Communication Is Key

Happy Sunday, ladies,

I'll be announcing our venue for the upcoming meetup this week and hope to see you all at our April 5th meetup. It'll be a great chance to share your progress and concerns, and learn from each other.

If you recall from an earlier post, Kelly Hoey taught us that everything we do is networking. If you take that further, everything we share is communication.

Whether an email, your resume, a blog post, an interview, or even a chance encounter, they all involve communication and when you're trying to make a good impression, it's not only what you say but how you say it. There are many good books on the topic and I summarized one a while back for Actionable Books, but it also takes practice and preparation.

Do you know what you're looking for? Your strengths? Do you have an "elevator pitch" ready if someone asks what you're doing and/or looking for? If you don't know or can't articulate this clearly, people won't be able to help you.

We will be starting our April 5th meetup with everyone introducing themselves and why they're transitioning, so this will be a good opportunity to practice your story. And since practice is important and does make it easier, please join us for this safe practice opportunity.

Until next time,

Managing Your Time Well Is Critical

Happy Sunday, ladies,

I just emailed everyone asking for help finding a new venue and wanted to repeat that request here. If we can't find a good venue to host us, we'll have to meet at a quiet cafe and although that's great—and I won't have to bring food—it's not conducive to guest speakers or panels.

Since I'm juggling two part-time jobs, a few smaller jobs, and two meetups, I've been spending a lot of time organizing, prioritizing, and just thinking of the best way to manage my time. And regardless of the cliche you prefer (whether time is money, your most valuable resource, etc.), we can all agree that how we spend our time is critical not only to our success, but also to our energy and overall mood.

Instead of scrambling from task/job to the next, hoping you don't forget anything critical, it's best to list everything coming up. Whether you prefer to do it in a to-do list app, on paper, in a bullet list, or your calendar, make sure you're not keeping it in your head, since that's a huge drain on our limited mental bandwidth.

I personally am using a combination of tools. I've blocked off chunks of time on my calendar so I'm sure I have enough time for each of my clients, and then tasks associated with each go into a productivity/task management app. Currently my favorite is NirvanaHQ, which is based on David Allen's GTD (Getting Things Done) system. I've used many others both personally and professionally, but this is what's working for me now.

Another thing important to keep in mind when organizing and prioritizing is your personal energy rhythms. When are you at your sharpest? If you're a morning/evening person, that's when you should be doing the more challenging tasks and save the easier ones for when you're not so mentally alert. A great book that lists these and other productivity tips is The Daily Edge by David Horsager. (My blog post highlights some of my favorite takeaways from his book.)

For all of you job searching, working on your side hustles, or figuring out what your next career transition will be, your time is probably spread thin between whatever pays your bills currently (or finding something to pay those bills) and the other responsibilities you have. As we heard from our panelists, it's critical to give yourself time to recharge and to think and plan, so let's talk about this topic and how we can better manage our time and energy at our 4/5 meetup.

I'd love to hear what's working or not working for you, so feel free to share either here or on our Facebook group.

Until next time!

Tips from Our Expert Panel

Happy Sunday, ladies,

I hope you've all remembered to set your clocks one hour forward, although ironically our weather is feeling anything but spring-like.

And it was great seeing those of you who could make it to our Wednesday expert panel. I've messaged everyone our panelists' contact info and also posted it on the meetup page and our Facebook group.

They were kind enough to share three tips for those of you who could not join us, and I've also shared one memorable takeaway per panelist (see below).

Avery's Tips

  • Give yourself room to unplug from your previous job, get quiet, and begin to listen to what you really want.
  • Work with a coach for structure, accountability, a conclusive direction, and to accelerate your journey.
  • See this process as part of your growth and cherish it. You are moving toward the best version of yourself. Believe that what you desire is possible and take small steps every day, and you will soon see results. 

Patty's Tips

  • Fear is there to protect you. It doesn't care if you have a meaningful life. When you feel it, ask "What are you protecting me from? Are you helping me in my mission?"
  • Don't make stuff up to worry about. Life is too short to have imaginary, vicarious, outdated or irrelevant fears. Let them go.
  • Question your gut. If it sounds like my Chinese mother, it's fear talking, not your true self. Thank your fear, then put yourself in charge.

Kelly's Tips
  • Life is short. Always remember you can be, do and have whatever it is that you want in life, if you are willing to work hard, be dedicated, be patient and persistent.
  • Your mindset is powerful, every situation is not happening to you it is happening FOR you. Ask yourself what is the opportunity in this moment and/or situation? What can I learn from this?
  • If you don't ask the answer is always "NO." Always ask for what you want because there is a 50% chance you will get what you are asking for, and keep trying until you get a YES!

My Takeaways
  • From Avery: first "flare" to capture all the possibilities than focus based on your north star and values and give yourself time to decide on change.
  • From Patty: determine whether you're dealing with fear (real), anxiety (imagination of future), or stress (feeling overwhelmed). Deal with the fear, prioritize to deal with stress, and settle your imagination to deal with anxiety.
  • From Kelly: find balance with a power hour that's all about you and keep believing.

Lot's of great food for thought and for those who attended, would love to hear what resonated with you.

Until next time,

Make Time for Recharging

Happy Sunday, ladies,

For those who have not RSVP'd for Wednesday, it's not too late to do so and you won't want to miss all the great tips our expert panelists have to share with us.

And I hope you all had a good week. Mine was good but unusual in that I actually read more fiction than nonfiction, which was much needed. And this reminded me of an important lesson.

Change is tough and takes its toll. We all know this but do we recognize how it effects all of us who are going through a major change? Do we make the time to take a break and recharge?

Since we don't know how long our career transitions will take, nor where this journey will lead us, we need to treat this as a marathon instead of a sprint (I borrowed this phrase but can't remember from whom).

In other words, pace yourself. Find the balance. Recharge. Don't lose track of who you are and the things and people that inspire you to keep going. Don't forget to exercise, eat well, sleep, read...or whatever it is that you need to refuel for the journey ahead.

And with us nearly ready to "spring forward," more sunlight will hopefully help us recharge too.

Until next time,