Two Things I Happily Do Not Own

game show hostThere is so much that is uncontrollable in this world that I make a concentrated effort to create a peaceful and joyous place within my office and home. These are my little worlds that I can control and I choose to maintain a positive environment.

That is just one reason that I do not own a television or a scale.

Another reason is that both of these things can suck the life out of you.

I have never been one of those people that can leave a tv on in the background while I am doing other things. Nope, I zero in, get sucked in and next thing I know two hours have gone by while I learned something new on A&E.

When I made the conscious decision to cancel all television programming I did not mention it to anyone because when someone finds out I don’t own a tv they look at me like either I have three heads or that I am a pitiful creature who just doesn’t know what I am missing.

I do. I chose to miss it. I am not a complete freak, there are a couple of shows that I am a die-hard fan, but I watch them online. I have news streamed online and to my phone, I get my Colts and Cubs updates via my phone, CNN is readily available online – trust me kids, I am still connected to the outside world. Also, for drama – there is always Facebook.

What I found is without a tv I had much more time for the things I really love – reading and real conversations.

Another reason I do not own a tv is that I just don’t want all the negativity. I can choose what I read on CNN online, on the local or national news I was subjected to over-sensationalism. Never a big fan of reality shows anyway, but then to see what was coming out and was being passed off as “real” – seriously?

It was like cleaning out all the junk food in the fridge – liberating and really not missed once it was gone.

Same with the scale. I hate scales. I don’t weigh myself. I don’t care what I weigh, it has never mattered to me. This started in college when I was on the dance team. They decided they wanted to institute some stupid program of matching our ideal weight with out height.

It was stupid and I refused. I thought it stupid that someone had to loose 20 pounds and I had to gain 20 pounds to be ideal. I have never been my “ideal” weight, for that matter I have never been my ideal height either.

I base any changes I need to make to my diet or routines based on how I feel and what I accept for myself. If I feel sluggish I increase the red meat and cut out the sugars and carbs. I know I need to ramp up the workout if I look down and my belly sticks out further than my boobs. Seriously, that is my scale. And it is doctor approved.

When I go in for my physical my doctor does all the routine checks and tests. Then he asks me if I exercise, eat right or have any special plan that I follow. I told him my above plan. He literally laughed at me. He also told me it is working for me because I am very healthy for not really trying so keep it up.

Listening to my own body and accepting my “flaws” for what they are has made me pretty healthy and happy since college. I haven’t had body issues, eating issues, crash diets, overeating or depression related to my body. This is all I have to work with and I’m ok with it.

My point is that if I owned a scale or tv I might find myself subject to falling for some myth about what I should be or look like or some other “ideal”. I have freed myself from these things and have seen tremendous benefit.

Sometimes we listen to others way too much. If you are looking for a job figure out what it is that you want, not what others think you should do. If you love your job but others seem to think that you “can do better” tune them out, or better yet, get rid of the tv.

Listen to yourself not anyone else. Even if it seems unconventional, throw out what is not working for you and concentrate on what is making you happy. Not only will it eliminate some of the negativity that has been invading your space, it makes room for more positive to come in!

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

This Is A Test – Only A Test….

dunce capIf we heard that phrase loud and clear every time life threw tests our way we would get so used to it that we would ignore the implications.

I’m a believer of things happen for a reason; however, I also have a lot of control in that process.  So it is a bit of a dichotomy.  Many things are out of our control and seem to happen to us: downsizing, closings, breakups, firings and these are taken as bad.

Then again other good things happen to: meeting a new person, job offerings, promotions etc.

Some will say these opposites of good and bad are not related, I happen to think they are linked: without the bad you would have no room for the good.

In other words – life is testing you.

Say you have been secretly wanting to take the next step in your career.  You haven’t told anyone at work or even your personal circle, but it has been milling around in your mind for quite some time.

Then you are downsized.  Drat!  Life lesson one: if you aren’t going to take any actions to moving forward, life is going to give you a nudge.

Then you get offered an ok job.  Hmmm.

Not a promotion, not exactly what you want to do, not even meeting your expectations – but it is a job and you are offered.  Life lesson two: how bad do you want it?  Are you willing to settle in for the next 10 years here and still secretly hope to move forward or are you going to do something about it?

It may be a financial concern that you need to take this job.  Ok, no judgment – but what you do in addition to taking that job is what counts.  Do you continue to look or seek ways to gain the experience or education within this job to move forward?  Or do you simply just give up and take it period?

I tell my clients and workshop attendees it is not enough to say it in your resume, you have to prove it.

Life is the same way – it is not enough to say you want something, you have to prove it.  Settling is not proving it.  Being stagnate is not proving it.  Opportunities, good and bad, are given to you in order to test your conviction, your passion and the strength of your desires.

Just remember – this is a test…only a test….it is up to you if you pass or fail….


Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW


Barbie Dolls and Basketballs

heel and basketballYou need to choose, make a choice, decide, pick A or B – make a decision what you want to be, which one thing do you want the most in your career, relationship, life.  Hurry up, figure it out, eliminate all other options so you can move forward.


That’s the message I hear over and over again; no matter what the age or experience – you need to choose as though you need to eliminate all things over just one.


Why can’t you have it all?  Why can’t you have this and that?  Why does it have to be one thing at the cost of all others?

I say you can, or at least you should try, without – and here is the kicker – guilt.

It is not wrong to want to appease all sides of yourself.  You don’t have to be just the analytical one or just the creative one or just the leader or just the team player – you can be a lovely kaleidoscope of everything that you are – and are meant to be.

I was talking to a woman yesterday who had it in her mind that she had to decide on a career path that encompassed either element A or element B.  When I asked her about looking for something that combined factors of the two it literally shocked her system.

She went silent, asked if that was possible and then began to cry.  She said she had only been known for one thing or the other and didn’t know who she should be because she wanted to do both.

Be you.

I was very fortunate to grow up in an environment that didn’t label me as being a girl so I only got Barbie dolls.  I think there were some in the house but they were my sisters, I never really played with dolls.  I was at the elementary school playing basketball and handing on the monkey bars.

I was a girl who grew up without girl limitations.  I had my choice between Barbie dolls and basketballs.  This led me to grow up to be a woman who traded those in for power tools and power shoes.

Oh yes, I have my own set of power tools and I know how to use them quite well.  I put in my own laminate flooring, build a wall of bookshelves and various other things using my very own table saw.

And I’m a shoe whore.  I love my girlie shoes, all colors and designs, at least three inch spike heel with pointed or open toes.  I rock the pump and I love the smell of cut lumber.  But not at the same time.

We can be all things inside, just not at the same time, but in degrees, waves and segments.

When looking for that next step in the job or career market leave yourself open to looking for things that appease all sides of you.  This is when you will ignite passion, deepen commitment and really offer value.

It is okay if these things do not make sense to anyone else – they don’t have to, they are not you.  If you find people trying to discourage you from finding something that has a combination of your elements because “it doesn’t exist” or “that doesn’t exist” just tune them out.  Odds are they are coming from a negative place because they didn’t or don’t have the courage to expand themselves like you are trying to do.

You go do you – whatever that may be – just do you.

You define it, you go after it and you make you happy.  When you find that right combination of Barbie dolls and basketballs or power tools and power shoes then it will bring out the best in you.   It is the best gift can you offer to yourself, your clients, your coworkers, your company and your family?

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW



Still Preparing For Career Day 20 Years Later

ChecklistI vaguely remember things like Career Day where you are supposed to think like an adult and decide what you want to be when you grow up.  Like we had a clue.


But we were forgiven because we were teenagers.


Fast forward some 20 years give or take and so often we are still struggling with the same question – what do I want to do?


Sometimes we are lucky enough to fall into a path that helps us identify our value, other times we are pushed into it.  Then there are times that we just seem to be going along like a leaf in a stream not really engaged just going wherever the water takes us until we get derailed from a stick poking up from the bottom of the creek.


Now what?


We never really knew where we were doing or if we even really liked it.  So now we are looking for another position and we can’t tell you the first thing about what we want.


What’s up with that?  We have worked all our adult lives, shouldn’t we be able to answer the question “What do you want?”  In theory yes, in reality – good luck with that.


Now most people when they get flustered with not being able to answer that question feel like they have turned into the big pink elephant in the middle of the room.  Like they are alone, odd, the only one who struggles with that.


You are not.


I would hazard to guess if you put 100 random people in a boat and told them to pick a side – those who know what they want to do and those who aren’t sure the aren’t sure side would tilt that sucker over and we would all get wet.


It is the majority not knowing what you want.  It is ok, it is natural, human, there is nothing wrong with you and you have not started to grow a trunk.  So relax!


It is not always your fault that you don’t know – you have been influenced by outside factors.


Family friends and lovers or significant others telling you what you should do, what you shouldn’t, not understanding how you could think differently and taking cues from some skewed versions of life from society.


No wonder you are a wreck.  Relax!


In all the work I have done with clients in trying to figure out the maze that is their life I have discovered some common elements that hinder the progress of discovering what we want.


We have value for others but not ourselves.


If someone were to treat my best friend in a disrespectful manner I would blow a gasket.  It is totally unacceptable.  She is a loving, warm, intelligent and beautiful person and how dare anyone treat her as anything less.


Yet if I am treated in the same manner I don’t look at it the same.  I almost look at it in a dismissive manner.  We don’t always put the same value on ourselves as we do those we love.


We have expectations of others but not ourselves.


One of the best lines I ever heard is “you have greatness in you, do not disappoint.”  We do not see our own greatness, our own unique value that we bring to situations.  If we could recognize that then we would see that they truly are gifts.  When you have a gift you have a duty to share, an expectation to share that gift.


We forgive others but not ourselves.


Girls you will especially relate to this example – a guy treats you like crap and you break up.  You forgive him much more quickly yet you still kick yourself for either falling for it, putting up with it or “making some mistake” that caused it.


Um, no.  He was a jackass – unless he earns your forgiveness he doesn’t deserve it.  And you do not deserve the punishment.  You never did anything to forgive yet you are holding yourself hostage.  Knock it off.


We may have taken some bad twists and turns in our career and we look back as it was our fault.  There may be an element to that but before you so quickly forgive everyone else start with yourself first.  Acknowledge any part you played, think of it as a lesson and let it go.  Release yourself.


We let other’s expectations derail our dreams.


Sometimes you have a dream that when you say it out loud it sounds crazy.  Maybe you have said it out loud and people have actually told you that you are crazy.  Maybe your significant other or family has protested because it doesn’t fit with their ideas or centered around them.




First of all – be crazy.  Dream big, dare and think outside the box.  Thinking outside the box here means thinking of yourself first.  It is an odd concept but try it out.  Let’s be honest, kids grow up and move on, partners can leave either by choice or unforeseen events and even at the end of the day no matter how full your house is you lay down at night to just you.  What drives that person?


If you do have a crazy dream and others in your life to consider then it is a time to see how you can have it all.  You can you know.  There may be modifications that need to be made, but it is acceptable to want it all.


I was dating a guy and I mentioned that I was going to be moving in some years to possibly California.  He freaked.  He turned into a totally different person and we eventually broke up.  I really cared about this guy but I realized he didn’t care or he would have asked more about it.  If it would have developed into more than the timeline might have changed because he had kids or the location may have changed.  Who knows, but the point is I do have dreams – big ones – and the right person is going to accept that and together we work out the details so it fits not just my dreams but theirs.  I am not going to apologize for dreaming.  It is part of our essence.


We forgot how to be silent and multidimensional.


When is the last time you sat silently and just let random thoughts come into your head?  At first you might be barraged by all the day to day mundane stuff, but eventually your mind does quiet down.  Then you can start reconnecting with the most important person – you.


I am a mother, daughter, aunt, friend, coach and mentor.  I cannot bring my full value to any of these roles unless I am at peace with myself and know who I am.  I am also not a one dimensional person.  I am not just a mother, not just a daughter, not just an aunt, not just a writer etc.  I am a compilation of all these things.


I am also not one element.  I am spontaneous, a planner, organized, chaotic, emotional, stoic, assertive, shy, a social butterfly, socially awkward, sentimental, insensitive, driven and confused.  I have all sorts of elements that make me who I am.  I have learned to recognize each one of my elements and the value or challenges that they bring.


I have accepted myself.  Good, bad or indifferent this is who I am.  I make no apologies for who I am or that path that I have taken because it makes me who I am, drives me and helps me look forward.  The only way I was able to come to this place was by being silent.  Stop listening to everyone else and listen to that voice that you can only hear when you are silent within yourself.


We get tunnel vision.


When bad things happen we tend to look at them in one way and one way only: we screwed up.  It is our fault, bad things happen to us, we didn’t deserve it, etc.  We get so engrained with the negative and the pain or fear that we feel that we lose ability to view it from a different perspective.


I was released from a job and it was humiliating and devastating.  It wasn’t until a short time later that I was able to go back and see it as a blessing.  Had I not been released I might still be there, unhappy and unfulfilled, and never gotten to the place where I am now.


I had to thank the bad for allowing the good to come in.


We are more afraid of failing than succeeding.


In other words – we are afraid to try.  We don’t want to get hurt, look stupid or look foolish.


We are so stupid.


Have you ever been in a situation where there are a lot of people around that look like a flock of sheep and then one person steps out of the norm.  Does something that isn’t in line with rest of the group.  They look crazy – but they are having fun.  You can see joy in their face and happiness.  And everyone else may be saying, “what a fool” but inside they are truly saying, “I wish I were that brave.”


Be brave.


I’m not throwing stones here or saying it is easy.  Several years ago I reunited with the love of my life and we combined our families and were planning our dream wedding which we waited over 20 years to have; all was glorious.  Then months before the wedding he had an affair.


My world was crushed and I vowed to never open up again to never feel that kind of betrayal and pain.  How foolish I looked telling everyone he was the love of my life and how perfect my life was when it was just one big joke.


I licked my wounds, got silent and got brave.  I put myself out there again little by little.  I have met some wonderful people who have become valued friends.  I have also met some real assholes.  Life’s journey isn’t always peaches and sunshine.


Even with all the experience I still get burned.  It is going to happen.  You are never immune. I met a guy not too long ago who said all the right things and behaved in all the right ways.  Cut to the chase – I got played.  At first I fell back to the immediate patterns of not forgiving myself, not seeing my value and seeing it a tunnel vision sort of way.


But that lasted for a moment.  I’ve been through worse and yet I am still here, I have much to offer and instead of poor me it is more of well played and thank goodness I was spared any more crap.


You owe no one an apology for who you are, where you are or what you want.  Once you can say that in the mirror to yourself with confidence, conviction and full love and support of yourself then you will start to get some great ideas for career day.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


For Everyone’s Sake – Take a Break!

Having and Option and ChoosingI’m not always the most decisive gal.  Most of the time, yes I am pretty clear about what I want, what I like and where I want to go; but then there are times that I’m kinda clueless.  I admit it and it provides plenty of fodder for my family and friends.


You are welcome.


There is nothing wrong with being indecisive – unless it affects other people.  Sometimes it is best to make the decision to not make a decision at this point and take a break.  Walk away and regroup.


When you are job searching and reach the point of frustration, confusion and indecision it is best to just stop.  Take a break and stop talking.  You can’t possibly communicate effectively what it is you want if you yourself don’t even know.  All you will end up doing is confusing everyone to the point of them not being able to help you.


That will then only add to your frustration.


It is okay to get confused.  It is okay to think you wanted one thing then realize you want something completely different; or that thing you were adamant about not wanting is now something that you may want after all.


Oh, what a wonderful world it is in our own heads.



One problem is we are afraid of saying some dreaded phrases like “I was wrong”, “I changed my mind” or “I don’t know.”  We see them as weak or indecisive.


Oh goodness no we can’t look human, heaven forbid!


First of all, cut yourself some slack.  You are human, you change your mind, situations change, feelings change, wants change, goals change, we change – it is called growth.  It ain’t pretty but it is what it is.


Remember growing pains when you were a kid?  My son had horrible growing pains, and I felt so bad for him.  He had no control over them and growing to over 6 foot tall was hard on his body.  Of course being 5’ and not growing since I think third grade I really couldn’t relate personally, but I got the concept.


Growth hurts.


It can hurt others not just you.  I literally hurt for my son during his growing pains.  I was helpless to do anything to ease his pain and it killed me.  He knew how bad I felt and bless his heart, he tried to not complain in consideration of my feelings.


When we are job searching we tend to spew our insecurities to others and it confuses them.  They don’t know how they can help, what they can do, what they can say, who they can introduce you to or what advice to offer.  They then feel helpless and kind of like a sucky friend.  You are actually hurting others in your indecision.


It’s human and natural, but now that you know you can knock it off.


It is like dating someone telling them you don’t know that you want a relationship but acting like the girlfriend/boyfriend when you are together.   That is just a mass of confusion and you end up hurting both of you.  If the other person gets emotionally vested they get hurt.  If the other person doesn’t get emotionally vested and walks away you get hurt.  Not a good situation.


If you do not know what path you want to take then don’t offer up the litany of options to everyone.  It is not healthy for anyone involved.  Don’t think you have to know at this very moment anyway.  Sometimes you have to step back, take a breath, decompress and figure it out yourself – by yourself.


Then when you have a better understanding of who you are, where you are and where you want to go then you can approach people in an open and honest way in order that they can then help you.


Here is your decisive plan for when you reach a point of confusion or indecision:


Shut up – stop talking to everyone.

Stop thinking – don’t analyze any option.  At all.

Forgive yourself – for being “weak” you are not – it is a growing pain.

Take a mental vacation – divert your attention to anything but the job search issue.

Welcome yourself back – all refreshed.

Do not let the emotions back in – you packed them before you went on vacation, leave them there.

Look at your options analytically – again, no emotions.

Be selfish – when reviewing the options view them from the point of pros and cons all about you, not how they might affect anyone else.

Use your gut – eliminate options that do not “feel” right.  That is what your gut is for – use it.

Regroup – look at what you have left and take a fresh perspective.

Devise a plan – that fully supports where you now want to go.

Forgive yourself again – if you feel you got off track, it doesn’t matter, you are back now.



Lastly, take your time.  These things do not always happen in a day, it could take a week, month or two – who knows, it is up to you and whatever time you need, for the love of everything and the sake of everyone else’s sanity – take all the time you need!!


When you come to me with conviction about a path or two I can help you; if you come to me with insecurities about several options then we are both lost.  Help me and others that want to help you by taking a step back and regrouping so we all know how we can contribute moving forward.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


When You Get Rejected, and You Will…

rockefeller and vanderbiltYes, you are going to get rejected.  You will get your hopes up, you will get attached and you will get hurt.


No, I don’t have a bad case of the Mondays – I am doing the best service that I can for my clients, readers and anyone out there that has stumbled across this – I am being honest.


It is going to suck and it is going to happen.


So, knowing this fact what are you going to do about it?


You could hop on the delusional train and be transported to two separate destinations:

  1. I’m going to get hurt so I’m not going to try. –or-
  2. I’ve completely convinced myself that I can’t get hurt so I’m going all in.


It isn’t a pleasant train ride.  Don’t even buy the ticket.


When you are job searching, just like in dating or relationships, you have to put yourself out there to get what you need.  That is scary.


What prevents some people from reaching happiness is stopping themselves from putting it out there because they don’t want to get hurt again.


It is going to happen, but guess what, you will survive.


If heartache actually killed people the world would barely be inhabited.


We have all had our hearts broken, dreams shattered and hopes dashed.  But you have to keep going.


Sure you could settle for something less and protect yourself; but you will not find happiness and self-worth in that.  It is called settling and it is just a long, slow torture of hurt.


So how do you get over the fear?  Face it and face yourself.


No one wants to get emotionally hurt and the only way to stop it is by cutting yourself off completely.  Risk of hurt vs. absolutely no connection.  That is a pretty easy call for me.


Here are some things to help summons the courage to face the fear and move forward:


  1. Be realistic: stop being dramatic – you aren’t going to die.
  2. It is them: stop taking it personally.  They didn’t hire you, it was a business decision.
  3. Man up: take accountability for your own actions.  Did you seem engaged or even act like you wanted the job?
  4. Take stock: do you really have what they need?  Again, it is business and the best fit is the most value for the money.  You are the value in this situation – are you offering the most for that organization?  Maybe a little more experience or training is needed.
  5. Invest in yourself: not just a business class or that experience – but      emotionally.  You are your biggest supporter or biggest adversary – it is all in how you talk to yourself.
  6. Align yourself: make sure your thinking and your actions support each      other.  Don’t tell yourself every day that you are the best and are going to get that job but your actions pin you in like a recluse.
  7. Know your limits: what are you willing to go through to get to where you want to go?  If there are hurdles, promotions or designations to earn, a learning process – are you willing to do it?
  8. Respect yourself: if you need to walk away do so on your terms.  If it is a constant fight to get to that next place is it about the fight or about the victory?
  9. Respect others: do not use others as a crutch because you are not ready.  Stop asking for referrals and meetings when you don’t follow through on other actions to make it happen.  You end up hurting them by making them feel used.  Stop it.
  10.  Be fearless: the best way to fight a fear is to open yourself up and say “I’m not afraid – I am excited!”  Change the way you view it and it will change the way it is presented to you.


I was watching an amazing show this weekend about the men who built America.  One snippet was about how Rockefeller was a struggling small business owner facing failure and was called to a meeting with Vanderbilt.  He was in awe, this was a man that he wanted to model himself after.  He viewed Vanderbilt as a man on mount high and himself as almost unworthy to meet with him. He was scheduled to leave by train for the meeting.


He missed his train.  The seat he had on the original train was the car that exploded in the train crash and there were no survivors.


That way too close call changed his whole perspective.  He got back in alignment with himself and knew he was a man of value.  He scheduled another meeting and went with a whole new attitude – as an equal.


He made the terms of the agreement and that was the beginning of a significant and masterful journey of business domination.  Oh yeah, and in setting the terms he over-promised but he knew if he could go in and control the meeting he could meet the demands.  And he did.


Be a newly found Rockefeller – you are on equal terms with what you want and you are deserving of it.  Do not be afraid of it, face it head on, look it in the eyes and meet it with an openness rather than a defense.


You may get rejected a time or two (or even 1,000 as Einstein) but you will get a yes.  That is what matters and that is where it can all begin!



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


If You Can Open One Door You Can Open Another

cracked doorI actually said this to Bandit, one of my dogs, this morning.


When he wants to go outside he has no problem opening the back door with a paw and sprinting out to save the world from lost bunnies or stray birds.


But he continually locks himself in my bedroom.  Not literally, the door closes enough where there is about an inch between the door itself and the door jam.  This incredibly intelligent dog is then stumped as to how to get out.  This is also the dog that I had to put a lock on his cage because he can open the normal latches in a heartbeat.


But he whines, scratches on the door then sits and waits.


When I approach the door I can see him through the space and he looks back just sitting there waiting patiently for me to open the door.


A door that is lighter than the one to the great outdoors.


But there he sits.


A lot of us do the same thing.  We sit behind a door that we can easily open and wait for someone to open it for us.  We can manage to get through barriers and locks and steel-plated doors but those hollow core lightweight doors just stump us.


Normally when we have opened the other doors we were either forced to do so or incredibly driven.  After the fact we almost make apologies for doing so, saying it was a one time event and we couldn’t possibly do it again.


You got through a nasty divorce, a devastating job loss or any other terrible event in your past.  You pushed door or scratched it open that door to move forward and simply survive at the time.  You did that.


But now when the situation isn’t so dire (as in invading bunnies aren’t threatening your backyard) you can’t seem to muster the courage, strength or confidence to open this one.  You get stuck.


The heavy door wasn’t a fluke – it was a lesson.


The current door isn’t a dire emergency but a quiz on what you learned during your lesson.  You can open that door, you can move on, you can get your job searching on track and move forward without the dire elements to force you to do so.


It is called choice.


When it is an emergency we have to; when it is an occurrence we choose to – or not.


So often we have more power than we choose to believe because power means responsibility.  Responsibility to ourselves and taking actions that will culminate into results.  Then we cannot blame a dire situation, but we have to take accountability.


And what if our actions are “wrong” then we have no one to blame but ourselves and we might end up looking foolish.


What some call foolish I call brave.  You can run and hide and make excuses or you can just step forward and do something.  That takes bravery and that is not foolish.


Foolish is sitting back looking through a crack in the door waiting for someone to open it for you.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.


Happy Complaining Is Still Complaining

mouth taped shutI read something the other day about trying an experiment – try going an entire day without complaining.  Seems being the key word here.


I did not give it much thought until I got a double whammy this week.


I was talking to my best friend and she was asking the status of the projects going on and how I was doing.  I’ve been very busy at work and every other available moment I’ve been helping a friend get his house ready and move out of his apartment.  Today is drop date.


I was telling her how things were progressing and about the exhaustion.  Then she said, “But you’re not complaining.”


It was a statement, not a question.  But it did get me to thinking – did I sound like I was complaining?  That would be bad because I am actually extremely grateful.  Grateful for being able to help my clients and love helping as many as I can; I love being busy!


I am grateful to be able to help my friend because it is just a small measure of being able to help him as much as he has helped me over the years and he is family.  My mom and step-dad have also been helping as well.  I’m grateful that I have a family that is there no matter what when one of us needs it.


That was the first whammy – thinking I might sound like I’m complaining when I am actually very grateful.


The second whammy came when I was talking to a friend and he was said something about being exhausted himself.  His work has been very busy and he has been working at 3 am.  Of course I asked what on earth he was doing at 3 am and his response was my second whammy.


“Walking the streets waking up homeless people to give them blankets socks and water, and medical attention if needed and counting them.”


Wow.  Perspective.   And let me be clear – he was not complaining.


Earlier this week we had major rain storms and strong winds but temperatures reached in the sixties; there was a lot of grumbling about the storms.  This morning it is snowing.  More grumbling.  It is Indiana, really, we should not be surprised.


It is cold – but you have a warm place to stay.  It is wet – but you have shelter to stay dry.  You may not be exactly where you want to be in life but you have resources and support.


Maybe you do not have that dream job, a decent job or a job at all.  But what you do have is the ability to change that.  You have resources to get the information you need to move forward.  Research what it will take to get to where you need to go, take appropriate steps and ask for help when you need it.  If you choose not to take actions or ask for help then shut the hell up about being miserable.  You are choosing to stay in that position and have no one to blame but yourself.


Maybe your finances are a complete wreck and you are on a limited income.  Instead of looking at what you don’t have look at what you do.  You have income coming in, you have food on the table, you have people in your life that love you and you have your health.  You do not need money to spend time with people you love you just need to be available and open to them.  Those memories you cannot buy.  If you think that the only way you can be happy is with material items then shut the hell up and don’t complain to your loved ones.  What you are telling them is they come in second to material items or financial stability.  Personally I would rather be a loving broke than a lonely rich.


Maybe you do not have the relationship you want but again, you have the ability to change that.  If you are not where you want to be, move.  If you are not getting what you want then communicate.  If you want something more then say it; if you are afraid suck it up.  Take control because it is not the responsibility of someone else to make you happy.  That is your responsibility.  Someone else can bring value into your life but they cannot define you.  And running from it will not make it happen so if you choose to avoid then shut the hell up about being unhappy.


What is positive in your life right now?  What do you have to be grateful for at this moment?  Your health, your family or how about the fact that you woke up today?  Whatever it is be thankful for that and do not add a “yes but”.


No complaining – try a day of it.  It might surprise you how often you express gratitude yet add the subtle complaint at the end.  You may not be ready to go after that job, relationship or change right now but you can take a step back and realize where you are, the positives that it has to offer and how you can make changes to move forward.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.



Don’t Leave The Job Before The Work Is Done

You have reached your limit, you are done, you can’t take any more and you have made the decision that you are outta there.  This job stinks and you want out.


No, seriously, your mind is made up and you have mentally checked out – to heck with this place.

So you left the job then?

No, but I’m going to give my notice, I’ve just had it.  I’m going to give it any day now and in the meantime I’m not giving them one more ounce of energy.

Hold on there buddy, back up the boat.  You are going to give your notice but you have decided to stop working in your current job?

Yep, I’m done.  I’m going to do what I want here, how I want and I don’t care; two words: I’m done.

Let me give you two words: grow up.

You are still getting paid, you still owe your employer value for that pay.

You may be done but that does not mean that your team members are and they still have a job to do and want to do it; so your mental check out is only going to hurt them negatively.

If it is that bad then put in your two weeks and leave.

Here are another two words for you: pink slip.  You would deserve it if you checked out before you left.

I have been in the same position, completely beyond frustration and ready to leave an employer; however you have to honor your commitment while you are still there.

You are making the choice to leave to leave with dignity and honor.  Complete your tasks, play nice in the sandbox and move on gracefully without disparaging your soon to be former co-workers, boss or company.

No matter what they “did” or “didn’t do” to you it is your behavior that matters.  It will follow you wherever you go.  If you leave in a disrespectful manner that reputation and your antics will pop back up sometime down the road.

Maybe the next person that is interviewing you has a cousin who is married to an employee at that company, maybe a networking connection has a close friend who is dating the boss – you just never know.

Not only that but those that you work with will remember your behavior as well.  One day down the road they may secure a wonderful new position with a company that you want to join.

Do you really think they are going to endorse you?  I doubt it.  No matter how much respect you gained while you were there that mental check out and subsequent behavior just destroyed it.  Poof!  Respect all gone.

The point it your actions reflect on you more than your words.  You may be able to attempt to explain away your behavior but no matter what you say it is what you do that counts.  There is a reason the saying, “Actions speak louder than words” is so darn popular.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

Career Coach-Strategist

Certified Professional Resume Writer

Career Polish, Inc.

Free Will

“I want to go after that job”

“I want to apply for that promotion”

“I want to change careers”


I want, I want, I want….


So did you send in your resume?

Did you talk to your boss?

Have you researched the new career or updated your resume?


No.  Why?


“I can’t”


Wrong answer.


What you are really saying is you chose not to.  You choose not to apply for that job, you choose not to go after the promotion and you choose not to move out of your current situation.  Your choice.


You may not get that job, or promotion or even crack into a new career but without making an effort you are guaranteed not to.  So you are choosing to fail by not taking action.


Making an effort into the unknown is scary; it is chalk full of the possibility of rejection – and no one likes rejection.  Fear of rejection is an equivalent to “I can’t”  You can – but you choose not to.


So when someone else gets the job or promotion do not look in regret or envy, remember, you chose not to and therefore you gave permission for that other person to take your thunder.  Your choice.


The next time you really want something and that little voice inside says “I can’t” remember it is really you that is saying “I choose not to” – it puts a whole new spin on things, doesn’t it?