“When people go to work they shouldn’t have to leave their hearts at home.” ~ Betty Bender

Do you feel like you have to check your heart at the door before you walk into your office everyday? Are you disillusioned with your current job situation and would like to make a change? Maybe you’ve had it with “Corporate America” and want to jump ship?

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out of work right now. Does this mean that you should give up all hope of changing jobs? No! This may be the perfect time to start planning your exit strategy, or to actually make it. The need for work that sustains you and satisfies you has not changed simply because the economy has changed. It may make your search more challenging, or you may have to delay your decision to look for greener pastures until employment prospects increase in your employment sector, but you should not abandon your hopes and dreams of finding more meaningful work. What you must do, however, is some serious preparation so that you are ready to take action when the time is right.

The following is some guidance to help you plan your eventual exit.

quit_jobTiming is Everything – How do you know when you are ready to jump ship? The answer depends on many factors. Unless you are absolutely miserable and need to get out of your current job situation immediately in order to preserve your health and well-being, I recommend you slowly plan your exit strategy while still working full time. There are many benefits to this approach, including financial (save money, pay off debt, etc.), and emotional/psychological (prepare yourself and your family for a major change). Consider going part time first if your employer is open to it. This may allow for a smooth transition on both sides.

Determine Your Motives – If you don’t know why you want to leave your present job, this is where you need to start. Why do you want to leave your current employer/ profession? Are you running away from your present position, or running towards something new? For example, before I became an entrepreneur, I practiced law for 9 years. Although I had a profound respect for the law, I did not appreciate the way it was practiced in our society.  It became too negative in the hands of those that wanted to use it to fight.  I started to become restless and knew that there were other ways I could share my talents and expertise with people and organizations to improve the world.  I did a lot of soul searching and arrived at the conclusion that I needed to leave the traditional practice of law and become an entrepreneur in order to truly make a difference. So my motives were a combination of wanting to leave my past profession and wanting to embark on a new one.

Examine Your Choices – Do you want to leave your present job to “go it alone?” In other words, would you like to become self-employed, start your own business, or work as a consultant or freelancer? If so, you will need to start researching entrepreneurship to make sure it is a good fit for you. What about moving to a different size employer? For example, if you currently work for a large corporation, consider a mid-sized business or small office where you may be able to take on more responsibility, and enjoy better life-work balance. Love the idea of helping others? Maybe the non-profit world would be a good fit for you. Start brainstorming job and career ideas, and then conduct empirical research to see if those ideas are realistic for you.

Don’t Burn Your Bridges – If you have an open relationship with your current employer and don’t think you’d risk losing your job, you could share your news and offer to help your employer find and train your replacement. Your current employer may become a great ally in your job search and career transition. If you strike out on your own, who knows? Your current employer could become your best new client!

Use Your Transferable Skills – If you are unsure what your next move is, start looking at your transferable skills. Many people get caught up in the title or position of their job. This is the time to think outside the box! Think of the types of work that you have thought about or admired in the past. Imagine the work environments you think you’d thrive in. Focus on tasks and activities you like to do and excel at.

re-trainingBuild New Skills – Try to gain the skills necessary to make the career transition while you are still working in your present job. Are there professional development workshops you can attend? Maybe you can take an online course? Can you conduct informational interviews with experts in the field you want to enter? Identify what skills you are lacking, and try to get experience and education in those areas before you start your job search in earnest.

Make Connections – Network with professionals in the field you want to enter. Call upon your sphere of influence to assist you in making crucial connections that will help you get a job in a new setting or industry that you have had your eye on. This is the time to build a professional network of people that are eager and willing to help you make this transition.

Get Support – Connect with others who have faced their own turning points and have survived and flourished. Talk to your friends and family so that they understand your desire and need for this change. Hire a professional coach or career counselor to become your guide on this journey.

unhappy_at-workAre you unhappy with your current job? Do you feel that the grass may be greener at another organization or in a different position? Well, that may be the case. But until you actually trek over to greener pastures, you need to find ways to be happy in the position you are currently in. If you are unhappy with your job, it will spread like wildfire and negatively affect all aspects of your life. Learn to love the job you’re in as much as you can by trying these simple, but effective tips. They will help you be more satisfied with your work by removing some of the unhappiness from your current job.

Take Pride in Your Work

Regardless of what you do for a living, chances are you can find something about it to take pride in. It could be the organization or company’s overall mission. It could be the productivity of your particular department or division. Perhaps it is the actual work that you produce. Maybe it is as simple as knowing that you are giving it your all. Take a look at your skills, talents and interests and the way they are used at work and find something you love about the job everyday, no matter how small. Taking pride in your work can lead to greater job satisfaction and overall happiness in the workplace.

Visit the Water Cooler and Be Socialwater_cooler

One of the ways to be happier at work is by developing connections with co-workers. Even if you don’t love your actual job, developing relationships with those you work with will help you enjoy the time you spend at work. I am not advocating that you spend hours on end at the water cooler, but visiting it once in awhile for a quick break and a chat with a co-worker can boost productivity and make you both enjoy your job more. So go ahead — get out there and be social!

Seek Out Assignments and Projects That Are Meaningful To You

Another way to be happier at work is to seek out assignments and projects that are meaningful to you. This could be in the core areas of your job, or in peripheral areas that your company or organization work in. If you want more responsibility, let that be known. If you want to incorporate certain talents and skills into your work, figure out ways to do so. Looking for more meaning in your work, but unable to find it directly? Think broadly. For example, maybe you are a corporate lawyer and feel that you want to use your legal talents in a way that “gives back.” You could seek out pro bono assignments and projects once in awhile that will serve to fulfill this need, thus making you enjoy your overall work and job more.

Participate in a Task Force or Committee to Make a Difference

Many companies and organizations have committees, but not all committees and task forces truly make a difference. You can change that. Find a committee or task force that is doing meaningful work and jump on board. Or better yet, create a task force or committee that studies and solves a problem. Employees that are involved in creating solutions are generally the ones that are happiest at work, as they are taking an active part in effectuating change. So don’t be a hermit – get out there and participate.

Change Your Attitude

great-attitudeA large part of job satisfaction and happiness in the workplace is affected by attitude. The good news about that is you can change your attitude! When your attitude changes, often times your behavior changes too. Yes, maybe your job is boring, or your boss is annoying, or the company is not creative in its approach, but your attitude towards your job is controlled by you. Dwell on the aspects of your job that are positive. Try your best to maintain some enthusiasm for your job. You are in control of your thoughts and attitude, so try to make it your mission to stay as positive as possible.

Coaching Challenge: Try to find ways to be happier at work by picking one of the above categories weekly and focusing on it. Let me know how you do, and how much it raises your happiness quotient!

If you ask most people what they want out of their career, they will say satisfaction. And yes, career satisfaction is a good thing. But let’s take it a step further. The people that seem to be the happiest in their careers are the ones that not only get satisfaction out of their work, but are able to bring their passions into their work also. Passion in your career? Yes!

I firmly believe that the road to success is actually paved with passion. There is magic in passion. If you believe in your work (for whatever reason, it’s important to you), you will take more risks, bounce back more easily from set backs and rejections, and work longer and harder on your projects.

So how do you tap into the passion in your career? Here are some tips.

  • Remind yourself of why you went into this line of work in the first place. Perhaps you turned a beloved hobby into a career, but now have become mired down in the day-to-day details and have lost sight of the meaning behind your work. Try to take a step back from the daily grind and tap into the passion that drove you to choose this line of work. Assuming your work was a choice (and that you were initially happy with that choice), spend some time thinking about WHY you chose the work and the excitement you experienced in knowing that you get to do this work for a living.
  • love_your_workSee your work from the eyes of a very happy, satisfied, evangelical client or customer. Think about your favorite client or customer. The one that pays on time, treats you and the work you do with respect, and makes working with him or her fun. Now see the work that you do from his or her perspective. Looks a lot more interesting from that angle, doesn’t it?
  • See your work from the eyes of a grateful client or customer whose life was somehow changed in dramatic ways based on the work that you do. Again, this is all about finding the passion in your work. What better way to do that than to view your work from the eyes of someone whose life was affected in measurable and important ways by the services you performed or products that you or your company provides.
  • Focus on projects that excite you and allow you to use your unique talents and skills. All too often, we get caught up in the humdrum work that is not particularly interesting, and that doesn’t excite us. Try to seek out projects that allow you to use your talents and skills, and that downright excite you. I realize that not all work projects fall into this category, but to the extent you can, make sure you always have at least one really juicy project to focus on that can help to eclipse all of the other, less desirable ones.
  • Stretch yourself and try something new. Tired of doing the same old type of work over and over again? Then seek new pastures at work. Let it be known that you’d like to try some new ways of doing things, or new types of projects. Try to do a similar task or project a different way, or choose different colleagues to work with you from time to time. Mix it up to keep things from getting stale.
  • Go for the gold and seek a promotion, a new client or account. If you realize that you are actually holding yourself back, start to think about how you can “go for it” in your work. Can you apply for that amazing opening in another division that you have been eyeing? How about a promotion in your own department? When was the last time you tried to obtain a great new client or head up an initiative or project? Be your own best advocate and the passion will flow a lot more than usual!

On Monday, January 26, 2015, I appeared on Fox 40 News Morning Show in Sacramento as a success/career coach to speak about how employees can ask for a raise. This was my second time appearing as a guest expert on this local television station, and they are talking about having me back in the spring again. I love partnering with them! They have a lot of fun in the studio and all seem to really enjoy their jobs.

Lisa-Fox_interviewI was interviewed by their newest anchor, Mae Fesai, and we had a lively, albeit short conversation (the segment is only approximately 2.5-3 minutes long). If you are interested in the state of unemployment (it’s getting better out there!), and how employees and employers can deal with giving (or not giving) raises in 2015, check it out. Feel free to pass it along to anyone that is in the workforce and may benefit from watching.

Watch the video below, or visit the Fox 40 News website.

 Only One Month Left to Join Me in California Wine Country for my Live Retreat!

If you want to have a more successful and passionate life, and profitable and productive business or career, then ponder this:

“What got you here, won’t get you there.”

What you’ve been doing up until now has only gotten you where you are now. To reach higher goals, to get where your desires are calling you, you need something different.

You need to shake up the same-old, same-old.

You need to blow up the plan and get a new one!

wine_country_viewAnd you need to do it in an environment guaranteed to coax you out of your normal habits and patterns of thought and into fresh new ways of looking at your business, your life, and your opportunities.

Like beautiful California Wine Country this fall!

I’m taking a small group of women to Sonoma Valley next month to help them shake up things and step into a new plan for where they want to go — in their business/career and lives.

If you are serious about improving your life, personally and professionally, I’d like you to consider joining me for the Purpose, Passion, Productivity Retreat for Women Entrepreneurs & Leaders held November 6-9, 2014 in Sonoma Valley, CA. (And you still have a chance to use the 2-pay option today and spread payments out 14 days apart.)

The Good News is: We’re nearing full but still have room for a few more women! And there are still 30 days before the retreat, so ample time to plan logistics, like transportation, lodging, and time off. Yes, that’s par t of the beauty of this event… you get to unplug from your “regular” life and work and do a deep dive into your personal and professional development.

vineyard_grapesIf you are interested in joining me, give the retreat page a look and go ahead and register… or feel free to set up a chat with me if you have any questions.

We are such reflections of our environment: the people we hang out with, the four walls we work in, the food we eat, the routines, the habits, the everyday.

Get out of your everyday environment. Join me in California Wine Country and surround yourself with:

  • like-minded go-for-it women entrepreneurs and leaders
  • facilitative guidance, insights and training from me
  • the inspiring and nourishing Wine Country landscape, food, wine, and culture

The retreat will be a game changing experience! Hope to “see” you on November 6th for our Meet & Greet Wine Reception. See the details here.

I hope March is unfolding beautifully for you. I’m in awe that we’re almost through the first quarter of the year. Time flies…

time_for_changeMy coaching request to you is this: As we near the end of March and begin the second quarter of 2014, I want you to reflect on your life, business, and career. If you could change one aspect of your business, career or life, what would it be? What single thing would add the most to your happiness and success?

You know my next question.

With that aim in mind, can you come up with concrete, manageable steps that would help you accomplish that one change?

In the past decade, I’ve had the privilege of studying productivity, success, happiness, business and entrepreneurship. I’ve worked closely with clients to improve their careers, businesses and lives. And I’ve noticed how easy it is for people to be dissatisfied with some aspect of their career, business or life, but somehow never try to do anything to change it. Or they don’t know what to do to change it.

Changing behavior still remains a difficult process for many people. And yet, once people start the change process, it often isn’t as hard as they anticipated, and almost always results in bigger and better rewards than they first thought possible. They have a “new normal” on the other side that feels natural and awesome. It is the “getting started” part that is the hardest.

In case you need a gentle push (or a big kick!) in the right direction, the timing is perfect if you are ready to take action now.

I have a few Platinum level coaching clients “graduating” from their programs, which opens some private coaching slots on my calendar. If you think this may be for you, email me to get the details and set up a complimentary Discovery Call to see if we are a good match and which program level is the right one for you. I offer 3, 6 and 12 month Platinum Coaching Programs, which provide a full access pass to me with support, accountability, and expertise, and allow us to fully partner together to create the business, life or career that you want.

If going Platinum isn’t for you, there are 3 other ways to work with me:

  • Email Coaching (an entirely virtual and affordable option for someone that wants to do coaching by email)
  • Strategy Sessions (75 minute targeted sessions by phone, Skype or in person)
  • VIP Intensives (half day, full day or 2 day options by phone, Skype or in person)

Check out the different types of coaching/consulting I offer on my site’s Coaching page.

business_excellenceBut hurry… and here’s why (and this isn’t a sales tactic, but the truth based on years of experience)! I am speaking at two big conferences in April and May, and I always book up my coaching calendar afterwards.

So if you want to explore this before I head out for those speaking engagements, email me to set up a complimentary 25 minute Discovery Call. We’ll explore where you want to go in your life, career or business, what’s been keeping you from getting there, and come up with the best solution for you.

I look forward to possibly working with you!

Happy Spring,

Lisa

tuscany-viewWhat’s YOUR version of The Sweet Life? The La Dolce Vita lifestyle is about following your dream, deciding not to play small anymore, living your life to the fullest, and allowing the real you to shine through!

Join me for the La Dolce Vita 6-Week Group Life Coaching Program, starting Thursday, February 20, 2014. We will enjoy 6 weeks of open-line calls (recorded for your convenience), powerful content and exercises, a private Facebook group, and much more! All designed to help you make significant changes in your life so that you can adopt a La Dolce Vita kind of lifestyle no matter where you live.

Maybe for you “The Sweet Life” means:
Saying no to a toxic relationship that doesn’t serve you.

  • Cultivating a hobby or passion that you have always wanted to try.
  • Adding a little romance (or a lot!) into your life.
  • Taking better care of your body or spirit.
  • Going to bed at night feeling peaceful and waking up looking forward to the day.
  • Changing careers.
  • Enjoying quality time with your family and friends.
  • Writing a book (its been on your bucket list for years).
  • Running a marathon or some other type of active pursuit.
  • Traveling – finally giving in to that wanderlust!
  • Saying ‘No’ more often.
  • Saying ‘Yes’ more fully.

Whatever that larger vision for your life is… that’s what La Dolce Vita is all about.

Many of you have expressed interest in coaching with me, but can’t afford the one-on-one price. This is an ideal way to get the coaching you crave at a rate that meets you where you are. This program is powerful, yet affordable. Early bird rate is only $299 if you register by February 13th. $359 thereafter. There’s even a handy 2-pay option if you need to spread payments out.

NOTE: For those of you that need or want continuing education units (CEUs), you may be able to use some of the topics for CEUs depending on the guidelines of your certification and whether you will use the content for yourself, your business, and/or your clients. If you are a coach or organizer, for example, many of the topics may qualify for CEUs. So keep that in mind!

If you want results and are ready to live The Sweet Life, then join us!

Ciao!

Listen to Lisa’s interview with Career Coach Caroline this Tuesday, January 31st at 5pm EST on CBS Radio – part of the Coach Me Radio Series.

Lisa will be discussing her career change from attorney to Productivity Consultant, Success Coach, Speaker and Author, as well as her best advice for others considering a career transition. Listen in as Lisa will also share her top 3 take-aways for getting organized this New Year… and more..

Broadcast LIVE on CBS, New Sky Radio, Career Coach Caroline can be heard on KJAQ HD3 Seattle, WBMX HD3 Boston, WOMC HD3 Detroit, WDSY and WZPT HD3 Pittsburgh. The show also streams on NewSkyRadio.com http://sky.radio.com/shows/coach-me/, the CBS Radio AOL stream, and on Yahoo radio, Blackberry, iPhone and iTunes.

Check out this insightful blog post by Alex Barnett featuring tips by me and another life/career coach about how to overcome being fired. Alex is a lawyer-turned comedian, and a gifted writer. I had the pleasure of serving on a panel with him a few years ago about lawyers that have followed their passion to an alternative career.

I’m honored to be included in his work! Read the article here.

Howard University Alumni Club of Westchester and Rockland Counties presents:

The “Extra” in Extraordinary: Powerful Professional Development

Be Extraordinary in 2011!


Prepare yourself for the year ahead by taking part in this information-packed professional development panel discussion designed to engage, enlighten and empower you to enhance your professional life and image. Learn how leaders in your field conduct themselves to get the very best results, build confidence and solidify their success! Whether just starting out in your career or business or a seasoned professional or entrepreneur, this panel of experts will give you tools to put the “extra” in your professional life!

Topics

Effective Public Speaking

Getting Organized and Managing Time

Dining and Cocktail Party Etiquette

Image Development

Panelists

Pamela Minyard, Director, Mercy College and Co-Author, Executive Etiquette Power (Moderator)

Michele Brown, Certified Executive Coach, IntuAction Coaching

Rosa McLeish, Owner and Founder of Teach Me to Succeed Foundation and The New York School of Etiquette

Lisa Montanaro, Owner of LM Organizing Solutions, LLC and Certified Professional Organizer

Date: Saturday, January 22, 2011 • 9:30am to 12:00pm

Location: The Junior League of Westchester-on-Hudson House 35 South Broadway, 2nd Floor • Tarrytown, NY

Cost: $10• Limited Seating • RSVP by January 20 to events@huacwr.org