Would you believe....?

Would you believe….?

The question is, “Why on earth don’t you settle down and get a job like a normal person?” Or, is it, “Why the **** (choose your own bad word) do you go from-job-to-job so much? Then there is the ever-refreshing, “Why can’t you keep a job?”

I just brought all this up (UGH) as the possible thinking behind the one question that scares applicants the most:”Why did you leave your last job?” Of course it must be answered. The potential employer does has a right to know, so, “Non of your beez-wax!”, although flipping like an Olympic diver on the tip of the tongue, is never the right answer. Oh, yes, there are “right answers” and none of them are:

  • My last boss was a jerk
  • It was a conspiracy against me
  • I lied on my resume
  • I stole millions from the company

Some people–some we even elected to positions of power–can really say that they bad-mouthed the boss, were the object of bullying, lied about having an MBA or stole #Big-Bucks from consumers, friends, family, and shareholders. Regardless whether or not they made the news for what they did, there is a way of handling it on the resume. If the immortals of imfamy can, so can all of us lesser lights. Of course, if there was an “incarceration event” (prison) it is better for the applicant to be candid about it then NOT GET TOO DETAILED. We humans become the stories we tell ourselves. Negative stories make for negative outcomes in interviews. Someone who has spent a substantial amount of time out of the workforce caring for a relative can actually tell that story provided it is short, to the point and told in a positive way. A military wife is not required to hide a lifetime of making multitudes of “homes on the base” in support of a spouse’s career in the armed forces.

The norm is that workers, especially younger ones, seldom stay at one job for more than 2-3 years. There is an unspoken rule, though. Frequent job change might be expected these days, but  the “hopping” has to suggest a thoughtfully planned array.


Are You Setting Goals AGAIN?

four directions compass rose


Somewhere in the month of December, in a rare quiet moment, I turn to a fresh page in my planner and write at the top: “Goals for __”and then label about 5 pages to list the goals for:

  1. Body – health maintenance, exercise, diet and nutrition
  2. Spiritual – studies; reading; spiritual practice
  3. Personal Development – reading; inspirational conferences
  4. Career  – professional development; networking; conferences

Before that I review the last year or two to compare how I projected to change with what actually happened. Let’s compare notes. How about you?

  • How many goals did you actually achieve within the year or did it take you more than one year to get it done?
  • Did your goals change from last year’s?
  • Have you given up goal setting altogether?

What is on your “fresh page” facing the journey of 2015?

Business and knotwork

English: This image outlines the basic path of...

English: This image outlines the basic path of the monomyth, or “Hero’s Journey”. Non copyrighted, free work. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some folk see life as a hero’s journey. Still others see life as a tale told. To me these images are ways of looking at life from different angles. My name for it is best symbolized by the eternal knot. In my lexicon of personal imagery, everything is interrelated and intricately intertwined. One strand cannot be pulled out without unraveling something else. Business is one of the strands in the knot. Who knows to what it was originally joined? When the business strand was originally woven, it may have been joined from the career thread, the family thread, or the spiritual thread. (Of course, this way of thinking is common to a certain style of dealing with life in terms of the Meyers Briggs personality assessment. Find out yours here.) 

When considering what kind of business to start, it is always good to consider the strands of interests, skills, talents and passions already manifesting themselves in a present job, a hobby, or a natural ability. For example: with me it has always been words–words on paper; words artistically rendered; all forms of the written word; typography; calligraphy. Then there is the spoken word–public speaking and storytelling. Another strand is art–painting; sculpting; music collecting; music performing; theater. Embracing them all is the golden strand of the spiritual: interest in the other-worldly; the supernatural; religion; mind-body connections and the like. Do you see how all these things are interrelated? Try to spot patterns in your own life threads/strands of interests. When all laid out, these threads may begin to tell what kind of business or in what industry your business will naturally arise.  Every personal knotwork  is actually information about places where a successful business may be waiting to happen.

The Blessings of St. Patrick’s Day To You, From Victoree

Now, where did he go?

Now, where did he go?

In the middle of Lent there is this one day some of us give ourselves a breather from our promise…Okay, back to the sacrifice at midnight, eh?  Even though it’s all about the green beer for some and a mighty humbug for others,  just for today we join our neighbors who are descended from the Emerald Isle in a celebration of Celtic heritage.

knotwork shamrockEvery immigrant group who comes to these shores adds their own special grace notes to Lady Liberty’s old song or a brand new twist on the familiar melody. The Puritans may have taught us religion, but the Irish taught us faith and with a sweetness that charms the bells into ringing. Is it not faith that calls into being whatever we seek in career or anything else in life? Once we have created it in our minds and spoken it with our lips, it is well on its way to snatching itself a body and hurrying to us.

May it be so with your victory wherever in life you need it most. May it rub the sleep out of its eyes, get dressed in the clothes of intentions, break through the ether and answer, “present” when you call.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day


The Best Labor Day Ever, From Victoree

Fruit harvest

I love this moment in the year where the end of summer bumps edges with the beginning of autumn. It is so full of that delicious tension that feels like the breathless anticipation just before opening a door. Change is as intimate as a mist of perfume. Walk in. Walk into the mist and be covered in it.

Some call it Lammas. It is the time of the first harvest. On the eve of September, one considers what fruit in the fields of the earth and in life is ready for the reaper’s scythe. Some fruit to enjoy in the field; some for the table; some to be preserved for the winter; some for next year’s crop. Some results of earlier efforts are to be used immediately; some to be put by later; some will never be used; some is to be used in planning the next effort.

Harvest is a season that demands hard work. A celebration that honors work is very appropriate for this very special time of year, so may your labor day be bursting with blessing, however you choose to celebrate.

Rosie The Riviter Honor Labor poster

Rosie says


Victoree’s Solar Return


Diana goddess of the moon

Diana, The huntress. The lioness. The mother.


Bday2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Perhaps the “returns” in the greeting “many happy returns” has to do with an ancient reckoning of the anniversary of coming into the world: the solar return. Some people celebrate their birthdays every year with a party. I knew of one person who did this as an excuse to get gifts. It’s much like participating in trick-or-treating on All Hallow’s for the candy. For me now days, only certain, “benchmark” birthdays get a social event to mark it. My next one will be 60th year. Have to get a move on with the planning since it is coming up in 2014. Whether it is a benchmark year or not, I deliberately book certain events to fall in the week of my birthday including taking time to schedule annual health care screenings (oh my goodness there are more and more of these every year!) and buying new pages for my Franklin-Covey planner.

Most important of all, this is the season I  schedule a casual one-day retreat; a day to take counsel with myself. Whether in a favorite restaurant or on a bench in a friendly spot outdoors, there I take stock of “where I am in time and space” and pull out the plans, notes, sketches and drafts covering my goals, ambitions, and next-steps lists. it begins with a devotional time and ends with a period of thanksgiving. It  includes serious assessment/evaluation of the physical, intellectual, and spiritual areas of life.  Being an introverted soul, this special personal time generates great power and the energy to press through the natural darkness associated with the personality type and on to new heights of awareness and achievement.

If you share a moon-month solar return day with me on any day this month, many happy returns to you too!

Pixar "Brave"  female protagonist Merida

Pixar’s Merida, the latest manifestation of a female archetype


Meditation at Equinox: A Job Seeker’s Rite of Spring

Saint Patrick's Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Pádraig)...

Image via Wikipedia St. Patrick's Day Parade, Dublin Ireland

Spring approaches! Having made the daylight time adjustment (hopefully) we are sidetracked with wonder at the outburst of color and life everywhere. Personally, I begin dreaming in the Aisles of Michael’s Craft Store and  dive into a little “default activity”: crafting spring-themed wreathes and arrangements to cheer myself up after the seemingly endless grayness of the past season. Sometime during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, I clean out my closets and put my warm  winter interviewing suit away for the season (it’s one of those personal  rituals that helps me keep track of the passage of time without the artificial fixtures–like counting down the days to vacation– usually given by employment. Creating these personal time keepers is one of the other things that happen after 1/2 year of non-employment).

It is time to quicken winter’s snow-encumbered pace; to clear away the winter-kill of past failed projects; to lay out  new gardens and plant fresh seed of an effective search. Last season’ lessons  informs this season’s efforts. Some ancient cultures called this “horse back season” too, because it begins the time when plans for conquest and acquisition laid in winter’s cold can now be acted upon. A few centuries ago, a land owner would ride throughout the property to review the condition of the real estate holdings while collecting rents in person. Battles were scheduled to be fought. So it is with the job hunt.

Equinox is a point in the cycle of the year where the hours of  daylight and darkness balance. From that point, the light advances, becoming longer and stronger into the decadent  high productivity days of summer. If there was any time to “work your plan” this is it. Taking a lesson from the early rising bees, we know in our aching bones that all the hard work will pay off somehow at harvest time.

shamrock claddagh

Beloved Eire

Just Being Me: “Default Activity”

reading, an all favorite pastime

a featured illustration from Shay's Word Garden on Blogspot

Some people actually cannot imagine themselves alive on earth having nowhere to go every day that promises a monetary reward at the end of a week. It was from graduation to first job. No space between. It is simply mind-boggling for some folk to consider there could possibly be other places to be during the day and none of them involve parking on the living room sofa watching daytime TV.  “Being me” happens in the spaces not filled up by “the job”. Satisfying the need for a more meaningful life while having a low-paid, boring job causes this space.”Disassociation” from a former job will open more of this space too.
collage of hobby and off time activity

When I'm not working, I'm at...

Let’s play a game.Pretend suddenly you flew off to your favorite place to be; the place that could be called your “second address”…a place where if anybody goes there, they would find you. Are you there? Answer me honestly from where you are hiding. MARCO!

Who said, “POLO!”?
Found you. I know where you are. After the initial drama of joblessness, what might begin to happen is a rediscovery of joyful activity engaged in before there was any thought about paid employment. I call that “default activity”. For some, this kind of activity is laced up tightly into weekends and often called, “hobbies”. For others, it is what one naturally turns to when the day is over. It is what people do to “decompress” or “unwind”. Another word for it is “pastime activity”. Some people take chunks of time to do special projects like teaching kids to read in another country. Still others are gaming, treasure hunting, cooking, painting, sitting in front of the fridge inhaling more than the fragrance or on the dock of the bay “watching the tide roll away”. Default activity. It comforts; it relaxes; it probably started in childhood and it is organic to the personality. After the six-month anniversary of joblessness, default activity might be just the ticket to realign the soul with  authentic purpose. Who knows where a default activity might lead? A business, ministry and yes, a new career, may suggest itself that way.

My Wonderful Life Between Jobs: How To Keep Going

Elizabeth Regina 1

I am the queen.

Of course one day the crashing reality must be faced. One must give a straight answer to the question: what have you been doing for two years since you last drew a paycheck? At first that intrusive, incredibly boorish question used to throw me down. That question is so lacking in class.  I remember when I first heard it I used to lie there and let the anger-embarrassment-sorrow pound me into the dirt and hope the whole experience would just be over quick. After that I could hobble away; pretend it was a dream until the next time. This was my life until something remarkable happened in my thinking. Something happened in my soul that changed me forever.What was I doing between jobs? I was living, of course. I was being me. What I do does not define me (see our talk last week. Scroll one posting back). With or without employment I am still me and that is important because I am an incredibly talented, worthwhile human being. Our humanity determines that  we all have intrinsic worth.

A person’s real worth is not her net worth whether she is a queen or a courtesan. It was only when I came to believe this  that I began to see myself as also a worthy employee or, why not, a worthy entrepreneur. This is the mindset that has to be in place within a job seeker before she can conduct an authentic search for work:whether I am employed or not I am a worthwhile person. I don’t even have bus fare right now, but I am still someone who is valuable and highly valued.This has to exude from within. Not a puff of light powder fresh from a motivational seminar, this is what will keep the job seeker continuing to be on top of the earth when all indicators point only to the futility, the uselessness and to the conclusion that a better position is to be among the dead.

The Sun King's mistress

I am the courtesan

Some call this the brave heart. Some call this  the lioness’ heart. Whatever anyone names it, this is the survivor’s heart.

Occupy Your Career

English: Occupy Washington, D.C. at McPherson ...

Image via Wikipedia

The gypsy lady has not hitched up the wagon because it is not time to move on but to take control. Power ceded to “the job market“, “the economic circumstances, “the cosmos”,”society’s expectations” and anything else must be reclaimed this year. As I mentioned last week, this is a “dragon” year, a year for bold moves.

First of all, who or what determines success in the job search and in life? Consider the nature of dreams. How does clarity come to answer the question about “what do I want to do with my life?” How are foggy dreams floating in space drawn down and wrapped in bones and flesh? KUJICHAGULIA.   Kujichagulia means, “self determination” in Swahili. The second day of the celebration of Kwanzaa is dedicated to the concept of respecting the self, exercising one’s own voice, and taking personal ownership of the products of one’s own mind. This includes the responsibility of owning, creating and managing the reality one brings into existence through accumulated thoughts and acts.

The District of Columbia may dislodge the occupation in McPherson Square, a public park. The forces of that occupation live in tents. Tents are temporary. However, each individual job seeker must fully occupy with intention and consciousness the individual “thought park” where a new positive reality must not just set up a temporary encampment but dig foundations and erect structures of a new thought reality. Deciding, “I shall not be moved”; occupying your career is the first step toward success.