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Success

Collaboration

collaborationHaving launched a Health & Wellbeing Centre, held an Open Day for a Complementary Practice, planned seminars with 4 other wellbeing practitioners, and workshops with another 2, it really has been a fortnight of collaboration, which has led to this week’s value in focus.

Definition of Collaboration:
‘process where two or more people work together to realise shared goals’

This definition is technically correct, but collaboration seems to mean so much more.  Working together with others can give a great sense of belonging, camaraderie and teamwork.  A sense of purpose can be gained from having a shared goal and a fantastic sense of achievement for attaining that goal and sharing the success and celebration with others.

The support we feel when working with others can keep us going when times are tough.  Tricky projects can be made so much easier when the thoughts and ideas from a group come together.

To collaborate with other like-minded people certainly can be very motivating for those who enjoy working in a team.  This can be especially important for those who love working with others but have chosen to be self-employed and/or work from home, which can be quite isolating.

Collaboration can start small e.g. with one person writing a guest blog for another, then as the relationship grows you can be running workshops in partnership and before you know it, running a company together.

Outside of work, collaboration might mean organising a party together, running a marathon as a group to raise funds for a charity, singing in a choir or being a governor of a school.

As a value, it can be your preferred way of doing things, what I call ‘a value for the journey’ or it can be an ‘outcome value’, something you aim for and work towards.

We might all enjoy a little collaboration, but for it to be a ‘core value’ for us, i.e. in our top ten most important values, then it must be fundamental to the way we prefer to operate and a goal we seek to achieve that will truly fulfil us.

How important is collaboration to you?

 

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Do get in touch if you would like to work together to put values at the heart of our society.

 

Lindsay

 

 

Value in Focus: Wellbeing

waterlilyAfter a week off and a gorgeous spa weekend away, this week’s value in focus has to be Wellbeing.

Definition of Wellbeing:
‘It is understood as a state of health, happiness and/or prosperity,
with which one is satisfied.’

I have seen an increase in this value’s popularity in the top 10 core values held by my clients.  This is unsurprising, in view of the growth in the Wellbeing Industry in recent years.  People are attracted to the word that describes what is important to them, however interestingly it means very different things to different people.

For some, it is about feeling a sense of balance between work and home life, for some it is more about how they feel about themselves or how good they feel on the inside, a sense of inner peace perhaps.  For others, it is more about whether they are eating well, getting enough exercise and maintaining their ideal weight and body shape.  It can also be linked to levels of energy and vitality.  These things, of course, are all inter-connected.

This value is more in our control than some others.  In my last blog post, I focused on Love.  For that value to be truly honoured, it involves others loving us, as well as us loving others and ourselves.  Whereas, Wellbeing is more about how we feel about ourselves and in ourselves, which is much more within our own control and much less about our interaction with others.

Our circumstances may affect our Wellbeing but ultimately, it is the choices we make that can really enhance or detract from honouring this value in our lives.

The word ‘satisfied’ in the definition is key here too.  Everything is relative and it depends on our expectations.  What would give satisfaction to one person may not to the next.  So this is a very personal and individual value.

The sun has just come out and Spring is on the way, that alone enhances my own sense of Wellbeing.  Wherever you are and whatever you are doing, think about what Wellbeing means to you and reflect on choices within your control to enhance that value in your life.

For more information on Values, please visit my website, you will find a free values identification exercise to help you discover what is important to you.

www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Wishing you well.

Lindsay

Life and Career Success

‘A vision without a task is just a dream;
a task without a vision is drudgery;
with a vision and a task, the world is yours’

Whether it is life or career success we seek, after an amazing summer of London based Olympics and Paralympics, we must all surely see the importance of both the vision and the task.  So many athletes with their sights set on medals, putting in hours and hours of relentless training to achieve their vision.  Aiming for that moment when they will be standing on that podium, seeing the crowds cheering, hearing their national anthem playing and feeling the weight of that precious medal around their necks.

Each and every one of them is a shining example to us all of just what is possible in terms of both life and career success.  So how do we take inspiration from their achievements?

Start with the vision; decide what it is you really want, get a clear picture in your mind and use all your senses to enhance the scene:

  •  see what is around you, the people, the objects
  •  hear the noises and voices
  •  feel what it really feels like
  •  smell the smells around you
  •  taste the taste of sweet success

Once you have that clear vision, work back from it on a timeline, for example if you plan to achieve your vision in 3 years, think about what needs to be in place in 2 years, then in 1 year, then in 6 months, then in 3 months then what do you need to be doing differently today to make this happen.

You then have the start of your plan to achieve your vision.

Draw on your values for motivation, for example if you have strong values of achievement, recognition, support, making a difference, success, or contribution etc. these will all help to fuel your enthusiasm and carry you through the difficult times. For more information on values have a look at the free values exercise on my website www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Next you will need to schedule the tasks required, to support your plan, into your diary.  It can help to have a coach, like myself, a mentor or a good friend to help, by holding you accountable for completing those tasks.  Share your vision with friends and family to get the support you need.

Now you are all set to get started, so… on your marks, get set, go!

I wish you every success.

Lindsay

lindsay@careercoachlondon.com
www.careercoachlondon.com

 

Life after Redundancy

Job for Life?Being made redundant can be a devastating time, particularly if you thought you had a ‘job for life’. Sadly, it seems these are no more.

Working through the various emotions you feel following redundancy, is an important stage.  These emotions may include anger, resentment, bitterness, or perhaps relief.  Releasing negative emotions and coming to terms with what has happened is necessary to be able to move on.

Rebuilding self-esteem, self-worth and confidence is the next step.  Even if you really wanted to leave the company, when it happens, it can be quite a blow.  So being able to talk about what has happened in a positive way can take some effort and practice.

What next? Taking time to work out what you really want to do will help you get motivated to start taking action.  Whether to stay in the same industry, try something new or even start your own business are important choices to make.

Having someone to support you through all these stages after redundancy is essential.  If you don’t have that someone, then a career coach can make all the difference both to the speed you move through these stages and to the success you have in finding the right job for you.

If you or someone you know has been affected by redundancy, contact me to discuss career coaching support available.  Having been through redundancy myself, I understand the emotions and challenges involved and I have had great success in supporting my clients in getting their dream jobs.

Lindsay

Career Coaching Networking Tips

Networking can be daunting for some people, it can be one of those things on the ‘to do’ list that never quite happens or for some it can be an enjoyable highlight of the week and a pleasurable way to do business.

Here are some tips that have worked for me and for my clients to make networking easier and more productive:

Be prepared: Research the various networking meetings available and choose ones where people attend, that you want to meet; set objectives of what you want to achieve and who you will speak to at each event, not how many sales you will make.

First impressions: Look your best and behave in a business-like way; be on time; have up-to-date business cards to hand; give a good handshake and keep eye contact, look and sound relaxed and confident.

Introducing yourself: Prepare what you are going to say about yourself, whether it is a ’60 second’ presentation or for a one-to-one introduction, think about what is important to get across and eliminate unnecessary waffle.

Listening and questioning: Listen carefully to what people say to you and ask questions that are relevant and show interest in their work/business; find out as much as you can before you talk about yourself, so you can tailor what you say to make the best connections with them and show how you can add value to them.

Work the room: Be ‘present’ i.e. focus on the person you are talking with; be respectful, when it is time to move on, thank them for their time, rather than making an excuse to leave; remember your objectives, make time to speak to all the key people on your list.

Build relationships: Find common ground, be generous, helpful and positive; you are there to make connections to start to build relationships with people you may do business with in the future; do not try to sell to people, this will make them back off.

Follow up: The most important thing after the event is to follow-up, send an initial email, take any action you agreed with them and then diarise to make a follow-up contact.

Follow them on Twitter, befriend them on Facebook, connect on Linkedin, read and comment on their blog, all these actions will ensure your name stays fresh and positive in their minds for whenever a business opportunity may arise.

Happy networking and do comment below if you have anything to add.

Lindsay

Career Choices

The decisions we make about which career we will follow significantly affect our levels of happiness for the rest of their lives.

So how do people choose a career?

Some go for the best paid careers, some go into the family business, some may choose a career that teachers or friends say they would be good at, whilst others may take whatever job comes along and see where it leads.

For me, a better way to ensure you are choosing the right career for you is to understand your career values, then find a career and an employer that are a good fit with those values.  This way you will be tapping into your core motivators and you will be honouring the values that are important to you which will help you to feel happy and fulfilled.

If you have career values such as freedom, choice and flexibility then it is unlikely that you would enjoy a 9-5 office job, whereas if you value security, certainty, reliability then this might be the right career choice for you.  If you value creativity, beauty and inner peace then a city-based job in finance or admin is not going to give you an environment to thrive in, whereas working from home, a studio or spa may well do.

Public or private sector? I have found that people doing well working in the public or voluntary sector are more likely to have values of making a difference, service and contribution, whereas in the private sector, values of achievement, independence and ambition are more common.

Understanding your career values stops you choosing the wrong career and environment for you and helps you to choose a career, employer and environment in which you will be happy, fulfilled and productive and will thrive and so are more likely to be successful.

If you would like to understand your values better then you might like to complete the free values exercise on my website and if you send the results form back to me online I would be very happy to offer you with a free 30 minute telephone consultation to discuss your values and what they mean for your choice of career. www.careercoachlondon.com/values.html

Best wishes

Lindsay

Career Coaching tips for writing a great CV

Curriculum VitaeThere is so much information available on how to produce a Curriculum Vitae (CV), it can be difficult to know where to start, so I’ve simplified things into 3 key areas:

Create an impression
Imagine you are the employer reading the CV, what are you looking for, what does this CV
tell you about the person applying for the job, what are they like, do they have what you are looking for?  Use this technique to critique your own CV and help you to identify the areas that need enhancing.
Make sure your name is clear at the top, with easy to find contact details, then have a strong summary paragraph which gives the reader a good feel for who you are and whether you are the kind of person they want to hear more from.  Take care what you include in the personal details and interests section at the end; think about the impression you are creating.

Good structure
It is usually more important to demonstrate your skills and achievements than your exam results, so prioritise these on the first page of your CV and leave education and training to the second page.  Keep the content relevant to the job you are applying for;  match the skills and achievements to the requirements in the advert, this makes it easier for the reader to see you are a good fit for the job. 
Bullet points and quantities also help to get important information over clearly, e.g. I managed a team of 10 people; I controlled a budget of £100k; I had responsibility for banking daily takings of £5k cash; my project delivered benefits of £350k; I handled 35 customer calls per day.

Powerful Language
The kind of language used in a CV is just as important as in an interview situation.  Are you a manager or a leader? Are you a supporter or an achiever? Are you a team player or do you just work in a group?  Choose language in your CV to create the best impression.
Words like efficient, effective, capable and organised are appropriate for an admin or office type role.  Whereas, words such as created, designed, influenced and directed show much more of a personal contribution.  Project type roles call for words like achieved, accomplished, resolved, delivered and facilitated. For a managerial role, words like led, coached, mentored, motivated and liaised are more powerful than just managed.

Your CV is a representation of you; it is your first and best chance to get in front of a future employer so make it count.

I’d like to help, so if you’d like a free CV review, email your CV to me at lindsay@careercoachlondon.com

Good luck with that job!

Lindsay

First Impressions Count

I recently delivered a career coaching workshop and one of the things I talked about that people found most useful was understanding how first impressions are made and therefore how important they are, so I wanted to share this with you.

Did you know that on average a first impression is created in as little as 3 seconds?

1…2…3…decision made

Why does that matter?

Think about how many times we meet someone new in the space of a week or a month.  The impression we make on them in those first few seconds will colour how they think about us forever.

Think about the judgements we make about people we meet based on the way they look, what they are wearing even how they shake our hand.

Whether it’s in a job interview, a business meeting, a social event or on a date, the preparation you put into creating that first impression is very likely to be time well spent.

How are first impressions made?

Career Coaching First Impressions

A huge 55% of the first impression we make is based on our physiology that is non-verbal signals such as our posture, gestures, facial expressions, dress, grooming, handshake, spatial behaviour and breathing.

Then 38% is based on the tone of our voice including, volume, pitch and tempo.

Only 7% of that first impression is based on the content of what we say; the key words and phrases used.

How much more successful could you be, if you improved that first impression?

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Broken New Year Resolutions

Every year we have good intentions; set ourselves New Year resolutions, whether it is to lose weight, get fit or get a new job.  Strangely, something often stops us, something inside us says, ‘it’s a bit cold to go for a run today’ or ‘I don’t like to waste good food’, or ‘there’s a recession on, there won’t be any jobs going’.

So what is it in us that finds these good reasons not to do the things that would be so good for us? Let’s call it, our ‘inner saboteur’, that little voice in our head that persuades us to sabotage all our best efforts.

We all have an ‘inner saboteur’ that can disrupt our plans to be happy and successful, if we don’t learn to recognise and control the thought and behaviour patterns it brings about in us.  It uses our fears of taking responsibility and causes us to avoid change.

When our ‘saboteur’ has got the better of us, we can be so afraid of change that we became ‘stuck in a rut’, it does not have to be this way.

Here are some steps I use in life coaching to help people get their control back:

–        Firstly, we need to recognise when it is our ‘inner saboteur’ speaking or acting and separate this from what we really believe, want and know to be true.

–        Then, forgive ourselves for all the times we have let that saboteur take control; there is no use beating ourselves up for it, just forgive and clear the way to move forward.

–        Next, identify the changes we need to make to get what we really want and to be who we really want to be and welcome those changes into our lives.

–        Trust our ‘gut instinct’; follow our intuition; practise hearing what it is telling us and responding to it by taking action.

–        Overcome the saboteur’s power, by taking small steps, small acts of courage, making small decisions, taking small choices to help us to regain control.

Once we have control over our lives and our future and are responding in a positive way to opportunities, we can move forward to achieve happiness and success, in whatever ways are appropriate for us.

I recommend a wonderful book called Sacred Contracts by Caroline Myss that is really helpful in learning to work with our inner saboteur.

Welcome To Lindsay West Coaching

Welcome to Lindsay West Coaching

I have always had a passion for self development.  I love learning and growing in knowledge, skills and experience and helping others to do the same.

It was an aspect of managing people that I really enjoyed in my previous career in banking and with over 6 years of coaching experience I now get to do it every day.   Most of my coaching work is on a one-to-one basis, I also do workshops with groups and teams and I run The Wellbeing Group in North London, so in this way, I have daily opportunities to share my knowledge and resources with others.

This blog is really exciting, as it gives me the opportunity to reach a much wider audience and to make a difference to the lives of so many more people.  Helping people to find their passion and make changes in their lives so that they can be happier, healthier and more successful is so important to me.  This blog will be packed with tips, techniques and resources to help make this happen.

So keep reading, share with friends or join my mailing list.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I do writing it.

Best wishes

Lindsay