Get Experience without Starting Over (Newsletter Vol 1 Issue 12)

Live A Better Life Newsletter
(Tools and Tips for Intentional Living)

Volume 1 Issue 12, August 17, 2009
Get Experience without Starting Over
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In This Issue:

Gear Up for Fall
Get Experience without Starting Over
Recommended Resources
Contact Me
About this Newsletter

Gear Up for Fall

It’s the time of year we start thinking of school days. Fall is just around the corner, and school supplies are on store shelves. And that can lead us to think about our own education and learning, and how that can serve us in our career of choice. It can also trigger anxiety when we think of how much we need to learn, especially if we want to change what we do. This newsletter will help you manage that anxiety with some practical steps to take. (By now, you know I’m all about taking action to get unstuck.) Try some of these ideas to find out what kind of knowledge and experience you really need.

While we’re on the subject of education, I’m excited to offer some new workshops in and around Chicago in September and October (click here for details). I’d love to see you there.

Have a great day!

Lori Howard
Life, Career, and Business Coach
Your Coach for a Better Life!

Get Experience without Starting Over

“Lori, I know what I want to do, but that requires starting all over. I’d have to go back to school, and I just can’t do that now.”

So many clients come to me with this giant obstacle, and are often paralyzed by it. This is where they get stuck. My response is always “Are you sure? How do you know that? Let’s do some exploring.” Much of the time, it turns out this obstacle is just an excuse to not take action, to not go after what you want.

But how do you know for sure what is truly necessary? Do your own research! Replace your fears and suppositions with some concrete data and facts. Here are seven ways to do just that.

  1. Pick up a job guide at : a fabulous low-cost resource that offers great guides on how to break into over 100 careers and jobs.
  2. Online search. Ask your favorite search engine what you want to know, and explore the hits. For example, “What do I need to do to work in a hospital?” “How do I become a published author?” “How do I start my own business?”
  3. Visit your local library and ask your Reference Librarian for help. They can direct you to resources to explore.
  4. Informational Interviews.These have long been recommended as a tool to help you get a job. Instead of using it to get a job, use it to find out what the job is. Call up your doctor and say “I want to find out what your work week is like – as I’m interested in medicine. Can we talk?” or call your local day spa and ask to speak with your massage therapist. The key to this interview is asking the right questions. Plan your interview in advance. What do they like about their job? What don’t they like? What is a typical day like? What makes them successful? What is challenging? What are their hours like? How did they get the job they have now? What would they recommend to someone just getting started?
  5. Take a class. There are many things I thought would be fun to do for a job, which I quickly learned were not for me, just by taking an Adult Education class (like “How to be a Private Eye” or “Drawing 101”).
  6. Learn by doing. A quick way to learn what skills you are lacking is to do the thing you want to do. If you want to be a writer, in addition to talking to writers, reading message boards by writers, and reading books about how to become an author, make time to just sit down and write. If you want to be a pastry chef, make desserts for family and friends. Start doing what you love, and learn from the experience. You will quickly discover what you don’t know, and what you need to learn.
  7. Volunteer. This is really an extension of “Learn by doing.” Get experience by volunteering. Volunteer to create a web site or design a logo for a local charity in need, decorate a cake or cookies for your church’s bake sale, offer to write a newsletter for your local chamber of commerce. Find a way to offer to do for free what you want to do for your career, and get experience (which you can later include on your resume or use as a reference).

People think that because they have done one career, followed one path for so many years, in order to change directions, they have to go back and do it all over again, in the same way. That is simply not true. You never have to start over. You always start where you are, with your current skills, knowledge and experiences. Much of what you already know and have already learned will have application in your new area of interest.

By doing research and taking the actions listed above, you will find that you are no longer paralyzed by the fear of having to begin anew. You now have information on which you can take action. You have options to consider, choices to make. You are no longer stuck. Take some steps now, and let me know how it goes.

I’d love to hear from you, post your thoughts below!

Recommended Resources

Still feeling stuck? Or maybe just not making progress as quickly as you’d like? Check out these new workshops I’m offering this fall in Chicago (some of them are at no charge).

Contact Me

I welcome your feedback, comments and questions. Also, if you’re interested in contributing to this Newsletter, email me your submissions.

Tell me what you think about this newsletter by posting a comment below.


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About this Newsletter

© 2009 Lori Howard. All rights reserved.

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Client Stories

I hired Lori because I was feeling stuck in my job and needed to find a career that was more rewarding, more challenging, and more suited to me.  In the arts, it's difficult to find a job you enjoy that also pays enough to live on, but Lori helped me do just that! 

As we worked together, Lori always helped give me that extra nudge when I was having trouble taking the next step toward success and acknowledged and applauded me when I accomplished something that I'd been struggling with. 

Thanks to Lori, I got out of my 8-year rut at the same job and discovered a new career I love that brings me all of the things I want in a job--creativity, variety, challenge, learning, flexibility, teamwork, and cake.  With no professional experience but a desire to learn, Lori helped me find ways to become a cake decorator--first on my own and then, eventually, at a reputable cake shop.  Now, something I used to do just for fun has become something I make my living doing, and each workday flies by!

Emily Sweeney, Chicago, IL