Where is the Silver Lining?

Where is the Silver Lining?

It’s Thanksgiving week so it seems like the perfect time to talk about gratitude.  There is a lot of research within the past decade about the benefits of gratitude.  Let’s first level set on the definition of gratitude -- “the quality of being thankful.” Many of the clients with whom I work are looking for new jobs, different jobs, or jobs that allow them to do more of what they love.  But finding that dream job does not occur overnight.  It takes time, a bit of patience, and a lot of persistence.  Ultimately, it leads to a payoff that yields thankfulness.  But what’s a person to do during the time he is looking for that more ideal role?  How do you stay motivated while making the play for your long-term goal?  It all begins with gratitude. A study by Robert A. Emmons and Mike McCullough found that people who focus on gratitude felt better about their lives as a whole and were 25% happier than people who focused on the negative.  So that means there is a whole lot to be said for finding the joy in the work you are doing each day while you are looking to make a transition. What does your level of gratitude look like when you think of your “daily grind”?  How can you focus more on the things and the people for whom you are thankful?  This does not mean you should stop pursuing work that aligns more clearly with your natural gifts.  It just means that you should look for the silver lining where you are while you are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps clients uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

It’s Thanksgiving week so it seems like the perfect time to talk about gratitude.  There is a lot of research within the past decade about the benefits of gratitude.  Let’s first level set on the definition of gratitude -- “the quality of being thankful.”

Many of the clients with whom I work are looking for new jobs, different jobs, or jobs that allow them to do more of what they love.  But finding that dream job does not occur overnight.  It takes time, a bit of patience, and a lot of persistence.  Ultimately, it leads to a payoff that yields thankfulness. 

But what’s a person to do during the time he is looking for that more ideal role?  How do you stay motivated while making the play for your long-term goal?  It all begins with gratitude.

A study by Robert A. Emmons and Mike McCullough found that people who focus on gratitude felt better about their lives as a whole and were 25% happier than people who focused on the negative.  So that means there is a whole lot to be said for finding the joy in the work you are doing each day while you are looking to make a transition.

What does your level of gratitude look like when you think of your “daily grind”?  How can you focus more on the things and the people for whom you are thankful? 

This does not mean you should stop pursuing work that aligns more clearly with your natural gifts.  It just means that you should look for the silver lining where you are while you are looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professionals who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps clients uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professionals from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

Want to be as Successful as Oprah?

Want to be as Successful as Oprah?

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What do you think of when you hear mission statement?  Most people say it sounds very corporate, something that organizations do to share their vision.  What comes to mind when you hear “personal mission statement”?

Michael Goodman says a personal mission statement is “an articulation of what you’re all about and what success looks like to you.”  It is what is important to you, but it goes a step beyond just what is important.  Your personal mission statement carries with it a tremendous power and strength. 

You are probably thinking, “OK, Lesley.  What can a personal mission statement really do for me?”  It can direct your current career.  It can guide your long-term career journey.  It can ensure your legacy.

Here are some examples that may resonate with you as you think about the individual these statements belong to:

“To be a teacher.  And to be known for inspiring my students to be more than they thought they could be.”               -- Oprah

“To help people find hope after loss.”            --Dr. Gloria Horsely (renown grief counselor)

“To unlock the gifts in others so they can live out their mission.”                   -- Lesley O’Rourke

Writing a mission statement often conjures up images of a long, tedious process.  However, it does not need to be so.  I have a simple formula that will help you pull it together:

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Once you uncover your God-given gifts, the strengths that are inherent to who you are, and pair those with your values, the things that are of utmost importance to you in your life, you have all of the pieces needed to assemble your personal mission statement. 

That’s right – you have all of the foundational necessities to become as successful as Oprah!  She is an amazing example of someone who zeroed in on her gifts and values and then executed against them.  And you can do the same!

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  If you are ready to create your personal mission statement and take action on living it out, contact Lesley here for a free live call to get you started.

Don’t Just Follow Along

Don’t Just Follow Along

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Music holds a special place in my life. Each member of my family loves music in his or her own way. My daughter and I are the two who are currently preparing for an event in the upcoming weeks.  She is preparing songs for a piano recital while I am learning a classical song for a special event at our church.

Tonight, my daughter asked me to listen to her play her two recital pieces. She knows both of the songs fairly well; however, there are points within each song where she does not know exactly where her fingers should go next.

As a singer, I can totally relate to this. As I am learning this new song, I have been singing it with a recording to better learn my harmony part. A few days ago though I started singing it on my own without the recording. That is when it became very apparent that there were some sections I just did not know as well as others.  I did not know where my voice should go next.

Marching along a career journey can be the same way.  You are going along focused on what you need to get done that day.  Then, something makes you stop.  That’s when you realize that you have been following along but are uncertain what step you should take next.

Life is short.  Stop just following along.  Map out your plan.  Know your next step.  Only you can share your unique gift with the world.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST.

Three Ways Pumpkin Carving is Like Coaching

Three Ways Pumpkin Carving is Like Coaching

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A tradition in many American homes in October is pumpkin carving, and it is certainly the same in our house.  As my family carved pumpkins this year, I couldn’t help but see the similarities between pumpkin carving and the coaching process.  I know…it seems like a strange metaphor.  Stick with me and see what you think:

1 – Cleaning Out

Before you can start carving a pumpkin, you have to create an opening.  Once the top is off, you can roll up your sleeves and start the really messy job of taking everything that is inside out, clearing out all of the stuff that is not needed. 

The same process happens when you begin working with a coach.  An opening is created as the client and coach begin discussing what the client’s goals are.  Then, both parties dig in to discover what’s been holding the client back.  They get down to cleaning out and creating space for something new and beautiful.

2 – The Design

Pumpkin carving designs have come a long way since I was a kid.  My biggest decision was how to shape the mouth of my jack-o-lantern – should I include teeth or not, did I want a friendly looking smile or something a little more spooky.  Today’s designs are much more intricate.  I am amazed at some of the creations I see! 

In coaching, the client partners with the coach to share how she plans to create forward momentum in her career and in her life.  For some clients, the design is straightforward; for others, it is slightly more complex. 

3 – Carving

The act of carving requires time, patience, and a variety of tools.  It starts with the small tool that dots the design outline on the pumpkin.  These small holes form a clear path for the miniature knife that connects the dots to generate the picture you are aiming for.  Deep cuts open the pumpkin for light to shine all the way through while shallow cuts provide additional details and nuances to round out the image. 

When clients take action towards their goals, they are carving out new spaces in their lives.  Sometimes the action steps are large, sweeping moves, and other times the action steps are smaller, more subtle changes that bring greater clarity and refinement to their aspirations. 

So, you made it through all three similarities.  I hope I inspired you to clean out, design, and carve for your future.  As amazing as jack-o-lanterns are, think about how much more amazing the changes are that you can make in your life with coaching.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST

The Legacy in Service

The Legacy in Service

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My kids are required to earn service hours each quarter through their school. Our family is often involved in community service, but I really like how the school requirement has helped my children expand their view of how to serve other people.

A few weekends ago they volunteered with Stop Hunger Now and packed over 10,000 bags of food to be shipped to people in the African country of Burkina Faso. My son also volunteers once a month in the baby and toddler room at our church. Earlier this year my daughter made meals for two families who had welcomed new babies. I love seeing how they are being formed so early to recognize that their mission in life is so closely tied to serving others.

I am currently working with a professional mom who is exploring an advancement opportunity in her career path. She is most excited about how this new role will allow her to serve others even more than in her current role. When we first began working together, I asked her to share with me what her gifts are.  Serving was one of her top 5!  As she shared with me details about this new work opportunity, it was apparent that the job aligns with her gifts and with her values.  I am excited to see where this path takes her and how she is able to touch others’ lives through her service.

In the grand scheme of things, life is very short.  Our impact in this life is tied to the lives of those around us.  Live in your gifts and live out your mission. 

What legacy will you leave behind as you serve through you work?

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Sign up here for Lesley’s free webinar on Creating Your Personal Mission Statement on November 9 at 8pm EST.

Three Benefits of Leveraging Your Network

Three Benefits of Leveraging Your Network

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Earlier in my career I viewed networking as salesy, uncomfortable, and not worth my energy. Was I ever wrong! It took me some time to come around to accepting networking.  Now, not only do I enjoy networking, but I recommend it consistently to others.

Here are the key benefits that lie in networking that I have discovered in my 20-year career:

1) The power of serving.

There have been countless times where I have been able to connect one person from my network with another person from my network so they could explore mutual interests and work opportunities.

2) The Power of innovation.

I'm sure you have heard the saying that there are no new ideas. While that may have some truth to that, I do believe we can bring innovation into our work by learning from what others are doing. Their ideas spark new ways of applying something similar within our own work.

3) The power of mentorship.

On numerous occasions I have reached out to individuals within my network to tap into their area of expertise. Many times, these are short-term mentorships, but I have also gained much from long-term mentorships as well.

What benefits have you gained from expanding and leveraging your network?

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The Little Known Secret to Career Creativity

The Little Known Secret to Career Creativity

You push yourself to give your best to your work even when it means skipping out on your exercise time to take care of an urgent issue.  You extend (and often overextend) yourself to care for your family; you put aside reading that book you’ve been eyeing to help your daughter with her school project.  You say yes and volunteer for worthy, impactful activities within your community and often miss out on your down time at night to finish up a project you took on to help out your church ministry.  And at the end of the week, you find yourself “done”.  Can you relate to this?  Do any of these sound like they came straight from your life last week?  While I think of myself as a guru at time management, I often find that I have sacrificed time for myself in order to get everything else done.  Even though the majority of those to-do’s are ones that I have a keen interest in completing, I still need to carve out time for myself. Over these last 10 days I have made some small changes to correct for this.  No, I did not find some magic answer for creating more time within one day.  I did, however, look for pockets of down time that I have either wasted or used for low-priority activities and capitalized on that time for me.  I heard someone say that we need to re-create our energy.  Taking a walk, especially in a place where there is natural landscape, gives me physical energy and allows my brain time to refuel on creativity.  I have also picked up a few books to read simply for the pleasure of reading, not for learning.  Both of these self-care activities have been a welcomed changed to my normal routine, and I plan to keep them in my schedule.  Self-care replenishes, refreshes, and revitalizes us.  Spending just a few minutes a day on yourself allows you to serve others and live out your mission in life.  So, while you are working to further your career, make time to pour back into yourself.  It will pay off in more ways than you can imagine. Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

You push yourself to give your best to your work even when it means skipping out on your exercise time to take care of an urgent issue.  You extend (and often overextend) yourself to care for your family; you put aside reading that book you’ve been eyeing to help your daughter with her school project.  You say yes and volunteer for worthy, impactful activities within your community and often miss out on your down time at night to finish up a project you took on to help out your church ministry.  And at the end of the week, you find yourself “done”. 

Can you relate to this?  Do any of these sound like they came straight from your life last week?  While I think of myself as a guru at time management, I often find that I have sacrificed time for myself in order to get everything else done.  Even though the majority of those to-do’s are ones that I have a keen interest in completing, I still need to carve out time for myself.

Over these last 10 days I have made some small changes to correct for this.  No, I did not find some magic answer for creating more time within one day.  I did, however, look for pockets of down time that I have either wasted or used for low-priority activities and capitalized on that time for me.  I heard someone say that we need to re-create our energy.  Taking a walk, especially in a place where there is natural landscape, gives me physical energy and allows my brain time to refuel on creativity.  I have also picked up a few books to read simply for the pleasure of reading, not for learning.  Both of these self-care activities have been a welcomed changed to my normal routine, and I plan to keep them in my schedule. 

Self-care replenishes, refreshes, and revitalizes us.  Spending just a few minutes a day on yourself allows you to serve others and live out your mission in life.  So, while you are working to further your career, make time to pour back into yourself.  It will pay off in more ways than you can imagine.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Warning: Milestones are Approaching!

Warning: Milestones are Approaching!

We had a BIG milestone in my home this week with celebratory cake and ice cream.  My oldest became a teenager!  The typical signs have been there indicating that this was coming.  Those of you who have teenagers in the house know exactly what I am speaking of – the growth spurt, the change in attitude, the desire for more independence.  Milestones like this one are momentous and often a cause for consideration on what has happened in your life leading up to this point.  We spent time remembering the birth of our son and sharing some special memories of his childhood with him.  There were also passing comments on the fact that he would be driving within 3 years and going off to school in just 5 years.  I know it’s coming, but I’m NOT ready to think about either of those just yet! I had the honor this week of working with a professional who also has a milestone birthday this year.  She was reflecting on where she is in her career and life at this time in comparison with where she thought she would be.  While her path has been unconventional, she has gained amazing experiences at each stop along the way.  She is currently recognizing how to use her unique gifts to craft the direction of her career journey as she moves forward.  It is exciting to see how many options she has available to her, and I am thrilled to partner with her as she narrows those options and designs her own map to define her steps in making it a reality.   We all have milestones approaching in our lives.  How are you preparing to celebrate yours and continue your journey forward? Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

We had a BIG milestone in my home this week with celebratory cake and ice cream.  My oldest became a teenager!  The typical signs have been there indicating that this was coming.  Those of you who have teenagers in the house know exactly what I am speaking of – the growth spurt, the change in attitude, the desire for more independence.  Milestones like this one are momentous and often a cause for consideration on what has happened in your life leading up to this point.  We spent time remembering the birth of our son and sharing some special memories of his childhood with him.  There were also passing comments on the fact that he would be driving within 3 years and going off to school in just 5 years.  I know it’s coming, but I’m NOT ready to think about either of those just yet!

I had the honor this week of working with a professional who also has a milestone birthday this year.  She was reflecting on where she is in her career and life at this time in comparison with where she thought she would be.  While her path has been unconventional, she has gained amazing experiences at each stop along the way.  She is currently recognizing how to use her unique gifts to craft the direction of her career journey as she moves forward.  It is exciting to see how many options she has available to her, and I am thrilled to partner with her as she narrows those options and designs her own map to define her steps in making it a reality.  

We all have milestones approaching in our lives.  How are you preparing to celebrate yours and continue your journey forward?

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Are you striving or thriving?

Are you striving or thriving?

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Recently, I had a session scheduled with a client for 8 p.m. Typically, this time has worked out well for me and for my family. However, on this particular night my toddler was not settling in for sleep. At 7:59 as I was trying to dial the phone, he came running out of his room. I reassured him that I was still close by but had promised to help someone that night and needed to honor that promise. He just started with small whimpers that I anticipated would grow into actual cries. I could feel the tension and almost panic creeping in as I began to frantically think through my options. My husband was out at work so I knew I was on my own. 

Suddenly, I recognized how much I was striving in that moment. That's when I stopped for just a second and recognized that I had done everything I could possibly do to make the night calm for my son and to set myself up to be fully present for my client. All I could do was trust that the work I had put in so far would be sufficient for the outcome needed. 

I ended up taking that client phone call from the hallway outside my toddler's bedroom. Sure I heard him singing to himself pretty loudly at one point, but he felt the security that he needed.  At the end of the call, my client had a breakthrough in identifying her next action steps towards advancing her career goals, and as I hung up the phone, I realized that my toddler had fallen asleep at some point along the way. 

When I stopped striving and trusted in the work and efforts that I had put forward, I began to thrive. That's true for so many of us, especially as working mothers. We find ourselves striving to be a great mom, a great wife, a great employee,. While I am a fan of continued growth and development, I also recognize the importance of pausing, taking stock of the work we have done to get to where we are, and simply trusting that these efforts will allow us thrive.

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Making the Leap!

Making the Leap!

Recently, I worked with a professional mom who felt confined by the type of work she was doing.  Her need for more flexibility and autonomy as well as a more innovative, dynamic work environment had created a stressful situation for her.  Here are the four steps in which I partnered with her to achieve her goal of finding employment that aligned with her core values: 1.     Identify your core values, the things that are truly non-negotiables for you. List the things that you have to have in order to make working work for you and your family.  It could be related to the amount of travel, the vacation time, the flexibility, etc.  Sure, we all want the ideal scenario; however, take the time to really discern what you need for your family life and your own personal self to flourish. 2.     Create a plan to get you there. When you have your list of core values, you may find that you are currently in a situation that encroaches upon those values.  If a specific salary is holding you to a position that you hate, work with a financial planner or coach to create a timeline and action items that will help you reach your money goals so you can transition to another role that offers greater personal satisfaction. 3.     Stay focused on your vision for yourself and your family.  You may not be able to make sweeping changes right away.  You have to rely on your determination and grit to follow the plan so that you can live out that vision you have created for yourself.  “The best things in life don't come easy, but those things are the ones worth the sacrifice” – Adriana Locke 4.     Live in alignment!  Once you reach your goal, you will find that your work is now in alignment with your core values.  This type of alignment leads to greater satisfaction and allows you to let go of that mommy guilt!  I am happy to say my client is no longer in the work environment that she found too constraining.  You too can reach this same feat with your career journey.  Take the first step so you too can make the leap!   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Recently, I worked with a professional mom who felt confined by the type of work she was doing.  Her need for more flexibility and autonomy as well as a more innovative, dynamic work environment had created a stressful situation for her.  Here are the four steps in which I partnered with her to achieve her goal of finding employment that aligned with her core values:

1.     Identify your core values, the things that are truly non-negotiables for you.

List the things that you have to have in order to make working work for you and your family.  It could be related to the amount of travel, the vacation time, the flexibility, etc.  Sure, we all want the ideal scenario; however, take the time to really discern what you need for your family life and your own personal self to flourish.

2.     Create a plan to get you there.

When you have your list of core values, you may find that you are currently in a situation that encroaches upon those values.  If a specific salary is holding you to a position that you hate, work with a financial planner or coach to create a timeline and action items that will help you reach your money goals so you can transition to another role that offers greater personal satisfaction.

3.     Stay focused on your vision for yourself and your family.  You may not be able to make sweeping changes right away.  You have to rely on your determination and grit to follow the plan so that you can live out that vision you have created for yourself.  “The best things in life don't come easy, but those things are the ones worth the sacrifice” – Adriana Locke

4.     Live in alignment!  Once you reach your goal, you will find that your work is now in alignment with your core values.  This type of alignment leads to greater satisfaction and allows you to let go of that mommy guilt! 

I am happy to say my client is no longer in the work environment that she found too constraining.  You too can reach this same feat with your career journey.  Take the first step so you too can make the leap!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Feeling stuck? Keep moving forward

Feeling stuck? Keep moving forward

It was 8 years ago when I felt a shift in my career journey.  I was in a job that I knew was not a long-term fit for me; however, it had allowed me time to adjust to being of mom of 2 kids without as much pressure as my previous role.  It had also allowed me time to get clarity on how I wanted to move forward with my career.  The only problem?  The work that I wanted to move into did not exist at that time within my organization.  In the past week, I have had the privilege of speaking with two working moms who are in similar situations.  Both are seeking more from their jobs, but they have found themselves in a position where the role they want is not currently available within their companies.  Yet, both of these amazing women are invested in their future possibilities and are determined to keep moving forward! Each one is taking a unique approach to leverage her network, showcase her abilities, and continue to grow towards that next opportunity.  The work each of these women is doing is setting herself apart and making her the most likely candidate when that role she is seeking opens up.  Eight years ago, I could not have imagined what my life would look like today.  I did not know that another baby would be born within our family.  I did not know that my faith would deepen and grow the way it has. I did not know that I would open my own coaching business.  Yet, the steps I took to expand my professional network, to invest in my skills, and to continue pursuing the work I love has yielded more than I thought possible.  When you feel stuck in your career, it is time to shift your perspective.  Look for ways to renew your energy through tasks and activities that recharge you.  Nurture relationships that foster your knowledge and skills.  Map out your plan to keep moving forward!   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

It was 8 years ago when I felt a shift in my career journey.  I was in a job that I knew was not a long-term fit for me; however, it had allowed me time to adjust to being of mom of 2 kids without as much pressure as my previous role.  It had also allowed me time to get clarity on how I wanted to move forward with my career.  The only problem?  The work that I wanted to move into did not exist at that time within my organization. 

In the past week, I have had the privilege of speaking with two working moms who are in similar situations.  Both are seeking more from their jobs, but they have found themselves in a position where the role they want is not currently available within their companies.  Yet, both of these amazing women are invested in their future possibilities and are determined to keep moving forward!

Each one is taking a unique approach to leverage her network, showcase her abilities, and continue to grow towards that next opportunity.  The work each of these women is doing is setting herself apart and making her the most likely candidate when that role she is seeking opens up. 

Eight years ago, I could not have imagined what my life would look like today.  I did not know that another baby would be born within our family.  I did not know that my faith would deepen and grow the way it has. I did not know that I would open my own coaching business.  Yet, the steps I took to expand my professional network, to invest in my skills, and to continue pursuing the work I love has yielded more than I thought possible. 

When you feel stuck in your career, it is time to shift your perspective.  Look for ways to renew your energy through tasks and activities that recharge you.  Nurture relationships that foster your knowledge and skills.  Map out your plan to keep moving forward!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Are you growing?

Are you growing?

Over the holiday weekend, I took my oldest to get a new pair of sneakers.  He is in such a growth spurt that we are buying shoes every three months.  It’s always a process picking out a pair that has enough cool factor for him that is also in stock in his size.  We lucked out pretty quickly with this trip and found a pair that was just right. While a growing adolescent’s feet give definitive reminders that growth is occurring, we often forget the need to focus on growth in our careers.  We get busy in our day-to-day work and overlook our need for professional and personal development.  However, you don’t have to set aside a lot of time to ensure you are growing in your career journey.  Here are 3 easy steps to keep you focused: 1.     Seek new information and new ideas.  In today’s technology age, we have ample opportunity to gain new information in short bursts of learning.  Articles and videos are available at the click of our fingertips, and exchanging ideas with other professionals often sparks more creativity and innovation. 2.     Employ those new ideas.  Now that you have new information, it’s time to put it to use.  Find ways that you can apply the information or try out those ideas in your work.  Otherwise, you are allowing the information to simply gather dust. 3.     Consider the outcome.  Take stock of what you have learned and how you have used it.  Look at the impact of the outcome.  Consider what worked and what did not.  Determine what to take forward with you to use again. Professional development can mean going back to school or it can be subtle like I described above.   The important key is that you are intentional about your growth.  There is an old saying that if you are not moving forwards, you are moving backwards.  Make sure you are moving forwards to pursue the path most meaningful to you.                                                                                                                                   Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Over the holiday weekend, I took my oldest to get a new pair of sneakers.  He is in such a growth spurt that we are buying shoes every three months.  It’s always a process picking out a pair that has enough cool factor for him that is also in stock in his size.  We lucked out pretty quickly with this trip and found a pair that was just right.

While a growing adolescent’s feet give definitive reminders that growth is occurring, we often forget the need to focus on growth in our careers.  We get busy in our day-to-day work and overlook our need for professional and personal development.  However, you don’t have to set aside a lot of time to ensure you are growing in your career journey.  Here are 3 easy steps to keep you focused:

1.     Seek new information and new ideas.  In today’s technology age, we have ample opportunity to gain new information in short bursts of learning.  Articles and videos are available at the click of our fingertips, and exchanging ideas with other professionals often sparks more creativity and innovation.

2.     Employ those new ideas.  Now that you have new information, it’s time to put it to use.  Find ways that you can apply the information or try out those ideas in your work.  Otherwise, you are allowing the information to simply gather dust.

3.     Consider the outcome.  Take stock of what you have learned and how you have used it.  Look at the impact of the outcome.  Consider what worked and what did not.  Determine what to take forward with you to use again.

Professional development can mean going back to school or it can be subtle like I described above.   The important key is that you are intentional about your growth.  There is an old saying that if you are not moving forwards, you are moving backwards.  Make sure you are moving forwards to pursue the path most meaningful to you.

                                                                                                                                 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Lesley has helped professional moms from many different fields, including IT, healthcare, and education.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Display God’s Gifts

Display God’s Gifts

The solar eclipse last week caught everyone’s attention, and what an amazing phenomenon it was!  The dusk-like effect during the middle of the afternoon created a calm yet intriguing atmosphere here in the Triangle area.  The local news coverage provided some unique views as well.  The shot at the pinnacle of the eclipse showed a beautiful hue of purple around the edges of the moon.  What an incredible display of God’s glory! While 2-5 eclipses occur every year, they are only visible within a narrow band.  So, we often don’t even notice these amazing feats.  In fact, the next one that will cross North America with as much press as this one will be in 2024.  How often do you take stock of the glorious gifts God has given to you?  He has planted unique gifts and talents within each one of us.  Unfortunately, we don’t always notice these gifts, much less use them with purpose.  However, when we do, we find such a sense of fulfillment! Here’s what one of my clients said after using the insights she gained through coaching to pursue a role within her organization that allows her to more fully use her gifts: “I can put all of the pieces together in this new role to get results for me, my team, and my company!” She now feels a greater level of confidence and excitement about her work and the impact she is making with it.   The majesty and awe that we felt during the solar eclipse was immense.  Yet, the magnificence of the gifts we have each been given are just as impressive when we use them to serve others.     Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

The solar eclipse last week caught everyone’s attention, and what an amazing phenomenon it was!  The dusk-like effect during the middle of the afternoon created a calm yet intriguing atmosphere here in the Triangle area.  The local news coverage provided some unique views as well.  The shot at the pinnacle of the eclipse showed a beautiful hue of purple around the edges of the moon.  What an incredible display of God’s glory!

While 2-5 eclipses occur every year, they are only visible within a narrow band.  So, we often don’t even notice these amazing feats.  In fact, the next one that will cross North America with as much press as this one will be in 2024. 

How often do you take stock of the glorious gifts God has given to you?  He has planted unique gifts and talents within each one of us.  Unfortunately, we don’t always notice these gifts, much less use them with purpose.  However, when we do, we find such a sense of fulfillment!

Here’s what one of my clients said after using the insights she gained through coaching to pursue a role within her organization that allows her to more fully use her gifts: “I can put all of the pieces together in this new role to get results for me, my team, and my company!” She now feels a greater level of confidence and excitement about her work and the impact she is making with it.

 

The majesty and awe that we felt during the solar eclipse was immense.  Yet, the magnificence of the gifts we have each been given are just as impressive when we use them to serve others.

 

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

Finding A New Beginning

Finding A New Beginning

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It’s that time of year for thousands of kids who are on a traditional school calendar – back to school!  I have to admit that this year I have not felt ready to let go of summer, to embrace the extracurricular activities, and to launch into a new routine as my oldest two go back to school. 

However, I typically look forward to the start of school --the shopping trip to gather new notebooks, folders, and lunch boxes; the hunt to find tennis shoes that fit my kids’ feet and are in a color they like; the excitement of discovering who their homeroom teachers are; and the thrill of seeing friends they have missed all summer long.  There are so many wonderful things about the beginning of a new school year.

This type of distinct ending and new beginning in the work world happens naturally when we move from one role to another role or when we start a new project.  Yet, we can find the excitement of a new beginning at almost any point within our work.  Here are 4 tips on how to find a new beginning:

1.     Create a shift in your outlook. The first step in a new beginning starts in our minds.  When we approach a situation with a beginner’s mind, we see possibilities that did not exist previously.

2.     Alter your behavior.  Seek out one new way of doing things that you have been doing for years. Learn from those around you and then implement one of their techniques, or better yet, tweak their technique to make it work best for you.

3.     Find a partner.  We all have different God-given gifts.  We can learn so much from how others do things that are not within our realm of genius.  When possible, partner up with someone on projects or tasks so you can both work primarily within your own gifts while yielding a better quality output. 

4.     Pause to reflect.  Take time to pause frequently to assess where you are, how you feel, and what you have learned along the way. 

While the adult working world does not offer summer breaks and a new start each fall, you can create new beginnings for yourself much more often than you have previously thought possible!

 

                                                                                                      

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Answer Your Calling

Answer Your Calling

Many of you already know that I love singing and that I sing in the choir at my church.  We recently moved into our new church building, which has been quite a blessing.  However, we are all still adjusting to the new sound system.  We have received several compliments on how great the choir sounds from those in the congregation.  I have stepped out during practice to listen myself, and the music is beautiful.  Yet, we are still struggling to find the right balance in the monitors that allow the musicians and singers to hear ourselves and each other.  It’s a little like flying blind as we attempt to maintain timing and blend our sound naturally.

When you think about your career journey, are you flying blind?  At times you find yourself accepting a compliment for a job well done, but when you truly take notice of what you are doing day in and day out, you find yourself unable to hear your own voice – the voice that guides you and confirms that you are working in alignment with your mission in life.

That’s right, each one of you has a mission to carry out.  God provided each of you with unique gifts and experiences.  You are called to use those gifts to serve others through your work.  You have the capability to positively impact the world around you. 

Find your voice by identifying your gifts and applying them to your work.  Then, the “music” you create through your career will be beautiful to others and to yourself. 

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

You can have healthy  boundaries at work!

You can have healthy boundaries at work!

Last week I started talking about healthy boundaries at work. It's fascinating how much easier we find it to build physical boundaries at home between us and our neighbors and yet how difficult it seems to establish boundaries within our careers.

So what do healthy boundaries look like? It really varies from one person to another.  What is acceptable and works for one person may look totally impossible for another. You really have to spend time identifying what your non-negotiables are. Non-negotiables are key to setting a healthy boundary with you and your work. Those non-negotiables are part of your core values. They are what is important and meaningful to you.

Some professionals are energized by being in the office environment while others feel stifled by it.  I recently worked with a professional mother who was locked into a role that required her to be in the office at her desk each day.  While the company she worked for is a well-known, employee-friendly one, the role was just not a good fit for her.  She needed autonomy and freedom within her day to structure her work.  Ultimately, she made the decision to move to another job that was a better fit for her and her non-negotiables at this point in her career.

Another professional I coached was seeking to build upon her past experience in sales.  She interviewed for a position that seemed ideal in the day-to-day responsibilities.  However, one of the requirements was a considerable amount of travel.  This professional mother still has a child at home and does not want to be on the road each week as she was in her earlier career life.  So while the opportunity looked like a great match in terms of expanding her experience, it crossed one of her boundaries regarding the amount of travel that she was willing to do currently.  Instead, she found a position that honored her boundaries while still giving her additional sales experience and is reaping the satisfaction and rewards of her work aligning with her core values.

So, what does this mean for you?  How can you adopt healthy boundaries with your work?  First, determine what your core values or non-negotiables are. Second, seek out the opportunity to make some adjustments within your current role to re-contract those boundaries.  If there is no opportunity for adjustments based on the needs of your current role, perhaps it is time to consider what your next steps will be so your career and your non-negotiables are more aligned.  It’s in this alignment that you will find greater satisfaction as you work to live rather than live to work.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Healthy Boundares at Work

Healthy Boundares at Work

When we moved into our home 18 years ago, there was an 8 foot drop off between our house and our neighbor’s.  Needless to say, I was concerned about the danger that this posed.  I really did not want to look out my back window and see a fence.  I much prefer greenery.  So that led to some investigation on what type of hedge would work best and look great. I ended up finding these beautiful hydrangeas that bloom late in the summer through the early fall.  They have certainly grow a lot over the years, and I look forward to the lovely white flowers each summer.  This natural boundary between us and our neighbors creates a green backdrop for the rest of the yard while also providing protection from a nasty fall down the hill.

We don’t have any problem establishing boundaries along our property lines.  Lots of homes are built with fences or folks put up fences soon after they move in.  However, many of us have issues with establishing proper boundaries at work. 

I have observed professionals make themselves available at all hours of the day, night, and weekend to only be frustrated a few months into their role when they want to scale back but are unsure how to do so.  I have also observed professionals accept roles that compromise their own core values (time with family, extensive travel, rigid work environments, etc) so they can move ahead in their careers. Unfortunately, those individuals were miserable, dissatisfied, and disillusioned.  They thought saying ‘yes’ to the career opportunity and the advancement it would allow would make up for the important things they were compromising. 

Next week we will look in more detail at how you can set proper boundaries within your career life.  I have seen great joy coming from within my clients as they recognize the core values they hold dear, honor those values, and still find work that propels their careers forward.  Tune back in next week to learn how you can do the same!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

 

 

Are you harvesting your gifts?

Are you harvesting your gifts?

Those who know me know that I enjoy being out in the yard whether it's gardening in my vegetable bed or working in my flower beds. A few days ago I noticed my tomato plant had tomatoes that were ripe and ready to be picked. My two-year-old went with me, and I had to explain to him that the green tomatoes weren't quite ready yet but the red tomatoes were ready. These red tomatoes were at their prime to be used for some yummy meals. I have used this year's crop to make salads, sandwiches, and to add as toppings to nachos.

If I had not picked these ripe tomatoes, they would have gone to waste on the plant. Their beauty and purpose would have never been realized.

As you examine your career life, you too have gifts and talents that are ripe and ready to be used for a greater purpose.  How are your gifts being brought to light in your current role?  How are you using those gifts to have a greater impact on those around you? 

Don’t let your gifts go to waste!  Life is too short to stay in a role where you are earning a good paycheck but not feeling a sense of fulfillment.  Begin harvesting your gifts today!

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

  

 

 

The Secret Life of Successful Working Mothers

The Secret Life of Successful Working Mothers

In one of my conversations today we were discussing how busy this individual was in her current work. She is very focused, heads down working on an intense project that has a wide scope. She shared with me that it's not a good time currently for her to work on her own development, to really take the time to discern what she wants to do with her career and how to construct the steps to get there.

So often I hear similar stories from other busy professionals. I have even fallen into that trap myself. As working mothers, we always have a lot on our plates whether it is an impactful initiative at work, a large milestone for one of our children, or a sizable project within our homes.

When you look at the secret life of successful working mothers the answer to their success becomes pretty clear. Despite the hectic days in their overall life and career, they consistently carve out time for their own development.

They recognize that the perfect time will never occur.

They recognize and honor the need for their own sense of fulfillment.

They recognize and use their God-given gifts to impact their teams, their customers, and, most importantly, their families and communities.

If you find yourself waiting for the right time, spend a few minutes reflecting on what lies beneath that statement for you. What is it, besides time, that is holding you back from changing the world around you and increasing your level of fulfillment within life?  Then, take one step forward towards that career goal and start your momentum now.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!

 

Uncovering Your God-given Gifts

Uncovering Your God-given Gifts

Have you ever heard the saying “peel back the onion”? If you have ever cut an onion, you know they are designed with one layer on top of another on top of another. When you first cut the top off and try to peel back that brown outer covering, you can see the number of layers it takes to get to the very center of the onion.

Uncovering your God-given gifts is very similar. It is a process of taking off the outer covering to go a level deeper. But often you need to go at least one or two more layers down before you really understand what that gift is.

One of my clients easily identified that customer relations is an area that she thoroughly enjoys.  However, she has struggled to identify a specific job that she would really enjoy performing.  It’s because her current understanding of her gifts is too broad.  In order for her to move forward, she must narrow in more on her gifts. She must be able to peel the onion back and go a few layers deeper to gain clarity on what it is about customer relations she really enjoys most. That insight will become part of her compass as she evaluates various positions to determine what would be the best fit with her gifts.

If you are trying to identify what you want to be when you “grow up”, try looking a layer to two deeper at your God-given gifts.  Gaining more clarity and specificity on your gifts will give you the insights you need to yield a more successful answer to the roles you should be considering for your long-term satisfaction and fulfillment in your career.

 

Lesley provides individualized coaching to professional moms who are seeking greater satisfaction in their careers.  She helps working mothers uncover their God-given gifts, name their non-negotiable values, and align their career path with those gifts and values to have a greater impact on the world.  Access Lesley’s free self-assessment to determine how well you recognize and use your God-given gifts!