Handshakes and First Impressions

(The following is the script I prepared for an on-air interview on the KING5 New Day show. I guessed what questions the host would ask me (in bold) and wrote out — and memorized! — my answers.  Although I appear to be talking extemporaneously and confidently on the video, this script reads like a transcript.) Why is a handshake important? How ...

Don’t Drop the Baby!

Sometimes my coaching clients tell me they need to improve their confidence. I tell them not to drop the baby on TV. My office phone rang recently and I found myself talking to a producer for the KING 5 New Day talk show. He invited me to come on the show as an expert for National Handshake Day. In two ...

Garbage Happiness

I’m going to be that crazy old lady picking up garbage off the street. Middle school these days requires five volunteer hours per year to graduate – which doesn’t sound voluntary but whatever.  My 7th-grade son decided to fulfill the requirement by picking up garbage in the neighborhood. This was bliss for me. I get to go on a dog ...

The Rabbit Hutch

Making that career transition is like finding a rabbit hutch. I was recently talking with my lovely neighbor. She had a friend over, a nice person I’ve met once or twice over the years. As the three of us were talking, I happened to mention the bunny drama unfolding in my backyard: I had just rescued a very small baby ...

The Bikini Mistake

This is a story about a mistake. That wasn’t. But it took a while to figure that out. At business school some 15 years ago, I competed in a business case competition. My idea was a woman’s swimsuit that didn’t reveal your crotch or the particular shape of your ass.  A swimsuit you could wear on a boat, for example, ...

The Terror of Conferences

I admit it. I was filled with dread. I so regretted registering. I could have had a lovely, quiet day at my office. Instead, I was driving to Bellevue, to the Meydenbauer Center, during rush hour, for at least eight hours of keynote talks, training tracks, networking breaks, and other horrors. I’m fiercely introverted. It’s getting fiercer as I get ...

Stepping Stones

(I met with Heather as part of a Seattle Times “Career Makeover” series and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story.) Heather was feeling dated. She was sitting in my office, a Seattle Times Career Makeover subject, and worrying about the eight-year gap in her resume – a gap filled with raising kids, earning her B.A., ...

My Daring Greatly

An old friend asked me what I thought of Brene Brown’s book Daring Greatly. I stumbled, trying to be insightful, and then gave my copy to someone who needed it. This is what I should have said. Her book has given me a new vocabulary.  It has given me a linguistic shortcut that describes what is happening when I dare ...

Covert Rehearsal: Using Scripts

I often coach my clients around preparing for difficult or challenging questions — and was up at 6 a.m. this morning doing just that. I work with my clients on writing out the story they want to tell, then revising it until it is conversational and direct and focused. And then practicing it. I’ll often tell my clients, “Practice it ...

Networking Primer IV: Gone Fishing

(I met with Lance as part of a Seattle Times “Career Makeover” series and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story.) I told Lance to go on a fishing trip. A successful composer, he’s ready to do something else after 15 years of writing music professionally. Something a little more family friendly. After all, ...

Networking Primer III: The Wall

I met with Mary as part of a Seattle Times “Career Makeover”  column and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story. Mary wanted to talk about how to land a marketing job — but couldn’t stop talking about her work as a videographer. She’s a freelancer with clients ranging from a gaming company (“I’m ...

Career Transition as a Garden Party

This is the story I wrote up for the journalist writing the Career Makeover series for The Seattle Times. As a former journalist, I couldn’t just send her notes, I had to write the story, too! At 54, Mike has had a successfully solid career in supply chain management. For three decades, he’s been the guy that figures out how ...

Upper International

My husband took me down Upper International (a double black diamond, I’ll have you know) on the last day of the ski season this year. This is important (to me) because my season started on a green circle run as I tried to remember how to ski after 25-some years. My mid-season included a Traverse of Shame after I got ...

Networking Primer II

What do you tell a job seeker doing everything right — and still not finding work? I met with Tricia as part of a Seattle Times Career Makeover project and wrote the following summary of our conversation for the journalist writing the story. Tricia and I met at a drafty coffee shop in Columbia City. She presents as a very well-put-together, ...

The Old Man on the Bus

A favorite coaching client got blown off by his CEO. As the afternoon got later and later, my client watched the clock and seethed. He felt disrespected and unimportant. He was too busy being angry and anxious to get much else done that afternoon. “I tend to do that,” he told me. “I focus on the negative outcomes and it ...