Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Stress & Diabetes: Learn About the Risks on November 14

Did you know that the release of stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol can cause a build-up in the blood stream of people with diabetes?

Stress has been proven to play a significant role in many health concerns – from asthma to migraines, cancer to heart disease, and now diabetes. And, believe it or not, the way you think about your life affects your stress level – and therefore your health.

Join me on Wednesday, November 14 -- which also happens to be World Diabetes Day for my upcoming talk on Chronic Stress: The Hidden Health Risks & How To Reduce Them.
I will be discussing how to recognize your stress triggers, and to include simple stress reduction habits (like meditation and affirmations) into your daily routine so you can be more resilient, and live a healthier life with less tension and anxiety. For example, it has been shown that simple stress management techniques can have a significant impact on blood glucose control for people with Type 2 diabetes.

My talk is part of the ongoing Masters of Health & Wellness Speaker Series in the tri-state area sponsored by Turtle Shell Health, designed to explore important matters concerning today’s preventive health movement. It will be set in the beautiful state-of-the-art Farber Center for Radiation Oncology, founded by Dr. Leonard Farber to provide cancer patients with a warm alternative to the sterile and often daunting hospital environment without compromising quality of medical care.

Also speaking will be culinary nutrition pioneer, Stefanie Sacks MS, CNS, CDN on The Role of Food in Preventing Illness & Restoring Health.

Proceeds from this event will benefit The Seeds of Care Foundation, founded by The Farber Center, which provides local support services for cancer patients during and after treatment including professional nutritional counseling, classes, transportation, language assistance, educational workshops as well as financial support for integrative therapies, palliative and end of life care.

If you will be in the New York City area on Wednesday, November 14, join us for this empowering event to celebrate World Diabetes Day. You can purchase tickets online HERE and/or reserve your spot to pay at the door. Don't wait -- claim your spot today!

Monday, October 15, 2012

How Can I Find a Mentor to Help Me Succeed

When you're in transition or looking to take that next step in your career (or business), finding a mentor can seem like a lost art. Here's another question and answer from the Today's Woman: Your Life, Career & Outfit coaches panel with my tips on how to find a mentor.

Q: How would I find a mentor, preferably of the same gender, who is already working in the field I am interested in?

A from Coach Colette:

In addition to exploring whether your company has a formal mentoring program, you should consider other external resources to find a mentor.

Find professional organizations that offer a supportive environment and opportunities for you to meet other women (or men -- depending on your goal).  Expand your network by attending activities and events where you can interact with your potential mentors (e.g., networking events, workshops, industry groups, alumni functions, sporting events, etc.).

Seek out champions and connectors in your existing network:

  • A champion is someone typically higher up the ladder with whom you have worked and have a good rapport. This can be a former boss, partner, client, or even a supplier/vendor who would vouch for your capabilities. If your champion is internal to your company, s/he may be a great ally during the performance management process -- either s/he can share feedback directly with your manager or s/he can advise you on how best to navigate the process. If your champion works elsewhere, s/he may be a great reference as you seek new job opportunities.
  • A connector is someone who seems to know everyone and who is willing to use their network on your behalf -- to make introductions and put you in touch with the right people in their network. Similar to above, your connectors can help you to meet influential people both within your existing company and outside the company but within your industry.
Take advantage of informal opportunities to connect with your champions and connectors for quick coffee breaks or lunch -- ask them if they would be willing to share their insights and expertise with you. Often, mentor relationships develop informally -- you just need be confident and willing to ASK for help and guidance.

When you receive business cards from your champions and connectors, write down their interests and goals on the back so you’ll remember what’s important to them. Then, you can share information that would be helpful or interesting to them.

Be a connector yourself – help your champions and connectors to meet relevant contacts in your network. Don't sell yourself or your contacts short -- too often, we think that mentoring and networking is only a one-way street. If your champions and connectors see you as someone who is helpful, they’ll be more likely to help you too.

What do YOU think? Have you had a mentor who has helped you to succeed? How did you find him/her? What was the best advice you received from your mentor? Let me know in the comments here or tweet me on Twitter.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

How Can I Change My Career Path or Move to a New Industry?

Here's a photo from last month's coaching panel for City Tech alumni -- Today's Woman: Your Life, Career & Outfit. Pictured with me (L-R) are coaches Randi Cole and Shari Sambursky, along with event organizer Jessica Malavez.
Here's another career question posed by a participant at the event:

Q: What is the best way to change career paths or industries; i.e., how can I transition from a non-profit organization to a for-profit company?

A: from Coach Colette

Start by defining your ideal career vision -- to help you get a clear picture of what jobs will be most fulfilling and to screen companies or organizations during your job search. Try this on: just as they will be interviewing you to find the right fit for their company, you can be "interviewing" them to find the right fit for your career goals! Think about the elements that would shape your ideal work environment, the characteristics of the people you would prefer to work with, and the ways in which you would like to generate results and perform your responsibilities. Consider and complete the following statements:

* My ideal role would require I use which of my best skills and strengths?
* My ideal manager would be someone who ...
* My ideal work environment would have ...
* My ideal job/role would mean that I get to ...
* My ideal work-life balance would allow me to ...

Then, research who are the market leaders and successful companies in your target sector, and begin to identify where are the growth opportunities in your target industry. Begin to compare those companies to your idea career vision -- where do you find the greatest alignment or overlap? Also, discover which companies are hiring and review your network to find out who you know that works there (and/or can help you get connected to people there).

Determine which of your best skills and strengths would be of most value to this industry -- when you're moving to a different industry or sector, you may look to your transferable skills (skills that are valuable across different jobs or roles) -- and be able to explain why. Document examples of how you have used your best skills and strengths in your previous roles to add value to your current or former employers -- come up with as many quantifiable results as you can.

Identify relevant professional associations that have meetings and events in your area so that you can network and meet influential people in your target industry. Jump on the social networking bandwagon if you haven’t already (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.).  If you’re looking to connect with someone in a specific company or industry, don’t be afraid to reach out directly or to be introduced by someone in your network.

Over the course of my professional career, I transitioned from the government sector to the non-profit sector to the corporate sector, and finally to entrepreneurship. In those moves, when I used aspects of the tips mentioned above, I had the best career experiences.

If you'd like more guidance on how to navigate your career in today's new normal, consider getting a copy of my Career Management Assessment and Career Management Workbook -- both available for purchase on my website.

How have YOU done it -- how have you made successful career transitions? Share your success stories and lessons learned here in the comments or tweet me on Twitter. And, keep an eye out for more Q&A from the coaches panel!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Can a Successful Career Woman Juggle Work, Life & Dating Without Making Sacrifices?

Last Thursday, I participated in a coaching panel sponsored by the City Tech Alumni Association called Today's Woman: Your Life, Career & Outfit to help women define their personal style and boost their confidence.

We received a number of questions from women at the event about how to navigate their careers, balance work-life commitments, find mentors and just stay motivated! I thought I'd share a few of the questions and my responses here on the blog so that you too can benefit -- and start Q4 off with a bang!

Q: "I recently read an article about women not being able to 'have it all.' How can a successful, young career woman juggle work life and dating without sacrificing one or the other?"

A from Coach Colette:

* Get clear ... and be HONEST about your priorities; and then, don't judge yourself for having them -- in whatever way and in whatever order they show up for you. Your priorities WILL change over time -- figure out what they are for you right now.
* When you choose actions that align with your priorities, you will feel more comfortable and less conflicted, because you are being true to yourself -- working in the direction of your desires, dreams and goals.
* When you choose actions that contradict your priorities, you will feel uncomfortable or even guilty because there is a part of you (deep inside; yes, it's that voice) that realizes you’re not honoring what you truly want.
* Once you've honestly defined your priorities, take a look at your schedule for the last 2 weeks. Does your schedule reflect your priorities; i.e., do you allocate time to the people and the tasks that are most important to you? Whatever answers you learn from reviewing your schedule, again, don't judge -- just observe.
* Set the intention to spend more time with the most important people (e.g., family, friends, significant other, or whomever you choose), and to start spending more time working on the most important activities that you find valuable and that contribute to your priorities. In the beginning, you may only be able to make small changes in your schedule, and that's OK. In Covey speak, we call that living "above the line" -- starting to focus more of your attention on activities and people that are important to you and your goals.
* Minimize time you spend on non-important activities (e.g., putting out fires or responding to interruptions) and avoid potential "time wasters" or excessive "escape" activities -- the time wasters and escape activities are different for everyone; figure out what they are for you.
* And, perhaps most important, as you begin to make these changes, talk to the most important people in your life, including the person you're dating, who will be affected by changes in how you will spend your time -- don't do this in a vacuum, share your reasoning and let them know why you're making the changes. Let them know how it can benefit them as you become more fulfilled and excited about what's going on in your life.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on my suggestions. What's your take on "having it all?" What have you tried to keep a good balance between your business/career and your personal interests?

Comment here on the blog or tweet me on Twitter. And, keep an eye out as I answer more career and life questions from the discussion.