All Posts by Tammy Banfield

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Jan 20

Finding Your Career Passion [Video]

By Tammy Banfield | Find A Career That Fits

FIND YOUR CAREER FIT

Finding Your Career Passion [Video]

Resume Writing Service Toronto

Tammy Banfield B.Sc.
Resume & Professional Branding Specialist

Careers by Design
7 MIN VIDEO

“Find your passion”.

It’s great advice. But what does “passion” actually mean? Many of us crave a passion-filled life, but, aren’t quite sure how to go about finding our own passion. If I asked you to help me look for a lost earring, you’d probably ask me what it looked like, right? You need to know what something looks like in order to find it.

In this month’s video blog, I’m going to help you develop a clearer picture of what passion looks like and give you a few tips to keep you on track during your search. Think of it as your own personal “passion” roadmap.

In the comments section, let me know how you’re making out with your search for passion, and your mission to have More Happy Mondays! I’m here to help!


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4 ways to make change easier
Jan 11

4 Powerful Steps to Make Any Change Easier

By Tammy Banfield | Career Change

CAREER CHANGE

4 Powerful Steps to Make Any Change Easier

Resume Writing Service Toronto

Tammy Banfield B.Sc.
Resume & Professional Branding Specialist

Careers by Design
6 MIN READ

4 ways to make change easier

If you hate change, you’re not alone.

Along with the 34% of people in this study who said they would avoid change at all costs, I am also among you change-haters.

I’m one of those people who despises change, yet, seems to constantly hurl themselves into it. Whether it’s a new project, a new athletic endeavour, moving from city to city (and sometimes to different countries), or forming new professional and personal relationships, I’m as restless as they come. While I’m constantly pushing the envelope and testing my boundaries, I don’t feel I handle change well.

Fearing change is perfectly normal. Change brings about a loss of control, increased risk, potential to fail, and a general sense of uncertainty. Most of us are comforted by order and predictability, and bristle at the mere thought of those comforting routines being disrupted.

So why change? Why invite the discomfort?

Well, there are many major motivators; chief among them: The desire to be better and feel better, the desire to chase and accomplish big dreams, the hope of a more enjoyable future. For me, if nothing is changing in my life and I’m no longer learning, pushing, and growing, I feel stagnant and dull. I’m a better person when I’m adapting to change – even though I may be fighting fear every step of the way.

Science backs me (and you) up on this one.

Our brains love efficiency. So, when we attempt to make a decision – like changing our career or applying for a promotion – our brains look for historic data and past thought-patterns to arrive a conclusion that’s consistent with our sense of self. If, in the past you’ve been turned down for a promotion, or a job search lasted for months, or received negative feedback from friends and family about a career decision, your brain will try to protect you from those negative outcomes. Your brain will push back against the change.

Your brain is simply reinforcing a story that you have about yourself. A story that says if you try, this bad thing or feeling will happen. But you don’t have to be stuck with that story. You can outsmart your own self and make yourself that much more comfortable with change. And trust me, there are better ways than my personal “feel the fear and do it anyway approach”.

1. Change Your Internal Story

What you think about yourself and how you see yourself make all the difference when you’re embarking on change or making a decision. You’re far more likely to proceed with a change if you feel positive and confident about the outcome. If you are constantly telling yourself that you’ll be too stressed or that you’re doomed to fail, you likely will be (or you’ll be unlikely to attempt the change at all).You are not beholden to the scripts and stories you have about yourself – those can change too! Your brain can be re-wired to think differently. If you consistently tell yourself that things will work out for the better, that you have the skills and strength to overcome difficulty, and that you will succeed, you are much more likely to accomplish your goals. Practice complementing yourself and eventually, your brain will see this as the new default response – it will prop you up with support and encouragement (instead of defeat and fear) when you see a job you want to apply for or when you want to meet with your boss about a promotion or raise.

2. Don't Muscle Past Your Feelings, Embrace Them

Unfortunately, feelings don’t just go away if you ignore them.

You may get away with “feeling the fear and doing it anyway” for a little while, but eventually it will sneak up on you and you’ll end-up in tears in the middle of grocery store trying to select a bag of apples (true story).

It’s vital that you really listen to your feelings and give them the respect they deserve. This is what will allow you to move forward with the confidence and self-compassion that will lead to success.

Try using this HeartMath tool when you are facing an immediate difficult decision or situation. Start by recognizing what you’re feeling and give it a name. Is it fear, anger, anxiety, frustration, disappointment? Naming your feeling will help you to accept and understand what’s going on in your body.

Then, focus on your heart area and breath in love for about a minute. This is an act of self-compassion. If negative thoughts or feelings continue to arise, just refocus on your heart area. As you focus on your heart, you want to radiate this compassion to any issues you are experiencing (fear, inadequacy, insecurity, self-pity).

As you do so, you’ll notice those feelings subside. Sitting with your feelings and giving them space for understanding, gives them less power over your actions. When you give your feelings the attention they demand – but in a calm and self-compassionate way – they are less likely to pop up in destructive ways.

3. Create New Habits

If you’re looking to do something new on a regular basis, like speaking up more in meetings, networking with other industry professionals, volunteering for more difficult assignments and projects, you need to form a new habit.

The trick to successfully establishing a new habit is to pick something small and associating it with another, already well-formed, habit. For example, if you want to voice your opinions and ideas in meetings more often, start with one safe-feeling meeting that happens at work. If you have a weekly, small team meeting, try speaking up here first – ask a question or suggest an idea.

Once this becomes a comfortable habit, try it other more senior meetings. If expanding your professional network is a goal, connect your regular social media activity or web-browsing habits with LinkedIn.

After checking your Facebook messages, pop over to LinkedIn to send a few new connection requests.Whatever new habit you’re trying to create, make sure it’s easy and achievable. You can always build on it later; the most important part is making sure you consistently perform the new action.

4. Normalize Change in Your Life

Perhaps the best way to embrace change, is to make it a regular part of your every day experience. Cultivate a life where change is normal and welcomed.

Here are my top 4 tips for embracing change in your day-to-day life.

1.Be Open to New Things. Give yourself permission to be vulnerable.

2.Be Playful. Don’t take yourself too seriously, it relieves the pressure.

3.Be Yourself. Living authentically can refresh your attitudes and remove limiting expectations.

4.Be Inspired and Motivated.

Don’t neglect the activities and people in your life that bring you joy.Feeling discomfort around change may never fully disappear, and that’s ok. Just don’t let change avoidance or fear of the unknown keep you stuck somewhere you don’t want to be. The discomfort of change will never be as great as the discomfort that comes from regret.

Are you like me? To you fear change or simply avoid it? Let me know in the comments how you’re going to tackle change this year. Or, if you have an inspiring story about change, I want to hear it!


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It's time for your Turning Point.

Give us just one hour & we'll get you started on the path to career happiness.

3 ways to get moving in your career
Jan 04

3 Ways to Get Moving When You Feel Stuck in Your Career

By Tammy Banfield | Find A Career That Fits

FIND A CAREER THAT FITS

3 Ways to Get Moving
When You're Feeling Stuck

Resume Writing Service Toronto

Tammy Banfield B.Sc.
Resume & Professional Branding Specialist

Careers by Design
6 MIN READ

It happens to the best of us. 

Even the most goal-oriented, ambitious, and driven people can, from time to time, find themselves stuck in a rut. If you’ve been in a job, field, or industry for any significant period of time, it’s common to feel a bit stagnated and stifled – especially if you’re no longer feeling challenged or if your professional growth has plateaued.

Newton's First Law of Motion states that a body at rest will remain at rest unless an outside force acts on it. Here are 3 steps to take to be the positive force your career needs to get moving again.

1. Identify Why You're Stuck

You can’t map out a course if you have no idea where you’re starting from (or what the destination is). That’s a sure-fire way to stay stuck. Ever find yourself a bit disoriented when you emerge from an underground subway tunnel or get off an elevator? You stand still, right? Until you can find your bearings or read a sign to point you where you need to be, you don’t keep moving; you stand still.

Identifying the cause of your rut is critical in helping you gain your bearings in your career. If you’re lucky, the tether holding you back in your career may be quite obvious (lack of opportunity in your current role, missing key industry certifications, or good old-fashioned complacency). If your obstacles are not staring you in the face, you may need to dig deep to uncover what exactly is holding you back. Career coaches are experts at mining for these root causes, so if your own personal self-reflection doesn’t get you any closer, you may want to schedule a career coaching session with someone who can help you identify your blocks.

Here are some common career stagnation causes to consider:

You want to “wait and see” if things change at your current workplace.

Maybe your organization is undergoing changes, or you expect someone to transition out of a role, or perhaps you feel that “your time” is right around the corner. These are all fair and valid reasons to be cautious about jumping ship or making a drastic move – but, how long are you willing to “wait and see”? How comfortable are you with relinquishing control of your career?

Negative beliefs about the job market (and your ability to navigate it).

This is the “devil you know is better than the devil you don’t” mentality. You might be more comfortable being miserable in your job, than experiencing (perceived) discomfort in the job market. But keep in mind, beliefs become your reality. If you truly believe that there’s nothing better out there, there won’t be. If you believe the job market is too tough for you to compete, you’ll be right. On the other hand, if you believe you have value to offer and the skills to make a difference, you’ll find a company or an employer who will see that in you. This is another area where a career coaching expert or expert resume writer can leverage their outside perspective to show you what you may be missing on your own.

Fear.

This is a biggie. And, completely normal and natural. Anytime you want step-up or try something different, fear will rear its ugly head. Fear is great at inducing paralysis. But, the biggest antidote for fear, is acknowledging it. Once you know its fear – and not lack of skill and ability – it becomes a little less powerful and little easier to overcome.

2. Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Your imagination is your greatest motivator.

And, for many of us, the power source we tap into the least.

Whenever I’m feeling less than motivated to improve, to learn, or to challenge myself, I encourage myself to take a few minutes to daydream. I imagine the possibilities and feel as if those positive things are happening right now. The emotional response that happens in my body when I commit to “feeling” how my life would be different, completely fires me up to work toward those big scary goals.

Best tip I can give you: imagine all the “what ifs”.

What if you had your dream job? What if you had the compensation or benefit package you truly deserve? What if you could have the impact on a company or organization you desire? What if you could initiate the changes you’d like to see in the world or in a business? If your big dreams came true, how would that feel for you? How would that make a difference in your life?

Our logical brain can often stifle our ability to move forward and mute our ambition and motivation. Instead, let your emotional-self and feelings stoke the fires of your motivation. You might surprise yourself with how fearless you become with just a little daydreaming.

2. Commit to a First Step, only!

The first step is always the most difficult.

Trying something new is never easy. But, it’s not impossible.

Think of anything you currently enjoy doing. Was it easy right from the get-go?

Probably not.

One of my favourite extracurricular activities is mountain biking. The first time I showed up at a park to learn some basic skills, I stood over my bike paralyzed by doubt and fear for nearly 20 minutes (completely annoying the friend I had badgered into taking me). But when I finally got my feet on the pedals, and started moving, it got easier. The second time isn’t a scary as the first time. The third time isn’t as scary as the second, and so on.

Give yourself permission to be scared of making that first move, that first step. Commit to just one small action; one small, manageable step in the direction of your goals and use that momentum to keep you going. Make this first step – whatever it may be – as small as possible.

If you’re thinking about gaining a professional certification, maybe that first step is just researching organizations that offer the certification or finding training dates. Maybe you want to position yourself for a promotion this year, maybe the first step is arranging a meeting with a colleague or supervisor.

Still too scary? Draft an email script requesting the meeting or prepare some talking points and questions for the meeting, then move from there to actually setting-up the date.

If you feel you need a drastic career change, your first step could be reaching out to a coach or a friend who’s done something similar. Another great “first step” for any goal? Plan out all the little steps you can foresee needing to take over the course of the journey.

No matter what your first step is, try and keep your attention and focus on just that one single step. Don’t get hung-up on all the steps that happen after. Looking at your journey in its entirety or ruminating over everything else yet to be done, is a sure way to keep yourself paralyzed with overwhelm. That’s exactly what happened to me on that mountain bike.

Instead of just looking at the first bump to ride over, I was looking at the entire park and everything I’d never done before. It was only after making a deal with myself to just get over one bump, did I finally move the pedals on that bike. Breaking up your career journey into minuscule (almost ridiculously) small steps – can make even the most impossible goals suddenly seem more conquerable.

Ready to be a mover and shaker in your career? We’d love to help you get where you want to go (and fast!). Book a free chat with Nisha, our Client Happiness Manager, to get all your questions answered about our services.


Want to Get Started?

It's time for your Turning Point.

Give us just one hour &

we'll get you started
on the path to career happiness.