Career Success Tip 2: get outside your comfort zone

Career Success Tip 2: get outside your comfort zone

In my last post, I talked about the first of four career tips: know and develop yourself. The second tip is to get outside your comfort zone.

Our comfort zones are always shrinking – so imperceptibly slowly that we often don’t notice. But to make sure that you are staying open to all of your options as well as identifying new ones, you are going to need to take a few risks. That discomfort you feel is natural, and it means you are growing! I’ve written about taking risks before here. (There are also related posts on confidence and courage and things that hold us back like perfectionism.)

Whenever I have a client who is afraid to take risks, we identify something they can have fun with and go fail at. (Bowling, anyone?) Failing is a skill, and we need to learn that we can deal with whatever comes our way. Because some day, there will be an exciting opportunity in front of you that you very much want – and you will be a lot more likely to go after it if you know in advance you can handle any outcome.

And Ladies, there is a real confidence gap between the genders. As girls we were rewarded for behaving and getting good grades, and it made a lot of us risk averse. At work, you need to share your ideas, ask for the salary you want, and apply for jobs that you may not be 100% qualified for. (Men usually do all of those things.) Don’t hold yourself back!

The people around you need you to bring your best self and use your gifts. Playing small doesn’t serve you or the world. What’s a reasonably fun risk you could take this week to practice failing (and being kind to yourself in the process)?

Remember, the real confidence killer isn’t failure; it’s inaction. So get out there, explore, and enjoy the discomfort of growing as you try something new!

So long, comfort zone!

p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching

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Career Success Tip: know and develop yourself

Career Success Tip: know and develop yourself

My last post was about my lack of any kind of long-term plan. If you do have a career plan, that’s great! Just make sure it’s flexible, because most people will have 5 or more careers in a lifetime, and we want you to be able to take advantage of opportunities as they arise.

For those of us without a plan, that doesn’t mean we don’t have to do anything with regards to our careers! We still have to take action to keep ourselves moving forward. In addition to my personal motto (“I show up”), I’ve also had a couple recent speaking gigs where I talked about four steps for career success – whether you have a plan or not.

The first step is to know and develop yourself. You are the leader of your life and career, which means you are in charge of your development. Self-awareness has been identified as key to your career success and has all sorts of benefits:

  • when you understand yourself, you can better understand others
  • when you understand others, your communications improve and conflicts decrease
  • when you know what’s important to you, you can make better decisions (and make decisions more easily)
  • when you know what you do well and what you want next and can articulate it, the people around you can help you move forward – and up!

So how do you want to develop next? What interests and excites you? Is it time for some new self-awareness? Do you need a mentor? Is there a gap in your skills that needs attention?

Know and develop yourself!

p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching

p.p.s. A small career coaching group is starting in May in Memphis, and it’s all about personal and professional development (i.e., knowing and developing yourself). More details are here: http://jenfrankcoaching.com/career-group-may-2018/

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Do you have a 5-year plan?

Do you have a 5-year plan?

I confess, I don’t have a lot of long-term plans. I mean, I take care of big long-range things like saving for retirement, but I don’t have a 5-year plan. At any given point in my adult life, if I paused to look back at the previous 5 years, I couldn’t have predicted much of it!

For some folks, this may feel uncomfortable, not knowing what’s next. But the truth is, we don’t know what’s next. So instead of my letting my fear-based uncertainty gain power by pretending to be in control, my motto is “I show up.”

Showing up has worked for me. It has pushed me outside of my comfort zone and helped me to meet new folks and learn new things. I’ve moved around the country, had great relationships with wonderful people, experienced multiple careers – and landed in one that’s a terrific fit. All because I was willing. All because I showed up.

If I had tried to plan my life in a detailed way – and then been disciplined about sticking to the plan – I believe life would have been less rich, less fun, and less fulfilling. I believe the universe often has better plans for us than we have for ourselves – if we just keep showing up.

I was visiting with a friend recently. He’s never had much of a plan either; instead, he stays alert and open to new opportunities. And one of my clients lives by the creed of “How hard could it be?” Notice how all of these mottos provoke action and call for us to step up and try – even if we don’t know what the outcome will be.

If you don’t have a plan, that’s fine; just be sure to take care of the big stuff and have a motto that provokes action. What are the words that you live by that keep you moving forward?

Keep showing up!

p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching

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Travel Lessons

Travel Lessons

Last fall, I took a lovely trip to Barcelona. Many months before the trip, the airbnb and plane tickets were booked. And that was about it for the planning. The travel guide I’d ordered stayed unread until I was sitting on the plane!

As I read, an outline of the week began to form. On a small piece of paper, each day was written down with one big thing to do: a neighborhood to visit, a site to see, an experience that only happens on a certain day of the week…and the trip took shape. There was still flexibility and lots of time to explore, but I had a general plan to work from.

While reading the Rick Steve’s travel book, I saw his philosophy. It included this: “Be fanatically positive and militantly optimistic. If something’s not to your liking, change your liking.” What great travel – and life – advice!

When I look back on the trip, I realize this is sort of how I run my life. As I get older, I plan a lot less and roll with life a lot more. I take care of the big, important things early. The details I wait on until I have to address them. Even then, I leave some wiggle room and am flexible in changing my liking. I’ll have to continue to work on being “fanatically positive and militantly optimistic,” but I do try to see the gift in every situation and be trusting about the future.

What’s your style and approach to life? Does it fit who you are, what you believe, and how you are evolving? Where do you need to practice militant optimism or change your liking? Are there lessons in your travels?

Time to book a trip!

p.s. Your comments are most welcome on this post at https://www.facebook.com/jenfrankcoaching

p.p.s. Last call for Memphians… A small career coaching group is starting on February 5th, and there’s a spot left. More details are here: http://jenfrankcoaching.com/career-group-jan-2018/

 

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Career Coaching Group in Memphis to start late January 2018

Career Coaching Group in Memphis to start late January 2018

Happy new year! If you want more direction and clarity around your career in 2018, consider whether coaching could help you. If you are in the Memphis area, I will be running a three month career coaching group beginning late January. All the details (and what past participants have said about the groups) can be found here: http://jenfrankcoaching.com/career-group-jan-2018/

You’ll learn more about yourself, your unique strengths and gifts, and tell an effective story with your resume. You’ll also learn all of the networking skills and decision-making tools you need to move your career forward. (Don’t have a passion? Don’t sweat it; we’ll help you identify the things that interest and excite you!)

Please contact me today at jen@jenfrankcoaching.com or 901.308.0613 with questions, to schedule a conversation or to register. Let’s make 2018 the year you move closer to the work you love!

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