“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.

Think back to when you were just a wee little boy or girl. Do you remember the question people used to ask all of the time? “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I was thinking about that question today and realized that on so many levels, it is totally unfair!

child-grown_upFirst, how in the world do we expect such a young little one to have any idea what he or she may do for a living when they grow up? Heck, most people I know, regardless of age, still have things they want to do and try in their lifetime. Lots of unfinished business, dreams, hopes, and goals floating around regardless of age.

Second, at what point are we “grown up?” Is it at 18 years old when we graduate from high school and can vote, but can’t yet be trusted to legally drink alcoholic beverages? If a young man or woman is undecided on his or her major in college, most people think he or she is misguided, not focused, and indecisive. Yet again, how many adults (a/k/a “grown ups”) do you know that are using the exact major they studied in their present job/career?

Third, let’s break down the actual question: What do you want to BE when you grow up? A wise guy or girl can answer that he or she wants to be happy, healthy, wise, in love, gainfully employed, successful or any other adjective of his or her choosing. Or maybe you realize that you will be many things at the same time. One title may not define you. You may be many things like a daughter or son, spouse, friend, employee, entrepreneur, etc.

So what if here you are, a grown up, and you still aren’t sure what you want to be? Not only do I think that’s okay, I think it’s way more common than most people realize. And now it is socially acceptable too. We don’t have to make our first career our last. We do n’t have to define ourselves by one title. Change is often inevitable, regardless of how old we are and what we have done in the past. We all go through periods in our life when we ask “What’s next?” Maybe you’ve been in the same career for years and are ready for a change. Maybe you want to take a giant leap and go into business for yourself. Maybe you want to take a sort of “sabbatical” and re-think things. These periods of uncertainty when we go back to that childhood question can be scary — but hopefully also exciting!

Research shows that for many generations, people were expected to find a job/career and stick with it their whole working life. The workplace and retirement systems were set up that way and job stability was the great motivator to stay the course. This generation is made up of job-hoppers who will stay on average only 3-4 years in any one position. This generation, known as the Millennials, consider themselves “free agents” and will subject themselves to the possibility of financial insecurity in order to find happiness and fulfillment in their work lives. They feel that it is a small price to pay for freedom.

career_changeI have an insider’s and outsider’s perspective on this issue. I completed my own successful (and risky!) career transition from a lawyer to a coach/consultant/speaker/author 12 years ago on the heels of the 9-11 terrorist attacks (and thank my lucky starts every day that I get to do this for a living now!). The tragic events of that day served a catalyst for me to do a lot of soul searching on what the next path was for me and make the leap from my career as a lawyer. Of course, it was scary. The change looked like a big mountain looming before me. It’s amazing how scary those mountains look before you climb them. And now that I’m sitting on the other side of the mountain, I can look back and see how beautiful the mountain really is and how great the other side looks.

I have also had the privilege of coaching many clients through career transitions over the years. I think people go through “chapters” in their life, and their careers change — if they have the courage to follow through. It’s not always easy to turn the page when one chapter has ended and it is time to move on. But what I have seen as an outsider and experienced as an insider is true magic. Corny but true. Pretty much everyone I know, including myself, that has made a career change has come out on the other side better for it. Happier, more fulfilled, and grateful that they made the leap and took the chance regardless of outcome. Let’s face it… it’s usually the things we don’t do that bring us the biggest regret.

So if you still don’t know what you want to be when you grow up, don’t fret. It ain’t over just yet. I hope you have the courage to scale your mountain!

Will We Work Well Together?

Does this Describe You?

  • You need help discovering and developing your passions and want to be empowered to guide yourself to a happier, more fulfilling life.
  • You want to jump ship from your J-O-B and start your own business, but are overwhelmed with what to do and how to begin.
  • You need methods and strategies to help you succeed as an entrepreneur or small business owner.
  • You are a busy professional who wants to develop your natural leadership skills, harness your potential, and establish your own best practices to maximize career satisfaction and lead a more balanced life.
  • You are the CEO or owner of a company and want help in managing your team, motivating your employees, and being an inspired leader.
  • You are in the midst of a career transition and could use help to find and obtain your dream job.

If any of the above describes you, welcome!

The coaching process is a deep, personal journey (yes, even if it is business coaching… I like to say that being an entrepreneur has been one of the most profound personal experiences so far in my life), so it is important to make sure that we are a good match.

I tend to work best with high-performing individuals who have great ideas, but need someone to help funnel those ideas into action. My ideal client is an implementer — someone that wants results and is ready, willing, and able to work for them because he or she knows that it is worth it.

I coach and consult with individuals in one-on-one and group formats (with a special emphasis on entrepreneurs in general, and professional organizers in particular, as that was my focus in the beginning years of my business), as well as with corporations and organizations (with a special emphasis on law firms, law schools, and colleges and universities, due to my background as an attorney and higher education administrator), to help each individual and each organization find balance, success and joy at home, in business, and in life.

My Ideal Client

My Ideal Client is someone who…

  • is excited about coaching and is eager to engage in the process;
  • is a high-functioning, high-performing, and/or high-achieving individual;
  • has a vision and is committed to bringing that to life;
  • believes in his or her work;
  • approaches life with an open mind and a positive attitude;
  • shows up on time, calls on time, and does their “homework” assignments;
  • is eager to try out creative ideas, practice new techniques, explore and dig deep;
  • is willing to laugh at yourself and hear the truth.

If this is you, you’re in for an amazing ride and I can’t wait to get my hands on you!

Types of Clients That I Have Worked With

My diverse client base includes CEOs and CFOs of large corporations, self-employed entrepreneurs, stay-at-home parents, junior executives and young professionals, and everything in between. I provide dynamic career, life, and business guidance to help each individual reach his or her highest goals and dreams both professionally and personally.

What binds my clients together is their willingness to change and take action, and their ability to see that they want to do so with expert help and guidance, accountability, and someone that is truly on their team. 

Lawyers & Legal Services Professionals
Professional Organizers
Entrepreneurs
Coaches
Therapists
Interior Designers
Speakers
Politicians
CEOs
CFOs
Professors
Higher Education Administrators
Financial Services Professionals
Accountants
Artists & Musicians
Writers
Virtual Assistants & Online Business Managers

Visit the Client Raves and Results page to read the satisfaction and results my clients achieve from working with me in their own words.

My Philosophy

Working with me is a personalized experience like no other you’ll find. I promise.

I am passionate about helping others be more successful. My energy is contagious. It is MY purpose to ignite a fire within you so you are able to live out YOUR life’s purpose.

Combining my rich and diverse background as a mediator, lawyer, educator, performer, and successful business-owner, I am able to provide guidance across a wide platform of topics using many different modalities. I honed the ability to get to the core of an issue during my years as a lawyer. I use an artful combination of analytical skills and intuition to help my clients focus, grow, and take action.

I offer confidential coaching and consulting services across all levels of personal and professional effectiveness and development.

Part consultant, part coach — I ask probing questions designed to help you dig deep, but also give expert advice, guiding you to the answers you seek. I am skillful at guiding clients to successful results through motivation and encouragement, but without judgment. I offer an opportunity to brainstorm AND problem-solve, in a safe and supportive environment, BUT will also give you a (gentle) kick-in-the-pants when you need it! Thus, my clients lovingly refer to me as a Kick-Butt Coach! 🙂

I take a holistic approach to coaching. We work on a combination of internal AND external. My process with clients is like a laser beam to help you blast through issues holding you back, come up with a solid plan, and give you the tools to implement, so you can experience a huge shift. Thus, you experience the mind-set shifts that are so necessary to believing in and achieving success, but also receive solid know-how to help you take real action! From “big picture” to the small details, my 360 degree approach is what sets me apart.

Confidentiality & Ethics

Any good coach knows that what happens in a coaching session stays in a coaching session. Period. As a former practicing lawyer, I am extremely familiar with the concept of confidentiality and take it very seriously. My clients share their dreams, wishes and desires with me, as well as business plans, trade secrets, employee disputes and other valuable and vulnerable information. I hold all of these confidences in trust, and consider it a privilege and honor to be confided in with such sensitive information. Confidentiality is covered in, and protected by, my Coaching Agreement, which is signed by me and all of my clients. Any testimonials or references you see on this site have been freely given, with express permission, by my clients. I only release whether an individual or organization is even a client with consent. Thus, until or unless you say otherwise, mums the word!

I also hold myself up to the highest ethical standards, and abide by the ethical codes of many associations and professions that I belong to. In fact, I speak, coach and train on how to abide by codes of ethics, and handle ethical dilemmas. I do this because I think the topic of ethics is fascinating, confusing, and very, very important for the credibility of an industry, profession or association. I also recognize that the best way to stay abreast of a topic is to not only live it on a daily basis, and conduct my required continuing education, but also to teach it. In teaching a subject, we truly can master it.

the_artists_wayIn the amazing book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, she discusses the concept that all of us have an “art” that runs deep within us yearning to break out. This art can literally be an artistic talent like painting, writing, or performing, but it could also be something else entirely. It can be connecting, teaching, being funny, etc. For some people, they find this art at a very young age, and they build a career and a life around it. For others, they may find this art, but decide not to do anything with it, or fight it tooth and nail. Some abandon it, never to let it come to the surface again. The people that bury their art often wind up being extremely unhappy in their careers and their lives. The ones that pursue it wholeheartedly are usually profoundly happy and feel they are living out their calling.

But is there an in between? I believe so. There are some people that do not pursue their art directly, but indirectly it becomes a part of their life or career. Cameron calls this being a shadow artist. For example, the class clown who decides not to pursue a career using humor directly as a stand-up comedian, but becomes a professional speaker whose humor is a big part of how he connects so deeply with his audiences. The painter or sculptor that decides that she doesn’t want to be a struggling artist trying to get her work into art galleries, but instead decides to become an art teacher and share her passion and talent with the next generation of artists. Or a dancer who decides to become a choreographer helping other dancers create art on stage. But beware — being a shadow artist can be a negative experience, as in the case of someone that is deeply resentful of not pursuing his or her art directly. The key is to make sure that your art indirectly manifests itself in your life or your career in a positive manner so that it still remains a part of your life, while not being resentful that you’re not pursuing it directly.

attorneyMany people struggle with having spent so much time training and preparing for their art, that they dig their heels in stubbornly refusing to abandon it, or incorporate it into their life in another way. I was once in this position. I convinced myself that I was an attorney at heart. I badly wanted to believe it, as I had invested so much time, money and energy training to become a lawyer. Much about that world was alluring. It was intellectual, paid extremely well, was high powered, and was well respected, while giving me the sense that I was helping others in a meaningful way. It was enticing the way a drug would be. Plus, I was really good at it. It took me almost a decade to understand that the law was not the right fit for me — or maybe not to understand it, but to accept it and move on. I realized that law was not my true art. Instead, my true art was to help, guide, teach, motivate and inspire others. Unfortunately, the way that my art manifested through my being an attorney was a huge disconnect. It was too negative, too stressful, and not as directly helpful as I had hoped it would be and wanted it to be. I had the right intentions but chose the wrong package to house them in. Once I realized this, I had to make a change. And I did. I now get to enjoy being a coach, consultant, speaker, and author using my true art in a way that feels positive, and is a perfect fit for me.

Having spent so much time navigating my own successful career transition and guiding others through theirs, I have found that there are 3 key steps to identifying your own art.

1) What did you want to be when you grew up? Not the specific answer… but the underlying impulse. What is the archetype that is deep within you? What is your true art? I wanted to be a stage actress, singer, and dancer. When I dug deep, it was more about the art and craft of performing, and connecting with the audience than being famous, so it was easy to make that a hobby, and incorporate some aspects of it into my work as a professional speaker. I wanted to teach the deaf as I was so inspired by Helen Keller and my deaf family members. I did teach and interpret for three years and it was a wonderful experience. The teacher archetype runs strong in me to this day and all of my work incorporates it.

snowboarder2) Pay attention to the work you gravitate to in your “day job,” as well as your volunteer activities. Often, it’s not the position, title, company, or anything official that shows us our true art, but the actual work. What work puts you in “flow” state? What gets you jazzed, taps into your passions, or is just plain fun or interesting to you?

3) Pay attention to what you envy. Jealousy may be an ugly emotion, but it often uncovers our true desires or tells the truth in some form. It may not be the exact thing you envy, but some version of it. When I first decided not to pursue Broadway as a career, it was often difficult for me at that time to go see a show. I realized I still had some envy around that choice and had to really examine whether I had made the right decisions with abandoning that dream. Over the years, it became clear that I could keep a foot in the theater world through performing in community and regional theater, and I would not be resentful, envious or jealous of those that had pursued this art directly and made it on Broadway. With this sense of peace and acceptance around my decision, I am able to fully enjoy theater as a participant, and as an audience member.

It’s obvious that people flourish when they’re engaged in occupations, roles or settings that are aligned with their personalities. But I think it goes deeper. Your true art doesn’t have to come out in the work you do at all. However, I believe it has to come out somehow. So if the work you do doesn’t allow you to integrate your art at all, make sure that you’re able to express your art in your personal life. Your art should strongly arouse your passions and provide a welcome place to express yourself. It should be like an emotional vacation. Think about what your art is, and then be sure that you integrate it into your life somehow. Because the last thing you want is to wake up one day and realize that you have been burying your art your entire life. That would be not only be a shame for you, but the world.

Interested in delving further on this issue, or other aspects of your life, career or business? I offer one-on-one private coaching/consulting, group coaching programs, corporate consulting and executive coaching, and speaking programs. Contact me so we can explore the possibility of working together!

I am noticing a pattern or theme that keeps coming up for many of my clients lately. They express their strong desire for change (whether it be to grow their business or improve or change something in their life or career), but that they don’t “have the time” to devote to the change process. They are basically treating change like a one night stand! They will get excited about it, maybe take it out for a drink and even take it home for the night, but then in the morning, poof! They lose interest, turn their attention elsewhere, and lose change’s number. That is not the start of a lasting commitment. And change definitely takes commitment.

change_ahead_signIndeed, transformation takes attention. And yes, that means of your time. If you want to change, transition, transform, or grow in any area of your life or work, you must make that a priority and block off time for the change to happen. I know it isn’t easy and takes discipline, but it will always be worth it in the long run. Here are a few tips on how to treat change with some respect and make the magic last a lot longer than one night.

Clear the Decks
When we start a change process, it is important to examine how much time, attention, energy and effort it will take. Some changes are a lot more complex and demanding than others. Is this a good time to start this change process? Have you cleared your calendar to make room for it? Be realistic about how much “deck clearing” you need to do to make this change truly happen. Set yourself up for success by planning for the time and attention to devote to the change process.

Surround Yourself with “Believing Eyes”
supportive_colleaguesThe author, Martha Beck, uses the term “believing eyes” in her fabulous book, Finding Your Own North Star (one of the best career transition books out there in my opinion!) as a way to describe the positive and supportive people you should surround yourself with when undergoing a change or transition. This is so important and is part of your pre-change work. Choose your tribe or team carefully! Don’t surround yourself with Debbie Downers and Negative Nellies (or Neds!) who will sabotage your efforts, try to derail you from your path, or express resentment, anger or jealousy. Kick that type of toxicity to the curb! And if it is someone that you have no choice but to cross paths with (say someone you live or work with for example), then set ground rules up front, such as that your change process is off limits for discussion. Period. If they can’t play nice, then don’t invite them to play at all!

Honor Appointments With Yourself
We give a lot of weight to appointments that we set with other people, or events, meetings and occasions that we attend. We block them out on our calendar and then we make a commitment to show up unless there is a true emergency. And yet, most of us do not honor appointments with ourself in the same manner. In order to be fully invested in the change process, you must block out the time on your calendar and then honor that appointment as if you made it with the most important person in your life. Why? Because you are an important person in your life! And you are worth it. Don’t skimp on time for your own personal and professional growth and development.

Anticipate and Plan for Setbacks
Ah… the best laid plans. We make them and then life happens. Try your best to anticipate what type of obstacles may arise as you embark on this change process and plan for them in advance. Have an upcoming deadline at work that may get in the way? Prepare for that deadline as much as possible in advance, get help mee ting it, or better yet, delegate some of the tasks. An upcoming vacation may take you off course? See if you can continue your change process while on vacation, even in small ways so that you don’t get totally off track. Whatever road blocks may show up on the obstacle course, try to outsmart them.

Be Patient
Did I mention that change takes time? Be patient with yourself and the process. Don’t expect change to happen overnight. Spend some time with it. Take it out on a few dates, bring it home to meet the family, wine and dine it. Be willing to put in the time, effort and energy to make the change a lasting one.

Celebrate
celebrateIf you have stayed the course and given the change process the time, attention and commitment that it deserves, then you will be able to reach the finish line. When you get there, be sure to look back and reflect on your journey.

Try to learn from the success of this change process so you can use it to avoid “change one night stand” syndrome in the future. Give yourself a round of applause and celebrate in an appropriate manner to mark the significance of achieving your change. Congratulations!

Life After Law is Out!

lifeafterlawI am honored to be profiled in this amazing new book by author Liz Brown, “Life After Law: Finding Work Your Love With the JD You Have.” It is an awesome career guide for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Liz profiles lawyers that have jumped ship from a traditional law career to find greener pastures elsewhere. The real life stories are inspiring, and can be used as a motivator if you are thinking of making a career transition or reinventing yourself.

My transition from a practicing lawyer to an entrepreneur (coach, consultant, speaker and author) is profiled in the book, along with my honest advice on that journey. Grab your copy today!

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.”
~ e.e. cummings

Does this describe you?

  • You want to reignite the passion for your work.
  • You would love to leap into a new career if only you had the guts to jump ship.
  • You want to become the leader in your career that is deep inside of you yearning to step into his or her power.
Well, you can!

Reinventing yourself in the workplace and in your career is possible. I will show you how to play to your strengths, discover your passions, and own your power and confidence as you plan your next career move.

I have years of experience coaching individuals on career issues, both from my background as an employment lawyer and by serving as a freelance career consultant for several law schools and on a freelance basis.  I’ve had the pleasure of assisting individuals with varied careers, including lawyers, rabbis, professional musicians, CEOs, entrepreneurs, and financial services professionals to name a few.

“I have known Lisa Montanaro for five years. Since meeting her, she has served as a career coach and mentor to me. Because of her extensive experience and knowledge, I have always valued her opinion and insight. She seems to always have a solution. In fact, Lisa just assisted me in applying for a position that I received an offer for. Her help was invaluable from application to interview to negotiating an offer. I start my new job next month and am thrilled! I am fortunate to have met her.”  ~ Sheila, Middletown, NY


Career Transition and Job Search

Some people change careers by choice and others by necessity. If you are ready for change, you are not alone. Pursue what you REALLY want to do!

Take the first steps toward a career or business that best complements your unique abilities and interests, one that provides meaning and fulfillment so you wake up saying, “I LOVE what I do!”

Dust off the ideas you’ve pushed to the back of your mind – you know the ones (e.g., starting your own business, becoming a veterinarian, making a career of travel, transitioning to the non-profit sector, etc.). Whatever that dream is, let’s make it happen.

Career transition and job search services include:

  • Self assessment (values, interests, personality and skills), strengths identification, and finding a satisfying career role.
  • Navigating career transitions in and out of the workplace.
  • Research of jobs, industries, and potential employers.
  • Identifying and building a personal brand for success.
  • Developing an effective professional toolkit: resumes, CVs, cover letters, and thank you letters.
  • Honing professional image and effective communication techniques.
  • Perfecting your elevator pitch and marketing yourself in the job search.
  • Building and nurturing professional networks and relationships.
  • Strategies for work-life balance.
  • Leaving a traditional job to launch a business.
  • Interview preparation.
  • Post–interview follow-up.

“Thank you again for your career coaching guidance. It helped me put a lot of thought into the places I was applying. I realized that it is critical to “believe in” what I am doing. Yes, office work is office work, but at the end of the day, I have to feel I am doing something worthwhile.  I ended up with three interviews scheduled in one week and two offers coming in on the same day! The job I wound up accepting is a perfect fit. And you hear it over and over today, but even though I am making less money, I am happier.  The thought process that you helped me with really steered me in this direction. Otherwise I would most likely just have repeated history, taken the better paying job and eventually found myself dissatisfied. Thanks again for everything.” ~ Heidi, Beacon, NY


Professional Development  & Growth

Take your professional and leadership abilities to the next level. Expand your experience in areas such as change management, employee relations, and team dynamics.

Explore new communication, management, and leadership skills that will increase your effectiveness, engage and empower you (and your staff if you have one!), and exceed expectations.

Professional Development & Growth services include:

  • Executive coaching for supervisors and leaders.
  • Identifying and building a personal brand for success.
  • Coaching on job satisfaction.
  • Productivity consulting, including time management and streamlining personal systems.
  • Honing professional poise and effective communication techniques.
  • Perfecting your elevator pitch for your career and current position.
  • Building and nurturing professional networks and relationships.
  • Strategies for work/life balance.
  • Effectively navigating office conflict.
  • Setting and achieving goals for your career and position.
  • Etiquette for business professionals, including poise, image, wardrobe, and cultural protocol.
  • Interview and public speaking coaching.
  • Developing leadership techniques for emerging professionals

Be sure to visit the Corporate/Organizational Consulting page for more information about coaching and consulting services for business professionals, and the Speaking page for information on speaking and training workshops offered in the workplace.

Take Action

Career & Professional Development Coaching is generally done in the form of one-on-one coaching via phone or Skype (or in person if we are close enough geographically).

You can book a Strategy Session online if you know you want a targeted session and are ready to get started.

Coaching slots are available on a first come, first serve basis. When I receive your payment, I will email you a pre-session questionnaire (Coaching Profile) so that I can become more familiar with what you want to work on and we can jump right in.

If you want to explore longer term options, such as VIP Intensives or my Platinum Level Coaching Programs, then let’s set up a Discovery Call to see what is the best match for you at this time.

The only constant thing in our lives is change. However, few people like — much less love — changing. There are many famous quotes about change, all conveying the same general message: that change is inevitable and scary, but good. Any time we make a change in life, whether we initiated that change or it was forced upon us, we have a choice to make: to embrace it, or fight it. But what about the process that’s involved in making that choice? The change process can be extremely difficult so here are some ideas to help you through it.

Change is not only common in our lives, it is an overriding theme in nature. Witness the seasons, tides, sun setting and rising, life cycle of plants, etc. Heck, our own aging process is proof positive of constant change.

But change is not easy to manage. For starters, the hyper pace of life these days doesn’t leave much time for us to process change anymore. However, the biggest factors that make us resist change are self-imposed. We spend a lot of time “thinking” about upcoming or imminent changes, but not actively planning or managing them. We also suffer from complacency as we get caught up in our “same old” routines and structures. We sometimes do this because of the fear of the unknown. Yet other times, we resist change because of a lack of trust or low confidence as to whether we will be able to effectively manage the change.

I have had several major transitions so far in my life. One was my career transition of leaving the practice of law to become an entrepreneur. I’ve also moved 4 times in the last 15 years. And I am about to embark on yet another major change as my husband and I relocate clear across the country from New York to California, which will include the expansion of my business and furthering of his education and career. Thinking back to all of the major transitions I have gone through, for each one, I had mixed feelings, which can be characterized as bittersweet. On one hand, I was excited about what was on the horizon and eager to explore the new adventure, but on the other hand, I was fearful and anxious about walking away from what I was leaving.

Invariably, with every change or transition, huge opportunities, successes and unexpected blessings awaited me as soon as I embraced the change. The process that I experienced while deciding to embrace the change is a psychological one and is the typical path that people take when embarking on a change of any kind. You’ve probably heard of the stages of grief that are experienced when we suffer the loss of a loved one. And while that is an extreme example of change, it does serve as a powerful lesson for dealing with change of all kinds.

First, you experience shock, accompanied by denial. This is when you feel like a victim, experience change as something happening to you and out of your control. Second, you experience fear; most people internalize this emotion. Generally, this stage is when a person will be withdrawn and quiet as they go through the fear of the unknown in their mind. In the next stage, people often externalize their emotions and express anger and frustration, accompanied by strong resistance and bargaining. The last stage is acceptance. Ah… this is when you accept the change and are at peace with it. This is also when good change managers move into action mode.

Take a step back and scrutinize your relationship to change. Here are some tips to help guide you.

Plan for the Change
Preparing and planning for change in a proactive manner is the most critical step to change management. Focus on what you are doing in an honest manner. Each person’s specific change management issues are unique. Take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses, personality style, and preferences.

Stay Positive
Change often starts with a new beginning, but it also includes an ending – with letting go of old attitudes and behaviors. Transition is a difficult process for anyone, but some people deal with it better than others. Focus on what you could gain, instead of what you could lose. Think of the transition as running towards something (the new change) as opposed to running away from something (the thing you are leaving behind or changing from). Rewards may await you on the other side.

Let Go
Make room for change in your work and life. Don’t hold on so tightly to what is safe that you strangle your openness and willingness to change. Stop holding onto the illusion that just because something is familiar, it is good. Indeed, change could lead to something better!

Are you one step ahead of change, or at least keeping up with it? Remember, change is inevitable. You may as well invite it in for a visit and make friends with it!