Feeling is freeing: How to Practice Emotional Intelligence
For years and years, I would have told you that I was a very emotionally intelligent person. I was aware that emotions could take many forms, had many names and I knew intellectually it was important to understand them. Emotional intelligence has been a notable topic for many years, and I considered myself to be one of those wise people who were in the know. Unfortunately, in all of my information gathering on the topic, I ignored one crucial point. That in order to have emotional intelligence you actually have to experience emotions. Who would have thought? The key to emotional intelligence is to not just identify the emotion we are experiencing with a handy dandy robust emotional vocabulary, but to allow ourselves to feel it non-judgmentally. This is a key point, because many of us who grew up in households where emotions were not welcome got used to shoving them down and pretending they didn’t exist. Feeling is freeing When we suppress emotions, it typically doesn’t lead to much good. We end up accumulating hurt on top of hurt and over time these feelings build up until one day we can’t shove them down any longer, and the long-awaited bomb finally erupts. Or we can try to numb them out with the help of food, booze, shopping, video game playing or any other addictive habit we have accumulated over the years. Not a recipe for success either. We often try to squash the negative emotions. The ones we consider to be “bad” like anger, frustration, sadness, guilt, shame (my personal favorite), disgust, overwhelm, anxiety, fear. We’re often not super aware of the oh so subtle tricks we’ve accumulated over the years for disowning these things in ourselves. I feel anxiety before delivering a leadership development program, particularly a new one. Perfectly reasonable, right? And yet, in my head I’m thinking to myself, “Bad Shelley. You shouldn’t be feeling that. You’re only feeling that because you’re a bad teacher and facilitator. If you were better at your job, you’d be more confident and you’d never experience this.” So the anxiety comes up, and I try to swat it down by directing anger at myself for having the emotion in the first place. Or perhaps I’m frustrated or angry at a family member. “Bad Shelley. You shouldn’t be feeling that. You’re only feeling that because you’re a bad niece, sister, cousin, etc. If you were a better person, you would be more caring and emphatic and understand their perspective and where they were coming from.” Here is the mental leap that often eludes us: having and especially feeling an emotion does not make a person “bad.” What matters at the end of the day is what we do with the emotion we’re having. I can be angry and resentful inside and yet I can still manage to put that aside and recognize in the moment exhibiting that behavior would not be helpful. I can choose my response. I feel the way […]
August 18, 2022
4.5 min read
Career Transition Success Story – Part 2 – Forget the requirements, apply anyway!
In today’s blog we are continuing the story of Nora Pirsch, who recently transitioned from a yoga instructor to a UX designer. Nora credits her strong mental attitude in being critical in making the transition! Nora Pirsch is a User Experience designer that specializes in human connections. The desire to improve people’s day to day lives, has been a theme throughout her adult life. She has spent 15 years of her life mastering her craft as a yoga instructor and now she has begun her path to improving her skills as a UX designer. Nora has always enjoyed a challenge, from facing stage fright to showing extreme patience with her naturally fermented bread baking, she never goes down without a fight. When she is not interviewing users, you can find her baking fresh pizza and going for long walks with her dog Finch. Shelley: Let’s talk about of interviewing and as it relates to resiliency. You told me it was something like 80 jobs you applied to, and I was blown away by that and just how resilient you are. How did you keep yourself mentally strong, considering that there were probably a lot of setbacks in this process for you? Nora: I had amazing support from school from colleagues that I went to school with, even from people that my mom reached out to that were in the tech industry, and they would tutor me, and find people to help me walk along the path. That’s step number one. And then, part of the after-graduation program was applying to 10 jobs a week, that was the criteria. So that was very difficult in the beginning because I was spending too much time on writing pretty and elaborate cover letters. I really recommend getting a very basic template, and then just add two to three sentences make it a little bit more directed at that company. And that’s it because you will wipe yourself out writing those cover letters. And honestly, what is it 92% Of the companies don’t look at your cover letter until you’ve gone through the ATS. Shelley: I normally tell candidates, don’t even submit one unless they specifically asked for it. Because a lot of times they don’t even get read. Create a Process – Work Smarter Not Harder Nora: A lot of the times they don’t, but my school did encourage it. Because if there’s a candidate that if you’re side by side with, and one has a cover letter and one doesn’t, they’re going to go with the one that paid a little bit more attention. I came up with a simple template and started applying to more jobs. And then I closely shadowed a couple of the students in my class that were very big go getters, and we became quick friends. She told me what she was doing and her tactics. And I was asked, “Can I can I steal that from you?”And she said, “Oh my gosh, of course.” Forget the requirements […]
March 16, 2022
9.2 min read
Career Transition Success Story – Nora Pirsch – From Yoga to UX Design! (Part 1)
Nora Pirsch Nora Pirsch is a User Experience designer that specializes in human connections. The desire to improve people’s day to day lives, has been a theme throughout her adult life. She has spent 15 years of her life mastering her craft as a yoga instructor and now she has transitioned her career to UX design. Nora has always enjoyed a challenge, from facing stage fright to showing extreme patience with her naturally fermented bread baking, she never goes down without a fight. When she is not interviewing users, you can find her baking fresh pizza and going for long walks with her dog Finch. You can connect with Nora here: www.norapirsch.com Part 1 – Nora’s career transition story: Networking and Figuring Out What You REALLY Want Shelley: Nora, share with me a brief history of your career up to the point you made your career transition. Nora: I was a full-time yoga teacher for about 15 years, I am still yoga teacher, but very, very part time now. And I really got into that because I wanted to travel a lot. And I wanted something that helped people improve themselves and feel better. So it seemed like a really good fit for me. And I still love teaching, I’ll never stop. It’s something that’s very close to my heart and part of me now. But about 10 years into it, I knew that I It wasn’t sustainable, what I was doing, teaching 10 to 12 classes a week, and just barely making paying the bills was really taking a toll on me. And it was hard because it’s something I love to do. But it wasn’t fulfilling me in other ways. So I knew I needed something different. I didn’t know what, so I was very, very gingerly putting my feelers out there for several years. And when COVID hit, I reevaluated what was important to me where I want to focus my time that I have on this amazing Earth. I just started asking questions, I started asking people, what do they do for a living. I really think a huge part of transitioning in general is reaching out and hearing other people’s stories, how did you get to where you are now, and those connections are invaluable. When transitioning you can get a lot of support that way too. And you can get a lot of leads that way into new jobs. CAreer transition tip: the power of Networking Shelley: Absolutely. You’re kind of alluding to informational interviewing, networking. And sometimes I have clients who are grappling with a career transition that really hesitate with that. They get nervous, they don’t want to do it, their Gremlin/Inner Saboteur gets activated by the whole thing. What if people say no? Nora: I’ve always been kind of a natural connector. I’ve always been pretty good at that naturally. But what I would say is, what have you got to lose? And what do you have to gain? Looking at those two sides, […]
March 9, 2022
11.5 min read
Career Coaching, Leadership, Life Direction and Purpose
What is a personal branding statement? Why do I need one?
There’s a lot of hype at the moment about knowing your personal brand. Let’s break it down – what is a personal brand, and why is a personal brand important in career search as well as managing your career? What is a personal branding statement? When I coach career and leadership coaching clients, we often talk about a personal brand – a simple 1-2 sentences that speak to: 1) your unique gifts and 2) how you add value. Notice I put the emphasis on simple. I have noticed there is a tendency on resumes these days to put a few objective lines at the top of a resume and throw in every buzzword known to man, in the desperate hopes of seo optimization and hoping that something you say will resonate with someone. “I seamlessly utilize my core strengths of teamworking, project management, financial acumen and strategic thinking to empower global organizations to create cost beneficial forward-thinking solutions on the cutting edge of digital transformation that drive efficiency, effectiveness and create a happier and healthier workforce.” This doesn’t work, just in case you were wondering, and often recruiters dismiss this as unnecessary fluff. The paragraph long sentences also read like something out of a Nathaniel Hawthorne novel, and I didn’t like the Scarlet Letter the first time I read it. “I utilize my project management skills to help organizations deliver efficient, effective, digital solutions.” Much better – easier to read, easier to comprehend, and easier to tell the story of YOU. Why is a personal brand important in career search? Your resume then should speak to this statement. Imagine you’re telling a story. And the personal branding statement is the 30,000 foot up airplane view of you and your career. Your resume should then read to explain how you have managed to do this for the organizations that have been graced by your amazing presence. Consistency is key, and it’s super helpful in getting someone to remember you and what you bring to the table. Besides, human beings are natural story tellers. We like them, it’s our way of summarizing things and making sense of the world. Why is a personal brand important in managing your career? But I’m not switching jobs, so what does this matter? Does this mean I don’t need to worry about a personal brand? Wrong again. Because in your day job, you’re always marketing yourself, always selling yourself, for that next all-important project, that next promotion. And if you’re not the guy or gal on management’s radar for that particular role based on what they know about you, you’ll get overlooked. Ask yourself this: How do you want to be perceived in your organization? What do you want to be known for? And then think about: How you are actually perceived in your organization? What are you known for? Better yet, ask a few trusted souls to answer those last two questions on your behalf. You might be surprised at the answers you get. If […]
February 10, 2022
3.5 min read
Career Coaching, Life Direction and Purpose
What is a personal development plan? And why might I need one?
Life is full of annoying administrative tasks you have to do. You may be thinking, why should I add another one to the mix? Besides, isn’t my boss responsible for guiding my career and sharing developmental opportunities with me? Wrong, wrong, wrong. One of my favorite sayings in life comes from the immortal mouth of the Cheshire cat in Alice in Wonderland – “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” What is a Personal Development Plan? A personal development plan is a succinct document that summarizes three important things: 1) Your key skills and experiences to date 2) How you’re looking to develop your skills for the future 3) What roles you’re looking to aspire to as you progress your career When I help career coaching and leadership coaching clients put one of these together, we often start backwards and answer question three: Where do you want to go with your career? That then informs what skills/experiences you will need to get there – which is question two. What skills may you be lacking? What experiences will help you grow and make you the right candidate for that coveted role? The value of a Personal Development Plan To the extent you’re focused and actively managing your career, opportunities won’t literally pass you by. That pet project that will give you added visibility? You’ll know to ask for it, particularly if you’re looking for the all-important promotion. And the added benefit of asking your line manager to complete the personal development plan exercise with you, means it’s also on their radar screen as well. Who needs a Personal Development Plan? You do, no matter how early or late you are in your career, no matter what track your career is on. It’s important you start thinking about this right away when you’re in a new job. And if it’s not on your manager’s radar screen, initiate the conversation yourself. Prepare a draft, ask for their input. Ultimately, it’s up to you to be in the driving seat of your career! Shelley Pernot is a leadership and career coach who is passionate about helping her clients discover their strengths and talents and find a career that utilizes them. Reach out to me here for a free consultation to learn more about the coaching process and how it may benefit you!
January 18, 2022
2 min read
How a Career Coach in Austin Will Help
Should I Call an Austin Career Coach? Perhaps you’re thinking it’s time for a promotion? Or maybe a career change? What about starting your own business? Or maybe you’re wondering if you’ll ever manage to find a career your feel passionate about because you’re living a version of groundhog day, doing the same thing day in and day out. A career coach in Austin, TX, can help you explore these questions as well as challenge your beliefs that may be holding you back from success. Career Coaches Understand Today’s Recruitment Methods Linkedin, Indeed – the bottom line is the job market has changed. You upload your resume into a nameless, faceless database and you never hear back. How can this be – you were perfect for that job! Recruiting has changed too, whether we like it or not. How can a person possibly stay abreast of all the latest developments? A career coach in Austin is skilled at helping you navigate this new and confusing world. Hire a Career Coach in Austin to Find Clarity Wondering how to start a whole new career path? Shelley Pernot has access to a number of helpful assessments like the Highlands Ability Battery that provide much needed clarity on your strengths and natural abilities. Once your strengths have been identified and the way forward becomes more clear, she provides tips and techniques for making a smooth career transition. Your Free Consultation Starts the Process Shelley is excited to help you with your next career decision. Contact Shelley Pernot today for your complementary career coaching consultation by filling out this form or calling (512) 200-4269. If you’re wanting to get a jump start on finding your dream job, download chapter two of her book Running on Empty here, it’s filled with countless tips and exercises to get you thinking. .
May 1, 2018
1.6 min read
“I have found this executive coaching experience incredibly enriching and valuable in particular as I have begun to internalize the questioning approach in my own reflections on issues that I face.”
“After each career coaching session, I come with away with more clarity on my own purpose and how to bring more of what I want into my life, both professionally and personally.”
“Her career coaching system really helped me develop professional and personal confidence while guiding me towards a path I can really be proud of.”
“I have actually made things happen and taken big steps that I was always afraid of taking before, after Shelley’s constant and persistent ‘what is stopping you?’ made me realize I was stopping myself.”
L. de Ponte
“Working with Shelley as my career coach, I have been able to achieve my goals of increasing my confidence within the work environment, developing a vision and plan for my career and communicating more effectively.”
“I have been able to move seamlessly to another position within the company and Shelley’s leadership coaching helped me to clarify questions I needed to ask to help with that transition!”
“Shelley’s leadership coaching took me through a number of exercises that got me thinking in a different frame of mind and gave me clarity on what I want my future to look like.”
“Shelley’s leadership coaching helped me transition into my new role and to achieve my goals of improving the level of engagement with my peers and senior leadership.”
“Through working with Shelley as my career coach I was able to identify where some of my natural abilities weren’t being used and how that led me to be unhappy. Now I’m shifting to a career and an industry that is fully enthralling and I couldn’t be happier!”
C. Van Ert
“The insights Shelley relayed during our collaborative leadership coaching sessions translated into relevant and thought provoking training which I find very useful for the business world.”
“I now have clarity around what specific career roles to apply to, why I would be a great fit for those roles, what my natural abilities are, how to leverage those abilities and how I want to balance career with other priorities in my life. Both gentle and direct, her career coaching helped me reframe limiting beliefs and perspectives so that I could achieve a major break through.”