January 2005

In This Issue


New Seminar

Setting Goals for 2005

Special on Yearly Career Check-up

*New Article* Finding Your Neverland

New Seminar

I am excited to announce a new seminar, “Creating Your Career Transition Strategy” with contributions from professional financial advisors. The target date is late January in Atlanta. Topics addressed include:

• Managing Cash Shortfalls
• Replacing Critical benefits
• Making the Correct 401K Decisions
• Developing Career Resilience
• Conducting Your Job/Career Assessment
• Focusing the Job/Career Search.
• Developing and Implementing a Strategic Job Search Plan

Look for further details to follow.

Setting Goals for 2005

In order to make way for the new, the end of the year is a wonderful time to clean out closets and files and throw away what we don’t need. As we approach 2005, we take stock of what the past year has brought to our lives, try to make sense of it all, and determine what we want to accomplish with our careers and lives in 2005.

Despite the challenges, if we take time to reflect, we realize that we have learned much, and that the experiences will help us to direct our lives in 2005. All of our experiences, particularly the painful ones, are opportunities to learn about ourselves.

To read an article on goal setting, see Career Goals and Stress: How to Achieve Goals and Maintain Your Sanity.

Yearly Career Check-up Special

Those of you who have worked with me know that I recommend that everyone evaluate their career or business every six months and make necessary adjustments. With that in mind, I am instituting a yearly check-up program. Clients can contact me to set up an hour appointment either on the phone or in my Atlanta office.

For 2005, my gift to you is a special price of $100 for a one hour review. Please contact me to schedule your appointment.

Finding Your Neverland

Everyone is familiar with Peter Pan, the book by J.M. Barrie, the Scottish playwright, about a boy named Peter who never wanted to grow up. In the recent movie, Finding Neverland, inspired by true events, we learn that Barrie drew inspiration for his most famous work from four boys and their widowed mother who he met in a park. The movie begins with the opening of one of his plays which flopped, and Barrie’s observation that “play” has indeed become “serious.”

In his interactions with the boys, Barrie gets in touch with his inner child that he was forced to give up at age 10 when his older brother died, and Barrie dressed in his brother’s clothes to cheer up his mother. Barrie and the children play games dressed up as pirates, cowboys, and Indians with understated special effects.

We learn from Barrie that even though there is much pain, loss and grief in the world, as witnessed by Barrie’s life and the lives of these boys and their Mom, we can still nourish our imagination with play throughout our lives. We see this as adults when we let down our guard and play with our children and pets, as Barrie did in the movie.

There is a difference between acting like a child and being child-like. In a brilliant strategy, Barrie invited 25 orphans to the opening and scattered them throughout the theatre. In the first scene, when the dog, Nana, entered the children’s bedroom, the children laughed and seemed to break the ice as other adults joined in the laughter, and later the clapping to save Tinkerbell. (“Clap if you believe in fairies.”)

We can still nourish and cultivate our dreams and our spirit even though we are busy, responsible adults. We sometimes get so caught up in the seemingly mundane activity of our lives, dealing with house repairs, raising a family, the never ending errands and chores, and health challenges as we get older, that we do not make time to dream and indulge ourselves in activities that stimulate our imagination. My clients often tell me that they are not creative, yet when we remember our childhood, most of us have fond memories of creative play and talents that got buried as we aged, and focused more on developing “sensible” careers, making money and raising our families.

I work with many people who yearn to express their talents and knowledge in the workplace, and be appreciated for their contributions. But I also see those who give up and settle for mediocrity, those who compromise their values, and others who are held captive in demanding yet financially lucrative jobs that sustain elaborate lifestyles. Working more but enjoying it less, they cater to demanding clients and superiors in toxic environments with constant pressure to please.

But even our aspired Neverland is not devoid of pain and trouble. Remember the pirates and the Indians? The crocodile with the ticking clock in his stomach reminds us that we are all mortal beings. Life can be difficult. And it can also be short. That is why it is so important to know your ideal life and work to hold to that dream. We can then more easily set our priorities, and navigate our way through life’s challenges.

So my wish for you in 2005 is that you find your Neverland. That you spend time this New Year dreaming and scheming for the life you want. Set boundaries and develop goals so you only let in the work and the people who can nourish you, and quality of life that you desire.

Do you believe?