Stop Dating the Wrong Job

Man holding roseI was talking to a client the other day and she was telling me that she is in desperate need of a change.


The last few jobs she had were the same: all fraught with problems in which she was able to turn around into thriving departments.  She wanted something with more consistency, security and less chaos and stress.


At one point she said she didn’t understand why she kept getting these types of positions.


I told her it was easy – she was looking for them.


Her first statement was that she wasn’t looking for them, they all seemed like great opportunities but all turned into the same thing.


Once I explained that it was the bad dating cycle we all seem to go through, it clicked.


You see, she is a fixer.  A natural caring person who gives more of herself than she asks in return and without even thinking identifies problems and instinctually says, “I can fix that!”


This is a great quality – to a degree.  As a recovering fixer, I know of what I am writing here.  I’m a fixer.  I come from a line of fixers.  There wasn’t a stray dog we didn’t take in, a friend who didn’t have a problem we couldn’t help with some ill in the world we thought we could make right.


I fully utilize this quality in what I do now – but temper it with expertise and professionalism.


My problem was I was a fixer in everything in my life.  And like many women, I was a fixer in the dating world.  Oh, poor little you – so jaded against the world, let me be the one to make the world all better for you.  Don’t want a relationship, been hurt in the past, don’t trust people – oh, let me be the one to fix that for you!


Bad boys, problem children, rebels without a cause – whatever you call it, ladies you know exactly what I mean.  You thought you could be the one to fix him.  Not like you intentionally set out for the buttheads, they just seemed to keep showing up in your life.


Wrong – you actually did intend for them to be there, because that is how you saw yourself, your only value, your only worth so that is what was drawn to you.


The same principle applies to the job world.


If you only see yourself in the fixer role those are going to be the jobs you are drawn to and drawn to you.  Even if they do not overtly tell you they are in need of fixing, you just know.  Something in you just knows it is a fixer-upper and you see it as all bright sunshine and roses.


Stop it.


You have more value than that.  Oh, and another thing – you can’t fix it.  If someone or a company is damaged and determined to be damaged there is not a damn thing you can do about it.  You can put a pretty pink band-aid on it but that does little to stop a severed carotid artery.


Start seeing yourself for your total value not just as a savior.  Save yourself first by fully appreciating and acknowledging all that you do well and how you do it.  Get the overall picture.


It is nice to be needed – it is a wonderful feeling.  However, it is not the basis and only factor for a healthy relationship – business or professional.  It is not healthy for you or them.  From what I have heard, observed and read is healthy relationships are based on mutual benefit, give and take, as well as respect.


What is it that you truly want in a healthy work relationship?  How can you contribute and what can you receive that you need?  What can you bring to the table and how can you grow within the organization?  What do you want to be doing and what will you not tolerate?  What do you want, not just what can you give.


These are important questions you need to ask yourself and then actually answer them.


Once you see yourself as a contributor, not the driver of the whole thing, you can change your mindset about the relationship and the jobs you seek.  This in turn will help you read between the lines to identify and eliminate the fixer-upers, as well as draw the right positions to you.


If you don’t want anything serious or want to have any real emotional commitment then by all means continue to do your fixer-up projects.  But if you are ready to settle down for a real, committed relationship then figure out what makes a solid, long-lasting partnership.


Make that a priority, realize you are worth it and set your mind to it.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW


Don’t Believe Everything You Think

superpower noiseI have found that I have an incredible superpower – which I share with a LOT of people.  The ability to talk myself out of pretty much anything in a single bound.


It’s amazing really.


This power is big, loud and always present.


Want to try a new exercise routing *pow* “you don’t have the time; it is going to be too hard; seriously, you are over 40 who are you kidding; you’re a little too far gone to start now; really, doesn’t a nap sound better….”


Want to eat healthy *boom* “you know that triple chocolate cake looks really good I’m sure I has healthy stuff in it; a burger and fries would be so much cheaper and quicker; it’s more expensive to eat healthy; it takes too much time to fix all that stuff; chocolate, chocolate, chocolate….”


Want to take a chance on something new *bam* “you are just going to get rejected; you are going to get hurt again; why put yourself out there like that; it’s a lot safer not to; happiness shnappiness safety doesn’t hurt….”


If I believed everything I thought I would be 400 pounds and have a house full of cats.


Thank goodness I found the kryptonite to this superpower.  Everyone has it, but few recognize it or find it because it is small, quiet and isn’t nearly as splashy as the superpower.  It is also goes by different names:










To Hell With It


Everyone has it in them.  The trick is activating this kryptonite.


When that flashy superpower starts kicking all you have to do to release the kryptonite is say two little words:


Shut up.


And it begins.  Then you strengthen it by talking back to that superpower and completely destroy it by taking action.


Shut up.  I am too young to feel this old.  I’ll get back to you after I’m done on the treadmill.


Shut up.  I love having energy and sleeping well.  You are going to have to wait while I finish making my healthy, fabulous dinner.


Shut up.  I love taking risks.  Yes, I have been hurt but man, I have also had some great times and better ones ahead.


Personally, I love my kryptonite.  In the last month it helped me kick a major pop habit, poor eating habits and a very lazy lifestyle.


Drinking water with a fresh lemon squeezed in it in the morning while on the treadmill, followed by small meals of fresh veggies, fruit and a protein centered dinner, mediating, being open, trying new things and putting myself out there has resulting in having more energy than I have in years, feeling younger than ever, a healthy glow, a fantastic attitude, some new opportunities and waking up feeling grateful for the adventure of a new day.


And it has only been a month.


That kryptonite is some pretty powerful stuff.


I still have a ways to go yet, there are still some habits I haven’t wanted to kick yet and some challenges that I am still pecking at one day at a time, but it I’ve just begun.


And it all began with two little words: shut up.


One bam, power or boom at a time – shut up.


With each defeat of the superpower the kryptonite gets stronger.


Where is your superpower kicking in today?  What are you thinking that you shouldn’t believe?  What do you really want?  Are you ready to take that first step?  A new job, a promotion, to ask that girl out, to clean up that extra bedroom, to start taking care of yourself, to be a better friend, to start a new hobby, to make sure those you love know you love them?


Then make today the day that you say shut up.



Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW


Hoping vs. Wanting – What Is Your Difference?

Little Girl Fingers CrossedI am glad the NBA finals are over, not that I don’t like basketball, I do. I was just over all the things outside of the actual play of ball.

At the beginning of the series someone told me that the Spurs were going to win because that is what they wanted, and they always get what they want. Oooook….

So today the story changed to it was what he hoped for not what he wanted so his “theory” still holds true. Oooook….

When I asked what was his difference between hoping and wanting he told me that a want was something you could buy or work for but a hope is something you want to happen but have little or no control of it.


I am going to take it a step farther – a hope is a non-committed want. I think the difference isn’t in what you have control over, but rather your attitude.

I hear things like, “I hope I get a job soon”, “I hope I am successful”, “I hope this resume works”. Those are wasted hopes. They are like wishes on eyelashes – you are giving your power away and thinking that some external force is going to swoop in and make it all happen.

That’s like waiting for the cleaning fairies to show up and clean your house – those little buggers have yet to show up at my house, but I still hold out hope that one night they will appear and I will wake to an immaculate home.

When I hear “I want” my first thought is “what are you going to do to make it happen?” A want involved thought, action, commitment, movement and accountability.

There are many things I want personally and professionally. So in looking at these things I ask myself, “self, what are you willing to do to get them?” Because if I am not willing to work for it then it is merely a hope that I really don’t want after all.

That resume is not going to work unless you put it in play, sell it, use it, know it, learn it, utilize it as a tool as a means to an end. Sitting pretty on your computer won’t make a hope into a reality.

A want also takes internal work. Why do you want what you want? Telling someone you want to be happy is meaningless unless you also know what it will take to make you happy.

What makes me happy professionally? Working with great clients, providing the right tools for them to use in their journey, teaching them how to use the tools effectively, continuing to improve my skills, reaching as many people as I can to provide support, encouragement and professional coaching or services that make a positive difference in their life, engaging with other professionals to broaden my range, education, experiences and interactions.

What do I do to make these wants happen: continually read and research my craft, reach out as much as possible, connect with prospects to make sure it is the best fit for both of us, release the negativity and choose not to work with the angry, engage with others and always remain open to opportunities.

These are choices and I have complete control over them. I hope for wonderful things for my friends and family because the bottom line is they have the control over their life, not me.

If your situation is not what you hoped for than perhaps you need to make it a want. Your current job not fulfilling or on the verge of misery? Than want a better environment and start taking action and accountability to make it a reality. Communicate what you need, open your eyes to see what action you can take to improve the situation, receive input from others and begin with the mind set that this is what you want so this is what will be.

It is not always easy. You may get frustrated or hurt during the process of want. It is like being in a relationship. You both might be afraid of getting hurt again but if you just hope you don’t and keep those walls up nothing is going to change. It is superficial and only a half attempt. Want a fulfilling relationship, be open to the bumps and bruises in order to reach the point of fulfillment.

It may crash and burn or it may flourish and fulfill you – there are always outside obstacles you cannot control; but either way you will have grown, stretched and hones your skills and abilities by trying, working and being committed to your positive want. And if that want is not reached then the opportunity was a chance to re-evaluate yourself as to your commitment, expectations and accountability.

Maybe it prepared you for the next time, which is actually the right time.

A want is within, a commitment to yourself, a scary grown-up place that leads to an incredible journey that just might be worth more than the fulfillment of the actual want itself. But you will never know until you stop hoping and start wanting.

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW

What Are You Going To Do – Pursue Happiness Or Create It?

Before you take any action you must want to do so. Sounds simple, right? That’s what resolutions are all about. So why are so many long forgotten by February? Because the failed resolutions were made with interest, not commitment.

Oh sure, I am interested in being more healthy – but I’m not committed to it. How could I be when I do not eat well, drink way too much caffeine, exercise minimally and have other bad habits?

I meet a lot of people who want to change jobs or at least secure a position – most are interested, not committed. Simply having me review a resume with no follow up action on their part is pure interest. At the very least, use some of the suggestions.

I have a good friend that told me that people to not commit until they feel enough pain. I tend to avoid pain at all possible – it is a general rule I like to follow and for the most part it serves me well. However, I have also discovered it has its flaws.

Avoiding pain is a way to avoid commitment. The biggest reason to adopt the avoiding pain is to avoid rejection. No one likes rejection; however it can be used as a growth tool.

When I was in the financial industry and was contemplating looking elsewhere within the industry I remember being struck with a thought: “what if another company does not think I’m as good as I think I am, what if I have just fooled this company and I really suck?!” Yes, welcome to my mind.

So I avoided it, I did not prepare my resume, I did not prepare for networking, I did not want to interview – I completely avoided it. The pain came when I was forced to take action and the avoidance increased the pain.

Sometimes we just need to think or talk through it. So let me ask you these seemingly simple questions. Write down or say out loud your initial response – don’t think about it. It all boils down to three questions:

 Are you happy?
 Why not?
 What are you willing to do about it?

Taking it a step further:

 What do you want?
 What do you need?
 What is the worst that could happen if you do nothing?
 What is the best that could happen if you changed nothing?
 What is the worst that could happen if you take action?
 What is the best that could happen if you take action?
 What is involved in making change?
 What do you need to do to get what you want?
 What are you willing to do to get what you want?
 What are you not willing to do?
 What are you afraid of?

I suggest writing down your answers so you can come back and look at them again. For each response keep asking “why?” until you get to the real reasons.

Maybe you are okay where you are and have felt the need to change based on other people’s intentions. To that I say: “Knock it off! It is your life, you create your own happiness – stop worrying about what other people think.”

Maybe you can uncover what your real fear is and this will give you the opportunity to reach out for assistance. Whether it be a significant other, a good friend, a coach, a professional, a mentor – whomever it is you need, reach out and ask for help – once you commit.

If you are interested keep your wants to yourself. It is like the boy who cried wolf. People will soon learn that you are just blowing smoke and tire of hearing it. If you have repeatedly stated you want to change something but have never done anything to prove it people will not believe you when you actually make that commitment.

However, if you are committed, commit to yourself first, take some steps and prove to yourself that you truly want this. Answering the questions above is just a tool – not an actionable step. But it is a good start to taking action. Once you have identified actionable items within your answers – go with them and perform them. Each action taken is a commitment fulfilled, a step toward success, proof of your commitment.

“Some people pursue happiness, others create it.” One of my favorite quotes – something to think about.

Once you start the processes of taking actionable steps you can work on allowing the good things to come to you. Which will be the next post – how to open the door to welcome and allow the good to come in and stay awhile….

Lisa K. McDonald, CPRW
Career Coach-Strategist
Certified Professional Resume Writer
Career Polish, Inc.