I went to the movie today to see “Up in the Air.”  My friend had suggested that with my interest helping people transition, it would be a good movie to see.  Well, I’m glad I went to see it.  Of course, George Clooney in high definition and on the big screen was a great way to spend a few hours, but it was one of those movies that brought back some very painful moments in my life.

The movie centered around George who was  hatchet man–traveling from one company to another firing people.  My own experiences sitting on the “wrong side” of the desk came quickly back as I was watching the show.  But what really surprised me was feeling the feelings of being the “hatchet” person myself during my human resources career.  Although I did what I had to do, I could see how I buried my feelings in order to get through the many termination meetings I’ve been through in my 30 year career.

The movie came a few days after I attended a Job Fair to promote my new career club, BIZyBoomers.  During that day, I met many people who have been impacted by unemployment.  It was hard to hear and see the faces of so many people who have been devastated by the reality of today’s economy.  But now, instead of giving people the news of such terrible news, I am helping people get back on their feet via my career club. I’m excited about the possibility of making a positive difference in people’s lives.  It’s such a good feeling!

Being laid off was my wake-up call.  It was the kick that got me going to follow a career I had thought about for many years, but had let my fears stop me. Although there were many scary times, the end result is knowing the difference in working at a job that pays the bills and having your passion be your work.  My hope is that I can help many people facing their job loss to have their own chance to do work that builds on their old experiences and skills and makes a positive difference in the world.

Have you lost your job only to find work that you love?  I would love to hear your story and what you’ve learned.

I let my fears stop me for 10 years from becoming a Life Coach.  Once I was laid off in 2006, I knew it was now or never to go back to school for coaching.  Today, I have been able to do things I never thought were possible some 15 years ago.  Since that time, there seems to be an never-ending stream of comfort zone-busting opportunities.

I recently noticed a pattern–it usually starts this way.  I volunteer to do something that is right for my business or my own growth.  Then, panic sets in and my brain goes numb.   Despite acknowledging all I have been able to achieve and/or overcome, the same ol’ fears continue to bubble up–being afraid of making a mistake or being a failure.  It’s an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach.  I can see why many people are not able to push through the fears, they run away or ignore such opportunities altogether.

But after a few hours or sometimes a few days, what do you know–I am able to rise to the occasion and come up with the next step or an answer–whatever is needed.  I wonder what it would take so that I can just skip that deep pit despair feeling and just move to action?  Maybe that will be improbable, but I can certainly shorten the time I spend in panic.  It’s worth a try.

It’s tempting to just keep truckin’ onward about the next thing you have to do. There’s always something more–isn’t there! But before I established what I want to accomplish next year, I took the time to look back over 2009.  I had forgotten a lot of what I did and was pleasantly surprised to see my list.  Starting a new business is certainly an opportunity to stretch and grow at every corner.

In addition to accomplishing a lot of “stuff,” it’s great to consider the behavioral and attitudinal changes that have come along with growth.  It’s become more comfortable to be out of my comfort zone.  Instead of panic, I am able to take more obstacles and challenges in my stride. I notice how achievements push up my confidence a notch, which helps to ready me for the next “opportunity.”

A far cry from just a few years ago when I let my fears stop me from pursuing coaching.  I had every excuse there was.  “Suppose I failed? I don’t have the right skills? What do I know about starting a business?” But I never stopped wishing I could be a coach.  Everytime I talked or heard about coaching, I noticed a butterfly feeling in my stomach.  Although I dismissed it regularly, I now know that’s my gut talking to me.

So, before you make your New Year’s Resolutions or goals, take the time to look back.  Be gentle with those that didn’t quite work out the way you had hoped or planned.  You are still learning.  And yes, I have to remind myself of this very thing too!

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Although I had your business card for a few weeks, I hesitated calling you until one day, I just felt inspired to contact you. Am I glad I did! After applying for literally hundreds of jobs this past year with not even one interview…after sending the résumé you created for me, not only did I get the interview, but I got the job! I feel that God inspired me to move forward and sent you into my life when I needed it the most. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
—J. Bloomfield, Asheville, NC


So, thought I'd brighten your day!  My new supervisor complimented my resume. She said she liked the summary at the top. She also commented that she wasn't positive that my background would've jumped out as a perfect match, but it was written in a way that highlighted my skills as a match for her needs. The resume you wrote for me did much more than any of those things, however. It changed the way I view myself.  It supported me, and gave me a confidence that I was lacking at that time. When I first saw your draft, I didn't immediately connect with it, yet I knew it was all truth. It grew on me, or I grew into it. By the time I walked into those last 2 interviews, I had a new confidence. Something deeper than just knowing I could do the job. I knew I was the right choice. That confidence, that knowing, attracted those jobs to me as surely as my credentials well presented.  It was both, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 
—J. Everson, Bloomfield, KY


I just wanted to write and let you know how much I appreciate your help with my resume. It worked!!! I have had 3 interviews, a step I did not reach before. While I have not received a job offer yet, I know it is just a matter of time before I find a position that is the right fit. Your help with the resume made all the difference!
—L. McLamb Asheville


I have built my business through satisfied clients so I cherish testimonials. One of the most stand-out testimonials that was given to me was shared by a client I coached to help her with an upcoming interview.

This client told me later, that she had met a woman at a community event. Jen shared about looking for a position and was telling her about the "biz coach" who prepped her for the interview. The other woman mentioned how she found this excellent person to do her resume and that the résumé itself was highly complemented on in her interview. And best yet, she got the job in the end! In a few minutes, they deducted they were both talking about the same person…ME!