motivation

Cheers to More Connection, Growth, and Sharing in 2020

I’m ready, 2020.

I started my New Year’s resolutions a bit early this year by doing a deep dive in self-assessment. As I’ve been shifting my professional goals toward more contributions to conscious leadership, I’ve really had to examine where I’ve failed to apply all that I’ve learned over the past 20 years. It’s humbling, and frequently embarrassing, but necessary.

Once the challenge of reflecting is done, I know that making a public proclamation of my 2020 intentions is the best way to transform intentions into actions and actions into results.

(I’m not calling them resolutions, as it feels like a re-solution that didn’t work before.)

Let me just dig right in, and rip the band-aid off.

I believe I have grown a bit stingy with my time, but more so, my presence. This could be due to overextending myself. How to reconcile this is tricky. I have been making contributions to various communities, but I’ve felt as though I was never giving them enough. It’s time to really own my time, and keeping a calendar is what I know works.

In the year ahead, I commit to focusing more on specific contributions I aim to make and delegating everything else that keeps me from making a contribution that feels like enough.

This means letting some things go. In 2019, I really improved in this area. In the next year, I’ll continue to pick up steam – letting old hurts go, letting physical stuff go, letting others take on tasks I’d feel compelled to do, and forgiving myself for where I fell short of my own expectations – this is the hardest one. The better I get at this, the faster I can go from ego to highest self.

Letting go requires balance, though, as I have to know when NOT to let things go, too. I still intend to speak up for myself, to stand up to those not leading with good intentions, and to be a stand for my clients and students – to shine a light on the self-talk and outdated systems that threaten to give them less than what they really want in the long run.

I also will be more vigilant about money and will work on my confidence as a good steward of finances. I will no longer continue to pay for programs that don’t support forward progress.

I’ll be sharing a lot more in 2020. Once I’m clear how best I can communicate and share, I will do so on a regular, predictable, reliable schedule.

I want to get more connected to people’s nature. To be with people, really with them. There will be much more openness, eye contact, deep soulful conversations. I will be more mindful of how I respond and punctuate conversations. I will improve my awareness of others’ feelings. I will learn how to be a better conversationalist and how to channel my curiosity while recognizing and neutralizing judgment. I want to get better at understanding how individuals prefer to be respected and regarded.

I will put myself on a follow-up schedule so that I stay in better touch with clients. I will organize more get-togethers and create more opportunities for people in my network to connect with each other, which I know is where the magic happens.

There’s one place where I have not walked the walk, doing exactly what I recommend – sending thank you sentiments. I’ve certainly dropped a heartfelt gift or note sporadically, but I want it to be a regimen, and not just the delivery of said gratitude, but the practice of really being in gratitude. This has been a part of daily routines before, and it’s time to work it back in with new rituals that will become part of systems. I will do this for how it transforms me, but also how it transforms my relationships and nurtures my network.

Sadly, I’ve been curating a collection of wonderful things I could do to better serve my mission and better support people’s professional growth, but have not done a good job in several years bringing offers into creation and I’ve never done a great job of enrolling large quantities of leaders in them so that I make the impact that I want.

This year, that changes. I’ve hired a team of coaches to hold me accountable and to help me craft, create, promote and deliver programs that transform corporate careers for my clients and their teams. They will help me finally put together the pieces of the puzzle I’ve been staring at cross-eyed, and to systematize all of this so that I can deliver consistent quality, not let anything or anyone fall through the cracks, and be a reliable solution provider.

I have a TON of content, as well, just sitting in various files where they’re doing you no good. As I’ve scaled back outgoing marketing, I’ve also started to become a harsher critic of myself, and have been scared to be too revealing of who I am through what I create. At the risk of your judgment, but also my own, I’ll be more unabashed in my expression.

All of these proclamations scare me, but that’s only when I think of myself as the person who fell short. If I focus, however, on all I have achieved, I know I’m totally capable. I have confidence in the talent supporting me, including my coaches and my virtual assistant, Cynthia.

Now comes mapping it all out. Thank God I don’t have to do that alone!

I’m excited for a new year and a new decade. I’m ready to redeem myself where I fell short, and even to make more mistakes and gain more wisdom.

I’d like to take a moment to send you a new year’s wish that you can look back 10 years from now and know that you gave the 2020s everything that you had, and so it gave you back everything you want. And, I wish that you know you’ve got a friend in Pennsylvania.

It’s me. I’m a friend in Pennsylvania.

This time I’m sending you a special gift, a song – not my song, but sung by me. It’s my first big, bold share in accordance with my 2020 proclamations, as well as my last big share of the decade. I hope you enjoy it.

https://vimeo.com/382118169/585b1c6382

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

Prepare Your Phone Screen Playbook to Get to the Next Level

Phone screens are like open book tests. You have to have the right playbook for it to help you. Otherwise it’s like copying off the person who never scores higher than a D. You could have gotten a D all on your own without even trying. What’s the point of that?

Firstly, understand that there’s probably more research to do than you think. Don’t try cramming all in one night. You’ll want to have all of your notes together and organized prior to the night before.

Even if you can refer to your notes, you still want to know them well enough to know which parts to reference based on the questions. You won’t have a lot of control over what questions are asked and in what order. So if you’re fumbling while trying to find the right response to a question, your heart will start ticking like a clock with each second that passes. That’s not the state of mind that performs best. You’ll have to manage the interview a bit like a dance you’re not leading, so stay agile.

As soon as you know you’ll have an interview, start researching. Cross reference what you find out about a company with what you want in your next opportunity. Anywhere there is a gap between what you want and what you can find out online, make a note of that item. This will be your agenda for pre-interview calls with your interviewer. Start a company report, and then copy and paste information on key people, values, initiatives, industry challenges, etc. Go way deeper than just looking at the company’s website. I recommend creating a Google alert on the company and key people, especially the person who would be your direct supervisor and/or your interviewer.

Try to find these key people on social media, especially Twitter where it seems people reveal more about their opinions and values. Note if they are married/single, have kids, love to travel certain places, have an obvious political inclination, have hobbies, enjoy certain artists or shows, etc. Even though you won’t necessarily use this information to build a personal report, it will certainly help you to keep this personal information in the back of your mind. If they’ve shared any of this information on LinkedIn or in their Twitter handle, then it’s pretty public and could be free game. The data points you find when digging deeper should be kept to yourself otherwise it could come off as too private and creepy.

Even if you don’t discuss your findings directly, having an idea of a person’s interests and personality can still help you build trust. Are they private, conservative, do they have a sense of adventure, what are their values? What qualities do they admire? What companies and influencers do they follow (consider quoting one)? All of this considered, just remember – don’t try to be something that you’re not! That never works out well in the end. However, if you genuinely have something in common with the interviewer, you may see an opportunity to take advantage of that. It may sound dirty, but people prefer to work with people they like and trust, and having things in common can be a trust signal.

Next, have at least one achievement story for each top quality, experience, method, or talent that distinguishes you from the competition. Connect the dots between your distinctive value, the problems, challenges and initiatives of the target company/hiring manager, and what you have been able to achieve in your employment history. If you’re asked to walk through your experience, make sure you highlight the themes of what makes you the best candidate. For instance, if you’ve always been great at identifying market trends, walk your interviewer through a highlight reel describing the specific times you succeeded at doing just that. These themes should be related to what will make a candidate successful in the role. If you can validate your aptitude early on in the phone screen, do that.

Have answers and stories prepared, but don’t write them out like an article. Make an outline, cutting out as many extra words as possible. This should look more like bulleted talking points, like a politician uses before a debate or media appearance. Boldface key phrases and points that you definitely want to relay.

Another tip is to determine which questions make you most nervous and figure out why! Are you scared of revealing something? Chances are that fear will be picked up by your interviewer, even over the phone. If they sense there’s a potential risk in your fear, they’ll either dig deeper, or let it go but this uncertainty won’t really be gone. It will be lingering in their mind as an unknown variable that leaves a gaping hole for another candidate to surpass you in the process.

Practice the KISS principal when it comes to these questions (keep it simple, stupid.) Don’t go into an elaborate story – there is a time and a place for elaborating, but this isn’t the time to risk the interviewer getting caught up in details. Understand what the risk is from the employer’s perspective. If discussing a time you made a mistake, the most reassuring way to approach the situation is to own your mistake and the impact that it had. Then, move on to demonstrating how you’ve worked on never making that mistake again. It may seem risk to admit an error, but you’ll come across as genuine, which is much easier to trust than someone who never admits to making mistakes.

Finally, if the interview question has to do with conflicts between yourself and coworkers, vendors, clients or your boss, stick to facts that all objective parties would agree upon. Don’t chronicle all events, but rather share only the relevant ones that help you make a case for your character, skills, and/or problem solving abilities. If you have to recount a specific conversation, be sure to recall the exact words that were said. Again, if you misread the situation, point out your revelation and how you would handle it now that you have more wisdom. If the situation repeated itself but with your new awareness you handled it better, take the opportunity to briefly share that story.

Keeping these tips in mind will help you ace your phone screening as well as your subsequent interviews. Remember there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for questions that will likely be asked of you. Additionally, take the time to research and get a feel for the work culture of the company you’re applying to and get familiar with the personality style of your interviewer. If you employ these tips on your next phone screening, please feel free to share how they helped you in the comments section.

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK (2012) – Music Video: Alabama Shakes “Always Alright”

Pre-listen: Soundtrack Snippets of Danny Elfman’s “Silver Linings Playbook” @ http://www.chongweikk.com/2012/11/soundtrack-snippets-of-danny-elfmans.html ******* Lyrics: Well you come up stairs in the night to talk Stay a little while then you do a little walk on home I hear you downstairs smoking cigerettes, I hear your talking shit Cuz you aint got

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award. 

5 Job Search Activities That Will Keep Your Momentum Up, Even If You Slow Down

 

Now that Memorial Day Weekend is passed, we are ready to get into summer mode. We think we’ll be so productive, but let’s be real – we’ve been productive all year and it’s time to have fun.  Go ahead! Enjoy! Get to the beach, eat barbeque, drink frosty cocktails, pick up a good book, hit the pool, or travel.

A major benefit of coaching my clients in job searching is so that they spend LESS time getting MORE results. That leaves them more time for the good things in life.

No matter what you decide to make a priority for your summer, there are 5* kinds of job search activities that, if you do them at least once a week, will help you maintain and even build momentum while you enjoy your summer.

*Caveat: This is all assuming that your résumé, LinkedIn profile, bio and call to action powerfully make clear why you are the candidate that employers need to snatch up before the competition gets you! If you haven’t done these, then add one more activity to this list – Schedule a free branding breakthrough consultation with Epic Careering.

  1. Administration –
  • Set up your schedule, setting goals for things you control:
    • number of events to attend
    • number of new contacts to make
    • number of introductions requested
  • Select target companies on which you’ll focus
  • Make a call list of people with whom you will follow up.
  1. Research –
  • Do deep company research – search for press releases, journal articles, financial statements, and identify key people. Go way beyond the company website, LinkedIn page, and career page.
  • Do LinkedIn research – Look up key people profiles, evaluate employee profiles (and check out their past companies to identify new target companies), and search for these people on other social media to gain insight on how to build rapport.
  • Do networking research – Explore professional organizations, check out event calendars (Eventbrite, MeetUp), and ask people in your network about upcoming activities and opportunities (networking can include social events, too, as long as you deliver your call to action!)
  1. Massive Action – Make calls, send LinkedIn invitations (with customized messages), send cover letters (5 came with your package), follow up, and attend networking events.
  2. Network Nurturing – Recommend resources, send leads, do random acts of kindness, volunteer.
  3. Self-care – Engage in flow activities (yoga, walking, reading, theater, dancing, dinner/drinks with friends), pamper yourself (pedicures), get enough rest and eat well, also, meditate, journal, read – whatever floats your boat and your spirit.

Pick one activity per day or set aside a couple of hours every day so you can fit in all 5 each day.

Manage your energy well, and continue to manage your calendar – put these things your schedule, but feel free to schedule around fun. Allow yourself to be present for your summer and your loved ones.

Notice that none of these activities include checking job boards or filling out online applications. That is because neither of these activities are high impact, yet they are what everyone feels compelled to do, as though they can check the “done” box on job search activity. You can do that, but know that it won’t afford you the time to enjoy your summer. In fact, spending your time this way is a recipe for lack of results, frustration, questioning self-worth and viability of landing a job, even depression and anxiety.

Getting results is so much more fun than not getting results.

A couple of recruiters in my network reported that hiring did NOT slow down last summer and there are signs that this summer will be just as busy. September is the 2nd busiest hiring month (behind January.)  Keep up the great work so you can do great work!

Alice Cooper – School’s Out [Lyrics] [HD]

Alice Cooper – School’s Out [Lyrics] —– ENJOY!

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Can You Get To 10 Out of 10?

 

I love rating scales because it can instantly bring awareness of gaps as well as increases in confidence, performance, and satisfaction. My clients sign off that their branded content, whether a résumé, LinkedIn profile, biography or cover letter is a 10 out of 10 before it becomes final.

When I first start speaking with a prospective client a key question I ask is how they rate their momentum toward their next goal on a scale of 1-10. If they’re already at a 7+, it’s clear they have a lot working in their favor already and they’re looking to make sure that they can sustain such momentum or give it a small boost. If they’re anywhere lower, which most are, it’s critical that I diagnose why their momentum is so low and devise a plan that will get them to a 9 or 10 within a three month period.

Last week I asked my students to rate their confidence in interviewing before and after they did group peer mock interviews. This was an experimental format and I wanted to know if it was effective. Their ratings proved that it was effective at bumping them up a notch or two, so that everyone was at least a 7+.  Then I asked, “What will it take for you to feel like a 10.”

A few interesting things were revealed.

Most of them wanted to be interviewed by ME, believing that it would more closely mimic an employer interview because my experience would lead me to ask harder questions and they would be more nervous about my opinion since I give them a grade.

So, they felt confident and more comfortable but wanted to be put into more stressful conditions to really test their performance. I thought this was a very self-aware and astute observation, indicating to me that they truly had gained more confidence, but wanted to challenge themselves.

Another revelation for one student was that she didn’t feel she would ever be a 10. Wow! This was a truly courageous revelation to acknowledge and share. It was an opportunity to further increase their self-awareness of how their belief systems influence their behavior.

It may be a Job Search and Preparation course, but if I only focused on the pragmatic steps of job search, the students would not apply the steps with integrity, achieve the outcomes I intend for them or acquire the life skill of being accountable for their own success. With Cabrini’s blessing, I also incorporate into the course science-based mindfulness, emotional intelligence, mindset management, interpersonal communication and influence, and project management.

If this or any of these students maintain the belief that they will not achieve the ultimate whatever (job, lifestyle, confidence, self-image, etc.), their brain’s motivational systems will fail to fire and they will become victims of confirmation bias, never realizing that the “evidence” they see, and that their ultimate X is impossible because of a filter that they programmed.

While they are learning how to use storytelling to influence others into action (in their major and in their job search,) they are now getting more clear about the stories that formed their beliefs and how those beliefs and stories are shaping their behavior and their results in life.

This student’s homework, which was suggested for any and all students, was to journal with the intention of identifying the source of the story that she would never reach 10, and in doing so recognizing it as a story, not a truth. Then I also shared with them a video about how to reinforce a different story – a story in which they are their best selves enjoying all of the success, joy, and outcomes that coincide with the belief of being worthy and capable of reaching 10.

Where do you rate yourself in various realms of your life?

Do you hold the belief that 10 is unreachable?

If 10 is possible (which it is), what gaps need to be filled in to experience that?

 

Unknown Brain – Perfect 10 (Lyrics) feat. Heather Sommer

🎧 Your Home For The Best Electronic Music With Lyrics! Unknown Brain – Perfect 10 (feat. Heather Sommer) Lyrics / Lyric Video brought to you by WaveMusic ⏬ Download Unknown Brain – Perfect 10 (feat. Heather Sommer) here: http://ncs.io/P10ID ⚡️Honey I’m a perfect 10 🔔 Click the bell to stay updated on the best Lyrics / Lyric Videos from WaveMusic!

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

If You’re Robbing Yourself of Fun and Self-Care During Your Job Search, You’re robbing Yourself of Results (Prescription Within!)

 

When I was out of work for 10 months after 9/11, I was not only in between jobs but also in between living arrangements. I wasn’t officially a roommate to my boyfriend (now husband) and his roommate since I was not paying rent, and I could not continue to live with my bachelor father, because some things you can’t unsee.

I had moved back in with my dad after leaving a cheating boyfriend at the age of 21, met my husband four months later, and was laid off six months into our relationship.

I had student loans to pay and some credit card debt that I’d accrued while searching for my first job after college. I had also finally bought a brand new car, a Saturn SL2, after being stranded one too many times on the side of the road with a broken down car, so I had a car payment as well.

After being informed that cleaning and tidying were insufficient forms of rent, and if he (the roommate) were me he wouldn’t be doing pilates at 3 PM or hiking in the middle of the day, but hitting the pavement.  I felt added pressure to spend all my time either working doing anything so as not to be home when he was home, but also not spending my time on self-care. I walked to a business within walking distance, since gas was a luxury I couldn’t always afford, and worked for minimum wage doing menial tasks while neglecting self-care. My depression worsened, and interview anxiety manifested, whereas I’d never had interview anxiety before.

As an employee, I was known to be sharp, intelligent, forward-thinking, and organized. As an unemployed sponge, I was now considered a burden, a leech, and essentially useless. Even though some friends were helping me out, giving me referrals for jobs, I was not making them look good at all. I was showing up as the unemployed sponge, not the confident, value-adding, trend-setting, technology-savvy people person.

After the business down the street told me their business slump meant my minimum wage job was no longer, I went back to taking care of myself. Neglecting myself wasn’t working; it was backfiring. So was doing work well below my capacity and potential. Something else I realized – my husband and his roommate didn’t know how to land a corporate job. Hitting the pavement was not producing jobs that would position me to pay my bills and rent and sending online application after online application left me powerless and dejected. I had to go back to my network, which I avoided when I was depressed and doing demeaning work. I had to show up as the person who would add value

I went back to pilates and hiking regularly. I spent my transition time finding out who my network knew (this was before LinkedIn). I shifted my criteria to target GROWTH opportunities that required a college degree, whether in recruiting or not, and challenged myself to find ways to have fun that didn’t require spending a lot of (or any) money so I could remember why people wanted to be around me.

I landed, finally, and then was laid off again three months later, but landed again five weeks later, and then was promoted three months after that. I knew that eventually, I would teach people what I learned about making a job search effective AND fun, and how essential both are.

Nearly 16 years later, here I am with 13 years of experience doing just that under my belt and when my clients express to me that their emotions and thoughts are getting the best of them, I prescribe them fun and self-care. Now, after years of studying human performance optimization and neuroscience, I have an even better understanding of exactly why fun and self-care are essential to job search success.

Do you remember learning about Pavlov’s dog?  Reinforcement is key to learning positive behaviors and making them habits. Reward yourself for engaging in job search activities that are effective, but perhaps stretch your comfort zone, like attending networking events, asking your friends and contacts for introductions, inviting hiring managers to speak or meet, and calling to follow up. The more you associate these activities with a reward, the more motivated you will feel to do them.

And, once you get results this way, the shot of endorphins will further compel you to want to repeat them.

Make sure your self-care routine incorporates exercise AND restoration. Exercise is not just healthy for your body, but also has proven clinical impacts on your mental state, helps you feel more confident, and increases oxygen to your brain to make you smarter! Restoration and recuperation is key to preventing physical fatigue and brain fatigue, both of which can negatively impact your performance and mood. Making time for stillness and reflection is essential to seeing where and how you can improve as a human being, teammate, and as a performer.

To take this all a level up, identify and engage in activities that put you in the flow. The more you can put yourself in a state of flow, the better you intuitively, swiftly solve problems and make decisions. For me, being in the woods or out on the water, coloring, making crafts with flowers and plants, swimming in the ocean, sitting in my hot tub, dancing to live music, attending development-related classes and webinars, watching sports, and yoga put me in a flow state.

Make a list of activities that make you feel like you’re in the flow, and set time aside on your calendar each week for these. Steven Kotler, NY Times best-selling author on the subject of flow, recommends at least 15% of your time be allocated for this each week.

Also, don’t avoid people because you fear their judgment. Isolation is a confidence killer and anxiety inducer.  Invite the people who know and appreciate the “real you” to spend time with you at least once a week. There are plenty of things that you can do that don’t require spending money, such as a game of catch, card and board game potlucks, picnics, and gathering to watch your favorite show or team. Keep up your team skills while in transition. You can even invite them to volunteer with you.

Having trouble justifying this to the stakeholders in your job search? Tell them it is a prescription, professor’s orders, and show them this:

 

If you want additional emotional support and guidance (not just advice, which I give freely here) on how to spend your days to optimize your performance and results, schedule a free consultation.

Put The Lime In The Coconut

AND SHAKE IT ALL UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Difference Between Excuses and Obstacles

 

My oldest daughter, Daisy (8), is very bright and pretty strong for a string bean, so when she gives me excuses as to why things aren’t done, it’s really hard to except them. Usually, I push back telling her that I’m confident that she can solve the problem and get the job done, whatever the job is.  When she is forced to come up with a solution and finish the job, because it’s not getting done for her, she does find ways to solve the problem. Often she’s so proud of how she solved the problem she forgot that she didn’t want to do the job in the first place.  I really wouldn’t be doing her any favors by doing everything for her. It’s not my job; my job is to help her become a self-sufficient adult.

When she starts to complain that she can’t do something, she gets in trouble, because “can’t” is not a word I allow in my house. It’s always “I don’t know how yet.” I don’t know when she’ll learn, but if it’s the only thing I teacher, she will learn to know the difference between an excuse, an empowered choice, and an obstacle.

Excuses don’t serve anyone.

As we’re going into the third week in January, many people find that their resolve starts diminishing while others notice some desired improvements and that changes are easier this week than they were last week. It’s make or break time for your new habits, and I want to share something that will make you more self-aware of when you might sabotage yourself so that you can overcome what makes 80% of people fail at keeping new years resolutions.

This year will be different for you!

How Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, breaks out the stages habit forming as such –

Unbearable >>  Uncomfortable >> Unstoppable

During all of those stages, however, life happens. Until a habit is an automatic, unconscious choice, we have to constantly make decisions to follow through. Our brain doesn’t like change and constantly tries to help us get out of it. We have to be aware of this if we are going to override it. Pay attention to your self-talk during these decisive moments. You may just notice a pattern that has stopped you multiple times throughout your life, which gives you the potential for tremendous breakthroughs in every area of your life. Keeping a journal is a great way to track, measure and improve how frequently this self-talk interferes with keeping long-term goals.

When you notice this, start to reverse the self-talk in support of the long-term goal.

For instance, one thing I’ve noticed I have said in those moments:

“You deserve a treat. Don’t deprive yourself.”

But I also deserve to be happy and healthy, and if I’m not currently happy or healthy and the short-term desire doesn’t offer me long-term health or happiness, it isn’t offering me the SUCCESS I deserve.

I am not saying that I should deprive myself all the time, but the more I notice this thought and decide that I will delay gratification and treat myself in a way that will still enable me to keep on track, the less frequently I will give in to this self-talk.

Keep the long-term desire as visible as you can. Write it down or print out visual queues and post them where you are sure to see them frequently. It will be easier to keep your brain motivated toward the long-term goal versus whatever you think you want in the moment. You are 1.2 – 1.4 times more likely to achieve your goals if you do this.

Some things we have to legitimately prioritize higher than our goals and take care of, such as health emergencies. It’s not an excuse it is an empowering choice. Still, I know from my own personal experience that in the midst of goals in life challenges to achieving those goals, I probably gave up too soon on too many. That is not an empowering feeling.

A question I now ask myself and my daughter if I feel that I have to choose between an urgent priority and a long-term goal is, “Did I try everything? Is there a way to do both?”

For instance, my daughters and I came down with a chest cold last week, the second week I should have been back on my walking schedule after winter break. Usually, I walk the kids to school at least 4 out of 5 days and on 3 of those days do an extended 5K walk back home. It’s winter, but it was REALLY winter last week – windy and cold. I made an empowered choice to drive in the morning and afternoon. That could have been an excuse to not exercise at all. I even looked it up on google “Can you exercise with a chest cold?” What I found was that exercise in moderation is really good at helping to break up chest congestion. So, I did a dance class Monday and some yoga with resistance and basketball Friday.  Those days in between I just needed extra sleep. I did what I could, though.

If I had learned that exercising with a chest cold is bad, I would have made an empowering choice to rest.

Today, I’m back on my walking schedule. It actually feels harder to restart a goal than to start it in the first place, as Gretchen Rubin points out in Better Than Before.  It’s probably because you are more discouraged this time knowing how life got you off track, but if you can fight through to start again and keep up progress, you are more likely to get back on track in the future and reach your long-term goals.

In fact, if you can accept from the get-go that you will be able to roll with whatever life throws you and get back on track when challenges occur you will be less likely to see them as discouraging. And, had I not exercised in spite of not walking, my self-confidence and self-talk would make it that much harder to get back on track, because the problem would have been me – not my chest cold or the weather.

If the available data turns up no potential solutions, you are at an impasse – an obstacle. Don’t let the word fool you, though. Obstacles are almost always not permanent and new data and new solutions still may be possible. This may be when you ask for help from an expert, but you have to pick an expert who understands the nature of your particular obstacle.

For instance, if your parental responsibilities keep interfering with your ability to keep commitments to yourself around your goals, you need someone who has successfully navigated parenthood AND reached the other side. Furthermore, if you are a single parent, getting advice from a parent with a partner will not sound credible to you.

If your resolutions are career-oriented and you have any of the following challenges or obstacles, I can help you exponentially increase your chances of achieving your 2019 goals – set up a consultation:

On the job (Schedule a consultation):

  • Teams that resist change
  • Drama and lack of collaboration
  • High turnover
  • Frequent sick time
  • Lack of creative solutions
  • High disengagement/low productivity
  • Not attracting high caliber talent

In job transition (Schedule a consultation):

  • Unclear goals
  • Lack of results for time invested
  • Lack of responses
  • Always the runner up
  • Hate job seeking
  • Difficulty getting motivated
  • Not knowing what to do each day

Best wishes for an extraordinary 2019!

I get knocked down (Chumbawamba – Tubthumping)

( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Shake Off Shame of Unmet 2018 Goals Before You Set New Goals

 

If you have any amount of ambition, you set goals.  Setting goals can be formal and structured, even coached, or it can be just a daydream that becomes an intention. If you do the former, then you have a written record of your 2018 goals. If the latter, take a bit of time right now to write down what you had hoped to accomplish in 2018, even if it was progress toward something you hope to happen in 2019 and beyond.

It’s time to review them before you set new goals for 2019. How does this make you feel?

If you’re excited to take them out, then you probably feel like or know that you have been consistently disciplined and motivated in taking action toward your goals, so you are probably confident that you reached all or most or came pretty close.  Take a look at the goals you didn’t achieve and if you experience any physiological changes when switching from your achieved goals to your unachieved goals, read on. If not, just keep doing what you did, and consider teaching it to the 97% of people who don’t engage in formal goal setting.

If you feel hesitant, if there is any inkling that you are afraid to look, you are already experiencing shame about potentially unmet 2018 goals.

It’s okay.  Just notice how you feel and note your awareness. There’s no sense in feeling shameful about feeling shameful. Give yourself 90 seconds to really be with this emotion. Notice where in your body you feel it.  It might be your forehead if your unmet goals lead to worry about the consequences. You might feel it in your shoulders and neck, or your chest or your stomach, but don’t be surprised if pain shows up somewhere unexpected, like a knee or fingers.

Once you’ve taken this time to allow these emotions to be, feel proud that you honored these emotions. Feel your heart open and send thoughts of gratitude for this new awareness, which you will use to set goals that are achievable and in alignment with your highest good.

Take a deep breath in, imagining that the new breath is new resolve, and then breathe out focusing on the spot where the sensations were the most intense and imagine the emotion is being channeled out. Take two more deep breaths, imagining that the resolve is now filling the space where the emotions were.

Now that you have allowed this energy to be in motion (“e-motion”) you will be able to review last year’s goals with a clearer mind and less judgment, which will enable you to better assess why you really didn’t achieve them. This is what’s really important in setting new goals that you are more likely to achieve.

If you don’t allow your energy to move, you might be inclined to be defensive and look at circumstances that prevented you from achieving your goals, which is fine, but ultimately leaves you disempowered to circumstances.

If you allow the shame to move through you, you can more clearly see where you could have been at cause for the outcomes, good or bad. It will be easier to take accountability without feeling self-blame. You become a better problem solver because you are now dealing with a reality you control, so you set up systems that enable you to achieve your goals, even with unfavorable circumstances. Take into consideration these and other potential circumstances, and make the plan now on how you will deal with them in 2019.

You may have already heard that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals when you write them down. Additionally, Harvard Business School found that the 3% of MBA graduates who wrote down their goals earned 10X more than the 97% that didn’t over a 10-year period.

There are a ton of great goal guides and calendars or you can break down your goals into various project parts and milestones and put them into a project management app that will send you notifications like Asana.  You may also use the SMART method that I taught business students at Drexel University. You can also engage a coach like me to give you extra customized guidance and provide you with monthly external accountability some people need to maintain their progress.

Elle King – Shame (Official Video)

‘Shake the Spirit’ available now: http://smarturl.it/ShakeTheSpirit?IQid=yt iTunes: http://smarturl.it/xShame/itunes?IQid=yt Apple: http://smarturl.it/xShame/applemusic?IQid=yt Spotify: http://smarturl.it/xShame/spotify?IQid=yt Amazon:http://smarturl.it/xShame/az?IQid=yt Tidal: http://smarturl.it/xShame/tidal?IQid=yt Google Play:http://smarturl.it/xShame/googleplay?IQid=yt Follow Elle King: https://www.facebook.com/ElleKingMusic https://twitter.com/ElleKingMusic http://instagram.com/elleking http://elleking.com/ Directed by: Dano Cerny

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business, will be an Associate Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department in 2019,  and is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

 

A Power Mantra for Next-level Professionals

So What by Paolo Mazzoleni on Flickr

So What by Paolo Mazzoleni on Flickr

Two weeks ago I was going through my brother’s senior yearbook. Underneath the seniors’ pictures were captions, including favorite phrases. My niece had some trouble properly pronouncing one of my brother’s choices: “Buuuudy.” This was a quote from one of the 80s most unlikely phenomenons, Pauley Shore. It occurred to me that if he knew nearly 30 years later these phrases would be immortalized and read by his kids, he might have chosen other words, but he was 17.

I took a look at my own senior year caption. It was definitely not what my 40-year-old self would have wanted to immortalize.

So, what would I immortalize now?

I might choose something timeless. There was a phrase that I learned when I had a door-to-door sales job, which became my mantra, “Some will; some won’t; so what? NEXT!”

I still find this completely valid. That door-to-door job I worked one summer was brutal in many ways – hours of walking alone in a suit, even when it was hot and humid, even in sketchy neighborhoods with high crime and incidences of drive-by shootings. It certainly made me more street smart and thick-skinned.

Even though being successful in that job depended upon people (business owners) liking and trusting me, I learned that I didn’t need EVERYONE to like and trust me. Some people just won’t, and the faster I moved on and let go, the faster I could get to the person who would say yes.

With that realization came a level of freedom I hadn’t yet known, and so many of my past pains around not being accepted started to dissolve. Thinking about it now, this was most likely the first taste of personal development that became a hunger, and at times an obsession. I needed that to get to the next level in my profession after that job, and this mantra helped me make better choices. I remind myself of it each time I want to get to the next level, which usually comes with increased visibility…and vulnerability.

I’ve been striving ever since that realization to master being my best self by my OWN standards, and to enjoy freedom in accepting myself, while reconciling how to be the cause of transformation at the scale that I feel is necessary to really make the impact on corporate careering, hiring and engagement that I am driven to make.

So, while it can be fun and freeing to throw caution to the wind when it comes to social media, the consequences of doing that may not align with what you want for the long-term – your BIGGER why.

I’m not advising you to be anyone different for anyone’s sake. Lisa Sasevich, offer communication coach, shared a lesson her father, a famous ventriloquist, taught her, “Don’t change your act, change your audience.”

I finally got around to watching The Greatest Showman last night. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you. I will tell you that while it was inspiring, it was also a warning to not let your desire for acceptance compromise what really matters in life.

My hypnotherapy hero, Marisa Peer, has worked with royalty and rock stars, and shares just how common it is for highly successful people to suffer from not feeling like enough. In fact, it’s what drives them to achieve. Barnum was no different in the movie’s portrayal. The drive to build something extravagant was fed by his need to be accepted. So, sometimes the need for approval can be purposeful and can fuel some big dreams. However, it was also almost the demise of all he held dear.

When being intentional about your brand (you have one whether your conscious of it or not,) remember to honor who you are and what is most important to you in the grand scheme of your life.

Besides, what kind of happiness do you think you can obtain by becoming someone else? How long can that last?

You can be successful and authentic.

What I want people to get about their brand is that it doesn’t mean just mean putting something out into the world to increase your visibility or engagement. A brand AT ITS BEST is an intentional outreach designed to resonate with and attract people who enrich your network and life experience.

If your boss enriches your life, say with a paycheck, and you want to keep that paycheck, then put things out into the world that your boss would appreciate. This implies that you would take time to understand what he or she appreciates and allows before you create and put it out there. However, if you’d rather have a different boss who lets you do you, make sure what you put out in the world reaches that kind of boss, resonates with him or her or them, and inspires them to take action.

Be willing to let go of people, like your current boss, who just don’t get you. And, be willing to give up the paycheck, too. And if you’re not, make an empowered choice to play by your boss’s rules until you gain the freedom to do you.

“Are you picking up what I’m putting down?”

That’s my favorite, more modern version of the mantra, which was the most valuable part of my door-to-door sales experience.

The freedom in this mantra comes from unapologetically and without attachment to the outcome declaring, “This is what I’m doing whether you’re with me or not. If you’re not, I’ll find somebody else who will. If you are, let’s get to work.”

If people aren’t picking up what you’re putting down, consider changing the audience, not the act.

They may not resonate with you at the moment. They may have their own set of blinders, or other priorities. It’s not personal. Move on.

P!nk – So What

P!nk’s official music video for ‘So What’. Click to listen to P!nk on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/PSpot?IQid=PSW As featured on Greatest Hits…So Far!!!.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a career management firm specializing in the income-optimizing power of social media and personal branding, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales.

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify new trends in hiring and personal marketing. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot.

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Has Overwhelm Sabotaged Your Momentum?

Wipeout by Kellinahandbasket on Flickr

Yes, I want it all. Don’t we all?

Don’t you want to be able to afford the finer things in life – to visit exotic places, and live in a beautiful home, and to give your kids the best education and experiences? You, like me, also want time to enjoy them.

You want to know that the time and talents you devote to work are well-spent, made a difference, and that they’re appreciated.

You want to know that your life made a positive difference.

You want to feel vibrant, strong, and healthy – invincible.

If your reality is far from that, the disparity can seem insurmountable to overcome at times. It can make you feel worse, which is de-motivating and leads to inaction.

Efforts to get closer to the life you want can stretch you further than feels comfortable or even possible at times.

Here was my critical revelation:

“Overwhelm is what happens when things start moving faster

than you have practiced being in alignment with.”

~ Abraham

The phrase, “Be careful what you wish for,” comes to mind. Overwhelm can cause you to kill your big dreams, temporarily or permanently.

May was my month to host book club and I chose The Originals by Adam Grant. Stamina to follow through with big initiatives is one of the key differences he identifies between those who go on to bring into the world disruptive ideas and those who have to default to lending their talents to someone else’s vision.

This was another big a-ha for me. When I first picked up the book I wanted so much to be able to see myself as an Original, and for the most part, I do. But the realization of this missing puzzle piece caused me to delve into deep self-evaluation.

Why was it that I could come up with some brilliant, game-changing ideas, but have not yet been successful in having them adopted on a large enough scale to shift the dominant paradigm in how corporate professionals career, hire, and lead?

Funny thing about questions – once you ask yourself a question, your brain starts to answer it.

I have pattern of asking for things to pick up, then they do, and I want them to slow down.

Can you relate to this?

Most of the time, I consider myself blessed to be such a great vessel for ideas and to be doing work that I find rewarding and meaningful for which I have a great passion. However, my passion is inconsistent and shifts focus. Too many of my great ideas die on the vine. I’d like to think they’re just dormant for now, but when and how do I revive them? How do I make sure that the ideas that come through me that have the potential to really make life better, easier, more fun, etc. get created and get adopted?

Some of my setbacks I wouldn’t change; while my big initiatives are important, my kids are my #1 priority. I have allowed myself a certain amount of grace because I made a conscious choice to be at home with them while they were little, but they’re getting bigger and I have to notice what ELSE I let slow me down. Next year my kids will both be in school full-time, and I can start to assume a more conventional workweek. It’s time to make sure that I take full advantage of the time I have, to figure out how to ride a wave of momentum instead of letting it take me under and wipe out.

I realized that the pattern isn’t just exclusive to my work life, but my fitness, creativity, and social life as well. I go in bursts, and then I shift focus.

But why? I can easily rationalize that it’s because I like variety – I like to be dynamic. I can choose to just be empowered and accept that this is the way I am and the way I like it. However, in order to accept that I’d have to ignore the fact that my professional mission isn’t being fulfilled. I started multiple related initiatives over the years, but didn’t finish the majority of them, such as my app. Whenever I was advised that something had to become my obsession or a full-time job, I took my foot off the gas and put that initiative on a back-burner.

Again, I can justify it, and that’s worked up to now, but I once the kids are in school full-time, a big concession goes away, and I don’t want to let another concession take its place.

  • I have to start seeing myself as someone who makes big things happen in the world, and as someone who can handle all that brings with it.
  • I have to start being bigger than my problems.
  • I have to embody the vision by loving myself into a greater version of myself.
  • I have to trust that it will happen no matter what by embracing the good and the bad that happen along the way as part of my journey, instead of seeing the bad things as obstacles intended by the Universe to thwart me.
  • I have to achieve greater balance in all of the areas of my life that are important to me, so that a sense of deprivation doesn’t lead me to justify stepping back or stepping down from my mission.

The intention is to get aligned with the version of myself that is all of thee above, and to expand my self-image to be the version of myself who welcomes and manages success well.

So, I have a plan and tools to share, and if you have found yourself slowing things down just when they’re getting good, join me.

The tools I will use are time management through block scheduling, and reframing fear and challenges through meditation, visualization, and self-hypnosis.

I will use these tools to generate greater self-awareness so that I continue to refine my plans and actions and continue to make significant consistent progress.

I will label time blocks on a physical calendar in ways that help me keep the bigger picture in mind. For instance, a time block allocated to organizing my desk will be “Getting it Together,” time blocks allocated to paying bills will be “Spreading the Wealth,” and time blocks allocated to fitness will be “Loving the Skin I’m In.” Following this schedule will create balance and freedom, since it will include time for all that’s important for me.

Any time overwhelm occurs, I will tune into my thoughts, feelings, and beliefs. I will listen to the conversation I am having with myself that is causing me to feel as though all that is happening is too big or too much for me. I will use self-hypnosis to flip those beliefs around one at a time (which is how hypnosis is done.)

When an opportunity comes along, I will use meditation to make a decision based on my inner-knowing, also known as intuition, to avoid making any decision based on fear – fear of missing out, fear of disappointing, fear of lack of other opportunities. I will only move forward with opportunities with which I feel aligned and that will benefit the greatest number of people and myself, regardless of the potential visibility and/or money. Saying yes to everything has been a recipe for burn out in the past.

When a challenge comes along, I will meditate and ask myself why this is happening FOR me, instead of TO me, and I will tap into intuition that will guide inspired action so that I am pulled to make bold movements forward versus pushing myself and acting with resistance, which has only led in the past to feeling overworked and under-rewarded.

I will be ritualistic about using visualization to maintain a sense of joy in my work, which will help me generate the magnetism that inspires others to get on board with my vision.

I expect that by following this plan, overwhelm will subside and I’ll generate a new sense of power. It may still happen, but I vow to not let it stop me any more. Even by acknowledging it, I am already starting to take away its power.

Stay tuned, and share with me your experience with overwhelm. Tell me I’m not alone. Together, we’ll become expert momentum surfers and bring much-needed solutions into the world.

“The ones crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

~ Steve Jobs

Foo Fighters – Big Me

Foo Fighters’ official music video for ‘Big Me’. Click to listen to Foo Fighters on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/FooFSpotify?IQid=FooFBM As featured on Greatest Hits.

10 Easy Ways to Infuse Optimism Into Your Culture and Life

Choose Optimism image by Aaron Davis with quote by Ray McLean

 

Part 2 of 2: Last week – Looking On The Bright Side: The Real Secret To Success

Generally, organizations and people find change arduous and overwhelming. So, I hope it’s encouraging to learn that there are many very small things you can do to increase optimism, as well as practices that you can encourage in your corporate culture that can make significant change natural and easy.

Allocate special time for these mini-practices and communicate clearly, but concisely, that the purpose is to increase optimism to enjoy the many benefits:

  • Improved problem solving
  • Enhanced motivation
  • Higher performance and productivity
  • Lower stress
  • Better mental and physical health
  • Longevity
  • Increased resilience
  • Better income

Perhaps at the beginning of each meeting, you could allocate 5 minutes, or you can send a friendly reminder each morning that promotes the benefit of a particular mini-practice. None of these practices take any more than 3 minutes. They work best when they are encouraged, not mandatory. Doing one ore many of these will benefit individuals as well as the organization as a whole.

I learned some of these mini-practices from Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, who I saw speak at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women in 2017 and I attended his online masterclass through MindValley. Others came from Dr. Mark Waldman’s book, NeuroWisdom: The New Brain Science of Money, Happiness, and Success. Others are the culmination of a lifetime of research and practice in personal and professional development, neuro-hacking, quantum physics, and mind-body research.

Each of these mini-practices has benefits that reach far beyond optimism. Experiment to find which of these practices are sustainable and have the most impact for you. Sustainability is key!

If you’ve tried one before and it didn’t work for you, you can either choose to try it in a new way, or move on to the next. It’s not all or nothing. Make modifications as you see fit!

  1. Meditation as a way to optimism

Before you roll your eyes and abandon reading the rest of this highly impactful post, remember that this is promoting mini-practices – things that take 3 minutes or less! I have spoken to so many people who have been discouraged by their experience trying to meditate. Listen, there are some very complex ways to meditate and there are some very simple ways to meditate. Here are the simplest ways I know:

  • Focus on your breath – the sensations of the air coming in and out. Set a timer. When your mind wanders, notice it without judgment and bring your focus back to your breath.
  • Focus on your muscles – from your head to your toes. Become present to each muscle and fiber and consciously instruct them to relax. I personally find this easier to maintain focus for 3 minutes. Actually, I can spend a good 5-8 minutes here and find it more helpful than a nap in restoring my peace of mind and focus.
  1. Visualization as a way to optimism

The key to visualization is using your imagination and acting as if what you want has already happened. We all used to do this as a kid a thousand times a day. When was the last time you allowed yourself to get into a fantasy where your life is exactly as you’d want it?

  • Imagine the most ideal outcome and let your senses in on the fun. Get into the details – What are you wearing? How does it feel against your skin? Who is with you? What are they wearing? Where are you? What is the weather? What do you smell? What all is possible for you in this magic moment? Who is happy for you or proud of you?
  • Spend 5 minutes per day imagining your best possible self. Optimism starts to increase from day 1 because it helps you shut down some of the chatter of negative self-talk that comes from your logical left brain and engages more of your creative right brain.
  1. Expansion as a way to optimism

Sometimes our growth happens so gradually that we hardly stop to reflect on just how much we’ve grown. If we’re only focusing on the gap ahead of where we are to where we want to be and don’t take time to see how we’ve grown, we take for granted our ability to grow and expand and underestimate what we’re capable of accomplishing.

  • Reflecting on growth is one way you can start to appreciate our own ability to expand and grow. This means looking back at a certain point in time, perhaps a year, or perhaps to the first three months on the job, and recognizing what skills or expertise did not exist in your repertoire. Perhaps there was an influential co-worker or mentor who helped you understand something or helped you gain a new perspective. Maybe you attended a conference where you learned a new practice or tactic. Start compiling a list and add a few at a time.
  • Another way to induce quantum expansion is to try something outside of you comfort zone. This can be, but doesn’t have to be, work-related. I recommend taking a look at the area of your life where you tend to feel the worst about where you are compared to where you want to be. This may be an area of your life you avoid for exactly that reason. For some people initiating a meeting with the CEO is an exercise in expansion. For others, attending an event full of strangers is a highly uncomfortable endeavor. Some need a little more thrill in their life, and may choose activities with a higher level of risk. These are intended to be mini-practices done first thing in the morning, but perhaps a lunch hour is delegated to hit the rock climbing or parkour gym.
  1. Kindness as a way to optimism

The more you practice helping other people without expectation or obligation of anything in return, the more you will expect this from others as well. Even when you experience people being selfish or unkind, you will be more resistant to adopting a pessimistic worldview, because you know that kindness is an individual choice, and if you choose it, others do, too.

  • Send a note of gratitude or praise. This doesn’t have to be a long note – a short paragraph will do. Even in a few short lines, however, be specific about the action or quality you are acknowledging and express how it made you feel or how it impacted you or others. Not only will this make you feel great, it will create positive ripples that continue well past the recipient.
  • Perform a random act of kindness. This doesn’t have to be extravagant. Maybe it means picking up someone’s favorite yogurt on the way into work and putting their name on a sticky note in the fridge where they’re sure to see it. You can choose to be anonymous, but there’s also nothing wrong in this exercise with choosing to be found out, either. In this case the note could read, “I noticed you like this, Jan. Enjoy! ~ Karen.” You could give the violinist in the subway a big tip, or let your waitress’s manager know that she’s doing a great job. It’s doing a little more than being polite, such as holding the door open. Politeness is also something that, when practiced, will increase your faith in people, but this is mini-exercise expects you to go a bit further out of your way, but not much further – 3 minutes.
  1. Gratitude as a way to optimism

If you can take notice and feel appreciation for good things, regardless of how small, and spend time in their significance, you will see how each good thing is really a tiny miracle, and if tiny miracles are possible, larger miracles are also possible.

  • Start and/or end your day thinking of 3 things you are grateful to have occurred over the past 24 hours, regardless of how simple they might be, such as someone letting you merge.
  • Take one thing that happened and “rampage” about it mentally, verbally or in written word, which is really letting yourself get wrapped up in all the good that something is, following one great thought to the next. For example, “I love that I got to spend time with my family yesterday, because when we spend time together playing games we get to know each other on a deeper level and create memories that we’ll cherish for many years to come, which is really what life is all about, and I love the time that I spend creating memories and feeling closer to my family, and knowing that we have each other; it makes me feel safe, secure, and loved….”

How to execute these mini-practices:

As I said above, you can encourage these mini-practices in small ways, such as taking 5 minutes at the beginning of each meeting for one or several, but you will enjoy exponential benefits if you can garner wider participation without obligating anyone while still supporting consistency.

I recommend that you do a 30-day challenge for yourself, and then promote a 30-day challenge for your workforce. It might look like this: Every work day for 30 days you will send an e-mail first thing in the morning that will encourage people to take 3 minutes or less to try a mini-practice, selecting a new mini-practice each day. You may opt to choose a focus for each week, or you can delegate a day of the week for each mini-practice category, e.g. Mondays are for meditation, Tuesdays are for Visualization, Wednesdays are for Expansion, Thursdays are for Kindness, and Fridays are for Gratitude. Have them also take 2 minutes at some point in the day to reflect on whether the mini-practice made a difference and send this to you. After this 30-day challenge for you is over, reward yourself for completing in a way that is meaningful for you.

Then, initiate a 30-day challenge for your workforce to pick one or several of the mini-practices that was most impactful for them and start their day with a mini-practice every work day for 30 days, allowing them 15 minutes after work begins to do this, though people can still opt to be done in less than 3 minutes, plus 2 minutes of reflection sent via e-mail. A standardized form for feedback will help you convert these reflections into usable data that may be very revealing! You may opt to reward all who participate with paid time off, or some other tangible reward, or choose one participant to receive a large reward.

At the end of the 30 days, aggregate and assess the most significant reflections and share the findings with everyone, whether they participated or not. If you find that these mini-practices made a significant impact in a way that is meaningful to your organization, consider instituting a permanent, consistent time allocation for them.

You can also engage Epic Careering to perform a morale and engagement assessment and conduct a more comprehensive participation program, including a workshop. By investing even a half-day immersing your workforce in learning the life skill of optimism:

  • You will send a strong message that their happiness is paramount to everyone’s success
  • They will understand at a deep level why it’s such a critical area of focus
  • You will get more buy-in to the mini-practices at a more meaningful level
  • Everyone will enjoy the exponentially increased benefits

Share with us your optimism initiatives past, present or future.

Beatles “Getting Better” (2015 stereo remix)

This is “Beatles “Getting Better” (2015 stereo remix)” by Lance Hall on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a career management firm specializing in the income-optimizing power of social media and personal branding, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify new trends in hiring and personal marketing. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and Certified Career Transition Consultant and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business and recently instructed for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy at Cabrini College, where her students won the national competition and were named America’s Top Young Entrepreneurs.