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 ...

A Room of My Own

Years ago, in one of my first coaching classes, a beloved Master Coach asked me to describe my future office where I would do meaningful work. I could see it clearly in my mind’s eye: an open window letting in a warm breeze, a green view of trees and grass, a hint of blue sea in the distance. This week, ...

The Leap

“I took a leap of faith this morning,” a favorite coaching client told me. I held my breath. “I took it,” he said. I started dancing around the living room. I’ve been working with this client for the past three months on a career transition. He’d been in corporate marketing for most of his career and wanted to move into ...

AND

A coaching client is moving to Myanmar. (Which is not what usually happens with my clients.) This client is an adventurer. If he’d been born in the 19th century, he’d have set off with Shackleton. If he’d been born in the 24th century, he’d be off colonizing new planets. Since he was born in the 20th century, he’s moving to the other ...

I’ll Show You

The Colman Pool swim test loomed large all winter. If you’re a little kid, you can’t go down the slide or the diving board unless you pass the swim test. And it’s a long way. You have to swim the crawl stroke all the way across the pool and back, without stopping. My 7-year-old daughter Z really wanted to go ...

I Got It

“I got it.” That’s a nice email to see in my inbox. A coaching client has just landed a job doing work that matters to him at an organization you’ve heard of and respect. (It can be done.) “Thanks for everything you’ve done for me,” my client emailed. “I would have never have done what I needed to do to ...