• Read How to Say No to the Needy Networker


    How to Say No to the Needy Networker

    The Case of the Needy Networker The other day I found myself in a conundrum of my own making.  I had accepted a coffee date with a woman I met in a social group we both belong to.  I arrived 5 minutes early, got my coffee and waited.  She showed up fifteen minutes late, sat down, a mess of chaotic energy, and launched straight into a story about how she was new to Austin and nothing in her life was working. About thirty minutes in, I tried shifting the conversation to something lighter.  She kept pushing the subject back to career, in particular her career. I realized at this point she knew what I did.  She knew I was a career coach.  She knew I did leadership development and mindfulness work for organizations.  She mentioned she wanted to break into corporations with freelance work, but she didn’t know how.  She was hungry.  And I was her feast.  And the energy was so strong in that interaction, I could feel myself being devoured by her desperation.  It was a sticky, yucky feeling in the pit of my stomach, and I had to get away. I tried to shake her off and change the subject again, to shift the energy of the conversation, but then she really dug in deep. Then the flattery started.  How I was a trailblazer, how I was an adventurer, how I had built a successful business as a woman, and I am an inspiration to all.  How she just wants to be near me and learn from me. Honesty is the best Policy I offered a few pieces of advice and said, “I can’t wear my coach hat out with everyone in a social setting.  I’ve got to protect my own energy, and to do that I have to establish boundaries with folks outside of work.  I hope you can understand.”  And then I made my excuses, picked up my purse and left, considering I’d already been there almost an hour and a half. Sometimes we call these types of people “toxic,” but I think that’s a little unfair.  There is no such thing as a toxic person.  There are only people who treat us the way we allow them to treat us.  We unwittingly find ourselves locked in toxic situations, often referred to as emotional blackmail situations, by our own poor understanding of boundaries and our need for another’s approval.  And then the gremlin kicks in: “You’re such a bad person if you don’t sit here all day and sort her problems out.” “People are going to think you’re selfish if you don’t help her.” “You’re a coach.  You’re supposed to believe in abundance and giving to everyone!” As a woman in a caring profession like coaching this happens a lot.  We don’t get up and leave when we should.  We take the phone call in the middle of the night from the crazy family member that we know will piss off our spouse.  We spend […]

    March 29, 2022


    4.3 min read

  • Read What a piece of PIE can tell about your chances of career progression

    Career Coaching

    What a piece of PIE can tell about your chances of career progression

    In my role as a career coach, I often hear from clients and prospective clients their career is on a slow track to nowhere.  They’re putting the effort in, but they’re not seeing the results in terms of promotions or career progression. 

    March 21, 2022


    4.8 min read

  • Read Career Transition Success Story – Nora Pirsch – From Yoga to UX Design! (Part 1)

    Career Coaching

    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