Thankful For the Life I Lead

by on November 22, 2017

Thankful For the Life I Lead

It is normal that when individuals release their Thanksgiving blog, they list all the things for which they are thankful in their life. While that is very understandable, as often we tend to dwell on the troubling things of life and overlook our blessings, I wanted to avoid that approach. Truth be told, I am actually composing this blog about one month before Thanksgiving. So, the thoughts I am about to share, I have lived 365 days a year for the last several years.

First, I should just be thankful to be alive. I know that sounds dramatic, but I know my own Father did not live past 53 years of age. I inherited many of the same physical characteristics as he. That includes arteries to the heart that tend to get clogged with plaque, cutting off blood flow. That physical makeup ultimately led my Father to a massive heart attack. And, while my artery issues emerged short of my 44th birthday 18 years ago, (OK, you do the math), I was fortunate to be born 30 years later than he. Medical procedures such as angioplasty have allowed me to have 6 separate procedures which have had 13 stents placed in me over that time. And, because of those procedures, medicine to control blood pressure and plaque levels, and doctors who regularly monitor me, I am able to lead the daily life I do.

The life that I lead is possible because of a 30 year career at a corporation that allowed me to have a pension at this time of my life, medical benefits in retirement, and to put money away for my retirement in a savings plan. That same firm provided outplacement services for me when I was let go from them, and those services were the ones that directly led to the suggestion that I should consider “coaching” as my next career. That led to me studying for my certification and being in a career that now is in its 9th year and which continues to be something I love doing.

Moving from a corporate career exposed me to different styles of working and living. I so much more understand the world of the entrepreneur, connecting with other people who work similar styles and that while there are benefits in working for larger firms, there are also advantages in working for smaller firms or for yourself. At a time that many people my age bemoan those that are younger than they, or don’t understand the mindsets and values of the generations that come after them, I find myself more open to accepting those differences. I may not incorporate all those changes into the way I live my life, but I’m respected for not knocking those from different generations that do. In fact, I have found some of my most favorite conversations have come in connecting with those from different generations or cultures and just respecting them as individuals, and asking them their opinions on different topics so as to increase my education.

Additionally the changes in my life, (career, remarriage, moving to a different community), have gotten me to know people from cultures and countries all over the world. I have been in a position to help them understand both culture of the country of my birth, but the particular part of the country where I have always lived. They have felt comfortable sharing with me their insecurities, (mastering the English language, being concerned that their cultural approach may offend some in their new country), but my also assuring them that they have done nothing wrong and just to be aware of those cultural differences.

And, while I may not be up to date on the latest celebrities, television programs, popular trends, etc., I am probably more conversant on a wider range of subjects than I have ever been. Most of that is due to the research that a Career Coach and Acclimation Consultant role that I do has introduced into my life, and from the fascinating backgrounds of the clients and people I meet. Most of all I have no desire to really change any of it, but instead just to build on this same lifestyle that is a part of my everyday life. So, as we approach Thanksgiving Day 2017, I realize that what I am most thankful for, I get to live every single day.

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Dealing with “The Lull”

by on November 8, 2017

Dealing with “The Lull”

October, 2017 was a very stressful month for me. While every month has its different high points or low points, for quite some time the pattern has been my career coaching business drives my weeks and then everything falls into place after that. However, October challenged my training and make-up as a coach to be there as support person, listener and counselor for two people very close and dear to me. One is my wife, whose Mother passed away after a long time of needing care from her children and caretakers. The other is my sister who has seen her husband in and out of the hospital twice, suffer a near death experience, and go through a number of medical changes in his condition throughout the month.

In both instances I do not dare compare the stress I was under to my wife and sister. My stress was made up of making sure I was there for each of them as they needed me, and at the same time be respectful to the appointments and commitments that I had made toward my business commitments throughout the month. For my sister, her trials continue to go on, as her husband is scheduled to have a necessary medical procedure in early November. For my wife, she has gone through feelings of “what is next” for me, after having her schedule dictated by her commitment to be there for her Mother as needed, (a commitment she shared with her siblings). And, I myself, as I sat down to compose this month’s blog had actually hit a few day “lull” in my schedule asking myself, “Of the items that I have put aside, or not paid as much attention to as I normally would, which one(s) should I focus on first?” I could actually feel my body “sigh” as I determined which items to address first as the feeling of being on “constant alert” had momentarily passed.

I expected my wife would go through this type of feeling and period, (and know she will for several months to come). My own experience with death of a close loved one in 2006 left that lasting lesson with me. But, I did not count on me experiencing similar feelings. I actually do see many going through this feeling frequently in my life. Remember, I am a “Job Search Strategy Coach.” Those who come to me may come to me of their own free will, when they may not be happy in the job they are currently performing, or even when they are happy but are preparing for that next career step. But, a number of others often come to me “reluctantly” when referred to me by friends after they have lost a job. For those who do, especially if they have been at that job or company for a large number of years, the loss of that job is “a death like experience” to them. And, knowing what to do next, or even questioning if the step I am taking next is the right one, is one of the biggest challenges they face.

So, how do I deal with this “lull” in my schedule? For me it has given me some quiet time to write my monthly reflections which translate into my monthly blogs and newsletter. I go back to my list of clients and see which ones I have not spoken to for a while, send an email or make a phone call to reconnect and check in. I review the notes I have made from recent or last sessions and identify the follow up items I may have promised to send and send them on. As I drive my weekly life from an electronic calendar that captures my coaching business and major activity items, I’ll review the recent weeks to reestablish when actual meetings took place. (Sometimes it is ironic to find that something that seemed to happen so long ago was not as many days as I felt given all I was balancing).

Most of all, I ask forgiveness from those who may depend on me. I try to be there to meet their needs. And, usually I’m actually quite good at that. But, even I need time to manage the periods that seem out of control and those that are the “down times” that seem to have no direction, and get things back on a track that will become the regular course that helps direct my life.

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The “Committed Client”

October 25, 2017

The “Committed Client” As anyone else, I feel great when a client that I have worked with succeeds in their job search. Job search has always been, and will always be, a difficult process. Even the most skilled and qualified individuals can have searches that go on for months. If I had to define one […]

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Don’t Be Afraid to Ask

October 11, 2017

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask I recently attended an international conference of fellow coaching professionals in Washington D.C. The event was an opportunity for each attendee to re-energize themselves in terms of their knowledge and add to the tools they would have to share with their clients. The keynote speaker for the event was Hal […]

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They’re Not Obligated to Help

September 27, 2017

They’re Not Obligated to Help One bit of advice that a person who enters job search transition is likely to hear early in the process is the importance of networking with others. With statistics showing that as many as 80% of job positions landed are the result of some sort of networking connection, it certainly […]

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