Remember – there are no failures! (Click on image for audio.)
I am journeying back into the work-force as I see the approach of my 60’s. I will be giving you glimpses into this journey through this blog. So, those of you considering a mid-life return to the career world, follow along with me.
A few initial pointers from a recent job-seeker (me):
A simple resume’ involves deep thought. What experience do you have? Be honest, of course, but do not be afraid to be creative. I have been self-employed for 14 years, so I included all of the “hats” that I have worn in my resume’. Also, use an up-to-date resume’ template as your guide.
Go into the interview with confidence. Ignore the horror stories about employers that only want to hire young adults. Remember, you are settled in life…meaning, your children are raised, and you know what you want, and you know where you want to go with it. You also have a strong work ethic. This is exactly what a potential employer needs to hear!
To be point blank with you, going back to work feels liberating. We still “have what it takes,” right? Yes! We can step right back in and pull that weight, right? Yes! We are more than capable!
My desire to return to my career began with an urge to help others, to be a part of the team, and to help a woman that needed to retire. Then, my own desire to bolster the income (and health insurance) of my family kicked in.
You never know where God and life will lead you, and I believe we should all remain flexible, to the point we do not look at change as something of a burden, instead, look at it with shear wonderment. Go forward and do what you need to do in t(His) world! Then, tell your story.
Mid-life coaching partner, women with purpose and mission-filled lives.
Doing it now is the best choice, as long as we have a solid plan in place. A plan that includes specific and measurable goals to keep us on track. With this in place we remain focused on the outcome, and we do not walk down paths that lead us astray from our vision — picture a straight road versus a narrow one with sharp curves and branches that leave us wondering which way to go.
The decisions that we make in life that are “on a whim” are usually things that we have always wanted to do, but fear had always stood in our way. Think about that!
Not doing it at all is a good choice when we know our goal is not meant to be. These are dreams that make no sense at all, not even to ourselves, and they always lead to bad outcomes.
Doing it later can be a very dangerous choice if filled with procrastination. A decision to move ahead later, accompanied with a measurable and dated plan is smart, but we often allow excuses to follow close behind.
Major delay excuses –
- I am afraid of change.
- What if it does not work out?
- What would people say?
- I will do this after I feel less stress.
- I will do this when I have more time.
- I need to feel (physically) better first.
- I have never done this before.
If you recognize yourself in any of these major excuses, ask yourself these questions: When will I not fear change? What is the worst thing that can happen if it does not work out? Does it matter what other people say? What would have to happen to make me feel less stress? When will I have more time? When will I feel better physically, and what can I do now to feel better/take a small step even though I do not feel 100%? How do I do it?
Minor delay excuses –
- I’ll do this after my kids leave home.
- I do not have the money.
- My house is not big enough/too small.
- I live in the wrong area.
- I need training/education.
We make mountains of minor excuses. I call these types of excuses minor because they usually depend on some action in our life that is currently out of our immediate control (but are do-able or fixable). If you see yourself in any of these, or similar excuses, ask yourself: What can I do today to move one small step closer to making this happen? Is this a valid excuse, or can I move towards my goal today even though I am in these circumstances? Can I take a class next week (even a free one to just get started)? Can I rent a space or a room? Can I rent a room out? Can I commute several times a week? How can I fund this today? How can I save a small amount of money beginning today? Can my children, or spouse, help me in large and small ways, and how do we/I implement that change?
Be Careful with Your Verbiage
Be mindful of your verbiage. Notice if you are using wording that is non-committal. What you say may end up being what you think, followed by what you do not do!
Look at the differences in these statements:
“I think I can do it.” versus “I know I can do it”, or, “I will do it.”
“I may try it.” versus “I am trying it,” and better yet, “I have scheduled a date and time to do it.”
Motion is Movement
The day you take the first step, the day you take action, you are making the choice to move forward. You are in motion. Motion is measured by movement — and not at all by speed!
God speed to you!
Mary L Humphrey, LBC
Paint your life masterpiece today!
When we are not familiar with our own life mission we never quite reach the pinnacle where we feel complete, and if we come close to that highest point, we aren’t aware that we have arrived unless we have striven for it with purpose.
There are several steps that help to identify your life purpose, and I have some easy questions that will get you started in that direction.
Find a private place, free of interruptions, and take out a pen and paper. Answer each of these questions truthfully. Write down the first thoughts that come to your mind, and allow yourself no more than 30-60 seconds for each response. Do not change your answers. Feel free to gear your responses towards relationships, work, hobbies, events, and projects, whatever comes first to your mind.
- What are you doing when you are at your happiest self?
- What are you doing when you forget your problems, when you are so engrossed that you do not notice the minutes and hours passing by?
- What are you doing when your work does not feel like a burden?
- What gives you the most energy (do not answer with coffee, stimulants, or sleep)?
- What accomplishments have you made that became positive markers in your life?
- What do people typically ask you for help with?
- What do you want to learn (class, experience, skill, etc.)?
- If you were given the chance to teach, what topic would you choose?
- Who do you admire, and what are the overall values and qualities that draw you to them?
- The setting — you are in a tranquil and peaceful place, near the end of your full life, describe what your life achievement look like. List them out.Take your time on this one.
Now, notice how you feel. Notice the patterns in your answers. Circle the key action and value words that you have listed (6-10 in total). Mine key words were: encouraging, writing, coaching/teaching, family and friends, beauty (nature), spiritual, fearless business. From this, I see a passion for encouraging others through writing, which is a form of coaching and teaching, through a spiritual base (mine is Christ-centered), and in a fearless manner of business (to help others).
This is the start to writing a mission statement, which will be continued as I teach it in my upcoming class.
I would love to hear what you have discovered today! Commenting is urged and open now…
Share – Encourage – Grow
Mary Humphrey, LBC
My husband, Bob, recently took over a work space after a co-worker retired. The day Bob transitioned to this new position his boss said, “This belongs to you now, clean out what you need to make it work for you.”
Along each wall, on top of each work table and bench, and in every nook and cranny were old pieces of equipment, parts, and unorganized containers of nuts and bolts. Much of it was so outdated that the only worth was a trip to the scrap metal yard.
Soon, Bob’s boss was noticing the uncovering of the workspace, as well as an income from the “scrap.” There was also a semblance of efficiency, and work that was being completed.
What happens in situations like this, where we get buried under the clutter?
Truly, I believe in this, (un)clutter the space = (un)clutter the mind.
Much happens when physical clutter is removed. Problems get solved. Renewal of the mind happens. Energy flows like a river of new hope.
Our minds work much like a cramped and cluttered work space. When we gloss over circumstances that do not meet our value system, or when we ignore situations that we do not feel like repairing, it gets added to a stack. It piles up. It does not go away, it gets buried, and it’s shear existence haunts us.
There is only one thing that clears clutter — action.
Add one small step to each day to clear the disorder – whether it be a closet, the trunk of your car, an apology that was needed 6 months ago, a step towards finding a new job, or an evening taken off from work to be with your family (instead of overtime in the office).
Clear the stuff that buries and smothers your life. Action adds up…it restores your air, one tiny space at a time.
Can we just put the brakes on? No, but it might feel good for a short while. So, our thoughts through these twists and turns commonly are:
- What’s next in my life?
- My energy is drained, each and every day!
- How do I move to the next chapter?
- What more can I possibly do?
- I feel overwhelmed, out of balance!
- Something seems missing.
- Am I on the right path?
- Where is God in this?
- I see no connection with my future.
The number one thing that helps in these situations is to realize you are not alone. You may feel singled out, but you never are.
Try breaking your situation down into small manageable pieces, and give yourself permission to think about your own welfare. Women are natural care givers, the care giver must be mindful of her own mental and physical needs!
- What’s next in life? (What do you want to do? What excites you the most? What gives you the most energy?)
- My energy is drained, each and every day! (What drains your energy the most? How can you turn that around?)
- I see no connection with my future. (What goals do you have? Which direction do you want to go? What small steps can you take to begin – or continue – your walk towards your future?)
- Where is God in this? (Pray, even if you feel God is not there — these are the times for patience as he never stops molding the plans that he has for you. Meditate on scripture. Apply scripture to your life.)
A friend that listens, one that looks after your own welfare, is also key to surviving transitions in life. Seek out groups or activities where you can meet other women that are in comparable life cycles, or possibly mentors that you can follow or consult with that have been in similar shoes as yours. If your circle of friends do not meet your needs, branch out. Find that harmony.
Start a new interest — something that builds your inner-strength, like a class or physical exercise. This boosts your mental and physical well-being, and both work in unison.
I hope you found this article helpful.
I look forward to your comments, and if you need a listener, I would love to hear from you.
Dictionary.com defines a naysayer as “a person who habitually expresses negative or pessimistic views.”
These defeatists, people that drain our energy, try to put our fresh ideas on the chopping block by saying:
“I’ve heard other people say it did not work for them.”
“That is something too new, nobody has heard of it.”
“You can’t make money doing that.”
“You are a women, your family and husband come first.” (Yes, they are important…but, take care of you so you are able to be there for them.)
“Really, you want to put yourself through that torture?”
“Been there, done that,” or “It’s already been done.”
“You don’t have enough experience or skills.”
“It is unproven.”
“I love you so much. I want only what is best for you, but…”
The list goes on from here.
1) Consider what the killjoy (i.e. they kill your joy) has to say, but only long enough to ask yourself if their concern is valid. Meditate and pray, while keeping your emotions out of the equation. Do their concerns hold value in the sense that this could be a valid warning for impending failure?
2) Look at the history of the naysayer:
What are they an expert at, or are they an expert at everything (or anything)?
What have they succeeded in at life?
Are you in their best interests, or are you a threat because you might succeed at your goal(s)?
Is the naysayer generally optimistic or pessimistic?
3) Ask yourself these questions:
Are you unique (because someone else failed, will you also fail)?
Have you thought your decision out (the pro’s and the con’s)?
Are you willing to take on a unique career or business, or make that challenging life move?
Who are you making your life decisions for? Your immediate family, God?
Who is afraid of change more than you are?
Who sees you as a threat?
4) The answers to these questions should set the naysayer in their place, without you uttering a sound (remember…forgive and forget). Always consider what they have to say, weigh it out sensibly, and then go!
Never, ever, are you going to please everyone, nor is everyone going to agree with you. In fact, most journeys start out pretty lonely — you take off with your own set of ideas, and isn’t that the way it should be, unique to you? God didn’t design us alike – there are no exact replicas.
All of us experience transition in our lives. How we manage these shifts, and how we perceive them, prevents crisis.
When we are in a transition, we are:
- in a passage
- experiencing development
- experiencing transformation or realignment
- at a turning point
When transition takes on a sense of urgency and feels like big trouble, or a mess, it becomes a crisis.
There are several ways to avoid major stress as we enter crucial points in life:
1. Develop a healthy mindset – expect that life will change. When we believe that life should forever remain the same as it is today, we are living in a bubble that will burst. When the big pop happens, major disappointment follows.
2. Acknowledge each change. When we foresee the turning points, each choice we make helps to build a strong bridge that carries us over transitions.
3. Take time for yourself. Women tend to take care of everyone but themselves. They manage their home, their career, their family, and they often put themselves last on the priority list. It is okay to be a caretaker, however, the most efficient women take time to ensure their personal needs are met. This means that their health (physical and mental well-being) are nourished — otherwise, the crisis becomes larger due to a lack of energy and frustration. How can you take care of others if you aren’t taking proper care of yourself?
4. Be honest with yourself. What are your needs? What are your capabilities? What do you want to do in life? What makes you feel energetic?
5. Make a plan. You may feel like you have no time to strategize, but when life gets busy, and it always does, the passage from a small and troublesome change grows to a monster-sized crisis in a snap!
6. Find and embrace quiet time. Quiet time = thinking time. Keep a journal to record your daily struggles, joys, and thoughts. Writing is very therapeutic — it helps to sort out your own ruminations, and leads to answers. Meditate and pray. Again, because women are natural caretakers, they tend to not seek out help. If you are a believer, pray for your needs. Take care of you!
7. Find a listening friend. A friend that listens because they want the best for you is priceless. We are living in a very busy world, which leaves people focused entirely on their own daily lives and deadlines. Get off of the merry-go-round and find someone who will listen.
Please, feel free to reach out to me if you need help with this!
Is there such a thing as an ideal client?
I would love to help each woman who does not recognize her personal ability to change and grow. It is ingrained in me to say, “You are worth every moment that you put into your life, and you can do whatever you put your mind to doing!”
Honestly, not everyone is an ideal client, and I am in business to work with women that are committed to sculpting their life into a masterpiece composed from their dreams.
Who is the ideal client?
They believe and practice honesty.
They are fun and can laugh at life itself, their own mistakes, as well as the mistakes of others.
They are open-minded to change and to new ideas.
They know there are no true failures. They know that the only way to fail is to quit.
They have forward thinking. They think about “the now” and “the future,” and they do not dwell in the past, nor do they blame their current choices on the past.
They are responsible. They know that their choices bring action and results.
They love to learn and grow. They perceive a challenge as a growth spurt.
They know that life consists of choices made, including not making a choice.
They are respectful of others.
They are committed to their own life.
They do not make excuses, instead, they do what it takes to move forward and take responsibility.
My ideal client is ready to put time, effort, and money into her future. She knows that her personal investment will have perfect returns because she owns it!
“Self growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no higher investment.” – Steven Covey
Daily goal setting does not need to be complicated.
Ask yourself, “What are three things that I must complete today that I cannot/must not push off to tomorrow?”
Applying too much pressure to yourself – by giving yourself more than three important priority tasks to complete in one day – can result in a plan that is too difficult to accomplish.
When setting daily goals:
- be specific (A vague goal is seldom achievable!)
- leave room for the unplanned (Interruptions and day to day life always happen!)
- leave time for yourself (reading, exercising, hobbies, quiet time, etc.)
- break large goals down into smaller steps that can be accomplished in one day
Breaking your tasks down to a 3-item priority list sets you up for achievement! Today, you did it! Tomorrow, you wake up with a fresh slate, and you are free to set new goals! In fact, I recommend setting your three goals the day before. You’ll set your goals while they are hot on your mind, and you’ll avoid waking up wondering, “What do I need to do today?”
Make at least one of your daily goals a small (or large step) that helps you reach a much bigger long-term goal. Remember – it is better to take one tiny step towards success, than it is to do nothing at all. Small steps add up.
Decide what you want, decide what you are willing to exchange for it. Establish your priorities and go to work. – H.L.Hunt