Blue Sky Blog

Blue Sky Update – August 2020

Posted by on Sep 15, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer, and human being

Update – Friday 7th August 2020

Do you know what a beat sheet is?

Neither did I until I signed up for an introduction to screenwriting course and discovered it is a way of mapping out a story. Setting out the pivotal and emotional points of the story – in bullet form before writing the screenplay.

These bullet points are then your beats.

So, now I am wondering, what would you identify as your beats, the pivotal moments in your career?

One of mine is the moment I handed in my notice to become self-employed – a decision I have never regretted.

Update – Friday 14th August 2020

I still remember the moment my A’ Level results landed on the mat by our front door in a brown Manilla envelope with my handwriting on it. And my mum hovering by the kitchen doorway as I opened it up. We were both hugely relieved that I had passed all three.

Fast forward thirty-odd years, and today I am beyond proud, relieved, and thankful that our daughter has achieved her qualifications. Now she can take a bit of time out before heading off to University next year.

But I am also mindful that there will be those who have not received the news they were hoping for today. You have options. It might not seem like it right now, but they are still out there.

Update: Friday 21st August 2020

Not entirely sure why I feel compelled to share this today, but this is an old memory. One I still puzzle over today, especially in the light of recent events. Clearly, I cannot say for sure that this was a deliberate act, but neither can I entirely discount the possibility.

But I think this shows some of the uncertainty of growing up as a black child in the seventies and possibly today.  That is not always knowing when you are under attack.  Read more here.

Update – Friday 28th August 2020

 It has been a week of firsts for us –

We had a trip to London and then our first live comedy gig in over six months, at the Warren, an outdoor venue in Brighton.

The whole event was incredibly well organised and safe but more than that it was just fantastic to be watching comedians live again—a great line up courtesy of Comic Boom 💥.

And it reminded me of a post I wrote four years ago, entitled, ‘Why did the chicken cross the road?’ Looking at the similarities between becoming a successful stand-up and building a successful business. The critical thing is timely feedback.

https://careerresilience.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road/

So, what have been your firsts since Lockdown?

 

Until next time

Janice

Blue Sky Update – July 2020

Posted by on Aug 10, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer, and human being

Update – Friday 3rd July 2020

I can see our Eucalyptus now

And it feels like we have unearthed a rare piece of art.

In our bid to continue through our family to-do list, we finally enlisted the help of a friend and had two of our trees professionally trimmed—something we meant to do years ago.

Our Bay which was immediately in front of our Eucalyptus was cut down to around eight foot and the Eucalyptus tree as you can see, was thinned out and trimmed. It just shows what can happen when professional tree surgeons get involved. Or as I would more whimsically call them tree artists.

Now in the mornings, I am greeted by this beautiful tree, and that is what I have been grateful for this week 😊.

So, what has made you grateful this week?

Update – Friday 10th July 2020

It has been a bit of a long one this week – so will be very glad to get up into the Downs for a few hours. I want to make the most of this glorious weather.

Some fresh air and some reasonably strenuous walking, along with a bit of conversation, should set me up nicely for the weekend.

How will you be finishing off your week?

Update: Friday 17th July 2020

In the week we officially became the parents of an adult –

I completed another night shift with the vulnerable young women’s project I have been working with for the past eighteen months or so. Keeps me grounded and on my toes, they drive me nuts at times, but these young women are funny, sharp, talented, and smart.

Though as a career coach, I have generally worked with an older client group, those who are moving towards a second or third career. I find I am learning a lot from these young women and the issues they are grappling with daily. And with the current situation, which is not going to get easier any time soon I hope we do not let our young people down.

I worry that just when we need it the most a ton of potential might be lost if we are not careful.

Update – Friday 24th July 2020

Play to your strengths

I remind myself of this each time I sit down to learn a new piece for the piano. Recognising that my Dyslexia is likely to be affecting how long it takes me to make sense of the musical notation on the page.

It can take me months to learn a piece, but once it is committed, it is not easily dislodged. And this is where my strength lies with playing the piano, in my excellent muscle memory because once it is in my fingers, that is where it stays. If I am struggling to remember how to play a piece, it sometimes helps to close my eyes, get my brain out of the way, and let my fingers at it.

The joy and challenge for me are in turning dots and dashes into something that can be heard and recognised as a piece of music.

So, how are you playing to your strengths?

 Friday 31st July 2020

 Conversations worth having.

Did not think I was going to have much to say this week then I remembered one encounter.  I was beautifully surprised by this conversation and how easily it flowed with someone I had not spoken with before. If nothing tangible or substantial comes of this – no matter it was still a conversation worth having. And you never quite know what will take root.

I am a little Zoomed out, but that has been the theme in recent weeks. I have been privileged to listen in on and take part in some incredible and sometimes quite tough conversations around race, racism, optimism, resilience, black pride and making change.

So, what conversations have been most memorable for you this week?

 Until next time

Janice

 

 

 

Blue Sky Update – June 2020

Posted by on Jul 15, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer, and human being

Update – Friday 5th June 2020

I had an unexpected blast from my past this week.

An old journal uncovered by our daughter as we were having a bit of a clear out. Buried and forgotten on a top-shelf I had kept this journal while travelling around Australia for three months in the early 90s.

It feels like a lifetime ago now, and a bit strange to read about myself after such a long gap.  I have not gone through all my entries yet, but what I have read so far is already making me laugh and squirm in equal measure.

And almost thirty years ago I had no idea where I would end up, what I would be doing or indeed who I would be doing it with.

So, what would you say to your younger self if you could?

Me: keep showing up, come what may.

Update – Friday 12th June 2020

Every pot has a lid, Janice.

This is the phrase my friend’s mum used to quote at me, every time I moaned about being single.

Then almost twenty- five years ago, I was lucky enough to meet and later marry my lid.

Today as a career coach, I am only too happy to apply this principle to work.

So, if you are looking to make a change, find the career that is the right fit for you – then do get in touch.

PS

We celebrated our wedding anniversary this weekend with our daughter, a glass or two of wine and a family game of Monopoly😊.

Update: Friday 19th June 2020

I am not a fish

My tongue in cheek reminder to the marketers, network or otherwise, salesmen/women who attempt to reel people in with a bit of bait on a line. Something I have noticed on LinkedIn for a while now.

I have neither the time nor the patience to read half-baked messages, with barely any information – asking for a telephone call, Zoom meeting etc. There is no point in dangling a bit of information at the end of a line of marketing, sales hoping to reel me in.

If you have something to sell, not a problem, LinkedIn is, after all, a platform for business, but then say so and give me enough information so I can either say yes, no or ignore.

Anyway, moan over, 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Update – Friday 26th June 2020

 Twenty years from now

you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

So, throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour.

Catch the trade winds in your sails.

Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Just about says it all for me, but if you would like it in more prosaic terms:

Find the thing that brings you joy, then find a way to go and do it. That’s it.

I should say that today’s post has been inspired by coming across someone who has found the time to write a musical.

Have a great weekend 😊

Until next time

Janice

 

Blue Sky Update – May 2020

Posted by on Jun 8, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer, and human being

Update – Friday 1St May 2020

It was good to share a laugh, and a joke with Tim (not his real name) at Fare Share this week while working at the supported housing project.

I happened to be on shift when he rang through to confirm the food order for the girls. He asked if we needed a few dozen packets of sliced ham and without thinking, I replied, ‘only if you can supply us with some sliced bread to go with it.’

Luckily, Tim had a sense of humour and laughingly reminded me that, ‘doesn’t work like that, Janice.’ To which I replied, ‘so no caviar, then?’

One tiny moment that made me chuckle, so this week I am giving ‘a shout out’ to Fare Share and the difference they are making with their deliveries of food to those in need.

And we still had a bit of a laugh.

So, what, who has made you chuckle this week?

Update – Friday 8th May 2020

I had a bit of a light bulb moment this week, while on a Zoom call with three long-standing colleagues from my days at Ford’s.

I have always preferred to either work one to one or with tiny groups. But often the figures do not stack up when you factor in room hire etc.

Now we are growing more used to working with Zoom and other online meeting platforms; I am looking at how I might bring small groups together over a period. At how it might make my coaching and maybe not just mine more accessible.

Something that allows me to work to my strengths while supporting others.

Now I am off to work up some details, put some flesh on the bones.

I might be a bit late to the party, but how are redesigning what you do, given the current situation?

Update: Friday 15th May 2020

This is the view I captured when I needed to walk off some frustration a few days ago. When I needed to get myself out, under some clear blue sky and gain a bit of balance and perspective, and it was all over a tiny miscommunication, something that would not usually register on my radar. But once again, the sea delivered. Being able to sit and watch the waves come in and the waves go out was enough to settle me down.

So, once again, I am grateful that I live by the sea. What have you been thankful for this week?

Update – Friday 22nd May 2020

  • Random medical box
  • Giant weed on decking
  • Blocked guttering

What do these three things have in common?

They are the first items we finally got around to tackling on our family to-do list last weekend. Things that we have been tolerating but not doing anything about for months, well maybe years ;).

It was my husband who suggested we put a list together, and our daughter who got us started. It has felt great to work together and get some of this stuff done and crossed off the list.

We are on a roll now, not sure how long it will all take. But I am already enjoying the sense of space and clarity dealing with some of these things have created.

So, what things would you have a go at tackling?

Update – Friday 29th May 2020

It is finally time to start racking up the rejections

I submitted to the Penguin Books, Write Now programme, the deadline is midnight tomorrow if there is anyone else out there interested in doing the same.

It would be far easier to sit quietly on the collection of stories I have been working on for the last three years. Far more comfortable to leave them gathering dust.

But now, and I can only put this down to the current situation I feel compelled to give myself a kick up the backside and get them out there to see what happens. Until now, my writing group, are the only people who have seen these stories, and they have had my back every step of the way.

So, on the 15th June when the results are announced, whatever happens, I will have made a start.

Wish me luck.

Until next time

Janice

Blue Sky Update – April 2020

Posted by on May 3, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 3rd April 2020

Often when I sit down to practise on my piano, I am reminded of a past coaching client. Describing an activity, she did that fully absorbed her, where she could focus on and get into her flow. Playing the piano does this for me. I cannot play a G Major scale and have other stuff scurrying about inside my head. I do not have the bandwidth I am either playing the piano or doing something else.

So, what is the one thing that absorbs and takes you out of yourself? Whatever it is, take the time to do it regularly.

And here you go Janine Coombs, you asked about video evidence of my playing, and here it is. By no means perfect, but you can still hear a tune – German Dance in A Major.

Until next time

Janice

PS now I am now off to set up some indoor table tennis 😊

Update – Friday 10th April 2020

How often do you remember to step away from your screen?

With everything that is going on, I am wondering how many of us need to make more of a conscious effort to step away and go and do something completely unconnected.

I was reminded of this when my teenage daughter woke up on Monday morning, feeling decidedly tired after an evening online with her friends. She emerged to say, ‘I can’t face another screen today.’

Being the good mother, I am, 😉 I reminded her that she still had some Psychology work to complete, to which my daughter patiently explained, ‘mum my eyes hurt and I’m going to do some art.’

There was nothing more to be said.

So, are you taking enough breaks away from your screens?

Update: Friday 17th April 2020

I stumbled across a bit of a blast from my past yesterday while sorting through some old documents.

Three printed estimates from my days in engineering, thirty years ago, prepared via SuperCalc4. A spreadsheet program available long before the days of Excel. I was quite proud to uncover these.

I had forgotten how much was involved in preparing an estimate in the production of a counter unit/ floor stand: the materials, components and different manufacturing processes.

Back in the day, I was assigned to bring my spreadsheet skills to the Estimating department, which meant I had first to learn what was involved in pulling a complete estimate together.

I had already had one fantastic manager teach me how to use a spreadsheet effectively, and he was using them to manage Production Control.  I then gained another one in Estimating, a brilliant teacher, mentor, boss all three rolled into one. And we made a bloody good team, churning out estimates at the rate of knots once we got SuperCalc4 involved.

So, who are the colleagues from your past that you remember with both affection and respect?

 Update – Friday 24th April 2020

 I was enjoying the sunshine in my garden yesterday when I spotted what I think was a pair of Red Kites soaring high in the cloudless sky. Not something you see every day, they looked as though they were surfing on the air currents far above the noisy seagulls and the pigeons.

Even from where I was sitting the wingspan on this pair looked huge, must have been at almost two metres. One small thing that I was able to appreciate from this week. I didn’t have time to catch them on film, but it cheered me up thinking that even though we’re a bit stuck on the ground, other creatures are not. I hope I get to see them again.

So, what unusual thing from nature have you spotted this week?

Until next time

Janice

Blue Sky Update – March 2020

Posted by on Apr 2, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

My monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 6th March 2020

I know what I’ll be busy with this weekend, delving into the world of Thomas Cromwell. I picked up my copy of Hilary Mantel’s, The Mirror and the Light on Thursday, from the lovely lady dressed as Anne of Cleves in Waterstones. Not quite the crowd that I was expecting, but that might have had more to do with the dreadful weather yesterday.

In any case, this is what I’ll have my head in for the next little while when I’m not working, coaching, writing, or however, else I usually occupy my time.

Update – Friday 13th March 2020

I could have stood and watched for hours if it hadn’t been quite so cold 😉. The past few weeks have been busy, and rainy, so yesterday was the first time I’d had a chance to get out for a bracing walk by the sea. Regardless of what is going on around me, the sea’s constant motion helps to keep things in perspective. It certainly helped to clear my head yesterday. So, enjoy this small clip from yesterday.

Update: Friday 20th March 2020

Instead of seeing the rug being pulled from under us, we can learn to dance on the shifting carpet – Thomas F. Crum

This quote just makes me laugh as I imagine myself hopping and skipping about on a rolling carpet, a rug or a slippery floor. So, with everything that’s going on, I’m going to pick a dance and just go for it.

Coincidentally we used a dancing motif on our order of service for our wedding over twenty years ago. So, I’m going to be tapping into some of that joy and laughter too.

It’s time to dust off the Wii and get stuck into a session of Just Dance. 😊

#Staywell #Findyourjoy #dowhatyouneedtodo

Update – Friday 27th March 2020

 What have I been grateful for this week?

My small list and in no specific order:

  • Some wonderfully warm and funny conversations with my family via Zoom.
  • A few days with clear blue skies and sunshine never fails to lift my spirits.
  • Observing people being creative with how they are running their businesses and how they are using their extra time. I’m enjoying seeing people sketch, knit, sing, make music.
  • A fun hour on Monday evening learning to tap via Skype with our fantastic teacher @Helen Rogers, from Brighton Boogie.
  • The calm and orderliness of shopping at Aldi’s this week and a big thank you to all the staff who helped make this happen. I was dreading the whole idea of venturing out to do this.
  • You Gotta Be, by Des’ree and the rest of my Spotify list. All are helping to keep me sane.
  • All the people who are reaching out to us, to say hello and check-in. You know who you are.

And finally,

  • Our Wii. Oh, Lordy it feels good to jig about with my daughter to ‘Just Dance’.

So, what have you been grateful for this week?

#Gratitude #makingthebestofit

Blue Sky Update – February 2020

Posted by on Mar 5, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 7th February 2020

Over twenty years ago now, in my last employed role, my colleague and I for as long as we shared an office always greeted each other after the Christmas break with a ‘happy new year.’  It was how we acknowledged some of the work-based nonsense we’d had to put up with during the year. His decision to move on played a big part in my doing the same, not so long afterwards.

So, as we move through 2020, what will it take to kickstart change in you?

Update – Friday 14th February 2020

Why bother with formal networking events when you can sit down and colour? More and more, I am starting to appreciate the usefulness of colouring as a conversation starter. I suppose I must look a bit incongruous, sitting at the table amongst the toasties, mugs of tea and biscuits with my colouring book, pencils and the departmental pencil sharpener. But be that as it may the guys at the homeless project, usually find time to come along and say hello even if they don’t always want to join in.

And I have the added benefit of a bit of quiet, time punctuated with some interesting and relaxed conversations that appear to happen quite naturally.

Now I’m wondering about Colour and Chat networking 😉.

Happy Valentine, everyone.

Update: Friday 21st February 2020

‘Coach like rain’ and I am enough

Two phrases that I have come across in The Book of Coaching, by Ajit Nawalkha and Dr Neeta Bhushan. I’m still only halfway through, but I am enjoying how the authors have included video links to the work and approaches of others.

‘Coach like rain’, ironic given the weather this week comes from Michael Neill and his thoughts on being fully present with your client, showing up, being in the moment without total reliance on tools and techniques. The ‘be like rain approach’, reminds me of my early training in career counselling and the idea of ‘being in a dance with your client.’ Where they lead, you kind of need to follow, metaphorically speaking, which is how you take your coaching to the next level.

I am enough, is from Marisa Peer and her assertion that at the root of most issues is the belief that people don’t think they are enough, not good enough, not rich enough, not successful enough, not lovable enough. You get the picture.

So, my homework for this week is to remind myself that I am enough while coaching like rain.

 Update – Friday 28th February 2020

 What brings you joy, both personally and professionally?

For me, it’s those moments when something comes together. It just works, and all the elements flow seamlessly together to form a coherent whole. Things suddenly make sense.

  • A client shares with you that they have had a moment of clarity and insight.
  • When a piece of music I’ve been learning, finally emerges through my fingers on the piano.
  • An article, a blog post doesn’t matter what almost writes itself and emerges as a completed piece.

I could go on, but for me, it’s worth remembering that there’s always some joy in the tiniest moments.

Until next time

Janice

Blue Sky Update – January 2020

Posted by on Feb 8, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 3rd January 2020

With the new year, comes a new addition to our team, supporting vulnerable young women. Dolly, (not her real name) the hamster is now resident in the office, for how long I don’t know. But having never owned a hamster, I’m surprised at how taken I am with her. Amazed at how often I found myself hovering around her cage, to watch her emerge and sniff about.

And I must say in the middle of a busy and fraught shift; Dolly played her part in helping to calm things down. She was such a useful distraction that even after just one session, I hope they put her on the payroll.

I look forward to working with her again.

Happy New Year, everyone.

Update – Friday 10th January 2020

Yesterday, in the intervals between the songs on my Spotify playlist, I managed to catch snatches of a conversation on my journey to work.

Start-up company

People with ambition

Generally, my age

No regular payment, but not tied in

Flexibility

From what I could hear, the young man, sitting a few rows behind me, was sold on the prospects offered by the company and ready to go.

And it made me think, what do people look for in potential employers? How clear are they about this, when they are considering a move?

I’ve been self-employed for over twenty years. Still, if I were on the lookout for an employer, my non-negotiables would be flexibility, the opportunity to learn and social significance. Three things I managed to find with my part-time role supporting vulnerable young women.

Though I have an issue with the rates of pay within the charitable, voluntary sectors, but that’s a topic for another day.

So, what would you look for in a potential employer?

Update: Friday 17th January 2020

Just what you need after a busy week, a walk by the sea and a chance to clear my head. Especially as I’ve signed up for another stand-up course, something I did around this time last year. Wish me luck and have a great weekend.

 

Update – Friday 24th January 2020

 Where has the week gone?

I’m only just coming down, after completing my second stand-up course in Brighton at the weekend. I did the same course about a year ago, so what was different this time around?

A new set of people, but this weekend we women vastly outnumbered the men. Surprising as it was 50:50 last time and it leaves me wondering about how the world of comedy is changing.

At the end of day one, I was not at all happy with the material I had produced. I was seriously considering whether to perform; this had not been the case the first time around. Last time I’d been scared and excited at the thought of performing my set.

But, once again, I am so glad I pitched up on day two and here I must acknowledge the tough love of our facilitator Jill Edwards. There was no messing about, and I decided to change my material completely. All within two hours, so I could deliver it at four o’clock in front of family and friends.

I got a few laughs, but more than that, I’m so glad I listened to my gut and made the last-minute change. When was the last time you had to do that?

Blue Sky Update – December 2019

Posted by on Jan 13, 2020 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – Friday 1st November 2019

What a great way to break up the week, with a night out at our local comedy club, Comic Boom, at the Komedia, Brighton. It’s only the second time, we’ve managed to make it since I attended Jill Edward’s two-day stand-up course at the start of this year.

Seeing the different acts, some more experienced and polished than others reminded me that with comedy as in all things, it’s all about making a start.  Then seeing where it takes you. As I’ve just updated this post relating comedy to business, I thought I’d share it again:

https://careerresilience.wordpress.com/2016/01/21/why-did-the-chicken-cross-the-road/

I’m going back for another stand-up course in the new year. It will be a fantastic start to 2020.

Update – Friday 8th November 2019

To date, I have 30 or so articles posted directly onto LinkedIn, something I was doing quite regularly until about eighteen months ago.  I only stopped when I noticed that both my reach and engagement, had dropped like a stone. But now I’m curious to see how the LinkedIn algorithm is functioning.

So, just for the hell of it. I have dusted off and published a short piece entitled:

Five habits of strong career progression

Today, it’s all about helping you to become more strategic and proactive in managing your career. Putting you in charge, so you are in the best possible position to thrive when change comes. As it always does.

As a career coach, I enjoy and take pride in watching people, manage their career and life with greater confidence, energy and focus. So, here are the five habits as I see them:

Habit One:

Build and maintain a strong network. Take the time to form relationships based on genuine interests and liking. Be prepared to offer help as well as receive it. Successful relationships are always a two-way process. You never know when someone might be able to provide that crucial bit of help or information. Just as importantly, that person might be you.

Habit Two:

Start to take control and ownership of your career, the person who has the biggest stake in it is you. Be realistic and honest with yourself about where the responsibility lies. You may need to be the one who initiates feedback sessions with your boss, or who asks for additional responsibility or asks to become involved in a project of interest.

Habit Three:

Learn to think of yourself as a brand, if you had to design a marketing campaign for yourself, what key messages would you want to get across? Become comfortable with knowing your strengths, your achievements and as importantly, being able to talk fluently about them.

Habit Four:

Take regular stock of where you are with your work and career, both emotionally and intellectually. Are you still excited by your work, is it challenging, or are you becoming a bit bored and tired with it?

Are you springing out of bed in the mornings, or is work becoming a real drag? Pinpoint causes of dissatisfaction and areas of satisfaction and see what you can do to minimise one and enhance the other.

Habit Five:

Carry out regular audits of your skills and knowledge. Ask yourself; what do I know, can I do now that I couldn’t six months ago? What have I achieved? What new things can I add to my CV? It might even be worth setting up a learning file so that you can keep track and reference when needed.

Those are my five, and I’d be delighted to hear of any new habits that you would include.

Update: Friday 15th November 2019

I was going to have a moan about receiving unsolicited advice on LinkedIn but decided on balance that life is too short.

Instead, I’d rather talk about my first official Christmas works do in over twenty years. Usually, at around this time of year, I start to feel a bit of a ‘Billy no mates.’ One of the few drawbacks of working for yourself, you could end up pulling a cracker by yourself.

So, having spent the last year working with a fantastic team, to support vulnerable young women.  I’ll be heading off with them in December to enjoy a well- deserved evening out.

I’m excited to be celebrating the end of the year with them and look forward to seeing what 2020, brings.

Update – Friday 22nd November 2019

 ‘The moonlit flooded sky was enough.’

It’s out there somewhere my response to a Twitter challenge, write a story about a picture in six words or less. But it wasn’t until I’d hit the send button that I remembered the LinkedIn challenge that I participated in around three/four years ago.

Cannot remember who, but someone stuck up a challenge to write a story in 50 words or less and at the time I came up with, ‘the woman who turned her husband into a dog.’ I must have been having a moment, though I’m rushing this a little as I’m heading out to meet said husband for lunch.

But the reason for sharing this; is that LinkedIn challenge started me on stories and caused me to think differently about writing. Over the years, I have picked up clients here and there through LinkedIn, but much more than that, I’ve picked up ideas and different perspectives to work and life in general.

So, thank you again, LinkedIn.

Update – Friday 29th November 2019

It’s taken over thirty years, but yesterday I finally visited Hatfield Poly where I studied engineering in the early 80s.

Now known as the University of Hertfordshire, to say it’s changed is putting it mildly. The Elephant House was one of the few places I could still clearly remember, spent quite a lot of my time here. I did also manage to peek at the workshops where I spent eight weeks producing a bench vice and a toolbox. To say my career has changed is putting it mildly, but this is where it all started for me.

Blue Sky Update – November 2019

Posted by on Dec 6, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A monthly recap of my life as a career coach, writer and human being

Update – October 4th, 2019

What three things are you committed to working on every day?

I’ve decided to stop messing around and crack on with my piano practice and exercise in addition to the journaling I do every day.

Writing, consistently every day for the past two years, has been quite a revelation for me. So, it seems worthwhile applying the same approach to the two other areas that I’d like to, progress.

It’s still very early days, have only been going with my new regime with the piano and exercise for the past two weeks. But I am already noticing; it’s easier just to fit in 15 minutes or so a day of practice and exercise, rather than trying to schedule in special slots during the week.

Though I suspect it will be some years before I’m playing my first piano concerto 😉

Update – 11th October 2019

I am starting to have a bit more fun with Twitter – engage more rather than just tweet and run. Despite being a member for ten years, I have in all honesty spent a large proportion of that time, mainly posting. Now I can see that this has been like broadcasting my news non-stop, without really taking the time to stop, listen, and follow up on what others were saying. Not something I would remotely do in person.

So, these days, I schedule no more than two tweets per day, and after that, it’s responding to questions, liking or resharing tweets and articles depending on what is happening. It’s amazing what you can convey with a gif in response to a question, or issue raised.

A few months back; I was wondering about the relevance of Twitter and what to do with my account. But since adopting a post less, engage more approach I am noticing a steady increase in followers, and engagement much like on LinkedIn.  It’s also helped that I’ve stumbled across the huge writing community on Twitter and their generosity in supporting other writers.

Update: Friday 18th

‘Janice, you are not an emergency service.’

I had good reasons this week to recall these words, shared by the amazing woman who was my supervisor when I first started my training in career counselling.

She was helpfully reminding me of the importance of knowing and holding my boundaries, and I guess only time will tell, how this pans out with future work.

But on a different note, I was pleased to have been included in this week’s Thrive Global’s publication on what we can learn from the wisdom of children. To read it in full, click here:

https://thriveglobal.com/stories/children-advice-words-of-wisdom-stories/

Update – Friday 25th October 2019

Attended two incredibly useful events this week; one on applying for Arts Council funding, the other on writing dialogue for screen and fiction.

I came away from both feeling strangely uplifted and inspired. Realising, that for me at least; it makes more sense to focus on my pathway towards success, rather than worrying about the odds of success.

In other words, I need to keep working on my plan, doing something on it every day.

So, what has inspired you this week?

 

 

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