I sometimes work with clients who have had long work histories with one company, and a long period in which they have felt like both the work culture and the job do not fit them. In my experience, this can lead to a sense of imposter syndrome, as well as feeling trapped and disengaged.
Some clients in this situation work with me after they’ve already left the job, but often they want to leave but haven’t yet because of understandable worry about the unknown and finances. I help them work through these challenges, in part through exploring and taking steps towards a meaningful long-term career goal, reducing the unknown. But sometimes, before seeking new work, they need a break to recharge, recalibrate, and reorient to the new direction.
This article from Harvard Business Review talks about this type of break or “sabbatical,” and how it might look different for different people. Most of the clients I described above fit in the sabbatical category of “Quest.” *If you have heard someone talk about needing a break from work, but feeling worried about the unknowns – please refer them to me at https://lnkd.in/gAGfhEwn to set up a complementary career consultation; I would love to help them navigate a change!
Summary content from the article regarding three different types of sabbaticals:
o “Working holidays…People who were pulled into this type of sabbatical did so to work on a passion project (for example, to volunteer for a think tank or found a start-up)..These sabbatical-takers ended up largely returning to their former jobs.”
o “Free dives…People who fell into this category were pulled into their sabbaticals by wanderlust…they reached the point where they 'needed an adventure and a kind of a soul reset…'"
o “Quests…The third group had the most dramatic transformations. Questers weren’t pulled into projects or adventures but pushed out of work by unsustainable expectations and toxic organizational cultures. Exhausted and burned out, the sabbatical was a last resort because continuing on their current path was untenable…unlike with working holidays or free dives, questers rarely went back to their old jobs.”
Harvard Business Review, 2/22/23
#careerchange #jobs #work #careercounseling #career
Four-Day Work Week?
What do you think about a Four-Day Work Week? Positive results are coming out after a trial kicked off last year in the U.S., U.K., and Canada. See quotes from a Washington Post and Today articles below. I can confirm that many of my clients are resistant to returning to the normal work week, post-COVID. Many are seeking online or hybrid positions and many are looking for alternative schedules, such as on and off periods of work, four 10-hour days, or two or more streams of income, including part-time businesses.
"Kickstarter and more companies are seeing amazing results after they tried out a four-day workweek in 2022.
Last year, a trial kicked off in the U.S, Canada and the U.K...and many companies found that their productivity increased in ways that they could never imagine...The non-profit group 4 Day Week Global reported that out of the 61 companies that participated in the U.K. trial, at least 56 were continuing with the four-day week, with 18 saying the policy is a permanent change.
The organization also found that people were better able to balance their home and family commitments, while company revenue increased by 35% on average in comparison to the same period from last year."
#jobs #work #covid #careercounselling
From the Washington Post:
Michelle, a 49-year-old media executive, said that, "...After working three- and then four-day weeks when she returned from maternity leave in 2015, she noticed a “stark” difference when she shifted back to five-day weeks...
“Suddenly, it felt like my entire life was about work,” she says. She came “close to burnout” and, when her contract at that company ended, she was clear with prospective employers that she wanted to work four days a week. In her current position, she has Fridays off and is paid 80 percent of what she would earn if she worked five days.
“It feels like I can breathe,” she said. “It feels like I’m not constantly behind with my family life and feeling guilty and like squashing all of the jobs and errands and everything into two days.”
This article shares some interesting stories and statistics. I think that many people changed jobs during the pandemic either because they were adapting to big changes or they had the silver lining of more space and opportunity to reflect on their current career satisfaction and long-term goals. Many of my clients came to me for the latter reason.
*Tip: Taking the time for reflection, research, and conscious decision-making can prevent you from seeking job change again in a year or two.
More than One in Five Workers Say They are Likely to Look for a New Job in the Next Six Months
A recent study from the Pew Research Center finds that more than one in five workers say they're likely to look for a new job in the next six months but are concerned about the difficulty. I help my clients navigate these difficult challenges. It's no surprise that one factor motivating this job change, according to this study, is whether there is a sense of job security - which translates to healthy work culture and trust, two key values expressed by my clients. Quote from the article:
"...about one-in-five workers (22%) say they are very or somewhat likely to look for a new job in the next six months. And despite reports of widespread job openings, 37% of workers say they think finding a new job would be very or somewhat difficult. Workers who feel they have little or no job security in their current position are among the most likely to say they may look for new employment: 45% say this, compared with only 14% of those who say they have a great deal of security in their job."
The good news is that the majority of folks who previously changed jobs now have a higher salary. Career transition can look different ways, as well, depending on the individual, such as maintaining or developing two or more income streams.
Look Before You Leap!
Career change can be positive and energizing! And it's usually best to take some time exploring, researching, and reflecting on the transition before quitting a current job. This interesting result shared from a recent Harris Poll survey (USA Today):
"Most of the millions of Americans who quit jobs during the Great Resignation regret the move, don't like their new position enough to stay or are searching for a new gig...Many workers acted hastily amid a pandemic that fostered severe worker shortages, a seismic shift to remote work and widespread burnout, employment experts say."
As an entrepreneur, I practice these strategies regularly as I reach out to potential clients, and I help my clients leverage them to transition into meaningful jobs they love.
The first key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is maintaining confidence and communicating that confidence when networking or talking with employers. One valuable tool I help my clients develop is positioning statements. What are positioning statements?
A positioning statement is an expression of how a given product, service or brand fills a particular consumer need in a way that its competitors don't. When it comes to personal positioning statements, the idea is the same...What makes you unique? What experiences and accomplishments show your character and what you bring to the table? This article in Forbes, Start Your New Year Right: Develop Your Personal Brand, goes into more detail about how you can begin to develop your own positioning statements. Forbes, Community Voice, 1/26/2018
Another aspect of maintaining and communicating confidence is managing those internal voices of self doubt and self sabotage, which I spoke to in some depth in a previous newsletter.
The second key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is creating a clear and cohesive career narrative throughout your verbal and written job search tools. Your resume, LinkedIn, cover letter, elevator speech, and the way you interview should all convey a story that makes sense and most importantly has a big impact on potential employers. Paint a crystal clear picture for them as to what you have to offer, why you are a great fit for them, and why they should definitely hire you. Don't make them guess! Lead them down the path and make it easy to say yes.
* Hint: Before you can do this, you need to be crystal clear on all these things yourself! as well as on your long-term objective. This is an area of expertise and passion for me; it's fun to support clients in exploring, researching, reflecting, and developing this clear narrative.
A third and final key to successfully selling yourself in a job search is tapping into the hidden job market. Whatever you do, don't simply rely on well-known job boards to find and apply for jobs. You may luck out and find a great job that way, but since 60% of available jobs are never listed on job boards, if you rely only on this method, you are missing out on a vast number of possible jobs!
So how do you access this hidden job market? I'll share a few ways I know are effective:
A last little tip: Use your strengths as an Introvert or Extrovert and don't burn out by going against your nature when transitioning careers or searching for a job!
As I have mentioned in past newsletters, my passion is helping talented professionals who have outgrown their jobs - and may be feeling frustrated and disconnected from their greatest gifts - to recognize and focus these gifts in a rewarding career that feels like play and makes a huge difference in the world.
I have space right now for a few more new clients, If you or someone you know would benefit from experienced career guidance, please let me know right away. I hope the rest of your summer is wonderful and exceeds your expectations.
To Your Success and Happiness!
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
(805) 540-1942 (please text first)
Fall 2017 Navigating Transitions Newsletter - Updates and information on "Growth Mindset"
Bountiful Fall Blessings to You!
I hope this letter finds you healthy and happy. Just in the last week, here in Northern California, the weather has turned a little more crisp in the evenings, and it’s starting to feel like Fall.
It's been an eventful year for me, so far. This last Spring, I moved to Sonoma County, and the transition demanded a lot of my focus and energy. I now feel settled and have been enjoying the rich offering of wines and food in this area, as well as the outdoor beauty.
A stock photo of my new hometown of Petaluma
This Fall also marks my second semester providing academic and career counseling part-time at Santa Rosa Junior College. I am enjoying working with my team and supporting student success on a variety of levels, while continuing to thrive in the expanded creativity of seeing clients through my business. For those who don't know, I didn't always enjoy my work, however...
When I initially moved to the Bay Area, I worked as a Case Manager with a loud, chaotic non-profit in San Francisco. As an Introvert, the noise overwhelmed me, and I struggled to focus. My supervisor was a critical micro-manager, and the focus was on pushing paperwork versus developing client connections. I hated going to work each day and couldn't wait until 5 o'clock. After that job mercifully ended, I took time for soul searching and clarified what was most important to me, vowing to make my next career decisions carefully. These choices ended up leading to college counseling and eventually starting my own business. If you feel ready for some soul searching, feel free to check out my Career Clarity Questionnaire, which may give you further clues.
Back to the present...So now, after my recent season of transition, I am ready to once again work to increase the counseling services I offer through Navigating Transitions. I am excited to re-focus on growth and reaching out to clients in my local area – and beyond through phone and Skype.
As one way to support this expansion, I am now leading my active and successful Meetup group on career transitions in Petaluma, offering events once a month. The next Meetup is Friday, October 13th and will include career transition tips and networking time. I invite you to join us, or would love if you spread the word to others who might benefit. If you don't live in the area, I suggest making a trip of it and going wine tasting or sight seeing!
My passion is still helping talented Introverts who have outgrown their jobs - and may be distracting or isolating themselves and feeling disconnected from their greatest gifts - to recognize and focus these gifts in a rewarding career that feels like play and makes a huge difference in the world.
But I have found in my own life and in work with clients over the last 10 plus years, that having talents or gifts does not equate automatically to success. Two of the most important additional components in success, I believe, are a love of learning and persistence, or “Growth Mindset.” A recent blog post I read on the website, Udacity, “The Importance of Curiosity and Persistence in a Knowledge Economy,” analyzes this in an interesting way, including discussing the difference between resilience and persistence (hint: reactive vs. active). The post ends with this, “These are individuals who have taken it upon themselves to learn something new, and despite the pressures of the outside world (work commitments, family obligations, financial pressures, etc.), they stick it out, and they learn, and they achieve, and these achievements make new and better futures possible.”
I also wanted to share a few quotes on this topic from well-known people, which I find inspirational:
This newsletter will go out approximately once a quarter. You're already signed up, and you can unsubscribe at any time. I hope, however, that you'll enjoy receiving it, and that you'll find it worth sharing with others as well.
To Your Success and Happiness,
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
Holiday Newsletter 2016
As you enter the holiday season and move closer to year’s end, you may find yourselves going within and feeling reflective. Certainly, the election has left us, and continues to leave us, with much to think about! Beyond that, in our personal and career lives – in these last months of the year when darkness falls earlier and earlier and a chill is in the air – it’s not unusual to think more about the level of meaning we currently feel in our work and relationships, and perhaps even experience some melancholy and sadness. It can also be an extremely busy time, with many events on the calendar and visits with family. More introverted personalities can become overwhelmed or exhausted and need to carve out, and be firm in protecting, times of rest and recharging.
As I think back on 2016, it’s been a year of growth and gradual expansion for Navigating Transitions! I wanted to share some updates, then later, in the spirit of winter reflection, offer resources for the “inner game” of career transition. These include articles about breaking through self-doubt and self-sabotage, and a tool I share in the career counseling process to help clients combat persistent negative beliefs and self-talk.
One area of business growth this year was investment and time in my Oakland office. As my client load grew and remained consistent in the East Bay, I made a shift from renting office space by the hour, to paying monthly rent for regular office use. Benefits of this arrangement include feeling more connected to my colleagues who share the Dahlia Therapy Center space, having my name on the signage at the door, and consolidating my trips to Oakland. I am available by phone or Skype appointments on other days when clients prefer, as well.
I have also been enjoying seeing a smaller number of clients in Concord. One intention for 2017 is to reach more introverts and professionals in the Concord/Pleasant Hill/Walnut Creek area seeking meaningful career change, and to increase my number of clients and events in this area.
On a personal level, I have continued to enjoy living in Martinez and frequenting the local businesses and restaurants in the friendly downtown area, walking my Boston Terrier, Zoey, around the neighborhoods, and attending local events such as the Zombie Crawl for Halloween, “Holiday Frolic” activities, and a thriving Farmer’s Market every Sunday. I enjoy attending some of these events with my housemate who moved in last July – it’s wonderful that she loves dogs, too, and enjoys spending time with Zoey when she’s home!
Most recently, Navigating Transitions growth has involved gathering new templates and tools around the “inner game” of career transition… So, more specifically, what is the “inner game”?
Well, most people at points in their career find themselves mired in fear, self-doubt, or self-sabotage; however hard they try and regardless of what goals they set, they can’t seem to develop and maintain momentum forward. This is the “inner game,” we must all successfully work through if we want to expand our horizons and achieve bigger career and life goals. More specifically, this pattern can look like that voice that keeps telling you you’re too old or not qualified for that job you want. Or becoming caught up in all the “what ifs” so powerfully that you feel paralyzed to take action. It can also be the less conscious part of ourselves acting out to recreate familiar dynamics and circumstances we learned long ago but that no longer serve us, or channeling anxiety into behaviors that sabotage success and assure we won’t have to take the risk to change or face our fears.
Most of my clients encounter these blocks sooner or later in the career counseling process. One tool I offer them to combat negative beliefs and self-talk is a process I first discovered when I was in graduate school called, “The Four Questions,” from the work of Byron Katie. These negative beliefs or judgments might sound like the self judgments mentioned in the paragraph above, or cognitive beliefs such as, “I'm not talented enough to do that job” or “If I stop saying yes to everything that’s asked of me at work, I will lose my job and my family.” For these thoughts, I suggested reducing their power by reality checking them with Byron Katie's Four Questions:
In the last few months, I also came across several articles about self-doubt and self-sabotage. To start with, I read an article in O, the Oprah Magazine, called, “Martha Beck’s 3-Step Plan to Defeat Self-Sabotage”. If you want to understand self-sabotage, check out this article. It says our logical self, “builds a sort of cage of obligations and beliefs” that traps our more primal self inside. Self-sabotage is our animal self trying to, “ease its distress while living in that cage.” She then shares ways to consciously break out!
Here are a few additional articles of value:
Continuing with the theme of the “inner game” and conquering self-doubt and self-sabotage, the Conscious Career Transition Success Meetup I lead in the East Bay focused on this topic in Albany on December 13th. Each month, I offer supportive career guidance and tools around our theme, as well as structured networking. We have a lot of fun and make meaningful connections. Our next Meetup is January 19th, please visit!
Lastly, can you think of someone you know who feels stuck or unhappy in their career? As a holiday season special, I am currently offering several free 30-minute “Into Your Dream Career” Strategy Sessions, in which I help people get clear on what they want, what’s holding them back, and share expert guidance to help them get there. Click this scheduling link for you, a friend, family member, or colleague to book one of a limited number of winter sessions. You can also call or email me today to reserve a time. And please share this newsletter with anyone who might benefit!
I wish you much success and joy (and times to rest and recharge) this Holiday Season!
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
Happy Summer from Navigating Transitions! There seem to be summer festivals and gatherings happening everywhere I turn, and the big one that recently happened for me is my high school reunion in Eugene, Oregon. It was wonderful to see great friends I haven’t seen in a very long time, and I look forward to staying in better touch going forward. I took the opportunity to spend time with family, including my nieces and nephew, as well.
My high school chums before the Saturday night event (men have not changed into their evening attire!).
Navigating Transitions continues to grow and evolve, supporting new clients around the issues of meaningful career success for Introverts and professionals who want to love their work and make a big difference. Please visit my website, pick up a free Career Clarity Questionnaire, and say hello! Clients I’ve worked with over the last several months or a year have graduated on to new career – or in some cases educational – opportunities. I am thrilled to celebrate these successes together!
In the last month, I’ve begun working with a couple more clients at my new office, near Concord and Walnut Creek. Both of them are Introverts who, after struggling in jobs that burned them out, are interested in finding careers that fit their strengths and give them a greater sense of purpose. One said recently after taking recommended personality and interest assessments, “I see now that I was really in the wrong career for me!” For those who live in or near this area, I am happy to meet in person at this location, as well as continuing to meet with folks in Oakland and remotely over phone and Skype.
Another representative career exploration example I want to share is about my client in New York. She just bought a home, so she doesn’t want to make a big education commitment at this time. Thus, we have narrowed the possibilities down to two careers that use her talents and only require short-term training programs she can complete while continuing to work. It was a breakthrough for her to realize she could find a rewarding career she loves and not need to finish a higher degree. She is also considering creating two simultaneous streams of income, allowing her to build theatre education experience, while supplementing income through a higher-paying job that incorporates other interests within areas of expertise.
My New York client is not alone in building multiple income streams. I see more and more people making the choice to earn a living through multiple income sources, and lots of valuable information about this topic is popping up in the news and on social media. The people who have chosen this path, including I and many of my colleagues and clients, have discovered that multiple income streams can give you more stability because you don’t have to rely wholly on one employer, and it can grant the opportunity to use more of your talents and interests in your work life. It can also lead to more flexibility and free time during the 9-5 work day to spend with family or outside, and allow you to develop a business or one career stream while being financially supported by another income stream. For example, when I began building my business, I continued part-time college teaching and counseling, which I enjoy and which pays well.
Lastly, this strategy can also allow you to accumulate wealth at a faster pace, once debt is paid down. According to research conducted by Thomas C. Corley for a Business Insider article quoted in the article, “Smart People Separate Eggs to Avoid a Scramble,” on smallbiztrends.com, “…65 percent of self-made millionaires had three streams of income. 45 percent had four streams of income. And 29 percent had five or more income streams.” 6/3/2015
As a caviat, of course there are also those who have to work multiple part-time jobs but would prefer one full-time job, which is a separate category, especially when the part-time jobs are low-paying and without benefits. What I’m referring to in this newsletter is making the choice to develop multiple income streams, which may include part-time jobs in different sectors but also passive income streams that, while requiring a surge of effort and time up front, over the long run don’t require a lot of effort. These include real estate and stock investments, intellectual property, and online products and businesses, among other things. For coaches and consultants for example, while they may see clients one-on-one, they may also offer workshops and group programs, as well as home study programs, webinars and e-books, as illustrated in the article, “7 Simple Income Streams (That you can actually create),” by Dave Navarro, The Launch Coach.
Adding to this perspective, Pat Flynn, who blogs at Smart Passive Income, defines passive income in the Forbes article, “Smart Passive Income: 10 Top Tips From Expert Pat Flynn,” as “building online businesses that take advantage of systems of automations that allow transactions, cash flow and growth without requiring a real-time presence. We don’t have to trade our time for money one to one. Instead, we invest our time upfront, creating valuable products and experiences for people, and we reap the benefits of that time invested later.” Here is the full article, if you would like to read more. 8/26/2014
If your excited to know more about the multiple income stream career choice, here are a couple more articles and resources of value. And let me know if you would like career counseling support around building a career with multiple sources of income; I would love to work with you!:
Finally, I continue to enjoy leading the East Bay Career Transition Success Meetup group every month or so, sharing career development information and meeting great new people. The last Meetup event in Albany included:
I will be offering another Career Transition for Introverts workshop in early fall at Rudramandir in Berkeley and will continue to host monthly low-key, high-value networking gatherings in Albany. Here is the link to the East Bay Career Transition Success Meetup page. Please visit us!
I hope you enjoyed and received some value from this newsletter. I welcome your feedback or input on topics you would like to see in future newsletters. I invite you, a friend, family member, or colleague to try a free, half-hour “Into Your Dream Career” strategy session this month. Please call or visit my website today to learn more!
To Your Happiness and Success,
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
(805) 540-1942 (please text first)
Happy May! May 2016 Newsletter
Happy Spring! The flowers are blooming in California, and I am enjoying the sights and smells of the roses in my yard. Navigating Transitions continues to bloom as well, supporting more clients around the issues of meaningful career success for introverts and professionals who want to make a big difference doing work that requires and values their strengths.
In the last couple months, I’ve taken on several new clients, including one previous acquaintance from New York! I work with some clients remotely, and I am happy to discover that we are able to achieve the same success that I achieve with clients I meet with in my Oakland office. For those who live locally and prefer meeting in person, I have another, brand-new office – located in Walnut Creek! A colleague referred me to Regus, a great place which allows me to book office space as needed – helpful as I continue to grow my client list in this area.
In a recent session with my New York client, I discovered she had tried once to start her own theater education business, but had given up that dream when it hadn’t immediately taken off. I shared what I’ve learned over recent years, that it takes serious skills to launch a successful business; skills we are not born with, but skills we can learn! It may not happen overnight, but it can happen step by step. She’s now reignited with passion and commitment for her dream and we are working on a plan and action steps she can take now, while continuing to earn good money in a “stair step” job.
I also see more and more valuable information about career choices and leadership roles for Introverts. As I know well, the wrong career or work environment can lead to day-to-day misery on the job, especially if the environment is geared for extroverts only. The Sentinel & Enterprise had a thought-provoking article recently, Businesses Bloom as Opposites Attract, that referenced the book, "The Genius of Opposites: How Introverts and Extroverts Achieve Extraordinary Results," by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler. The book says that "Opposites can produce exponential results." She says teams that respect the differences in style and approach that introverts and extroverts bring to a team work “like bifocal lenses that can see both up close and at a distance.” This results in "improved morale, surpassed company goals and the (shared) high that comes from satisfying work." 3/29/2016
Here are a few more articles and resources of value:
I also assisted for the first time at the Client Attraction Summit with Jesse Koren and Sharla Jacobs at Thrive Academy, which helps businesses like Navigating Transitions to help more people and to grow. It was a lot of fun to be on the team and learn a wealth of knowledge about what goes on behind the scenes at a big event like this. Many of us intend to offer similar events in the future.
A bonus was seeing the event participants come in with low energy, keeping their guard up, then transform through the weekend into lit-up excitement, commitment, and heartfelt exchanges with their fellow entrepreneurs. I remember going through that transformation myself! I continue to translate these lessons for clients, as well.
Kristina and Friends Assisting at Thrive Client Attraction Summit in April
I’ll be following up this newsletter with an invitation for you, a friend, family member, or colleague to try a free, half-hour “Into Your Dream Career” strategy session this month. Will you take a moment to think of someone you know who might need my services? Please refer them to me or call or email me and I will follow up. Thanks!
To Your Happiness and Success,
Kristina Bennett, MA
Navigating Transitions Career Counseling
Kristina Bennett Cheney, MA, Career Counselor, helping mid-career professionals who are burnt out and frustrated in careers that drain their energy, to discover and transition to meaningful careers that fit and energize them.