As a results-focused career, business, and leadership coach, I spend a lot of time sitting down with people to help them set goals. I’ve discovered that the type of goals we set makes a big difference to how achievable the goals are, and how much they actually bring you closer to a desired future. Here are five common ways that you can ruin your goal achievement chances before you even get started. Read more
Allison, MBA, Hult International Business School, Shanghai, China
Allison knew where she wanted to be in ten years, but her goals were hazy and she was having trouble connecting them to her day-to-day decisions. After meeting Melissa at a conference, Allison tried coaching, and found her first session so valuable that she stuck with it. With Melissa’s help, Allison — a Canadian — let herself dream big about her ten year goal of working internationally. She narrowed down her options and made the bold decision to complete an international MBA. Now, two years later, Allison has completed her program. It exceeded her expectations for professional development, international exposure, and future opportunities. She reflects on how coaching helped direct her path along the way.
You’ve probably heard that “Stepping into WHO you want to be opens the doors for your career to advance.” But most people don’t understand what that means.
Most people assume that it means: dress for the position you want; assume responsibilities of the position for which you strive; follow your boss’ example for work ethic; and get enough experience so the next step ‘seems logical.’ While those approaches have some validity, there’s much more to it than that. Read more
We often hesitate to invest in getting to the next level because we fear we’ll lose something important along the way.
Meanwhile, we’re less productive. We’re distracted from achieving fulfillment because we’re busy avoiding what we don’t want, or trying to attain things we hope will fulfill us, even though we don’t know for sure. We wind up getting slotted into other things.
The truth is, the closer we get to jobs, lifestyle, and opportunities that resonate with our values and fulfill our potential, the better we perform. We get quicker, more efficient at getting the job done. It seems less like work and more like play, so we receive and put in more energy. Read more
Many of my clients have meaningful jobs, but they don’t feel fulfilled. When they started off with a “green” career, they assumed they’d always feel good about it because it connected with one of their significant values.
There’s more to fulfillment than just working for a green organization or on green issues. You might be making a difference to the environment, but you may be out of alignment with some other values like freedom, flexibility, or security. Read more
I’ll be speaking Saturday morning at the CUGES event at Carleton. Details below. My presentation about Leading Change from your values is at 9:30 a.m. (see below). I’d love to see you there! Read more
How would you rate your life and career? Five out of ten? Eight out of ten?
Many of my clients have satisfying careers, so their rating typically starts over seven. When they look at why they rate it so highly, they always feel grateful for their achievements.
But what would it take to make your life rate ten out of ten? If you’re like most, it will take you a while to warm up to this question; for example:
• “Right now I’m just pushing paper. I’d like to have a positive impact on the world.”
• “I’d like an extra week of vacation and a raise.” Read more
When thinking about the next step in their career, people tend to look first at their past. They look for patterns of achievement and try to project where they logically lead. “What does my resume say?” “What am I qualified for?” “What can a person with my experience go after successfully?”
The answers to these questions may lead to a job that works in many or even most ways. However, they don’t automatically lead to the most fulfilling career.
The key is to discover your values. Once you understand who you are and what you want, the path to getting what you want and building a fulfilling life becomes clear very quickly.
But that sounds challenging, doesn’t it? “Discovering who you are and what you want” may not sound straightforward, but it’s as easy and fun as browsing a cookbook.
In spite of all the great recopies available on the internet, I still love to browse a colourful cookbook. The trick is, I look at the pictures first, not the ingredients. I look until I find a picture that makes my mouth water. Then I know what I want. Then it’s a simple matter to look at the ingredients and figure out how to make the dish.
When you’re not quite satisfied with your career or lifestyle, when you’re looking for more juice and motivation, browsing the career cookbook for what makes your mouth water can be the easiest way to discover your fastest path to a fulfilling career and a happy life. Once you can almost taste the dish in the picture, you’ll be sitting at the table before you know it!