Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Anneessa Read, Owner of NeoLyfe

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces my friend Anneessa Read, Owner and Visionary of NeoLyfe

Before NeoLyfe, Anneessa led a very successful Hospitality career for over 30 years. I met Anneessa in 2005 when we both worked for LXR Luxury Resorts and became great friends. I remember us discussing our dreams of becoming entrepreneurs during our many delicious lunch outings.

Anneessa origninally created NeoLyfe in 2007 when she introduced NeoLyfe Magazine. But her fulltime work in Hospitality always got in her way of persuing her dream. It wasn’t until 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic that Anneessa finally got her big push. Like many others in the industry, she found herself on furlough and decided that it was time to pivot.

Anneessa has combined her love of people and hospitality with her passion for natural healing through Organic Coffees & 100% all-natural Teas.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

My First Job was selling Knives for Cutco.  If I remember correctly, Cutco came to my High School for Career Day.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

I started transitioning into my business unknowingly in 2017 when I created the Company NeoLyfe. First introducing NeoLyfe as NeoLyfe Magazine. Year after year, I would start working towards building my business, then I would eventually become too entangled with work to focus on building my business. March 2020 was the big push, the Pandemic happened, then I gained more time to focus on my business, and move forward creating NeoLyfe Coffee & Tea.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

Within 4 weeks my online store was created, and introduce a branch of NeoLyfe creating NeoLyfe Coffee and Tea.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

It’s scary, and exciting all at the same time.  I was so comfortable with getting paid every 2 weeks, and now being self-employed, the scary part is not having that cushion of knowing X amount of dollars would be in my bank account every 2 weeks.  The exciting part is, I have free reign to create, build, and focus on something that I Love, and feel good about. Not because of the paycheck, but because of the freedom

What advice would you have given your younger self?

Never apologize for going for something you dreamed of even when everyone else thought you were crazy.

Learn more about Anneessa and NeoLyfe: www.myneolyfe.com

Follow on Facebook @MyNeoLyfe and Instagram @myneolyfe

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Janet Carabelli, Actor, SAG-AFTRA

Welcome to #transitiontuesdays where we feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

This week our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays introduces my friend Janet Carabelli, Actor, SAG-AFTRA.

For many years Janet owned a successful advertising agency that had been named a finalist for the fastest-growing female-owned company in the region. But in 2009 when the recession hit its peak their revenue tanked and Janet found herself in a position to pivot to the next step of her career. She had studied acting in college and she decided to start sending out her photo to talent agents. Her gray hair and non-botoxed face were in great demand and she was soon making more money doing TV commercials than running her agency.  In 2011 Janet closed Idealogy Creative and started acting full time. Today, she continues working as a SAG-AFTRA actor.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

What was your first job and how did you get it?

Junior Lifeguard Shenandoah Pool when I was 15; swam there all the time and was invited to certify and apply.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

The recession prompted the decision; I’d owned an advertising agency that was very successful.   We’d been named a finalist in the South Florida Business Journal’s 2004 competition for the fastest-growing female-owned company in the region . . . but when the recession hit its peak in 2009, our revenue tanked.   Clients, particularly in the financial arena in which we’d begun specializing post-9/11 (Travel had previously been our focus) were not doing any advertising.   I’d studied acting in college and as a corporate executive had often been in front of the camera, so I started sending out my photo to talent agents.    The gray hair and non-botoxed face were in great demand and I was soon making more money doing TV commercials than running my agency.  So in 2011 I closed Idealogy Creative and started acting full time.

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

Though I actually started getting work immediately, I wanted to be considered for much higher-paying projects than I was initially being booked for. And I wanted to earn my Screen Actors Guild card (SAG-AFTRA). So I took lots of classes and watched countless YouTube videos to refresh my skills, participated in every industry networking event I could find, contacted producers and Casting Directors I’d known from having owned an ad agency, and from having been a Marketing VP in Fortune 500 companies before that. I did Student films for free or very little pay to build a demo. I wound up earning my union (SAG-AFTRA) eligibility in 2013 and became a member in 2014. I now serve on several committees and am an alternate on the Board of Directors.

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

The classes and online content I voraciously consumed included Scene Study; Commercial Acting (scripted and improv);  Voiceover, Acting techniques including Uta Hagen, Eric Morris, Michael Chekhov, Jeff Seymour’s Real-life-Acting; the Business of Acting; Acting for the Camera, TelePrompTer . . . I think the only things I didn’t study were Stand Up Comedy and Intimacy Onscreen: kissing for the camera! To this day, although I’m a working actor, I take regular classes to maintain and improve my skills.  And I have a few coaches whom I can call upon for specific skills-building. Just as professional athletes and musicians, actors need to continually practice.

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

It’s extremely gratifying to be able to get paid to do what I love — to live my passion. It’s electrifying when I get called in for an audition that I KNOW is a perfect fit, and booking the part is thrilling. Even the audition process is a fun one for me; it’s a chance to perform and may result in a great gig. And even if it doesn’t, I know that Casting Director will remember me for the future. For younger actors, the continual rejection (far more often we’re told “no” versus “yes”) can be devastating and crush their spirits. At this age, I’m confident enough to view other folks up for the same role as colleagues, not competitors.  I’m happy for friends when they get chosen; my ego isn’t impacted.  

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

When you love what you’re doing, it isn’t work.

Describe your ideal vacation.

Up close and personal with animals.  So far I’ve enjoyed 3 photo safaris in various parts of Africa including the great migration of the Wildebeest; the Monarch Migration in the Michoacán; Galapagos; Alaska; Hummingbird Migration Kentucky; Yellowstone; kayaking amongst otters in Morro Bay; rafting with starfish in California’s Channel Islands; whale watching in San Juan Islands;  penguin colonies in Falklands and Patagonia; Barbary apes in Gibralter … I know I’m forgetting some!

Learn more about Janet:

Website:  www.JanetCarabelli.com  

IG: https://www.instagram.com/JanetCarabelli/ 

YouTube Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSxDWjoEWkM-3wHB0JSHAN81I-lALJys   

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/janetcarabelli/

Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays – Lillian A. Ser, Esq.

We are delighted to introduce #transitiontuesdays where we will feature a fearless leader and their transition story.

You’ll learn how they took action on their dreams. Some have transitioned to exciting new jobs, others to a completely new career, or to their own businesses.

We are hoping that these stories inspire you or someone you know.

We’d like to start our Spotlight Series #transitiontuesdays with my friend Lillian A. Ser, Esq. 

At the age of 35 after a successful career, a marriage, and two small kids, Lillian decided to go back to school and follow her dreams of becoming an attorney.

In 2009, she founded Ser & Associates, a minority-owned, female-owned boutique law firm, certified at the federal, state, and local levels. Ser & Associates represents individuals, entrepreneurs, and small to medium-sized businesses in corporate, business, and real estate matters.

Learn what motivated this fearless leader to make her transition.

 

What was your first job and how did you get it?

First Job in life at 13 – Grocery Store cashier. Got it by walking in and asking if they needed part-time help.  First job in Career #1 – Bursar for the University of Miami.  I worked my way up from secretary to the boss.  First job in Career #2 – Shutts & Bowen, a prestigious big law firm. I worked very hard in law school and graduated in the top 2% of my class.  That, coupled with 10 years of experience, got me the job.

When and how did you decide to transition your career to what you do today?

I decided to go to law school when I was 35 yrs old.  I had reached the upper echelons at UM and knew that it would be a very long time before I could ascent further.  Then I thought, I can go somewhere else and do the same job (Billing/Collections/Management) or return to my first life plan of becoming a lawyer. 

What steps did you take to make that transition and how long did it take?

First, I prepared for the LSAT by taking a prep course.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to get a good score.  But, I did.  Then, I applied to UM (the only choice I had since I was married with 2 young kids and couldn’t leave the area) thinking I wouldn’t get in.  But,  I did.  Then I thought there was no way I could afford to go to school full-time.  But, I was awarded a 50% scholarship for my first year.  And, based on my ranking, I got a full ride for the 2nd and 3rd year.  So all the student loan money went towards helping to support my family.  In a nutshell, it was meant to be.  😊

What tools, training or coaching did you acquire/learn to help you make the transition?

I was fortunate in that I was an older student and had real life experience, plus time management skills.  I did not have the money or time to have a career coach per se, but I did rely heavily on the UM Career Source Dept to find summer jobs and improve on my interviewing skills. In fact, I went to the career source my first week of law school and telling the counselor, I need to start working on my job prospects for when I graduate.  The counselor laughed and said, come back at the end of year two.  I said, no. I need a job for the next two summers and a job lined up immediately after I take the Bar.  And, so it was…

What does life look like now that you have transitioned into doing what you are doing?

I’ve been an attorney now for over 20yrs.  I have never once regretted my decision and the hard work/sacrifices I had to make and that my family had to make. I have built a good reputation and have helped many people on the way.   I’m proud of my accomplishments and, most especially, grateful for making my  uneducated/immigrant parents goal of a better life for their daughter a reality. 

What advice would you have given your younger self?

Trust your gut.  Every time you feel uneasy about something, someone or a decision, there usually is something wrong.  And, if you don’t know what to do.  Don’t do anything for a little bit.  The right path will reveal itself.

What is the best career advice you have ever received?

Don’t think too long or hard about a decision because of fear of failure.  Failure is the way we learn and improve.  And, sometimes, if you wait too long, someone will get there first. 

Describe your ideal vacation.

Hmmmmm…  traveling to a new place – ANYWHERE!

Learn more about Lillian and her firm:

@ser_associates LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/lillianser/

This is a perfect time to change jobs – Yes, even during COVID-19

There is no perfect time like the present. Yes, even during COVID-19.

The truth is that if you wait for a perfect time to change jobs you may wait a long time. The right time to change a job is the minute that you start thinking of doing so. The present time is always the best time. Chances are you have good reasons to want to make this transition and I am here to tell you that you shouldn’t wait.

I am well aware that more than 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment since the start of the pandemic and this is definitely something to be concerned about. However, the most recent US Department of Labor release shows that the weekly unemployment claims dropped below one million for the first time since March according to a Wall Street Journal article from Aug 13, 2020, and although the numbers are still high this should not hold you back from looking for your next opportunity.

Here is why this is the right time for you to start looking.

  • Number one – Companies are still hiring!
  • People are moving – many people have taken this time to re-evaluate their situations and have decided to relocate which means that jobs locally are starting to open up.
  • Lack of happiness – people were not happy with their jobs before the pandemic and are still planning on changing jobs.
  • Better opportunities – as humans our need for growth is still there and many are still searching for more money, more responsibility, better benefits, etc.
  • Fulfillment – this pandemic has put things into perspective for many. More and more people are looking to change jobs that are no longer exciting for them. They have either outgrown their careers or they were in a career that they didn’t like and have taken this time to align themselves and their future.

As daunting as it may be to look for a new job during a global crisis, there are still opportunities to be found. Here are some reasons to consider changing jobs amid COVID-19.

  • Excitement and Joy – do you wake up excited and ready for the day or do you wake up dreading your work? This is a huge indication that you may be ready for a change.
  • Uninspired – do you leave work every night worn-out, deflated, and uninspired? Life is too short to hate your job.
  • Purpose and Alignment – the pandemic gives you an invitation to reflect and align your career with your values and lifestyle. If you are like many of us, you’ve taken some of the downtimes to really evaluate where you are and where you want to go. For many, this includes their careers. Ask yourself if your current job aligns with your strengths and your purpose and if it doesn’t then that’s an indication that you are ready to move forward.

If you are lacking excitement, joy, purpose, and alignment and feel uninspired then the time is now. Here are some ways that you can prepare for your job search:

  • Take an online class that may help you build on your transferrable skills.
  • Get clear – really think about what you want to do next. Think about the lifestyle you want to have (work from home, travel, flexibility, etc). Think about what fulfills you. What is your expertise? What sets you apart from your competitors?
  • Career Strategy – once you get clear, its time to create a career strategy. Identify companies of interest, job titles, and read job descriptions. Use the 80/20 rule – if you can do 80% of the work and it excites you then that’s a good fit.
  • Network – The smartest way to transition is to connect with people in the field and organizations of interest. We are all craving connection so this is the best time to reconnect with old friends, friends of friends, old colleagues, and members of college alumni networks.
  • LinkedIn – is the world’s largest professional network with 706+ million users in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to find top-notch candidates.  Make sure that your profile is strategically updated and that your professional brand makes you stand out from the crowd.
  • Resume – make sure your resume is updated and ATS friendly. Focus on your major accomplishments and make sure that the resume strategy is clear.
  • Interview Preparation – most interviews are taking place over the phone and via video. Practice and make sure that your space at home if you are working from home is set up for good video and connectivity.

It’s time to get you out of paralysis analysis and into a thriving career. Do work that brings you excitement and fulfillment. Life is too short to hate your job. You will be happier, and your family, friends, and coworkers will be happier to be around you.

Do you have a personal experience with transitioning during the coronavirus you’d like to share? Please email info@beproductivecoaching.com and tell us your story.

Not sure where to start? Book a complimentary 30-minute discovery consultation. SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION

10 Tips to Stop Hating Interviews

Most people dread interviews. Wait, let me rephrase that…most people hate interviews. I have heard so many people say that they wish that interviews were not a part of the process. But how else would a potential employer know if you are a good fit? I can certainly understand why you would dread or hate interviewing. Not only are you going in to speak with a stranger about your work experience, but in most cases, you are hoping that they will hire you. Many times the fear of rejection sets in from when you are asked to come in for the interview or jump on that phone or Zoom call.

I like to compare interviewing with dating. Most of us feel a sense of excitement and, at the same time, a sense of anxiety and fear when we are first asked to go on a date. You are excited that you are getting the opportunity to go on a date with someone who interests you and happy that the person has shown interest in you as well. Still, you have no idea what to expect. You start planning what you are going to wear, you may practice your greeting, and these days you may even look them up on Facebook or Google them. You prepare for the date so that you feel more at ease and so that perhaps you can have the opportunity for a second date.

Well, interviewing for a potential job is no different. Just like you prepare or prepared (if you are no longer dating) for that special date, you should also prepare for the interview with your potential employer.

Following are a few tips to help you prepare and stop hating interviews:

  • Research the company by getting to know their mission, vision, and any latest news. Check to see if you know anyone who works there and perhaps give them a call to find out what they like about the company.
  • Get the name of the person you will be meeting with and look them up on LinkedIn and Google.
  • Put a list of at least ten questions that you will ask during the interview.
  • Practice! Grab a friend or colleague and ask them to mock interview you. Put together a list of questions and practice, practice, practice.
  • Make networking a part of your practice. Reduce your fear of meeting and talking to a stranger by getting out to network. If you cannot network in person, then network on LinkedIn and ask them to join you for coffee or a Zoom call. Speaking to strangers and asking questions to get to know them will improve your conversational skills and reduce the fear that creeps up during interviews.
  • Visualize your interview. Work through the questions in your mind and begin to answer questions that may come up. I always recommend practicing the “tell me about yourself questions.”
  • Write down what has made you nervous in interviews in the past. Then work through those points to overcome them.
  • Make a list of your accomplishments. Everything you are proud of, read it out loud, then read it to a friend and then practice saying it to your friend without the list.
  • Find out what the dress code is and take it up a notch and wear something that makes you feel good. Make sure you pull out your outfit and try it on a few days before to make sure it fits well and looks professional.
  • Work out! Yes, before going to your interview, do something to move your body. Preferably cardio. Try to take the day off if you can or go in late to work so that you have time to exercise. Get your sweat on and release those endorphins. These endorphins trigger positive feelings and will get you in the right state of mind before the interview.

These tips should help ease the nervousness and anxiety that comes from interviewing. Also, do not forget that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Make sure you ask all the questions you need to determine if this is a good fit for you as well. 

 

 

Need help with interview preparation? A small investment can go a long way in your preparation and help you set yourself apart. Set up a free consultation to learn more about our packages: www.beproductivecoaching.com/contact

Tips to Stretching Your Mind, Body & Soul

Have you been stretching? Stretching keeps you balanced and your muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. Without stretching your muscles shorten and become tight. That’s why a daily stretching routine is important and NOT just for your body. It’s just as important to stretch your MIND and SOUL daily.🧠💪❤

Here are some tips I practice daily that will stretch your mind, body, and soul to benefit your overall flexibility, strength, and health. 🧠💪❤

☑ MIND, BODY, AND SOUL STRETCHING Pick One Activity in Each of the Categories and Do It for 10 Minutes Each – Daily:

1️⃣ Body: Yoga or Static Stretching

2️⃣ Mind: Read or Listen to a Book or Podcast, Take a Class, Challenge Yourself by Doing Something New

3️⃣ Soul: Pray, Meditate, Journal, Spend Time With a Loved One

Doing one of these activities daily for 10 minutes will make a huge difference in how you feel and help you stretch not just your body but your mind and soul as well. You’ll have overall health and this is so important now more than ever. Keep yourself healthy mind, body, and soul. 🧠💪❤

 

Stretch your mind, body, and soul with our High-Performance Coaching. Learn how we can work together – schedule a free consultation: www.beproductivecoaching.com

10 Job Search Tips to Keep Your Search Productive

These Job Search Tips Will Keep Your Search Productive Even During Covid-19

Many often say that the best time to look for a job is while you have one. But we all know that things aren’t always perfect. Many times we find ourselves having to do something unexpectedly. COVID-19 for many has proved to do that with the lay off’s and furloughs. Yet, life must go on, and the job search must continue. That job search can be a daunting task, and especially when we do not have one. Here is a shortlist of 10 tips that have helped many of my clients get back into the marketplace within just a few weeks. Note that during this pandemic, it may take a little longer, but don’t get discouraged; the show must go on, and businesses are still hiring!

  1. Get clear on your job search. Know what your ideal next step is and what positions interest you. Think about what is essential for you, i.e. money, growth, being challenged, culture, etc. (wants, needs, bonus).
  2. Polish your professional tools. Once you get clear on your strategy, it’s time to update your resume, LinkedIn profile, and also have a cover letter template ready to customize and send. No, this is not so 1989, cover letters are still required in 2020 even if they don’t ask for them.
  3. Make a list of target companies or industries. Having a strategy includes knowing what companies you want to target and industries that interest you. These will be your focus at the beginning and where you will begin your search. Remember where attention goes energy flows.
  4. Write out an action plan. How many positions will you apply for daily or per week? When and where will you start your search? What platforms will you use? Who will you contact and when?
  5. Schedule time daily. For example: Search on Indeed from 10-11 am, type cover letters from 11:30 am-12:30 pm, and apply for ten jobs from 2 pm-4 pm.
  6. Network. Use LinkedIn to get in touch with old colleagues and friends that could help you. Identify people you could connect with within your industry that may be hiring. Reach out to recruiters, email, and make phone calls, etc.
  7. Don’t forget self-care. The job search can be stressful. Take breaks, skip a day, go for a walk, exercise, journal, meditate, do anything that makes you feel good, and keeps you motivated.
  8. Keep the momentum. Consistency is key! Even when you are not in the mood. Keep going, and you will get the job eventually. It may take longer than you expected it. It may be daunting, but if you stop, you will lose momentum. Do not quit!
  9. Prepare for what’s next. Get your interview skills in order by practicing with a loved one. Be ready for an on-line zoom interview. Create a follow-up schedule (yes, you may follow up on applications). Have your thank you notes or emails available.
  10. Ask for help. If you need help with your tools or interview skills or a professional reference, do not hesitate to ask. People love helping people. Use your resources. If you do not feel comfortable asking for help, then hire a professional. Do not be afraid to invest in yourself and your career. You are not alone!

 

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Six (6) – Top LinkedIn Strategies

One of the most frequent questions I get is how to optimize LinkedIn and have a profile that makes you stand out. In today’s market having online professional branding, presence could be the difference between you and the next candidate. With 95% of recruiters searching on LinkedIn you cannot afford not to have a presence and you want to put your best foot forward. Here are six key areas to customize and pay particular attention to. The time to update or create a profile is now. The economy will open up and you want to be ready when it does. Take this time during #saferathome to get yourself ready and put your best foot forward.
👩‍💻👨‍💻

  1. Head-shot & Cover Photo: You must have one. Make it professional and if possible make sure you are looking at the camera. Upload a cover photo that reflects who you are as a professional.
  2. Headline: This is prime real estate. Make sure that you optimize it with the best keywords.
  3. About Section: Use it! Tell the story of your career and offer the reader an understanding of what makes you competitive.
  4. Customize URL: Remove the odd numbers that LinkedIn generates. This should be just your name and if it’s common then include a middle initial or something that differentiates you such as DR, MBA, PA, etc.
  5. Experience: Make sure it matches your resume and quantify your accomplishments.
  6. Skills & Endorsements: Update this section with your top skills and ask for endorsements.

Not comfortable writing about yourself and don’t know where to start? I can help I am offering 50% off all of my services now through May 31st. Schedule a free consultation- www.beproductivecoaching.com/contact