Living to 100
Many more people will live to 100 in the decades ahead, according to John F. Wasik:
Apart from early financial planning, this trend requires smart thinking about staying socially engaged, mentally and physically active, open to learning, and thoughtful about what lies ahead.
Whatever your life expectancy, a retirement coach can reduce anxiety and create a clear sense of renewal, joy and growth for the path forward.
Read, “If You Live to 100, You’ll Need More Than Money,” by John F. Wasik, The New York Times
Thinking about retiring?
Thinking about retiring? My 60-second take. Video by David Seth Cohen of Precision Pictures LTD.
Advancing your career requires more than just hard work—you need to demonstrate growth, leadership skills, ambition, and emotional intelligence. Also known as your emotional quotient, or EQ, emotional intelligence refers to the ability to understand and manage feelings in healthy, positive ways. The following guide below explains the importance of emotional intelligence and how an executive coach can help.
Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important for Career Success?How you manage, use, and respond to your emotions affects every aspect of your life. Having high emotional intelligence leaves you better equipped to deal with stressful life situations, complex tasks, and conflicts with other people.
These skills are critical for a successful career. Whether you need to navigate a major project or figure out how to communicate effectively with a new client, turning your emotions into a positive motivating force will help you excel.
Taking the time to identify and understand your emotions gives you the control you need to express them properly and recognize how other people are feeling. This can help you form stronger relationships with coworkers and clients.
How Can You Develop Emotional Intelligence?
Recognizing how you feel is a step in the right direction, but overcoming negative impulses is the biggest challenge. Anxiety can reduce the ability to think clearly and critically, causing people to make poor decisions in high-stress situations. Addressing emotions head-on to prevent them from overwhelming your thoughts gives you more control over your reactions.
Be Mindful of Others
Emotional intelligence is not just about knowing yourself; it's also about the ability to empathize. People are constantly sending out verbal and nonverbal cues. To fully understand them and their needs, social awareness is necessary.
It’s common to have a mind full of deadlines, previous conversations, and tasks you want to accomplish while at work. When having a conversation, it really helps to pay attention to what the person is saying and how they’re saying it. Picking up on subtle emotional cues and remembering important details can help you improve communication skills, understand the dynamics of any group, and build positive relationships.
Don’t Dwell on Mistakes
Everyone faces challenges they can’t always overcome. However, those with high emotional intelligence will use these opportunities to learn and grow rather than dwelling on them. Overthinking will only lead to self-doubt. Instead, consider what can be learned from the situation and move forward. Other opportunities await you!
Only in New York?
Polar bears are rarely seen in NYC. But, thanks to someone’s creativity, four of them are firmly in place, in Central Park, sending a message for the season, if not this era or maybe this day.
I'm always cheered to see people's creativity at play. Are you looking for ways to express your creativity more?
Should You Leave Your Job?
Choosing to leave a job is a major decision that shouldn't be taken lightly. However, if your job is not meeting your needs, leaving may be the best option for your career path and personal life. If you've been entertaining the idea of leaving your current position, enlisting the services of a career advisor and using the following advice can help.
How to Know if It's Time to Leave a Job
It's Routinely Stressful or Unpleasant
Temporary stress can be a normal part of work. Preparing for a presentation or a meeting with a client or an annual review can cause some level of anxiety. However, if you have constant dread going in every morning for weeks or months, this isn't simply a temporary issue to muscle your way through. If the job is negatively impacting your mental health or personal life, then it's probably time to leave.
There's No Future
If you've been thinking about leaving, you're likely unsatisfied with the position. Have a candid talk with the manager about your future at the company and whether there are opportunities for growth.
Consider where you'd like to be in one, five, and ten years. If there's no clear path to grow your career in responsibility, pay, or position, it may be time to look elsewhere.
It No Longer Fits Your Needs
A job or company that once perfectly suited you may not anymore. You may have a new manager who makes the work environment feel toxic.
You may have children to care for and need a better work-life balance. Your job security could be threatened by changes in ownership or business structure.
How to Leave a Job
After deciding to leave or, even better, when you're agonizing over whether you should, plan the transition carefully and respectfully with the help of a career coach. Precipitous moves are rarely a good idea. Rather, have a financial strategy in mind and secure another job offer first. Saving up enough money to fund the job hunt, or finding a temporary position to pay the bills while searching for that dream job is definitely a plus.
Give at least two weeks' notice to your manager so that they have some time to find a replacement. You may need to do this with a written letter of resignation.
If you have flexibility, consider staying longer to train the replacement. Try to avoid burning bridges, even if you're upset. Your old manager could be the one to provide a recommendation that connects you with a dream job.
Confidence is Key
Understandably, what’s top of mind right now for most people is the impact of the pandemic, getting a vaccine, the new administration, and the many uncertainties that lie ahead.
In light of this, one leadership attribute which gets put on the back burner is the importance of confidence. Yet, having confidence is key to successfully doing just about anything. It lets you know that when you take off, it may be an adventure, it may be bold and scary, but you know you’ll land it.
a) How we feel, including our enjoyment of work and feelings of autonomy and agency
b) How we act, such as how assertive we are, how we seize opportunities and face risks
c) Our relationships and ability to engage with people
d) How we communicate. For example, if you lack confidence, you are less likely to speak up in meetings or may use a high voice or giggle which reduces your credibility.
With confidence, many hard things seem possible. Without it, taking care of business, let alone the next bold step, is almost impossible. A leader who doesn’t demonstrate confidence in what they say and do — which of course is different from arrogance and intimidation — might as well implement a succession plan immediately.
Three Things to Remember
1. Confidence is not a sideshow.
Many studies show that having confidence is highly correlated with being successful. People with confidence are more willing to take reasonable risks, take advantage of opportunities and be given opportunities.
2. Lack of confidence can be exhausting, frustrating and depressing
Yet, lack of confidence isn’t something you can easily talk about with your colleagues or your friends.
3. You may already be confident, but, there are people around you every day, including supervisors, close colleagues and friends, who are not.
Raising your awareness of how others may be feeling will make you a better leader, a better colleague, and a better friend.
The Four Behavioral Traits of a Confident Person:
Most people can’t swallow a teaspoon of cinnamon, sneeze with their eyes open or wiggle their little toe. If you cannot do these things now, you will never be able to. The good news is that confidence can be learned.
1. People who are confident have a growth mindset.
They believe strongly in the power of effort, that people are born to learn and that the mind is like a muscle — the more you work it, the more effort you put in, the smarter you become. Effort matters! Carol Dweck’s excellent book, Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, explains this with compelling research.
2. Confidence requires that we have the courage to act.
People often think of courage as being strong or macho. But courage is what allows people to do things even when they don’t feel strong. This short video embodies the idea of taking action despite fear and is worth watching.
3. A confident person has GRIT.
Grit is not just about working hard or having self-discipline. It’s about working in a deliberate, focused way over a period of time in pursuit of a goal. Colonel Sanders, the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken, had grit. At age 62, he set out with $105 to pitch his chicken recipe to restaurants. Over 1,000 people told him he was crazy, but he didn’t give up. That’s grit! See Angela Duckworth’s book, Grit, The Power of Passion & Perseverance for research on the value of grit.
4. A confident person has self-compassion.
We live in a success-oriented, achieve-the-next-big-thing world and tend to think of failure as abnormal. But setbacks are part of being human. We misstep on a pitch for a new client, we lose an argument in court, we misread an important change in the market or fail to stay calm. The key lesson is to learn from our mistakes and move on.
Like the imposter syndrome, confidence can come and go. It affects people of all types, all ages and all backgrounds, including people in the C-Suite. If you’re feeling a general lack of confidence, it’s worth paying attention to it. You can and should work to develop it and let your best shine through. Success in your work and in life comes in many forms and — with confidence — you’re much more likely to achieve it.
The rules of being charismatic, let alone just plain interesting, on a zoom or webex call are not what they used to be when we met in person. Indeed, the rules have shifted dramatically and it's smart to know them! Here's a short read which might help you get the next deal, the next promotion, the next job or the next insight.
Read, "Do You Have E-Charisma on Zoom? Here’s How to Get It" by Ray A. Smith, WSJ (subscription required to read full article)
How to Ask for a Promotion
After putting time, effort, and care into your job, you may be ready to ask your superior about a promotion. However, before beginning this conversation, you’ll need to prepare properly. To ensure the best chance of success, follow these tips from a career coach.
Be smart about when you schedule the meeting.
Whenever you want to have a meaningful or important discussion, timing is critical. If you bring up the conversation unexpectedly, your boss might be distracted or ill-prepared, which could hinder your chances of getting the promotion. Instead, look at their calendar to see when they have available time slots. Before sending the meeting invitation, send a quick message to check that they don’t typically take their lunch or have other engagements at the time. This will ensure their full attention remains on you and the conversation.
Gather supporting materials.
Asking for a promotion is just like pitching a product—you need to prove to the recipient why they should invest in what you have to offer. Prepare for the meeting by gathering supporting documents or resources that prove your effectiveness in your current role, as well as those that would easily translate to the new position. This may include performance reviews and reports showing a tangible increase, such as ever-growing sales reports.
Forget to practice.
Once you’ve scheduled the meeting, go home and prepare your presentation. Outline why you think you deserve the position and highlight some reasons why you want it. Then, practice to a friend, family member, career coach, or yourself in the mirror. Look out for verbal fillers, such as “um” or “uh,” which could indicate nervousness. You don’t need to have the entire presentation memorized, but practicing beforehand will ensure you hit the critical points needed to drive home the proposal.
Lose your cool.
Regardless of what your manager says during the meeting, remain calm and collected. Even if you feel disappointed, try to avoid arguing. In most cases, this will likely harm the potential for any future openings you might be considered for. Instead, thank them for their time and let them know you’d appreciate consideration in the future.
Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
2021 is hours away and there is an expectation that good things will happen, like the vaccine and the ability to travel again. But, most good things will happen because we did something to make them happen. We will have to get out of our comfort zone, show up, take a bold step, try something new, remain curious and learn from our mistakes. Doing pull-ups may not be your thing but setting some reasonable goals and acting on them will ensure that the New Year is what you want it to be.
Volunteers help communities with critical work, such as serving on boards of worthy organizations, fundraising for important causes, donating time to mentor students, and cleaning up public areas for a safer, more beautiful neighborhood. Many retirement coaches suggest volunteering once someone has stopped working due to the long list of benefits for a person’s health and wellness.
Here’s why you should take up community service as you get older.
How Does Volunteering Benefit Retirees?1. It Boosts Brain PowerStaying active and doing volunteer work promotes cognitive health. Productive tasks have been proven to keep issues like memory loss at bay as you age. The socialization involved in collaborative tasks can also reduce feelings of isolation, especially in times of crisis, such as COVID.
2. It Helps You Stay Active
Getting older can sometimes make physical activity harder, if not challenging. But when you sign up as a volunteer, it’s easier to keep moving because there’s a purpose behind it. A lot of volunteer work will get you out of the apartment or out of the house and give you the chance to walk around the community, clean up a park, plant flowers, collect donations, or help out a local church or soup kitchen. There may even be opportunities to improve fitness while making a difference, such as volunteering with recreational youth sports teams who need extra hands during this time of social distancing.
3. It Connects You With All AgesThere doesn’t have to be a generation gap between young and old acquaintances. Retirement is an excellent time to connect with younger people.
Volunteering and working with a variety of age groups allows everyone to get to know and understand different backgrounds and perspectives. Each group can offer life experience to expand everyone’s knowledge and respect for each other.
I am an executive coach who works with clients on leadership and transition challenges, including retiring with enthusiasm and ease.. Read my bio.