Personal development – what is your special gift?

Personal development – what is your special gift?

Personal development – how would you answer the question what is your special gift? What is the first thing that comes into your mind and how do you feel?

You’d be surprised how many people experience a feeling of panic and struggle to give an answer.

For some of us, if course, the answer is simple; “Oh, I’m a painter,” “I’m a writer” or, for example, I’m a musician.”

It seems to be a question that is easier to answer if you belong to the Arts or to one of the long-established professions. For the rest of us, it can be a bit of a challenge.

But, of course, the reality is that there will be something you do better than most of those around you. And it can something very different to what other people expect.

It took me a long time to work what it was I did! I found out eventually though. One day the penny dropped that my success came from solving other people’s problems. I made a reputation at work for being a trouble-shooter.  It wasn’t always pleasant but I could do it and, working in a large complex organization, it was a valuable talent to have.

I suppose it was that talent that drew me later to consultancy and then on to coaching. I call on the same gift but now use it to a facilitate others solving their own problems.

So, now what is your gift?

When you think back over your career, what is it that has brought you most success?

Spend some time thinking about that question. I suspect you will find recurring themes. If you do, that is good!  You should now be able to answer my first question.

If you don’t find the answer quickly, keep working, your special thing is in there somewhere – you just need to find your own personal treasure.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Goal Setting

Goal Setting

Setting Goals for Yourself

Goal setting – lots of people take a little time out on a Sunday evening or Monday morning to review the week ahead. This can be a good time too to review your longer term goals and resolutions. Are they still the right ones to deliver the life you want? Setting, and achieving, your goals is easier if you follow these six steps.

  1. How deeply do you desire the goal? Napoleon Hill, in his landmark book, Think and Grow Rich, said; “The starting point of all achievement is desire. Keep this in mind.  If your desire for your goal weakens you are much less likely to achieve it.” So do you really, really want to achieve that goal?
  2. Can you visualize yourself achieving the goal? Lee Iacocca is one of my heroes and he said “The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.” What will your achievement feel like? How will your life be different when your goal is achieved? If you can really feel that state of being, you are on your way.
  3. Make a plan to follow to accomplish your goal. Make sure it has simple, straight forward action steps to follow. Work out what steps are critical to your success; the important steps needed to make your goal a reality. Guru, Stephen Covey, said, “All things are created twice.”  There needs to be a mental creation first and then a physical creation. You have to make sure that the mental blueprint is what you really want, that you’ve thought everything through. Then each day put the steps in place to make your blueprint a reality. As Stephen Covey also said; “You begin with the end in mind.”
  4. Commit to your goal by putting it on paper. Back to Lee again; “The discipline of writing something down is the first step toward making it happen.” Write down your goal (make it colourful, then the  action steps and what is critical). Writing down the goal, the plan and a timeline actually seems to start things moving. It helps you to be very clear about what you have to do.
  5. Schedule dates for checking your progress in your diary. Regular checks and reviews help to keep you on tack.  Of course you will hit obstacles on the way – plan for them when you can.  And when you can’t plan use your ingenuity to get over or round the block.
  6. If you do get stuck seek support from someone else – a wise friend or colleague.  As you would expect, I’m going to recommend hiring a coach to help you stay on track – holding you to account and helping you overcome obstacles is an important part of what we do.  Don’t let your goal just slide away from you – coaches are good at lifting your motivation, too, by the way.

These six steps really do work. And they have worked time and again for some of the most successful people in the world. But you do need to make a commitment and may be this is the week you start.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

When to make a career change

When to make a career change

Career Development: When it is time for a change!

When to make a career change – making a career change can be daunting. But there are times when it is clear you should consider it. Here are some examples of occasions when it is worth thinking through whether a career change is right for you

You are beginning to question the ethics of your present career choice

Yes, in your sector it is possible to earn lots of money and it can be quite exciting.  But there is something about it that worries you. It feels uncomfortable and at times you feel guilty – is it really right not to be more honest with your customers? You feel your moral boundaries are being pushed too far.

You feel exploited

You are making lots of money for the company but you don’t feel appreciated or properly rewarded. Perhaps without you they can’t operate, but all they do is keep loading you with extra work. You feel overworked to the point of failure. They may want to cut corners and costs by loading extra work on you and not hiring someone else to take over.

The job doesn’t use your capabilities and strengths

You feel you have so much more to give. And perhaps they promised you that new opportunities would emerge.  You have been there a while now and nothing has come up.  You can’t see a way that you are going to feel fulfilled working for this organization

 There are no opportunities for promotion

Perhaps it is a sector that doesn’t really have a career structure. It might be that you work in a very small organization where nobody else is going to move on very quickly. You like the job but it isn’t that fulfilling and it is pretty obvious there will be no opportunities to move forward in the near future.

You are in a sector or profession that is dying

Changes in technology have sounded the death knell for many traditional jobs. Don’t wait till it is ringing in your ears to move on. You realize there are technologies (or perhaps new customer behaviour like the demand for instant satisfaction) that are going to change the demand for your work; it’s time to consider going.

You feel you have a true calling to do something else

The true calling that you seek can be any type of interest; it could be a beloved hobby, branch-off of an existing skill, or something completely opposite to what you do now but which you’ve always found intriguing. You will have regrets if you never give it a try

Your choice to change your career may be met with resistance from those around you at home or at work but it is possible to make a change.  Others have done it successfully before you; seek help and advice from them and, of course, you could find yourself a career coach like me.

When to make a career change – if you don’t know, get in touch! If you find yourself getting stuck in your job search or career development, or need just the kind of support I describe, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job Search – Brush Up Your Interview Dining Etiquette

Job Search – Brush Up Your Interview Dining Etiquette

Interview dining etiquette -I came across this subject and at first I laughed. Then I realised it makes a valuable point. Your table manners and your dining etiquette skills really do matter. They are one reason why employers interview job candidates during lunch or dinner – to evaluate their social skills and to see if they can handle themselves gracefully under pressure. It’s especially true when you’re interviewing for a job where you’ll have a lot of social interaction with clients.

The post on interview dining etiquette at this link gives you some great advice, although it doesn’t tell you how to eat a pear. My mother used to say knowing how to eat a pear was the real test of a gentleman.

http://jobsearch.about.com/cs/interviews/a/interviewdining.htm
Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! Looking for work means you are in a process of change. And all change comes at a cost. Even changes for the better come with loss – something gets left behind. 

Looking for work is tough. Even if you are looking while you are employed you will have doubts and uncertainties and you do need confidence. It is tough at any level and at any stage in your career. But in some ways I think it gets tougher as you move further up the professional or management hierarchy. The reputational risk is higher. You have more to lose even though you usually gain confidence as you rise.

For most of us changing roles has implications for those close to us. For example, you may earn more but perhaps the family have to cope with you travelling a lot more than you did and working longer hours. Some families may feel the extra money doesn’t make up for losing you. But how do you reconcile their wishes with your own professional ambitions and the kind of work you always dreamed of doing?

And then of course life circumstances can change. Suppose someone close to you suddenly becomes much more dependent on you. Say they develop a long-term illness. Yes, you can now pay for their physical needs to be met. But how do you now make time to meet their need for emotional support as well as dealing with work?

Personal/ life coaching can help you explore just the kind of situations I describe above. Those are the kind of things that challenge you to find your own solutions that best enable you to achieve the balance you want.

Benefits of Personal Coaching for Senior Executives! I provide a coaching service to help executives, senior managers and senior professionals to deal with family issues and life’s more difficult events at the same time as handling a busy workload.  If you find yourself getting stuck in your job search or career development, or need just the kind of support I describe, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

When You Make A Mistake

When You Make A Mistake

When you make a mistake – well – we all mistakes! There isn’t a human being alive who doesn’t  – we all do. That is why, when people do work where accuracy is critical, systems are usually put in place to inspect and assure it.

We make mistakes in all parts of our lives, not just at work.

So, when you make a mistake, what do you do next?

When you make a mistake the first big step is to accept you made the mistake. Most of us are very good at coming up with excuses. Underneath we usually know the truth.

Once you have admitted to yourself what happened, you need to make sure that your mistake causes no further damage. Do whatever you can to put things right or at least make sure that what you did doesn’t cause any further harm. That can be difficult when the mistake is to do with wrong choices in a relationship at home or at work. At times like that it often helps to talk to a friend or to a coach like me.

Part of putting things right often means being ready to go on record and admit what you did.

Now, if you made a mistake you can put right quickly with no real damage, perhaps you won’t need to tell anyone. But what about the people you who deserve an apology, or those who need to learn from your mistake? Remember hiding a mistake at work that is later discovered is not the best career move.

When you make a mistake, being ready to say sorry is really important. A sincere apology for an honest mistake makes a huge difference to the injured party and to your own self-esteem.

Usually, the most important part of handling mistakes is understanding why they happen. Mistakes can occur because you are tired, or perhaps you were distracted. Sometimes it is because you don’t really know what you are doing or because a system or a piece of equipment doesn’t work properly.  All those things can usually be understood easily and put right.

Sometimes, we make mistakes because we are unhappy. We might make bad choices at work or in relationships for reasons deep within us to do with our emotions. And some of us just go on making those kinds of mistakes.

If you keep making the same mistakes, it is a good idea to seek help. There lots of counsellors and coaches around who will be happy to work with you. Take action now, your life is too precious to waste it going round in the same circle.

If you need support in a particular situation please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Job references with no detail of performance

Job references with no detail of performance

Many public sector organisations, and and some others, will only offer bland references as your employer.  You will need their reference.  But when it arrives referencesit may only be a confirmation that you worked for them in a particular grade or post over a certain period of time.

Most large private sector employers will understand this – for others you may have to explain. You will need something more. Try asking your line manager, someone in your management line or a senior colleague if they would be prepared to give you a personal reference. This will be in addition to the one sent officially by HR. Many managers are more ready than you expect to help. Also, consider approaching retired senior colleagues and others who have left organisation.

Consider other referees

You might consider asking for a personal reference from someone who holds a senior position outside your organisation. This is where people you have met during work in a voluntary capacity may be useful. Otherwise, consider people you have met through clubs and associations.

You shouldn’t feel embarrassed about asking for a reference. Most people feel flattered to be asked But you should always give people the opportunity to say no and make quite clear that you will understand if they feel they simply don’t know you well enough to help.

Make sure you check with them each time you plan to give their name. Then, give them a little information about the job for which you are applying. Let them know why you think you are well fitted to fill it. This will help them to give the kind of reference that is really going to help you.

If you need help with your job search, please get in touch.

Wendy Smith is a career, life and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can book a discussion with Wendy about your coaching needs and your personal development at this link

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

The pain of positive change

The pain of positive change

The pain of positive change – like many other people, I spent a large part of my life working out how to avoid pain.  I say “many” but I suspect it is true of most people.

Physical pain and gain

One little known fact about me is that when I was well into my forties I took up weight training.  I’m talking about serous weight training here, shading into body building with free weights.  Over time I became quite fit and felt very strong.  It gave me lots of confidence.

Later, my whole life changed and going to the gym was not a priority. I regret that I dropped out of training and have never gone back.  But the experience did teach me a fundamental life lesson.

The pain of positive change and growth

There are two kinds of pain. There is the kind that tells you something is wrong. And there is the kind you experience during positive change and growth.

All change is accompanied by pain to some degree and so is much growth.

If you really want to achieve something in this life then it helps to learn the lesson about good pain.

You need to be prepared to go through your own personal pain barrier.  But of course you also need to be able to distinguish “good” pain from that which tells you something is wrong.

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

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Defining Your Value in the Workplace By Ilchi Lee

Defining Your Value in the Workplace By Ilchi Lee 

Today we are privileged to have a guest post from the well known author and educator, Ilchi Lee.  Ilchi Lee has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves.

Since you are here looking for ideas on finding a job or for keeping the one you have, it’s helpful to think first about what value you bring to your workplace. I think the value you bring to your job or any endeavor comes from your true value.

Sometimes we can get lost in believing that other people will give us clues that let us know how well we “measure up” when compared to others. We absent-mindedly use these clues to decide our value in the workplace and the world. But, what if you decided that the opinion of others is not in favor of you? You could easily become less efficient and less dedicated to your job or your life. At work, this would have a negative impact for you and for the company that pays you to think on their behalf for their business. And in life, it could certainly demotivate you.

From my own early experiences I discovered that my true value did not depend on the evaluation of others. This lesson did not come easily at first, and I searched my own creativity for ideas that would let me experience my own value in this world. What I discovered was, when my idea helped others to discover a greater vision for the community and for other individuals is when I knew I had true value and purpose here. And this is true for you!

It can be easy to think of ourselves as separate from others. This is what allows us to imagine their opinions and consider them as a measure for how to value ourselves. However, if we can understand the way that energy is present in all things, we realize that we are not so separate after all! From this perspective, we can define our own value for ourselves by initiating and participating in efforts that benefit others and are for the greater good.

Operating with this awareness, you will radiate a quality of energy that communicates apart from your resume and beyond the words spoken in your interview that cannot be mistaken. Whether we are talking about the company, or the world, this is where your true value lies.

Byline:

Ilchi Lee is the author of 36 books including The Call of Sedona: Journey of the Heart, a New York Times bestseller, and his latest, Change: Realizing Your Greatest Potential. A visionary and educator, he has spent nearly three decades helping people create better lives for themselves. Lee has created Dahn Yoga, Brain Education, and hundreds of other wellness programs and methods. A model for the self-improvement he teaches, Ilchi Lee is continually changing and continually creative. Find articles and videos based on his methods at http://www.ChangeYourEnergy.com. Learn more about Ilchi Lee at http://www.ilchi.com.