Getting Places - Counseling, Consulting & Coaching








Career Change

Recruiters are sales people helping you get into the next job or career. Career Coaches help you make sure that next job or career is an ideal fit for you, your lifestyle and your goals.

Maybe you want a job or career change?

Maybe you've been a stay-at-home mom for years and are ready to re-enter the work force?

Maybe you are a college student or a young adult still wanting to find out what will really make you successful and content?

Maybe you've been part of corporate downsizing or lost your job in some way. Wouldn't you love to find a way to minimize the likelihood of that happening again?

Getting Places can help you better identify your strengths, your preferences and help you adapt your qualifications to the goals you've set for yourself and your career.


Finding your Dream Job

A home office is the dream job today. Owning your own business, setting your own hours and balancing the needs of family and career are the reasons many people have for setting up shop at home.

We hear a lot about the flexibility of the workplace to allow more telecommuting or having offices without walls with everyone being “home based.” But, inspite of the many articles and advantages, employers willing to offer these arrangements seem to be few and far between.

So if this is your dream job, you are likely to become a solopreneur. You may end up working alone to develop a viable business that fits around the lifestyle and family priorities that make this a necessity instead of a luxury.

Let’s assume you’ve read all the books, have a dynamite business plan and have enough capital to start and build the business. (That would be an extremely luxurious launching pad for any new business.) This is certainly the recipe for success. However, a number of solopreneurs end up closing the roll top desk and heading back to a cubicle.

Balancing work and family is a juggling act and it may be more of an extreme sport for the solopreneur – especially if the children are small or the eldercare responsibilities take a drastic swing. How can you increase your likelihood of success?

  1. Read the books, develop a good business plan and by all means have some reasonable structure for capital and access to more money.
  2. Get help from seasoned professionals with your business plan – consider the Small Business Association, local college classes on starting a business and SCORE.
  3. Work the business plan. Revise it if you need to, but use the plan.
  4. Have strategies for hiring help if you get into a bind. Sometimes this can mean bartering and often it can be paying for help. Keep in mind that the paid help might do something in your LIFE to give you time for your business.
  5. Build a support system of people who will be able to help you grow your business. Join professional associations, consortiums, and network with people who have successfully launched home based businesses.
  6. Assure that your family is on board with the plan. Be specific about your work time and your family time and make sure your support system will have the flexibility and resilience to help you be successful at both work and family.
  7. Hire a coach before you start. Coaching can help you stay focused, juggle the many demands, prioritize and re-prioritize and develop an encouraging systematic strategy for success.

With the number of internet businesses increasing and the technology to accomplish so many business processes, it is worthwhile to develop your own dream job.

Copyright © 2006 - Margaret Cook. All rights reserved.

Job Search Strategies

Everyone looks for a job at some time or another. If you don’t have a coach, you might wonder where to start and how to go about creating a successful job search. These articles will help you plan and evaluate your job search.

You may also want to consider using a coach. Coaching can help you customize your strategy and be accountable for the goals and tasks. It can also help keep your morale as high as you want it to be when you are seeking the opportunity that can lead to your dreams.


Does It Have to Be Work to Work?

Looking for a position is a lot of work. It requires determination, organization and a willingness to learn and “think on your feet.” You may have heard the old adage, “Looking for a job is a full-time job.” Show me a person actively working a job campaign 40 hours a week and I bet we will see a very tired candidate and a very unproductive process of job searching. In order to keep your spirits up and succeed, you will need to create a systematic way of conducting your job search and evaluating the results. These articles will help you do just that.

  1. Recognize that the best candidate appears upbeat, full of energy, able to see possibilities and capable of the job they are interested in obtaining.
  2. Understand that the job search process can take months and that it requires sustained effort to carry out a successful campaign.
  3. Realize that the job search campaign can be complex and require attention to a lot of details. It also requires a lot more than sending out letters and resumes.
  4. Create a systematic method that will work for you and play to your own strengths. Plan, Plan, Plan and then follow the PLAN.

Just like a successful business has a well articulated business plan, a successful job search starts with a clear plan or strategy. Also, the plan changes based on the “real-world” outcomes and experiences so that the level of success increases over time.

Create a preliminary plan. Consider the following outline:
  1. Establish a monthly budget that is realistic and that you can easily track and monitor. (This might be particularly important if you are unemployed or may incur a period of unemployment.) If you will be employed throughout your job search, you will still want to establish a budget. This will help you determine salary requirements and financial goals you want to meet. It will also become a tool for evaluating your job search strategies.
  2. Establish a schedule that you will follow each day and how much time you will devote to your job search activities. The more specific the schedule is, the better it works as a tool for assessing your progress. It will also improve your sense of control and your efficiency. Remember to be realistic and honest with yourself to make this effective.
  3. Identify support systems and resources that will be part of your plan. This can include professional associations, community meetings, volunteerism as well as family, friends and faith.

Click here to check out these helpful resources on:

  • Budgeting
  • Time Management
  • Build Your Support System


Planning Makes a Difference

Now that you have a plan for how much time each day you will devote to your job search, let’s break that down more specifically. I like to make a game out of how quickly I can do some of the tasks and not sacrifice quality. Many people seem to take the entire time they have allocated. Sometimes less is more. Does it really take an hour to write a cover letter? If I have a good outline and a basic shell, I can probably write a good cover letter in 10-15 minutes. I may come back and proofread and edit two or three letters later in the day for another 10-15 minutes. The idea is not to hurry, but to be efficient.

Initially, you will want to plan some time to develop your resume and your basic details of your cover letter that may remain the same on most letters. Once you have those documents developed, you will be able to accomplish the tasks quickly. That will free up more time for networking, making phone calls, writing follow up correspondence and looking at resources.

Here is a sample schedule of a job search that is planned for 30 minutes a day. This person scheduled 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. Actual time with contacts and for interviews will be scheduled separately.


This kind of schedule will help you stay on your game. Notice that there is time for planning (Sunday evening), time for evaluating resources (Wednesday morning) and time to catch up on any items that took longer than you planned (Friday evening). The goal is to stay so caught up that you usually have the “catch up” slot turning into free time.

If you followed a schedule like this, at the end of the week you would have:

  • sent at least 5 resumes and cover letters
  • sent contact letters to develop new contacts for your network
  • researched three companies
  • reviewed ads in relevant sources for listed openings
  • developed a list of at least three additional contacts to add to your network
  • send thank you or follow up correspondence
  • prepared at least in a general way for upcoming appointments or interviews
  • evaluated your productivity of resources
  • made time to plan
  • took time to catch up on anything that you did not complete within the time frame

And received some kind of emotional support from someone in your support system.

This is a fairly productive strategy for any job seeker. Why don’t you try making a plan of your own and following it for three weeks? The first week you will learn which tasks you need to schedule differently, the second week you can build your speed and by the third week you will be getting some results.

Enjoy the search for your new opportunity.


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