Stretching Beyond Your Comfort Zone

You may or may not be aware of that fact that I am a retired teacher and librarian. I worked in the public schools of Virginia for 33 years as a 6th grade language arts teacher and library media specialist, and I loved it. I loved it so much that I became National Board Certified in 2003 and renewed my certification in 2012.

In 2008, I leapt out of the comfort zone of the familiar and the relatively “easy” by running for and becoming the president of the Virginia Education Association…something I did from 2008-2012.

As I left the VEA, I recognized that I was suffering from a severe case of job “burn out.” As much as I loved representing my professional colleagues and advocating for the children that attend public schools, the job took a lot out of me… physically and emotionally.

After taking a few months to rest and relax, I decided that it was time to get back to work. I was unprepared, however, for the maze of job boards, changes in expectations regarding resumés, cover letters, and getting my LinkedIn profile up to speed. Suddenly, looking for a job became a full time occupation!

Somehow I was led to the website of a company called CareerHMO. The company is owned and operated by J.T. O’Donnell, a coach who has developed a proven methodology that she calls the “disruptive job search.”

J.T. was my coach during the time that I subscribed to CareerHMO’s JSAP program (Job Search Accelerator Program). With the help of that program, I got crystal clear about what it was that I did and what it was that I didn’t want in my next professional endeavor.

I knew in my heart of hearts that I really wanted to become a life coach, but I didn’t know any life coaches, I didn’t know how to select a program, and I wasn’t sure I could start a business of my own at this stage in my life. J.T. says that we are all a “business of one” and she has noted the growing trend of individuals starting their own businesses and serving as independent professional consultants. With J.T.’s encouragement, I decided to once again leave my “comfort zone” and start my own business as a coach. I have been grateful to J.T. personally and I have been recommending her program to others who have found themselves seeking jobs or new positions.

I truly believe that J.T.’s program is the “real deal.” The content of the program is rich and covers the gamut from self-assessment to the importance of developing a regular job search practice and eliminating negative self-talk that can be so damaging when people are between jobs.

Because I am such a fan of J.T’s and CareerHMO, I am thrilled to announce that I have joined CareerHMO as an Independent Coach Consultant (ICC).

Once again, I am taking on a new endeavor, stretching beyond my own particular comfort zone. I will be joining a team of highly qualified coaches, and I know I am going to learn something new everyday.

I would ask you to consider what it is that you may have done lately that took you out of your own comfort zone? Do you stretch yourself periodically or have you gotten complacent? Do you complain about your life but do nothing to change it?

I urge you to consider that life is all about taking on new chances and going for new opportunities as they present themselves to you.

In the meantime, while I know that not everyone reading this is looking for a job, it is likely that you know someone who is. Perhaps you have a relative who just finished college but hasn’t yet landed that dream job for which they are prepared. Or perhaps a friend has been laid off and they have found themselves like I was not so long ago, bewildered by the job search landscape and wondering where to go and what to do. If that is the case, I urge you to share the information below.

Right now, for those who go through my link at careerhmo.com/kitty-boitnott-external, you are eligible to take advantage of a free offer AND deep discounts on the prices of the packages that are available to subscribers. Having gone through the JSAP program myself, I can offer a testimonial to its effectiveness. I highly recommend it.

Please feel free to share the link with anyone who is between jobs, looking to change jobs, or anyone who anticipates wanting to look for a promotion or change at some time in the future. The methodology that is offered in this program can be used by anyone who wants to prepare themselves for their next great job.

 

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What are the Serendipities in Your Life?

Serendipity Stones Writer and poet, Simon Van Booy has said, “Coincidences mean you are on the right path.” Albert Einstein once said that coincidences are “God’s way of remaining anonymous.” I should offer the disclaimer here that I don’t really like the word, “coincidences.” I prefer to think of “coincidences” as “serendipities.” To me, serendipity is a coincidence with the added element of surprise or delight. I find serendipities in my life all the time. Some people recognize them later, after they have happened; but I usually spot them in the moment. I suspect I see them more readily because I have trained myself to be on the look out for them. My question to you today is, are you on the look out for coincidences/serendipities that indicate that you are on your right path? Is God trying to nudge you in a particular direction, but because She is doing it anonymously, you are ignoring the messages that you are receiving? If that is the case, I urge you to slow down and start paying more attention to the various coincidences that I am sure are occurring in your life right now, even as I write this message. No one is immune to having those odd, “coincidental” events in their lives to which I am referring. So, what are the coincidences in your life, and what are they trying to tell you? Are you on the right path, or do you need a course correction? You know deep down where you need to be and what you need to be doing. “Listen to your own wisdom,” as Oprah would say. It will not lead you astray. Now, just in case you need an example, I have one that just this minute happened for me. This morning, I presented to a group of teachers around the topic of National Board Certification. It made me think about the last person I mentored, and I wondered for a moment how she was doing. Then I proceeded on with my talk. Guess from whom I just this minute received an email? You guessed it. That person about whom I thought just this morning has contacted me, wanting to check in “out of the blue.” I haven’t heard from her for months. Why would she decide to check in with me today? Because I thought of her this morning and on some cosmic level, we must have connected. Those are the events about which I am writing. When you think of someone and they call you the next day. “I was just thinking about you,” you will say. Or you discover that you need some extra cash for something that has come up unexpectedly and suddenly, as you are balancing your checkbook you discover an error that reveals that you have the amount you need. Admittedly, it doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen on occasion. Be on the look out. Listen to the messages you are being sent. God is speaking to you through those coincidences that I like to think of serendipities. Again, as Oprah is famous for saying, it is “what I know for sure.”