Do you have what it takes to be your own boss?

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

When I was unemployed, I had the idea in the back of my mind that starting my own business could be fun. Besides, I had just come from an experience at a job where I’d had an awful manager, so the idea of being my own boss was very appealing. I had also just read, “The 4-Hour Workweek,” by Tim Ferriss, and was enchanted by his carefree lifestyle. I wasn’t sure if I had the grit to make it as a business owner, so I was relieved when I found an assessment test in “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt.

 

When I took the assessment, I realized I wasn’t comfortable not earning a steady paycheck, wasn’t sure I was up to the strategic analysis I would need, and didn’t feel I had a viable business idea yet. The result I got was to move forward slowly.

 

I got a part-time job so I could pay the bills while I started my business. I connected with other entrepreneurs who could support me in my journey. I found fellow career coaches and interviewed them about how they made coaching work. I recognized that my strengths didn’t lie in video production, web development, or graphic design, so I hired other freelancers to work with me on those aspects of my business. I’ve been reading sales books and attending workshops about how to get more clients.

 

It has been a slow process. I haven’t replaced my income yet to a point to where I’m comfortable enough to leave my job. I’m happy with my progression and I’m a firm believer that when it is time, things will fall into place.

 

Do you wonder if you have the passion and perseverance to start a business venture? Why not pick up a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and find out. As it did for me, the assessment will guide you to what you need to work on to get yourself to a place of readiness and confidence.

 

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Home is Where the Heart Is

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

Throughout my life, I’ve had various opportunities to consider moving to Denver, Colorado, San Diego, California, Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Richmond, Virginia. Each opportunity boasted an exciting new job, a chance to meet new people and try novel experiences. (I’ve also developed a great love for The Philippines and Filipino culture, and hope to someday go there on a trip, if not live there.)

 

In spite of these chances, I still haven’t left Madison, Wisconsin. I’ve often wondered what holds me here. Is my love for cheese and Culvers Frozen Custard really that strong? (Yes, it is, but I’ll save my rant about insufficient amounts of dairy products in other states for another day.)

 

When I read, “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt, I was delighted to learn they had a test for pinpointing the most desirable aspects of location. When I took the test a couple of years ago, I determined these eight factors to be the most important to me when considering relocation:

 

My Top Eight Location Requirements

  1. Friends
  2. Family/Significant Other
  3. Religious/Spiritual
  4. Public Transportation
  5. Cultural Amenities
  6. Education
  7. Community
  8. Varied climate/mostly warm

 

I know what you’re thinking. “Wisconsin? Mostly warm? Are you nuts, Katie?” I know, I know, Madison can seem like the Frozen Tundra on cold winter mornings when it’s five below zero—and that’s without wind-chill. Is Madison ideal? Nope. But having seven out of eight qualities isn’t bad. No city, as far as I’m concerned, is going to be the best place on Earth. (Not unless I can put all my family and friends in a blimp and take them to San Diego with me.)

 

It’s critical to evaluate what’s important and take those location qualities into strong consideration when deciding whether to move. For each of my potential moves, I’m glad I went through this process before getting somewhere and realizing I hated it. It saved me a lot of sleepless nights, not to mention the stresses of moving constantly and the time and money involved.

 

Are you interested in finding out the most crucial criteria of your natural habitat? Grab a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and discover it for yourself.

 

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Do you know your EQ Score?

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

Everyone is familiar with IQ. It’s basically a number received on a test determining how smart you are. Turns out, there are several types of intelligence aside from book smarts.

 

Emotional Intelligence, or EQ, measures a person’s ability to be aware of and regulate emotions, motivate themselves, and relate to and communicate with others. Here is an excerpt from “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt, which gives a breakdown of the five components of EQ. I’ve also included the scores I received when I took the test a couple of years ago.

 

Self-Awareness: (At the time I took this test, my score was 24/25.)

“These items indicate your ability to know what you are feeling at the moment; use that ability to guide your decision-making; realistically assess your own abilities; and promote a well-grounded sense of self-confidence.”

 

Self-Regulation: (At the time I took this test, I scored 20/25.)

“These items indicate how well you handle your emotions so that they facilitate rather than interfere with the task at hand and how well you recover from emotional distress.”

 

Self-Motivation: (At the time I took this test, I scored 18/25.)

“These items indicate how well you use emotional self-control to guide you toward your goals and how well you take initiative, strive to improve, and persevere in the face of setbacks and frustrations.”

 

Empathy: (At the time I took this test, I scored a 25/25.)

“These items indicate how well you sense what other people are feeling, your ability to take their perspective, and how well you cultivate rapport and attunement with a broad diversity of people.”

 

Social Understanding: (At the time I took this test, I scored 23/25.)

“These items indicate how effectively you handle emotions in relationships, how smoothly you interact with others, and how accurately you can read social situations in order to persuade, lead, negotiate, and settle disputes.”

 

Unlike IQ, emotional intelligence can change over time and be improved. Research has indicated that the higher a person scores in EQ, the more successful they will be on the job, in their personal relationships and at life in general. So even if you take the test and don’t get as high a score as you might like, you can work on your EQ and take the test again later. Pretty cool, right?

 

Wondering what you would score on an emotional intelligence test? Grab a copy of “The Everything Career Tests Book” and find out!

 

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The Manager Effect

Katie Corbett holds "The Everything Career Tests" book

By Katie Corbett

 

I’ve often been told I’m a good leader. I’m adept at breaking projects down into manageable pieces, creating synergy amongst group members and providing the idea that sparks a project into action. If this describes you as well, you might wonder how to apply these skills in your career. I did, too.

 

Although I’ve never been in management in a formal capacity, I’ve had the thought, “I might be good at that.” I wanted objective proof. I wanted someone—other than my mom—to tell me I had what it took to make it in management. I discovered this first spark of hope when I read “The Everything Career Tests Book,” by Robin Holt. The tests in the book–while only self-assessments, which cannot take the place of real-world experience, knowledge of specific jobs, and other factors—served as a confidence-booster for me because they lent an outside source of validation to my internal musings. And yes, they had a test about managerial suitability.

 

When I took the test, my total score was 130 points out of 144. I scored highest in the areas the book called Vision and Motivation of Others. Vision is described as “ability to understand the big picture, the direction of the organization, and goals of the project.” Motivation of Others is described as the “ability to encourage and inspire employees to achieve goals and objectives.” I scored lowest in the areas of Communication and Self-Awareness. If I wanted, I could look back at the items with the lowest scores and work on self-improvement in these areas. I haven’t decided if I will do this yet, but who wouldn’t benefit from growth in communication skills and self-awareness?

 

I have since done research on what else it takes to be a manager of people and have decided that it’s not something I’m interested in pursuing right now. It often involves working long hours, having more work than can get done in a day, and talking with subordinates about difficult topics, such as the need for performance improvement. It’s encouraging to know, however, that I’m well on my way to developing managerial capabilities.

 

If you wonder if you have what it takes to manage people, grab this book and take the test to find out. You might be surprised by how suited you already are. Plus, learning about yourself is fun! You might discover you’re adept in skills you didn’t know would be useful beyond getting good grades or developing cooperation for group projects.

 

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Fun Product Friday: Jamberry Haircare (Review)

Katie Corbett holds Jamberry Hair product.

By Katie Corbett

 

Today is Fun Product Friday! On the last Friday of each month, I review a product that has changed my life!

 

This month, my posts have focused on changing your thinking. But what about what’s on the outside of your head? Shouldn’t you take care of your hair, too? I say, “Yes!” And with all-natural, yummy-smelling haircare products from Jamberry, it’s never been easier!

 

Watch this video to find my review of two of Jamberry’s outstanding hair products! I’ve tried natural hair products before with results that were “meh” at best, and I’m happy to report that Jamberry’s got the real deal! This stuff works!

 

 

Want to pick up a bottle for yourself? Click this link!

 

https://sarahabrown.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/products/jambeauty-hair-care-kithttps://sarahabrown.jamberry.com/us/en/shop/products/jambeauty-hair-care-kit

 

It’s not affiliated or anything. It will take you to my friend, Sarah, who is a Jamberry consultant. She’ll be able to answer any questions and help you place your order.

 

Enjoy!

Update 10/24/2018: Unfortunately, this product is no longer in stock. The company has promised to release another hair-care line in the future. When they do, I’ll be sure and do a review of it for you.

How To Turn Failures into Success

Katie Corbett holds "The Magic of Thinking Big" book

By Katie Corbett

 

When I got fired from my data entry job at the end of 2013, it could have been easy for me to think my career—and my life—was over. Luckily, I picked up “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz, and found some ways to overcome this challenge and move forward. No matter what setback you’re facing, I know these suggestions will help you, too.

 

Step 1: Study Setbacks to Pave Your Way to Success: After I lost my job, I thought long and hard about why that happened. One thing I regretted was not approaching supervisors sooner when I was struggling. I continuously remind myself that it’s OK to ask for help and that I don’t have to do everything on my own. What lessons can your failures teach you? How can you do things better next time if you find yourself in a similar situation? Are there ways you could avoid putting yourself in a similar situation altogether?

 

Step 2: Have the Courage to Be Your Own Constructive Critic: When I’m trying to do something and it’s not working—or I wish there was a better/easier way to get it done—I take the time to stop and think about why things aren’t working out. I give an honest assessment about the parts I’m responsible for, what else is going on in my workload, and how I could do things more efficiently. What things are you doing now that could be done better? What would it take to improve on your processes?

 

Step 3: Stop Blaming Luck: When I lost my job, it was important for me to remember that everything happens for a reason. Blaming my job loss on chance or fate wouldn’t take away from the people—including me—that caused my job loss. Why do you think your setbacks happened? Who is responsible? (Be sure to take on any blame that’s yours. None of us is perfect.)

 

Step 4: Blend Persistence with Experimentation: Sure, I’d lost one job, but that didn’t mean I was doomed to fail. I realized that data entry wasn’t for me—three months into the ten months I was in that job, if I’m being honest. I’ve since tried many other career paths before finding coaching: camp counselor, freelance writer, DoTerra Wellness Advocate, Web Content Specialist, Administrative Assistant. There are tons of career paths out there. If one doesn’t work out, what else are you good at? What else do you enjoy doing? Don’t be afraid to try!

 

Step 5: Remember There Is A Good Side In Every Situation: After I lost my job, my first realization was, “Yay! I don’t have to enter another purchase order ever again!” Then, I realized this experience gave me something in common with other people who had been fired. I could empathize with them and help them on their journey toward healing and a new career. Throughout my recovery and job search process, I learned many tips and tricks I can now share with other people—hence this blog. What are the bright sides to your most recent failure? What can you do differently or better because of this failure?

 

I hope that by following these tips you can see your failures as opportunities to learn, grow and keep trying. I know I have, and I wish the same success for you! You can do it!

 

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You Know You’re Awesome, So Give Yourself a Pep Talk!

Katie Corbett holds "The Magic of Thinking Big" book

By Katie Corbett

 

Do you work in sales? Do you wish you made more money or had more responsibility at work? Are you job hunting? No one will know what you’re up to if you don’t tell them about it and ask them if they will help accomplish your goals. Striking up conversations with strangers, picking up the phone and making cold calls and putting yourself out there in general can be really scary. Instead of dwelling on the possibility of rejection or the thought that something might go wrong, why not give yourself a pep talk to pump you up?

 

I read about this strategy in “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz. It made difficult conversations much more bearable. Here’s one example.

 

While I was job hunting, I realized I wanted to learn more about what it was like to work as a recruiter in a staffing agency. I didn’t personally know any recruiters, so the best way would be to call staffing agencies and talk to complete strangers. Scary, right? Of course! I kept the pep talk strategy in mind, though, and was able to make those cold calls.

 

Before each phone call, I told myself things like, “I’m just calling to get information. I just need to focus on the script I wrote. I’m prepared. I’ve got the list of questions already. I can do this!”

 

I would consider all the cold calls I made to be a success. No one yelled at me; no one slammed down the phone or spoke to me rudely. Did I get an appointment with everyone I called? No. Did some phone calls result in job interviews? Yes! Did I realize that a staffing agency wasn’t the right fit for me? I did. It was great knowing that without having to actually work the long, competitive hours required. I learned everything I needed to know in order to make my decision just by talking to people in the field. I never would have gotten this knowledge without making the cold calls, and I never would have had the courage to make those calls without first giving myself a pep talk.

 

So no matter if you’re goal is to tell a potential customer about a product you sell, to ask your boss for a raise or to follow up with a lead for a potential new job, list all the reasons you’re awesome and give yourself that pep talk beforehand. You’ll get a lot more done and you’ll overcome your fears. Even if that customer doesn’t buy, your boss says “no,” or you don’t land the job, you’ll have put yourself out there and asked. And there’s no better way to stand out from the crowd and find opportunities for the future!

 

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How to Accomplish The Seemingly Impossible

Katie Corbett holds "The Magic of Thinking Big" book

By Katie Corbett

 

If you’re interested in making a change in your life, such as going back to school, getting a new job or buying a house, moving from dream to reality might seem impossible. In the book, “The Magic of Thinking Big,” by David J. Schwartz, I learned a cool trick to combat self-doubt and potential excuses. It’s simpler than you might think. All you have to do is decide you are going to make that change and you will start seeing ways for the change to become possible. Yes, it’s that easy!

 

Here’s an example of how this worked in my life. I knew I wanted to go back to school. I was unemployed at the time, was still paying off student loans from my bachelor’s degree and knew I wanted to study human resources, but should I go back for an HR degree or get an MBA? I didn’t let these reasons and the fear of the unknown hold me back. I first got a firm grip on my resolve to further my education. That helped me to evaluate the options.

 

I considered getting another bachelor’s degree, quickly ruling that out as expensive and too time-consuming. Then, I figured an MBA might be a good next step—until I thought about taking the GMAT, spending two years in a program and not being sure if a business degree was something I really wanted. Would that be too broad?

 

While talking this over with my mom, we stumbled across a Certificate in Human Resources program at a local technical school. It would only take me a year to complete the certificate. When I thought about it, I realized I already knew of a funding source that would cover tuition and I was already enrolled in that school, since I had taken a grant writing class through them a few years earlier. I called the school to get more information, talked with my funding source and found reliable transportation.

 

Just five months later, I walked into my first HR class. Nine months after that, I graduated debt-free with a new credential. I had faced a few challenges along the way, such as needing to find reliable transportation when my driver cancelled last-minute, dealing with a PDF file that could not be read by my screen-reading software and, of course, trying to stay motivated and get homework done. Because I had already made my decision to go back to school, I was committed to doing what I could to be successful in class and graduate.

 

Whatever your dream is, just make the decision that you’re going to do it. Let the rest fall into place around you. Decide to achieve, and you will achieve the impossible!

 

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Fun Product Friday: DoTerra Peppermint Beadlets (Review)

Katie Corbett holds an example of doTerra Peppermint Beadlets

By Katie Corbett

 

Today is Fun Product Friday! On the last Friday of each month, I review a product that has changed my life!

 

When you’re about to attend a meeting, give a presentation, or interview for a job, having fresh breath is super important. Here’s an all-natural product I’ve found that is fun, portable and freshens breath instantly. Watch this video to find my review of DoTerra’s Peppermint Beadlets!

 

 

Want to pick up a bottle for yourself? Click this link! It’s not affiliated or anything. It will take you to my friend, Lark, who is a DoTerra Wellness Advocate. She’ll be able to answer any questions and help you place your order.

 

https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/larkgibson

 

Enjoy!

Think it and You Will Become It

Katie Corbett holds the book "Presence" by Amy Cuddy

By Katie Corbett

 

Often times when entering a new situation that seems daunting, it’s easy to think, “I’m not [smart, good, equipped] enough to do this.” In her book, “Presence,” Amy Cuddy describes this as “imposter syndrome.” She says to think, instead, that you are smart enough, good enough, equipped enough to be wherever you are or do whatever it is that you are doing. After enough time thinking this way, Amy writes, your thought patterns will start to change and you will believe you are capable.

 

“Really?” I thought. “I can just think this and then it will happen?” The time soon came for me to try it.

 

In June 2017, I woke up and decided I wanted to start career coaching. Okay, I’m sure there was more of a process in the making of this decision, but that’s how it felt to me. I’d discovered this burning desire I needed to fulfill as soon as possible. One problem: I didn’t know any career coaches and I certainly didn’t have any coaching certifications. I did have a lot of experience job hunting in unique ways and I had just received a Certificate in Human Resources and I had a lot of journalistic interviewing experience, so there was that. Also, a friend said she was interested in getting career advice from me. I found a guide to determining a new career path and read enough of it to know that I agreed with its philosophy. I texted my friend and set up our first session. I have been coaching successfully ever since.

 

It would have been so easy to say “I’m not certified enough,” or “I’m not equipped to coach—I don’t have a website or business cards or anything!” I’m glad I didn’t let those doubts stop me. I’m glad I read Amy’s book and knew that if I thought of myself as a career coach, I would become a career coach.

 

Now you’re here reading this, so you’ve found my website. I’m also researching coaching certification programs, because it’s important to pick the right one for me before investing thousands of dollars in something that will determine how I run my business. I’m networking with other coaches to get ideas for improving at doing what I do. Underneath it all, I’m helping people find fulfilling careers. I am a career coach. Think it, my friends, and you will become it.

 

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