go with the flow river scene

How I Embody Go with the Flow

Lately, my energy has been all over the place so my new motto has been to “go with the flow”. This phrase isn’t new or revolutionary but it’s been exceedingly helpful for me. And before you scroll away wondering if I have lost my marbles (which I have) let me explain! 

By going with the flow I have been learning to accept that I have high energy days and low energy days and a lot of days where I slide between the two. This revelation means two things for me. One is that I can simply let myself be where I am for the day and move from that place to get things done. And the second is that my energy will always come back eventually. 

Working Through the Lows (Sometimes)

But Emily, you may ask, how can you be productive on low energy days? To be honest some days I do and some days I don’t. If I can, I let myself rest. If I cannot, I tap into a few of my favorite productivity hacks (like batching, setting a timer, playing soundscape playlists, trying to find a low energy state of flow) and make it happen. 

More often than not the task can wait. So I rest. I allow myself to do something that fills me up a little like water coloring, journaling, laying on the couch and talking to my dog or screaming into the void. There are no rights and wrongs in this – being tired is morally neutral. And from this place of rest I can remind myself that the energy will always come back. 

Energy Always Flows Back In 

Whether I have a low energy day, afternoon, week or month I like to remind myself to go with the flow – the energy will always flow back in. Sometimes it takes longer than I would like and sometimes I wish it would stay longer but it always comes back. 

I also apply go with the flow when the energy comes rushing back in. I try to ride the new energetic waves instead of rushing through everything on my to do list. Everything doesn’t have to be accomplished on this single wave of energy. 

Do You Go with the Flow?

So if you are tired, please find rest if you can. And if you can’t find rest, maybe try accepting that tiredness is morally neutral. You will do the best with the energy you have and energy will always come back eventually. 

**This blog is not intended to replace mental or physical health care. Please work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.

interview prep

Interview Red Flags Pt 2

As a career coach I spend a lot of time talking about interviews. As someone who worked in HR I’ve had the privilege and burden of being on both sides of the table when it comes to these horrendously imbalanced conversations. Interviews are awkward, terrifying, annoying and can feel like a wedge driven between you and the job you know you can do. It’s a chance to sell yourself but it’s also not a sales pitch which makes this already annoying conversation style even more nerve wracking. Understanding and helping people navigate this nuance is a big part of what I do as a career coach and it’s why I take every interview offered to me to practice my skills (which makes me an even better coach). 

Throughout the interview process I’ve run across some major interview red flags that I warn my clients about. I’ve already posted a blog post on a few of these. This post is a continuation on my post from last week about interview red flags that have stood out during my countless conversations. Remember this is all from my personal and professional experience so it may or may not resonate with you. Take the tips that apply to you and ignore the ones that don’t.

So without further ado let’s chat through some additional interview red flags! 

24/7 Availability 

One of the most egregious abuses of employer power is asking employees to be available 24/7. This includes expectations to respond to emails immediately regardless of time, time zone or job duties. While this issue isn’t unique to any specific industry I tend to notice it more with start-up tech companies. If a role needs you to always be available it probably isn’t worth it. And if it is an hourly role – run! 

Bait & Switch 

A bait and switch is when you apply for a specific job but when you show up for the interview the job described no longer matches the posting. This can range from minor changes like a schedule shift to unexplained changes in expected pay or benefits. An example of this would be if a role is listed with an exaggerated commission rate. With the rise in remote work I often see job postings that look legitimate but upon further examination are actually recruitment posts for MLMs (and if you need a reason to avoid them check out this blog post). 

Not Selling You on the Job 

My final red flag for you today is when an interviewer doesn’t try to sell you on the job. This is when a job is pitched as busy, stressful, overwhelming or any other adjective that doesn’t make you want to take the job (or continue the interview). This is a red flag because it can mean: 

  1. The hiring manager or interviewer is not engaged or does not care 
  2. The team is so overworked they didn’t prep for the conversation (and you want healthy work life balance) 
  3. They’ve already decided who they want to fill the role with and are waiting on a response from them/completing scheduled interviews with no intent to hire
  4. They really don’t like or understand the role or company 
  5. Or they are just a bad interviewer…

Regardless it is probably best to avoid that role unless it is your dream role. 

In conclusion I want to remind you that you have the power to reject bad job offers, you can end an interview if you feel uncomfortable and you do not have to accept a job just because it is offered to you. It’s cliche but you are interviewing them just as much as they are interviewing you. And if you need a mini pre-interview confidence boost, remember that you are selling them your skills, experience and time and they would be lucky to have you. Want to chat about your next interview 1:1? Check out my career coaching options

**I am a life and career coach. The tips I share are based on my experience, my clients experience and my time working in HR. I am not responsible for your life choices. 

interviews

Red Flags in Interviews

As someone who helps people prepare for interviews, I participate in a lot of interviews. This sounds a little crazy but I take every opportunity offered to me to practice and hone my skills. I quite literally take one for the team on this but I know it makes me a better and more effective coach for my career coaching clients. 

Due to my exposure to interviews from my time in HR and my self-inflicted torture, I have wound up with a lengthy list of interview red flags or warning signs. Today I want to share with you some of the job posting/interview red flags I’ve come across as well as some of my favorite questions to ask in an interview. 

Before you begin, remember these are MY red flags – use your own discernment to see if these apply to you and your life or career goals. 

Work Hard Play Hard or Hustle & Grind

If I see either of those phrases in a job posting it sets off immediate alarm bells. The former is a warning that you will have no work life balance and get invited to too many happy hours after working too long of days. The latter is a warning that you will be held to unrealistic standards of productivity. I personally do not support either of those. 

Working hard is ok but working without boundaries, balance or breaks is a one way ticket to burnout. 

Acting Weird about Pay and Benefits Questions 

Pay is a SUPER important topic and it should not be taboo. Unfortunately money can be a really uncomfortable subject and as the candidate you are often put in the vulnerable position of having to state a number first. While companies are getting better about (or being required to) posting salary information it’s not always immediately available when you apply. When I bring up salary and the company gets cagey or lowballs me I take that as a major red flag that I would not be getting fair or competitive pay in the role. 

Another big red flag is if they don’t have a handle on explaining their benefits package (US specific due to our lack of universal healthcare). 

Politician Answers – Not Answering Your Questions or Refusing to Acknowledge Negatives 

One of my favorite questions to ask in an interview is “What is a really good day like in this role and what is a really bad day like in this role?” Occasionally I receive responses to these questions that twist the negatives of the role into a positive. When that happens I assume the team has a toxic positivity problem that they are not acknowledging. I personally take that as a major red flag. Working on a team that can acknowledge struggles and support each other on bad days is important to me. 

And as a bonus here are a couple questions I like to ask in interviews

  1. What is a good day like in this role? What is a bad day like in this role? 
  2. Is this role staying remote? If not, is it possible to make it remote or flex? 
  3. How do you handle mistakes as a team and as a manager? 

One Final Interview Reminder

As a reminder you are allowed to set boundaries around interviews- they can take a lot of energy to power through. Interviews are awkward, they can be uncomfortable and you absolutely have the power to end the conversation the moment you feel uneasy. If you want help preparing for an interview, building your career confidence, setting work life balance boundaries or setting goals please reach out! I’m happy to help you through a coaching session.

Leave me a comment if you want to see more of my interview red flags! 

**I am a life and career coach. The tips I share are based on my experience, my clients experience and my time working in HR. I am not responsible for your life choices. 

no thank you

No Thank You

Things are beginning to re-open, mask mandates are being lifted, families are planning reunions and here is your reminder that you are allowed to say “No Thank You” to things you don’t want to do. 

No thank you is a complete sentence. It is a conversation ender, a reminder to others that you have boundaries, and it is one of my favorite phrases. No thank you is not rude, it is not offensive and if uttered appropriately it is the queen of boundary setting! 

As you can tell, I love the word no. It empowers me. I love it so much I’ve already shared a blog about it! But even with my obvious adoration for the phrase here is a reminder that we were not always this close. My friend no did not always live in my boundary setting toolkit. In pre-covid times I used it sparingly due to a fear of being perceived as rude. A major fear of setting boundaries put me in a place where I would overextend myself often. I consistently poured from an empty cup.

Over the course of the last couple years I began to crack under the strain of consistent burnout from my inability to say no. I had to learn to say no and stay firm in the boundaries. It was not an easy journey. So now I want to remind you that you too can decline invitations that make you uncomfortable.

A Post 2020 You Might Want to Say No Thank You More!

Shelter in place and 18 months of consistent quarantine has made me very selective about how I spend my time. I no longer pour from an empty cup, opting for saving my energy for projects, people and clients that I am passionate about. A key part of this change has been getting really comfortable with saying “No Thanks!” to many things that no longer align with me. I’ve let friendships that did not align naturally grow distant, I reject projects that don’t align with my business and I do not offer to work with clients who don’t mesh with me.

After spending this much time focusing on growing myself and my business has built my confidence in boundary setting and being able to confidently and politely say “No Thank You” is crucial for my energy preservations. Setting boundaries like these has made me feel more fulfilled with my work and less stressed by my day to day life. 

As the world reopens and people go from extreme isolation to large group gatherings it’s ok to feel uncomfortable. Needing time to process the last 18 months does not make you a bad person. Being hesitant of group gatherings does not mean you are “living in fear”. Setting boundaries and refusing to attend group gatherings does not make you anti-social. Remember to take your time coming out of your home, be patient with yourself while you re-adjust to in person socializing. Remember that you have the power to say “No Thank You” to things you don’t want to do! 

Need someone to chat it out with? Life & Career Coaching sessions are available here!

self-trust

How To Build Your Self-Trust Fund

How’s the balance on your self-trust fund looking? Mines robust but it didn’t always look like this. It took me YEARS to learn how to build my self-trust fund. And now that I think I know what I’m doing I’m ready to share a few of my self trust tidbits with you! 

Self-Trust Defined

Harnessing and tapping into our self-trust is powerful but before we can use it we need to understand it. Self-trust is knowing that you can take care of yourself and your safety. Having self-trust in a scenario means that you trust yourself to get through it. 

This article on self-trust defines it as “the firm reliance on the integrity of yourself”

I like to think of it as having your own back.

Self-trust does not mean that you know exactly how things are going to play out or how to do things perfectly but you trust yourself to do the best you can in any given scenario. 

The Benefits of Self-Trust

When we move from a place of self-trust we move with confidence, independence, authority, clarity and in my experience self-love. 

Self-love and self-trust go hand in hand. I’ve discovered that trusting myself is an act of self-love. Making decisions confidently and with the faith that regardless of the outcome I will figure it out has been a major declaration of self-love to myself. 

Self-trust allows us to take aligned action towards our goals and helps our ego survive any mistakes we make. 

How I’m Building Self-Trust 

Failure 

My number one act of self-trust is letting myself fail. Last week we talked about mindset myths and one of those myths was that failure is bad.

FAILURE IS NOT BAD. Failure does not make you a bad person. 

Failure happens, mistakes get made, and in the moment it can feel like sh*t. What we do with that failure is what matters. If we can recognize failure when it pops up, see it as a sign to pivot and not associate with feeling bad about ourselves we can adapt, adjust and rebuild. That adaptability is what self development is all about. 

So trust yourself to try and trust yourself to fail. I’ve learned more from my failures than my successes. 

Commit 

Another way I build my self-trust is by committing to my decisions. 

This does not mean that I dig in when I am wrong or stay stuck in one spot because I’m committed to a path. What it does mean is that I follow through with the decisions and promises I make to myself. 

I practice self-trust by making a decision and trusting myself to make the right one. When I first started doing this I was CONSUMED by moments of doubt and I let my “What If” Monster run rampant. After every decision and during every moment of doubt I have to remind myself “I made this choice and I trust myself to have made the right choice for this scenario”. 

This will take practice!! The first big decision I made with this process was starting my coaching business. It took MONTHS of me telling myself that I made the right decision and to trust myself before it stuck. 

Now I’m nowhere near perfect on this but the more I do it the easier it gets. 

My suggestion would be to start small (unless you want to commit like I did and go all in). Make a choice, stick to it and every time you experience doubt tell yourself that you trust yourself to do it right the first time. 

Limit the Influence of the Opinions of Others

Past Emily would ask approximately 3-5 people their opinion before making a decision. I used to make Brenton review EVERY SINGLE INSTAGRAM POST I POSTED. I did not trust myself to share my message correctly. 

Now I just jump into things and ask for feedback as I’m innovating. 

In my experience the best way to do this is to take action when you have an idea and just do it. Get comfortable with following internal pulls without asking for the opinion of someone else. This involved being comfortable with f*cking up, being ok with making mistakes and trusting yourself to make the right move. 

Is it easy? Not in my opinion. But looking back at how far I’ve come with my self-trust I am so grateful for the uncomfortable moments that pushed me here. 

Check In! 

Finally, to wrap it up let’s do a little self-trust check in! 

Ready? Ask yourself the following: 

  • Do I trust myself?
  • Are there aspects of my life that I do/don’t trust myself in?
  • How do I show myself that I trust my decisions?

Want to take it to the next level? Sign up for a free coaching discovery call – let’s build your confidence, self-trust and get you aligned with your goals. 

**I am a Certified Life Coach via Universal Coaching Institute and a Professional in Human Resources via HRCI. I am not a therapist or medical professional. Please work with a medical professional when it comes to your physical or mental health. 

extraordinary self love

Being Extraordinary is Overrated

Being extraordinary is overrated.

Let’s chat about it!

You don’t have to be extraordinary – you are enough. As a recovering perfectionist and high achiever I used to spend inordinate amounts of time aiming for the unachievable seductress – perfection. By telling myself that I had to excel at EVERYTHING I did, I wasted a lot of time worrying about being enough. But it was exhausting and eventually I had to learn to embrace myself – all of my faults, quirks, habits and dreams.

What If Monster

Learning to embrace myself has been a dance with fear and shame. What if I embrace myself and become complacent? What if I stop excelling the moment I start loving myself? If I embrace myself will I waste my life by being “mediocre” or “basic”? I put an inordinate amount of negative labels on the outcome of accepting myself as is. In true irony the outcome of embracing myself has been bigger goals, trusting myself to rest, my energy and an increase in my general happiness. Getting to know my what if monster and trusting myself to manage my fear and shame is what got me here – to this blog – writing to all of you. By embracing myself I was able to not only post work on my own website but also submit to other online magazines. When I stopped holding myself back the writing opportunities trickled in. 

From this first act of bravery and self love I was able to start a business during a pandemic. I’m chasing my dream of self employment because of my ability to accept myself exactly as I am, while simultaneously reaching for new milestones. In summary, none of my fears came true – but I almost didn’t even try because I didn’t think I was enough. 

This is where it gets messy and human. I had to stop asking myself to be an extraordinary person. Loving ourselves is not something that only extraordinary people do. We are all enough. Regular people do extraordinary things. Doing extraordinary things does not require us to be perfect – it requires courage. 

I’m Late to the Brene Brown Party 

As I started coming to this conclusion I stumbled upon Brene Brown (queen of courage and shame conversations). I recently listened to this conversation she had with Tim Ferriss.

During the chat Brene asked Tim where the line between being our best selves (as high achievers) and embracing where we are is. Being the nerd I am I paused the video and answered this for myself. (You should watch the video to see their responses – they are illuminating).

I don’t believe there is a line between pushing ourselves to be our best selves and embracing where we are. I came to the conclusion that for me embracing where we are is an approach. When I set myself goals I view exactly where I am at the time, I identify where I want to go and then I try to set myself little milestone markers in the middle so I can celebrate all the little steps. Embracing where I am right now means that I am worthy of doing the work for this change. I am worthy of however long it takes to get there. Allowing myself to set goals outside of where I am right now means that I know I am worthy of growth. When we approach our goals with a realistic outlook and kindness we are able to enjoy the journey and grow when we inevitably f*ck up. 

None of Us are Extraordinary

This also means that none of us are extraordinary. We often have to work hard for what we want to achieve. A lot of us will struggle our way to our goals – step by step. Allowing ourselves the time and space to grow, fail, f*ck up, and try again is crucial. It is both an act of self acceptance and a driver to grow. Yet so many of us expect ourselves to be extraordinary. 

Think about it; right now we are in a pandemic and so many of us have more free time on our hands than before. Some people have used this time to write books – a majority of us have not. Quite a few people have struggled with this extra time because WE ARE IN A PANDEMIC. Are you unfairly comparing yourself to people who have utilized this time in a different way than you? If you are, is that helping you in any way or does it just make you feel like you aren’t enough? For me, comparison is the thief of joy. I’m not expecting myself to respond to the pandemic in some extraordinary way and that has made a major difference on my mental health. 

Applying the Magic of Normal

After coming to this magical conclusion for myself I began applying this approach to my current goals. My biggest goal right now is getting my brand new baby coaching business up and running to full capacity. Is that possible? Sure. Is it a struggle? Also sure! Do I have to be extraordinary to do it? No! I can be messy, human and vulnerable and still get to my goals (in fact – I think those three qualities are crucial to my success). 

Instead of forcing myself to be extraordinary I’m asking myself to find the everyday magical moments that make this journey worth the work. I’m learning to celebrate the normal. I’ve given myself permission to struggle, to try new things and fail, or to say “this is really f*cking hard some days”. 

I’ve stopped expecting myself to be extraordinary and I ask you to do the same! You are capable of remarkable things. You get to love yourself right now exactly where you are. Permission is granted to say “this is really f*cking hard”. And if you want a little 1:1 time to talk about embracing our normal to be successful visit here to sign up for a discovery call. 

F*ck extraordinary. 

** please do not use this post to replace mental or physical health care from a physician. Always work with a licensed professional when it comes to your health.