fostering resilience, building a supportive network, and setting a clear path towards our desired next chapter!

Package of Four Virtual Coaching sessions:

  1. Who You Are and What Makes You Tick? Laura uses an inside-out approach to achieve lasting results for her clients.  A variety of assessments, exercises and tools are used to identify your sweet spot; the intersection of Personality, Strengths, Interests, Values and Skills.  Working in your sweet spot creates a sense of flow and is the most efficient and fulfilling use of your time.
  2. Set Up Your Environment for Success. We will take a deep dive into your current environment to let go of what is no longer working, recognize patterns that are holding you back, and identify threads that point to your purposeful work. We will design both your physical environment and relationships to support your next chapter.
  3. Embracing Discomfort as a Catalyst for Growth.   Laura will teach you strategies to manage anxiety, lean into vulnerability and cultivate adaptability, ensuring that you remain resilient in the face of uncertainty. Areas of growth typically include: Strategic Planning, Executive Presence, Career Advancement, Establishing a Climate of Trust, Managing Stress, Fostering Relationships, Cultivating a Growth Mindset, Coaching and Developing Others, and Increasing Focus.
  4. Create a Strategy. We will make an action plan by developing possible Next Chapter scenarios, breaking them into actionable steps, utilizing resources and seeking knowledge to aid in the process. Laura will help you to slow down, pay attention and cultivate a practice to keep you on track to fully realize your goals in a balanced and meaningful way.

Ultimately, this journey calls for a belief in ourselves
and in the power of the next chapter we are creating.

Suffering from end of summer blues?

As the summer holiday season comes to a close, many of us look towards our return to work with mixed feelings. September can evoke feelings of sadness or nostalgia as longer days and relaxed schedules move toward more structure and mountains of emails instead of trails.

One huge bonus to having a great break is to pay attention to how you feel returning to your work and daily routine. Staying curious is one of the best ways to monitor your growth and understand what changes need to be made to create the best environment possible to thrive. 

Perhaps you had time during a summer break to reflect on what else you want from life outside of your career.  Too often, we are so focused on achieving our career goals that we neglect the other things that matter to us in life, such as spending time with family and friends, indulging our hobbies, traveling for pleasure and learning new skills or languages. Coming back to the workplace after a break is a good opportunity to reset your priorities and set some new goals for the months ahead. 

Or perhaps you return from a break refreshed and renewed and still lack a bit of zest to dive back into your daily life? This is a time to get really curious. Why are you hesitating? What are you dreading or avoiding? How are you feeling in your body? 

If you occasionally have days where you don’t feel like going to work, it might not necessarily indicate a need for a career change. Many people have occasional off days. However, if you consistently dread going to work for an extended period, it may be time to think about changing your role, career direction or current work situation in order to improve your well-being and career satisfaction. 

For me, I am always excited to return to my coaching work. I truly love what I do and am grateful for the people I am able to serve. This has not always been my experience returning to work and I know that this is not the experience of so many individuals. It can be however!  I have helped hundreds of clients to find more meaningful ways to bring their unique strengths, skills, interests and values into the world. I am excited to continue to work with individuals in times of transition and especially those who find themselves uninspired by their Monday mornings that lie ahead.

Micro acts of self care for summer ease

Self care is not limited to spa days and vacations, self care happens everyday by simply doing small things to meet our basic and most essential needs: drinking enough water, eating nourishing food, and allowing our brains to recharge through sleep, breaks, rest, play and connection. It helps to think about self care in micro moments or micro acts; the behaviors of self care. Many of us have already mastered a few micro acts of self care like keeping water near your workspace, taking short breaks throughout the day, getting outside and exercising. What are the small and simple things that fill your soul? 

Micro moments are little moments of calm that help to combat the daily stresses of life. They also allow us to reconnect with ourselves. Try to incorporate more of these small moments into your everyday experience, start with a few small micro acts.

Here are some to try out this summer when you may have a bit more spaciousness in your schedule:

  1. Start with your community.  Take a few extra moments to check in with someone and maybe even lend a hand. Give a random compliment or help a neighbor with a mundane task. These micro moments of connection are reminders that we are human beings and part of a community.
  2. Leave white space.  Just as pausing for a moment between an exhale and the next inhale can help release anxiety, creating white space between activities can help transitions. Notice how you feel in your body at the end of a long exhale before taking the next breath. There is a natural pause before the inhale. In this transitional pause, there is space. Lingering in this spacious white space can help release anxiety before jumping into the next activity.
  3. Create a new ritual or tradition.  I welcome you to create your own rituals for the transition into summer that have meaning for you and your family. Rituals help us establish a sense of belonging and offer a touchstone of connection. For the individual, it is a time to reconnect with yourself.  Self care rituals can be very simple like walking in the grass barefoot, lighting a candle or sipping a cup of your favorite tea (or lemonade). Family rituals can also be fun like creating an outdoor dance party with friends, starting a smoothie day or hosting an ice cream social. Research has shown that regular family rituals promote better communication skills, increased emotional well-being, and stronger relationships among family members.

Invest in Yourself

After years of paying for a variety of sports, arts and music lessons for my daughter, last year I decided to pay for some surf lessons for myself.  It’s not often that I invest in something non-work related and I did feel a tinge of guilt. However, I can tell you that my investment in learning to surf has paid off many times over. 

Research shows that those who spend time learning each week are more likely to feel that their lives have purpose and meaning, which in turn increases their overall happiness and wellbeing.

Learning to surf as an adult is humbling!  Many times I go out into the ocean I am scared, but I push through because I know I am growing, improving and will be able to surf for many years to come. I have learned about the ocean environment, reading tide and wave charts, how to paddle and most of all a huge lesson in patience….the ocean delivers waves when it wants to. 

I love the entire experience and highly recommend spending some time and money investing in something that will fill your soul. Here are some more reasons to invest in yourself now!

  1. Open Up New Career Opportunities

Investing in yourself helps you understand your natural strengths and increase your skills. You feel more confident overall as you gain skills that transfer to other areas of your life. You are your greatest asset and developing your skill-set will boost your market value, whether you are seeking a promotion from your current role or applying for a new job.

I worked with a client recently who decided to train at her local ski mountain to become a ski patroller. She realized her natural leadership skills through the course and began to apply them in her work as a video game developer.  As her confidence in her leadership skills increased on the snow, we started to apply them in her work setting which led her landing a new role as a product manager.

  1. Create New Neural Pathways

One of the best ways to grow your brain is by trying new things. New experiences create new neural pathways, expand our memories in a youthful-like way and stretch our perceived time which leaves us feeling more invigorated. The mental stimulation provided by challenging yourself to learn new skills can help limit the adverse effects of aging on the memory and mind. And by making small changes to your lifestyle today, you can create a higher return for your future!

Taking the Hit as a Gift

The Hit

A few months ago, a client came to me who had been unexpectedly laid off.  It was a huge blow for her and she felt a bit of her identity had vanished. I helped her to ground back into who she was and the impacts that she had made over the years in her career.  As the news started to sink in, she eventually found herself strangely happy and relieved.  I helped her to see the layoff as gift.  The abrupt change had presented an opportunity for her to find a more positive environment where her skills and expertise aligned; where she could feel challenged and grow.

My aikido teacher, George Leonard, called this awareness taking the hit as a gift.  At various times in life we all receive hits.  They can take the form of injury or accident, relationship struggles, career pitfalls, family crises or disappointments.  Some are more forceful than others.  When we receive the hit and label it as bad or negative we lose the opportunity to grow.  If we receive the hit and look at it as a gift, we can open up to the possibility to change a pattern, belief, behavior or relationship in our life that is no longer serving us.  We are empowered by this wake-up-call to act in a way that improves our health and wholeness thus embracing the pain or challenge for what it is, an opportunity.

Here are two ways that you can take your next “hit” as a gift:

Read More

Job Craft your role for more fulfilling work!

Being a person with a curious mind and an appetite for variety, I have guarded myself against career burnout by crafting my business.  I am always a coach in each of my roles, but I craft my work for a better fit with each new client. Each client engagement offers an opportunity to build on the fundamentals of coaching and owning my own business gives me a platform for growth.  

I see this as a time to craft a new way of working, relating to each other and to ourselves. 

To start you off on your crafting journey, I have outlined a few basic tenets of Job Crafting: a practice that you can use to create a more ideal work situation for yourself and perhaps change the meaning and purpose of your work. Use these tenets to assess and edit different aspects of your work and to design your way forward. You spend hours each day doing it..why not make it the best it can be? 

  • Locus of control. Today, many of us have more control over where we work, when we work, and how we work. Ask yourself if the ways you are choosing to work give you the freedom you desire. The purpose of job crafting is to gain more control over the way that you work, not to just let go of the responsibilities and tasks that you don’t enjoy. Crafting helps us to take control where we can by changing our perception of our job, developing better working relationships, and cultivating a positive attitude.
  • What makes you tick. I like to use an inside-out approach to crafting optimal work. This approach recognizes that we already have most of the skills and knowledge we need to create meaningful work. We are all unique individuals who need different things to thrive. Consider these aspects of yourself to drill down on what makes you tick and make decisions about how and where you work: personality, values, strengths, skills and interests.  
  • Task Crafting:  If you have worked for a few years, you will have accumulated many skills. The idea of task crafting is that you choose the skills and tasks that you enjoy using and performing so that you spend more of your time enjoying the work. Task crafting also allows you to expand the boundaries of your role to take on more tasks or change how these tasks are performed. One example from my early career in hotel management was taking on a few night audit shifts at a small bed and breakfast property where I was working at the front desk. I loved math and was interested in accounting. The night audit tasks were easy for me to learn and I ended up earning extra money along with my additional skills. 
  • Networking: True networking is an exchange of ideas and information. You can change the nature or extent of your interactions with other people by having a networking conversation.  You may be thinking about a lateral move within your organization and a networking conversation can give you important insights into the role you desire. A networking conversation can also lead to a role in a new organization as you are speaking in your area of expertise and passion. Try elevating your next conversation by talking about some aspect of your work that you are really excited about!
  • Reframe: You can change how you think about the purpose of certain aspects of your job; or you can reframe the job as a whole. I remember one of the nurses in the hospital where I gave birth to my daughter reframed her role as a newborn nurse to include the role of welcomer. She was a reiki energy practitioner and silently treated all of the newborns she interacted with to soothe their fragile nervous systems. It was a beautiful gesture of healing that she added to the routine tasks of a newborn nurse in order to give her job more purpose and meaning.

By taking control of your role and proactively making adjustments, you can create a more fulfilling, satisfying, and purpose-driven career. Embracing the art of job crafting also contributes to a more engaged and dynamic workplace culture. As we navigate the ever-changing landscape of work, job crafting stands out as a valuable tool for personal and professional growth.