Thursday’s Dose of Professional Savvy…
Why do some women seem to succeed in all they do, especially when it comes to their career or business, but others just flounder? It is primarily because these women have set goals and have taken the steps to successfully achieve them. Though it may seem that they always easily achieve their goals, it takes focus and commitment, and sometimes sacrifice.
Here are some strategies successful women use in their personal and professional lives:
1. Successful women start with a long-term goal. They write it down and focus on why it’s important and when they want to achieve the goal.
Try this yourself and be as visual as possible. When you are writing your goal be clear with yourself about how achieving this goal will change your life for the better. Once this long-term goal has been documented, break the goal into tangible steps that need to be taken to achieve the goal. By breaking the steps down you will be able to see this as a manageable process, and not be overwhelmed.
2. Successful women make certain that they really want the goal and that it is consistent with how they want to live their lives.
Ask yourself, “Do I really want this goal? Will this goal give me a better life?” Answering these questions will give you more drive and determination to achieve your goal.
3. Successful women speak up!
Don’t keep your goals to yourself. Sharing your goals will help you get the support you need from friends, family, or business associates. You may be concerned with telling others about your goals because you are worried you may not achieve it. However, by sharing your goals and plans you are more likely to achieve your them either with their support or in-spite of them.
4. Successful women keep a list of all their goals, both long and short term, and review them often.
After writing your goals down and why you want to achieve them, be sure to review them regularly. Keep them in a place (or places) that is visible , such as your bedroom mirror, your refrigerator or by your computer in your office, to keep you motivated. You can’t just write them and tuck them away somewhere ‘safe’ You have to discipline yourself to keep your goals top of mind and stick to what you have committed to.
5. Successful women stay focused and do not give up.
Consistently reviewing your goals helps to keep you focused and taking the steps you need toward achieving them. While working toward your goals, you may face challenges that might change the way you see yourself. You may find yourself stepping out of your comfort zone and that’s great…it means you are stretching and growing and getting closer to where you want to be! Never be discouraged. Obstacles are just a test for how committed you are to achieving the goals you’ve set for yourself. Prepare yourself to face anything and do whatever it takes to attain the goal. Only you can make it happen. Nothing can stop you if you set your mind to it and commit to taking massive action!
I’d love to know your personal and professional goals…please share them!
Thursday’s Dose of Professional Savvy…
I had always worked during my married life. When I got married I had a career in corporate marketing as a Brand Manager. I loved my career! I had worked in New York City for a few years for a cosmetic company before relocating after our wedding to Michigan where my then-husband had been transferred. Luckily I was able to find a similar job in a different niche after just a few months. I missed the fast-paced energy of New York and I had traded in promotions and photo shoots featuring top fashion models for sponsoring apres-ski parties in Colorado, which were the fun perks of my job and not a bad trade.
Two years later, we were transferred back to New York and I was at a new crossroad. I found out I was expecting our first child, literally at the B&B as we drove east! It was so exciting, but I was torn about going back to work in New York, which would mean two hours of daily commuting by train from Connecticut, and juggling a young family.
We ultimately decided that I would start a business and work from home…after all I had the education (including an MBA) and the experience of creating, marketing, and selling consumer products. So twenty years ago, before I even knew that life and career coaching existed, I did my own self-assessment to figure out what I really enjoyed and what I was good at. I had really enjoyed decorating our first house in Michigan and friends complimented me on what I had done, so after considering a few options I decided to go back to school (again!) and study interior design and hang my shingle.
Fast forward 15 years…I have just gone through my divorce and I have a thriving residential interior decorating business, but I am really just not feeling the excitement or the fulfillment or the passion that I once had for my business. So again, I am at a crossroad…do I take my business to the next level (especially since now all my kids are in school all day) or do I recreate my professional life and go down a new path?
This was a huge decision! I was now a single mom of four and alimony wasn’t going to last forever. I needed to make a business decision that would sustain me financially, but also fulfill me in a way my current business wasn’t.
One of the best decisions I made was to work with a career coach! When I met Nancy Collamer of www.jobsandmoms.com (and now also www.mylifestylecareer.com) at a networking meeting, it just seemed like the perfect fit…I was a full-time mom and businesswoman and needed to figure out my situation. It was great to partner with someone who understood what I was going through because most of my friends were at-home moms who weren’t working.
The process Nancy took me through helped me realize the things I had done in my life that I enjoyed (as well as those things I didn’t), what I was good at, and who I wanted to work with…smart, motivated women! Ultimately I decided to pursue coaching, and trained with CTI, The Coaches Training Institute (www.thecoaches.com).
While Nancy and I first talked about coaching divorced women, it took me a little while to get here. Given my corporate and entrepreneurial background, I started out coaching aspiring and new women entrepreneurs. What was interesting and probably predictable, though, was that as I grew my practice I attracted more and more women going through the transition of divorce. What was holding them up in their lives, was holding them up in their businesses and I realized my gift for helping other divorced women through the transition to become “better, not bitter”(TM) in all areas of their lives (not just business) and I created Savvy Divorced Chicks!
When I look back, I realize that each transition in my life has taken me down a road that has lead to the next. Each transition has created an opportunity for me to grow personally and professionally. Lessons I have learned in developing my “Professional Savvy”…keep your eyes open for the signs or the opportunities (they may not be anything you ever dreamed of!); don’t be afraid to take a risk (maybe take a different turn or learn a new skill); and get the support you need to create and achieve your dream job or business.
In life after divorce, there are many decisions to make and things we would like to change to have the life of our dreams. Taking action, though, can often be intimidating and overwhelming, but it can also be empowering! Taking action can provide the fuel you need to keep moving forward toward a more fulfilling life. Regardless of the time of year, there is no time more perfect than now to design the life you want…and deserve.
As you redesign your life, it is critical that you first understand that your life is exactly as you have designed it. Your life is the way it is right now because of your hesitation in taking action to change it!
In thinking about your life, which situations do you want to change first? Does your career, health, relationships, financial situation, or anything else make you feel powerless and stuck? Choose one simple action you can take immediately to inspire some positive movement in any of the areas you desire change. It does not have to be a huge action, just SOMETHING to start building momentum in your life.
Make a commitment to take your action step by writing it down and telling someone close to you so that you are accountable. You need to push yourself to take the action no matter what! This may seem incredibly difficult or even scary, but remember that most often the things you fear never materialize. In fact, you may not even have a clear reason for feeling scared…you’re just afraid of the “unknown”. Give yourself a pep talk or a little bribe in order to move forward at least a little bit.
Once you take that first step, let go of any expectations of the things that may happen because of it. Allow yourself to feel great simply because you did something about it. Once you have taken a step forward, keep pushing yourself to take others. Even small steps are a positive effort that result in change and cannot help but bring about better circumstances in your life.
Taking action quickly builds momentum. Just as chronic non-action creates a cycle of negativity and stagnation over time, being proactive can create a positive cycle that continues to grow! The more you do it, the easier it gets which eventually makes it seem almost effortless. You will continue to empower and strengthen yourself with every new action you take, and soon your life will look and feel totally different.
In addition to feeling empowered, there is much to be gained from enjoying the journey to your destination. Make it your mission to revel in every moment that you are working toward higher goals. Enjoy the sense of self-discovery and accomplishment you gain with every new goal you achieve. Make it a worthwhile journey and you will savor the end result that much more!
Life after divorce forces us not only to focus on our personal development, but also on our professional development in order to live our best life. Whether you’ve been in the workforce for a while, or at home raising your children, you may have found yourself with new responsibilities and the need to advance yourself professionally. This could mean working toward a promotion, changing jobs for a more flexible schedule, or re-entering the workforce.
If you have been out of the workforce for many years, you may need to return to school or take classes to develop your skills. Going back to school may be a valuable experience that helps give your life new meaning and new direction Your local community college or university is a good place to start. Stay-at-home moms also have many skills that can be applied to a profession, especially if you have volunteered or had a leadership position with a civic or community group, the PTA or a religious organization. Moms are specialists at time management, event planning, negotiating, listening, communicating and multi-tasking – all skills that are easily transferred to a résumé.
Regardless of your status, take a closer look at your current situation. Whether you are working on part time or a full time basis, decide whether or not it will continue to support your new, post-divorce lifestyle. Supporting your lifestyle is more than just providing the financial resources you need to survive. You also need to evaluate what your skills and talents are and what you are passionate about. Do you feel personally fulfilled in your career? Are you in a career that you are passionate about, or has it just become part of your routine because you never took the time to look at other options? Make sure you write all these thoughts down.
Specifying your career goals and creating a plan is an important step in moving forward professionally. You gain self confidence by seeing your strengths on paper and may discover a career you love. Be sure to share your plans with other people so they can help you achieve your professional goals. Networking and referrals are great ways to get your professional ball rolling. You don’t have to keep a job simply because you’ve worked there for several years You have been given an opportunity to recreate your life so take advantage of that. There is no better feeling than being fulfilled by work you are passionate about!