Archive for the ‘career’ Category

New GPS Career Foundations Teleclass – Registration Open

October 8, 2015

HOLD THE DATES! Career GPS Foundations — Teleclass Program Coming Soon!

Registration Now Open!  Catch the ‘early bird’ pricing.   

Eventbrite - Career GPS Foundations Tele-class Program (7 weekly sessions)

Course starts October 28th for 7 consecutive Wednesday pm sessions

Wondering what’s next for you in your career but feeling unsure how to proceed? How to know which way to go? How to get ‘there’ once you set your sights on where ‘there’ is? Navigating changes in your career can sometimes feel daunting and overwhelming – whether you are a career-changer; a career-starter or somewhere in between. Things have changed and may look different from the last time you went out to get a job or professional start.

How do you navigate this new landscape? You need a GPS!

Registration Now Open! The Big Cheese Coaching Career Foundations GPS Program (7 Teleclasses):

CareerCompass

If you need a leg up in getting started in your career exploration process then this will be a great program for you. Whether you are ready to make a change now, soon, or at some point in the future – it’s important to learn the essential foundational ‘must-do’s and the ‘don’t do’s too.

Key Details:

  • The timing is seven Wednesday nights at 7:15pm – 8:30 (sometimes to 8:45 for Qs if there’s interest)
  • This is a teleclass format — with materials to support the learning provided
  • If you miss a class we will provide recordings (for registrants only)
  • Participants will have the option of whether or not to interact/and disclose their name to others…completely up to you (although interaction highly welcome)
  • Participants will also have access to one-on-one coaching support at a significantly reduced rate to further support their needs (optional add on)

CONTENT: Here are some of the themes that we will cover over the course of the 7 weeks

  • The five phases of career development / discover where you are and where you need to focus on
  • Inside-out discovery: learn about your values and use them to guide your choices and decision-making
  • Strengths-based career making: lost your confidence? Not sure what you have to offer? Learn different ways to reconnect with your strengths/accomplishments and bring this to light….not just for yourself but also in the narratives you bring to others
  • Boost your confidence authentically
  • Visioning and planning and common derailers when looking for the ‘perfect job/career’
  • Test drive your ideas
  • Resumes that work
  • Networking: the good, bad, ugly — learn how to do it right/when to do it/and how not to do it
  • Career navigation mojo – how to stay resilient when the job exploration/career vision is hitting road blocks

Interested? It’s always good to have a starting plan where-ever you are in the continuum of your career. Here’s to your career wellbeing. Are you game?  I am!  Scroll down and hit the REGISTRATION button to learn more.

Eileen Chadnick, PCC, ACPC, ABC

(Haven’t met yet? Check out my bios here)

Eventbrite - Career GPS Foundations Tele-class Program (7 weekly sessions)

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Positivity at Work

October 28, 2013

NOTE: This was originally posted on my Big Cheese Coaching blog:

I’ve been swimming blissfully in the study and application of positivity for quite some time and lately have ramped it up a notch. I have always been hugely interested in and engaged with the science of positivity. I think it’s part of my innate DNA — but also very much a learned skill too.

professional

Recently, I’ve joined a group of global participants in an eight week  learning opportunity: a master class on positivity lead by the Barbara Fredrickson, the pre-eminent expert on the science of positive emotions and author of Positivity and Love 2.0.  This has been an amazing experience (and we’re not yet done).

I’ve also had the opportunity to bring the topic of positivity to several workshops and presentations lately (talking to staff at Sick Kids Hospital, UoT, Administrative Professionals Conference, Red Mountain Resort) and have more on the horizon.  It’s been tremendous fun and the participants seem to have really enjoyed the sessions. Check out the recent testimonials.

I just wrote an article for the Globe and Mail on the positivity advantage  (as part of my “Brain Works” series). It’s been getting a ton of buzz. You can read it here.

I’m learning so much  (from my studies and ‘living it’). Here are just a few tidbits.

1) Positivity matters: It is not just a ‘nice to have’. It is truly an essential ingredient to your success and well-being. There’s over 20 years of hard scientific evidence that links positive emotions with better health, improved brain and cognitive function, greater personal efficacy, a heightened ability to connect and a spark plug to boost your mojo (and much more….but hey, that’s plenty to convince me).

2) It’s in us already – we just need to tap into it with new habits: Positivity isn’t dependent on circumstances. Positive emotions can reside side by side with a range of emotions – even the not-so-positive. We just need to be intentional and learn easy yet authentic ways to tap into our positivity reservoir.

3) We need a steady and diversified diet of positivity: Good nutrition tells us to get a steady and ample diet of fruits and vegetables (and other essential food groups). Likewise, for well-being, we need a steady, ample diet of positive “moments”. Most people go with less than the recommended allotment. It’s not as hard as one may think to get your ‘dose’.  It can be just a thought away – or an intention to be present to moments that might offer you joy, gratitude, inspiration and more.

4) Positivity comes in moments: It’s not about getting to a permanent state. Positivity comes in moments and are fleeting. Still, if we get enough (a minimum of 3 positive thoughts to one negative) we will benefit from all the rewards.

Curious? Want more? Here’s how to tap into this further:

1) Read my latest Globe and Mail article for some high-level ideas and tips.

2) Get ready for Ease, my upcoming book soon to be released. It includes a lot of strategies on how to hone the positivity advantage.

3) Invite me to speak to your people (conference, employees, etc.) Have a look what others have said about my sessions.

4) Engage in coaching – this is my sweet spot and I’d love to help you hone your positivity advantage!

More to come but lots to dive into RIGHT NOW!

Enjoy and may you live with Ease and Well-being.

Eileen

Six Ways To Tame Your Stressed Out Brain

August 12, 2013

UPDATE (DEC 2013):  if the topic of managing overwhelm is of interest to you – I just launched a new book called, Ease – Manage Overwhelm in Times of Crazy Busy. You can get it at most online book retailers. Read here for more!

(Originally posted at http://www.bigcheesecoaching.com)

A slighted shorter version of this article has also been published in the Globe and Mail Careers.

The Scenario:

It is late afternoon and a busy executive, whom we will call Sue, is trying to finish up a project before she leaves to get her daughter from daycare. Simultaneously she is also dealing with several other priorities on her plate. Already running late, she receives an urgent email from her boss advising of a change in direction for a proposal due the next day.  Feeling stressed, Sue feels her anxiety escalate even further. Just when she needs it most, her normally sharp ‘thinking brain’ seems to freeze up. She feels overwhelmed, frustrated and stuck not knowing how to handle the demands piling up.

Stressed Businesswoman

(Microsoft Image)

Bye Bye Thinking Capacity – Hello Brain Freeze?

Sound familiar? Many people can likely relate to this scenario. It’s normal to feel occasional bouts of overwhelm.   Most people want to do well and to feel good about their work. But when stress levels go into overdrive, judgment, prioritizing and other critical thinking skills can become compromised, further escalating stress and impacting performance – and wellbeing.

Take heart. It may not be you. It could be your brain. And with just a little neuroscience savvy and a few brain-friendly strategies you can be better equipped to handle those times of ‘crazy busy’,  boost your performance and feel calmer too.

Brain Work 101: The Higher Thinking Brain vs. the Survival Brain.

Blame your stress on the amygdala – the part of the brain that ‘detects and protects’. Formed earliest in our evolution and part of the limbic system, the amygdala is akin to being a ‘survival brain’ with a super sharp ability to scan for and react to any perception of danger. Reacting instantaneously to any hint of threat, it gets us ready for fight or flight. Eliciting what’s known as the “stress response” with the release of adrenaline and cortisol to get our heart pumping and muscles primed for….well that depends on what happens next.

Is that a lion or a crazy deadline? The amygdala doesn’t know or care. Its job is not to discern whether the threat is real or perceived; its job is simply to protect.  When we experience an emotional response related to our work or life (‘oh no, not another crazy deadline or yet another change!), it fires the alarm just as it would if there was a real physical threat.

Unfortunately since survival always trumps reflection this happens at the expense of another essential part of our brain: the prefrontal cortex (PFC) which handles higher thinking skills like critical thinking, discernment, judgment and other cognitive skills. The prefrontal cortex (PFC) works best when under moderate stress and gets suppressed when the amygdala is all fired up.  Paradoxically, we need the skills of the prefrontal cortex to deal effectively with the stressful ‘stuff’ of work and life.

Bring back the calm  

To get a grip in a stressful moment, we need strategies that put the perceived threat back into its respectful cage and deliberately bring our higher thinking abilities (via the PFC) back online.  Here are six brain-friendly strategies to help you “tame your brain” and give your higher thinking brain a better chance at doing its work.

Six Strategies to Tame Your Brain and Give Your Higher Thinking Brain a Better Chance

1) Pause

When in the midst of a stressful moment, take a moment to simply pause.  While it may feel counter-intuitive when rushed with time-sensitive workloads, a short pause provides a time buffer that can weaken the impulse and mitigate falling into the stress response.  Counting to 10 or 20, breathing deeply or taking a short break can provide that reprieve amidst a sense of urgency and chaos.  More importantly, this intentional break can give you that small but critical opening for more productive thinking and putting things in better perspective.

2) Notice and Name it.

In his book “Your Brain at Work, David Rock, President of the Neuroleadership Institute, shares a powerful yet simple strategy for bringing your higher thinking skills (via the prefrontal cortex) back on line. Simply observe and then name your emotional reaction. For instance, you might say to yourself, “I’m feeling very stressed” or “I’m frazzled”.  It’s important to notice then label the experience without feeding into the emotion. While this awareness won’t likely give you full relief this simple cognitive act engages the PFC which can diffuse the strength of the ‘amygdala attack’ — making room for a more reflective approach.  Additionally, engaging the prefrontal cortex can elicit the hormone know as Gaba (gamma-amino butyric acid ) which provides a calming effect when there is too much adrenaline in the body.

3) Organize

Our left hemisphere brains love it when we make plans and get organized. Organizing is a powerful antidote to overwhelm and can provide a calming effect when we feel chaos and fear. Write out a to-do list; revisit your priorities; create an action plan; clean up the clutter on your desk or in a file. Do anything that gives you (and your brain) a greater sense of order amidst all the pressure of a demanding workload.

4) Focus

Our brains crave focus.  But all too often we work against this by trying to multi-task. Our brains, in fact, are not built for multi-tasking attention. Instead, the brain simply toggles from one thinking task to another. This constant switching is a major energy drain and a first class ticket to frazzle. This unfocused waste of attention also compromises productivity, creativity and efficiency.  Instead, work on scheduling more focus time in your day; chunk down your priorities and focus on one task at a time. Pay attention to your habits and notice where you can reign in the multitasking beast.

 5) Visualize

While our left hemisphere of our brain craves order, the right hemisphere can help us access calm with strategies like visualizing, looking at the big picture, and reflecting on meaningful symbols and metaphors.  Try to visualize success in handling a challenge you are facing; create an image in your mind that inspires calm; identify and tune into a metaphor that symbolizes strength. The possibilities are endless. The key is to integrate your whole brain and that includes both left and right hemisphere brain strengths.

6) Connect

Interacting with people you like can boost levels of the Oxytocin hormone which can have a calming effect when stressed.  Avoid the urge to hide or go it alone. Instead seek out others whom you trust and can count on for support.

So – how do you manage work overload?

Here’s to your personal and professional wellbeing.

Eileen Chadnick

Webinar: Need a Boost in Your Career Mojo?

March 26, 2013

Do you love your work, like it – or maybe just tolerate it? Want to get a bit more mojo out of your worklife? If so, listen up! I will be presenting a webinar (complimentary and hosted by Canadian Professional Accountants Association/CPA)) on May 14 at 12:30 ET. The CPA has generously offered to make this available to the public. And if you can’t make the date you can still listen/view the recording anytime afterwards if you have registered. All you have to do is register here. Note: it will take you to the website and ask for your email (takes just a quick moment). Your email will not be shared — not even with me.

Details:

Do you see your work as a job, career or calling? There is no right or wrong answer. And your position doesn’t have anything to do with how you see and experience your work. However, the latest research shows that how you orient yourself to your work can have a direct impact on your level of job satisfaction. Understanding your own orientation to work can help you better manage your career and successfully craft the right work situation for you without necessarily changing jobs.

This webinar will shed light on powerful research about meaning and work – and will offer you strategies to help you get more meaning and satisfaction from your work-life. Be prepared for more than a few surprises of what you thought were conditions for happiness and fulfillment at work.

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Hope to ‘see’ you there! Register here!

And if you do want to join my mailing list – please note that the CPA will not be sending me emails so you would need to send me a separate note or click on the ‘join’ button on this site. Thanks!

And check out my new Big Cheese Coaching website where you can find more news (and more links to free webinars!).

To Career Mojo and a TGIMworklife!

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Job Interview Tips (and video)

February 9, 2013

How do you prepare for a job interview? One thing for sure — never wing it. Preparation is essential. And I made sure to make that point in a new video series on interview tips at Globe Careers.

We taped seven videos for the series. I’ll post each as they get rolled out.

#1  A brief primer on how to prepare for your interview. 

#2 How to answer the ‘dream job’ question.

#3 How to discuss your ’strengths/weaknesses’ in an interview.

 

#4 So why did you leave your last job?

 

#5 So tell me about a time you solved a problem such as….?

 

#6 Questions you must ask in a job interview.

 

#7 How to answer quirky job interview questions.

Read the rest of this post at Big Cheese Coaching Blog!

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Five Ways to Say No Without Jeopardizing Your Reputation at Work

April 27, 2012

You’re swamped. Your plate  is full. You are juggling as it is. Then your boss – or someone else at work – asks if you can take on another assignment. What do you do?

You know you should say ‘no’ to this one – but yuck…saying no is right up with your other least favorite things to do…like going to the dentist to get a cavity filled. Well, at least that’s the case for many people including a Globe and Mail reader who sent in a question to the Globe Career’s Ask an Expert Coach feature. 

New! On today’s Globe and Mail career site and in the paper edition:  Read what I wrote to this reader — “Five Ways to Say No Without Jeopardizing Your Reputation at Work”.

Sometimes saying ‘no’ is really saying yes — to being small; risking less than standard work; and more.

Reflect — what are you saying yes to when you shy away from the appropriate times to say ‘no’?

 What are your strategies, tactics, experiences with saying ‘no’ when it is appropriate?

Additional ResourcesSee my Webinar/Workshop page on this blog for a listing of Webinars (free) — including: Are you Addicted to the Yes Habit? As well, a couple more articles related to how to learn to say no from Investment Executive. See Part I and Part II (Investment Executive, March 2012).

Here’s to a TGIM Work + Life.

Eileen

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Do You Need a Title or Authority to be a Leader?

April 24, 2012

A big part of my coaching practice is related to leadership development. I coach leaders – of all levels – to bring the best of themselves to work (and life). My focus is to help individuals (and groups) optimize their personal, professional wellbeing and to recognize the impact they can have on others — and learn a whole bunch of personal/professional skills along the way.

But do you have to be an ‘official’ leader to lead? Do you need the authority to influence? The title – and formal position?

I don’t think you do. Authentic leadership is a skill and not a position. And it is essential for anyone who wants to bring their best to their work and life. 

This is the theme of a workshop I am facilitating tomorrow at the Administrative Professionals Conference in Toronto- called “10 Ways to Lead.”

Here’s a shout-out of thanks to Dr. Gail Levitt of Levitt Communications Inc. who invited me to this particular conference opportunity. Gail is a professional colleague whom I respect greatly – we share this similar philosphy about leadership.

I’ve always believed that leadership is not limited to one’s title. In fact, when I started Big Cheese Coaching in 2003, I chose the name “Big Cheese” to reflect my belief that we can all be ‘Big Cheeses” regardless of our positions if we access and develop our potential and hone our authentic leadership.

Sure there are oodles of skills to learn to be a great leader — and I love diving into those ‘buckets’ — but my message is: we all have a leader within. Own and hone your leadership and you will have a greater chance of leading/living your life by design and not default. Now who wouldn’t want that!?

Here’s to the leader within each of us!

TGIM Work+Life

Eileen

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How To Develop That Dream Job Without Losing Focus on Your Day Job

April 18, 2012

Oh this one speaks to my heart – and my work-life. A Globe and Mail reader writes to Globe and Mail Careers – Ask an Expert feature  – asking how she can juggle the demands of two careers. She has a day job but also a ‘passion’ career that she would like grow. Doing both – she confesses, is ‘hard’. How to juggle both?

Read the article here – and the advice I offered to this reader.

TGIM work-life is all about passion. Waking up with optimism for the day. Going to work with a sense of ‘mojo’ because you want to, not just because you have to. But sometimes our work doesn’t quite allow for that – or it does to some extent but you want ‘more’. More fulfillment, personal expression, authenticity — or whatever your ‘more’ is. Enter the second career – and for some, managing two at once. 

Some people take on a second careers to pursue an interest, or a passion or simply transition to a new frontier. Not everyone can afford to do a hard stop on career #1 to pursue #2. For many, that ‘transition’ means having to manage two careers at once.

Not easy – but it can be rewarding. Especially if you like both. Hmmm…too much of a good thing sometime? Oh, bring on that balancing act! Learn to juggle! Learn to prioritize….and more!

Are you managing two careers? What have you learned? What ‘tricks and tips’ would be helpful to others. Please share!

To your TGIM Work-Life in all your careers!

Eileen

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Online Discussion — “Are You Overwhelmed at Work” (Globe and Mail)

March 23, 2012

Further to may earlier post about an upcoming Webinar on handling overwhelm next Tuesday, the Globe and Mail is also getting on board with this hot topic. Today, at noon (ET), I’ll be answering questions and offering tips on how to deal with the stress of ‘too much to do’ in work and life.

I hope you will join me today at the Globe and Mail Careers online. Just follow this link here.

This Discussion is a follow-up to an article I wrote for Globecareers called “Take a Step Back to Tame Those Overwhelm Gremlins”.

And don’t forget next Tuesday’s Webinar (if can’t make the time, sign up anyways and access the recording anytime after).

Hope to see you there!

To a TGIM Work + Life!

Eileen

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Six Ways to Focus Your Career in 2012

January 2, 2012

New Year, fresh start! For those of you who have career advancement on your mind, the Globe and Mail published an article called Six Ways to Focus Your Career in 2012″ — offering tips on how to take action to advance your career. 

I was invited to contribute one of the tips. I recommended leaders (of all ranks) learn coaching skills. I do a lot of work in this arena — teaching leaders a variety of coaching skills — via workshops, webinars, and directly coaching leaders. No longer can a leader get by just on technical/functional smarts. They need to inspire, grow, invest and develop their people to bring the team and organization to excellence. Unfortunately for too many, the rise to leadership came without any guidance on how to coach/lead others. If you have your eyes on a bigger game this year, make sure you add ‘coaching skills’ to your learning agenda this year. And of course, check out the other very worthy tips from others in the Globe and Mail article!

Warning: shameless promotion coming up! You can read what people have said about my workshops, presentations and coaching  in this area in my “Workshop Testimonial” page  and “One-on-one leadership coaching testimonials

To a TGIM work+life in 2012!

Eileen

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