[FREE WORKSHOP] How to Ditch Your Dead End Job and Find a Career You Love

[FREE WORKSHOP] How to Ditch Your Dead End Job and Find a Career You Love

Since I have been on maternity leave the past few months, I haven’t done a live webinar in forever. To be honest, I really miss them. It’s a ton of fun to be on the call live with you all and answer your questions. So I am excited to announce that I am bringing back the live webinar next week! Woohoo!

So make sure you grab your spot and join me live next Thursday, August 21st at 6pm PST (9pm EST) to learn the step-by-step, proven formula to transition into a fulfilling career fast.

claim my spot

I will be dishing out more information than I have ever given on a live webinar before. Here’s what you will learn:

  • The exact formula to determine what your dream career is so that you never get stuck in a job you hate again.
  • The 5 most common mistakes that job searchers make and how to avoid them.
  • How to set up a simple and powerful job search system that attracts opportunities like a magnet.
  • 5 ways to get over your networking barriers with a networking action plan.
  •  The very first step you should take when job searching (and it’s not updating your resume!!)
  • The 5 questions you must ask yourself for clear direction for your professional future.
  • And more!

See I told you there was going to be so much good stuff!

So make sure you find some quiet time, clear your distractions, grab some tea or coffee and join me next week because I am getting a babysitter too! :) And if you already have plans that day you can still register because I will be sending out the recording and the “Love Your Career Formula” workbook afterwards too!

This offer ends – August 21st @ 9pm EST.

I’ll be coaching, answering your questions and talking to you about what you really need to do to find the career of your dreams fast.

Plus, in addition to coaching you around your biggest job search challenges (which is something I only do for private and group coaching clients), I’ve got gifts to give away.

That’s right, every 30 minutes I’m giving away gifts to help you transition into your dream career faster!

Sign-up below. Just click the button and follow the instructions to register.

claim my spot

So will you join me?

3 Quick and Easy Job Search Strategies That Get Results

3 Quick and Easy Job Search Strategies That Get Results

Job searching doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to do it the right way.  Unfortunately, most people’s job search strategy involves looking at online job postings and submitting their resumes…only to hear nothing back.

When I talk with people in the midst of a job search who are frustrated by the lack of results, one question I always ask is, “Are you currently networking?” You would be surprised at how many times I hear ,”Nope.” The thing is, most people know how important networking is but they still hate it and don’t want to do it.  But, it doesn’t have to be hard and awkward. Networking can actually be fun and exciting.

THE VERY BEST job search strategy is to surround yourself with the people already doing the work you want to do. The more time you spend with them, the more opportunities will come your way.  Do this and you will find that your job search gets easier and more fun.

Here are three ways to find the people that you need to surround yourself with:

1) Network Within LinkedIn Groups

If you have your LinkedIn profile up but aren’t networking on LinkedIn, you are missing out! Try joining LinkedIn groups for your career or industry and search for people in your location with the job titles that you want to have.  If you are in the same group as them, you can send them a message inside of LinkedIn even though you aren’t personally connected.

Important: Don’t ever connect with someone you don’t know. This could backfire on you because they could notify LinkedIn that your message was SPAM. But, it’s perfectly fine to send a message to someone that you don’t know instead.

One powerful reason for joining a lot of groups is that you can message people directly even if you are not a first-level connection without spending money on an Inmail. To do this, go to members page, highlight the person by hovering your mouse over his or her name. Then, you will see on the right-hand side two-hyperlinked choices – Invite to Connect and Send Message. It’s really that easy! If you join 50 groups with 1,000 prospects each, that’s 50,000 more people you can message! Try using messages to ask for informational interviews with people in jobs you find fun and exciting.

Action step: Go join a group you are interested in and message one person in that group to ask for an informational interview.

2) Ask for what you want

Many times we are afraid to ask for what we want but people can’t help you if you don’t ask! They don’t know what you need or how they could even help you. So this step is plain and simple – just ask! Try asking your social media connections for help. Inform people what you are doing and what you are looking for.  Talk to people. Tell them what you need. Anyone and everyone. Don’t be embarrassed, just do it!

When I started asking for help in my job search, I realized that everyone truly wanted to help me!  I thought I was just being annoying but people were very happy to help. I think you will find the same thing.

Action step: If you can be public about your job search, post a Facebook or LinkedIn status update informing your connections you are on the job hunt and looking to make connections with people in your desired industry.  Then, watch the responses and connections flow in! If you have to perform a secret job search, send out a personal email to a friend, former colleague or family member asking for the same exact thing.

3) Host a party

Instead of going to a networking event hoping to find the right people, why not host your own job searching party!  Invite people who are in the career you want to come to a cocktail or dinner party and get to know them.  These people you invite will benefit by expanding their contacts and networking with other interesting people that can be of value to them. The key is to do your research and only invite 6-8 of the people that you think would make an excellent and fun dinner party.

At the end of the party, make sure you give a little presentation about who you are and what you could do for their companies. The emphasis here is on how you can HELP them. Also ask each of them to connect you with one other person that they know and invite them to your next cocktail party. Do this monthly and you will quickly expand your network of awesome people that you want to be like.  Don’t be scared…just do it. Especially you introverts…you have control over this one! (I know this because I am one too!:) Introverts are often scared to go to a networking event in fear that they won’t know anyone. This option is great because you are in total control. You know exactly who will be there and you can practice exactly what you will say beforehand. Easy!

OK, I know what you are going to say. This is an expensive option. Wrong! I have hosted a cocktail party for 15 people and only spent $60. All you need is a free room and then purchase some appetizers and wine at a grocery store yourself. I found that people always ate less then I expected as well.

You can also ask people to just pay for their own dinners because to have met a good group to network with is totally worth it to them.  I asked 8 people to a lunch one time and they all came and paid for themselves. I just told them ahead of time that was the deal so everyone was prepared with their credit card. Just try it. You never know until you try! Just remember that every dime you spend is going to be worth it in the end.

Sometimes it is also a mindset block. Make sure you change your mindset from, “This is going to be hard and expensive!” to “This is going to be a blast!”

Action step: Start planning a party! Make a list of the people you would invite, find a venue and start sending out invitations by email.

This is only the beginning of what I want to share with you.  This month I am doing a special series on how to find a career you love so you are in the right place if you are ready to get your career unstuck!

I Resigned…How I Found Work I Love (CASE STUDY)

I Resigned…How I Found Work I Love (CASE STUDY)

It’s official. I resigned from my job yesterday to be a full-time Career Coach here at Classy Career Girl. It’s surreal that I get to now do what I love everyday of the week. This is what I have been dreaming about since I first realized that I loved blogging and coaching. It took me four years to make this final transition to a career I love and I learned a lot. I also made a lot of mistakes. Through the whole process, I put together a “7-Step Get Your Career Unstuck” system that is based on my own experiences getting my own career unstuck. Now you have a system to do it much faster than I did. I have had the honor to have coached hundreds of professional women to also get their careers unstuck using this system. Now my mission is to help thousands more over the next couple of years.

One of the things I am most looking forward to is finally making a living being myself. For so long I have felt like I was trying to be someone else and hiding behind who I really was. I was doing this in fear that someone was going to discover who I really was and what I truly was passionate about.

The Back Story: I was stuck in a job that I was doing great at, but it just didn’t fit me. I didn’t love it even though I continued to get promotions and raises.  I stayed too long and eventually it got really stressful. I was bringing home work on nights and weekends. It affected my personal life because I was unhappy and dreading Monday throughout the weekends. I knew I needed to make a major career change but I was overwhelmed just thinking about it. I had no idea what my dream job was. I was also an introvert so I dreaded networking even though I knew that was how I was going to reach my dreams and goals. I knew my job didn’t fit me but I couldn’t figure out what would be a better job to go into. I applied to random jobs because really anything would be better than where I was at. That didn’t work though.

I always thought I was going to have this purposeful life and make an impact..but sitting in my computer with my excel spreadsheet doing the same thing everyday just really wasn’t doing it for me. And of course I had the most common excuse ever for not making a career change…I didn’t have the time. I was so busy trying to be great in a job I hated, I had no time to try to find a job I was going to love.

The Steps I Took: The “Love Your Career Formula” 7-Step Get Unstuck System

Step #1: Understand Myself Better

After submitting resume after resume, I realized that something wasn’t working.  I took a break from submitting resumes to any old job that “might” fit to really understand myself better first. I dove into personality tests and took the DISC, Strengthsfinder, Myers Briggs and Career Leader. Each of these helped me narrow down the type of careers that would be the right fit for my personality. I also thought about what I really enjoyed doing and didn’t enjoy doing in my previous jobs. I knew I loved interacting with people, influencing, teaching and coaching and training in my previous jobs. Those were the things that got me super excited and I could work on them in my spare time without even getting paid. I also started to realize that I loved writing and reading about career development which is what I was doing on this blog (which started on a whim just as a personal blog).  What I did not enjoy in my job was financial management, data crunching and of course anything to do with excel (and that was like my entire job:) Even though I was great at these things, I truly hated them.

I resigned

Step #2: Nail My Mission

I knew I had a big purpose in life and in my career but I didn’t know what that was. This made it really hard to reach my full potential. I knew I needed to help people in my job and that was really important to me. Fortunately, my job did have a bigger mission because I was working for the military. I did love the fact that I was helping my military clients save money. I was also helping to make ships float and satellites fly which gave me a purpose in my job.  But, I knew I personally had an even bigger mission for myself. At this stage, I asked myself some hard questions. Why was I here on this earth? Was I put here on this Earth for some special purpose to do some unique work that only I could accomplish? I knew the answer was yes. I realized that I got so excited and “came alive” when answering reader’s questions on this blog and when speaking to groups about career development topics. I could do it for hours and hours and never get bored with it.  This was the lightbulb moment where I realized that somehow…someway…I needed to figure out how to do my blog and be a Career Coach as my full-time job.  This was my mission I first wrote down a few years ago:

My mission is to encourage, support and motivate everyone I interact with through my work and life. I will strive to simplify my life and to reach out and connect with friends, family and people I have yet to meet. I will focus on helping others, eat healthier, do more yoga and focus on the things in my life that make me happy.

Step 3: Self-Reflect By Determining My Motivations, Skills, Interests, Ideal Workday and Ideal Work Environment

By diving deeper into self-reflection and understanding myself better, I determined that my interests were  influencing others, coaching and mentoring. I could think back to my childhood and see myself counseling and coaching my girlfriends on dating, working out and getting into college. I also wanted to influence in kindergarten when I started a Save the Earth club (with one of my friends….we told our parents to shorten their showers..I think we saved the world). I realized what motivated me in my job was happiness, balance, autonomy and flexibility. I realized I valued challenge and accomplishment over security and safety making starting a business match my motivations. And of course as I started to think about starting a family, having time for my family was something I valued as well.  Some of my favorite skills were organizing and leading projects and strategies. I loved putting the goal and big picture together and breaking it down to see what needed to be accomplished when. Another positive sign that entrepreneurship was calling my name. (Note: I NEVER thought I wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was truly through this process that I discovered that it was the right fit for me).

I also let myself imagine what I would want my ideal workday to look like. This is something that we often don’t let ourselves do.  We don’t think it’s possible to actually have a workday that we LIKE!  So I imagined what my ideal workday looked like and made a goal to try my best to make it look like that in real life. I also realized that I was pretty good working by myself and I didn’t need to have an entire team around me. I realized that my ideal workspace is sitting right on the couch with the computer on my lap (and now a baby in a wrap on my chest-exactly how I am sitting right now:)

Step #4: Targeted Job Search Plan

Now that I spent months looking within to understand myself better, it was time to start coming up with a job search plan. I knew so much more about myself so I starting thinking about what possible careers I would LOVE. This process started by me making a long list of potential career opportunities and then slowly narrowing them down. The BEST way I found to narrow down these possible career targets is by talking with other people. Over an entire year (in 2011) I did a networking challenge where every month I spoke with 4 people I knew and 4 people I didn’t know.  This totally opened up career opportunities and helped me focus in on what career was the best for me. In the beginning of my networking challenge my career targets were other consulting firms and strategy consulting, etc. By the middle of the networking challenge, I was speaking with other entrepreneurs and bloggers. And at the end of the networking challenge, I had reached out and done informational interviews with as many career coaches as I possibly could. I got as much advice as I could and at the end of the 2011 I was CRYSTAL CLEAR on my future direction and had a few targets in mind…

1) Career Coach

2) Corporate Trainer

3) Professor

4) Entrepreneur

This made it so much easier to start applying for jobs because I knew that I should only apply to jobs that fit me best and that I was interested in. All other jobs that I was applying for I started deleting and only focused on getting what I truly wanted. It really helped to have these focused career targets so I didn’t get distracted. It was at this stage that I also took an entrepreneur assessment and scored very high for being the right “fit” to be an entrepreneur. Who knew! So I added that to the possibilities list as well.

Step 5: Uncover Potential Issues

Of course before I got any further with these career targets, I needed to see if there were going to be any issues with any of these possible career targets. I looked at each of the industries and interviewed people in all of these career targets. I didn’t find any issues but I always recommend this step before moving on!

Step #6: Create Your Ideal Career Outline

This one thing really helped me focus during online job searching, resume updating, interviewing and networking. I created a one page document that had all of the things that I discovered about myself (steps 1-4) and my ideal career target s(step 5). I hung this ideal career outline up in front of my computer which helped me focus only on the job opportunities I was looking for. When something else came up or a recruiter contacted me for a different job, I would just look at my outline real quick and check if it the potential job would be the right match for my ideal career. What I definitely did not want was to get stuck in another job that I hated. I was very careful to only apply to jobs that matched my ideal career outline.

This step is also about building your personal brand strategy online and offline so I made sure I developed a consistent brand for what I wanted to be known for. I built a blog that demonstrated the type of career I wanted and I also updated all of my social media accounts to help me “sell” my brand and what I was looking for. I developed a rocking elevator pitch that caught people’s attention and matched my online brand as well.

Step #7: Kick It Into High Gear With a Networking Action Plan

I had been guilty of going to any old networking event that “sounded” interesting. I was also guilty of only attending events where my friends were going so I would know someone. This type of networking was not effective at all and wasn’t getting me anywhere. So I made a plan to only network where I would meet the people that I needed to meet in order to get into my career targets. I started to focus on only building relationships in the areas of my career targets. My networking action plan started by me asking myself where my I was currently over-invested and where I was underinvested in my contacts. For instance, if I wanted to be a Career Coach, how many Career Coaches were currently in my network? There were very few so I made an action plan to start meeting more of these people. I also made a commitment to myself with how many networking events I would attend each month, informational interviews I would go on each month and outgoing emails I would send to people each day. I also found someone to keep me accountable and made sure I was on track and keeping my networking action plan.

The Results: Throughout the last four years of working this process, I have received job opportunities that have come my way instead of me searching for them. My network has grown consistently every month. In Aug-12 I went part-time at the job I dreaded so I could devote more time to this blog and pursuing other career opportunities. I got a job as a Professor of Career Development that I never would have been able to do if I hadn’t gone part-time. And finally, the end of my Get Unstuck journey has finally come because I resigned my part-time job yesterday. I am officially now a full-time entrepreneur doing what I love everyday.

So what’s next?

Wow, a lot of work went into getting myself unstuck. I can say that my system worked and every minute was worth it to finally be where today. Right now I get to do what I love which is helping other women get their careers unstuck just like I did. I want to help you find your dream career just like I did.

I know you are busy and tired but you know something really needs to change soon because you aren’t in a role that fits you and you are not living a life you want. I know….because I have been there too. And I believe with all my heart that the situation of my life circumstances has led me here to lead you through your next open door – your next career move.

I am opening a door for you and I invite you to take a leap just like I did.  I believe in you and I know you are right on the verge of something big.  You know it too. Trust your gut and make change happen.  You dream career and life is waiting and I am going to help you get there.

This is only the beginning of what I want to share with you.  This month I am doing a special series on how to find a career you love so you are in the right place if you are ready to get your career unstuck.  Before I go, make sure you download my free 7-Step Get Unstuck cheat sheet so you can start implementing the system in your career today. Click here to download the cheat sheet.

Why Online Job Searches Don’t Work Anymore and What Works Instead

Why Online Job Searches Don’t Work Anymore and What Works Instead

If you are currently submitting your resume over and over again online, it’s probably not working too well for you right now…am I right? I thought so. The truth is that online job searches just don’t work anymore. Here’s why:

First, click here to download the worksheet that goes along with the post.

Reason #1: The Hidden Job Market

Did you know that up to 80% of vacant jobs are filled without ever being advertised?  While you are spending your time looking at Monster.com at millions of job listings, people are getting hired all around you. Many of them in jobs you would have been able to do.  Instead, step away from your computer and do some research on the companies instead.  Then, find someone who works there and start networking with them.

There are a billion ways to start networking. My favorite is just to use a google search or social media to find someone who has the job you want or works in the industry that you want to work in.  Other ideas are going to networking events and collecting business cards during the event.  Then, when you are done you can ask them after the event for an informational interview.  You can also reach out to people who you already know. When you are done with the meeting ALWAYS ask if there is anyone else they know that you can speak to.  This will DOUBLE your networking opportunities!

You can also create a networking challenge for yourself like I did so that you can start networking like crazy. My networking challenge consisted of meeting with 4 people I didn’t know and 4 people I did know every single month.  If that seems too much for you, try meeting with 2 people you know and 2 people you don’t know every month.  You really have nothing to lose by sending out a simple email to someone you may or may not know.  Most people do want to help you out so don’t be afraid to ask!  No one can help you if you don’t ask!

Reason #2: You apply to jobs you don’t really want

The second issue with online job searches is that you have a tendency to apply to any old job and not one that you specifically know that you want.  By applying to any old job, it makes it FEEL like you are taking action and moving forward. But unfortunately it is a great way to get stuck in another job that you hate.  You will just be unhappy if you move into another job that is just like the one you hate now.  It’s a repetitive cycle and you will always hate your job unless you do something about it now.

Instead, you need to have a plan and a goal.  You need to find the what that perfect job is for you BEFORE you start looking at opportunities.  And that is what networking is all about.  You can ask all the questions you want and determine if something is right for you BEFORE you start!  You have to narrow it down from any old job and have a specific kind of work that you would like.

Reason #3: You must spend a LOT of time perfecting your resume for each job

The third issue with applying online is that it only works if your resume totally rocks.  How much time have you spent on yours?  Would you even pick you if you saw your resume? Is it just a list of all jobs you have had?  Do you even brag about yourself and show how much you rock?  Most resumes get 5 seconds before a reader decides if it’s going into the no pile.  Your resume really has to market yourself and make you stand out.

By networking instead, you don’t have to trust that the person looking at your resume is going to see how awesome you are. Instead, you make the great impression yourself, in person.  Then, hand them your resume after!

Reason #4: Competition: Everyone else is also applying online

Fourth..I really don’t have to tell you this one but thousands of other people are applying to the same job. There are 92 million Americans that are not working right now.  Recruiters know when someone is just applying to get any job to tie them over until they are truly passionate about.  If a Senior Financial analyst is applying or an Adminstrator position, they just want a job for now.  No hiring manager wants to replace you in a few months because it costs lots of time and money!

Because there is so much competition online, it is more important than ever to stand out in person and that is why networking is the clear winner AGAIN!  You can show your passion and excitement for the job in person much better than on a piece of paper.  And that passion and excitement is what is going to make you stand out from your competition.

Reason #5: No human being may ever review your resume

Fifth, no human being may ever review your resume. Have you ever applied to a job and got a rejection letter in like 5 minutes?  Yeah, that means that the computer ruled you out, not a real person.  Wouldn’t you rather speak to a real person while networking and make that face to face introduction?  That way if you get rejected, you can always follow up later to get feedback or at least keep them in your network for the future?

This is only the beginning of what I want to share with you.  In August I am doing a special series on how to find a career you love so you are in the right place if you are ready to get your career unstuck.  Before I go, click here to download the worksheet that goes along with the post.

What has been your experience with online job searches? Have they worked for you?

Is It Time For a Career Change? Take My Career Satisfaction Quiz

Is It Time For a Career Change? Take My Career Satisfaction Quiz

One of my biggest regrets is staying far too long in a job that just didn’t fit me.  I tried really, really hard to make it work and get ahead.  It wasn’t until I realized that if you are actually in a job you love, it’s not tough and you don’t have to work so hard to succeed. You will be more successful when you are in a career that fits you and makes you happy. You don’t have to push and push and push. When you find the right career it just fits and is so rewarding and fulfilling.

So I want to encourage you not to stay any longer in a job that isn’t the right fit for you. Don’t keep going to a job everyday that is not challenging without taking a little bit of action everyday to make a change.

But, maybe you aren’t sure if it is time to make a career change.  I know at many times in my career I thought I was on the right path but I just wasn’t sure.  So is it time for you to make a career change? Make sure you scroll down to the bottom of this post to download my brand new Career Satisfaction Quiz!

Here are a five FOR SURE signs that it is time to step up and make a career change:

1) You are not valued, rewarded or appreciated.  

If you feel like you are working your butt off and no one is noticing, it might be time for a career change. Maybe you have asked for a raise multiple times and you are continually shot down. No one realizes how much work you do even though you try to promote yourself and share all of your accomplishments.

2) You are not challenged anymore.

If there is no opportunity for growth in your current job, then it might be time for a career change. If you feel stagnant and you don’t have motivation to learn more, it’s time to move on. Maybe you are doing the same thing everyday and you aren’t learning anything new. This is a huge sign you need a change because you don’t want to be stuck doing the same boring thing everyday. Eventually, you will become an expert at it and you won’t be challenging yourself to learn more and grow. You want to be continually growing and challenging yourself to learn something new in your career.

3) You don’t trust your company.

If your company is doing something sneaky and you don’t like what you see or hear, it might be time for a change. Maybe behind the scenes there are some rumors going around about your company. These rumors are big red flags that it might be time to start looking for a new career. You want to be ahead of the curve if something fishy is going on.

4) You have lost your excitement and passion for you job.

You should be enjoying what you do. Your job will get boring very quickly if you don’t have any excitement or passion for your job. Life is too short to not be excited about what you get to do everyday.  You want to be excited when you wake up every morning instead of dreading the day. It truly is possible to have work that really excites you.

5) You just know in your gut.

The fact that you are reading this post is actually another sign it is time for a career change!  Trust your gut!

So I also have something fun for you today. It is a quiz I put together for you to really tell if you are satisfied with your current career or if it is time to make a career change.

Want my Career Satisfaction Quiz that goes along with this post?  Click here to download my Career Satisfaction Quiz.

Have you made a big career change?  How did you know it was the right time to change?

5 Money Mindsets You Need For Career Success

5 Money Mindsets You Need For Career Success

If you want to be successful in your career, I have a little known secret for you. It’s not what you do to get ahead, it’s how you think.  Through my years of helping women find careers they love and succeed, I have seen many clients really close to getting their careers unstuck BUT they all have one thing holding them back, their mindset. You can’t get your career unstuck if you are not in the right mindset to get your career unstuck. If you take all the actions but don’t work on your mindset, you will not get the success you want.

A few weeks ago, I shared 3 mindsets you need to attract the job you want.  Today, I want to share with you the five money mindsets you need for career success.  You may not realize it but your career success and how you think about money are very closely intertwined.  Once I was able to get my money under control, I had so much more flexibility to be able to pursue a career I loved.  I truly believe that your financial decisions and priorities directly affect your career. These mindsets are crucial so start thinking them today!

Mindset #1: You Are Self-employed (Even If You Aren’t….)

“To take control of your career is to view yourself as self-employed.  See yourself as CEO of a company with one employee: yourself.  See yourself as 100% responsible for your life and for everything that happens to you. –Brian Tracy

When you put yourself as the CEO of your own career, you don’t count on anyone else but yourself to get ahead. This is crucial. You can’t count on your manager to create your personal development plan. You can’t count on HR to make sure you get the salary you deserve or to make sure that you are continuously learning and growing in your field.  To earn more, you must learn more.  You are in charge of your career success and career growth.  You can’t rely on anyone else to manage your career for you.

Mindset #2: You Are Worth Your Dream Salary

What is your dream salary? Pick a number. The sky is the limit. If you don’t have a number in your mind of how much you want to earn, you will just continue to get small raises.  Think about what you want before you think about whether it is even a reality.  In the long run, you determine how much you get paid and everything that happens to you. Don’t doubt yourself.

After you figure out what you want to make, find out what the people earning the money you want are doing differently than you right now.  How can you increase the value of the service you bring to a company?

Get clear and focused on what you want to attract. Thoughts attract things. The more clear you are, the quicker it appears. Imagine your dream salary being put into your checking account each pay period. Put things in writing. Write down what it is and look at your goals everyday. Put yourself in the moment of feeling what it would be like when you receive that dream salary. How great does that feel?

Mindset #3: Debt Is Your Enemy

Pay off your debt now so you can have control of your career. Without debt controlling your life, you can make life and career decisions that really make you happy.   You have nothing hanging over your head nor do you have student loan, credit card and car loan bills piling up to pay.  You have savings available for emergencies and you aren’t living paycheck-to-paycheck wondering if you will ever have the life and career you dreamed of.  Not having to worry about debt allows your mind to open up so that you can really think about what makes you happy and what you really want to do with your life.  That is exactly what happened to me.

My husband and I got out of debt in April-12.  I un-trapped myself from my debt and other options came flooding into my life that I could take because I was no longer drowning in debt.  If you need to pay bills and students loans, you may continue working at a job that you may not enjoy just because you have to pay those bills.  Which is fine! But, set a goal to pay off your debt in the next year or two and then move on to something that makes you happier! Get yourself out of the debt that is clouding your professional future and instead find areas that you will succeed at even more because you are passionate about them.  There are so many things you can do if you aren’t worried about paying off your debt.  You could travel, start a business, or take a 50% pay cut to explore and evaluate your professional future like I did. You aren’t trapped.  Plan your work around your life, not your life around your work.

Mindset #4: You Love Giving

I tithe 10% of my income to the people, places or institutions who have fed me spiritually. They’ve inspired me and helped me to remember who I am. Keep your focus on giving. Don’t give with the expectation of getting. Enjoy how good it feels to focus on what inspires you. Give and let go!

Mindset #5: Everything is Negotiable

A person who accepts a $40,000 starting offer for an entry-level job isn’t just making $7,000 less than a colleague who negotiated a $47,000 starting salary. The person who negotiated stands to make hundreds of thousands of dollars more during her lifetime—and that’s before retirement is taken into account.

Whether it is a raise, a promotion or a discount on a training course or business proposal, always try to negotiate because you never know what you might get!

Readers, what do you think? How do you make sure you have the right mindset for career and money success?

Update from Anna…I am excited to announce that….

Update from Anna…I am excited to announce that….

Hello friends! So I have a very good reason for being a little distracted from blogging lately.  I am excited to announce that Baby Girl Runyan joined our family three weeks ago!

I have such a new respect for all moms as I am finally coming out of my three week fog of being a mom (especially working mamas that pump…holy moley!) I am so very excited for this new phase of my life and can’t wait to get back to being a working/blogging mom after I enjoy this much needed break with my new daughter. So stay tuned for new posts on the blog in the near future and thanks all for your sweet words and comments!

Mila 3 weeks

5 Ways To Conquer Overwhelm in Your Job Search

5 Ways To Conquer Overwhelm in Your Job Search

Overwhelm is the most common battle that job searchers face. Where do you even start? Do you update your resume, sign up for a networking event or search for jobs online? You surely can’t do everything at once, especially if you are job searching while still working a full-time job.

I know what it is like because I have been there before.  I was often overwhelmed by all of the job search sites, networking events and people that I wanted to meet and I barely had any free time on my hands to devote to job searching.

If you are overwhelmed or scared to fail, here are some suggestions to help you out. And make sure you download the worksheet that goes along with this post at the bottom!

1) Pace yourself

Take your job search step-by-step. A lot of stress comes down to setting realistic goals and incorporating them into your daily routine.  Assuming that you already have a to-do list, pick out the one item you most dread doing… that’s your first priority for the day.  Once you’ve finished the activity that you most dread, the rest of your goals for that day will be a little easier to achieve.

You can only do one thing at a time and, eventually, everything worthwhile will get done. I often ask myself, “What is the most important thing I can do right now?”  Do you need to be doing everything or can you focus only on the most important things in your life and career and say no to everything else. I once had a client that was volunteering for everything she could. Yes, it will look great on her resume but if her goal is to make a career transition in the next 3 months, she needs to focus on doing that first.

Also, don’t forget what can be accomplished if you simply wake up a bit earlier. Have some quiet time and drink your coffee. The worst thing for overwhelm is to spend your day rushing from one thing to the next. You’re not a superhero and you can’t do everything all at once, no matter how hard you try.

2) Learn to say no

No one will hate you. It’s ok to say no.  I have a client whose boss keeps having her do his work for him.  Before she could actually have the time to job search and get her career unstuck, she needed to clear the tasks on her plate and stop doing his work. I know it is sometimes hard to say no because we want others to like us. But, you have to practice it and think about how important your time really is. You need to set boundaries for yourself.

When you do turn down the request, keep your no short; something along the lines of “I’d really love to, but I can’t.” The more wiggle room you give, the more ammo the other person has to attempt to change your mind. Never apologize and don’t dwell on it or feel guilty.  This will get easier with time I promise! Once you see how much more control you now have over your life, saying no will become second nature.

Other tips for saying no are to tell your boss that you can help him later when things calm down.  Or ask him to prioritize your tasks for you.  Let your boss know that you already have too much on your plate and you want to do things well so you need his help.

3) Be OK with your path

No one is perfect and each of us has our own unique journey to finding our ideal career path.  For me it was over a 4 year journey. Don’t judge yourself. We are often our worst critics. Don’t think you have to be like everyone else’s path. Your path is unique and will be different. There is no “perfect timeline.” You are on the RIGHT PATH! Even if you feel like it is taking way too long.

I spoke to a client last week who was worried because her search was taking too long. She had gone through my get unstuck coaching system and was close to finishing. She had targeted a career field and then realized that the career she thought she wanted to go into wasn’t the right fit for her.  She was feeling really frustrated by it but I told her that it was actually a GOOD thing!  She was right on track because she was narrowing career fields down and wouldn’t end up in a career field that wasn’t a good fit for her.

Everyone’s journey is different. You can’t compare yourself to anyone else.


4) Don’t talk about your job search with everyone

Remember, you don’t have to talk to everyone about your job search plans. Another one of my clients recently told me that after a big blowout with her dad who didn’t agree with her career choices, she said she realized that she should only talk to her career coach about her career.

Some people will build us up and some people will bring us down.  You don’t have to share everything with everyone. Surround yourself with people that are positive and bring out the best in you. Find people to add to your network that inspire you and believe in your career goals and dreams.

5) Re-connect with the present moment

When I am overwhelmed, I just focus on my breathing and being mindful for two minutes. Just the in and out breath and nothing else. By bringing your awareness back to the present moment, you realize that you’re doing the best you can under the current circumstances. Close your eyes and breath or try yoga or meditating.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Buddha

Most of us live in either the past or in the future. We regret what we’ve done (or not done), or we worry about what’s to come. There are no problems in the present. You are okay right now. You have a roof over your head, you have food in the fridge, and you feel fine. Stop living in the future. Your stress and blood pressure build as you think about everything you need to accomplish. Too much to do and too little time. This is what happens when you’re living in the future.  You think and stress about all the things that need to be done in the future. Fears of not being able to get the job you want, reaching your career goals and disappointing others haunts you.

Let it go. You are on the right path.

I created a worksheet to go along with this post that I think will help you. I really encourage you to spend at least 5 minutes completing the worksheet.  Just enter your name and email below and I will send it to you ASAP.

Readers, what do you think? How do you battle the overwhelm that comes with job searching and managing your future career success?

10 Simple Ways to Elevate Your Career This Year (Plus Free Ebook)

10 Simple Ways to Elevate Your Career This Year (Plus Free Ebook)

After blogging for over 4 years, I have shared a lot of career advice on this blog. But, unless you want to read through 947 blog posts (holy cow!!) it’s hard to find the best advice in one spot.  So since I just celebrated my birthday, I thought I would give you a gift as well to celebrate four years of blogging and you being so awesome! Make sure you scroll to the bottom where you can download a brand new ebook I just put together called 100 Ways to Elevate Your Career For Ambitious Professional Women.

In today’s blog post, I am sharing with you the top 10 ways that you can elevate your career this year:

1) Do what you want to do instead of what you feel like you should do.

It’s so easy to just go along that path of what you should do. You can save yourself so much time and trouble if you just start with what you want to do. The career you started in doesn’t necessarily have to be the career you ended with. There is freedom in your career and you don’t have to stick with one career. You can be so many things.

2) You need to promote yourself.

You are going to have great bosses and bosses you don’t love but the only person that will speak up for yourself, your goals and your expectations is you yourself. Don’t say I am pretty good. Say I am great at it and I am an expert. Give yourself credit for knowing what you know.

3) It’s OK to ask for help.

One of the best and easiest ways to gain experience is by asking others. Most people are happy to help but they can’t help you if they don’t know what you need.

4) You absolutely must ask for the money.

You have to ask, ask, ask! Otherwise no one will not give it to you.

5) Share your opinion and speak up more.

It is so much less important that you have the exact right answer and much more important that you have the confidence to put some ideas on the table. Try to speak at least once in every meeting.

6) Say “no” a lot.

Once you say no to the things in your life that are holding you back and free up room for awesome things to come your way, doors will start opening. “No” is a complete sentence. Only say yes to the things that really matter.

7) Be comfortable being uncomfortable.

The best opportunities come when you are a little scared. Do what you fear and go where you’re scared to go.

8) Surround yourself with people that are positive and bring out the best of you.

Find people to add to your network that inspire you.  Challenge yourself to meet new people inside and outside your current company. We all need a tribe  because a tribe will teach us new things and help us reach our full potential.

9) Understand the importance of saving money and getting out of debt.

Having money is not about wanting money, it’s about having 100-ways-ebook-3d-706x1024-3 freedom and new choices in your career.

10) Do one small task daily that helps you get closer to your big goal.

If you do something daily on your way to your big goal, totally amazing things will start happening. And don’t forget that the best investment you can make is always in yourself. Take a course or find a coach. It’s always worth it.

If you enjoyed this post, make sure you download my brand new ebook I just put together called 100 Ways to Elevate Your Career For Ambitious Professional Women. Enter your name and email below to get access to it right now.


Readers, what are your best tips to elevate your career success?

13 Free Tools I Use to Improve My Productivity

13 Free Tools I Use to Improve My Productivity

Recently in my 90-Day Get Your Career Unstuck Bootcamp, my clients have been asking a lot of questions about how to manage their time. Most of them are working full-time while still searching for a job on the side. It can be very stressful and overwhelming to do it all! I know I have been there.  Even if you are in a career you love, you still need to be as productive as possible so that you can focus on the most important items that will get you that next raise or promotion.

Here are the 13 MUST HAVE tools I use daily to improve my productivity:

A To-Do List

**Note, I have tried a ton of online to-do lists but still go back to my pen and paper everyday. If you want to see a copy of the to-do list that I use daily, click here.

1) Wunderlist: Simply create and share your to-do list online with other people.

2) Remember the Milk: An online to-do list that syncs with Evernote too!

3) Oh, don’t forget: Schedule free text message reminders exactly when you need them.

A Calendar

4) Google Calendar: You can’t go wrong with Google calendar.  It really sets the bar for staying on track with your time. And you can share it with the people you work with so that you are all on the same schedule. This helps my assistant know when she can schedule my coaching calls and handle interview requests.

5) Time Trade: If you schedule calls or meeting with other people, you definitely need to check out Time Trade. If you have ever scheduled a complimentary career strategy session with me, you know how easy this system is to use! It’s like my personal meeting scheduler and I don’t have to do a thing. It syncs with my google calendar and let’s other people book appointments for me only when my calendar is open in the spots I have designated for those calls and then sends each person a calendar announcement. Easy!

Free Tools to Stay Productive

A Timer

6) Egg Timer: A simple, easy-to-use online countdown timer, or egg timer. Just set a timer and start. I batch my similar activities into certain days and times to get more done. For instance, today I am only writing my blog, newsletter and social media posts for the week. So I give myself a certain amount of time to do these activities and am NOT allowed to check social media during that time. It’s tough but necessary! :)

7) Pomodoro Technique: According to this technique, 20 minutes is the optimal focus time. Taking short, scheduled breaks while working eliminates the “running on fumes” feeling you get when you’ve pushed yourself too hard.

Music to Focus

8) Focus@Will: This app lets you listen to music and times you so you get a reminder of when you need to take a break! You can choose the music and the free version is just set to a 60 minute countdown. But, you can pay a small fee for a variety of music and countdowns to fit your work and personal productivity schedule. I use this everyday!

A Way to Clear Distractions

9) Rescue Time: With so many distractions and possibilities in your digital life, it’s easy to get scattered. RescueTime helps you understand your daily habits so you can focus and be more productive. This app helped me see where I was spending too much time on unproductive work and helps me set productivity goals so I can improve each week.

A Way to Capture Ideas

10) Evernote: Not sure what I do without Evernote. I set up notebooks that help me focus on what is really important. I also save all of my files and emails that I don’t necessarily need on a daily basis in Evernote as well. It’s so easy to search for things you need. So glad I started using this a few years ago!  Evernote is also where I host all of my training PDFs that I download from various websites as well and it’s a great place to save articles that you might not have time to read but can go back to later with the Evernote Clipper.

11) Dropbox: Cloud storage for all your files that you can access on every computer. Dropbox has made sharing files and videos with my assistant so easy! Another thing I don’t know what I would do without!

A Way to Manage Projects and Teams

12) Asana: My assistant and I have tried to use a lot of different tools to manage our projects and we have jumped to five different ones in the past few years. But, I think we have definitely found the best one now and it is free to use as well! Asana is very clear and organized and we know exactly what each other is working on. The best part about it is that it has a calendar so I can see if I have given her way too many tasks due in one day:)  This helps me spread it out so I don’t overload her!

A Way to Manage Your Contacts

13) Insightly: I just discovered this tool to keep all of your contacts in one place. It’s a contact management system that is free as well. Previously, I didn’t have a very good follow-up system for clients and potential clients that I needed to stay in touch with. This system is helping me stay organized and remember to follow-up which we all know is the key to networking success, right!?

Want the PDF Stay Productive Cheat Sheet that goes along with this post?  Enter your name and email below and I will send it right to you now.

Readers, would love to hear from you! What tools help you stay productive and organized at work?