Workplace Confidence TV: Handling Career Setbacks

On my show, I discuss handling career setbacks with my guest, Gerry Diamond, and how to deal–and not dwell–when facing career challenges.

Have a look:

Handling Career Setbacks

More clips to come!

For now–cheers to career confidence!,

Michelle

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

Shortcut to Confidence: Networking

Women of Influence

Recently, I attended the TJ Martell Women of Influence luncheon at the lovely Guastavino’s restaurant in midtown. It was a great event to raise money and awareness for women battling breast cancer.

I was captivated by the inspirational speeches, and the large, supportive audience. And, then, I realized there was another battle going on in that room.

People were struggling in their attempt to network: How to introduce themselves. How to say what they wanted to say. How to make new connections. How to be memorable in a good way.

I get this. I’ve been in this situation many times.

Here’s one thing I’ve discovered that can help you:

Try to get inside other peoples’ heads instead of getting stuck in your own! Stop focusing inwardly on your anxiety, and start focusing outwardly on the person you’re meeting. What is it they want to say? What’s important to them?

That’s how you start to build great relationships.

Just like the amazing TJ Martell Foundation, when you focus your attention on the needs of others, your battle becomes victory!

 

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

 

Workplace Confidence TV: Marketing Yourself

I recently sat down with media executive Gerry Diamond to talk about how a positive attitude draws people and opportunities to you and helps your career.

Have a look:

Honing Your Network and Marketing Yourself

Look for more clips to come!

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

Own your beauty—now.

I just came back from visiting my niece up at Bard College before she graduates. We had a fabulous time!

While we were out to dinner, I took a picture of her. When I showed her the photo, she told me that she doesn’t like how she looks in pictures. I told her not to wait until she’s 60 to see how beautiful she is—-see it now.

We can be so hard on ourselves, and yet, when we look back in retrospect, we’re often kinder and gentler about our appearance, and about ourselves.

So, why wait? Own how beautiful you are, inside and out.

See it now.

 

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

Relaxing Rituals: Practicing Mindlessness

Relaxing rituals

 

In every workday, there are corporate rituals: procedures and routines designed to ensure safety, performance and productivity. We respect them and adhere to them.

We also need to develop rituals in our private lives: Habits that help us feel relaxed, refreshed and de-stressed so we, too, can safeguard our health, performance and productivity. We need to respect them and adhere to them too.

So, here’s relaxing ritual #2: Practice mindlessness. Something monotonous that requires zilch thought.

And, no—I don’t mean get sucked in to the vortex of Facebook.

I mean something you do in the physical world. Something with ease, that relaxes you and takes your mind off of things.

These days, our brains are so over-stimulated, that it’s nice to create your own ritual where you don’t have to think.

Mindless activities include gardening, people watching, cleaning out a small drawer, sitting in a park. You get the idea.

It’s a mini vacation for your mind, which means it’s a mini vacation for you.

Where are you taking your mind today?

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

Fashioning Your Brand

I am always puzzled by women who choose to wear heels that steal their confidence.

We’re talking shoes with heels so high that the wearer wobbles and always looks in danger of toppling over. In fact, many of them do.

I’m all for fashion, but not if it makes you uncomfortable and unsteady on your feet.

When your legs shake and your feet teeter as you enter a conference room, it does not exude confidence.

One tip is to have a skilled shoe repair cut 1/8th to 1/4-inch off the heel. That may sound drastic, but, in actuality, it helps you to stand more firmly on your feet.

Another tip is to avoid heels that aren’t completely comfortable and wearable the moment you try them on.

No matter how fantastic super-high heels may make your legs look, being unsteady on your feet will never help you look grounded in confidence.

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

 

Relaxing Rituals: De-stress with more success.

Relaxing rituals

In every workday, there are corporate rituals: procedures and routines designed to ensure safety, performance and productivity. We respect them and adhere to them.

We also need to develop rituals in our private lives: Habits that help us feel relaxed, refreshed and de-stressed so we, too, can safeguard our health, performance and productivity. We need to respect them and adhere to them too.

One habit that helps me relax is shutting down my phone and computer for the evening, preferably from 8 pm to 7 am. Not surfing Facebook, or answering texts and emails late into the night has changed my life! It’s given me the time to focus on enjoying things such as: taking a bath by candlelight; getting engrossed in a good book (yes—the hard-cover kind); chatting with my friends and family; or just being quiet with my thoughts.

And, here’s the astounding thing: Shutting down has upped my performance and productivity. After a relaxing evening, I’m raring to go the next day!

What relaxing rituals do you have?

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

How to get unstuck in your career: Tip #2

When you feel stuck in your career, it’s important to choose the problem-solving path, not the problem-generating one. That’s how you deal instead of dwell.

Let me explain:

The problem generating path is where you create problems by being too negative. You lose confidence on this path, and you lose your way. It’s where you:

  • Dwell on the past
  • Worry about the future
  • Doubt yourself
  • Shut down
  • Get stuck

“Dwell” is the operative word here. It’s natural to feel anxious and fearful at first. In fact, discomfort often drives change. But, when you dwell on the negative, you mentally go around and around and come out at the same place—nowhere. No wonder you get stuck!

Now, let’s look at the problem solving path. When you problem solve, you gain confidence. You move forward towards success. It’s on this path that you:

  • Acknowledge and accept your fears
  • Take control—talk yourself through it
  • Begin to think positively
  • Ask “What are my next steps?”
  • Take action
  • Turn fear and doubt into planning and action

This path helps you deal instead of dwell. You take control, think empowering thoughts, ask better questions and take action.

See how it changes? Which path keeps you stuck and which one takes you forward and closer to your goal?

You decide.

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan

How to Get Unstuck in Your Career: Tip #1

Tips on how to get unstuck

From time to time, throughout your career, you will feel stuck. Trust me, you are not alone.

This feeling brings up questions. Many of which may sound like this:

Should I leave my present employer?

Should I take that job that pays less but has more meaning for me?

Should I change direction completely?

Should I start my own company?

Should I ask for a raise, even though I might leave?

What should I do??

The first thing you need to know when you’re feeling stuck is this:

Don’t put yourself down for being who you are and where you are.

Which leads me to tip #1 for getting unstuck: Stop using the word “should.”

“Should” is a pressure-point word that sets limitations and suggests guilt, anxiety, and wrong-doing.

Often, “should” relates to someone else’s expectations, and not your own. Think of someone pointing a finger at you (a parent or spouse, perhaps?), and telling you what you should be doing. And, now you’re pointing the finger at you!

Uncomfortable, yes?

So, try this instead: Replace the word “should” with words such as, “could,” “would,” and “if I wanted to.” For instance: “If I wanted to, could I start my own company?” and “Would I like to change direction in my career?”

Should means “supposed to” and “must” do. “Could, “ “would, ” and “if I wanted to” opens your world to possibility and “can” do.

Which sounds and feels better to you?

When you base your decisions more on desire, and less on demand, it’s easier to get unstuck.

The choice is yours after all.

So—what would you like to do?

 

Copyright 2105 Michelle Kerrigan

Startup Keys to Confidence: Key #9—Behold the Power of Networking

At a recent start-up/founder breakfast, the topic of networking came up. A few of the founders asked “Why should I network, if my main target is investors?”

For over three decades, I have helped people become more confident and successful at work. Success depends largely on our ability to grow and change without feeling vulnerable or resistant in the process.

I have already shared the first 8 start-up keys to confidence, which can be found here:

http://www.workplaceconfidence.com/2013/10/09/the-8-startup-keys-to-confidence/

The 9th key answers the question about the importance of networking, especially for startups.

For one, networking helps you build your social skills, which is critical to your success. You may not be ready to tackle the big investor fish, so practice on smaller fish first. Networking gives you the perfect opportunity to try out your pitch and to hone it.

Next—networking helps you market your ideas, understand your audience and competition better, and build relationships that could be very helpful in the future.

Networking can also bring wonderful—and surprising—opportunities. I know of a consultant who was asked to speak at a small event as a favor to his wife. Unbeknown to him, the wife of a CEO was part of the audience and, impressed by the consultant, introduced him to her husband. A $300,000 contract was the result!

Finally—and most importantly—we all need support. Being a founder can be a lonely occupation. Networking is a wonderful way to find and build the support you need: People who can advise you, motivate you, focus you, and ease your journey.

When was the last time you networked?

 

Copyright 2015 Michelle Kerrigan