Monthly Archives: August 2014

Job Searchers Need To Love Themselves To Be Successful


By Arleen Bradley

Loving yourself is the first step in believing in yourself.

Today is a day for letting the people you know you love them. But do you love you? How are you showing yourself love? It’s important that you love yourself all the time, but more so when you are struggling. A little self-love can go a long way when you are feeling the results of the black hole.

When I experienced the black hole, my confidence and esteem diminished. After months of no success, I began to feel that I was a loser. I thought it was pointless to fill out another application or send another résumé. Does this sound familiar?

If you are like most long-term unemployed, I’m sure it does. And feeling this way is the biggest hindrance to your job search success. Only when I became confident on the inside as I seemed on the outside, did I find success.

It came when I realized that people weren’t rejecting “me”; they found someone better qualified in the enormous pool of candidates. I had to realize that my thoughts were holding me back. And when I did, I was able to change them and took action to prove to myself I was capable.

I would like to share 3 quotes with you today. Think of them as my Valentine’s gift to you.

Zig Ziglar said, “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude.” This is true. My clients who are positive about their job search find success quicker than the ones who have started the downward spiral.

Henry Ford said, “Whether you think that you can, or that you can’t, you are usually right.” You can do anything you think you can because you won’t stop trying. You will do everything you can to succeed. Resting isn’t an option.

And finally my last quote is by Lee Pryke. I love the title of her website: The reason I love this quote is how she notes that loving yourself is the key to achieving. And that’s what I am talking about today.

She says, “Understanding and unconditionally loving yourself is the key to achieving everything you desire. Understanding is the part that I believe so many slide by, therefore, finding self-love a challenge. When we understand what our inner thought process is about ourselves, we can address the areas that most desire a tender loving hug.” Today give yourself a hug. Allow yourself some time to take care of you. Do one thing you enjoy, and I’m sure that it has nothing to do with job searching. You’ve earned it.   You are poised for success; it’s just around the corner.

Arleen Bradley is a Certified Job Loss Recovery Specialist, Certified Job Search Strategist, and Certified Career Management Coach.


Van Gogh, the self-developing genius

6 Things a Leader Can Learn from Van Gogh

By Andrea Szabados

Reprinted from International Coaching News

When was the last time you painted an honest self-portrait? Either with a brush, or in words, with pen, using the feedback received from others?

Recently I’ve visited the exhibition called “Van Gogh’s Dreams” in Budapest where the artist’s masterpieces come to life using 3D technology. Beside the brilliant paintings, as a personal development professional, I was enthusiastic to read the thoughts cited from the artist’s letters.

As promised by the exhibition’s promotion, I did experience a “new dimension” in Van Gogh’s art. However, for me it was not the canvases displayed in 3D; neither the refreshing of the colour shades and not even the accompanying sound effects. It was the human dimension that was outlined in the exhibition. It was fascinating to observe the amazing evolution Van Gogh’s art went through in barely a decade. Reading his sentences cited from his letters, I became more and more impressed by his perseverance, faith and stubborn self-development.I believe today’s leaders could take lessons from him.

Self-knowledge. He believed in the fact that there’s something he’s really talented at, and he was searching for what it could be. When he found it, he decided to realize himself in what he’s good at.Or, as we would put it today, he was building on his strengths. (Remember the great number of personality development methods offered.…) His self-knowledge was surely strengthened by the many self-portraits he painted. Again and again, he was looking into the mirror to discover his own feelings and features.

Ambition. He was eager to improve. He was never satisfied with his achievements but kept on going, driven by an internal force. He was experimenting continuously to become better and better.

Perseverance. He was practicing a lot. When he started to feel it might be painting that he was really good at then he decided to paint a lot. As much as he could.He even painted the same thing several times – from a slightly different aspect or in a different background. He made studies. And he kept on painting – to become better and better. And what was the outcome? He did improve. (Sadly, his performance wasn’t recognized –it’s widely known that none of his pieces was purchased in his entire life.)

Ambition to learn and professional humility.Vincent, as he signed his paintings, took every chance to learn. He was studying books, observing masters and learned from them. He worked together with them. He was dreaming of a colony of artists.

Creativity. He let himself be influenced by the things he saw in his environment and thereby he was shaping his own style. The vivid lights of the metropolis, the outlines of the Japanese woodcuts or the colours of the country – his unique and new artistic style consisted of such elements.He was seeking diversity in everything. He wasn’t content with habits or routine.He was playing. He generated ideas. “Ideas for work are coming to me in abundance… I’m going like a painting- locomotive” – he wrote in a letter to his brother.

Courage. Van Gogh boldly experimented with new techniques, colours, lights, shapes, lines and materials.He was not afraid of change. Whenever he found that his environment wasn’t appropriate for painting then he packed his things and moved to a new place. He was seeking his optimal working environment elsewhere.

Well ahead of his time, his sense of style features visionary skills that can enable today’s leaders become successful, too. If you are a leader, it is worth considering your own activities and trying to find the “tricks” or lessons you could learn from an inspiring artist.Good news if you feel you would not manage to do it alone: this is exactly a field where an executive coach can support you to become a better leader.

And, dear fellow coach, why not take some reprints of Van Gogh’s masterpieces with you to  your next leadership coaching session?

Source: iCN 5th edition – Leadership Coaching (pages 74-75)

Aging With Attitude: Barbara Beskind, Designer

by Kathleen Doheny, from Senior Planet, 06/23/2014

Barbara Beskind’s favorite piece of advice for her older peers is, “Find out what you can do to make life better for others.”

She’s not the self-absorbed type. We had to press Beskind to admit that, yes, her arrival at the global design firm IDEO where she works can cause a stir. Sometimes, an email goes out announcing her presence in the Palo Alto office.

The other day, Beskind found a temp working at the receptionist’s desk. “He said, ‘I know who you are,’” she says. And so did his umpteen Facebook friends back home in Africa.

At 90, Beskind is by far the oldest member of a dynamic team working on what’s known as human-centered design for food, packaging, electronics and, most recently, aging. She is also one of the newest designers at IDEO. She started last July after applying to be part of the firm’s design challenge for products for older adults. That challenge is over, but Beskind’s stint is not. Every Thursday, she travels by train from her San Mateo retirement community to the IDEO offices.

“I’ve retired five times, but it’s like a vaccination that doesn’t take,” she says. Among her careers: 44 years in occupational therapy, 20 of those in the Army. She set up the first freestanding occupational therapy practice in the U.S., launched a lampshade replacement business and has written several books.

Beskind takes a long daily walk using a pair of ski poles she adapted for the job.

After one recent workday, she still had plenty of energy left to respond to questions from Senior Planet.

As a 90-year-old non-designer, how did you manage to land a gig at one of the world’s best known design firms?

I was watching 60 Minutes in January, 2013, and there was an interview with [company founder] David Kelley of IDEO talking about the Design On Aging challenge. I wrote my resume, and rewrote it and rewrote it for about two months. A friend said, ‘You won’t hear for a month or six weeks.’ A week later, I got a call and they said, ‘Can you come for an interview?’

I got there, and there were 35 engineers and designers. I got up to speak and ended up talking for 20 minutes and took questions. They said, ‘What day would you like to come?”

I came on board and didn’t have time to enter an invention for the aging challenge myself, so they asked me to be one of the judges. Now I work with them on their projects. I’m sort of an ad hoc consultant.

Which of your projects so far are you most excited about?

I’m working on a revolutionary type of walker that is much more dynamic than the ones on the market today. My walker inspires the user to maintain a vertical position.

Of my own projects, probably I am most excited about a separate living quarters that would go behind an existing home, for elderly people to live in independently or to be in for end of life or hospice care. There are some on the market, but I have ideas that would be an improvement. I would have an entire panel behind the bed and a plug-in where there could be oxygen availability and blood pressure monitoring.

It would be prefab, the family could assemble it. It would have a chemical toilet, with water and electricity drawn from the house. The company that leases it would have to get all the permits. As soon as the person dies, the family would have to remove the structure.

How do you feel when you’re designing?

On Thursdays when I work in the office, I feel about 30 years younger. On other days, I feel about 20 years younger. I was describing my career to a friend. I said, ‘My career has always been like a layer cake. At IDEO, this is the frosting on the cake.’

Where do you get your ideas?

All I have to do is sit and watch people. I sit out in the hall of my retirement community and I see how many improvements are needed.

What is your take on today’s technology?

I don’t understand it, but I appreciate it. I have a Life Alert. I have a cell phone, but it’s very primitive – it has voice dial, which I need [due to low vision]. I have an enlarged screen on my computer, which I use for word processing. I’ve written a number of books on it.

What does aging with attitude mean to you?

You have to think outside of the box. Your have to be more than yourself. The world is more important than you are. Having a view of the world that is larger than you helps to maintain a productive, positive, expanded view.

Kathleen Doheny is a Los Angeles-based journalist specializing in health, fitness, and behavior topics.  In addition to writing for WebMD, she contributes regularly to other web sites and to national magazines. Credits include the Los Angeles Times, Shape, Natural Health, Westways, Weight Watchers Magazine, Prevention magazine, Consumers Digest, cancerandcaree


PUEBLA, MEXICO—Seattle-based career counselor/coach Halimah Bellows, MA, MS, CCC, CPC will hold a workshop on Tuesday, 12 August from 14:00 to 16:00 CMT at the Subud World Congress in Puebla, Mexico, City Express, Room 1. She will be demonstrating CAREER QUEST CARDS TM©, the unique self-coaching tool which she created to offer individuals an engaging and affordable strategy for developing a fulfilling new career.

Packaged in a convenient, portable 4½-by-6-inch clear plastic box, the set of 24 CAREER QUEST CARDS TM© provides a distillation of 30 key career-coaching exercises. The cards are color-coded in five categories, allowing an individual the flexibility to work with them randomly or use them in a sequence that suits his or her own learning style.  CAREER QUEST CARDS TM© are also available as an app for iPhone, Kindle Fire or Android devices.

Career coaches and counselors, career development professionals and outplacement consultants, as well as high school guidance counselors and advisors can also utilize the CAREER QUEST CARDS TM  © in working with their students or clients.  The package of cards includes suggestions for using the exercises interactively with individuals or organizing workshops where people work together as partners or in small groups.  Young people in particular may find the colorful cards more fun than reading a book about career development.

Halimah Bellows is a seasoned career counselor/coach with more than twenty years of experience as well as an educator and educational planner for colleges and non-profits on the West Coast. She is available for counseling, coaching or presentations and can be reached at 206.595.7927.