Category Archives for "Find A Career That Fits"

Aug 01

What Does It Take To Make A Successful Career Transition?

By Eileen Chadnick | Find A Career That Fits

What Does It Take To Make A Successful Career Transition


by Eileen Chadnick, Career Counsellor & Leadership Coach

Career transition can be exhilarating, daunting, frustrating, and rewarding – often all at the same time!

As a coach, it’s extremely heartening to see a client succeed with their career transition goals – and even more so when the client has had to deal with more than their share of challenges. 

When people ask what makes for a success career transition effort, I will think of Frank. Frank came to Careers By Design with some big career challenges. He had just left a career of 30 years in international development work and set out to find his first Canadian job in Toronto.

Frank confessed to knowing little-to-nothing about the Canadian career landscape and didn’t know how to go about finding employment that fit his interests and qualifications.

While his career experience had been meaningful and rich, it didn’t translate into obvious roles in Toronto. He felt lost and overwhelmed.

Our partnership was one where we introduced Frank to a career navigation approach with lots of guidance and support along the way. Frank’s responsibility was to lean in and do the actual work. Lots of it!

A Learning Journey

This process was about more than landing a job. Frank learned a lot about himself including his strengths (transferable skills and character strengths), values, needs, and aspirations.

He also learned to challenge some of his assumptions and try on new possibilities. He had some wins and then many bumps. He learned how to deal with the set-backs and with each one, he accessed his resourcefulness and resilience and found ways to learn from them and move forward.

Eventually he landed a fantastic job that fit his skills and preferences beautifully.

The role even exceeded his best hopes. It’s not always easy to make a career change – especially in the later stages of your career. But, as Frank demonstrated, it’s possible if you commit to the process and do the work.

Here's what it takes to succeed...

Know yourself – Clients often want to jump to the ‘find the job’ phase but it’s hard to do this if you haven’t taken the time to learn about yourself. Knowing your array of strengths, special talents, values, and aspirations is imperative to honing in on the right path and telling your story effectively.

The ‘know yourself’ phase gives you the awareness that serves as a ‘compass’ to making good career decisions and convey your career narrative with more efficacy.

Hard work and commitment – While coaching provides guidance, a sounding board, and encouragement, the client must be willing to do the work. This might include digging in to learn about their strengths; doing research on career ideas; working on career branding materials; digging into the job search; stretching yourself (in courage and effort) in networking – and much more.

Courage – Making changes can be scary and especially when the road ahead is unknown. We often tell clients that making changes isn’t about eliminating the fear. Instead, it’s about learning to tap into your courage. Even if only one moment at a time. It’s okay to feel a little fear if you remember to access your courage and take the action steps that will move you forward.

Open minded & adaptable – Clients often come to coaching with some starting ideas about their career next steps. This is terrific. It’s just as important to be able to pivot and show adaptability as you learn about the changing realities within the Canadian job market. This adaptability can expand your possibilities.

Hope & gratitude – Career navigation can be tough sometimes. It takes grit, persistence and a whole bunch of hope and optimism. It’s crucial that you never give up. Finding ways for authentic appreciation and hope can fuel you forward. We take this part as seriously as the job finding tactics! 

Frank had his share of tough moments along the way, but he always rebounded and found ways to stay connected to positivity, hope, and gratitude. In the end, his persistence and heartiness paid off and he was rewarded with a fabulous new start in Toronto. It was a pleasure to work with Frank. He inspired me and I’m grateful for the opportunity.

Are you thinking of a career change? Get inspired & read Frank's story in his own words on my bio page. 

Call us today at 1-888-977-6284 or learn more about our unique approach.

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Do I Have To Take A Step Backwards To Find Happiness In My Career?
Jun 09

Do I Have To Take A Step Backwards To Find Happiness In My Career?

By adminuser | Find A Career That Fits

Do I Have To Take A Step Backwards To Find Happiness In My Career?


by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer, Careers by Design

All things being equal, making a career transition can be hard enough as it is. But all things are rarely equal.

One of the biggest fears we see in clients who are looking to make a change is that they will have to step backwards to get into the field that they truly desire.

They feel stuck because they are afraid they will have to take a pay cut. They fear losing the seniority, vacation time and benefits that they have worked so hard over the years to achieve.

And what if they make the move and it turns out not to be worth it? What if they make the move only to discover that they have made a terrible mistake?

Too often, well-meaning friends and family members help to fuel these fears.

Your peers may want what’s best for you but they usually see the risk much more clearly than they see the reward.

They advise security over the unknown.

The good news is that making a shift in your career doesn’t always mean you have to take a step backward.

You really don’t have to give up on your dreams and stay in a job that no longer suits you just to have security.

How a career coach can help you through a career transition

Some people know exactly what they want to do with the rest of their working lives. Others only have a vague sense that they’re no longer happy in their present job but they aren’t sure what will make them happy.

Whatever side of the coin you are on, a Careers by Design coach can help you determine what your next steps should be.

Using our proven and unique approach, our coaches will take you through a series of exercises to put you in touch with your true desires and then help you develop strategies for achieving them. This helps to make your career transition much easier.

No longer are you reacting to a situation of dissatisfaction with your current job, but you are taking calculated and thoughtful steps toward taking the career path that is right for you.

We will even advise you on how your current skills can translate into your new position and how to negotiate a job offer so you won’t necessarily have to start at the bottom

Once you can see your new career path clearly, fear of the unknown starts to disappear. You will have a clearer mind which will be of great benefit to you when you apply for a new position or go to an interview.

What if I still have to take a cut in pay, seniority, etc.?

Depending on your particular career transition, it is still possible that you’ll end up making less money. Perhaps your benefits won’t be as good. Or maybe the new position won’t have all the same perks.

We can’t guarantee this will never happen.

Then again, what if the new position you find has more perks than you’ve ever dreamed of. What if you experience an increase of confidence because you’re doing work that is meaningful to you?

What if you have an extra spring in your step that you haven’t had in years?

What if you have a better relationship with your family because you aren’t stressed out all time?

And, what if you actually get paid more?

Even if a career transition reduces your income initially, if you are happier and more productive at work, it could cause your earning potential to go up higher than it would have gone had you stayed in a position you didn’t like.

While we can’t give advice specific to your situation in a blog, here are a few scenarios when it might be worth it to take a step back in order to make a career transition:

When you are changing industries – if you are just dying to get into a different field, then taking a pay cut or a step back in seniority may be worth it to get the career that you really want.

When you need more work-life balance – no paycheck is big enough to sacrifice your health or your time with your family. Giving up some of your current job’s perks for some added flexibility can be a very good thing.

When the new opportunity is a better fit – maybe you want to make a change because there is a position at a specific company that you would like to work for, or because you saw a job posting that you just knew in your gut was meant for you. In this case, even if you have to take a step back in the short term, you could end up being much happier with your career.

When it all evens out – A pay cut doesn’t necessarily mean a reduction in lifestyle. For example, perhaps you have a great-paying job with a long commute. If you can get something closer to home that pays less, you may be able to save enough on gas and car maintenance that a pay cut won’t matter.

When the new job offers a benefit your current job doesn’t – Money and seniority aren’t the only perks. Perhaps you’d be willing to give up some of this for more vacation time, performance bonuses or paid tuition. If the new job offers something you want more, then making the switch may be the right move.

When there is no more room for advancement – Perhaps you’ve gone as far as you can go in your current company. Maybe you have maxed out on your salary potential. If so, taking a position in a fast growing company may help you to get out of your rut. A short term cut in pay could end up paying you much more in the end.

When you want to be self-employed - Taking the leap into self-employment can be a scary step because it means giving up a certain amount of security. But if you’ve always dreamed of working for yourself, the trade-off can be worth it.

To move or not to move?

Changing careers is not a decision that you should make on blind emotion.

After all, you still have to pay your bills and take care of your family.

But it’s also important to take care of yourself and honour your instincts and feelings.

A Careers by Design coach can help you decide when and how to change careers so that you will have peace about your decision. 

Call us today at 1-888-977-6284 or learn more about our unique approach.

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Learn how to get out of your career rut.
Apr 14

Are You Smart But Stuck? How to Listen To Your Heart & Move Forward.

By Kristen Duever | Find A Career That Fits

Smart but Stuck: How to Listen to your Heart and Move Forward


by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer, Careers by Design

Have you ever felt stuck in your career?

Maybe you’re highly skilled in your field. Maybe your co-workers are always asking you for advice or to check their work.

And yet, it just feels like you have stopped growing.
If you fall into the “smart but stuck” category, it can be especially tricky because from an outsider’s point of view everything looks fine. After all, no one likes a complainer, right?

Perhaps you have already identified a number of options for moving forward. Or perhaps it feels like there are no options at all.

If you are feeling stuck, you are probably wondering what to do next? 

We know that too much pressure on the job is a bad thing.

It can be easy to forget however, that not enough pressure is a bad thing too. In nature, a butterfly needs to struggle to emerge from its cocoon. A chick needs to struggle to emerge from the egg.

Without the struggle they remain weak and unable to survive. And without a way to grow in our own careers, we can quickly become bored and dissatisfied.

You need to find a way to get unstuck and move forward.

The bad news is that almost everyone gets stuck at some point along their career path. The good news is that you don’t have to stay stuck

Where to turn when you’re feeling stuck?

If you are finding that you are no longer growing in your career, it can be easy to place the blame on your employer. It can be easy to look at management and point to the fact that they are not providing the training you need to advance. It's easy to say that they are not recognizing your potential.

But the fact is that in an age of cost-consciousness and cut-backs, many employers simply cannot provide professional development like they used to.

And if you are only looking to management to get you unstuck, you are overlooking the one person that has the most power to help you overcome your problem – yourself.

Nowadays, more than ever, it's up to you to direct your own career path and development!

Listen to your heart and get unstuck.

Listening to your heart sounds like it should be easy to do.

But for many people it's challenging – at least in the beginning.

It may even feel foreign. We simply haven’t been taught how to seek out our own wisdom.

But with a little practice and perhaps some assistance, it's a habit that anyone can build - one that can help you with any dilemma you might face, professionally or personally.  At Careers by Design, we've been helping our clients with this approach for more than 13 years.  

It starts with being silent and getting comfortable with the uncertainty that you face.

Once you are able to quiet the world around you, the options become clearer and you’ll be able to find more clarity and make a decision with a focused mind.

How Kevin and Leslie got unstuck

Let’s take a look at how two Careers by Design clients managed to get themselves unstuck.

Kevin had been working at his position for several months but was struggling with confidence. He didn’t truly believe in his ability to do his job. And this made him unhappy.

A career coach introduced him to HeartMath which helped him learn to manage his emotions. By learning to listen to his heart Kevin grew more optimistic.

He started receiving more praise and work – and he was able to believe it.

Kevin found that he didn’t need to leave his job to get unstuck. He simply needed to listen his heart to find his confidence and happiness.
Leslie’s story is somewhat different. She had been working in the public sector for 10 years and was feeling frustrated and unhappy. Stress and anxiety from both her job and her personal life was taking its toll.

Although she already had a meditation practice, her career coach introduced her to HeartMath. This made all the difference.

It helped her to reduce her stress and feel confident about the future

It has also given her the courage to take the necessary steps for a career transition.

She is putting herself out there through networking and is now truly open to new opportunities that may come her way.

What solutions will your heart reveal?

The way to get unstuck is going to vary from person to person and from circumstance to circumstance.

Perhaps you need to ask for training or for mentorship. Or maybe you need to take control and get the training for yourself. Or, that you need to do more networking or get involved in a professional organization. It could even be that i's time for a career transition to something different.

Look within, quiet your mind, and figure out where you would like to be in the next three to five years. Now what steps do you need to get there?

Even if you want to remain in the same job, you will still need to grow.

Determine how you can ensure that you continue to grow.

If you feel stuck in your career, there is help available.

A Careers by Design coach can show the you techniques you need to listen to your heart and make the necessary changes

Call us today at 1-888-977-6284 or learn more about our unique approach.

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.

5 ways to find your passion in 2018
Jan 08

Five Ways to Find Your Passion in 2018

By Kristen Duever | Find A Career That Fits

Five Ways To Find Your Passion in 2018


by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer, Careers by Design

When you go to work, do you feel like you are just going through the motions?

Maybe your work hasn’t excited you in years.

Perhaps you’re not really passionate about what you do, but you’ve got to earn a paycheque and support your family.

Maybe it even feels like you’re too old, or it’s too late to find your passion.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t jump out of bed in the morning, excited and eager to go to your job and do work that you find meaningful. In fact, according to some studies, more than 80% of workers dislike their jobs. How sad!

But what if you could find your passion? How would that change your life? What if we lived in a world where 80% of people loved their careers? How would that change the world we live in and how we relate to one another? 

The good news is that it is not too late. You can still look within and find the things that excite you – and take action.

If you’re ready to truly explore what motivates you and are ready to take the next step, here are five things you can do to help you find your passion.

1. Investigate the passions that have always been there.

The movie The Legend of Baggar Vance, does a great job of illustrating how we naturally find passions as children but somehow forget them as adults.

In the movie, a mystical caddy by the name of Baggar Vance helps a down on his luck golfer. In one scene Baggar says, “Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Something we were born with. Something that can’t be taught to you or learned. Something to be remembered.”

Think back to what excited you when you were young?.

Was it building things? Writing stories? Playing Monopoly? Rallying your friends to go on some adventure?

More often than not, our earliest fond memories are great clues as to what excites us. It may sound like a cliché but being a detective here can really generate good ideas about who you really are and what your purpose might be.

It’s important to get that list of ideas started and then continue with the other ideas here to expand on them.

2. Get a coach or mentor.

The words “find your passion” sound like common sense advice and there is a perception that it should be easy. But this isn’t always the case. The prospect of leaving a well-paying, “secure” job to follow you dreams can be scary. Others might say you’re crazy. You might even feel crazy.

A good career coach or business mentor however, will help you weather the storm of self-doubt and criticism. They can help you brainstorm and discover what truly motivates you. They can push you to do things you might not be able to do on your own. They can help you achieve the right mindset and give you strategies to help you reach your goals.

Just remember that if it was easy, you (along with the 80% of folks who aren’t happy at their jobs) would have done this already!

3. Surround yourself with passionate people.

It is hard to be passionate about anything when you are surrounded by others who have given up on their dreams.

Entrepreneur and author, Jim Rohn said that “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Are you spending time with the right people?

You can start by making a list of people in your life who are truly passionate. If you don’t have people like this, seek them out by joining a networking or mastermind group. Even studying famous passionate people and reading their biographies can help to inspire you.

As you spend time with passionate people, it will become easier to find your own passions. Why is this?

People who genuinely have passion about what they do love telling people about it. This can be very helpful to learn clues about how they got there and how they changed their situation. When you’re uncertain about your next steps, allow yourself to be inspired and really listen to those you admire. In this way, your subconscious will have the tools it needs to do it’s work and generate ideas and possibilities for your own situation.

4. Take action.

Maybe you’ve got an inkling about what your passions are but haven’t quite figured out how to turn them into a career. Don’t let that stop you!

Start by exploring your interests in your spare time. Read. Take a class. Volunteer. Connect with other people who are already doing what you think you want to do.

The old adage is very true in that you’ll never change your situation if you don’t take steps to do so. Taking a small step before you have all the answers will help you overcome the fear of following your heart.

5. Don't give up! Persist, persist, persist.

If you’ve been stuck in a rut for any length of time, finding your passion may not come as easily as you might like. You might think your passion lies in one direction only to try it and hear that little voice inside you that says, “No. This isn’t it.” And that’s ok. Try something else.
You may find that over time, a passion fades and a new one emerges. That’s ok too. Take the time to play with and explore possibilities. You may have many passions over your lifetime.

Make no mistake, finding your passions isn’t always easy. But if put in the time and effort to find a career that is truly fulfilling, it will be worth it.

Contact a Careers by Design coach and let them help you gather your courage and fulfill your potential.

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How to build courage for your next career move
Nov 20

How To Build Courage For Your Next Career Move

By Kristen Duever | Find A Career That Fits



by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer, Careers by Design

If you are frustrated with your job or angry with all the office politics that go on at work, then the decision to make a career transition can make a lot of sense to you and everyone around you.

But what if you have a relatively good job? What if you have decent job security, make a reasonable paycheck and like the people you work with… but feel in your heart that you desire something else?

Well-meaning friends and family might try to tell you you’re crazy for even thinking about leaving.

You may struggle with insecurities about failure or be afraid of disappointing others. Perhaps you are beating yourself up for being ungrateful. After all, you’re lucky to have a good job in this economy – right? Besides, the job you’re in feels cozy… safe.

You need to move past this feeling.

There is nothing safe about staying in a job that no longer fits.

There is nothing cozy about continuing down a career path that is limiting your potential.

There is nothing ungrateful about following your heart

You can still feel thankful for all the people and experiences that have made you who you are and be ready to move on.

Courage to face the unknown is essential to taking the next step in your career.

So what is holding you back?

Is it that you don’t know how to take the first step – or what the first step even is? Do you feel like there are no good options or too many options to choose from? Do you feel frozen?

Here’s some good news.

The job that you desire in your heart is out there – even if you’re not entirely sure what that job is yet.

There is no guarantee that it will be easy though.

You will need to harness your courage. You may need to get some guidance from a coach or mentor to help you ride the roller coaster of emotions.

It can also help to look to role models as well.

Many highly successful people have become the people they were meant to be because they had the strength and courage to change their careers.

Let’s take a look at just a few of the people who were once in a situation very similar to yours.

Deepak Chopra – Internationally famous doctor

Originally, this world renowned doctor had planned to have a career in research rather than working directly with patients. When he got kicked out of his university research lab for losing his temper however, he ended up having to work in an emergency room in Boston.

This move changed his life.

He found that he loved working with patients and has since become one of alternative medicine’s leading advocates.

Maynard Webb – Yahoo! chairman

As a student, Webb had no idea that he would someday be head of one of the world’s top internet companies. He was studying criminal justice on this path to someday becoming a lawyer or police detective. This field of study led him to an internship where he worked as a security guard for IBM.

Webb became fascinated with technology and began climbing the corporate ladder over the course of the next 11 years before he moved to Yahoo!

Suze Orman – Personal finance Guru

As a young college grad, Orman had a job working in a bakery. Her dream was to save up enough money to one day open a neighbourhood hot tub café. In an effort to help her achieve this goal, a generous patron left her a $50,000 tip.


Knowing nothing about finance however, Orman made some poor investment decisions and eventually her $50,000 dwindled to nothing.

Although it was a tough lesson, the experience inspired Orman to learn more about the financial world which she discovered she was really interested in. She earned back here $50,000 and much more.

She became a broker and found that she also had a deep passion for helping others with their money. The rest, as they say, is history.

So what is the lesson here?

Your goals and desires may change, but whatever they are, you need to keep moving toward them.

Life for Chopra, Webb and Orman could have turned out very differently had they not had the courage to pursue their dreams.

Had Chopra not been open to working with patients; or had Webb ignored his burgeoning interest in technology; or had Orman been afraid to pursue finance after her bad experience, we likely wouldn’t know who they are today.

They might still have had good careers. But they might not have had great careers.

They might not have filled their potential.

If you are ready to take the next step in your own career journey, you don’t have to do it alone.

Contact a Careers by Design coach and let them help you gather your courage and fulfill your potential.

Should I go back to my former employer?
Aug 28

Should I Go Back To My Former Employer?

By Kristen Duever | Find A Career That Fits


by Kristen Duever, Career Researcher and Writer

Should you return to your former employer?
Here are four things to consider before making a move.

Ahhh, the good ol’ days!

Has your career reached a point where you are daydreaming about going back to a previous employer?

Perhaps you’re wondering whether that is really a good idea – or if it’s even possible.

Maybe your current employer isn’t quite the perfect fit you thought they would be. Or maybe you just miss the day to day challenges of your old job. Maybe you were simply happier with the people at your last place of employment.

Whatever the reason is for your desire to go back, there are some things you will need to consider carefully if you are thinking about returning to a former employer.

Here are four things to consider:

1. First things first - is it even possible to go back?

Believe it or not, some employers don’t like to re-hire former employees.

If you have an old employee handbook lying around, you might want to check it to see if it mentions anything about that.

Of course, you’ll also need to consider the circumstances under which you left as well. Were you still on good terms with your manager? Was there an atmosphere of “come back anytime” on your last day? If that’s the case, the door may be open for your return.

2. Remember why you left.

If you are going through a stressful period with your current employer, it can be easy to look back on your former employment with rose coloured glasses.

But the truth is that no job is perfect 100% of the time.

What were the reasons that you left? Were you starting to feel unfulfilled? Had you stopped growing because the job was no longer challenging enough?

If these problems were there before, they will most likely be there again and your return may not be sustainable in the long run.

On the other hand, if you left because you thought another opportunity would be more fulfilling – and you were wrong – you might be able to return with a new appreciation for the job.

3. Consider why you want to leave your current employer?

Before you make any decisions that will affect your long term career path, it is important to get to the root of why you are considering the change.

If you find you’re on an emotional rollercoaster, it’s helpful to build skills that help you connect your head and your heart.

Once you’re feeling more balanced it will be clearer as to what you have to offer your employer and why you are choosing one employer over the other. Personal growth is essential if you want to advance but it is not always comfortable.

Ask yourself whether you are moving to a position where you can grow or running away from one. There are many valid reasons why you might choose to return to your old job but trying to escape from a temporary uncomfortable situation that will benefit you in the long run should not be one of them.

This will likely be a big decision for you, and it can be helpful to get some perspective from a qualified career coach.

4. Do your research!

Finally, if you have made the decision that you would prefer to go back to your old job you should do some research to determine what you will be going back to – especially if you have been away for a while.

For example, is your old manager still there? Is the company still under the same ownership? Have they expanded or reduced the products or services that they offer? All of these factors can have a big influence on the working atmosphere.

The possibility that your old job won’t be “the same” needs to be considered.

While much of this information may be easily discoverable with a visit to the company website or a quick call to reception, your best source is often a former colleague that you have kept in touch with.

Ask them how things are going with company. And if you really trust them, you might confide that you are considering coming back and then gauge their reaction.

The answer to the question “should you return to a former employer” isn’t a simple yes or no.

It requires some soul searching to uncover the real reasons you are considering the move and it requires you to be honest with yourself about whether returning to your former employer will actually address those reasons.

Only after you have done this will you be able to make a reliable judgement about whether you should make the move.

Summer can boost your career
May 26

How Summer Can Help Boost Your Career!

By Lee Weisser | Find A Career That Fits


Written by Lee Weisser, Career & Life Coach

How summer can boost your career!

It’s summer time – yay! Let’s wear our flip flops, put ice cubes in our drinks and dip our toes in the water.

The relaxing mode of summer can make us lazy about our big plans and career goals…or, it can help us move our careers forward.

Feeling relaxed can help us think more broadly about our challenges and be more open to new solutions.

Have you ever come back from a vacation with new clarity about a problem that had been bothering you?

Summer also affords us an opportunity to feel and express gratitude for where we are and what we have. Savour the warmth of the sun on your face, or take your cool drink to a shady spot and breathe in the scents of nearby flowering bushes. Enjoy the light-filled evenings with a walk or a bike ride.

Here’s where the real difference can come in…….

Start to notice your thoughts and feelings, not in judgement, but just as an observer.

How often do you feel negative? (I know I was surprised by how many negative thoughts and feelings are present in my everyday life.)

Barbara Frederickson, the author of the book, Positivity, has spent years researching and studying positive emotions. She and her colleagues have discovered scientific evidence that proves there are things we can all do to overcome negativity.

Hers is not a Pollyana approach; it acknowledges that it is normal and useful to have some negative emotions. Yet the power we have to increase our positive emotions can have huge results in our lives.

Dr. Fredrickson’s research indicates that a positivity ratio of 3 to 1 is a tipping point. This ratio divides those who merely get by in life from those who truly flourish. The 3-to-1 ratio of positive vs. negative thoughts can help us actually achieve our career dreams.

You probably already know that anxiety and depression restrict our thinking.

In fact, these conditions make us “stupid,” unable to move forward in our lives.

But when we recognize, encourage and repeat positive emotions, we can use this knowledge not only in our creative work, but also in how we choose to explore and shape our careers.

Actively practicing positive thoughts and feelings can shift your mindset and enable you to generate better career ideas.

Our positivity is not static. It varies from day to day, week to week.
To find out what your positivity ratio is today, go to Dr. Frederickson’s Positivity Self-Test:

What can you do this summer to increase positivity in your life and career?

I’d love to hear your ideas. Leave a comment below.

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Get what you want in your career - the change - faster!
Sep 10

How To Get What You Want Faster!

By Shirin Khamisa | Find A Career That Fits


Written by Shirin Khamisa, Founder, Careers by Design

How To Get What You Want Faster!

You’re reading this because you want something to change.

Maybe you want a different career, a better job or more balance in your life.

Understanding how “change” works can help you get what you want faster.

One important part of change is thinking about making a change.  

Contrary to popular belief, daydreaming about what you want can pull you forward towards achieving your goal.

Ellen, a young lawyer, found that creating a powerful mental picture of herself as a partner and visualizing success helped her get through many gruelling nights at the office. It kept her excited about her future.

Picturing success prepares us for change. It also dampens some of the anxiety about moving forward into something new.

Even though thinking about change is a critical part of the change process, many people find themselves stuck in the thinking stage.  In fact, by the time most people come in for career counseling, they have been thinking about their situation for months or even years.

Thinking about what you want without taking action steps can be paralyzing and leave you feeling stuck. To speed up the change process, it’s important to start or continue taking the right action steps.

Even if you have to begun taking action steps you may have encountered roadblocks that have prevented you from moving forward. Other common obstacles to taking action include: being afraid of making a mistake, not knowing what to do, or not knowing what you really want.

Knowing what’s really holding you back and dealing with it will get you unstuck. Change can be hard and if you’re struggling, I guarantee there are good reasons for it.

If you’re tired of trying to do it all on your own, we’re here to help. Working with our professional career coaches can help you get just the right amount of thinking/strategizing and action taking to help you get what you want faster.

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Career Coaching from Famed Dancer, Pina Bausch
May 09

Career Coaching Advice From Famed Dancer, Pina Bausch

By Lee Weisser | Find A Career That Fits


Written by Lee Weisser, Career & Life Coach

Career coaching advice from famed dancer, Pina Bausch.

Have you seen the film “Pina”?

It’s a 3-D performance piece/documentary about the late German dancer and choreographer, Pina Bausch.

It’s full of intense movement and intense emotion.

Pina was not just a dancer, but a multifaceted artist who worked from instinct rather than formality.

When she formed her dance company she did all the choreography herself. But in later years, her work evolved. She started asking the dancers to interpret her ideas in their own ways. She supported their creativity and full expression by encouraging them to be open to what might happen.

If she was not happy with the results, she would offer the instruction, “Search more.” In other words, go deeper, let go, embrace your emotions.

So, too, in the development of your creative career, your vulnerability can be your biggest ally. Being open is essential. Without it, you will become brittle and crumble into pieces.

You may be familiar with the concept of serendipity.

Serendipity means a happy accident or pleasant surprise, specifically, the accident of finding something good or useful without looking for it.

Although career development does require thoughtful planning, chance events also play a big part in our careers.

Being open to meeting new people, going to new places, and seeing with new eyes all help turn dreams into realities.

In the article “Planned Happenstance: Constructing Unexpected Career Opportunities” (Kathleen E. Mitchell, Al S. Levin, John D. Krumboltz, in Journal of Counselling & Development, Spring 1999, Volume 77), the authors state that making career serendipity work for you takes five personal characteristics:

• curiosity
• persistence
• flexibility
• optimism
• risk taking

Which of these characteristics are you most comfortable with?
Which could you stretch into?

Think of at least one action you can take each day to increase these characteristics in yourself.

Your career will evolve on its own unique path, fluctuating between multiple periods of stability and change. Be ready.

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find the right career
Jan 24

Help Me Find The Right Career

By Shirin Khamisa | Find A Career That Fits


Excerpted from an article at She Does the City by Haley Cunningham

Not knowing what to do with your life is a pretty common narrative these days.

“Find me the right career” or “help me find a new career” are some of the most common questions out there.

Even more common, and equally frustrating, is knowing what you want to do, and not being able to figure out how to do it.

Maybe you’re looking for a job, or maybe you have a job that “every girl would kill for,” but you can barely drag yourself to your desk/the set/behind the counter every morning.

If you’re unhappy with where you are in your career, it might be time to call in some reinforcements and go see a career counsellor.

A career counsellor is basically someone who is paid to listen to you vent all the frustrations you usually foist upon those you love, but in the end, you’ll walk out with a plan and positive steps, not an outrageous bar tab.

All of the conceptual ideas you have about your perfect work life will distill into a series of goals.

Shirin Khamisa, a career counsellor and life coach and the founder of Careers by Design, says that people who seek out her advice range from recent grads to people who have been working successfully in their fields for years.

From the post-school panic (“Oh God, MAYBE SOCIOLINGUISTICS WASN’T THE MONEYMAKER I ALWAYS DREAMED IT WOULD BE!”) to the mid-career slump, a third party can always be helpful: Someone to give you a hand raking through a pile of skills, passions, and qualifications to find what matters.

Whether you feel like there are no options out there, or you’re faced with too many options and can’t decide what will make you happy, a sounding board can be exactly what you need.

Khamisa says that different career counsellors take different approaches, so take your time to find one that fits with your personality, and makes you feel encouraged to take proactive steps in a way that works for you.

Khamisa takes a structured approach, which she says is about collecting the “a-ha!” moments and translating them into action steps.It’s all about figuring out what really excites you, and leveraging that into the world of work.

Khamisa says so many of us are out of touch with our current goals and principles: we’re fulfilling dreams we had five years ago, or ambitions that have more to do with parental expectations than our own wants and needs. Needs can refer to what fulfills you in a day-to-day work environment, but it can also refer to those gaps in your skill set that are holding you back. A career counsellor can help to identify these gaps.

Think of your career counsellor as a real-live Googlemaps. You know you’re going somewhere great, you just need a hand figuring out how to get there.

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How to choose your own career path and be happy with it
Nov 04

How To Choose Your Own Career Path And Be Happy With It

By Lee Weisser | Find A Career That Fits


Written by Lee Weisser, Career & Life Coach

How to choose your own career path and be happy with it.

Are you thinking about a new approach towards your career? Want to break out of your rut and try something new? A better path? Want to start your own business?

Maybe this is the year you will make a big step forward.

In fact, you may have so many good ideas you can’t decide which one to pursue.

You’re not alone. Lots of us can usually generate tons of ideas on a moment’s notice.

We get really excited – passionate even – about bringing these ideas to fruition. But somewhere along the way it’s easy to get stalled.

Here’s what can help: Getting focused.

Activities that demand your full sensory awareness of the present moment help calm the chaos in your mind.

A daily practice of yoga or mindfulness meditation may help you feel centered and able to concentrate on one thing at a time. Mental imagery or visualization is another technique — often used by athletes — to achieve the best possible state of mind for peak performance.

Give yourself some quiet time in a space you love.

Whatever technique you choose, the secret is to make your practice a daily habit. When you do, these new patterns become embedded in your brain and your body.

Over time they require less conscious effort to carry out. Recent discoveries in neuroscience confirm that whatever we repeatedly give attention to will become hard-wired in our brains.

When your mind is quiet you will be capable of thinking more clearly and more deeply.

You’ll be able to weigh various options against the values that are really important to you, values such as: creativity, freedom, recognition, variety, working with others, helping society, achievement.

What do you need for your work life?  Here are some tips to get started.

  • If you can’t think of anything, start with what you don’t want in your work (like a boss breathing down your neck)…and then turn that into a positive characteristic (like autonomy).
  • When you put your thoughts down on paper they start to become real. When you discuss them with others, they take on actual shape and dimension.
  • Identifying your dreams is the first step in choosing your own path. It is a powerful way to take more control of your life.

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We help you to build the skills for success and to stop sabotaging your career.  
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The Secret Ingredient + 10 Tips for Career Transition
Oct 03

The Secret Ingredient + 10 Tips for Career Transition

By Lee Weisser | Find A Career That Fits


Written by Lee Weisser, Career & Life Coach

The Secret Ingredient + 10 Tips For Career Transition.

Want to know how to transition well between jobs & careers?

As an optimist, I tend to expect success to come quickly on a creative project if I take the right steps.

I’ve contacted the right people, and I’ve done the work I need to do.

Why aren’t things working out as I expected?

The reality is that my optimism may actually be hurting me because I give up too quickly.

If I don’t get immediate results I lose confidence in my abilities and in my dreams.

If you’ve been working for a long time at getting a creative project off the ground or growing a business, it’s easy to become discouraged when your efforts don’t seem to be paying off. What can you do?

At a small business arts forum in Toronto a panel of creative artists was asked how they became successful. The factor mentioned most often?


Persistence is the ability to continue in the face of obstacles, such as contracts being cancelled, sponsors withdrawing support, or promising projects that fail to materialize.

“Studies indicate that the one quality all successful people have is persistence. They’re willing to spend more time accomplishing a task and to persevere in the face of many difficult odds.” – Dr. Joyce Brothers

So, the point is, it’s neither talent nor money that will determine your success, but your willingness to keep trying even when there seems to be no logical reason to do so.

Here are more tips from the Small Business Arts Forum that apply to individuals in career transition as well as artists and small business owners:

  • Be sure to have at least 10 “irons in the fire” because only one or two of them will come through.
  • Brand yourself with a key message that presents your unique offering.
  • Keep pursuing clarity in your “voice”, continually trying to capture the essence of your message.
  • Associate yourself with colleagues who will push you beyond your comfort zone.
  • Build up a body of work and a reputation for what you do and what you’re good at.
  • Build personal relationships with potential employers/customers and sponsors.
  • Find something you can give to them before asking for something you need.
  • Use social media to build your online presence.
  • Team up with people who have strengths that you don’t.Love yourself enough to keep trying.
  • Be both persistent and patient. As the saying goes, “It takes five to ten years to become an overnight success!”

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We help you to build the skills for success and to stop sabotaging your career.  
Get started with our most popular service - the jam-packed one hour Turning Point career coaching session.

Life Sculpted by Sea and Sand - Careers by Design
Sep 10

Life Sculpted by Sea and Sand

By Lee Weisser | Find A Career That Fits

A Creative Life

I recently vacationed in PEI, Canada, where I met Peter Llewellyn, a well-known artisan. Just six years ago, Peter left his work in the fish plant business with no idea of what he would do next. Returning home to PEI after an absence of 30 years, he had no hobbies and no particular skills outside of the business world.

It was through his family and friends that Peter came to have a connection with seaglass, pieces of old bottles and jars that wash up on the shore after years of being pounded by currents, tides and sand. Seaglass comes in many colours and dates from the 18th to early 20th centuries when sailing ships regularly visited the Island.

Peter discovered he was attracted to seaglass. Seeing a pendant made with it gave him the idea to try his own hand at making jewellery. With no previous experience, and no equipment, he started experimenting.

Life Sculpted by Sea and Sand - Careers by DesignCourtesy of

In his first year he was prolific, creating 58 different products. Today Peter has a large business and is recognized for his work all over the world. I asked him what has contributed to his success.

First, he embraces all the skills he has learned throughout his life, including the business and marketing experience he acquired in his previous career.

Second, he doesn’t limit his art to one modality. Although he started with jewellery, he now uses many media including carving sandstone and soapstone. He intentionally experiments and tries new things; partly because he is self-taught, he isn’t restricted about what he thinks he can do.

And third, he has a strong personality and is not afraid to stand out. He has built a unique brand that includes welcoming people into his studio to create their own treasures with his designs, and teaching crafts to children in his local community.

Peter’s life is a reminder and living example of how each of us can creatively bring all our skills and experiences together in a unique way. The clue is to be open to where the tides take us…

To find out more about Peter Llewellyn, go to

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