Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Blog has moved to!

As of September 1st, 2009, this "What If" career advice blog has moved to my new and improved website offering career coaching, free how-to career advice videos, and of course my weekly career tips blog. Please join me there now for my latest blog posts!

Change always comes bearing gifts. ~Price Pritchett

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

A New Approach To Your Dream Job

Today's job market is anything but stable. In order to manage your career effectively you need to allow for change and be ready to take advantage of the opportunities in a dynamic economy. To do that takes a new approach to figuring out your dream job - one that , according to author Dr. Katherine Brooks, involves Chaos theory and "Wise Wanderings". Here are the highlights from my interview with Dr. Brooks last week on Making a Living regarding her new book, "You Majored in What?":

--Change is constant. We have seen the pace of change quicken in our careers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, on average people are changing jobs an upwards of 8 times. Rather than react to change, it's important to adapt and plan for changes to come. For Dr. Brooks, Director of Liberal Arts Career Services at the University of Texas at Austin, Chaos theory is a better way of managing your career because it assumes change is a constant. It also helps you see the underlying order in chaos, even if it's not immediately apparent. Chaos theory is used to predict the weather and it can be use to predict your best career path. To do that, you have to be willing to do some wandering.
--Wandering to a wiser career path. According to Dr. Brooks, your past experiences can point to important threads or themes in your career. By writing down all of the different, interesting or significant things you've done and experienced, you can identify basic categories of your ideal career. Without organizing them, the goal is to capture proud moments, valuable life lessons, unique jobs, awards and unusual experiences that you've had both in and outside of work throughout your life. Then group these significant things that you've done or have had happen to you. For me, I wandered back through my past and identified that Career, Media, Coaching and Change were recurring themes. I had been wandering along a path of sorts all along even before formalizing my experience into the career coaching and radio hosting career I have today.
--Make the connection to your dream job. Dr. Brooks recommends that once you've identified your themes and skills, it's important to brainstorm how your skills might be of interest to an employer (or a customer if you have your own business). This is especially important for college students whose majors might not translate directly into a corporate job. For example, if you have a degree in history, you can study the history of the company you are interviewing for and point out key trends, goals and opportunities based on the lessons learned in your history courses.

Overall, we cannot expect that we will work in one industry for one employer in one line of work. That doesn't mean your career has to be chaotic. Rather your career can present a chance for you to learn and grow in new ways as evidenced by one of my favorite quotes - "Change always comes bearing gifts" (Price Prichett). What gifts can change bring for you?

Friday, July 31, 2009

Finding Joy In Your Career is Not a Luxury

Spending time doing what you love is not a luxury, it's a necessity. It's how the best in their fields got to where they are today -- just ask Deepak Chopra. I did. I interviewed him on Making a Living and he fervently said he will NOT do an activity if it doesn't bring him JOY. Think it's too risky or unrealistic for you to do the same? Think again.

If you truly want success, if you want to reach the heights of your potential, can you really afford to waste precious time on activities that suck the life out of you? You can make conscious choices and better focus your efforts. To help, here are some productivity tips from another guest on my show, Mitzi Weinman, founder of

Don't just plan, anticipate.
Planning your day with a classic to do list is good but if you want to be most productive, you need to anticipate what could pop-up. For instance, for every meeting on your calendar, plan time before for preparation and after for follow-up. Unplanned tasks may land on your plate and if you leave space for them, you won't feel stretched for time.

Work from top to lowest priority.
If you get the most important tasks out of the way early in your day, you'll not only feel more accomplished, but also more comfortable leaving the office at day's end.

Schedule meetings later in the day.
Meetings can be productive but that time is best spent later in the day according to Mitzi. She recommends using your energy wisely by setting aside morning time for strategic or creative activities that require a lot of thought.

Is there a smart way you manage email, a busy schedule and family demands? Share your comments below and call Making a Living (866-675-6675) every Wednesday at 4 pm EST/1 pm PST. The career hotline is always open to discuss whatever career dilemma, goal or idea you want to discuss.

Tune in this Sunday 6am EST for a replay of Making a Living on SIRIUS 112 and XM 157. Try SIRIUS XM free!-- I give advice on standing out from the crowd in a competitive job market -- especially important for recent college graduates!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Journey Inside the Mind of a Career Coach

Recently I was featured on the Personal Branding Blog by Dan Schawbel - a great resource for tips on becoming known for your passion and expertise.

Dan interviewed me about career coaching, from the qualifications you need, to what makes a successful career coach, to how to keep your brand name out there and get new clients.

Read my interview on the Personal Branding Blog

For more branding tips and to ask your career questions, tune into my segment on Living Today with Mario Bosquez - Tuesdays at 3:30pm EST on SIRIUS 112 and XM 157. Call in at 1-866-675-6675. Free 7-Day Trial of SIRIUS!

What do you want to be known for? How are you branding yourself? What tools and resources have worked for your marketing strategy? Share your comments below.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Work Life Balance Reality Check

It seems there's always a reason to be busy. When the economy is good, we're busy because there's too much work coming in. When the economy is bad, we're busy because we have to do more with less. Even the actual word business implies that to be productive we have to always be busy (i.e. "busy-ness"). Is there any room for work life balance in this busy work world we've created?

For that answer and a reality check on the state of work life balance in the current economy, I interviewed work life expert Cali Williams Yost this week on Making a Living. According to a recent study conducted by Work+Life Fit, Inc., work life flexibility survives and is here to stay as employers surveyed continue to give access to flexible work options the same amount or more than they have in the past.

So flexibility exists, the question is how do you get it? To answer that question, Cali and I discussed some key steps.

--Take Ownership of Your Schedule. Most people would have better work life balance if they made more conscious decisions about where they are spending their time. Cali suggests putting down all of your work and personal commitments into one calendar so you can truly see what you've committed to. Once you know where your time is going, you can be more conscious about spending time on top priority work and personal activities.
--Be Proactive. If you want a flexible work arrangement, its best if you go to your boss with options. Most managers are too busy themselves to focus on how to best manage your work/life. You know your job best so come up with a better, faster or cheaper way to get work done in a way that fits your flexible schedule and your boss will be more apt to say yes.
--Think Fit not Balance. Cali is famous for revolutionizing the way we look at work and life. She says that balance presents an all or nothing approach that is unrealistic for most people. She recommends instead to focus on finding the right fit between work and life that suits your needs not some 50/50 standard.

There's more to making a great living than just being busy. In fact, if it's not about being busy at all. It's about making conscious choices about how you spend your work and personal time so you are always doing what's most important to you!

For more work life tips join me for the next Making a Living with Maggie on Wednesday at 4pm EST. I'll be talking about ways you can be most productive and work smarter not harder.

Friday, July 10, 2009

An Easier Way to Land Your Next Job

Landing your next great opportunity doesn't need to involve an endless array of resume revisions, phone screens and interviews.

There is an easier quicker way using less official channels and Marci Alboher was on Making a Living with Maggie this week to share her insights on this back door approach. According to Marci, a regular New York Times Contributor and Author of Working the New Economy blog, some of the best job opportunities are landed through contacts made at social events where people share a common interest whether that be kayaking or poker. Because the activity isn't work related, it gives people a chance to get to know each other's interpersonal style which is key part of working well together.

Marci also stressed how important it is to become visible to your network for what you do best. To do that she suggested proactively looking for ways to help the people in your network using your expertise. For instance if you're a graphic designer and learn about a friend's new business venture, offer to help with some of the organization's marketing materials. It's an easy way to demonstrate your abilities to someone who could be in a position to hire you at some point. One word of caution, it "takes a longer courtship" as Marci puts it, to land a job in through unofficial channels. But considering that Marci landed a New York Times column through a monthly poker group of other journalists, it sounds like time well spent.

For a replay of Making a Living with Maggie, tune in this Sunday at 6am EST. Use this FREE trial of SIRIUS Radio!

You'll also hear a very inspiring day in the life interview with Laura Howard. A former entertainment executive, Laura decided to combine her passion for food with her work and is now a very successful ice cream entrepreneur and founder of Laloo's Goat Milk Ice Cream.

Here's to you Making a Great Living!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Leadership 101 - Are you ready to be in charge?

Power and authority have a bad connotation. Because of that many people shy away from taking charge at work. But what about servant leadership - being in charge as a way to be of tremendous service to people. It's not a concept I created but one I'm educating my clients and radio listeners about.

Just last week, I had leadership experts Gail Steinel and Mike Policano on "Making a Living with Maggie" talking about their book, Excuse Me, Aren't YOU in Charge? These two are not just theorists. Gail in fact was a pioneer for women leadership in the consulting industry, recognized twice by Consulting Magazine as a Top 25 Consultant. I experienced Gail's leadership firsthand - when she was head of Arthur Andersen's Business Consulting Practice where I was an employee.

Here's what I learned from Gail about being a great leader:
--Be accessible. - Gail is the type of leader who remembered your name and would stop and talk to you in the hallway. She was never too busy to make time for her employees.
--Support your people's ideas and passions. - In their book, Gail mentions one particular leadership experience that stuck with me - where she supported an employee who wanted to build a new recruiting strategy. Gail encouraged the employee to get involved and the young woman ended up winning an employee-of-the-year award.
--Be honest. - I saw Gail lead during Andersen's best times and it's demise with the Enron debacle. She was always upfront with honest answers and I always felt I could trust her. For leaders today this is perhaps the biggest lesson - be someone your people can really trust and your best employees will always stick with you.

Find out more about leadership 101 on Gail and Mike's blog! And share your greatest leadership moments here - what's the best quality you've seen in a leader? Do you consider yourself to be a servant leader?

And tune into Making a Living with Maggie this Wed, 4pm EST. I'll share ways to be at your best and ready for an accidental interview! Not sure what I mean, tune in with this free 7-day SIRIUS trial!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Working with People in Their Dream Jobs

When you work with passionate people, you get better results! People who are in their ideal careers are more motivated, more innovative and more fun than people just in a job for a paycheck.

If you need further convincing, check out my latest post on on the Radio Blog! You'll get the see the amazing work of two of my career coaching clients - Designer Trisha Ginter and Photographer Ann Wilkinson and my travel writer husband Craig (also pursuing his ideal career.)

Every customer, every recruiter, every employer wants to hire people who are in their ideal careers. It's the best way to create lasting job security and Trisha, Ann and Craig are all great examples. Hope you enjoy reading it and Happy 4th of July!

What do you think? Do you agree that if you follow your passion, success will follow you? Post your comments and experiences working with talented people!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Leaving a Legacy Thru Your Career - Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson

Just turn on the TV or the computer and you will see countless stories, articles and comments on the passings this week of Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson.

I've heard several people ask, "Why do we get so impacted by people we didn't really know?" To me, it's because we take it personally. Seeing their passing makes us once again realize that someday we too will pass. This is tough to swallow especially for people who aren't living life the way they want.

I often see this as a career coach. People seek out my services at key moments in their lives - like a milestone birthday. They are frustrated because their life and career is not as far along or as fulfilling as they thought it would be. The good news is that these people reach out to me because they are ready to take action with their careers - choosing to no longer be passive recipients of what happens but defining and going after what they truly want.

If there's a shared legacy that Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon and Michael Jackson leave - it's that they were tireless in creating the careers they wanted. No one sought them out to offer them lives of fame and riches. In fact, if you read the biographies of these individuals you will see that it was their hard work and dedication that made them the icons we miss today.

If you're feeling impact from the passing of these talented people, perhaps it's because it's time for you to fully express your own talents. Think about it and I'll leave you with a sentiment. It's from one of my favorite dream the impossible dream stories, Man of La Mancha so that you too can take action to further define your own legacy, "It's not why did he [or she] die, but why did he [or she] live."

What is your impossible dream? Are you living it? Share your comments here - studies have show that by writing down what you want and putting it out there, you increase your chances of success by 10 times. Now let's hear it!

Monday, June 08, 2009

A Fun Side to Unemployment?

My previous post about travel being good for your career sparked me to do additional research on the topic. Interestingly I came across a related phenomenon -"Funemployment." According to a recent article on, some of the jobless in San Francisco are actually viewing unemployment as an opportunity to volunteer, travel, freelance and consider career shifts. (Notably these are folks who have savings and/or severance who did not get caught up in the real estate crisis.)

Alexis Mansinne, profiled in the article, had been an event planner for Dwell magazine until she was laid-off. Though shocked by her pink slip, Ms. Mansinne decided to take a refreshing perspective on her situation (helped by the 50 weeks of unemployment benefits she was about to receive) and see it as a chance to take a more "socially redeeming career path". She started a blog ( to share her thoughts on how to take advantage of being unemployed and has since decided to go back to school to become a school guidance counselor.

The article also mentions another interesting blog, and one of it's founders, Tania Khadder who's quoted as saying, "Being unemployed, took my attention, which was spread over a lot of different things, and gave it focus. In a way, it derailed my financial plan. But it accelerated my professional plan." Ms. Khadder's plan is to attend graduate school focused on public policy.

I realize that no one wishes to be unemployed and that many are struggling to pay for even basic expenses even with unemployment checks. For those however who do have the means to invest in themselves and their futures careerwise, many are having fun exploring their interests, talents and passions. Share your thoughts on the upside to unemployment - positive perspectives welcome!

Monday, June 01, 2009

Travel to Boost Your Career

Is it a good or bad idea to take a trip after you've been laid-off? Some people think it's a great mental health break while others think it's a foolish waste of resources. Weigh in and share your comments below. Read on for both sides of the argument and to see where I stand:

Bad Idea: Sit Tight and Save Up VS. Great Idea: Take Time Out to Travel

Share your comments on whether traveling is a smart move after a layoff and why you think that way. And tune into my career talk radio show this month for my interview with journalist Melanie Nayer on the benefits of a travel sabbatical in between jobs!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Career Advice for Business Owners (from NY Times Best Selling Author Christine Comaford)

Earlier this year, I interviewed Christine Comaford, author of Rules for Renegades on my radio show about building a mighty venture. Christine has consulted to the White House, 700 of the Fortune 1000, and over 100 small businesses. She has neither a high school diploma nor college degree but she has built and sold five of her own businesses and served as a board director or in-the-trenches advisor to 36 startups.

Here are her key tips on one business building killer: Lack of Reliable Revenue.

Not having reliable revenue systems spells death to more businesses than I could count in a lifetime. To begin with, it totally drains you of much-needed energy and kills your creativity day after day. When it comes to growing your business, CASH IS KING, and the best way to generate cash for your business FAST is by generating profitable SALES. To increase your sales, you need to learn to disqualify sales leads.

Here’s the 1-2-3 for creating healthier leads.

1. Set your objective for prospecting. Shifting your objective from getting the appointment to determining whether the prospect qualifies for an appointment is key. Next, eliminate your fear of rejection; it’s easier to do this when you aren’t begging for sales meetings. Instead of begging for meetings, identify your target prospects using specifics, such as price point, budgets, decision-making ability and schedules. Only make appointments with prospects who need, want, and can afford what you are selling and are willing to buy from you now.

2. Start separating real leads from unlikely ones. This type of prospecting is essentially a practice of sorting and identifying by talking to as many people as you can in the shortest amount of time. This involves learning how to disqualify a low probability prospect and maintain control of the interaction. Remember, whoever asks the questions is in control. Here are a few key reminders to keep in mind when you make calls: A) I work with high probability prospects only. I disqualify everyone else. B) “No” is just as good as “yes.” C) When in doubt, I disqualify.

3. Stay focused. Fear is what keeps most of us chasing sales leads that we know aren’t high probability. Here are three ways to stay on track and further cement this learning into your sales process. A) You are training prospects when you disqualify them. B) Deal with discomfort by acknowledging it and pushing through it anyway. C) Remind yourself often that this is the disqualification game.

Remember, you have no power to make a high probability prospect. You do have the power to disqualify – and THAT is the key to creating a healthier list of prospects, clients, and ultimately the future of your successful and well-financed business.

Thanks Christine! For more on this subject, Visit the "Resources" section of her Mighty Ventures Web site for free financing, sales, marketing, and operational documents, templates, and white papers and see Christine's Results Now Webinar.

Have a business you need to build revenue for? Share your challenges here and success stories too. Being your own boss is a dream for many, let's make it a reality! Looking forward to your comments.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Maximizing Results with a Career Coach

I am honored to write this guest blog for my Career Coach Maggie Mistal. I have been inspired and motivated by Maggie throughout the coaching process. The experience has been extremely valuable in helping me launch LSR Coaching and Consulting, LLC in only a few months after leaving my corporate career. The accelerated timing is due entirely to my coaching with Maggie.

If you are considering hiring a career coach, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
First, you need to hire a qualified coach. Maggie is an excellent example and offers a complimentary consultation to determine if she is the right fit for you.
Second, be prepared to work hard. A career coach will guide you and will have discovery exercises to help you. The experience is only valuable, however, if you complete the exercises and really put your self into the work entailed.
Third, be creative in the ways you “try on” a new career. Be prepared to network and research your career interests. With my new business, networking is an important aspect of my marketing plan. I wish I would have started networking years ago because it would have made getting started much easier. It is never too late to start though! I started networking about four months ago and recently conducted a well received mini-workshop at one of my networking meetings. There are many ways to network such as Chambers of Commerce, groups for your profession, Toastmasters, economic clubs, etc. Try various avenues to see what is most comfortable for you.

Through my coaching with Maggie, I realized my dream of starting an attention coaching business shortly after taking a voluntary buy-out from the automotive industry. My business is in a relatively new field that coaches people to overcome challenges associate with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or Attention Deficit Disorder although someone doesn’t need a diagnosis to benefit. Clients have been motivated to improve academic performance and develop time-saving routines at home among other results. To learn more, visit me at

Thanks Laura! And share what results you'd like to see materialize more quickly in your own career! Is there a business you'd like to start? Are you thinking about coaching as a career? What strategies have worked for you to get faster results in reaching your career goals?

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Career Advice for Working Moms

According to Harvard Business Publishing, 75% of women of child-bearing age (24 to 44) have a job or want one. As a career coach, I help many moms work smarter not harder. Use these simple strategies to keep your career on track while still being a super mom:

1. Keep networking. With all the demands on their time, most moms find they network less and less. By losing touch with your company or your industry you run the risk of missing out on opportunities. Instead, resolve to attend a minimum of 3 networking events a year and choose wisely. High profile events, industry-wide events and company events are great. Don’t forget your child’s games and practices too. Learn what other moms and dads do for a living and share contacts. Your next great career connection might be closer than you think.

2. Advocate for yourself. The fastest climbers up the corporate ladder are not the ones who do the most work. Rather they work strategically, focusing on work that impacts the bottom-line and gets them noticed. Whether you’re VP or mailroom clerk, you have the chance to make a difference. Don’t just do what you’re told. Come up with new ideas and strategies to get work done and save the company money. And let the higher-ups know about it when you catch them in the elevator.

3. Delegate. Getting it done right doesn't always mean doing it yourself. In fact, if you want to get more done in less time you need to delegate effectively. That means finding resources who are qualified, whom you can train to do work for you. Interns are a great option. They are eager to learn and don’t mind doing a lot of different tasks. But always make sure to have the delegatee repeat back the assignment; that way you can avoid any miscommunication and ensure the assignment is done right.

For Moms returning to work, check out my recent video on How to Rejoin the Workforce After a Break from Motherhood.

And if you have a working Mom you'd like to thank, share your comments here. I thank my Mom for showing me how to make a great living doing what you love. You see, she went to medical school after having 3 kids and with the support of my Dad and grandparents, achieved her dream too. Tell me about your Mom and what she taught you about having a great life and career. Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Don't Wait Too Long to Follow Your Dreams

This weekend I sang my heart out off-Broadway in NYC. The show, entitled "Follow Your Dreams" included me singing jazz classics - each with an inspirational message, as well as a mini-workshop where the emcee took the audience through a fun, interactive dream building session. All of this backed up by a fabulous trio of musicians on bass, piano and trumpet. To check out the bass and trumpet player, visit The Jazz Conceptions Orchestra.

As part of my "walk the talk" philosophy, it's been important to not only tell others to go after their dreams but to be an example myself. I am happy to report that many said it was my best performance yet! I've also made it a point to have others in the show who are walking examples of living the dream. This includes the band as well as the emcee for the show, Craig.

A former financial services consultant, Craig was laid-off in January. For some, losing a job is a negative but for Craig it has been a blessing in disguise. (It was for me too - read my layoff into a positive story.) Resident travel writer for for the past 3 years, Craig traveled the world with consulting and published many of his travel adventures. Now with 20 stories in his portfolio, Craig is taking a chance on his dream of becoming a full-time writer.

First he started by taking a Vocation Vacation where he spent two intense days being mentored by a professional travel writer. Next he put himself "out there" as a writer by appearing on Fox & Friends for a career change segment. He also took me up on an offer of career coaching, writing out his day-in-the-life vision as a professional writer. Now four months later, Craig's dream career is becoming reality. He is writing for travel and cultural blogs as well as pursuing several ghost writing opportunities. He has room to grow to get back to his Wall Street level salary but he's excited to use this time to invest in his dream career.

One of the songs I sang in the show was made famous by Madeleine Peyroux, called Don't Wait Too Long. It says, "Take a chance, play your part!" Well Craig is not only taking a chance on his career, he is also playing his part in inspiring others. Thank you for walking the talk Craig!

If you've taken a chance on a new career, share it here. How did you do it? It's okay if you're not there yet. Just share what part you would most like to play in life and career. Don't Wait Too Long because "time can slip away."

Sunday, April 19, 2009

It's Never Too Late to Follow Your Dreams

Have you ever felt uninspired? Have you ever thought about passion and purpose only to feel as if you don't really have much of either? If so, you are definitely not alone. Many of my clients come to me for help uncovering their true aspirations. (To read my article on Finding Your Purpose, click here.)

The key is to recognize that 1) you DEFINITELY do have passion and purpose. It may only be a a little burning pilot light but deep within you there is a knowing of who you are and what you're in this life to become. And 2) sometimes you need a spark to fan that flame into a beautiful, blazing fire.

For me that pilot light was burning for my desire to sing. I love helping people with careers but part of me always dreamt of being a singer. I never thought it was something I could make a living at so I didn't sing at all. Until recently.

About 2 years ago, a colleague was coaching me about writing and said, "You should take a writing class." Immediately a thought sprang to mind from deep within, "If you're going to take a writing class, you have to take a singing class FIRST. You want to be a singer not a writer." It was an epiphany!

I immediately started surfing the web to find a singing coach but there were so many options, I didn't know which to choose. I emailed a contact I had met at SIRIUS XM who was a career opera singer for recommendations. Coincidentally, she gave voice lessons and also needed some career coaching, so we set up a barter.

It was as if my little pilot light of a dream had sparked into a flame! I started taking lessons and after about a year and a half of building my skills and confidence, I was ready for my first cabaret show. That was last July. To see a clip, click here.

That show was one of the scariest and most rewarding things I've ever done. I'm also convinced it sparked many other great opportunities in my career. After my first cabaret show I was asked to do more career talk radio on SIRIUS XM. To tune into for free to my weekly radio show, click here. And after my second show in October of last year, I was asked to make my first appearance on CNN as a career expert. To see a clip, click here.

Now this coming Saturday, April 25th from 4-5pm I'm putting on my Follow Your Dreams cabaret once again. I've been blessed with a fabulous trio of musicians trained at none other than Juilliard! All the songs I sing have an inspirational message and you even get the chance to think about and share your own dreams as part of the show. To learn more, click here.

I recently saw an off-Broadway show on the life of the "first lady of song" Ella Fitzgerald. Seeing that show inspired me and fanned the flames even more. It's my hope that if you're in need of a little inspiration, that you'll join me next Saturday at Don't Tell Mama in NYC from 4-5pm. Life don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Government Career Advice Q & A

My radio interview this week with Stewart Liff, author of Managing Your Government Career sparked some great listener emails. Stewart was kind enough to respond to the additional questions with the inside scoop on landing a government job!

Question: How do you get around the system? No doubt there are many of us with great credentials but otherwise shouldn't waste our time due to gaps in our employment, bad employers or firms that have been merged, purged, bought and sold so that we can't provide references. Is this a lost cause? If so, are there still opportunities to work for the government without the paperwork? Consulting? Appointments by elected officials?

Answer: There are several ways to work for the government. The most direct way is to become a government employee. If you do not have references to cover the immediate past, this will not disqualify you for government employment, as they are not really taken into account until the end of of the selection process. At that point, if they like you well enough to tentatively select you, the odds are that a gap in your employment will not be a concern, particularly if it is driven by the economy, which everyone understands has had an adverse impact on many people. Consulting opportunities certainly exist with the government, but there are a wide variety of rules and regulations that govern this process. You can 1) try and consult directly with the government, which often involves having to either bid for government contracts that are announced to the public; 2) get on a GSA schedule as an approved vendor; or 3) work for a company that consults with with the government. Political appointments are generally at a high level and often, but not always go to people who were involved in the most recent Presidential campaign.

Question: Are there professionals we can hire to do the paperwork for us? How much? For the working person, it may well be worth $500 to $1,000 when we don't have the time to do it ourselves.

Answer: I'm sure there are, especially retired Human Resources experts. However, the most important part of the application process is your resume, which you should develop on your own. Once that is completed you can use that for every job announcement you are interested in (although you should customize it for different jobs.) Beyond that, all you would have to do is either answer several questions designed to identify your knowledge, skills and abilities (KSA's) or respond to a series of multiple choice questions. Once you have applied for a few jobs, the process will pretty much be the same and the amount of work involved in submitting your application should drop precipitously.

Question: Does the government use recruiters/headhunters?

Answer: Not that I am aware. The people who get the best jobs with the government follow the strategies I've laid out in "Managing your Government Career." They apply only for the jobs that are a good fit for them, they submit a first-class application that distinguishes themselves from the competition and they come to the interview on time and well prepared.

Thanks to Stewart Liff for sharing his insights. If you have a career or industry you'd like to learn more about, share your comments here. Life's too short not to do work you love! Here's to us all Making a Great Living.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Ready to work for Uncle Sam? Government Careers and How to Land Them

Interested in one of the 48000 job openings with Uncle Sam and almost 26000 employment opportunities for students?

Tune in today for my special "Where the Government Jobs Are" segment on Making a Living with Maggie at 4pm EST/1pm PST on Martha Stewart Living Radio SIRIUS 112/XM 157. My guest will be Stewart Liff, author of Managing Your Government Career.

According to Stewart who began his government career in 1974, you need to put together a solid package of information to land a government job - from detailed work history, to education transcripts, to salary information. It's this information that the hiring manager will use to decide which government level you fit into and if you have the necessary experience.

Also most challenging for people not used to applying for government careers are the additional questions you need to answer as part of the application. Supplemental Qualification Statements (SQS) can contain over 100 detailed questions about your skills and experience.

It may take patience to apply for a government job but once you land one, you can make a difference. As evidenced by my guest later today Stewart Liff - winner of the President's Rank Award for Meritorious Service. Join me today and learn more about how you can make a great living working for Uncle Sam!

Have you applied for a government job or been in a government career? What tips have worked for you in landing a job and building a fulfilling career within federal, state or local government? What are the pros and cons of this path? Share your advice!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Real Life Success Story - Using the Downturn to Springboard into a New Career

When times are uncertain, it can feel safest to hunker down and wait out the storm. It's an approach many are taking, just being thankful for having a job at all. My concern with this approach are the missed opportunities. People who were never really happy in their careers to begin with, are now settling for a less than rewarding career path.

Perhaps its time to take a different approach. Perhaps it's time to see opportunity in change. In my webinar earlier this week, this was the central message and for my clients, many are now seeing this as the perfect time to reinvent themselves and their careers.

If you feel the same, join me this Wednesday, April 8th for a very special Making a Living with Maggie on Martha Stewart Living Radio SIRIUS 112 and XM 157 (listen free here). One of my very own clients. Laura Rolands of will be on hand to share her very real story of successful career change, using the economic downturn as a springboard.

Together Laura and I will share tips and advice to help you move your career forward in new and interesting ways. Tune in and join the conversation during this live radio broadcast and call in with your specific career questions at 1-866-675-6675.

You'll not only learn something new when it comes to managing your career but also get the inspiration and motivation you need to make your ideal career a reality now!

What success story would you like to see happen in your career? Already made a career change and want to share your story - comment here, now!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Landing Your Dream Job in a Recession

Many thanks to my colleague and fellow career coach Allison Cheston for the opportunity to guest post on her blog for Allison has appeared on my radio show and is a career change expert and authority on executive search.

My guest post, "Landing Your Dream Job in a Recession: Why Now is No Time to Settle" is available now on Allison's Career Change blog. Here is a sample tip from that post: To land a job you have to be the best at what you do. Employers have their pick of candidates. In order to stand out, you must focus on positions where you are particularly talented. Each one of us is a unique individual with a unique set of skills and talents. Align those talents with your dream job and you will stand out from the crowd.

Click here to read more of my tips and advice on how to go after your ideal career!

What's your dream job? What would you LOVE to be doing right now? What do you need to make it a reality?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Retirement - still possible in a bad economy?

Many baby boomers are choosing to stay in their jobs given the economic downturn. And for those who've lost their jobs, retirement can seem challenging to reach.

Join me this Wednesday 4pm EST/1pm PST as I interview CNBC's resident retirement expert Bill Losey. A certified financial planner and author of "Retire in a Weekend! The Baby Boomers Guide to Making Work Optional", Bill will share the key steps to retire despite a bad economy. Also on the show, Danny Kofke, author of "How to Survive (and perhaps thrive) on a Teacher's Salary."

All that and your career questions answered on Making a Living with Maggie SIRIUS 112 and XM 157. Hope you can tune in! For a free trial of SIRIUS, click here.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Top 10 Growing Industries for Jobs

If you missed me on CNN this week, you have another chance to hear where the jobs are.

Tune in for my interview on The Bill Handel Show KFI AM 640 LIVE from Southern California today (Mar 19th) at 10:30am eastern/7:30am pacific. Bill hosts the #1 rated morning show in the area with more than a million listeners. I'll be talking about the top 10 growing industries and how to transition into a new career!

For those not living in Southern California you can tune in LIVE by clicking here. If you don't have a chance to tune in LIVE then a podcast will be available for download here after the show.

Hope you can tune in!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

New Ways to Avoid Layoffs, Today at 4pm EST SIRIUS 112/XM 157

Layoffs actually cost companies more than they save.

That's according to Work Life Fit expert Cali Williams Yost, my guest today on Making a Living with Maggie (SIRIUS 112/XM 157 4pm EST). To tune in using a free trial of SIRIUS, click here.

Last week, during her interview on Public Radio International's The Takeaway, Cali highlighted that managers think firing someone who makes $50,000 a year saves $50,00a year, but the research shows it's costing them between $75,000 and $125,000. Cali advises companies instead to use flexibility, such as reduced schedules/salaries, adding unpaid vacation days, furloughs/sabbaticals, etc., as a better approach to reducing labor expenses because it preserves the profit-generating productivity and engagement critical for recovery. Click here for more details in Cali's blog post.

Unfortunately many companies are turning to layoffs to save costs at this time. If you or someone you know has been let go from a job recently, there are steps you can take to recover. Join me tomorrow (Thurs, March 19th at 8pm EST) for a one hour webinar on Leveraging Change to Move Your Career Forward. Click here to learn more and email me at to sign up.

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. ~Author unknown

Friday, March 13, 2009

Guest Post: Career Advice on the Growing Field of Environmental Careers

My client Julie, Principal at Ecology and Environment, Inc. is a prime example of a person making a great living while making a difference. Read below for more on a day in the life with Julie and what career opportunities are available in the growing field of environmental careers...

Maggie - thanks so much for inviting me to write on your blog. Working with you definitely helped me think through how to match my career with my personal priorities. I do feel fortunate with the work that I do.

No day is ever quite the same as the next in my job, though there are consistent themes. We are an environmental consulting firm so we deal mainly with issues that affect human health and the environment.

Specifically our mission is to find workable, sustainable solutions to any environmental and human health problem that could pose a concern to human settlements and natural eco-systems. What this means is that I could be working on a contingency plan for water resources one day and be reviewing a climate action plan for a University the next. The topics are wide ranging but the purpose is singular. We try to make our communities better places to live.

As a Principal with the firm, I am responsible for directing client relationships and engagements, business development and mentoring junior staff. One of my primary goals for any client engagement is to make sure our clients and staff receive the recognition they deserve for their efforts. This year one of my clients is presenting our work at the 2009 American Water Works Association Annual Conference and Exhibition. We are very excited for them.

There are so many different types of jobs related to the environment. I have friends who are investors in start-up enviro-tech companies, others who are Corporate Sustainability public relations specialists and still others who focus on specific aspects such as energy conservation. The field is quite broad and growing. What I am really pleased about is that environmental work is no longer just seen as tree hugging. There are real operational and economic reasons to incorporate environmental concerns into businesses and our communities. Energy efficiency, scarce resources, mitigating natural disasters are just a few.

I encourage anyone who is interested in helping to shape our future pursue a career related to the environment. I have found it most rewarding.

Thank you Julie. Click here for more information on environmental careers. Are you looking to change careers into the growing environmental field? Is it your dream job to make a living and make a difference? Perhaps now is the perfect time for a career change.

Friday, March 06, 2009

Special Webinar: Leveraging Change to Move Your Career Forward 3/19 8pm EST

"I totally agree with Maggie that things happen for a reason - and "change"
allows us to move on because it is the right time. With every bad situation - always look for the positive side."
- webinar participant

Change is the one constant we can count on. I learned that early on in my career when my employer (Arthur Andersen) shut its doors and 80,000 of us across the world were out of work. It's difficult to go through a layoff. Feelings of shock, anger and fear can be overwhelming.

I understand career impacting change and have lived through it and you can too. To help you deal with the career changes affecting you, I'm offering a special webinar on leveraging change Thursday March 19th from 8-9pm EST.

In this one hour interactive session, I'll share a three step process for not only recovering from a career impacting change but also understanding how to use change to your advantage and come out better for it in your career. There will be time for questions to address specific challenges you're having as well. The webinar price is $19.95. For additional information and to sign up, email me at

Here's what participants have said about this webinar in the past:
"Maggie is a true sage and has an incredibly positive outlook on life...Not only was it informative - it gave us a chance to be among all those whose positions have been eliminated and capture some of the feelings that we all probably feel..."

All is not lost if you've been laid-off. Change can work to your advantage if you know how to leverage it. Register and join the webinar on March 19th at 8pm EST.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Avoiding Job Scams

Recently, I was dismayed to hear about the number of people getting roped into job scams. Sarah Needleman reported in the Wall Street Journal that "There isn't always a job behind an online job posting."

According to the article, sometimes employment ads are an underhanded way to get you to listen to a career marketing pitch or worse yet, an identity theft or money laundering scheme. With rising unemployment, the scammers are looking to take advantage of people in desperate situations.

To avoid getting scammed, follow these tips noted in the article:

--Be suspicious if information is lacking. If the job posting does not list details on the hiring company or position, it might not be real. If a name is listed, try calling the company to make sure the job posting is legitimate.
--Don't share important information. On your resume, consider using a PO Box instead of your real address and a disposable email address.
--Check for complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau ( against the hiring company or job placement agency noted in the employment ad.

Still the best tride and true advice if you don't want to be the victim of a scam - If it seems to good to be true, it probably is.

Have you or someone you know been the victim of a job hunting scam? If you've experienced a job scam or successfully avoided one, share your story in the comments below. It will help us all stay informed and protected!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Want your dream career? Learn from your Heroes and Tune into My Radio Show

I've been working remotely these past few weeks from Southern California. Soaking up the sun and beautiful coastline views. I've been taking client appointments, writing my blog, even doing my radio show live from San Diego. It's fun to connect in person with my West Coast clients and visit with my sister (and otherwise Virtual Assistant) who lives here as well.

Besides getting a break from the cold weather of the Northeast, I've also been happily surprised by the admiration of my clients and friends at my working vacation. They are all so happy that I am "living the dream".

What's amazing is that not so many years ago, I too was saying the same to Deepak Chopra on my radio show. I remember being fascinated by a day in his life living and working in Maui. To be as inspired as he needs to be in his chosen career, it only made sense that his work location fit the task. Seeing one of my heroes go after and create what he wanted, only inspired me more to go after and get what I wanted.

--Look to your heroes. Write down of list of the 2 or 3 people you admire most and why. What qualities or accomplishments or lifestyles do your heroes have that you want?
--If they achieved, you can too. You can only admire qualities in others that you possess yourself. If your heroes achieved great things, that just means it's possible for you too.
--Learn from their mistakes too. Your heroes are only human and have had ups and downs just like everyone else. Invest some time in reading the turning points in your heroes' careers. You'll find that they've had setbacks too. Setbacks that they overcame and you can too.

I'd like to know who your heroes are. Who do you admire and why? What do you hope to achieve that your heroes have achieved? Living the dream is closer than you think.

For more inspiration and career advice, tune into my radio show, "Making a Living with Maggie", Wednesdays at 4pm EST/1pm PST on SIRIUS 112/XM 157. This week, I'm joined by self-made millionaire Christine Comaford who'll share tips form her New York Times best-selling book - Rules For Renegades: How to Make More Money, Rock Your Career and Revel in Your Individuality. I'll also have a day in the life with a top hotel concierge from The New York Palace hotel. Click here for a free three-day trial of SIRIUS so you can tune in!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Career Success Starts with Goals (Tune in Wed 4pm EST)

It takes energy and focus to achieve your goals especially in an economic downturn.

Tune in to my radio show, Making a Living with Maggie, this Wednesday at 4pm EST/1pm PST on SIRIUS 112/XM 157 for uplifting career advice. I’ll be joined by Feng Shui expert Julie Anna Alvarez who will help us create vision boards. You’ll learn how to set goals for your career so that doors open more easily for you.

For a free trial of SIRIUS, click here.

You’ll also learn what a day in the life is like for Amy Abrams, co-founder of In Good Company Workplaces (IGC). IGC's creative approach to office space is not only innovative but is enabling other entrepreneurs to reach their goals as well. I should know, I'm a member!

Perhaps you have a career goal you’d like to achieve. Share it here and tune in. Maybe you’re not feeling like your goal is possible. Tune in and find out how to generate positive energy around your idea. I'll will help you create a new vision for your career.

Above all, remember...
It is never too late to be who you might have been. ~George Eliot

Monday, February 09, 2009

Landed a job through online networking?

This week on my radio show, I'll be speaking with a man who has over 25,000 connections on networking site In anticipation of the show, I wanted to hear from you in an informal survey:

1) Have you listed your professional profile on sites like
2) Have you found a job using online networking?
3) Do you prefer online or in-person networking when it comes to landing a job?

Please comment on your answers to these questions and share your networking success stories.
Most jobs are still found through referral. If we can help each other network more effectively, we may very well thrive not just survive this recession!

For more information on how to work your network, visit for my advice quoted in The Boston Globe!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail? Tune in for my segment on CNN today (2/3) at 2:30pm est

If you're looking for a better career, tune into my segment on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips today at 2:30pm est. I'll be talking about how to create your "plan B" (in case you lose your job) and more importantly your plan to get into your ideal career.

And for more inspiration and ideas, tune into my radio show, "Making a Living with Maggie" tomorrow (Wed) at 4pm eastern on SIRIUS 112/XM 157. I'll help you manage your career as a brand and stand out in today's competitive marketplace! For more information and a free trial of SIRIUS radio go to:

"Every day may not be good, but there's something good in every day." ~Author Unknown

What would you do with your career if you knew you couldn't fail? If you share it here you increase your likelihood of it happening! And I'll be happy to help with ideas on how to make your dream a reality.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tune into CNN (Wed Jan 28th) at 2:30pm eastern and Learn What Every Job Seeker Needs to Know Now

As the number of those joining the laid-off ranks increases, it can feel as if opportunities are drying up. Tune in for my appearance on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips at 2:30pm eastern (Wednesday, Jan 28th) for tips and advice that every job seeker needs to know now. You'll gain new perspective and start to see the opportunities that exist for you!

I know what job seekers are going through. Just this week I volunteered to coach in a free program sponsored by and the New York Public Library. There were many coaches and even more coachees from various levels, backgrounds, and industries. All impacted by the downturn.

There is good news however. I was excited to help with ideas and solutions that the job seekers hadn't thought of. Here are highlights of the advice I shared and will expand on tomorrow on CNN:

--Separate your short and long-term strategy. You may need a job now to pay the bills but to provide yourself with lasting job security, you need a career. Too often I see people throwing themselves into the next hot industry or job without thought to what they'll do after the bubble bursts. Don't jump on the bandwagon. Rather focus on a career path that will keep you happy and satisfied for more than the next year or two.
--Make the transition easy on yourself. Identify the top one or two skills you already possess that an employer would find valuable even in a downturn. Are you good at bringing people together to execute on a project? Do you have great analytical skills to be able to solve problems? Forbes just announced the top companies to work for. Many are are taking advantage of the downturn to snap up top talent. You are top talent in the areas you excel in - so go after the jobs!
--Prepare your pitch. To get your foot in the door, you'll need a compelling pitch that communicates your value as a potential hire quickly and clearly. Invest the time and energy to work with a coach on your customized elevator pitch and visit sites like You can not only develop your pitch online but also see examples from others in your industry.
--Exude and exhibit confidence. If you don't believe you're a worthwhile hire, no one else will. Now more than ever it's essential that you maintain your self worth. Desperation will not land you a job but confidence and poise will. Testimonials are a great help as well. Ask colleagues and former bosses to recommend you on sites like Employers use sites like these to research candidates so make sure you are putting your best image forward.

What do you need to know as a job seeker to land your next opportunity? What advice has worked for you in getting a new job during challenging times? I welcome your comments and ideas.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Work Life Fit - How to find yours in 2009!

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing work life fit expert Cali Williams Yost on my radio show. In case you missed it, tune in to SIRIUS 112 and XM 157 for a replay this Saturday at 6am eastern. Also here are highlights of the tips Cali shared:

First, change the way you think about work and life…

1) Manage your work+life fit day-to-day, not just during big life events. You can no longer afford to have your work and life just “happen,”. If you don’t spend at least some time thinking about and organizing the things you have to do, and the things you want to do, you will get even less done.

2) Understand that there is no “balance,” or right answer for how work should fit into your life. Your fit will not look like anyone else’s. The answer is what works for you and your job—it needs to be a win-win.

Now that you have the right mindset, here are some action steps to take in 2009:

3) Keep a work+life fit calendar with all of your work and personal appointments/goals/responsibilities in one place. I've tried every process and tool to help manage my work+life fit and what I keep coming back to is my calendar to effectively manage the way everything fits into my ever-changing work+life fit as a mother, wife and business-owner.

How do you begin?

• Figure out what type of calendar works for you. I like Outlook for entering “to dos” electronically. But, because I am more comfortable working off a paper copy, I print it out and carry it around.

• Enter in as many personal appointments and plans as you can think of for the next six months (a year is even better but could be too overwhelming), from doctors appointments to dates with your partner.

• Finish by entering work related appointments including “quiet time” and vacation days. (Tip: for vacation more than a week, block off two days before you depart and two days after you return on your calendar. That will remind you not to over-schedule yourself so that you don’t start vacation completely fried, and return immediately overwhelmed.)

• If there are periods when you business is busier than other times, note that on your calendar. For example, accountants are busier certain times of year than others.

Then, start actively managing your work+life fit calendar. When a new work project or personal responsibility appears, go to the calendar and ask yourself:

• Can I do it given what else is on my plate today, this week, this month?
• What do I need to shift or let go of in order to manage my work+life fit?
• Am I leaving time for activities that keep me healthy and functioning at my best (e.g. going to the gym, shopping for healthy food, sleep)?

4) Finally, set time aside—daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually—to check in and answer the question, “what do I want?” Check in and ask yourself what you want your work+life fit to look like and compare it to the work+life fit you see in your calendar and life.

Yes, times are challenging, but now more than ever it’s imperative that you take control of the way work fits into your life. Use these tips to make 2009 the year you start managing your work+life fit in a way that allows you to bring the best of yourself to work and to the rest of your life!

More information about managing your work+life fit can be found in Cali’s book, Work+Life: Finding the Fit That’s Right for You (2005 Riverhead), and in her Work+Life Fit and Fast Company blogs, at

What's your work life fit strategy for 2009? What approach works for you in finding time for your most important priority?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Guest Post: Important Reminder About Your Resume

Given that many of us are updating our resumes to keep up in this dynamic economy, what a fitting time for a reminder on resume ethics. This one comes compliments of TJ Hanson, Associate Editor of the Digital Student Blog on ...

When it comes to your resume, think twice about embellishing your past experiences.

One of the key elements in the job search process is to put together a well-polished resume. But no matter how attractive it may appear, a student’s experiences and accomplishments are the critical factors that set the stage for a potential interview and the possibility of a job offer.

Because of this fact, job seekers cannot afford to be too modest. They must sell themselves in the most positive manner possible, finding ways to make those experiences and accomplishments jump off the page.

However, the need to stand out has led many a candidate to stretch the truth and in some cases downright fabricate their list of achievements. These individuals reconcile their actions based upon a definitive belief that employers cannot possibly check the factual content of each resume.

That belief is one all potential job seekers should set aside. The public humiliation of college football coach George O’Leary is proof positive that such actions can come back to haunt an applicant at the worst possible moment.

Have you ever felt tempted to embellish your resume? Do you think it matters if you stretch the truth just a little? Have you ever caught a candidate with a lie on his/her resume?

Friday, January 09, 2009

7.2% unemployment: How You Can Still Find a Job (Tune into CNN today from 1-3pm est)

The Labor Department released a lower than expected jobs report today which is relatively good news. The challenge is that the national unemployment rate rose to 7.2%, affecting a majority of states, metropolitan areas and most major industry sectors.

Yet all is not lost. You can still find a job in slowing economy and my clients are proving it. Here's how:

--Target your search. Most people's reaction in a bad economy is to flood the market with resumes for any and all remotely-related jobs. Employers don't want just anyone. They want people who can solve their problems. Research your employer to find out what challenges they are having that you can solve.
--Revise your resume to clearly demonstrate results. Your resume should not just be a list of tasks and activities. Rather include how your efforts saved the company money, or got results faster. It will show you add value to the bottom line with your work.
--Don't be afraid to go after what you want. The statitics look bad and they are. However, my clients who are taking the steps above are finding and landing jobs even in industries where there are challenges. Industries are changing and jobs are changing yes but that doesn't mean opportunities don't exist. I realize it's a challenge to do this on your own. If you're looking for support in targeting your job search efforts, sign up for one of my upcoming teleclasses on taking action or finding your ideal career. You'll get positive, pragmatic steps to move your career forward despite the tough economy.

Tune in today for my segments on CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips from 1-3pm eastern and submit your specific career questions via email. I'll be responding to viewer emails throughout the show.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Facing Career Change in 2009? Tune in For Positive, Practical Advice Wed (Jan 7)

2009 has already been a year of change. I've heard from many people who have come back to work from the holidays only to find a pink slip. Some felt shock. Others anger and still others relief. All were left with many questions as to what to do next.

To help, I'm focusing my radio appearances this week on Martha Stewart Living Radio on SIRIUS 112 and XM 157 on positive and practical steps you can take if you're dealing with an unexpected layoff or want to shift careers this year. All segments are live and listener questions are welcome at 1-866-675-6675. For a free 3-day trial of SIRIUS visit

Tune in this Wednesday Jan 7th to SIRIUS 112 or XM 157:
--7:30am eastern, I'll share advice on the key steps to take if you've been laid-off, what to say to family and friends and how to get support if you haven't planned for a pink slip.
--2pm eastern, I'll be talking about where the jobs are in 2009.
--4pm eastern, a full hour of "Making a Living with Maggie." I'll be joined by author and fellow career expert Marci Alboher to talk about how you can shift careers in 2009!

Also check out my new 2009 line-up of teleclasses, webinars and group coaching and get the help you need with your career this year.

Are you dealing with an unexpected layoff? Is it time you shifted careers to something new in 2009? What career goals and ideas would you like to see come to fruition in 2009?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Making Time For What's Most Important

As I write this, I'm creating my plan for 2009. I'm tearing out each month of the calendar and posting them on the wall by my desk. It's amazing to see all the days of the year and all the possibilities.

My goal is to make sure I make time for the most important activities in my life and career. Key areas I'm planning for include:
--Commitments I've made for radio, workshops and speaking
--New teleclasses and webinars I'll be delivering in 2009 and
--Inspirational cabaret shows I'll be putting on throughout the year.

Of course I'm also planning time off to rest and recharge! I used to feel stifled when planning my schedule in advance. I thought that if everything was set up, I couldn't be spontaneous. Over the years, I've realized the opposite is true.

By making sure the most important items are in my schedule, I have freedom to say yes or no to other interesting things that come along. I've actually left room for them as well. In the past, I felt compelled to say yes to everything only to end up worn out. This year will be different.

If you need to make time for what's important check out Cheryl Richardson's book Take Time for Your Life and click here for other helpful resources I recommend.

What are the most important items for your calendar in 2009? What experiences, goals, events, do you want to make sure you have time for in this New Year?