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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

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Here's What Happened When I Flipped My Way Through the Work Week

I was super inspired by the idea of Serenflipity cards since the first time I heard about them. While I’m a person who loves to try new things, I find myself stuck in ruts from time to time. Sometimes, my creativity suffers; other times, I find myself caught up in a comfortable routine and naturally stop pushing myself to grow. 

Though I’m nearly two years into my journey as a small business owner and try to take advantage of my freedom I have to design my life each day, the ability to work from anywhere can be oddly paralyzing — both locally and globally. In an effort to add some pizazz back into my daily patterns, I decided to put my deck to the test by flipping a new card each day of the work week. Here’s how it went.

Day 1:Cancel as much on your calendar as you can. Then, sneak out and say YES to at least one random thing that comes your way.

This card couldn’t have come at a more perfect time; I’ve been feeling super stressed and in need of downtime, something I'm still learning to treat myself to. While I couldn’t cancel my morning client calls, I shuffled around some of my project work and took the afternoon off of work. A friend stopped by and we ended up catching up for hours over cocktails on my back patio. I laughed so hard my abs hurt, and went to bed with a big smile on my face that night instead of stressing about the next day. Carving out time to have fun with friends is important, and I need to make myself more available to do it!

Day 2: "Identify a big fear and see if you can take one action to confront it.

One of my biggest fears is that something will happen to someone I love who lives far away. I moved to California almost a decade ago, but still feel guilty about missing out on precious time with my family and friends on the east coast. Though I can’t control what might happen to someone I care about or always visit on a whim, I can definitely connect with them in meaningful ways. Today, I called my Mom and Dad and caught up with two close friends over text. Just taking the time to check in on each person and hear about what's been happening in their lives made me feel really good.

Day 3:Ask a stranger for a mantra and live by it for a day.”

I work from coffee shops often and usually chat with people I don’t know during the course of a day. Today, I decided to ask the barista for her mantra, which was “we are what we repeatedly do.” Though I’d heard this before, I found that having a reason to actually apply forced me to put it into practice and think about each action I took.  It's fascinating how small things that can subtly transform into habits have the ability to shape who we are and how we live. Little things can define us, so we should consider them carefully.

Day 4: “Wear something unexpected or outside of your usual style today, whether it’s an accessory or a full ensemble.”

This card was so much fun for me! I recently bought a pair of futuristic-looking, all white sneakers from an Aldo shoe sale but felt self-conscious about wearing them as they’re pretty far outside of my standard style. Today, I whipped them out proudly. I got a couple of compliments and a couple of questions (my neighbor thought they looked like space shoes!) but wore them all afternoon around San Francisco. I felt like I was drawing attention to myself, which was uncomfortable, but it felt good to try something new and different. Why not?

Day 5:Keep a smile on your face all day long. Take note of how people respond and how this makes you feel."

I actually smiled when I flipped this card (how fitting!) because I've been focused on being more joyful and genuinely positive for a few years. This card reminded me that smiling often comes from a place of gratitude — and that finding things to feel happy about makes it easier to connect with other people in a truly authentic way. Though this card is a perfect nudge to uncover even more positive stuff, it also reminded me that it's not always easy for people to see what's great about themselves or their lives. While staying upbeat per usual, I found that I felt extra patient with others, noting that struggles aren't always visible on the surface. I also felt extra lucky that I have so much to smile about!

Though I can’t tie a transformational moment or specific life change to my experiment using the cards this week, I feel refreshed and inspired after having tackled a mini-challenge during each work day. I started to really look forward to my flip each morning and trying to accomplish whatever the card said. Small shifts can inspire big waves, and sometimes all it takes is a sentence to get started.


About the Author

Krista Gray is a web producer and freelance writer who lives in San Francisco. When she's not working with clients through her company GoldSquare, she loves reading, traveling and learning new things.

Connect with Krista: Instagram, Twitter, goldsquare.co
 

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4 Realizations That Gave Me the Courage to Make a Career Change

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4 Realizations That Gave Me the Courage to Make a Career Change

I worked eight jobs in the first ten years of my career. I was caught in an endless cycle, always searching for a job that excited and challenged me more than my current one. I didn’t want to miss an opportunity to seek improvement for myself, and so I found myself always seeking something better and more fulfilling.

No matter how cool the company was, I was never happy in my job.

On paper, some of the positions I held seemed like dream jobs for me. Music is a huge part of my life, and my first internship was at a record label. I’ve loved beauty products for my whole life, so working in the beauty industry seemed like it was a dream come true. Working great jobs at coveted places made me feel like I should be happy, especially since I was good at what I did. The same went for my jobs producing nonprofit events and handling marketing for health and wellness brands; I excelled in these capacities, and each time, everyone assumed that I’d finally found the perfect job for me.

In the back of my mind, I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur—but I wasn’t sure what my business would look like or where I would fit in. That all changed when I found a career coach. As we worked together, I thought to myself, “How can I do her job?” Being a connector, supporter, and cheerleader for all my friends (and their friends!) felt like a part of my DNA. I couldn’t turn this part of myself off. It made perfect sense to make coaching my business.

I realized that coaching was something I’d been doing naturally all my life.

By that point in my journey, finding the courage to make a career switch was the easiest part. I felt energized and thrilled by the thought of a career that was fulfilling and rewarding. If you’re feeling like I was feeling, here are a few of the realizations I had that helped push me to make a big career switch:

1. I like doing things my own way. Becoming an entrepreneur meant that I could leave my traditional roles behind and decide how I wanted to structure my business, what kinds of clients I wanted to take on, and how I wanted to design my lifestyle. None of these things were possible in my previous jobs. I experienced a big health scare in 2012, which resulted in me having surgery to remove a quarter of my right lung. After the surgery, I knew that my health and well-being needed to be a priority in my life. As an entrepreneur, I’m able to carve out time for self-care, which helps me to be more productive when I’m working. Changing careers made a new lifestyle possible.

2. I wanted to do work that mattered to me. I had quickly realized that a dream job doesn’t always equate to fulfilling work. I had always thought that working at a beauty company would be perfect for me, but I ended up hating the industry. Not only did not I not find the work rewarding, I didn’t identify with the values of the workplace. As I moved into working with nonprofits, I felt more connected to the missions of the organizations, but I still wasn’t happy with the overall role I was playing. Now, with my clients, I work with them to find jobs and careers that will light them up, and make them excited to go to work every day. That’s the feeling I was seeking when I made the switch to entrepreneurship, and it’s incredibly rewarding to me to help others navigate through their own career transitions.

3. I could work less but earn more. A 9-to-5 job can quickly take over your life. Sometimes, 9 to 5 is a low estimate of the time really needed to accomplish the job’s responsibilities. I realized that I could actually make more money working independently, and I would also be able to work smarter. I wouldn’t always have to work long days, and when I did, I would be doing so for the benefit of my own business. For me, it was a smart financial move to start working independently, even though it was scary at first. And it was a smart move for my happiness, too. Being able to choose the clients and projects I take on is one of the best parts of my job, and I’ve been lucky to work with people who are really excited to do the work that comes with coaching. Like I was, they’re ready for a change.

4. I realized that listening to myself was most important. It was freeing to realize that I didn’t need to choose a career based on what other people thought. Yes, I had strengths in the areas of marketing, event production and social media, but I had other strengths too. Once I started listening to myself, I realized that being a coach was what I wanted to do more than anything else. As it turned out, once I launched my business, friends and family then told me what a perfect fit it was for me. But if I hadn’t listened to myself, I would never have found the opportunity to find the career that I truly love.
 


About the Author

Harper Spero is a New York City-based business and career transition coach who has found a way to successfully integrate passion with purpose. Harper specializes in helping aspiring and current entrepreneurs break free from toxic environments, create tactical plans for growth, and navigate their careers to bring balance, fulfillment and structure to their lives. Using a mix of customized tools and hands-on techniques in her one-on-one coaching programs, Harper coaches clients to get out of their comfort zones and to do the things that light them up, creating freedom, flexibility and joy.

Connect with Harper: TwitterInstagramharperspero.com

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