Posts Tagged ‘career’

art-blueprint-brainstorming-8704When I was growing up, I wanted to be something different each year. An astronaut. A veterinarian. A dancer. A doctor. An actress. A marine biologist. A civil engineer. The list was long and quite varied in scope. I thought that would change when I was in college, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to be. So I majored in what I liked doing: musical theatre. One of the reasons I wanted to be an actor was so that I didn’t have to choose just one thing to be. I might play a lawyer in one role, a mom in another, a cowgirl, a showgirl, a fairy. Once, I even played half of a cow — the back half! I was always learning new things and experiencing new perspectives.

After college, I was a dancer, then an actor, then a graphic artist, then a paralegal. accounting-achievement-aerial-1043506Then I went to law school and became a lawyer. Finally, I had “one thing” I could be. And like acting, practicing law provides me with the opportunity to be different in each matter: to learn a client’s business, or learn about an entire industry, or practice in different venues. But even that was not sufficient diversity. While practicing law, I became a certified health coach, taught legal writing in law schools, began blogging about health and wellness, and started my freelance writing endeavor. Clearly, I STILL didn’t know what I wanted to be when I grew up.

And I’ve felt kinda bad about this. Shouldn’t I be able to focus on just my legal career? Luckily, I found this TED talk by Emilie Wapnick and I now know it’s not only ok, but good, that I am the way I am. She calls herself, and people like me, “multipotentialites.” She says a multipotentialite is someone “with many interests and creative pursuits.” She accurately describes our strengths: our ability to learn new things quickly, our ability to synthesize various sources and kinds of information into a cohesive and understandable new idea, and adaptability.

Now I can be happy that I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! Are you a multipotentialite too? Enjoy yourself!

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I am a panelist for this upcoming event: Healthy Eating Tips for Busy Lawyers on Thursday, January 12, 2012 from 9:00 am-10:30 am at the New York City Bar Association. Because the seminar is being sponsored by the bar association, it is geared toward lawyers. However, you don’t have to be a lawyer to attend and the information will be useful for anyone who is busy and trying to eat healthy despite a hectic schedule. The cost is $15 for bar association members and $25 for non-members.

I will be discussing the Ten Principles of a Healthy Diet. My co-panelists will also have great information to share.

Find all the details and register here.

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Here’s an interesting post at Owning Pink wherein Lissa Rankin describes how she keeps her energy levels high enough to do all the things she does, which include practicing medicine, writing books, teaching courses, blogging, and more! Her “secrets” include finding your passion and following it, surrounding yourself with great people, taking care of your body, being creative, and having “a good romp in the sack”!

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I have a hard time accepting this fact, mostly because there are so many things that I want to do. But every time I try to do too much, everything suffers. I get a lot done, but  nothing is done particularly well, and no matter how much I accomplish, there’s still a bunch of things that I didn’t accomplish, so even when I’m working really hard (and efficiently), I can sometimes feel like a slacker or failure or some other less-than word.

Now that I have a baby, it is becoming even more difficult to accomplish things (other than taking care of the baby, which I think is a huge accomplishment!). So I am reminded of a tool that I used in law school, another time when there were too many things to do and not enough time to do them all.

This tool involves priorities and ensuring that we focus on what is most important to us. It also recognizes that our priorities change as our challenges change. For example, for the last five weeks, I’ve been studying for the bar exam (took it last week!) so all my other priorities (other than the baby) fell to the wayside. Only the mandatory things were accomplished. No house cleaning, no exercising, no blogging, no shopping (other than for groceries), and no reading anything other than study materials.

My tool is low-tech and simple: I write my priorities on index cards, one on each card. Then I post them in the order of importance somewhere that I will see them every day, like on my desk or the bathroom mirror or inside the kitchen cabinet holding my coffee cups.

Right now, my priorities are

FAMILY – meaning my husband, daughter, and dogs

BAR APPLICATION – I must finish my application soon



VOLUNTEER WORK – meaning therapy dog work with Emily, Board of Ed, and the ABA

LEGAL – meaning a business plan & other legal work

For now, that’s the order. I’ll re-evaluate next month to see if I need to change the order. Everything on the list is important. If it’s not really important, then it doesn’t even make the list!

What will you write on your cards? And will you modify the tool to a more high tech version, like putting your list as your screensaver on your computer or wallpaper on your blackberry?

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I recently wrote a follow-up article for Law Practice Today webzine on how to get the most of your relationship with your professional development coach.

The original article was written for Law Practice Magazine and I interviewed 11 coaches and two of their clients to learn all about what they do, how they can help, how much they cost, and how to find the right one.

Both articles are a little off-topic for this blog, but if you are interested in increasing your happiness in your career so that your job is one of your healthy lifestyle choices, then a professional development coach may be exactly what you need. I hope you enjoy the articles!

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10 Rules To Be Brilliant

This post — 10 Rules for Brilliant Women — at The Huffington Post is geared toward women, but the rules apply to everyone, regardless of gender.

In her introduction, Tara Sophia Mohr writes that she works with many brilliant women, but

Most of the time, they don’t know their brilliance. They are certain they “aren’t ready” to take on that next bigger role. They are more attuned to the ways they aren’t qualified than to the ways that they are. They are waiting for someone to validate or discover them. Sound familiar?

I love these rules, which include things like supporting yourself like you are your own best friend, envisioning your dreams, suppressing your inner critic, letting go of needing to be liked (that’s a tough one for me), and telling other women that they are brilliant.

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When I was in college, my good friend and I had a phrase we used to refer to certain people: “Drain People.” We used it to describe the people in our lives (usually a boyfriend) who sucked the life out of us. In other words, someone who took a lot from us but gave very little in return. We borrowed the phrase from Tony Robbins, who encouraged us to avoid Drain People at all costs.

I saw a recent post at ThoughtfulLaw.com on the same topic. It discusses the same kinds of people from an organizational stand point:

In theory, every person on your team is a source of energy for your organization. But in reality, some team members create energy while others sap or destroy energy. If you know your team well, you already know which team members are sappers and which ones are the energizers.

High-energy performers test the limits and spur themselves and others on to even greater results. These are the people who will push you up and add energy to your reservoir. They spark others to perform. It’s fun to watch them in action. A team full of energized people is typically easy to motivate but challenging to manage because their high energy level requires constant direction and focus.

At the other end of the spectrum are the sappers. You know who they are – they complain and whine, and think of every reason possible why plans and strategies will not work. They are the people who pull you down and sap your energy. They blame others for their issues and don’t accept responsibility for what they control. Their negativity and cynicism effectively sucks out the energy right out of the room. A team dominated by energy sappers is relatively easy to lead because there is little forward movement or activity. But it is very challenging to motivate these team members to achieve results because they are content with mediocrity.

Your organizational energy is not the sum of your individuals. It is dependent on the ratio of energizers to sappers. If you have more sappers than energizers, the energy will be drained, and in fact the energizers may eventually become sappers. As unfortunate as it is, a negative, cynical person has a far greater impact on the energy of the team than a positive person. Adding a positive person does not counter a sapper; in fact it probably takes at least three energizers to counter the energy drained by one sapper ….

Based on: Cottrell, D. (2009). Monday Morning Motivation: Five Steps to Energize Your Team, Customers, and Profits. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

What are you? An energizer or a sapper? What do you want to be?

And what kind of people do you have around you? Are there any “drain people” that you may need to move away from in order to have the life you want?

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As you already know, I just finished reading The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, and I loved it. Now I’ve been visiting her blog, also The Happiness Project, and have found more intriguing information to share with you.

She periodically conducts happiness interviews. One of my favorites is of Bob Sutton, author of The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilized Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t and Good Boss, Bad Boss: How to Be the Best… and Learn from the Worst. He also has a blog at Work Matters.

As Gretchen Rubin says in her introduction to the interview, work and happiness are closely related. Because I find this to be very true, I thought we could all benefit from Bob Sutton’s interview.

My favorite part of the interview is where he encourages being yourself, but to “keep your inner jerk in check.” This quote reminds me of the joke by Bill Cosby. Someone once told him that “cocaine enhances my personality.” His response? “Yeah, but what if you’re an a-hole?!”

I hope you enjoy the interview as much as I did, and that you remember to be yourself — your BEST self. 🙂

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As you may know, in addition to being a health coach, I am also a lawyer. As both a health coach and lawyer, my

Sept/Oct issue

passions are learning new things and writing. I combine both of those passions in writing this blog and also in writing articles for magazine geared toward lawyers. I recently wrote an article for Law Practice magazine, titled Step by Step: Tips for Working With a Professional Development Coach, about working with a professional development coach.

While the article is geared towards its known audience of lawyers, the information applies to anyone who is interested in working with a professional development coach. I really enjoyed writing the article, both because I felt in my comfort-zone since I too am a coach, but also because I learned so much from the numerous coaches that I interviewed.

The article begins like this:

According to a Japanese proverb, “Vision without action is daydream; action without vision is nightmare,” sage words that apply aptly to one’s career as well. In other words, it’s not  enough to have a vision for your career if you lack the knowledge, skills or motivationto make it happen. Likewise, even if you are taking steps to improve, you can’t know if they’re the right steps absent a clear vision. A professional development coach can help you focus on the steps you need to take to reach your goals and achieve your vision.

I continue on to describe exactly what a professional development coach is and does, how to find one, how much it costs, and how to get the most out of the relationship.

I hope you read it and find it informational.

Have you ever worked with a professional development coach (aka a career coach, executive coach, business coach, business development coach, etc.)? If so, was it helpful and why? And if you’ve thought about working with one, but never have, why haven’t you?

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