Category Archives: Creative Career Cheer

Jan 27 2015

Should You Take That Job?


Should you take that job?

I was recently introduced to a project TheLadders is doing where they are asking for advice for recent college grads.  As I thought about it and started drafting the article in my head, I realized that what I wanted to say applied to a broader question:

Should I take that job?

We can ask our parents and friends, but we’re just not sure if they can take their own biases out of the equation.

We can make a Pro + Con list and make a decision based on which column is longer, but that won’t tell the whole story.

We can make a decision based on fear or desperation, but that’s usually when we end up exactly where we don’t wanna be.

I think you should take the job if…

…it’s for a company you believe in. I find that where my clients work is just as (or more!) important than what they do. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 6 Comments


Jan 21 2015

It’s your choice.


On Friday, December 26th, I decided to sign up for my first half-marathon.

I’m not sure what was in the air that made me do it.

I’ve only ever run a 5K, and did it barely and slowly. And that was 8 months ago! Since then I’ve walked tons (for the Avon 2 Day Walk I now do annually), but have only gone on runs super sporadically.

Wish me luck! #1st5K #dontdie #gorgeousday

A photo posted by Michelle Ward (@whenigrowupcoach) on

On the day I signed up, I knew I could only run 2 miles without stopping. I also knew that, without being a member of a gym (or wanting to be), I’d have to train in the cold NYC winters (which I’m a total wimp about).

But I also knew that, without something to train for, my exercising had gone by the wayside – and the best way to hold myself accountable and get my butt moving was to have an external commitment.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 5 Comments


Jan 19 2015

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Harper’s Story


The Recession is Bullhonkey: Harper's Story

This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. Harper Spero sent me an introductory email and, after reading her About page, I asked if she’d share her story here. The goodness is below!

Fast-paced. High stress. Nonstop. Urgent. E-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g is urgent.

Everything must get done right this second, not a minute later. There’s no time to wait. If the editor doesn’t get her lipstick before she goes on vacation, she’ll never think about our brand again. If we don’t respond to this customer in the next 20-minutes, we’ll lose their business. If we don’t send that tweet during the MTV Video Music Awards, our client is going to be devastated.

I lived this life for many years until my body shut down and told me “enough already!”

It was 2012 and I was working in (clearly) a very toxic work environment.

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Jan 13 2015

Dear Future Me (2015)


Dear Future Me (the 2015 edition)

New glasses (that I’m planning to wear in public often, which I’ve never really done before – and I’ve had glasses since 1987!) + new haircut + unstraightened hair (which I also haven’t done regularly since ’87 or so!) = the 2015 me!

This is the fifth time I’ve written a Dear Future Me letter. You can read the others here and here and here and here (and why I didn’t write one in 2013 here), and the idea behind the Dear Future Me letter from the amazeballs woman I stole it from (hi Jess Lively!) right here. Like past years, I decided to keep some things private…but this is about 95% of the letter below. 

Dear Future Michelle,

This has been your year.

Everything has really “clicked”, and it’s because – after 5 years of being a Woman of the World (aka full-time entrepreneur), of the things you’ve gone through, the lessons you’ve learned, as well as your successes – you feel really, truly, ready to Play Big and step into the spotlight.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Charge, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
COMMENTS: 9 Comments


Jan 12 2015

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Lukasz’ Story


 

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This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. Lukasz Laniecki started tweeting me a couple months ago, and when I heard a snippet of his story (leaving litagation law to consult and speak and then start a parenting blog – all in the course of under 3 years!) I asked him to write it up for this series. I’m thrilled that he obliged!

My story is not of an abusive or micromanaging boss. I have not gotten fired. It is not a story of escaping a cubicle job or ditching the corporate world. I was never even a part of that world. No, none of this happened to me.

I did not have a feeling of hating what I was doing.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer, Encouragement for Everyone
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Dec 29 2014

The Recession is Bullhonkey: Tess’ Story


Planning is good, but doing is best.

This is part of The Recession is Bullhonkey series, where I share stories of those who have gotten hired and/or started their own businesses (or sometimes both!) since 2008. Tess Blankenship was in my March 2014 session of Career Camp, and man oh man she is working the Nancy Drew angle of her career change in the best way possible! Her story shows that you don’t have to put your multi-passionate self yourself in a lil’ box & that you can have a full-time gig *and* have time to put not 1, not 2, but 3 (!) career ideas in motion. Love!

I have no sad story to tell, no traumatic life changing event, years in the corporate world, decent bosses, and good pay…so what’s the big deal?

No soul, no passion.

It’s just a job and I now refuse to believe in the camp that says you should just keep any old job and live with just your free time to do what you love.

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 2 Comments


Dec 18 2014

Why I probably won’t run Career Camp again (and a last-chance special deal!)


Why I won't be running Career Camp again - & a last day special!

Deciding to run Career Camp again – to start this January – was a bit of a last-minute decision.

I sent an email to my Tech Titan on Nov 7th with the subject line: “12/1 Career Camp Launch – am I nuts?”

I was nuts (still am, and proud of it!), but I knew that I could pull it off.

It felt important to me to offer this in the new year. I was excited about thinking of working with a new group of Campers who wanted to discover their passionate, grown-up career but couldn’t afford my one-on-one sessions and/or liked the aspect of being part of a group. I couldn’t wait to meet them!

So I did what I was “supposed” to:

  • I created an editorial schedule for my blog and newsletter that I felt was valuable content that related to the benefits of Career Camp. 


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POSTED IN: Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 14 Comments


Dec 17 2014

What happens when you live for your retirement?


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My Dad is in his mid-60s. He and his wife recently moved out of their condo and into a retirement community an hour or two away from where they were living.

They made the move earlier than they planned, but are enjoying the “semi-retired” life that’s spent doing a bit of work and a lot of leisure.

In late October, my Dad came to visit from Florida. He was here for a family celebration, and was in my apartment with his wife, my mother-in-law, myself and the baby.

I walked into a conversation that my Dad was having with my mother-in-law, and it’s stuck with me since.

He was explaining to her how much they love their new home and lifestyle, and how devastated they were to hear that a close friend of theirs was newly diagnosed with terminal cancer.

A man in his 60s, he was given just months to live.

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Dec 16 2014

10 Things to Do Besides Complain About Your Job


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I know – your job sucks.

It might just be sucky enough that you’re bored, or checked out, or exasperated with your responsibilities or work environment…

…or it might be so sucky that it’s leaving you feeling ill – physically and/or emotionally…

…or it might be somewhere in between, falling on the scale between “soul-crushing” and “barely tolerating.”

If you find yourself complaining about your job, here’s 10 things to do instead:

1. Write down what you enjoy about your job. Thinking about it in your head ain’t enough – get it out on paper! What was it that made you interested in the job in the first place, and are those things still resonating? When have you felt useful or helpful at work? What is it about the culture, company mission, and/or people that you like?

2. Write down what you’ve enjoyed about past jobs. 

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POSTED IN: Career Actions Activated, Creative Career Cheer
COMMENTS: 5 Comments


Dec 15 2014

Where are they now?


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It’s been about a year since I’ve run the first session of Career Camp, and I just love getting reports from my campers with all the action steps they’ve taken since we’ve wrapped up.

And sure, you can peruse the testimonials, but they don’t cover all the changes that’ve been made and all the action steps have been taken. I’m such a proudcited Head Counselor!

So: where are they now?

Meeno had taken 2 career change courses before Career Camp, but since we wrapped up, she’s given notice at her job, started a consulting business in health communications and research, and has made her jewelry shop into her second full-time biz. Yes!

During her time in Camp, Cheryl realized that major social/political/economic change can only happen through the spiritual transformation of the individual. She quit her job, made a move to the mountains with her husband, and is working on a line of products that reflect her creativity and inspire others!

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