Monday, December 22, 2008

Where the Jobs Are In 2009

I find the holidays are a great time to network and reconnect with past colleagues and friends. So as you toast your eggnog, if you are interested in discussing where the jobs will be in 2009 (and obtaining one) here is some advice.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the top 10 growing industries from 2006-2016 include everything from: Management, Scientific and Technical Consulting, Hospitals, Colleges & Universities and Local Government. Despite the recent economic downturn, some of these will stay resilient especially with help from President-elect Obama. His jobs creation plan thus far is focusing on healthcare, education and energy.

But how to do you apply your existing skills to these hot areas?
-Identify your strengths (and beware of blind spots). Make a list of skills that come naturally to you. And write out examples of where you've used those skills on the job successfully. Many strengths translate across industries, some include problem-solving, serving clients/customers and managing others.
-Understand key required skills in the new field. The Occupational Outlook Handbook is a free resource with information on hundreds of jobs. In-person research such as networking and job fairs are also great tools to understand the training and skills needed for a job.
-Don't shoe horn yourself. Rather make the connection between your strengths and the new field in your cover letter and be sure to highlight those strengths on your resume as well. Demonstrate a real interest in your new field by subscribing to industry publications and read up! Your passion and enthusiasm will separate you from those just looking for a paycheck.

For more information, continue to tune into my weekly SIRIUS/XM radio show and tune in to my interview on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips Tuesday December 23rd between 2 and 3pm eastern for more advice on making the move into a growing industry in your career in 2009!

From your experience, where do you think the jobs will be in 2009?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tune into CNN Today at 2:30pm eastern and Learn What To Do When You're Out of a Job

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to share career advice on CNN and get a positive message across that real opportunities do exist for everyone even in trying times.

I'll be back on CNN today (Tues Dec 16th) at 2:30pm eastern on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips. I'll be covering the Do's and Don'ts of Coping with a Layoff and Landing a New Job.

Here are some highlights if you've found yourself out of work whether for a week or several months:

--Make sure your resume communicates your fit for the job. Many companies use technology to sift through resumes so it's important to make sure industry relevant key words are included in your resume such as important software skills. If you haven't been getting "hits" with your resume, perhaps it's time to get a professional service like to optimize the language you are using.
--Focus on your strengths and what you have (not what you don't). We all have unique talents which can help us stand out in a competitive job market. Comb over past performance evaluations and ask colleagues, family and friends what they see as your strengths. Don't be afraid to share what makes you the best at what you do on your resume and in interviews.
--Put yourself in the hiring manager's shoes. Who would you hire? The person who has confidence in her abilities to land the job or the person who thinks "they'll never hire me." Your attitude matters so be excited about your career opportunities and believe you have what it takes to land that next interview and next job.

Most importantly, if you've been struggling with finding another job, don't expect the same approach to yield different results. We are in a dynamic economy so perhaps what you've done or been looking for doesn't match exactly what's out there. Be flexible and open to change and you might find new opportunities in areas you never thought possible!

What strategies would help you land your next job? Have you had success finding a new job recently? Share your tips and ideas!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Tune in for My Career Q&A on CNN Today, 5-6pm Eastern

Tune in to CNN today, Sunday Dec 14th from 5-6pm eastern for my career Q & A with Alina Cho. Here are some of the important career topics we'll be discussing:

Q: What key steps does it take to rebrand yourself?
Soul Search - focus not only on a paycheck but also on the career opportunities that fit your passions, talents and interests
Research - test out your new career by talking to others already in the job (informational interview) and act "as if" by volunteering or job shadowing in the new role
Job Search - once you've validated your choice with some real experience, update your resume and highlight the skills you have that transfer to your new brand.

Q: What are the do's and don'ts to crafting a great resume?
Don't think it only has to be one page - if you have 10+ years of experience, it's natural that your resume will be longer. But make sure the most important information is on the first page where hiring managers tend to focus.
Do keep your resume in chronological order - Hiring managers and recruiters like to see how your career has progressed and if there are any gaps that need to be understood. Don't hide your career path rather keep to the right timeline and just be prepared to explain why you may have taken time off along the way.
Don't let your resume speak for itself - use your network to get your resume into the right hands. Contact friends, family, past colleagues and your alumni network to get an internal referral of your resume to the HR department. This way your resume is the back up to all the great things a real person is saying about you.

Q: Are there ways to protect your current job if you're not ready to make the leap to a new career just yet?
Yes, I often recommend keeping a job while creating a new path. I kept a full-time job while I was building my coaching practice and rebranding myself as a coach.
To keep your current job secure:
--never talk badly of others to protect yourself
--highlight what you've accomplished and document it
--regardless of what you do, be a top performer by always giving your best effort.

Tune in to CNN this afternoon for my live interview from 5 to 6pm eastern on important and relevant career advice to support you in rebranding yourself and your resume while also keeping your current job secure in the transition!

Holiday Gifts for Your Career

I had the honor of being featured in Nancy Colasurdo's column on meaningful holiday gift giving. My contribution...a great gift to test drive your dream job! Read more.

If you or someone you know could use support in creating the career of their dreams, give the gift of career coaching this season. Contact me at to find out more about coaching gift certificates!

Also stay tuned for more in 2009. My New Year’s goal is to reach more people and offer career advice in new ways that might manifest into an ebook, webinars/seminars and more cabaret shows!

What's the best holiday gift someone could give you for your career this year? What's the most meaningful gift you've ever given or received?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Tune in and hear Martha Stewart on Making a Living this Sunday

For those of you who weren't able to tune in, you can hear Martha Stewart on my radio show, Making a Living with Maggie, this Sunday at 6am. She called in to share glowing feedback for her assistant Julia Eisemann. Julia has been working with Martha for 11 years and shared what a day in the life is like working with Martha.

It was amazing to hear the tremendous respect they have for one another and how they've built a solid working relationship. If you've been struggling with your manager and want to learn a better way of working, tune in this Sunday at 6am EST on SIRIUS 112 and XM 157. Click here for a free trial of SIRIUS!

What would you want your boss to say about you on national radio? Have you ever received glowing feedback? Share your proud moments!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Negotiation Strategies on Making a Living with Maggie Wed at 4pm EST! (Replay Sunday at 6am EST)

Are you a confident negotiator? Do you know what to say and what to do to get the most out of your next job offer or even a severance package?

Tune in to Making a Living with Maggie and learn how to negotiate effectively. Carol Frohlinger, co-founder of Negotiating Women, Inc will be live in studio taking your calls and sharing strategies to help you advance your career. And I’ll interview Julia Eisemann Martha’s Executive Assistant on what a day in the life is like in her interesting career! (Post show update - listen to the replay this Sunday and hear Martha herself calling into the show!)

That’s Making a Living with Maggie today at 4pm, EST,1pm Pacific, on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius 112 and XM 157! Sign up for a free trial of SIRIUS and call into the show with your questions at 1-866-675-6675.

What would you negotiate for in your job if you could - better hours, better pay, new responsibilities? Call in and write in for support to get the most from your hard work.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Discover Your Mission and Vision on VoiceAmericaBusiness Radio- Live 12pm eastern Monday Dec 1st!

Many people struggle with determining what they want to be when they grow up. Join me on Monday Dec 1st at 12pm eastern/9am pacific for a special segment on Leadership Development News on Voice America Business. I'll show you how to create a personal mission and vision statement and uncover what you really want to be doing with your life and career.

The hosts of Leadership Development News include:
--Dr. Cathy Greenberg - co-founder of the renowned executive consultancy h2c (Happy Companies. Healthy People) and author of multiple bestsellers.
--Dr. Relly Nadler - CEO True North Leadership, Inc. an Executive and Organizational Development firm. He has designed and delivered many executive boot camps for high achievers in Fortune 500 companies.

Tune in live on Monday December 1st at 12pm eastern/9am pacific for my segment on Voice America Business and get clear on what you want from your career. (Rebroadcast at 12am eastern/9pm pacific. Past episodes also available on demand and podcast ready at

What did you or do you want to be when you grow up?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Believe in Your Dreams Part 3 (Guest Blogger Kim Engler)

This the last of three guest posts on Believing In Your Dreams. This one comes from Kim Engler - my friend, colleague and vocal coach. She produced my cabaret shows (click here for a clip from my recent "Follow Your Dreams" show) and is the one who helped me find my voice. By day Kim is a media consultant, presently working in the fashion industry where she produces talent everyday. Here's a Q&A from Kim to help you believe in your dreams.

Q: What are the key steps to believing in your dreams?

Practical willingness: self-inquiry and action based on what is appropriate for your life in the way it is right now
Encouragement: focusing on the practical reasons why your dream is possible and valuable
Constancy: ‘showing up’ and ‘being there’ in a consistent manor
Creative Support: discovering tools that help you to help yourself~ especially cultivating resilience, positive focus, awareness and flexibility
Practical Vision: focusing on the big picture, and taking your best steps, in your way, towards manifesting your dreams

Q: If you had to summarize, what key messages do you send to those whose dreams you are helping to cultivate?

Trust yourself!
Know yourself - better than anyone else (daily practice!)
Believe in yourself - and the ‘how’ will be revealed moment-to-moment
Develop your practical intuition = understand, identify and trust your ‘gut’

For more great advice and insight from Kim, look for coming soon or email her at

On this Thanksgiving holiday, I am very thankful to have the support of Kim and many others to make my dreams a reality. Perhaps there are people who have supported you.

Who's helped you follow your dreams? Who might be in a position to support you in bringing your dreams closer to reality?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Finding Work-Life Balance In a Tough Economy

This week on my XM/SIRIUS radio show, Making a Living with Maggie, I focused on a topic that is hitting many of us - lack of work/life balance. To hear a replay of the show, sign-up for a free trial of SIRIUS and tune in Sunday at 6am to SIRIUS 112/XM 157.

As the economy worsens companies react by cutting back (WSJ: "Executives Shift to Survival Mode".) With layoffs, the work demands increase dramatically for those left to carry the load. Employees also feel pressured to pass on vacation time for fear of not having a job when they return. Business owners are feeling the pressure too and many are over-marketing, over-selling, and taking any client (whether a fit or not) that they can get.

The problem I see with survival mode is that it's not sustainable and it's not good business. Let me tell you what else I'm seeing. Companies who are taking care of their employees right now even more. They are still planning holiday parties, and offering perks such as an onsite-trainer. They are implementing "open book financial management" where the employees see the numbers side of the business and are educated about which numbers they can impact and how. It's a team effort. I'm also seeing entrepreneurs who are being more selective about their marketing/sales efforts and which clients they take on.

You see it's the difference between scarcity and possibility. If you believe in the work you do as an employee or business owner, you continue to see creative ways to expand your impact, even in tough times. You also continue to attract clients and customers who want to see you succeed. You take care of yourself and your employees because they are vital to the innovation and ideas you need to succeed.

Now is the time for you to focus on possibility, take care and have even more balance in your work/life. If you're feeling out of sorts, tune into my radio show this Sunday and learn how to negotiate for better work/life fit. It's better than surviving, it's thriving!

What's your work/life balance situation? Are you feeling increased work pressure and demands? Is your employer offering support? What would help you take care of yourself as an employee or business owner?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Don't Miss Out: New Webinar Tuesday November 11th at 12pm Eastern

For many, right now is the time to find your passions and explore new career paths. These challenging times can in fact be seen as an opportunity. By determining your strengths and value, you can start to map out a practical career path that not only allows you to survive but to thrive.

Join me for my new webinar on Veteran's Day to help you take action with your career and to support a great cause. For more information and to register go to:

The online event, "Taking Action with Your Career," is scheduled for Tuesday, November 11th at 12:00PM EST and is designed to help you identify your unique talents and uncover new possibilities for your career. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit Beyond Tribute, an organization that aids wounded veterans, their families and the families of the fatally wounded.

Following the 45-minute presentation about Taking Action with Your Career, I will be available for a live chat with participants to answer career questions. The webinar format is simple to participate in from any updated PC or Mac computer and is designed for people to complete at their desks during a lunch break or before the workday.

This is a great way for people to start thinking about what their next career steps might be. And it’s also a way to support a great cause this Veteran's Day.

What actions would like you to take with your career? Do you want to see opportunity in your career? Want to say thank you to all the veterans who have sacrificed for our freedom?

"How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!" -Maya Angelou

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Taking Action with Your Career

When you take action with your career, it's amazing the results you can achieve. Whether you agree with Barack Obama's politics or not, he's someone who's succeeded in following his dream. Here's what we can learn from his approach to achieve our dreams too:

--Step One: Define your platform - If you want to change careers or land a new job, write out your ideal job description. You are 3 times more likely to achieve your goal when you write it down. If you're not sure of the best career, register for my Veteran's Day Webinar on Nov 11th at 12pm eastern. In one hour, I'll help you identify your unique talents and uncover new possibilities for your career. Part of the proceeds will benefit veterans. Reserve your webinar seat now at:

--Step Two: Campaign - Tell others what you are looking for and why you'd be a great fit. Develop your elevator pitch and communicate it. You are 10 times more likely to achieve your dream when you share it.

--Step Three: Get support - Surround yourself with people who are following their dreams like the guests I have on my radio show. It's truly contagious. Every Wednesday tune in to Making a Living at 4pm eastern on SIRIUS 112 and XM 103 and get the inspiration you need to go after what you want.

You have the power. You have control over what happens in your career. Just like President-elect Obama, you can do what others say can't be done. You can take action with your career.

What is the next step to move forward with your career? Do you have ideas and plans? What dream would you love to see come true? Yes you can!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Job Action Day - Who's Your Cheerleader?

This post is part of an entire day of useful career advice called Job Action Day, sponsored by Quintessential Careers.

This weekend I was part of an amazing event - The New York City Marathon. No I didn't run. I was a cheerleader. I made it a point to bundle up and go out along the marathon route and encourage runners.

Why you ask? Because everyone could benefit from a cheerleader to help them achieve a milestone.

For me, I was amazed to see the runners smile and pick up the pace when fueled by the sights and sounds of the countless fans pulling for them. Thousands cheered alongside me for everyone brave enough to make the effort. It was contagious.

That very energy made me think about the many different ways we can cheer each other on through the current economic challenges and how we need to encourage each other to continue to follow through on our dreams.

Cheerleaders have always lifted my spirits when I'm struggling. They've kept me going when I wasn't sure I could, and applauded me when I've achieved. And I do the same for my clients.

So with today designated Job Action Day maybe it is not about an action directly for you and your job situation. Maybe it's a little reminder for you to reach out to someone you know, someone you love, or even a friend you haven't met yet and encourage them to finish their "marathon". Encourage them take action with their careers.

Trust me it is contagious.

Who needs your cheerleading today? How might you help that person follow through on their dreams and take action with their careers? Believe me, your spirits will be lifted as well.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Surviving a Layoff as an Older Worker

Surviving a layoff can be a challenge at any age, but especially if you're close to retirement. Tune in to hear my advice live on CNN Newsroom Friday October 31st at 2:30pm eastern. And read below for specific, practical steps you can take to land a new career and take control of your job security.

--Focus on your employability: When your work plays to your strengths, interests and natural talents, you have no problem demonstrating specific ways you are the BEST at what you do. Even in bad times, employers will hire and retain their best and brightest. Make a list of your top strengths and identify careers where those are key required skills. You'll be a perfect match at any age. Click here for more on landing a job over 50.
--Convert your skills: Opportunities still exist in industries such as healthcare, education, oil & gas, and green power. Identify the skills you have that are transferrable and you'll broaden the career possibilities available. Functional skills such as technology, human resources and finance/accounting exist in all types of businesses. Other skills such as project management, communication, and teamwork apply across industries as well.
--Get creative with packaging your experience: If you are open to consulting, freelancing or project-based work you may have an easier time finding opportunities. Companies may be more apt to commit to a project than a full-time position during the downturn. It may require starting your own consulting business, but you'll be able to continue building your resume and earn an income. Click here for more advice and resources on starting your own business.

I know it can be tough to go through a career crisis (read my story). But you can prevail if you take action with your career. Writer Art Buchwald puts it all in perpective, "Whether it's the best of times or the worst of times, it's the only time we've got."

Share your comments, questions and concerns if you're going through a layoff. And if you've got a survival story from your own experience, share that too. We're all in this together!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now is the Time to Follow Your Dreams

"Do something that scares you everyday." Great words of advice from Eleanor Roosevelt. I love that quote and try to implement it in my own life.

My next "Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway" moment (thank you Susan Jeffers) will be this Sunday October 26th at 8pm at Don't Tell Mama in NYC. I'm putting on an inspiring jazz cabaret show called "Follow Your Dreams."

I'll be singing standards with a fabulous trio of musicians - Tom McEvoy on piano, Paul Sikivie on bass and Alex Nguyen on trumpet. The show will be hosted by Craig Zabransky who is following his dream of being a travel adventure writer.

If you're in need of some positive, uplifting, entertainment to inspire you to live the life of your dreams, join me. There's no better time to follow your dreams!

I'd also love to hear from you. When was the last time you did something scary and wonderful at the same time? Maybe you are following your dreams and loving it? Would love to hear all about it!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Career Advice for College Graduates

Tomorrow evening, I'll be speaking to soon-to-be graduates of Manhattanville College at the Backpack to Briefcase event for graduating seniors. The event is a celebration and a send-off. Rather than tell them what to do, I plan to inspire the students to find their own answers. It's advice I wished I'd received.

I was so focused on being the good student that I only did what others told me to do. To this graduating class I want to impart, honesty. Please be honest with yourselves about what you really want to be doing with your time, your energy, your skills, your talents, your ideas. That's the path to a satisfying career.

Also don't be afraid to try something. That's the advice I shared in Lindsey Pollak's resourceful book, Getting From College to Career. As a new graduate in tough times, it's important to have the right perspective. Take the best job you can find and learn from it. "Get miles on you" as a mentor of mine used to say. Even if you don't love what you are doing, you can at least learn more about yourself and make new connections.

Stay positive. There is always room for good people in the working world. Focus on where you can be of service and to whom. Talk to professors, your parents friends, career services, alumni contacts. Do informational interviews with potential employers to understand their challenges and goals. Pitch ideas of projects you can complete or roles you can play, even if on a freelance or part-time basis.

Lastly, check out all the great advice posted on for fresh graduates.

Are you (or do you know) a soon-to-be college graduate? How is he/she faring in the job market? What advice do you have for fresh graduates? Where are opportunities that you see?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Believe In Your Dreams Part 2 (Guest blogger George Prinzo)

A healthy sense of humor may be just what's needed in these trying times. Recently Business Consultant and Comedian George Prinzo appeared on my radio show to share his thoughts on believing in your dreams (especially if your dream is to be an entertainer!)

Here are a few highlights:

- Remember, to get over stage fright, don't picture people in their underwear - it just makes things worse.

- When pursuing your dream - don't quit your day job (unless Career Consultant extraordinaire Maggie Mistal tells you to do so. Who I am to give career advice anyway? I'm just a comedian!)

- If you are interested in doing stand up comedy - many clubs now offer "comedy schools." If you are in NYC, the school I went to is Also, most clubs have open mic nights.

To see some clips and dates for George's upcoming shows visit: Or look him up on Feel free to add him as a friend and contact him with any questions about believing in your dreams and making a career in entertainment possible for you.

How are you keeping a sense of humor in your life? Do you have a favorite past-time that you're finding joy in despite all the negative news? Have you ever considered a career in entertainment?

George is also a great model for using your passion for a purpose. For those of you in the NYC area, he will be hosting a charity fundraiser dinner/show for John Hudson Dilgen. For more information see

Friday, October 10, 2008

3 Reasons Not to Panic About Your Job

"We have nothing to fear but fear itself." - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

You've heard those words before but what does it really mean to your career? Why shouldn't you be panicking right now?

--1)For starters, panic never helped anyone think clearly or make rational decisions. If you're frantic over what's happening on Wall Street (and yes there are some serious economic challenges occurring) you may be putting your career at risk. Here's what I mean - when you start to operate from a place of panic and fear at work, you're more apt to second guess yourself, miss details and ultimately make more mistakes - the very things you want to avoid right now. So calm down. Take a walk, play a game with your kids, go see a movie and by all means, don't panic.

-2) Value is what creates opportunity. Now is the perfect time to examine the work you do and the value it provides. Who benefits from your efforts and how? Are there ways you can be of even more service to your clients, customers and your boss? Focus on what you can control - your own performance on the job.

-3)See the current turmoil as your chance to shine. It's the best captains who can navigate in rough seas. With all the economic challenges facing companies, governments, nonprofits, now is the perfect time for you to step up and really demonstrate the creative, innovative ideas you have that can help. Don't just sit back and let everyone else take care of it. Pitch in. Play your part in the best way you know how. It will demonstrate not only your abilities but your integrity as well.

If you are having trouble seeing the opportunities for yourself, register for my free one hour webinar next Tues, October 14th at 12pm eastern entitled "Getting on the Path to Career Happiness." You'll be able to define your personal career mission statement, vision statement and a practical career path to thrive not just survive today's economic challenges.

How are you doing? Are you panicking? Do you have reasons why panicking isn't a good idea? Share them. We are all in this together!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Believe in Your Dreams Part 1 (guest blogger Craig Zabransky)

This Believe in Your Dreams entry comes from Craig Zabransky, Financial Services Consultant and Travel Adventure Writer.

With time to reflect on my recent appearance on the ‘Believe in Your Dreams’ segment on the Making a Living radio show with Maggie Mistal, I realize that there is one key element, one vital piece of advice to really help make those dreams a reality.

I spoke about it on the show, but to summarize, the advice is simple. Start ‘being’ what you want to become in your career. Don’t just dress the part, or even act the part, BE the part.

For example, when people ask you, “What do you do for a living?” Take this golden opportunity to advance your dream.

Sure, you can answer with a conventional approach and discuss what you do to pay your bills, to support your lifestyle, etc…Or you change your answer and start ‘being,’ start discussing your dream. Trust me; people would rather discuss a topic that energizes you then be bored chatting over your listless occupation.

Make no mistake; I am not saying to lie. For me, I started discussing my passion to write stories about my adventures and foreign travels. Then one day, after many attempts, I started talking to someone launching a website and my enthusiasm easily enabled me to pitch a travel story. He listened intently, appreciated my passion, and gave me an opportunity. That day my passion transformed into a real assignment, a job.

Now after publishing fifteen articles, my career is just beginning, and I am starting to do more than just believe in my dreams, but live them.

Gandhi said, “ Be the change that you want to see in the world.” Great advice not just for the world stage, but for your career too. So, ‘be the change’ in your career and start following your dream. Trust me, life is much better on this side.

Good luck & Stay adventurous.
Craig Zabransky

Craig is a published Travel Writer; click here to view his latest published work. And join his email list by reaching him at

What do you want to be? How might you start acting as if and make your dream a reality?

Believe in Your Dreams Now More Than Ever

When times are uncertain, it can feel safer to pull back-“to tighten the belts” as my father likes to say-than to take on anything new. Yet, this approach can keep us from going after the very opportunities that will turn our careers or even our lives around.

I reiterated this point recently on my radio show, Making a Living with Maggie on Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS. I interviewed a panel of three fabulous guests, each of whom was following their dreams. They had so much great advice to share I've asked each to guest post over the next few weeks.

In case you missed tuning in, I'm on live every Wednesday at 4pm EST, (subscribe to a free three day trial of SIRIUS) the next several blog posts will include inspiring words of wisdom from my guests to support you in "Believing In Your Dreams".

It’s vitally important now more than ever to step into your power versus feeling afraid. The world's best and brightest don’t wait for the right opportunities; they go out and create opportunities in good times and bad. Now it’s your turn!

Share your advice and comments too. What are your dreams for your career? What's worked for you in making your dreams a reality?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Time for Career Strategy as well as Financial Strategy

I responded to a recent question on - "What's your biggest concern with regards to the US Financial Market crisis?" I think it was aimed at people managing money on Wall Street but I felt the need to expand the focus. Here's my response:

"My biggest concern is that people react to the situation rather than proactively strategizing what it means to their careers. In every challenge there are opportunities especially if you are positioned to take advantage of them. We are witnessing a fundamental change in Wall Street that will impact Main Street. The sooner people focus their attention on planning their career strategy, the sooner they can implement those plans and stay ahead despite any adverse changes in the economy."

I'm not trying to scare anyone. I'm merely pointing out that reacting to change is not an effective career strategy. Knowledge truly is power.

Get in the know about the impact to your career:

--Assess the impact to your employer. Did your employer lose clients or revenue due to the Wall Street shake-up? If so, will cost reductions need to follow to keep the business profitable? What ideas might you offer up to save the company money and perhaps save jobs?
--Assess the impact to your industry. Is demand in your industry likely to grow even if people curb their spending? Are the products and services produced by the industry something people can't live without or are they more of a luxury? Consider making contacts in growing industries such as healthcare, green power, oil and gas. Use your university alumni network to do informational interviews and understand how your skills can transfer.
--Assess your performance and contribution. Are you known by your manager as a top performer? Do clients love working with you? There's always room for the best of the best. Are you a revenue generator for the company? If not, what might you do to adjust your job to bring in revenue so you're not viewed as an expense?

I welcome your questions, comments and responses to these assessments. What impacts are you seeing (or do you anticipate) in your job, employer or industry? What outcomes are you working to create or would you like to create? What do you feel is a good career strategy given your situation?

If you're not sure, email me at for an assessment of your current situation and what you can do to strategically manage your career.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Smart Career Resources For Tough Times

"We never thought it would get this bad." Words from one employee affected by the changes that are hitting Wall Street this week.

Most are in shock but realize action is necessary to weather the storm effectively. If you are looking for support and advice, here are sites I've found useful:
--Collection of career advice from expert career coaches and authors
--Free career how-to videos on finding a job during tough times, landing a recession-proof job and acing a job interview
--Tips from the if you're Out of Work on Wall Street

My advice, take this as a wake up call - focus on your passion and your unique strengths and the money will follow. And I walk the talk.

I made it through the Andersen debacle by doing a soul search BEFORE the job search with the help of career coaching. I found the process so helpful, I got certified as a coach and started helping all my Andersen friends with their careers. Now 7 years later, I'm my own boss helping people get out of the rat race and into careers they would do for free (but get paid well to do.)

It's your turn to take control of your career and find opportunity in challenge.

Join the conversation with your comments and let's all get through this together. What are your thoughts on what's happening on Wall Street? What advice you want to share for those impacted?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Recovering from Career Crisis

If you haven't heard, today shock waves went through Wall Street. Sadly, I know how these employees are feeling. It's de ja vu back to my experience with the Andersen/Enron debacle.

Going through a corporate crisis is not something I recommend. Though I have to say it has made me stronger. For those personally impacted by the changes announced today on Wall Street, I do have some advice that can help you not only cope with the situation but use it as a springboard to take charge of your career.

--Take stock of what you do have. It's amazing how crisis puts things in perspective. Be thankful for your health, friends, family, skills, experience, savings. It will help you see that you have support to move on.
--Realize that this too shall pass. You have recovered from career setbacks in the past. You will recover from this one. Reach out to others who can share advice and ideas-former colleagues, mentors, recruiters, career coaches.
--Focus on what you can control. I remember being angry with management for the Andersen situation. It was frustrating to see something end with so many good people impacted. However, I've since realized that everything happens for a valid reason - even the tough situations. I focused less on my anger and more on my abilities to create a new career. In fact I can honestly say that the end of Andersen meant the beginning of my new career in coaching.

If you weren't personally impacted by the fallout on Wall Street today, I'm sure many of you know someone who has been. Consider calling or emailing to check-in. That was my first reaction when I heard the news. See if you can offer any help, even words of support would be of use to people in this challenging situation. Besides by offering help now, you give to your network. And you never know when you might be the one taking that assistance in the future.

Has your career been impacted by corporate crisis? Have you recovered from crisis like these in your career?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The First Steps to Starting Your Own Business

Thank you to those of you who tuned in last week to the return of "Making a Living with Maggie" on Martha Stewart Living Radio SIRIUS 112. I was joined by four fabulous guests throughout the hour and we shared tips, advice, ideas and inspiration about "Believing in Your Dreams."

It's a topic I feel can't get enough air time. Callers shared their dreams, many focused starting their own businesses - from a hair stylist, to a wedding planner, to a stay at home Mom returning to work. The on air conversation focused on not just believing in your dreams but making them a reality.

If you've been thinking about becoming your own boss and want to know how to get started, there are great resources offered by the US Small Business Administration:
--Free business consulting
--Business planning resources
--Information on health insurance and other programs for the self-employed.

You can also check out Marci Alboher's Shifting Careers blog. She recently mentioned small business contests where you can find even more resources to support your dream.

If you've been thinking about becoming your own boss, perhaps it's time to believe in your dreams. With support, preparation and planning you may very well realize your true potential.

What's your dream way to make a living? What do you need to make it a reality?

Monday, September 08, 2008

Tune in and Start "Making a Living" on Your Own Terms

"My career chose me. I don't even know how I ended up in this job. How do I get out and fast?"

While not actual quotes from my clients (those are protected for confidentiality) this is an unfortunate running theme from my coaching sessions. People need help in figuring out a strategic career path so they can stop hopping from one unsatisfying job to another. And apparently, a lot of people need help. A 2007 Conference Board study found that only half of all US workers were satisfied in their careers.

I'm more than happy to help people get on track. So happy in fact that I'm always looking for new ways to serve.

That's why I'm excited to announce that starting this Wed, September 10th, you can tune in for weekly career advice and inspiration on SIRIUS satellite radio. You can also call into the show live and get your questions answered on air! My show, "Making a Living with Maggie" will air Wednesdays at 4pm eastern/1pm pacific on Martha Stewart Living Radio SIRIUS 112.

What would you like to hear discussed on the show? Job hunting resources, career change ideas, work/life balance strategies, how to be your own boss? What topics interest you? Let me know so I can help you make a living on your own terms.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What are you cultivating with your career?

People often contact me to find more meaning in their careers. They want to make a difference but aren't sure how. If this sounds familiar, read on. Below is an inspiring example of a one woman whose dream of helping others is now reality.

I had the pleasure of meeting Lois Reddick in high school. Though we had lost touch for several years, she and I recently reconnected. It was great to catch up and even more amazing to learn that Lois had founded a non-profit organization called COSIA. COSIA is built on the belief that one woman, with the help and support of her sisters (and brothers), can make a tremendous and positive difference in the world.

That belief is coming true.

So far COSIA has provided funding, exposure, and/or support for many programs and organizations including: The Love by the Slice Baking and Catering Program and The Dillingham-Williams Foundation (both in development), the Afterw@rd Suicide Prevention Project, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the Consciously Rebuilding Project in New Orleans, and Operation Longthrust Summer Youth Program in Washington State.

If that's not enough, here's what members have to say:

“COSIA is where I go to make the impossible possible through positivity and idea sharing, so that I can then be able to pass it on through community building.”

“COSIA helped me realize that I am a powerful, intelligent, and visionary woman who is determined to make an impact.”

I have the honor and privilege of presenting at COSIA’s Cultivating Your Path Workshop. If you are in the New York area and would like to attend, click here for more information.

I am so impressed with what Lois is cultivating. Now it's your turn. Get inspired and cultivate a great impact with your career.

What cause or goal do you care most about? What change do you want to see in the world? What organization might you contribute through and have a great impact? I can't wait to hear your comments!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Survive and Thrive in Today's Tough Economy

Often times we need an outside perspective to see solutions to our career struggles. The WetFeet Survival Guide for Women in Business by Sarah Baicker offers just that perspective. Completed in conjunction with The Forte Foundation, the guide focuses on the particular challenges of women in the workplace including:
--Finding Work/Life Balance
--Job Hunting (*Here you can read my advice on how to evaluate a job offer).

The guide also includes a comprehensive resource list of articles, books and professional organizations to utilize in moving your career forward.

Find out more about the Survival Guide and share your tips of surviving in today's tough economy.

What strategies have worked for you? What struggles are you finding in surviving in today's tough economy?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Are you suffering from overwork?

Recently I was invited to speak at PepsiCo on the subject of working smarter not harder. Having spent much of my career in corporate America, I know many workers feel stretched just to keep up with daily activities.

With this in my mind, I was shocked and saddened to read a recent Economist article about an employee in Japan who had died from overwork. Just thirty years old, the father of two died after working successive 80 hour work weeks for the previous 6 months.

Working these hours, life starts to feel like a treadmill. You're running faster and faster each day but not getting very far. You see it happening yet continue with the routine not knowing how to stop and get off. If this sounds like you (I've been there too), here are two useful resources you might want to check out:
--Take Time For Your Life by Cheryl Richardson
--Work + Life by Cali Williams Yost

Both offer inspiration and practical tips for making time your ally. If you're thinking, "I'd love to read them but I don't have time," then check out a book summary service like Executive Book Summaries.

Above all, remember this: "The time to relax is when you don't have time for it." ~Attributed to both Jim Goodwin and Sydney J. Harris

What are your strategies for managing time? Do you feel overworked? How do take care of yourself while still taking care of your career?

Monday, August 18, 2008

More Great Career Advice from The Olympics

Here are a few more of my favorite moments from the XXIX Summer Olympic Games and the lessons we can apply to our own lives and careers....

"I said I'd try to get a medal and hopefully it'd be a gold one." According to, that's what Michael Phelps said to Stevie Hansen, a promising young swimmer diagnosed with cancer who had reached out to Phelps. Michael sent gifts and made trips to see Stevie, even attending a swim meet to cheer on the little boy. Michael said he was honored to be looked up to by someone like Stevie.

It's amazing that behind the scenes, behind all the fame - success is a team effort. Michael Phelps was motivated not only by the desire to break records and become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time but also by a young boy's last wish.

"Don't put an age limit on your dreams" - inspiring words of advice from Dara Torres, 41 year-old mom and the oldest swimming medalist in history. I wanted to highlight Dara's story for anyone feeling it's too late or they're too old to follow their dreams.

Believe it or not, you might be getting even better with age. According to, Torres started her Olympic career at the 1984 games in Los Angeles but her most successful Olympics didn't come until 20 years later in Sydney in 2004. And when she's been retired from swimming, Dana Torres has also successfully transferred her skills into sports broadcasting and modeling.

What lessons are you taking away from these amazing athletes and their stories? Who's inspired you to go beyond your limits and achieve what's never been done before?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

What if changing your mind, changed the outcome?

I am completely enthralled with the XXIX Olympic Games. I find it tremendously uplifting to watch people stretch themselves and rise to the occasion.

In particular, I've been struck by the comments of US swimmer Jason Lezak. (If you haven't been watching, Jason swam the last leg of the 4X100 Meter Freestyle Relay and miraculously brought home the gold for his team.)

Jason said that at the last turn he could see his leading opponent was a full body length ahead. His first reaction was, "I'll never catch him." But then something amazing happened - Jason changed his mind. He said to himself, "That's ridiculous. This is is the Olympics."

It was with that thought in mind that Jason swam a full second and a half faster than ever before. He not only caught the leader but surpassed him and won the gold. Later Jason would say that he was "just tired of losing."

Jason not only furthered his own dream that day but contributed to Michael Phelps amazing achievement of the most goal medals of all time.

We may not all be Olympic athletes but we can all change our minds to be more supportive of ourselves and our achievements. What if your mindset could change your situation? What if instead of losing out on your next interview or next promotion or next opportunity you instead thought only of doing what you needed to do to win?

I'd love to hear your stories. What would you like to change your mindset about? Has changing your mind changed the outcome for you?

Sunday, August 03, 2008

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?

A key question I ask my clients at the start of our work together is "What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail?" I get varied responses - be my own boss, travel the world, run for office, make a difference. For each person, the dream is different but what's the same is underlying fear that it's not possible.

Hearing this from my clients, I thought one of the best ways I could help was to lead by example. It has always been my dream to sing on stage so recently I did one of the scariest things I've ever done - I put on a cabaret show off-Broadway in New York City!

I themed the show, "Believe in Your Dreams" and sang popular jazz standards each focused on following your passion. I had an emcee and a comedian in the show who followed their dreams and had inspiring stories to tell. I also donated proceeds from the show to an inspiring charity.

I can't tell you how great it felt to experience my dream coming true. Click here to see a clip from the show. The audience really enjoyed it too. Many left saying they were inspired to go after their dreams as a result. Even the owner of the cabaret venue told me I had what it takes to "make it big."

Now I don't just tell my clients they can do it, I show them and tell them how to make it happen:
--Do it for yourself first. I never told anyone I wanted to sing but deep down I knew it was within me. And when I found out that a friend was a singing coach, I approached her to to set up lessons. Kim Engler ( who also produced my show, helped me find my voice and have confidence in my ability to sing. She knew just what to say at just the right moment to help me reach each note. She also got me to take my dream seriously.
--Enjoy the process. I took a year and a half of singing lessons before deciding to perform on stage. I had to learn new ways to breathe and to position myself in order to fully utilize my entire body as an instrument. Taking my time allowed me to savor the experience and really see the progress I was making over time.
--Get support from people who believe in you. My clients, friends and family all attended my show - some travelling across the country and others travelling across the globe. Those who couldn't attend sent well wishes. It was wonderful to feel so much support. At the show, it was great to know the audience was rooting for my success.

Having had so much fun, I'm already planning my next show for the fall. I want to continue inspiring people to live their dreams by living my own. Eleanor Roosevelt put it well when she said, "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

I'd love to hear about your dreams. What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Have you done something that scares you only to realize you loved every minute of it? Share your comments and let's help each other believe in our dreams!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My favorite career books for your summer reading list

Reading all the negative news about the economy, layoffs and the rising price of oil is enough to depress even the most optomistic among us (of which I count myself.) So to inspire you this week, I wanted to share some of my favorite career books. This way, you can read something uplifting and inspiring and get ideas to take your mind off the negative and instead focus on moving your career forward.

--Looking to test out new career path?

Check out Test Drive Your Dream Job by Brian Kurth and Robin Simons. Brian is the founder of Vocation Vacations, a company that creates opportunities to test out different careers from winemaker to voice over artist to private investigator. With this book, you can set up your own test drive of any career you've been dreaming of. This week I'll be test driving a dream career for me - cabaret singing! For those of you in the New York City area come see me live at Don't Tell Mama on 46th Street between 8th and 9th avenues at 8:30pm on Thursday, July 24th.

--Ready to go from college to career?

Today's college students are doing more internships, externships, informational interviews, studies abroad, etc. Yet many still feel lost when it comes to defining the ideal career. Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak is THE resource that grads need to not only land a job, but create a career path that works. You can read Lindsey's blog posted under my favorite links.

--Have a fear that's keeping you from living your dream?

If you've been thinking about making a career change but just haven't had the courage to make a move, check out Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers. It's a book I've read and reread all the times I've felt afraid to put myself out there in new ways. In fact, I'm listening to it now before my cabaret show on Thursday!

What career books have you found helpful? Are there a few you've found particularly inspiring?

Monday, July 14, 2008

Informational Interviewing 101

Too often people overlook the informational interview as a key tool in landing a new job or making a career change. I got my previous job at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia through an informational interview. It was a conversation that led to many career opportunities for me.

If you've been wanting to do something different in your career and aren't sure how to go about it, try this approach:
1) Make a list of careers you'd love to be doing (Aren't sure? Read my article on Finding Your Purpose.)
2) Write down all the questions you'd like answered (for a sampling check out the online informational interviews at
3) Ask your network for anyone they know doing the career(s) you want. If you don't get any leads from this step, try going online to industry associations or check with your alumni association. Email or call the Executive Director and ask for any contacts he/she can recommend.

Seems easy right? Well not if you make the conversation all about you. Rather than focusing on why YOU need to talk to this person and why YOU need a new career and why YOU really want information; Instead, focus on why your interviewee is the perfect person for you to speak with because he or she is accomplished in this field and came highly recommended. Be genuinely interested in the career path of the person you are interviewing and you will not only get information but build rapport.

If you're still not sure how to informational interview for your own situation, email me at or call in to my segment on Martha Stewart Living Radio Thursdays at 9:30am and 3pm eastern.

And let me know your experience with informational interviews. Have they worked for you? Who have you informational interviewed?...

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The challenge of too many interests

Have you ever felt like a Jack or Jane-of-all-trades, master of none? It's a problem for many of my clients. We (yes, I include myself) can often feel like our multiple interests are a problem, causing us to feel scattered and unable to focus in our careers.

I often hear my clients lamenting: "If only I could stick with one thing...If only I knew what I wanted to be when I grow up...If only I didn't have so many interests..." If this sounds like you, don't fret any longer.

Being a person with multiple interests is actually a benefit to your career. Why? Because having many interests makes your more adaptable in the fast changing world of work we now live in. The key is to embrace your interests and manage your career so that you get the variety and change you crave.

To get ideas of how others are creating careers that fit all their interests, here are two very helpful resources I've found:

--One Person, Multiple Careers by Marci Alboher
--The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine

There's no need to bounce from one career to the next. Contact me if you're unsure how to create your ideal career at

And let me know if you feel you're a person of many interests. Have your many interests helped or hurt your career?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Landing a Job Over 50

I've been getting lots of calls on radio and several emails from people over 50 who want to change careers or land a new job. Many, though quite accomplished, are very concerned that their age will be an issue in finding a new job. Here's my advice if you're concerned about landing a job over 50:

--Write out your ideal job description(even if you think it's impossible.) By articulating what you want, you are in a better position to tell others about what you are looking for and increase your chances of finding it. You're also less likely to settle for the first thing that comes along.
--Read career books. Betsy Cummings book, Job Hunting Over 50, offers practical advice and useful tips. I interviewed Betsy on Martha Stewart Living Radio and got great response from listeners on her advice.
--Go online. AARP has an entire career site dedicated to people over 50. Their site even includes the list of best employers for people over 50! Seniors for Hire is also a job hunting site specifically for people over 50.
--Of course, career coaching can be of help in offering your specific advice on your situation. I'd be happy to do a complimentary 30 min session for anyone struggling with this issue.

And let me know - Has age been an issue in your career? Or have you found the "career fountain of youth" and been able to sustain a great career well over 50?

Post your comments below. I'd love to hear from you!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Take a vacation and learn a new career!

Ok so I wasn't learning a new career on my recent vacation to Thailand, but it was great to network with new and interesting people. So much so, that I talked on Martha Stewart Radio about how to network on vacation. Read all about it on Martha Stewart Living's Radio blog!

Vacation can lead to career change as well. For those of you who don't know, I'm an affiliate coach for VocationVacations (VV) - a company dedicated to helping people test drive their dream jobs. It's an amazing concept in which you can spend a weekend paired up with a mentor who does that dream job for a living. It's a great way to learn the in's and out's of a career BEFORE making a career change.

One of my clients found his landscape architecture Vocation Vacation to be very helpful in confirming that was the next career for him. He was also able to build a friendship and long-term network with his mentor. What a win-win!

If you've been contemplating a new career but aren't sure how to make it happen, read my recent blog post on the VV website. I offer tips and advice for making your career change a reality!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Great Resource for Career Research

Each week I take calls on my careers segment on Martha Stewart Living Radio SIRIUS 112.

This week in particular, several calls focused on where to find information on various careers from virtual assistant, to medical transcriptionist, to industrial engineer.

To gather comprehensive information on hundreds of careers whatever career you are thinking of, check out the US Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook. The 2008-2009 edition is available online now.

Check it out and you might find that you have what it takes to make the career move you've been thinking about (and if not, contact me at and I'll help you create an action plan to make it happen!).

A Note of Caution When Blogging for Your Brand

Danielle's post about managing your brand made me think of a recent article on training for bloggers.

It turns out that you can be sued for defamation, copyright infringement or even piracy for what's on your blog if you're not careful. So, many amateur bloggers are getting professional training from journalists on what's ok and not ok to say on your blog.

A scary example noted in the article of a real estate agent being sued for $25 million because he blogged about a real estate developer's bankruptcy, drives home the importance of such training.

If you're interested in getting trained, the article mentions the Society of Professional Journalists in Chicago who are offering training in different parts of the country.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Manage Your Career Like a Great Brand with Guest Blogger Danielle Walsmith

This week, I thought I'd share some advice from Marketing Guru Danielle Walsmith. I've learned so much in working with her when it comes to managing my brand and hope you do too...

Last week I saw this blog post on MarketingProfs Daily Fix about owning your digital identity. It talks about owning your own domain name, just like Maggie owns, but also about owning your user names on social networking sites such as Flickr, Twitter and YouTube, so that others don’t end up owning your digital identity or making a mockery of it.

After reading it, I immediately Googled myself to check out my own digital identity – luckily most of what is listed is stuff I’m familiar with already. But some of it dates back five years or more, and that’s a good reminder of how permanent our digital identity can be. I also Googled Maggie, since I’m writing for her blog, and was relieved to discover that she owns her own user name on her Amazon profile!

Have you Googled yourself lately? It’s a good idea to do so on a regular basis to check in on your digital identity. If your user names are all over the map, or a variety of nicknames, it may be time to edit some of them. If your search results reveal info that is outdated or irrelevant to the personal brand you’re cultivating, you might consider some options for boosting more positive results. These include setting up a website on your own domain name, starting a blog under your domain name and posting often, Twittering frequently and posting thoughtful comments on blogs you read frequently.

Managing your brand online is just as important as managing it offline.

Danielle Walsmith is a small business coach in Los Angeles focused on working with female entrepreneurs launching or expanding their own businesses. She has over 10 years of experience as a communications professional with an emphasis on PR, marketing, strategic planning and personal branding. For more info about Danielle, you can visit her website at

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ace Your Next Interview with the Right Handshake

I came across an interesting study recently that links successful interviewing with a firm handshake. Believe it or not the people with the best handshakes, men and women, are more "hireable".

What makes for a firm handshake? According to the researchers, good handshakes involve:
-a firm, complete grip
-eye contact
-vigorous up and down movement.

If you're not sure the quality of your handshake, test it out. Shake a few hands and see if the person gets a more or less favorable impression of you. Find out how to improve your handshake and you may just improve your chances of landing your next job. Read the full handshake article.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

"Don't waste your time living someone else's life"

With graduation day upon us, I thought recent college graduates (and in fact all of us) would benefit from some inspiring words of advice from Steve Jobs, Apple co-founder. His commencement address at Stanford University is captured in this brief video that you won't want to miss.

If you don't know his history, Steve Jobs is one of the most successful and innovative entrepreneurs of our time. He's also a college drop-out - a choice he credits with his success today. He doesn't advocate dropping out as a method but rather strongly advocates following your heart. He also points out how quickly time passes and that we don't live forever. His poignant words of advice ring true no matter what your age, "Don't waste your time living someone else's life."

I want to thank my client Kevin for sharing this insightful video with me so I can share it with all of you. Here's to you living your best life everyday!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Would you be better off as a Free Agent?

Just this week, executive recruiting site reported a rise in free agency . In other words, more employees are opting out of full-time jobs to be independent contract workers. The reasons for the rise included a desire for more control over their time as well as the greater stability offered by several employers rather than just one. With the ups and downs of today's economy, many don't want to put all of their "employment eggs" in one basket.

I also found it interesting that free agents aren't just taking work from anybody. They are boning up on annual reports, earnings information and news reports about their clients and essentially doing "background checks" before agreeing to do any work. I've always coached my clients to stay abreast of what's going on with their employers in this way.

If you've been thinking about being on your own, perhaps now is the time. Being a free agent is freeing and allows you to work on projects you want to be doing. It also allows for greater flexiblity and the chance to work when you want to and not when you don't. If you've been considering free agency, check out my article on the subject. You can also go to websites like, and or read, "Get a Freelance Life" by Margit Feury Ragland.

The savviest workers have figured out that they are their own best boss. Perhaps it's time you did too!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

If others are living their dreams, why not you?

In the quest for the ideal career, many people find it inspiring to read about others who've achieved this seemingly impossible dream.

My question is always, "If others are living their dreams, why not you?" Rather than getting angry or frustrated or jealous because someone has an interesting job, the perfect schedule, plenty of vacation time, great compensation; why not instead see it as a signal that this is a possibility for you too?

In a new book called, "How'd you score that gig?" Alexandra Levit interviewed more than 100 people in their dream jobs to see what got them there. She found persistence was a very important trait.

I would add "belief in their dreams" as another key trait of people I've coached who've made it to their ideal careers. No matter what naysayers or even their own inner critic told them, it was their own belief in the dream that kept them persistently focused on achieving it.

I count myself as one of those people in their ideal career. And still "Believe in your dreams" is the message that I put on my mobile phone so that everytime I turn it on, that's what I see.

We all need to be reminded that dreams do come true, if for others why not you?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Negotiating is always a good idea - even in bad economic times

Yesterday, the Wall Street Journal online published a great article on how to negotiate salary even in tough economic times. (A link to the full article is at the bottom of this post.)

It's a subject I've been tackling with my clients and thought I'd share a recent example.

Just last week a client asked me if he should expect a drop in pay because he's changing careers in a bad economy. My response - don't ever expect a drop in pay. Rather understand what the going market rate is for the job you're applying for and how your skills and experience can help you stand out.

I told him about - a great resource to understand the salary range for the job your are looking for in your geographic area. Next we assessed his situation and whether his skills and experience put him at the top, middle or bottom of that range. For my client, many of his skills were transferable to the new job from his prior career. He wouldn't need to start over though he may be more towards the middle of the range than the top.

Going into the interviews armed with this knowledge boosted my client's confidence. He knew his worth and that allowed him to act accordingly in the interviews. I'll let you know whether he gets the job and at what pay!

Click here for the full Wall Street Journal article and feel free to email me at for help with negotiating pay that matches your worth!