Persistence: Soul Salt Award 2013

My entire collection of “greatest accomplishments” has been accumulated through the undying power of persistence.

Look around and see if the same holds true for you.

Daniel Goleman distinguished the importance of being able to motivate oneself and persist in the face of obstacles and frustrations as one of the four key characteristics of emotional intelligence.

Ibarra outlines persistence as the ability to survive the rocky period between working identities. This key component is required for successful  career reinvention.

Making the most of change and managing your way through transition, according to William Bridges, requires a continued emphasis on managing your mind. Every major shift will demand that  we carry on, and make it through our transitions by NOT aborting the process.

Perhaps you can see how come we make such a big darn deal about people who persist in the face of difficulty.

Today we are proud to announce the name of our 2013 SoulSalt Persistence Award recipient – Ashley Mwongela.  She is a deserving of this award as it gets. We wish her well and want her to know we BELIEVE in her dream too!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8z2N9J0I0Q&list=UUz5cmwGtsK5VuCkNaytpQjA&index=1[/youtube]

Want to see more SoulSalt award recipients, click here!

 

 

Reinventing Your Career

Have you been downsized?

Has your industry changed drastically leaving you feeling irrelevant?

Do you need/want work that holds meaning?

Are you unable to leverage your strengths in your job and accomplish things you love doing with your talent?

A powerful set of tools, models and strategies are available for anyone who answered yes to these three questions.

Common wisdom may tell you:

  • decide what you need to do next, then craft a plan and execute it
  • go back to school and get more training

Both are MYTHS that often only work for a tiny percent of individuals.

Career reinvention is not a straight path. It is a crooked journey of experimenting and trying out a variety of options before settling into the perfect spot. It can be filled with fear, vulnerability, excitement and opportunity.

 

In this interview, Lyn Christian of SoulSalt Inc. discusses a reinvention journey in process with one of her clients. See for yourself how the reality of crafting a whole new career can look.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJdwRZjuHZo[/youtube]

The next Reinvention Group begins January 14th @ 5:30, there are only a couple spots left so make sure to sign up asap! Contact info@soulsalt.com, or call Shannon at 801-631-8572

 

Do The Dumb Thing First, Stress Free Career Reinvention

When you are facing a brand new page in life, when you are afraid because you are reinventing a working identity, artist Stan Fellows suggests that we do the “Dumb Thing” first.

Well, maybe he didn’t exactly say that about career reinvention.  Although he recently reworked the way he earns a living.
What he has to say, and what I took from this sketchbook video clip was how to benefit from doing the most unpractical, logic void experiment first.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfrPudyUDbU[/youtube]

By doing the thing that seems impractical or silly we can relieve ourselves of excessive stress and pressure.  And in the process, we actually take steps. We move from fear and paralysis toward movement and eventual outcomes.

Taking those first, few steps to carve out a new way of life or a new career can be some of the most terrifying and clumsy. And yet, often they are the most critical. When we take these steps in a manner suggested by Fellows, we unplug from being overly concerned with outcomes. We start to get traction.

I am a student of career reinvention. Having changed my working identity at least seven times and coaching those currently in the process I know many of the strategies that support reinvention.

Here are a few first steps that you can take right now:

No matter where you are, stop thinking about change and start acting toward your next working identity.
Events forced me to act boldly, to act fearlessly, to take a chance and assess what really matters.” – Stan Fellows, a former acclaimed magazine illustrator who now paints landscapes along roadsides.

 

Post Script

Changing a career means we must redefine our working identity. How we’ve considered ourselves in past, professional roles has become a sort of identity. Healthy and sustainable career transition often follows an act-first-then-think-about-it sequence of events. The intimate connection we have with our identity at work has come from years of action. When we take on the process of reinventing how we work and who we are at work, we are wise to resort to the same method – take action first.

Let me know if I can assist you in your quest for a new life or a new career – info@soulsalt.com

More on Stan Fellows

A Week In The Life Of SoulSalt Inc.

Finding Your Truth and Living it

My work is often like play. And I love how our efforts at SoulSalt Inc. encompass supporting individuals to become a more enlivened and enlarged version of who they are. Last week for example we had a plethora of happenings that boosted the efforts of several individuals as they moved closer to their intended outcomes.

Monday started the week with a photo shoot. One client is stretching her horizons by picking up photography. We have been testing the capacities of our iPhone cameras. This week we dusted off my Canon Rebel and headed out on our private adventure, targeting street art and flowers. Here are some of the fruits of our labors.

Another individual has been gaining strength in her reinvention process. Several pounds lighter, and with major shifts in her personal habits, this client possesses a willingness to come out of the closet with an innovative new dream vocation. Blending her love for socialization, fun and enlightenment she invented Tarot Vino – a wine and tarot card reading party. Fully launching in July of 2012, you can connect now with Marcie to book your event. This team huddle, including Marcie, myself and SoulSalt’s Creative Assistant Jessica, scoped out version 2.0 of her site  www.tarotvino.com.  Check it out.

Calling all Super Heroes!
Most of you know me as coach to the re-inventor. A new designation was recently doled out by artist Cat Palmer. Cat and I met several weeks ago at a fundraiser/art show presented by our mutual friend Olivia.
I was invited to join a crew of female super heroes being gathered by Palmer for a photo shoot. And now the pics have been developed you can check out the antics and anecdotes captured that day. www.catpalmer.com

I have to thank Cat for the opportunity. I learned a thing or two about super heroes and super powers that I hadn’t realized. If you want to learn too, watch this.

This week will finish a group coaching engagement based on the concept of Career Reinvention. Here you see three of our clients interpreting messages from their intuitive collages. Previous sessions included research and exercises to gain insights about “self” in terms of strengths, passion, and communication patterns. Adding this intuitive element of “soul” to the mix is our second-to -final step in what has been a 12 week process. We’ll see where everyone nets out this week. However so far, two of our attendees have found new jobs that leave them satisfied and earning. One client joins us remotely because she’s already made a leap and moved to Austin, Texas where she knows she’ll find what she is looking for there (in terms of work). Another attendee has brought out a children’s book she is now ready to share. I just received an email from her describing how she is using this week to find the right illustrator for her project. That is a bold move! Watch our upcoming blogs for some of their  individual stories!

And before the week ended I was presenting a DISC (communication assessment and debrief) to the managing team of the Ogden, Paul Mitchell School. Then I headed back to S.L.C. to lead a business class crafted to assist entrepreneurs and solo-preneurs by improving their ability to focus and manage their workloads.  Several more classes like this are being hosted by Taylor Lamont at the Structural Integration Institute on South Temple and 400 East. We have three more classes to go and you might find one that you want to attend. See the event here!

It was a full week. It was a fun week. It was fulfilling. I have dedicated by professional pursuits to living my life and earning my living by doing what inspires me. I am living that reality. My clients are in process of living it as well. And even more importantly, I know it can happen for every single individual alive. Some people might think I’m “out there” or a bit crazy AND if what I do is crazy, I can assure you that it is a good sort of craziness.

If you want to find out how you can start living a more inspired life, please call and make an appointment for a free consultation. 801-463-5230

 

The 2012 SoulSalt Courage Award

Two strong constructs within my work are to:

  • Support people to clarify and align with their core value system
  • Support people through the process of career reinvention

This year’s Courage Award goes to a woman whose story embraces both and has unfolded right beneath my nose. Susan McLaughlin, my partner in life has simply yet bravely earned this award.

Having her livelihood placed on the line, Susan chose to leave a job in order to remain aligned with her personal values. This daring move has required that she quickly reinvent herself in the world of entrepreneurship (something she is approaching with as much skill and thoughtfulness as I’ve ever witnessed). Her story is best told by her own pen:

Recently I experienced a big shift in my life that has made me wonder.

 I wonder, what is it that drives a person to initiate a big change?

What is it that allows a person to take the next step, to change careers, a relationship, even a residence?

I took a big step…. no, I took a leap this Dec, 2011.

I have been practicing physical therapy since 2001. Four years ago I established myself as an outpatient physical therapist with a top notch healthcare company. I had an ideal position with a decent salary, potential to develop a pelvic health program and move into a leadership role.

During my years with this company, minute incongruencies clashed with my core values and began to take its toll. I had been packaging and storing these differences in a way that manifested as stress in my body. I started to observe that I mixed up words when I spoke, I transposed words when I wrote, I couldn’t finish my sentences, and I started to revert back to the childhood days when I couldn’t say my “Rs”.

I also noticed that despite all of the hours of stretching and restorative exercise™ during the week, my muscles just wouldn’t let go….Although I could feel that I was carrying more tension in my body than was healthy, I didn’t want to admit that my current job was contributing to this condition.

I now realize that my stress was caused by the friction of internal struggle. I have a belief that our bodies will heal if given the optimal environment. I wanted to work from my soul. However, I was working within a system where healing is something done to us and we wait for people to get sick, and then “cure” them with surgery and pills. I would have continued to work with this subtle inner struggle, but my company initiated a new policy that challenged me to really look at my core value of health and wellness.

You see, it is becoming a national healthcare trend to initiate a mandatory flu shot policy for all workers of large healthcare systems. My company followed suit this fall 2011. I had to make a decision: Do I sacrifice my personal health and compromise my immune system, or do I sacrifice a “good job” and a paycheck?

I realized that if I continued to make compromises to my core values, my physical body would eventually revolt, and then where would I be? I had to ask myself an important question: How could I stand for health and wellness when, by taking the flu shot and working for this company, I would be out of my personal integrity? 

I chose not to get the flu shot and I left my company. I was able to take that leap and land on my feet because I have an inner conviction that I know that my body has everything it needs to be vital. I stayed aligned to what I believe in. It wasn’t popular, nor was it profitable, however, I am committed to health and wellness and I will support others to do so as well. So I formed my own company and aptly named it, Align Integration and Movement, PLC. I intend to thrive and I intend to work with those who want to thrive as well.

Please feel free to visit www.alignintegrationandmovement.com and be sure to check out the class schedule. If something within Susan’s philosophy resonates with your own outlook on wellness, I recommend that you attend one of her Restorative Exercise™ classes now being held in Salt Lake !

Living in the Storm of the Neutral Zone

The oscillating space between what you’ve done in the past and the recalibration of what you’ll do in the future often involves choppy waters. We call these choppy waters the neutral zone of a working identity transition.

While in this zone it’s important to remember that the process of finding a new working identity should not be compared to digging around in your head for a single hidden treasure. We are not looking for that “one true thing” you can become. Instead, finding your way is comprised of a collection of explorative journeys within a variety of possibilities. All these possibilities begin in the realm of ideation and brainstorm.

Part of my job is to support the client through this choppy time by taking these ideas and concepts and converting them into actual single steps or small projects we call “experiments”.

These experiments give you a chance to step into a possibility to sense how it feels. We never know what will happen while experimenting, yet I can guarantee that each one informs us by offering up a piece of concrete – a block of experiential knowledge that informs future experiments and can be built upon.

Through her past connections and conversations, Victoria has been able to germinate three potential experiments.

She describes these as such:

  1. My coaching work with nonprofit arts professionals is slow to grow in part because people in this low-paying industry don’t always have the funds to pay for a coach even when they want one. I recently received an email with information about an opportunity for young arts professionals in California to apply for coaching scholarships. I will send out one of my bi-monthly communiqués with information about this funding source. The hope of course is that they will use any grant monies to hire me, but I know that simply sharing the information is an act of good will that is important in and of itself.
  2. I’ve been developing a program to support first time executive directors of in the nonprofit arts sector. I recently got a nibble from a national arts service organization that is interested in helping me pilot the program. They could provide me with fiscal sponsorship which would enable me to apply for project development grants, marketing support to get the word out about my product and the use of their distance learning software to create online courses. I’m not sure how this will play out, but knowing that a major player in my sector believes in the concept and wants to help is a terrific first step.
  3. A coaching client has been using Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People for some of our work together. It has excited her so much she’s been talking with her colleagues about it. She suggested I start a leadership book group using this book for her and others like her – she indicated that she and her colleagues would be willing to “pay me” to create a group to help them work through it together. Music to my ears.

 

When we change our career and we reinvent the manner in which we work we can’t follow conventional wisdom. No amount of self-reflection or pondering can substitute for jumping in and taking action. Once you jump in, as Victoria has, your vision becomes far more informed from that experiential vantage point. So if you are working on a career change, pull your head out of diving into the depths of thought. Plunge your entire self into the act of doing something.

To read the next entry of Victoria’s story click here.

 

To start at the beginning of Victoria’s story click here.

A New Working Identity

This section of my blog is dedicated to documenting and expanding on the concept of personal and/or professional reinvention. Documentation is delivered through the stories of current coaching clients while expanding the concept is delivered in entries such as this offering hints or resources.

Working identity metamorphosis is often a complex blend of excitement and fear. It undoubtedly benefits most from persistence and the acquisition of a support system. It cannot be rushed if you want the best outcome. I have found a single starting point that I would offer here as a key piece of free advice. That would be to read the book Working Identity.

Published by Harvard Business Press, this book has become a bible for me and my clients. It is the best resource you can if you are changing out an old career for a new one.

Get the book. Read it. Review it often to inform your transition.