Facing a mid-career dilemma

Facing a mid-career dilemma

Facing a mid-career dilemma – many clients come to me for help handling important decisions they need to make in mid-career. Usually, they are people who have done pretty well so far and they have at least one promotion under their belts. The junior technician or junior manager has become the trusted professional or senior manager. Now, it is time to think about their next move and they find themselves at a crossroads.

For some it gets even more complicated because there may be family choices to be made. For example, whether to start a family. Or, perhaps, whether to move the family to a new town or even a new country.

There may be lots of factors to take into account. But it is good to start by considering the experience you have had so far and what it has taught you about what really matters. Then, you can go on to consider things like the competencies you have. It is good to know what you have enjoyed and not enjoyed in the work you have done so far. What has made you feel stimulated and motivated? What has made you want to spend the next day under the duvet?

Thinking about those things, and the challenge of spending the rest of their lives doing the same kind of thing, leads some people to think about a complete change.

Facing a mid-career dilemma starts with thinking about values

Usually, my work with those facing a mid-career dilemma starts with thinking about values and what really matters to them. For each one of us, values will be a little different and it takes honesty and trust to get to the real list.

Facing a mid-career dilemma can be challenging and the future can look very uncertain. You may not be clear for a while what the next step is going to be. It helps to have supporters with you along the way. So, I’m thinking of starting a monthly group coaching session for people facing mid-career dilemmas. If that includes you, feel free to get in touch. If one-to-one coaching is more your thing, I would still be very happy to help.

Working with a coach really can help you sort out how you really feel and make good choices. Get in touch at the Facing a mid-career dilemmaemail address below – I offer a free half hour trial session by phone or Skype.
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How To Get Promoted Part 2

How To Get Promoted Part 2

Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 2

How To Get Promoted – are you doing well in your present role but feel ready Get Promotedfor the next step up? Even in this tough economic climate some people are still managing to get promotion. But how do you make yourself part of that élite group? This is the second in a two post series.  Here is a link to Part 1 – link

How To Get Promoted – Last week I suggested that you should;

  • Create a portfolio of work you have done, showing your value to the organization,
  • Volunteer for more responsibility,
  • Create your own opportunity,
  • Let your ambition show but with discretion,
  • Ask for a private meeting to discuss properly how you are doing.
  • Now here are a further six tips to help you on your way.

Take a deep breath and blow your own trumpet

It is OK to do so if you know the notes to play. You can afford to brag a little, but with care. It doesn’t hurt to remind your boss of your accomplishments. Bosses are human and they do forget things; it helps if you can prompt and do it with facts and figures. Saying you are the Greatest may raise some laughs but that kind of bragging won’t make the kind of impression you want. If you have reduced costs or made some other improvement – quote the numbers. Make sure you concentrate on what is good about your performance, putting down someone else’s performance to make you look good isn’t impressive.

Blackmail doesn’t usually work

Avoid threats and demands. Making your boss squirm is not going to make them want to go out of their way to help you. Threatening to leave will not make your boss think better of you. Using it as blackmail can rebound and lead to doubts about your loyalty. Stay calm and if you feel frustrated, try not to show it.

Have friends in high places

Mentors further up the line are always valuable. If you can get someone on your side before you ask for promotion, it offers great benefits. You will be better informed about what life is like higher up. And it will show your boss you are serious about getting on. It gives you informal influence (outside the organization chart) and it will give you a friendly ear if things get a little tough.

Shine in your present post

Your present role gives you the opportunity to show what you can do. Push it as far as you can – go the extra mile. Work out what excellence really means in the job you do and make that the standard! Beat the deadlines and make a reputation for solving problems. That way you become someone who everyone wants on their team and they can see what an asset you will be at a more senior level. But don’t be personally indispensable. Build a structure that means the your team can function well without you, but make sure people know that it is your team. That way your boss won’t be so scared of losing you that they block your promotion.

Model more senior behaviour

Note how senior people in your organization behave. How do they talk, behave and think? Pick someone you admire and respect. Now use them as a role model. Start to behave in the way that you would like to be perceived.

Keep learning

Take every opportunity to learn more about your field, your profession and the organization in which you work. It will better equip you for a more senior role and it will also impress your boss. It will show that you are serious. About promotion. You will find lots of self-study material on-line which makes it a little easier to combine study with full-time work. No, it isn’t easy to study when you are working but if it is a real investment in you.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

How To Get Promoted

How To Get Promoted

Career Development – Get that Promotion; Part 1

How To Get Promoted – are you doing well in your present role but feel ready How To Get Promotedfor the next step up? Even in this tough economic climate some people are still managing to get promotion. But how do you make yourself part of that élite group? This is the first in a two post series – here is the link to the second post – link.

Create Your Portfolio

Lots of people simply work away at the job – just getting on with it. They deliver lots of good things but they keep a very low profile and no one notices. Make sure you can prove the results you have achieved and make sure the right people know about them. Put together a portfolio of the work you have done, showing your value to the organization.

Put in the numbers. Show how, and by how much, you have helped the organization. Prepare a presentation based on your portfolio and ask your boss for the opportunity to show it to them. This is particularly useful when you want your boss to sponsor you for a promotion – you need to give your boss the facts they need to support your case. If you want them to fight for you, you need to give them the ammunition.

Volunteer for more responsibility

Tell your boss you are ready, willing and able to take on more responsibility. Show how you would set about dealing with a more diverse workload. Make clear that it isn’t the status you will relish, but the work itself. Give your boss the opportunity to give you new and different tasks. Then, when you have built your tasks up to well exceed your job specification, prove it and show your boss what you are achieving. Now, ask for recognition in terms of your boss supporting your bid for promotion.

Create your own opportunity

Can you see an opportunity in your organization;  a potential role that no one else has thought about.  Can you show how it could help the organization and pay for itself. Is it a role that you can fill? Put the case together and have the confidence to ask to present it. Even if they don’t follow-up your ideas, you will win points for ingenuity and creativity, plus you will have demonstrated loyalty to the organization.

Let your ambition show, but with discretion

Don’t be afraid to let them know you are ambitious but do it with care. Here is an example. Do your team meet up with the boss outside the workplace? This can give you an opportunity to let your boss know about your ambitions. But you need to do it with sensitivity. People are more receptive over a drink or a meal, particularly if they are very task focussed in the office. Use this time with discretion. If you press too hard, you could make your boss and yourself feel uncomfortable. And don’t make your boss themselves feel threatened. Make it light and back off if you sense what you are saying isn’t going down well.

Ask for a private meeting

If you and your boss are really busy then trying to talk about promotion while you are working isn’t going to have the effect you want. And you need time to set out your case. Ask to set a block of time to one side to talk but don’t say specifically that you want to talk about promotion. Don’t make it too mysterious though – it is reasonable to ask for some time to talk properly about how you are doing. If you can, do your best to make sure all goes well at work in the hours before your meeting.

You can find Part 2 of Get That Promotion at this link

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Going for Promotion

Going for Promotion

Going for Promotion – if you have the the right qualities, prepare well and have just a little bit of luck, this could be your moment!

Now is the time to;

  • Be the one that volunteers for the difficult task.
  • Make clear that you are prepared to take on more responsibility.
  • Where you see a problem looming, be the one who comes up with a solution –
  • Be there with new and ingenious ways to cut costs
  • Have ideas for new niches
  • Have new skills if they are required
  • Prove what you can do!

Make sure the boss knows you are thinking about the organization, not just yourself!  But when you do something new or extra make sure your boss does know about it.  If it’s not possible to give you a raise now, then can you negotiate something for when things improve – get it on the record!  Can you tie how much you receive to that improvement with your present pay as a fall-back?

Go for it!  You’ve got nothing to lose and at the very worst you will be someone they want to keep around – right now that is a bonus.  Good Luck!

And if you need a little help, just get in touch with me.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a Career Break

Taking A Career Break: Quotes and Resources

Taking a career break! Lots of us think and may be dream about the idea of taking some time out from the daily grind. Here are some quotes on the experience. Plus I’ve included below details of two books to  help you on your way. And now the quotes…

  1.  It is energizing and liberating to turn down a road you have not traveled before. To reach toward what you cannot yet touch brings new passion and strength to your life. Ralph Marston
  2. Disconnect with your work self on a sabbatical, and you’ll reconnect with who you really are.  Corbett Barr
  3. It’s a time to immerse yourself in a different environment, try new things, reassess your priorities, and look at your life from a different perspectiveMarelisa Fabrega
  4. Give yourself the priceless gifts of new experiences, new skills, new knowledge and the confidence of knowing how quickly you can grow. Expand your horizons, again and again, and discover that every limit is there to be transcended.  Ralph Marston
  5. Getting away from it all might be the only way you can really reset or change course. If you continue around the day-to-day, making significant changes is tough. Taking a few months off will give you the space you need to figure things out. Corbett Barr
  6. Taking a sabbatical is the first step towards discovering whether or not I can take the leap of faith and do something fully on my own.  Do anything for a while, and it becomes increasingly harder to cut the cord. Sam Dogen
  7. Of Fortune’s best 100 companies to work for in America, 21 of them have paid-for, formal sabbatical programs. It’s a competitive advantage with regard to recruiting talent. Jaye Smith
  8. Almost everybody got back to some form of better eating and exercise, and they keep that up. And they say, “I didn’t realize what stress I was under. Now I can go back for my next five years with some balance” Rita Foley
  9. My sabbatical didn’t really recharge my batteries as I hoped it would.  Instead, the sabbatical helped realize my preference for freedom over a steady paycheck at this point in my life.  I’ve experienced what life could be like if I worked for myself and I must say that I’m extremely excited about the prospects. Sam Dogen
  10. Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed in the things that you didn’t do than in the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Mark Twain

Books on Taking A Career Break

Escape 101: The Four Secrets to Taking a Sabbatical or Career Break Without Losing Your Money or Your Mind by Dan Clements and Tara Gignac  

“What’s your dream escape? Relaxing on a palm-studded beach? A year off to write your novel? Missionary work with the needy? Exploring ancient ruins or saving the rainforest?

Whether you’re an adventurer, a poet, a volunteer or you just need a break, Escape 101 provides you with a step-by-step system to take as much time as you need from your job, career or business, without losing ground.”

A Gap Year for Grown Ups by Susan Griffith

“A guide for grown ups wanting to take the trip of a lifetime, containing information on specialist schemes and opportunities for professionals and mature travellers. Covers everything from what to pack to paying the mortgage when away, as well as advice from adult gappers who have been there and done it.”

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

         

Checklist for Career Change

Checklist for Career Change

Changing Careers – Part 1 Where To Start! A Checklist for Career Change

Is it time for you to make career change?

Checklist for Career Change – changing careers isn’t easy. But nor is it as hard as you might imagine. I’ve done it four times in my life successfully. I’ve enjoyed the different careers at the time and I really was successful in each one. For me, there came a time to move on. Changing in this way has allowed me to come to terms with a changing economic environment and each new direction has built upon the experience and knowledge gained in the last one.

Checklist for Career Change is Part 1 of a three part series; In Part 2 (Link below) we consider how you can start building up a picture of your ideal job and find out which careers match it most closely. In Part 3 (Link below) we have a check list to help you decide whether you really should make the change

If you think a career change could benefit you, answering the following questions might help you to be clearer about your decision.

Are you actually enjoying your job, day by day?

If you’ve recently stopped enjoying the day-to-day activities in your job, consider why this may be. You may just be bored and need a new challenge in your present organization. You might think about moving to a different department. Or perhaps a change of employer might be the answer.

If you actively dislike parts of your day-to-day job, ask yourself whether what you do is typical for someone in your type of work. Do you dislike the job because you don’t get the chance to use all of your talents? If you’re dissatisfied with the job itself, changing department or employer may not improve things. You may want to consider a more radical change.

Do you feel motivated by the people you work with?

How do you get on with colleagues, managers, clients and others in your workplace? Are any problems due to personality clashes with particular people or is it the culture of your workplace or the nature of the job itself? Do you like the people you work with but are frustrated by the actual work? If so, you may want to look at changing your role within the organisation or looking for a different role with a similar employer.

Are you satisfied with your work-life balance?

If you’re looking for a better fit with your family life, a change of job isn’t always necessary.

Technology is making it possible for more people to spend time working from home. You may have the right to ask your employer to make arrangements for flexible working. Your employer can refuse if there’s a good business reason to do so. But employers are becoming much more willing to consider flexible working?

Is the time right for you to take the risk?

If you have, for example, family responsibilities and others economically dependent on you, then changing now may mean putting others at risk. Also, are you prepared to risk what you have invested in your present role and possible loss of status, perhaps only temporary, in moving into a new field? You need to be very honest with yourself and with other people who may be effected by the change you want to make. In changing careers, timing is all; when you are dealing with lots of other changes in your life, this change may not be right for you at this time.

Changing Careers – Part 2 Finding the right career to suit you

Changing Careers – Part 3 Deciding Whether To Make The Change – A Checklist

Help with career planning

If you need support form a coach in making a decision about a career change, please get in touch. I wish you every success in making your decision and, if it is right for you, making your career change.

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

>

Keep Your Spirits Up – Quotes

Keep Your Spirits Up – Quotes

Keep your spirits up in your job search – a few quotes to help!

  1. If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door Milton Berle
  2. Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. Confucius 
  3. Getting fired is nature’s way to telling you that you had the wrong job in the first place. Hal Lancaster
  4. Fall seven times, stand up eight. Japanese Proverb
  5. Whenever you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it Theodore Roosevelt
  6. The résumé focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future. Joyce Lain Kennedy, Cover Letters for Dummies
  7. If you can’t communicate and prove your value, no one will see your value. Megan Pittsley
  8. If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude. Maya Angelou
  9. Can’t find a job? Find an organization with a need you can fill. Then offer to fill it. Susan Ireland
  10. 10. Interviewing is like tasting wine: a first impression, the taste while drinking & the feeling left behind. @workcoachcafe on Twitter
Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, 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 all her books on Amazon at this link

         

New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

New Career Directions – A New Interview With Mariam Kobras – Award Winning Author Of The Stone Trilogy

Today on WiseWolf Talking we have the great pleasure of presenting another interview with award-winning novelist, Mariam Kobras.  Mariam is the author of the Stone Trilogy and the first book in the series, “The Distant Shore”, won the 2012 IPPY Bronze Medal for Romance. Guess what? She won a silver IPPY medal with her second novel, “Under the Same Sun”  in 2013.  The third book, “Song of the Storm”, has just been published! You can find our earlier interview at this link.

Hi Mariam

Since our last interview with you in October 2012 things seem to have moved on a lot for you – can you give us a quick up-date please.

Oh gosh, let me think for a moment.

In October 2012 my second book, Under the Same Sun was released and I began writing The Rosewood Guitar, which I finished this March. It will be published in spring 2014. It’s the story of young Jon (before Naomi) and his way to fame.

In April this year, Under the Same Sun won the Silver Ippy Medal, and I began working on Waiting for a Song, the companion book to The Rosewood Guitar. It’s Naomi’s journal of the months before she meets Jon for the first time.

Now we’re releasing Song of the Storm, the  conclusion of  the Stone Trilogy.

I know – a lot of book titles, and maybe a bit confusing. But we’re moving very fast, my publisher and I. With a bit of luck there will be six Stone Series books published  by the end of 2014. Which means, six books in three years.

I clearly don’t do a lot  except write books.

You are now publishing the third book in your Stone Trilogy – would you like to tell us a little about it please?

Song of the Storm was, at least so far, the most difficult book for me to write.

The main part of the story revolves around Jon and Naomi finally finding calm waters. They have just finished a world tour with Jon’s band and are settling into the house in Brooklyn that Naomi gave Jon as a wedding present. They are busy staging a Broadway musical they wrote together, are expecting a baby, and Naomi has begun writing a novel. So there’s a lot going on, but all of it is really good, and feels like they are seeing their dreams for their life together coming true.

But looks can be deceiving, and life has another twist in the road for the Stone’s, but this one they will share with thousands of other New Yorkers.

When I was in New York City two years ago, visiting friends, we drove all over Manhattan. You can see the new Freedom Tower from nearly everywhere. It’s huge, and at that time, it was like a tall, black finger reaching for the clouds.

One day, driving down to Battery Park, I asked my friends where they’d been when the World Trade Center was attacked. Their answers were shocking, painful, startling. These were people I love, and they’d been there. I could see the memories and the pain on their faces as they talked to me.

I have my own memories of that day. Everyone has a memory of that day. It’s one of those days   you will never forget. Ask anyone and they’ll be able to tell you where they were that day,  who they were with, and what they were doing.

When I first told my publisher that I wanted to include  9/11 in the conclusion of the trilogy, she wasn’t  crazy about the idea but we talked for a while, and then she said, “Do it. I trust you.”

So I made the Stones and their friends and families live through that day: some watch from far away, some are there, and others see it happen from Brooklyn.

My friends’ stories are the stories my characters tell. Some of them  almost verbatim.

Many congratulations on your second Independent Publisher’s Book Award. What difference do you think winning such an award makes to your career as a writer?

Thank you! I love those heavy medals, they have spots of honor over my desk.

The IPPY Award is an important award, a big thing if you’re published by a relatively small house. For the publisher, it means prestige and the confirmation that they’ve signed the right author, I think.

For me as an author, on a very personal level, it means security. Winning those two awards for my first two books means I’m on the right path. I can go on writing the way I do. It’s a kind of validation I guess you’d say.

And it made my publisher very happy!

How is life different now to how it was, say, two years ago before you published your first book?

The one thing that’s very important to me is that my own attitude toward my writing has changed. Back then I was working on my first novel, The Distant Shore, and I felt like a thief: I was stealing time from my family, my household, from what I felt I should be doing. I kept apologizing to my family for not having lunch ready on time, or not having ironed their shirts. My husband was actually very relaxed and cool about it. He never doubted for one moment that I’d find a publisher.

Now that I do have a publisher (Buddhapuss Ink) and see my books wining awards,it’s a lot easier to take that time to write. I’ve made it my job. It’s what I do: I’m an author. Life here at home has subtly changed: chores are more evenly distributed, and I don’t feel guilty anymore if lunch is late now and then.

That’s the most important change for me: I’ve accepted that I’m a professional at what I do.

Outside of writing what do you really enjoy doing? Do you have any non-writing ambitions?

Goodness, no. I’ve written three books in two years. Actually, three and a half, besides doing everything else that comes with this job, like guest blogging, promoting, marketing, blog hopping, tweeting and so on. There’s not a lot of room for anything else.

I like to knit, and I love watching some TV shows, like Criminal Minds, Law & Order, Bones. I’m also an avid Trekkie, and we own the Battlestar Galactica complete seasons box.

And I love traveling! The past two years I’ve been to the US twice, to visit my publisher and Facebook and twitter friends. It’s a great experience, traveling on my own. I never knew I was capable of doing that.

Your writing is loved by many different kinds of people all over the world but who do think your typical reader might be?

My typical reader is female, between twenty-five and ninety (or older), and generally well read. There are some men who really enjoy my books. A male friend from NYC said the other day that he’d “rather read Kobras than Tolkien” which is a staggering compliment.

I know I’ve disappointed some readers who bought my books and expected more steaminess, since they are labeled as “Contemporary Romance”.

Do you remember the movie “Sleepless in Seattle”? It was called one of the most romantic movies of all times, and there wasn’t even a kiss in it, let alone naked skin.

So yes, it’s possible to write romance and leave the bedroom to the reader’s imagination.

Do you keep your readers in mind when you write and what difference does that make to your writing?

I do keep my readers in mind, but I write where the stories take me.

There’s an old writers’ rule: write to please yourself. If you start writing to please readers you’re lost. I believe that to be true. To write your best you need to write with passion, make your own blood sing. If you can do that, readers will feel it.

I know I write best when I’m very happy, when my world is at peace.

When I’ve just had a lovely chat with my publisher, or listened to an inspiring piece of music. Twice now I have started writing novels on the couch in living rooms of friends, once in Washington DC and once in Jersey City.

You hear lots of writers talk about writer’s block. What keeps your creative juices flowing – what is your secret?

Writer’s block. There’s no such thing as writer’s block.

Let me rephrase that: I believe when you get stuck, your instinct is trying to tell you something. Either the story is going in a wrong direction, you picked the wrong format – whatever. Writer’s block is when you get bored with your own writing, and that’s a sure sign that others will find it boring, too. Go back two steps. Have the guts to delete a paragraph, a chapter, or all that you’ve written, and start again.

It’s only words. There are more where those came from.

When I get to that spot, I step away from the writing. Let it stew for a couple of days. I don’t even actively think about it. Sometimes I talk to my editor about it, and she often comes up with questions or ideas that will solve the problem for me.

The most important thing is to trust your instincts. Your subconscious knows better than your brain.

I suspect many of your female readers may feel just a little in love with your hero, Jon Stone, can you tell us a little about how you came to create him?

No, I won’t. That is one secret I’ll keep forever and ever. Not even my publisher and editor know about that.

That is disappointing but I understand!  Now that your trilogy is complete, what are your future plans as a writer and how would you like things to develop?

As I mentioned before I’ve finished a new Stone Series book, called The Rosewood Guitar, Jon’s Story. Right now I’m working on Naomi’s story—Waiting for a Song.

After that, I’ll return to the older Stones and continue their story. After living through 9/11 they retreat to Canada, where Naomi’s family lives.

Each of them has their own demon to battle:

where does the music and inspiration go when the soul is shattered?

I plan to write seven books about the Stones. What will happen after that I don’t know. One thing is certain though: I’m definitely not done with the Stones just yet, and I’m not thinking of switching publishers. I’m very happy where I am.

I want to thank you, Wendy, for hosting me today. I’ve enjoyed doing this interview with you. Thanks too to my readers, I hope we can share many more happy hours together in the future.

Thank you Mariam – you are a great subject for an interview and I love your books

This was the fourth stop on Mariam’s Blog Hop. For a chance to win a copy of her book, or other great prizes, please check the Buddhapus Ink blog

Tomorrow Mariam’s book, Song of the Storm, will be reviewed by Daria di Giovanni. We hope we see you there!

How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

 How You Can Make Studying Suit You With Distance Learning

The current financial upheaval has caused no end of headaches for millions of people across the country. Unemployment and underemployment have remained stubbornly high, with the number of vacancies far lower than the number of people out of work or looking for a full-time role. With the situation in the Eurozone still causing many concerns and consumer demand sluggish at home, it seems as if there’s little prospect of a rapid turnaround in economic conditions. However hopeless things might appear, though, there is an alternative. A change of career could be just the answer you’ve been looking for, helping you get out of your own personal cul-de-sac. The question, of course, is how to go about taking up a new profession.

The ability to learn new skills is a valuable trait and can help you keep pushing on to new heights in your working life. Not only does it show employers that you’re willing to push yourself if you feel you need to, but it can also be rewarding for you – both financially and otherwise. However, the recent increase in student fees are likely to act as a major deterrent to those thinking of taking up a campus-based course. What’s more, full-time university or college courses simply aren’t an option for a lot of people. Many of us have existing work and family commitments to consider. Simply quitting your job to go into full-time education comes with a lot of risks attached, and if you have children to look after, you may find that this kind of arrangement simply isn’t flexible enough.

There is, fortunately, another way. Distance learning courses provide you with the opportunity to boost your knowledge and learn new skills, without disrupting the rest of your routine. You can learn in your own time, so you needn’t worry about your studying commitments conflicting with your job. Home learning has proven very popular over the last few years, and it isn’t hard to see why. The convenience and affordability offered by these courses makes them a great choice for anyone considering a change of career, but wary of taking the risks and incurring the costs associated with full-time, campus-based education.

By choosing to take a distance learning course, you can choose how and when you want to study. You can learn over the weekend instead of having to cram it in after work through the week, or whenever else happens to suit you. The key to home learning is that it puts you in control. There are no tutors breathing down your neck, and you don’t have to worry about having to stick to a rigid timetable of seminars and lectures.

Furthermore, distance learning can be particularly useful for those students who are perhaps a little socially anxious and feel they don’t work as well in face-to-face tutorials. There’s less social pressure involved – on campus-based courses, it’s easy to feel somewhat intimidated by other students who you perceive to be more comfortable than you when it comes to learning a particular subject. Distance learning courses also provide you with all the assistance you’ll need to get the right results.

If you’re thinking of distance learning, then consider NCC Home Learning where you’ll find an extensive list of courses suitable for your needs.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer 

Distance Learning Courses

Distance Learning Courses

How You Can Make Studying Suit You

The current financial upheaval has caused no end of headaches for millions of people across the country. Unemployment and underemployment have remained stubbornly high, with the number of vacancies far lower than the number of people out of work or looking for a full-time role. With the situation in the Eurozone still causing many concerns and consumer demand sluggish at home, it seems as if there’s little prospect of a rapid turnaround in economic conditions. However hopeless things might appear, though, there is an alternative. A change of career could be just the answer you’ve been looking for, helping you get out of your own personal cul-de-sac. The question, of course, is how to go about taking up a new profession.

The ability to learn new skills is a valuable trait and can help you keep pushing on to new heights in your working life. Not only does it show employers that you’re willing to push yourself if you feel you need to, but it can also be rewarding for you – both financially and otherwise. However, the recent increase in student fees are likely to act as a major deterrent to those thinking of taking up a campus-based course. What’s more, full-time university or college courses simply aren’t an option for a lot of people. Many of us have existing work and family commitments to consider. Simply quitting your job to go into full-time education comes with a lot of risks attached, and if you have children to look after, you may find that this kind of arrangement simply isn’t flexible enough.

There is, fortunately, another way. Distance learning courses provide you with the opportunity to boost your knowledge and learn new skills, without disrupting the rest of your routine. You can learn in your own time, so you needn’t worry about your studying commitments conflicting with your job. Home learning has proven very popular over the last few years, and it isn’t hard to see why. The convenience and affordability offered by these courses makes them a great choice for anyone considering a change of career, but wary of taking the risks and incurring the costs associated with full-time, campus-based education.

By choosing to take a distance learning course, you can choose how and when you want to study. You can learn over the weekend instead of having to cram it in after work through the week, or whenever else happens to suit you. The key to home learning is that it puts you in control. There are no tutors breathing down your neck, and you don’t have to worry about having to stick to a rigid timetable of seminars and lectures.

Furthermore, distance learning can be particularly useful for those students who are perhaps a little socially anxious and feel they don’t work as well in face-to-face tutorials. There’s less social pressure involved – on campus-based courses, it’s easy to feel somewhat intimidated by other students who you perceive to be more comfortable than you when it comes to learning a particular subject. Distance learning courses also provide you with all the assistance you’ll need to get the right results.

If you’re thinking of distance learning, then consider NCC Home Learning where you’ll find an extensive list of courses suitable for your needs.

Wendy is the The Career Coach – helping you to find fresh perspectives on your Job Search and Career. She helps you work towards your goals and aspirations, in a way that fits in with both work and home life. Email her at wendymason@wisewolfcoaching.com,  find her on Skype at wendymason14, or call +44 (0) 2081239146 (02081239146 for UK callers) or +1 262 317 9016 if you are in the US.

Book a free trial/consultation to try phone coaching from the comfort of your own home and without risk. Don’t forget to ask about the Summer Special Offer