• Can You Really Follow Your Passion?

    According to a study from Deloitte University Press, up to 87 percent of America’s workforce is not able to contribute to their full potential because they don’t have a passion for their work. (Read more at: http://dupress.com/articles/worker-passion-employee-behavior/) That’s a lot of people who don’t like their jobs. I’ve been one of those people. Odds are, so have you.

    Why is this? I believe that many of us really aren’t clear on what will make us happy in our careers. When is the last time you sat down wrote out what your priorities and values were when it comes to work? How important is a short commute? How is important is a Monday through Friday schedule? How important is doing something that matters?

    It doesn’t matter what the answers are to these questions, ...
    Read more
  • Why Do We Postpone Happiness?

    I recently attended a fantastic seminar by local author, David Hazard. It turned  out to be quite popular and as the starting time approached, enough people were there that we brought in more chairs to accommodate everyone. As people began to fill the room, I looked around and one thing was very clear: I was, by far, the youngest person there.  In fact, I may have been the only person under 50.

    Everyone went around the room and shared their stories of why they were there and for nearly everyone, it was the same: They were retirees who now had the time to actually pursue something that they had wanted to do: writing. After decades in the traditional workforce, they could now focus on themselves and things that they were truly passionate about. While that certainly is the most common path that people take, it does beg ...
    Read more
  • Help! I Don’t Know What I Want To Do With My Life!

    The more clients I meet with, the more I am running into this question: What if I don’t know what I want to do for a living? This can be a big challenge for many people who don’t feel drawn to one, well-defined career path, such as a doctor or a teacher.

    First, let’s get one thing clear. It is absolutely okay to be 25 years old, or 35 years old, or even 45 years old and not know what you want to do. It’s important to first recognize that people are complex creatures with more than one talent or gift. Throw away the notion that you have to pick one career path and be happy with it. As soon as you can do that, you’ve taken an enormous amount of pressure off of yourself. You cannot make a good decision with that kind ...
    Read more
  • Are You Just Living For Your Next Vacation? Why An Unfulfilling Job Is More Toxic Than You Think

    I read a quote recently that truly stopped me in my tracks. It summarizes everything that I stand for, personally and professionally. In fact, I would go as far as saying it summarizes the reason why I started WorkSmart Career Counseling in the first place.  The quote is from author and entrepreneur Seth Godin and says:

    “Instead of wondering when your next vacation is, maybe you should set up a life you don't need to escape from.”

    Perfectly stated.

    Do you find yourself just getting through the work week and living for the weekend? This is a very toxic way to live. I would know because I have found myself in this position in the past. I believe that the pain and resistance that you feel is a warning signal that something is wrong. Something in your life, ...
    Read more
  • Stop Making New Year’s Resolutions! Obligation vs. Inspiration

    So we’re almost through February. It's likely that your New Year’s resolution is failing right about now…. Why is this? Because most resolutions are things that we view as obligations. They’re things that we feel like we should do. Things like losing weight, quitting smoking, getting a new job, etc. You know you need to do these things, you know you want to do these things, but you never actually get around to doing anything about them, or at least not for long. Or, maybe you are trying but your efforts don’t seem to be working.

    The secret to changing your results is to change your approach. And as long as you continue to view these things as obligations, you’re not likely to achieve them.  This year, turn your obligations into inspirations. Running from something negative is never as effective as ...
    Read more
  • That’s A Wrap for 2015! An “Encore” Blog from WorkSmart Career Counseling

    Why 2016 Should Be About So Much More Than Your Career

    Though I just wrote to everyone earlier this week, I’m sneaking in one more “encore” article for this year! Forgive me, but I simply can’t resist the sentiment of New Years. What a wonderful opportunity we have in our hands to release the old energies of the past year and welcome the new energy of 2016. But like anything else, it only carries the meaning and potential that you give it.

    As you move into the new year, what do you want to think, feel, do or be differently this year? Are your thoughts, feelings and actions in line with what you desire? It’s so important to take stock of where we’ve been in order to recognize progress when it happens. As you close out 2015, ...
    Read more
  • Go Confidently In The Direction Of Your Dreams (And Fears)

    “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.”  It’s a well-known quote by the philosopher Henry David Thoreau. While I’m not one to ever disagree with a mind like Thoreau’s, I do want to offer an additional perspective that I think Mr. Thoreau would agree with. Sometimes in order to follow your dreams, you have to follow your fears. Nothing of value is ever achieved without some level of struggle. Career goals are no exception. That’s what makes the goal worth the risk and the struggle.

    There are so many “what if” scenarios in job hunting that make people afraid. What if you’ve been out of the game for a long time and lost your confidence? What if you got fired from your last job and don’t know how to explain it to your next employer? What if ...
    Read more
  • Getting Past The Fear: Uncovering The Ways That We Hold Ourselves Back

    Everyone knows the popular phrase about being “your own worst enemy.” No one wants to actually admit that they may actually be their own roadblock. Or, just as likely is that we don’t know how to recognize it when it happens. We have much more control over our circumstances than we generally believe. Acknowledgement of this is difficult though, because acknowledging control means accepting responsibility. When you acknowledge that you have control over a situation, you are also acknowledging that you are obligated to do the work involved to make the change. Sometimes it really is easier to just throw your hands up and say, “Well, it’s out of my control. There’s nothing I can do, I guess!”

    This concept is applicable to almost any area of life, and careers are no exception. Acknowledging control in our careers means ...
    Read more
  • Taking Back Your Power

    Earlier in my career, I fell prey to the mindset that employers held all of the power in the hiring process. As a job seeker, I felt that I was asking (i.e. hoping, begging...) them for a job and if they should be so kind, I might be granted an interview. I think there are many job seekers out there with that mindset, particularly younger workers and recent grads. We are so eager for the opportunity that we’ll agree to anything to impress the interviewer or recruiter. “Sure, I love customer service! I’ll sit there for 8 hours straight an answer 50-60 incoming calls a day in a call center! That’s my number one strength!” In the process, we end up sacrificing our true priorities simply because we want to be employed.

    As I gained more experience and began ...
    Read more