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!