Six Simple Steps to an Amazing, Wonderful and Authentic Career

Advice on What to Do Before You Take Your Next Career Leap

Are you one of the 65% of employees who are not engaged in their job?

Or are you one of the 73% who is currently open to new opportunities?

If so I would love to know why. 

Are you leaping to something, or away from something?

Are you leaping to:

  • More Money
  • More Time Off
  • More Freedom
  • More Prestige
  • More Excitement
  • More Respect

That’s an important distinction.

Or are you leaping towards something?

  • A crazy, narcissistic boss with excellent bullying skills.
  • Complaining, whining, never getting anything done co-workers.
  • The commute, the pay, or benefits.
  • You’ve fallen out of love with your current career relationship.
  • You’re desperately longing to get that loving feeling back.
  • That boredom has set in, and now you realize that boredom is very, very bad for your confidence and mental health.
  • You’re shopping around and checking out your career options.

Can I offer a little bit of advice?

Look before you leap!

I know – not that profound or inspiring.

So let me add some depth to this lackluster advice from my career leaping experience.

Before I took the leap from my last career relationship, my why felt very compelling and convincing, at the time. I was ready to take a flying leap off my fourth-floor executive office balcony (I really did have a balcony, but I’m afraid of heights, so I took the elevator down) and left my executive life behind.

What I forgot to take before the leap was a plan. And I paid dearly, and that’s why I’m here to help pre-leapers by developing a safe landing pad.

Sorry to say, I’m not the only unplanned leaper whose landing was less than ideal.

Two recent clients took the leap into the arms of another career relationship only to find they were worse off than they were before. They went from bad to HORRIFIC. I’m not trying to scare you, just inform you that danger might lie ahead in leaping before you look.

Why I bring these two clients disastrous leap to your attention is to bring a little something to you and some additional advice.

Define your IDEAL job before you leap.

You’re probably wondering how do I define my ideal job when I’m not sure of what an ideal job for me looks like.

That’s where I come in.

So don’t worry, be happy, trust me and keep reading! The details are coming!

By defining your IDEAL you can prevent yourself from leaping unnecessarily, and this IDEAL could also help to ensure you leap successfully.

With a big parachute that helps you land safely and happily, just like the one in my picture.

That’s me taking a big leap of faith. I’m scared to death of heights, and this was my cure. The difference with this leap, I had a plan.

I took my poor unsuspecting husband on the boat with me. Then the parasailing boat captain convinced him to join in the adventure. My plan was that if anything happened, we would be going down together!

Back to your career relationship, now that you know something about my relationship!

To assist you I’ve developed a simple process with only six steps to complete before leaping. I call it “Your Ideal Job Description (YIJD).” Not that catchy, but the process works.

From the feedback (feedback sounds much more scientific then they just told me it worked) my clients provided their reactions and results.

  • They were much more prepared to launch their career search.
  • Their resume, their networking, and their interviews were focused, confident and authentic.
  • They knew what they wanted, and they got out there to get it!
  • They landed a position that is an amazing, wonderful and authentic career choice. 

The IDEAL Process:

1. Identify:

Take either your current role, the roles you are applying to, or the IDEAL role that you are willing to leap Lady Gaga style from the top of a building during the Super Bowl to achieve, and dump it into a spreadsheet. To make it easy for you to complete, I have prepared a spreadsheet for you, just follow the link on my blog, sign up, and I’ll send it right on over to you.

List the job role, responsibilities, activities, tasks, and duties. The more information you have the clearer your IDEAL begins to look.

2. Indicate:

How you feel/think about this role, responsibility, activity, task or duty. Since we’re talking relationships, let’s use relationship language. Determine if you love, like, loathe or long to do the activities, etc., that you’ve listed.

The longing is future focused. Something that you haven’t done in the past, but long to do in the future. Maybe it’s that more ____________, that you filled in at the beginning of this post.

3. Determine:

How much time you prefer doing this role, responsibility, activity, task or duty on a daily, weekly, monthly or annual basis. Be honest with yourself on this because we’re going towards an IDEAL job, not it’s better than the job I’ve got now job.

4. Evaluate:

The excitement or energy level around each role, responsibility, activity, task or duty. Five (5) is a very high excitement level to do this work. One (1) is where the work is so boring that it can induce job comatose.

5. Be Aware:

(Don’t miss this step) Be aware of what is happening as you’re thinking about this role, responsibility, activity, task or duty. What are the emotions or images that come up? Does your reaction confirm or negate the excitement level you’ve selected?

Too often when our career relationships aren’t what we want them to be, we stop paying attention to these emotions. We swat them away like an annoying fly or worse gnat. Especially the emotions that are telling the truth that maybe we aren’t so willing, or ready, to hear.

6. Listen:

The most important ingredient of solid relationships!

Listen to what your body is saying about this role, responsibility, activity, task or duty? Do you smile, nod your head in agreement or do you have negative or stressful body reaction?

My stomach clenches like I just did a crunch when I think about the long line of employees with problems that use to line up outside of my office door. Now my head is starting to ache just thinking about it. What makes your head ache, stomach churn, teeth clench or bile rise in your throat?

These tasks should not be on your IDEAL job description.

Pay attention – these are all clues. Your body is providing you with life-enhancing information – so please listen.

Now you have a measuring tool for each potential job you are pursuing. 

And the best part, you won’t be looking for career relationships in all the wrong places, settling for less or staying exactly where you are now. You’re worth more than that, and you’ve just proven it with your IDEAL!

Let me give you an example:

Last week I was on a follow-up call with a client, Patty, who developed her IDEAL Job Description. She had asked for a prep call before her first consulting meeting.

Patty longs to do consulting work!

Before I could ask Patty about this role she said to me, “Don’t worry, I’m smiling each time I think about doing this work. I love succession planning.”

And then the real proof – she giggled.

Yep, best evidence out there.

Giggling like an excited kid who won a trip to Disney. That giggle sold me, and I knew that she was headed in the right direction – to her IDEAL job!

If you giggle when you talk, think and plan your IDEAL – you’re on the right track.

There you have it – the IDEAL process.

Additional benefits to defining your IDEAL

Some clients discovered that they did not have to make a career leap. They could now “see” in the chart (that’s why I’m a chart chick – it helps you to see) that by making small adjustments in their current role, they could get their career relationship back on solid ground.

Their job had morphed over time. What they loved to do was now only a small percentage of their role. The transforming of their job was so gradual, almost unperceivable until they were working out of their sweet spot – where passions, strengths, and values no longer aligned, and the love was gone.

What a relief when they realized they could regain that loving feeling by making minor adjustments, such as, choosing work they love to do over work that they loathe.

No leaping was necessary.

Others discovered their perfect career recipe, a little bit of this, a pinch of that, a big bag full of chips, which when they followed, has led to a higher level of career success and satisfaction.

They had a plan of action and could now see how it worked together for that amazing, wonderful and authentic career that they were longing for all along!

What can happen if you take the time to discover IDEAL?

Your IDEAL Job Description will provide protection when you leap from one job to the next and ensure both a successful and satisfying career landing.

So before you open up your relationship to other jobs, protect yourself with a big multi-color parachute – your IDEAL job description.

Would you like to have a career conversation about your current career relationship? I’m looking for a few individuals who are ready to leap! I want to find out about their current career dissatisfiers as I design my next training program.

This is not a sales call. It’s a gathering of fresh intelligence for my coaching classes and webinars call.

And it’s a win/win/win call.

You win – by having 15 minutes to converse about your most pressing career challenge. This conversation can also offer you another level of leaping insurance, maybe a mini parachute of hope! I win – my 15 minutes will focus on your desire to leap and why allowing me to help my clients and students win with new solutions.

Click the link below to schedule a 30-minute career conversation.

Career Conversation Schedule



Interviewing Nightmares!

When you think you've heard or seen it all!

What was your most memorable interviewing moment? Was it scary, awkward or funny, outrageous, eye-opening, ridiculous, or revolting?  What words would you use to describe how you felt? 

Do you have any interviewing nightmares?

I do!

My staff would try to convince me that I had to write a book on my crazier interviewing stories. I couldn’t do it. Whenever I thought I heard it all, every story, every excuse, every tactic on getting the job, and almost every example of how clueless we all are during the interview process, until I realized I hadn’t. There was always another story to top my top story.  

Interviewing can be a nightmare. Especially when you are desperate to find a job and can’t seem to crack the code.

Interviewing can be a nightmare! Especially when you’ve been burnt by too many liar – liar pants on fire applicants.

Interviewing for most is akin to a colonoscopy without the anesthesia. The probing, prodding and uncomfortable positions. And then the anxiety and stress as you wait for the results.  

How do both sides come together and make this painful process as painless as possible, without anesthesia? How do we stop the interviewing madness? 

By getting real!

That’s it?

Yep get real! 

For the interviewee – be yourself, not some weird caricature of yourself that is immediately detected. Don’t suppress yourself so only part of you shows up. 

For recruiters and hiring managers – get real when defining your ideal candidate. 

I’ve written hundreds of job descriptions, some of my best works of fiction. The ideal candidates I was describing resembled Harlequin romances with Fabio on the cover – all airbrushed and fluffed up to fit my fantasy of a perfect hire.  Right until I realized that my ideal candidate Fabio, isn’t as fabulous on the job as he was in the interview. My eyes were too focused on what I wanted, not what was right in front of me. 

So I got real!

Let’s get back to my first question what was your most memorable interviewing moment? I had mine this week, and it was a doozy! 

You’ve probably been there before. DJ walked into the room with elegance, sophistication, and beauty that spoke power!  She had something going on that was very attractive and exciting! Her magnetic energy was moving through the air. 

But an obvious, and confusing, shift occurred when DJ descended into my mock interview chair. She sighed so deeply her dilemma filled the room. The DJ, who walked in, had somehow lost her power, her energy, her magnetism! 

Which one is the real woman I wondered, the delightful or deflated one? 

DJ struggled as if the first question had snapped and trapped her into a straight jack!

But it wasn’t me, nor the question that strapped her in; it was all the so called experts that had coached DJ from the time she was interviewing for her first high school job.

Their advice: Do not bring that “thing” into any job interview. Don’t even talk about it!

Too many people advised or recommended to DJ that she should not let the best part of her, the singer/entertainer part, emerge during interviews for her day job.

So 10% of DJ shows up to her interviews leaving this superstar underemployed, but the other 90% of DJ was begging to be heard.

Her sigh got deeper, as she sunk and slumped down into the chair.

“This is so hard to do. It feels fake. I don’t know what to say.”

And this was after spending time with her earlier in the day establishing her strengths and providing her direction on how to structure her response when answering these tough questions.

I wanted the superstar DJ to shine, so I asked her, “How would you respond if you could sing your answer?”  

This time, DJ released a different sigh, one of relief.  DJ sat up, opened up, and belted out her perfect answer. By singing her strengths, DJ shined as brightly in that chair as she did when she walked into the room. 

Where that question came from, I will never know, but it was the perfect question, and I got a perfect answer because I really want DJ to succeed. 

What made it such a doozy? 

After conducting over 10,000 interviews, this was the first time I cried!  

  • I cried because it was beautiful!
  • I cried because my client had the guts to get real!
  • I cried because DJ has a beautiful, jaw-dropping voice!
  • I cried because DJ created a song that perfectly depicted her strengths!  
  • I cried tears of joy as DJ’s joy shined through; she was magnificent!

I cried because DJ was set free to succeed wherever she worked! 

DJ knew in her work as an entertainer that: 

  • real sells
  • real resonates 
  • real relaxes the mind 
  • real energizes the soul 
  • real speaks clearly and powerfully
  • real connects you to your audience

Yet she forgot that real works in any workplace. The same skills, talents, and strengths that DJ has successfully used on stage are the same skills, talents, and strengths that DJ used in her day jobs. Her energy, her creativity, her boldness, her ability to think on her feet, her ability to tinker with an idea and make it her own, and her innate gift to read her audience worked where ever DJ worked! 

DJ could now see the connection and correlation between her day jobs and her singing career. And for the first time, she felt free to show up 100% herself, no longer bound by bad advice.  

So the next time you see a candidate struggling to articulate their value, don’t judge them, get real with them. Take a risk and ask them to draw their answers, dance their answers, write out their answers, build or belt out their answers. Let them solve a problem, write code, fix your computer, or find that missing penny. Give them permission to be real and release them to answer your question in their language. 

By doing so, you could finally find the “real” ideal candidate that you’ve been searching to hire. Rather than continued to be fooled by the blowhard frauds that know how to speak their answers but make for nightmarish hires when they can’t walk their talk. 

Let’s get real by sharing your story, either as the interviewer or interviewee, a time when you were real that led to you finding the dream candidate or landing your dream job.