Career E-News: May 2009 

Monthly E-Zine for People in Career Transition. Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin: The Career Success Coach 

In this issue:
Quick Tour of My Website
How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk
Stuck, Stalled or Confused in Your Job Search?
Quote of the Month: On "Taking Action"
Applause - ClappingClient Landings! 
 
Congratulations to my clients who landed new positions this year:  
 

Mark Stastny: Business Development Professional at IFS North America (Schaumburg, Illinois) 

 
Brent Scholar:
Launched "Scholar Consulting" serving the Not-For-Profit sector (Greensburg, Pennsylvania)
 

Jim Taylor: Underwriting and Collections Specialist; promoted to newly-created position of "Work-Out Specialist" established under the 2009 stimulus packages, to modify mortgages under the HASP program set up by the Government stimulus plan (Chicago, Illinois) 

 
Kevin Ragan:
Promoted to Regional Sales Manager- Hertz Sales. (South Carolina)
Quick Links...
Greetings!                           Joellyn Headshot 2009 
 
Hope you're having nice  weather in your part of the country! We've been enjoying  Spring here in Worcester. We have a beautiful garden surrounding our home, with multiple species of perennial flowers, blooming at different times during the spring and summer months. Every time I look out the window, I'm treated to something new, like purple columbines, white tulips, and deep pink peonies.
 
As our economy chugs along, I'm always on the lookout for encouraging news.  Yesterday, I stumbled on a great resource: The Good News Economist  (written by Elliot Mast) whose tagline is: "When all you read is gloom, turn here for a much different perspective." I encourage you to subscribe to his blog, which reports factual information, in an upbeat manner.   
 
During these tough times,
 you may want to succumb to negative thinking, which can keep you from moving foward with your career plans. In my article: "How to Overcome Negative Self-Talk" I offer some strategies to channel your thoughts in a more positive direction, to help reach your career goals.
 
One thing I know for sure: my clients (and clients of my colleagues) are getting jobs! (Scroll left to see "Client Landings"). So, instead of "waiting for things to get better out there," take action now and be ready for the future. Whether you want to make a career change, re-enter the job market after a long absence, need to get a job after a layoff, invested too much time in an unproductive search and don't know why, or are unclear about what it takes to get the job you want -- a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session will help get to the root of your career problem and get you moving in the right direction. Please scroll down for details!
 
Here's to your Career Success!
 
:-) Joellyn
 
P.S.: A great big "Welcome!" to all new readers who subscribed since last month! You're going to love the information you'll find here to help you find greater career success and satisfaction...Enjoy!
Quick Tour  Quick Tour of My Website 
 
Ater launching my new website in October 2007, I've been making ongoing changes to it, including some enhanced graphics.  Here's a quick tour of the key pages:  
 
Interview with Joellyn: Provides answers to frequently asked questions about who I am, what I do, how I work with clients, and an overview of my career coaching program.  
Getting Started: Provides details about the Career Action Planning (CAP) Session: how it works, what you get, and what it costs. 
Career Quiz: Short assessment to determine where you might need help in moving your career forward. 
Client Testimonials: Success stories from satisfied clients.  
Contact Me: Intake form, where you can contact me to schedule a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session or ask questions before working with me.
How To Overcome Negative Self-Talk       
People shaking hands
by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
 
As human beings, we talk to ourselves all day long. I don't mean that we verbalize our inner thoughts out loud in the presence of others. I'm referring to "self-talk" -- an unconscious, internal dialogue inside our brains -- which contributes to our thought processes. Multiple factors such as culture, environment, family upbringing, and personality traits can shape whether our self-talk is negative, positive or a mix of both. Positive self-talk energizes us and help us move forward; but negative self-talk drains our energies and makes us feel fearful about going after what we really want.

The good news is that negative self-talk can be overcome, by: 1) understanding its anthropologic origin; 2) replacing negative self-talk patterns with "allowing statements" (instead of using "positive affirmations); and 3) overriding fear by taking action. 
 
Negative self-talk is linked to our "primitive safety mechanism". The root of most negative self-talk is linked to the "primitive safety mechanism" programmed into our DNA, courtesy of our stone-age ancestors. Barbara Sher, author of Live the Life You Love, calls this "primitive safety mechanism" "the bodyguard that runs your life." When our ancestors sensed dangerous situations, such as wild animals or severe weather, their "primitive safety mechanism" warned them to stay out of harm's way. Fast-forward to the present: when we're making changes, such as looking for a new job, our negative self-talk functions as the "primitive safety mechanism" instinctively  preventing us from unknown territory, causing us to falsely believe that this change might be scary or unsafe.  
 
Negative self-talk creates "self-limiting beliefs."
You may consider yourself to be a positive-thinking person most of the time. But, have you noticed when you're making changes in your life  --  such as searching for a new job -- negative thoughts begin to kick in. You might hear internal dialogue such as "Who are you to get the job? I'll bet there are so many candidates better than you - so why bother trying?" Or, "Who do you think you are to want a better job than you already have? You're never satisfied. You're lucky to have the job you've got in today's economy -- so stay put." Depending on your level of self-esteem, you may take these statements to heart and falsely accept them as truth ("self-limiting belief") which can paralyze you from taking action.
 
To begin overcoming negative self-talk which creates self-limiting beliefs, follow the ABC's:
  • Become "Aware" of your negative self-talk patterns;
  • Recognize Behavior associated with them and the Belief behind them;
  • Understand that you have a Choice to reframe and accept a new truth.

Why using "Positive Affirmations" can be ineffective: There are several self-help resources, where I've read that simply "thinking positive" or repetitively reciting "positive affirmations" can help overcome negative thinking and self-limiting beliefs, to help manifest what you want.  By definition, a "positive affirmation" is a present-tense statement of something you'd like to come true in the future. However, for many people, using positive affirmations only activates negative self-talk all over again. Let's go to the example in the previous paragraph, about finding a new job. A "positive affirmation" of the situation could be: "I have a new job I love and am making the money I deserve." However, if this statement is stretching the present-day truth, your subconscious "knows" you are "not telling the truth;" then, your self-talk will respond with something like: "No you don't! No way will this ever happen - especially in today's economy!" Of course, language like this only leads to discouragement, and holds you back.  

Why "Allowing Statements" are better: Michael Losier, author of Law of Attraction: The Science of Attracting More of What You Want and Less of What You Don't, advocates using "allowing statements" instead of positive affirmations, because they are more "believable" to your subconscious mind, and less likely to active negative self-talk and doubt. According to Law of Attraction principles, "Allowing" is the absence of doubt. Here's Michael's formula for creating allowing statements, to deactivate doubt and reclaim your power:   
  1. Start by asking yourself if there is anyone currently doing what you want to do or having what you want. If so, then how many people have been doing this today?" Yesterday? Last week? Last year?
  2. Write your statements in the third person, because making reference to yourself only creates more doubt.
  3. Ensure that the statements are plausible.

Here's an example of how one of my clients (who was nervous about relocating to another state) developed an "allowing statement" which has helped him move forward.

Question: Is there anyone on this planet who has ever relocated to a new state and succeeded in their jobs?    
 
Answer:
Yes.
 
Question:
If so, then how many people have been doing this today? Yesterday? Last week? Last month? Last year?
 
Allowing Statement:
It is possible that hundreds of people have relocated to new states over the last 5 years and succeeded in their jobs -- and hundreds will do it in the future.
 
Override Fear by Taking Action: Ralph Waldo Emerson said: "Do the thing and you shall have the power;" Dr. Susan Jeffers states: "Feel the fear and do it anyway" (also the title of her best selling book.); and Dr. Denis Waitley (motivational speaker) declares: "FEAR is the acronym for "False Evidence Appearing Real." What these quotations mean, is whenever you take action, regardless of the thoughts in your head, you'll raise your self-esteem, expand your comfort zone and deactivate your negative self-talk. Have you ever noticed whenever you do something you're afraid of, you feel better after taking the "feared" action? One of my clients felt reluctant about going to a networking event for fear that she wouldn't know anyone and might be standing alone in a corner. After summoning the courage to go anyway, she had a wonderful time and walked away with a handful of influential contacts and new friends. The fear she felt dissipated and her self-esteem soared.
 
Ready - Set - Go!
Isolate a negative self-talk pattern that frequently comes up for you and turn it into an "allowing statement." Then, choose a small activity that you've been afraid to do and do it. Observe your doubt and fear diminishing - and your energy increasing! 

 2009 All Rights Reserved
CAPSessionStuck, Stalled or Confused in Your Job Search? New Question MarkCareer change stuck in neutral?
 
Whatever career problem you may be  struggling with -- whether you want to make a career change, re-enter the job market after a long absence, need to get a job after a layoff, invested too much time in an unproductive search and don't know why, or are unclear about what it takes to get the job you want --a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session will get to the root of your career problem and get you moving in the right direction. 
 
In this two-hour, strategic breakthrough consultation, you and I will talk about your work situation, your job search, and whatever seems to be making you feel stuck or stalled. We'll even discuss your career history from your early decision-making days to the present, to identify patterns and themes which stand out.
 
I'll listen, ask important questions, and provide you with feedback:
 
(1) What's working: Career decisions / job search strategies which are on the right track;
 
(2) What's standing in your way: The reason(s) why you're stuck, stalled or confused;
 
(3) Next steps:
Initial action plan steps to land your ideal career position.
 
Then, you can decide if you want to continue working with me or otherwise. Either way, you'll finish the session with a sense of "Aha! Now I know what I need to do!"  plus the beginnings of a strategy to help you move forward.    
The cost: $175.00.  This includes: 
  • MP3 recording of the session, plus a written summary.
  • 40-page e-book: "The 12 Biggest Mistakes Job Hunters and Career Changers Make -- and How to Avoid Them."
  • 45-minute follow-up session (no additional charge)
Still skeptical?  Here's what one client said:
 
"After going through your Career Action Planning (CAP) Session I quickly realized that you were someone that I felt comfortable with and would tell me the truth. Together we uncovered my talents so that I could have fun at work again. After completing your coaching program, I started my own business and am having the time of my life! 
 
--- Brent Scholar - Independent Consultant for Not-For-Profit Organizations
 
 Please contact me to schedule this single session
- or if you have any questions before proceeding! (Note: this session is conducted by telephone.)
Quote of the Month: on "Taking Action"
 
New Q
 "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." -- Theodore Roosevelt

 I really appreciate having you as a subscriber and I hope the content in this newsletter will help you be successful in your career. 
 
See you in June! 

Sincerely,

Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin
"The Career Success Coach" 
 

 2009 All rights reserved.