Tag Archives: Career Coaching

Holistic approach to work

Some time ago I was teaching a class when it occurred to me that those preparing for employment and those currently employed share a common need. The need for self care. It doesn’t matter how much money you make or your education if you are not taking care of yourself, your health can easily be compromised.

It is common for us to focus outward and neglect the signs that our work life is taking over. The assumption is that if we push hard enough we will get where we need to go faster. It will get easier from there and we can rest later.

The push can be for financial reasons, in that there is self/family to support, increased debt or lavish lifestyle to fund. It can also be forced upon us if the expectation of our position means a twelve hour day shows dedication, anything less shows weakness. Still for others the drive may be self inflicted, a feeling that they are not good enough and in order to be noticed they must go the extra distance, even if it kills them.

There are other reasons for us to focus outward but what I would like to explore is a holistic approach to work. I have compiled three main areas of focus for you to consider:

Feed the BodyProper diet is essential. Prior to re-entering the workforce try to get yourself on a similar schedule to a work day. Give yourself the gift of a diet that will help sustain you from hour to hour. Often, people in my class brought coffee, pop and treats for their breaks; that doesn’t nurture the body and is very unpractical considering the time and requirements associated with a workshop. Appropriate exercise. Get in an routine with an activity that stimulates you, it gets the blood flowing. Walking is great for that and can be easily adapted for pre and post work. Rest when needed. If you have any health concerns in which a full day can be difficult, try to find even fifteen minutes to rest. Many times I have gone to my car in lunch breaks, ate my lunch and rested my eyes before returning to work. Use your office or find a quiet space to meditate it can make a huge difference.

Feed the MindLearning and developing ideas. Keeping the mind active is essential, whether currently employed or not. Taking an extended brain break while off work can make returning to work ten times harder. It is exhausting to learn a new job and especially so if you have not continued in some way to keep the brain stimulated. Equally, if you are on the job, it is not uncommon to fall in a rut. You may question the point in learning anything new as you’re employed, so why bother? That is a mistake, it is the prime time to educated yourself further and develop ideas that keep the job or job prospects interesting. A strong word of advice – upgrading while you are on the job is far better than waiting till you are unemployed,stressed and desperate for work. Keeping yourself current is a line a defense against extended unemployment.

Feed the SoulFind the passion. Being passionate about what you do goes a long way. There are plenty of studies to suggest that when you enjoy what you do, money, contacts and opportunity comes to you. It is not to say that sometimes we must do things that we are less than passionate about in order to pay the bills. There are times in our life when that is necessary and not beneath us. There is no shame in that, it is called survival. However, embracing passion instead of chasing the dollar, can make success taste that much sweeter. Chasing the dollar feels good only on a superficial level, passion is deep and many doors open as the passion exudes from you. Just watch what happens when someone talks about something they love, facial expressions and hand gestures are more noticeable, they light up. Their speech is more confident and the knowledge pours forth effortlessly. That is what is captured in the passion, confidence, an inner knowing “this is right for me.”

The holistic approach to working makes sense no matter who you are. No matter your age, location or employment status. Tap into these things and you will see differences in your perception of self and work.

If you need further clarification on incorporating this into your life or other career coaching services, please feel free to contact me.

Your Career – How to Define Yourself

A career can be described as the sum total of life experiences including all paid and unpaid work, education, interests and leisure activities. That being said, we would have a wealth of skills to draw from and an expansive definition of self. Talking about ourselves should be easy, shouldn’t it?

For many it is not easy. I meet people who have such difficulty in defining their background, skills and attributes as soon as the question “tell me about your self?” appears. Most women (not all) will default to their personal life first “I am married, have two children…” and then migrate to their previous work experience, men will usually jump to their last job and follow up with a description. In both cases they rarely find a way to truly define themselves and it appears to be such an uncomfortable question.

Now lets jump to a scenario. You have just lost your job and are attending a party at someone’s house, as you mingle around the room, what is the question you get asked? “So Kim, what do you do?” The question you dread when currently you are doing nothing but getting over your lay off or trying to find more work. Many people define themselves by their last job and find it particularly hard not to immediately jump to that identity, as if they are less of a person without their job title.

What I want you to do is take out a piece of paper and write down the title of a previous job you have had or a volunteer position. Put the job title at the top of the page and if you have been a caregiver or stay at home mom that title is also extremely important to include. Now, write down everything you did under that position, not in book form but a point form of everything you can remember you did in your daily activities.

Once you have completed a list of those activities go back up to the top of the page and cross off your job title, just erase it!! Now, what are you left with? Your skills, your knowledge and I bet there is a lot more on that list than what was originally given as your “job description.”

I want you to own all of that and more. Describe yourself in a holistic way: “I am a sales person with 10 years of experience…”, ” I was a stay at home mom with a background in management which was particularly well used in managing my household”.  There are multiple ways you could explain who you are but the best that you can do is to look at the big picture. This lesson applies not only to the question asked of you but also when you are creating your resume. Don’t short change yourself, remember your experience is vast.

Even if you have been off work and are travelling around trying to find the next opportunity, your suitcase is still full of all the skills you have accumulated along the way. Decide what is important to you now. Promoting who you are starts with a very clear answer to the question “Can you tell me about yourself?”

“Well yes, I can!”