Leadership thoughts and strategies, plus upcoming events from Deb Elbaum Coaching

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Thank you to those who create purposeful change -- you inspire me!

This time of year is filled with gratitude -- for my clients, colleagues, friends, and family. I am especially grateful for those who inspire me by creating purposeful change in their lives. I believe that change is absolutely possible, and that it starts with new thoughts and baby steps.

If you want to know how career change happens in real life, you'll enjoy reading Jamie's story below. He shares some details about his thoughts, plans, what his first key steps were. I appreciate his honesty.

After over two decades in the business world, mostly in financial services, I am planning a "second act." I plan to start a new career in my mid-fifties as a school counselor. At present, I am keeping my day job and attending classes in the evenings, slowing earning credits towards a Masters in K-12 School Counseling.
The first step was breaking out of a negative thought pattern loop that went something like this: (1) I don't like my job (2) I want to do something different (3) I can't afford to give up my current income (4) I can't think of any other careers that would pay me enough and which would also be more satisfying  (5) I should just stay put (6) The thought of staying put makes me really depressed (7) Back to thought number one. Being stuck in this way was due to an inability to see possibilities.
A really important step was reading "Designing Your Life" by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans. One of their key concepts is rapid prototyping, in which you quickly put together some semblance of an idea to see how it feels. Then you repeat the process, refining and improving as you go. In my case, I had the idea that I might enjoy a career working with young people. My rapid prototyping action was to call the director of a summer camp I attended as a teenager. I asked if I could come to the camp for a week to volunteer. She agreed, and with one phone call and the cost of a flight from New York to Albuquerque, my first "new career" prototype was created.  I absolutely loved the experience, and returned inspired to brainstorm career options working with young people. The next rapid prototyping exercise was to meet with an academic advisor at a school counseling program. Within 30 minutes, I learned that people do, in fact, join the counseling profession later in life and that career changers actually do very well. So, yes, it could work. Another phase of prototyping has been taking counseling classes.

Regardless of where I end up, I have broken the cycle of negative thinking, boosted my mood, and am learning skills that I use today with my kids, co-workers, and friends. I even think I am becoming more effective at my day job in finance. I am no longer stuck, and I now know that possibilities are limited only by my imagination.

If you are ready to create change, I invite you to take your first step. I'd be honored to help. Think of the possibilities!
Have a wonderful month,
What's your next goal?

Please Join Me!

I'm looking forward to some local talks in 2020. More info to follow...

In the meantime, here's a thought leader you might enjoy. Marc Brackett Ph.D., is founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. His talks about the need to pay attention to and increase our emotional literacy -- our awareness of and ability to recognize and name the emotions we have -- are compelling and have direct relevance to life at work. Here's his 2011 TEDx talk, and if you want a more recent, detailed talk, I suggest you watch this one from 2017.

Are you ready to transform your leadership?

Contact me for a complimentary 30-minute phone strategy session to talk about what's really holding you back, and what increased success would look like. Then we can chart a plan to get from here to there...


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