3 Benefits of Peer Accountability to Achieve Your Career Goals

As we move into the New Year, we start making resolutions and goals for 2017. We often set goals for our career and do not stick with them.

There are many reasons why we don’t stick with our goals. Perhaps they are not goals we want to accomplish in the first place. Or our goals are too lofty to accomplish. Or perhaps our self doubts get in our way. Perhaps one of our greatest hindrances to achieving our goals is that we don’t have anyone holding us accountable.

It is common at the executive level for CEOs, Presidents or Senior VPs to have mastermind groups, round-table discussions, or peer coaching. One of the reasons they are so successful is because they have another set of eyes on their business strategy.

Sadly, it is not as common for mid-career professionals to seek the support of their peers. Peer accountability is one of the best means to help develop strategy to forward your career, increase your performance, and achieve your goals.

Here’s are the top 3 reasons peer accountability is essential for your career success:

1. Peer Accountability allows you to look at your goals from all angles: When we set goals we often do not see all sides of the situation. Having peer accountability helps bring perspective to your situation and carefully evaluate all aspects of your goals – from the sincerity, to the strategy, to the execution of your goals.

2. Accountability helps ensure you have an effective strategy: Once you have a stronger perspective, you are better positioned to form concrete strategies. Peer accountability allows you to build measurable goals and to identify specific benchmarks with a team to help you work out any roadblocks that could get in your way.

3. Accountability helps you stay engaged:  Sharing your goals helps affirm and stick with your commitment. Moreover, it’s fun to celebrate your successes and wins with those who have been along the journey with you.

That is why I suggest that coming into the New Year, you do one of several suggestions in committing to yourself and career goals:

1) Set goals and hold yourself accountable: If you are going to set goals for this New Year, hold yourself to it. Do not allow yourself to not move forward and make your failed goal more proof that you’re not good enough or deserving. No more self-fulling prophesies of failure! It is better to set no goals then to set them and not pursue them.

2) Get an accountability partner and meet with them regularly: Make sure this is someone who is committed to themselves and to you. When you set meetings, stick with them. I recommend that you call to check in once a week and meet in person once a month. Set a format to your meetings and stick with it.

3) Join a peer accountability group:  I’m hosting a monthly Peer Strategy Group on Feb 7th, March 7th, April 4th, May 2nd, August 8th, Sept. 12th, Oct. 10th, and Nov. 14th from 6-8 PM MST. You can join us in-person at my office off Colorado and I-25 or virtually using Zoom.

This group is designed to provide a safe space to receive insights and honest feedback about your career goals, to brainstorm solutions to problems in the workplace, and to build relationships. You will also connect with an accountability partner to support you in between meetings.

I will also be having top coaches in their field present on their area of expertise during each meeting. Topics include networking coaching, resume writing, financial coaching, and effective communication in the workplace.

To learn more or register, please email me: danielle@innercompasscoach.com.

Debunking the ‘Perfect Career’ Myth

Do you find yourself always seeking more? Whether it be the newest technology, latest diet trends, the most recent fashions… and the list goes on.

We live in a world that is obsessed with perfection and always wanting more. We look for it in our careers and use the terms,”perfect career”,”dream job”, “ideal job”, etc to describe what we want.

This myth that there is a perfect career out there is false because perfection is an illusion. When I refer to illusion, I’m not just talking about a career that is free of flaws, but the idea that when we have something better, it will feel like utopia— we will have nothing to complain about or want nothing more.

I always tell my clients that even if they were to get a better job, they have create inner-happiness and choose external circumstances to foster it. Satisfaction comes from making the best of the circumstances at hand and changing the ones that no longer serve you.

I’ll be sharing more about the three most common career myths that hold us back and the three essential mindset shifts to propel your career change next week during my free Career Myths and Mindset Shifts workshop on Tuesday, June 14th at 8 PM MST.

It’s going to be virtual, interactive, and unlike a webinar because you’ll in engaging with the content throughout its entirety. To learn more and register, click here. I hope to see you there!

3 Ways to Start a Conversation at a Networking Event

marketing-man-person-communicationFor most people, networking events can be extremely intimidating. As a career coach, the most common question I get about networking is, “How do I start a conversation?”

Here are 3 things you can say in order to start a conversation at a networking event:

    1. If there is someone you have been meaning to meet for a long time and never had a proper introduction. Here’s the BEST way to introduce yourself.I don’t believe we’ve ever met before. I’m (insert your name).
    2. If you are near the food line, an exhibitor’s table or by a sign, ask a question to start the conversation. Doesn’t that look delicious? Have you read any of her books? Which breakout session are you attending?
    3. If you prefer to be less direct, you can simply ask, “Hi. Do you mind if I introduce myself?” Most people will respond, “No, not at all. I’m…”

And if you want support in building your networking skills, join me for a free networking workshop ‘The ABC’s of networking so you can start connecting with confidence & conviction’ on Thursday, January 14th from 7-8:30 PM in Denver or Friday, January 15th from 10-11 AM online. To register, click here.

How to Overcome Impostor Syndrome While Networking

Many times I hear from clients that they feel they are faking it when going to networking events. I get it!

When I first started my business, I felt like an impostor. I still was trying to get my processes and systems in place and I didn’t have the confidence that everything was going to work out. I would meet people and feel I had to pretend that I was already successful and this didn’t feel good.

So what is impostor syndrome? It’s a term that was coined in the 1970’s by psychologists to describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments.

As a career changer, you may not feel good enough to warrant someone helping you with your transition. The good news? You have the ability to over come it!

Here’s how:

1. Own Your Greatness– Even though I didn’t have all my ducks in a row, I had to remind myself that I had so much to offer. Even though I was new to private practice, I still had experience in career development and helped many others before. When I would remind myself of all my strengths and accomplishments prior to going to a networking event, my body language subconsciously communicate my confidence.

You may not have direct experience in certain areas when making a career change, but you certainly have a ton to offer such as your personality, strengths, accomplishments, talents and transferable skills. Own them!

2. A.S.K. or Always Seek the Knowledge of Others- My friend Alyce Blum, business owner and networking coach, suggests that you should enter networking situations with the intention to get to know others and ask questions.

I love this advice because most people don’t care about what you do, they care about how you make the feel- asking questions is one of the best ways to do this. It also takes away the pressure for you to feel like you have to show off.

So next time you go to a networking event, know that you have the power to turn the conversation around and ask someone about their job.

3. Practice Til You Make It– I hate the saying, “Fake it til you make it”. For me, it means that I feel I have to be fake or inauthentic until I make some obscure goal. I like the idea of practicing because it allows for authenticity, vulnerability and mistakes in the moment.

I had to practice in several different ways to help me overcome my impostor syndrome. I had to test my process and systems on several people at no cost in order to have success stories under my belt. For me, sharing stories in which I honestly felt good about my work helped me feel confident and authentic without being cocky.

So next time you go to a networking event, look at it as practice whether it be your elevator pitch, how you answer questions, posture, body language and anything else you can think of.

If you’re feeling impostor syndrome coming on, take a moment to own your greatness, turn the conversation around and ask someone about themselves and know that this is practice, not perfection.

And if you want support in overcoming your impostor syndrome while networking, join us for a free networking workshop ‘The ABC’s of networking so you can start connecting with confidence & conviction’ on Thursday, January 14th from 7-8:30 PM in Denver or Friday, January 15th from 10-11 AM online. To register, click here.

How I Landed a Job from an Informational Interview

Informational interviews are often underutilized, yet one of the best ways to tap the 4046619_mhidden job market. So what is an informational interview? It’s a one-on-one conversation with someone who has a job you might like, who works within a field you might want to enter, or who is employed by a company that you’re interested in learning about. The purpose of informational interviews are to build relationships and ask for advice.

My second job out of graduate school was obtained through an informational interview. As you’ve read in my previous newsletter, my first job was a total bust, so I needed to find something that would be a better fit and I did it through informational interviewing. Here’s how:

1. Asking my friends and family to make introductions– I inquired with my friends, family and former colleagues to make introductions to anyone working in the nonprofit sector serving high school youth. Many of them were supportive of my job change, so they were more than happy to help me make connections.

2. Requesting an informational interview– I asked several people who were introduced to me if I could treat them for coffee and ask questions about their position, career path or experience working for their company. I reached out to four people and three of them were willing to meet with me. *Be prepared for someone to not respond to your request or say no to meeting with you.

Before I met with anyone, I researched their background, information about their company and anything else I could find on the internet.

3. Meeting for coffee– I prepared questions that I really wanted the answers to and could not find from researching the internet such as, “What’s one thing that no one ever told you that you wish you knew before pursuing your career?”During our meeting I listened intently and asked clarifying questions on topics that I wanted to learn more about.

And towards the end of our meeting, I would ask that person to make an introduction to someone else who was in a similar role, worked for a different company or who can guide me more on a particular topic.

4. Follow up- After my meeting, I would e-mail the person to thank them for their time and mention a specific thing they said that got me thinking. I would also remind them about making the introduction.

The outcome: I was introduced to my former supervisor, Brian, a wonderful leader and program director of a nonprofit organization that helped high school dropouts reenroll in educational programs. I met Brian for coffee, we spoke for an hour and I stayed in touch with him after our meeting through e-mail.

Two weeks after our meeting, Brian invited me to an association meeting and introduced me to other managers and directors working for nonprofits that work with high school youth.

I saw a job posting in which I was interested in applying four weeks after meeting Brian.  I e-mailed him asking if I could be considered for the position.

Six weeks after our meeting, I was offered an interview and hired one week later for the position.

The whole process of getting a new job took about two months and I did not waste my time filling out mindless applications. More importantly, I was able to meet and receive advice from one of my favorite supervisors and mentors through the process and obtain a job at a nonprofit whose mission I was passionate for.

Informational interviews are effective at building relationships because companies want to hire an employee they know, like and trust. If you want to learn about the process of strategic networking, which include informational interviews, I have two workshops coming up on Tuesday, March 31st and Tuesday, May 12th. Please click here to learn more.