Career Management

When not to follow your dreams

Posted by on Feb 21, 2017 in Achieving Goals, Career Management, Personal Development | 0 comments

I’m not your hope dealer.

One of my biggest pet peeves in the personal development world is inspirational leaders selling people on the idea of following their dreams… and then leaving those people hanging without the skills or tools to follow through.

It’s not enough to want it.

It’s not enough to be amazing at your work.

It’s not enough to show up.

Following your dreams takes clarity, confidence, courage, and commitment! Are you ready to take the leap? Here’s some questions to ask yourself to decide.

don't follow your dreams

When not to follow your dreams

…when  you’re bored

Boredom may be a sign that you’re meant for greater things but don’t up and quit your job just because you’re bored.

Instead, explore why you are bored. Do you need more challenge? Do you need more autonomy? Do you need more variety? Answer these questions before you jump.

…when you’re burned out

Burnout happens for a variety of reasons, from working for an overbearing boss to a mismatch in work values.

What are the reasons you’re burned out? Are you clear on  your work values? What are your workplace preferences? Here’s an assessment that will provide clarity!

…when you’re overworked

Being overworked is about how you work, not where you work or what you do. At least, most of the time anyway.

Can you maximize your productivity? Are you good at staying organized? Are you a pushover? Do you set appropriate boundaries at work? Work on building these skills to enjoy work more- whatever work you do.

…when you’re underpaid

When asked for their salary requirements, most people low-ball their desired salary and, guess what, they get what they asked for. When it comes time for their annual performance review, most people cross their fingers and hope for a raise. Changing jobs won’t necessarily get you the pay you want.

Whatever your job- working for someone else or working for yourself- you have to know your value and ask for what you’re worth! Trust me, this is a skill worth mastering and it will pay off the rest of your life. Work with me to get a raise!

…when you don’t have a plan

Are you good at figuring things out? Good for you! But are you really prepared to follow your dreams?

What’s the first step? And the next? And the next? Who will support you? How will you set yourself up for success? What will you when you get stuck?

You may need to hire a coach to get started.

…when you think you should be able to do it alone

You’re smart. You’re resourceful. You’re educated. You SHOULD be able to do this, but what if you can’t? What if- gasp!- you’re like 100% of the rest of the world and you need support, encouragement, accountability, strategy, and help?

Don’t be afraid to take classes, join a mastermind group, find a mentor, or hire a coach.

Are you ready to follow your dreams? Go ahead and jump!

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Creating career change

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Career Management, Change Management | 1 comment

The past few weeks my clients have been feeling frustrated and discouraged. While my client’s individual situations are quite different they have been experiencing similar emotions.

Well, let’s face it, the past few weeks have been frustrating and discouraging politically, and what I’m hearing from clients is job opportunities, job growth, and career development have taken a back seat to the turmoil we’re experiencing socially. The change in administration and transition has taken focus away from personal and professional health. Let’s face it, we’re too busy discussing healthcare to maintain our actual physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health.

But something amazing has happened these past few weeks; individuals across the country standing up, speaking up, and showing personal courage, inspired leadership, and taking action. And that’s how we make progress. That’s how we create a better society. That’s how we create a better life.

How can you stand up, speak up, and show up personally and professionally?

I’m not talking about politics here- I’m talking about your work and your life.

How can you make progress? How can you create a better life? You do it by showing personal courage, inspired leadership, and taking action.

Many people avoid change. Many people are happy enough to be comfortably unhappy.

Are you going to stay comfortably unhappy? Are you going to continue to tolerate being unfulfilled, unhappy at work, and underpaid? Does your job sucks and you don’t mind? Are you disappointed, anxious, and discouraged?

Are you okay with that?

Or, you can use the discomfort and frustration you’re feeling at work to create positive change. You can take one step in the direction of your dreams. Just the first step.

job career change

No more excuses, it’s time to make a change.

What is your step forward? Here’s some ideas:

Get unstuck and uncover your next career move – download the worksheet!


Stop taking work so seriously!


Set boundaries at work


Have more fun at work!


Build your confidence


Take a leap of faith


Work with me

It’s time for action. Let’s do this!

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When your job isn’t working out

Posted by on Jan 17, 2017 in Career Management, Work Relationships | 0 comments

Sometimes you know it on your very first day of work….. this job is not going to work out.

Sometimes your new job is great at first and you find out things aren’t quite what you thought they would be.

There are many reasons your job isn’t working out but the result is the same- it sucks.

So what do you do? How do you handle this situation like a pro?

Let me tell you a story from the other side. We’ll call this what NOT to do.

I hold a volunteer position for a women’s networking group. I brought in a consultant to our group and it seemed like a perfect situation for everyone involved! Until it wasn’t….

And that’s when things got ugly. The problem was how things were handled as soon as it became clear this opportunity wasn’t working out.

The consultant was understandably frustrated with the situation even though she had not been clear about her expectations and needs. She chose to complain to the executive director and ask the director to step in, causing no small amount of stress and emails flying on the day before our event, including an email in which this consultant called our organization “unprofessional” and dressed me down in no uncertain terms.

As the volunteer in charge, I wish she would have come directly to me with her concerns. I wish she had made her expectations clear from the beginning. I wish she’s been more understanding that everyone involved had good intentions.

Because of the way she handled the situation, I can tell you it’s unlikely I will work with this consultant again. Nor am I likely to recommend her for other jobs.

Dealing with this situation got me thinking about how I choose to handle situations when I am hired for a job that doesn’t work out.

When a job doesn’t work out I have legitimate complaints! But I learned years ago that complaining rarely benefits anyone, especially not me.

I’ve also learned that sometimes great opportunities immediately follow opportunities that just didn’t work out.

this job sucks

So, what can you do when your job isn’t working out? How can turn a bad situation into a better situation?

Be grateful, be gracious, and grow.

Be grateful

Okay, so your job isn’t working out. It sucks. But chances are, there is something to gain from the situation. You are most-likely benefiting in some way- how?

The benefit of gratitude is it improves your outlook and helps you approach the situation from a positive perspective. You’re more likely to find a workable solution or make the best of the situation if you adopt an attitude of gratitude.

Be gracious

Sometimes things don’t go as planned. That sucks, too. Here again  you have a choice- do you choose to take it out on others? Do you choose to complain?

A better choice is to be gracious. Sometimes it’s no one’s fault that things don’t work out. And, hey, even when it is someone’s fault, we all make mistakes. Being gracious shows you’re a professional, and you are far more likely to get a recommendation if you handle a difficult situation with grace.


When an opportunity isn’t what you wanted you have an opportunity to learn.

Maybe next time you’ll ask more questions about the job in the interview. Maybe next time you’ll make sure to express any special needs upfront. Maybe you’ve learned what types of jobs you want, and which you don’t want. How can you grow from this experience?

As frustrating as it is when a job doesn’t work out, you get to choose how to respond (instead of reacting). You can choose to handle the situation in a way that is in the best interest of everyone involved. You can choose to leave a good impression and improve your chances to get a recommendation or referral. You can choose to grow.

So maybe you’re reading this because your job isn’t working out. Besides being grateful, gracious, and growing, download the worksheet to get unstuck and uncover your next career move!

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Stop trying too hard

Posted by on Dec 6, 2016 in Achieving Goals, Business Management, Career Management | 0 comments

“I don’t know, it just seems like you’re trying too hard,” she wrote.

That’s the feedback I received when I recently asked a colleague to look over my marketing materials.

At first I was angry. I thought, “what am I supposed to do with that?! That’s not good feedback!”

“Is there anything more annoying than nonspecific feedback,” I ranted to no one in particular.

Then it hit me.

The reason her feedback bothered me is because I was trying too hard. Yikes.

I looked back at my efforts the past few weeks and I realized the reason I was feeling frustrated and stuck was because I was trying too hard in just about every area of my business.

I call it the “I just need to work harder” mentality. Maybe you recognize this pattern in yourself.

When something isn’t working, do you try harder? Do you decide you need to do more? Do you say, “I just need to figure this out!”

Yes, my friends, all of those statemetns are variations on trying too hard. They’re also the patterns of people that try to control the uncontrollable.

Sure, we can call ourselves “determined”. We might describe ourselves as “hard working”, “thorough”, and even “results-oriented”. We may also call ourselves “stubborn”, “type A”, or “perfectionists“.

The problem with trying too hard is it’s not going to get results. Admit it, we feel better when we’re taking action, and “figuring it out” is just another way for us to distract ourselves from the pain of frustration, discomfort, or- gulp- failure.

The moment I realized I was trying too hard is when I realized I needed to stop trying too hard. I needed to do less, not more. Success happens when I doing the right things, not do more things. It’s about doing my best and forgetting the rest. All I have to do is take a deep breath, trust myself, and be myself.

Oh, so simple, isn’t it?

So tell me, friends, will you join me and stop trying too hard?

And while you’re at it, join my newsletter!


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My best career tip

Posted by on Nov 15, 2016 in Business Management, Career Management, Personal Development, Professional Development | 0 comments

As a Career Coach, I work with career professionals and entrepreneurs who are looking to level up. They are usually looking for work or looking to increase their income. There are lots of tools and support I use to work with clients to help them reach their goals.

There is one tip I give every client I work with.

That’s right, one piece of advice that works for everyone in every situation! This advice works for everyone equally.

Now when I tell you what it is, you might think I’m crazy. You might protest, “but, Chrysta, what does this have to do with finding a job, getting a raise, getting clients?!”

So I hope you’ll bear with me for a minute here because I promise you, it works. And it might not be what you think. I encourage you to be open to the tip I’m about to share.

Before I tell you, I want to share how it’s worked in my life- very specifically the last two weeks.

A LOT has happened in the last two weeks. The floor drain backed up and partially flooded our basement. Then it was my husband’s birthday party, followed by his birthday. A few days later I participated in a 2-day event I’ve been planning for 6 months. While I was out-of-town at the event, my cat went missing. That weekend I moved into my new office. The very next day our garage door opener broke. A few days after that we found my cat.

That’s a lot to happen in two months, let alone two weeks. And through it all I stayed relatively balanced, centered, and ready to face the day. How did I do it? From this simple tip I have to share with you.

Are you ready?


My best career tip is to start a regular gratitude practice. Write a daily gratitude list and I do mean write- put it down on paper. Take 60 seconds each day to pause, reflect, and be grateful.

Yep, that’s it. Be grateful.

Still skeptical? Let me tell you why it works.

A regular gratitude practice gives you something positive and hopeful to hold onto no matter what happens in your day. In this way gratitude is an anchor to the good stuff in your life.

Gratitude tempers the highs and lows, the ups and downs. Gratitude helps you connect to the present, grounding you in good things you have right here, right now.

Gratitude also boosts your energy and mood, giving you an extra reserve of motivation, and helping you face challenges as they come.

I’ve heard lots of advice from successful entrepreneurs and gurus that suggest starting a variety of daily habits- from getting up early, to daily exercise, to meditation. It’s true, all of these positive habits will help you be more successful. But what I like about starting a gratitude practice is it’s so easy to do! The best thing about starting a gratitude practice is it takes very little time and everyone can do it. Gratitude will help you be more successful in all you do!

So, that’s it. Start a regular gratitude practice. Write down a gratitude list every day. Notice the difference in your overall attitude, energy level, and ability to handle problems.

If you get discouraged, start a gratitude practice.

If you’re feeling stressed, start a gratitude practice.

If your energy is low, start a gratitude practice.

If you’re feeling great, start a gratitude practice.

It won’t solve your problems but it will help you be prepared to solve them. Give it a try and see what happens!

If you find this advice helpful, sign up for my newsletter and get more tips, tricks, and positive motivation!

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When to say yes, when to say no

Posted by on Nov 1, 2016 in Achieving Goals, Business Management, Career Management | 0 comments

As a recovering “yes-er”, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how and when to say no. I was determined to master the skill of saying no and I’ve had a lot of practice at it.

For many years, I found it much easier to say no in personal situations and much harder to say no in professional situations. I feared being labeled “uncooperative” or “difficult”, and I was afraid saying no could even cost me my job.

I’ll never forget the time in early 20s when the CEO of the company asked me to work late and I said no. I was so nervous but I said it anyway. Or, well, what I actually said was, “I can’t stay late tonight. Can I get that report to you first thing tomorrow morning?” His response went something like, “okay, sure.”


Huh, go figure.

Thinking back on my career, I can’t think of a time I regretted saying no. I can think of plenty of times I regretted saying yes.

Since I started my career coaching business, it’s even more important to say no. Saying no is a way to set boundaries with clients. It increases trust and accountability.

Saying no is the difference between succeeding and failing as an entrepreneur. Fortunately I get plenty of practice saying no with dignity and integrity.

When to say no

Saying no is one of the topics I often speak about in public. In my presentation, Communicating with Confidence in Business, I talk about why it’s so important to say no in business and how to do it.

Really, knowing when to say no is pretty simple.

Are you ready for it?

Say no when you’re unwilling or unable to agree.

See, I told you it was simple.

Easier said than done, am I right? Those fears I had before haven’t gone away. I still fear what people might think of me. I still fear loosing work because I say no.

I say no anyway. I say no because when people can trust my word, they know they can trust me. I say no because I don’t want to say yes and do a crappy job. I say no because if I don’t take care of my health and happiness I’ll be sick and miserable.

And then I realized my presentation was missing something. I was talking about when to say no, but I wasn’t talking about when to say yes.

I considered my own professional and business experienced and realized it’s just as important to know when to say yes as it is to know when to say no.

When to say yes

We are presented with opportunities every day- opportunities to get out of a rut, to change our situation, to challenge ourselves, to grow.

By my own advice I could let myself off the hook by saying no to a new opportunity but here’s the thing- when an opportunity is life-changing, it’s easy to say no. It’s much easier to do what I’ve been doing than do something different. Opportunities that require growth are scary, and it’s tempting to say no but that’s exactly when I should say yes.

It’s always going to be hard to say yes to change but if the change is for good then it’s worth it to face the fear and say yes.

The next time you’re faced with a choice, ask yourself if you’re being offered the opportunity to grow. If you’re being given an opportunity to change your situation for the better, you better say yes.

I’m going to test this out right here, right now.

If you’re in a job you hate, if you’re stuck in a career rut, if you know you have more to contribute at work- I am offering you the chance to change.

Maybe you’re in a job you should have left years ago. Maybe you know you were meant for something bigger and better. Maybe you’re tired of living paycheck-to-paycheck. Maybe you’ve tried to find another job and it seemed like staying put was your only option.

Most people reading this will say no to this opportunity. That’s okay. I’m looking for just one or two people who are ready to say yes. People who are scared but willing to face their fear for an awesome payoff.

“Chrysta really gave me the insight on where I was cutting myself short and what I should do to lift myself out of the slump I was having. So far I am starting my own business and slowly creating a client base along with a thicker portfolio and new connections.” –Rebecca Robinson

Email me at to schedule some time to talk about your career. If you say yes to this opportunity, I’ll help you figure out why you’re stuck and what needs to change.

“Chrysta has helped me with many professional struggles and always guided me to my truth. She is an ace you want in your pocket! “ -Amanda Oliver

Are you ready to say yes?


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