Learn a new skill

Separate Work from Who are Are: An Introduction Change

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You don't have to be defined by your work. When you introduce yourself to someone new replace what you do with who you are.

Our identity tie to work is strong. I realized this when I decided to quit my job to stay home with my third child. It never occurred to me how I relied on my achievements at work to define who I am. I found there are no performance reviews for a stay-at-home parent.

Does who you are change because of work? Most definitely, but WHO you are is separate from what you DO.

So instead of: Hi! My name is Meg Applegate. I'm a resume writer.

Let's replace the formality with: Hi! I'm Meg. A woman of faith, driven by even the littlest of goals. I'm lit up by connections with people and prone to giggling at the cheesiest of jokes.

It's your turn. Who are you outside of what you do?

Need help discerning what makes you unique? Check out Meg’s DIY branded resume statement mini-workbook to set yourself apart from the crowd.

Flip the Script: 3 Ways to Create a New Narrative

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We tell ourselves stories. Are you familiar with yours?

Stories are powerful. They affect our day: how we engage with daily happenings, our relationships, how we approach our work and even our self-confidence. The stories we tell ourselves affect our behavior and decisions. What have you been telling yourself lately?

Perhaps work feels like a battlefield or you wake up thinking, “I can’t manage all of the things again today.” The stories we tell ourselves become truth in our brains even if it isn’t truth at all.

How can you flip the script for deeper fulfillment and energy to pursue your professional goals?

According to Monique Valcour and John McNulty, in their Harvard Business Review Article, “To Make a Change at Work, Tell Yourself a Different Story”, there a few simple action steps you can take to use your stories for your good:

Identify the stories you tell yourself. What thoughts are consistently on loop in your brain? It may take a few days to figure it out. What common phrases do you catch yourself saying in your head?

Examine how the story affects you. Do you feel free or limited by these phrases? Confident or the lack thereof? How do these stories affect your personal and professional relationships?

Flip the script with a new narrative. Once you identify the need for a different story - make new choices. Course correct! Tell yourself the truth over and over again.

Hayley Morgan, author of Preach to Yourself: When Your Inner Critic Comes Calling, Talk Back with Truth, identifies these bad news loops and explains that we can actually make new pathways in our brains, removing the old train of thought with the new. Therefore, choose to take a different path with new stories and beliefs.

Walk the pathway of freedom through daily course correction from limiting beliefs to liberating stories.

Develop Skills With Intentionality

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Nothing like a snow day in central Indiana to slow you down.

While I take stock of ingredients today to cook up a baked treat with my kids, it reminds me what I’ve been reading regarding “deliberate practice” in Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit.

I’ve never been good at baking and honestly, getting out and dirtying all the kitchen things to do one of my most dreaded chores (washing dishes) always sways me to another activity despite a sweet reward.

But this holiday season, I’m aiming to establish traditions around baking with my family that I have yet to create. “Deliberate practice” is more than just logging hours and hours of a new skill, but in being intentional in the practicing of it.

With baking it might be trying a recipe a few different ways, adding a smidge here or there of an ingredient, commenting on a recipe noting what worked and what didn’t and having honest taste testers (I have three little ones of those;) reflect which was the most successful.

What skill do you want to improve or add to your skill set? What deliberate measures can you take to practice honing it? Mastering a skill adds to your value and brand.

Need help articulating it on your resume? Invest in our mini-workbook.

We Finish Each Other's Sandwiches: Three Email Tips

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We finish each other’s sandwiches...I mean sentences.

I don’t mind Gmail finishing my sentences. In fact, I’m always looking for email shortcuts.

As a university academic advisor, I was delivering much of the same information via email just in different ways to different students. I tried to find email tricks to work smarter, not harder.

Some email shortcuts that work for me:

📌 Create template emails in my drafts folder to copy/paste and then tweak.

📌 If you email through outlook ➝ use the “quick parts” function or Gmail ➝ Canned Responses for any information you share frequently.

📌 Enable send and archive button to keep your inbox fresh and clean.

Tell me all your email time-saving tips! Who can't spare a few more minutes in their day?

P.S. Catch that Frozen reference, Disney fans? 😉

Horse on Roller Skates: A Skill Set Mismatch

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Do you ever feel like a horse on roller skates?

Err..let me rephrase that.

Do you ever feel like your job doesn’t match your skill set? You have more or different to offer that isn’t being met in your current role.

If you are unsure how to explore this mismatch start with LinkedIn! Use your skills as search terms and see what jobs and/or people come up. Peruse the postings and study the career direction of those that come up in your search.

Need more tips on how to hone a new career direction? Download our free tip sheet and put your professional disparities out to pasture (yep, I couldn’t help myself!).

Ride the Bicycle of Belief & Courage

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When was the last time you faced one of your fears? I mean really tackled something you were scared of doing?

My daughter learned how to ride her bike without training wheels this past weekend. It was a BIG moment mostly because she conquered her fear.

The funny thing is she already learned last summer. We have a video to prove it, but she didn’t really believe she could do it. So, this summer we tried to get the bike out to ride, but she just wasn’t interested.

This past Friday, at the dinner table, she agreed to give it a go. On the first try, her bike flew out of my husband’s grip as she sped off yelling, “this is easy...I can do this!”

That evening, I learned a little bit more about the power of belief and the courage to act on it.

What ideas am I buying into that are holding me back? In what areas of my life can I take up courage and later yell back, “this is easy…I can do this!”?

What about you? How can you finish this week courageously?

A Bear Hunt of an Opportunity

We're going on a bear hunt. We're going to catch a big one. What a beautiful day! We’re not scared.

[obstacles ensue]

We can’t go over it. We can’t go under it. Oh no! We’ve got to go through it!

A big, dark forest: stumble, trip * stumble, trip; winds blow: hoooo woooo * hoooo woooo

Oh-oh! A cave! A narrow, gloomy cave. WHAT’S THAT? It's a BEAR! 🐻

[back through the obstacles]

Into bed. Under the covers. We’re not going on a bear hunt again.

⇪ ⇪ ⇪

As I read “We’re Going on a Bear Hunt” by Michael Rosen + Helen Oxenbury [adapted above], for the forty-third time this week because it is my 2-year old’s recent obsession – it dawned on me.

scary job hunt; job search; career; job

This is “me”...US! When we step out of our comfort zone – it is scary! Our sought-after opportunity is the bear that we’ve hunted and when we find it – we run (or want to!) back through all the obstacles it has taken us to get there…to cozy under our soft, warm duvet of a comfort zone. DON’T DO IT!

I heard a saying today that “nothing new grows in a comfort zone.” Isn’t that so true? Do you want something new? Want a new job? Develop a new skill?

Be brave and scared! Step into the hunt and cultivate your something new.