FEAR: Decide and Move on?

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

FEAR. It is what holds many people back. I say this because I talk to them. The people, not their fears.

FEAR: False Evidence Appearing Real

Facing FEAR is not easy and feeling FEAR makes things harder. While I feel like I grew into the professional I am today because I had Joyce Meyer in my ear whispering, “Do it afraid,” it changed my life to think of FEAR as an acronym: FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.  False Evidence. FEAR is real. It is a necessary part of survival when you consider the fight or flight response, but what if take a moment to ask ourselves “Is this real or am I getting worked up for nothing?”

What has been the false evidence in my life? That I couldn’t do something.  They told me I couldn’t do it, whoever they are. My first career was as a video editor, and it began when the Weekend TV News Anchor turned and looked at me and asked me if I wanted to learn.  I said yes. Honestly, I am never not learning. That Anchor began showing me how to edit video for broadcast news and before I knew it, a job became available. I applied and the technical skills assessment was to put together a SOTVO which is a Sound-on-Tape of natural background noise followed by trailing video that the Anchor could voice over. I crafted that piece, full of excitement and nerves, and I handed it in.

No. It wasn’t good enough. As if I knew I would be a Career Coach someday I asked, “Could you please let me know what I could have done better?” I was told I was a slow learner, and that the VO should have continued with natural sound at a low level.  I didn’t know. It wasn’t that I couldn’t learn or that I was slow to learn, it was literally that I was so new I didn’t know what was possible. I was wounded on many levels. Clearly.  This was eons. I don’t know if I needed to tell that story or you needed to read it, but the world is filled with things we don’t know.  Is ‘not knowing’ enough to stop us or can we take a step and do it afraid?

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FEAR: Forget Everything and Run

There is another side to fight and flight and that is the flight part. FEAR could also stand for FORGET EVERYTHING AND RUN.  Is this THAT time? The time when you should drop what you are doing and take off in some direction to get away from what you FEAR? No one can legitimately decide that for you. We can validate that you have every right to feel the FEAR that you are feeling.

So, what do you do once you have had that feeling you identify as FEAR?  I am writing this, realizing that I must live in the “I don’t know what I don’t know” world because the story that comes to mind for me now is when I took an assignment to train Australian Broadcast Company (ABC) teams to use video production software. It was a six-month contract that had me in a new city every 3-4 weeks for six months from Melbourne and Adelaide to Perth and Darwin.  I had three weeks to pack up my life in Seattle and go. Of course, I went. The best, most ignorant thing I ever did because I didn’t realize how hard it would be.

After an intense day of configuring the first classroom and labeling every single wire for every single computer terminal, I used up all my pre-paid mobile minutes to verbally meltdown on the phone to the Program Manager. He was astute to know that I was exhausted having been plucked from my routine and in a foreign land beginning an epic journey, so he let me vent.  When I was done, I picked myself off the floor, went to my flat, and prepared my curriculum for the first class. The Project Manager that had the brilliant idea to label every cable so I could set up the classroom by myself, didn’t carry on. There were times when no one could find him. While it seems that I am resilient there is a part of me that I swear doesn’t know any better! While apparently, it is in my nature to run to hard projects just to see if I can get it done, it is also a valid response to not take that on if you don’t have to.  What will you do in the face of FEAR? How do you want to show up?

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FEAR: Forgive Everyone and Reset

In discussing the FEAR of leaving a toxic situation with someone I wondered aloud if what was holding them back was the need to FORGIVE EVERYONE AND RESET what they were trying to do with their career. The key to forgiving everyone is that it includes ourselves.  Forgiving, in this context, was a way of letting go so they could move on. I have found it difficult to leave both wonderful and toxic work situations because of the FEAR of the unknown.  Who are we apart from these situations? Sometimes we cannot know until we that the first step and the waters part and we begin to see our way forward.

When I returned home from that six-month contract in Australia it was to The Great Recession with a diminished set of job prospects and a new level of exhaustion from constantly being on the move. To reset my life and career I had to forgive myself for the things in my personal and professional life I avoided dealing with and take more control over my career path because no one wants to work with a person who is running from something when they can have the person running to them. I dusted myself off and joined the Office Envisioning team as a Microsoft vendor and redefined what was possible for myself, including constant public speaking in front of business leaders.

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What is FEAR holding you back from?  What are you going to do about it?

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3 Boxes That Keep You Stuck

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

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One of the things I address with clients is what box they’re in.

There are three different categories that I realize factor into how we become stuck or get ourselves unstuck. The first box that seems to impede progress would be the box of buildings. Part of my background is a study of ecopsychology and looking at our relationship with the rest of the earth and how we care for ourselves. So, if we’re feeling stuck, part of what we can do is get grounded and even go for a walk outside.

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The other box that I typically look at is the boxes of expectations and routines, by walking outside we can typically disrupt our routine so that we can look at things from a fresh perspective. Sometimes it can be a matter of recognizing we may no longer be a morning person.

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The third box is the box of expectations. When I started this practice about 10 years ago, it had a lot to do with other people’s expectations and how that weighs on us. Over the years I have come to realize the expectations we have for ourselves can also weigh heavy on us.

When we address those aspects of what has us stuck, we can break ourselves free because once we recognize what is holding us back, we can then free ourselves.

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Years of Experience: What To Consider

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

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There’s a saying, well, actually there’s a song that said something about ‘don’t take it personal.’ If I could sing I would put it to the words ‘don’t take it literal…’

I keep thinking and talking with people about their job search, not to take things so literally when the job description says a certain number of years of experience. I’m seeing people count on their fingers, the number of months and years that maybe they have experience with certain skills, tools, or roles.

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I remember starting out my career doing that and being made fun of by a co-worker. It’s not a bad thing. It just turns out that things aren’t just that cut and dry.

Instead of saying, okay, I only have two months of experience, think about all the other things that you know, that you bring to the job and share that. It’s important to not forget where you came from, who you are, and what got you here so that you can explain that and share your gift with the world.

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What Can You Negotiate?

By Tiffany A. Dedeaux

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In my discussions with different people the question came up, what can you negotiate when salary is not a factor? Either the money meets the market demands or has already been deemed non-negotiable.

While there may be different thoughts and camps on what to negotiate, you could talk about a signing bonus, which apparently, is not just for the sports industry anymore. This can be a way for a company, since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, to lock in your commitment.

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Relocation payments or reimbursement could be part of the package, as can be office equipment or expenses if you are working from home.

Some of the people I talk to do not have an issue with the vacation time on the table, some companies in the tech industry even offer unlimited paid-time-off (PTO), but if that is an option you could put that on the table.

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With the tech trends being disrupted at an accelerated pace, outside the speed of Moore’s law, could a training stipend or reimbursement policy be factored into your job offer negotiations? For some, that training could also include career coaching to help you navigate new role demands.

Training is one idea that is definitely worth considering because you don’t want to be just a viable candidate for right now. You want to stay ahead of the curve and keep being viable into the future.

Training is one idea that is definitely worth considering because you don’t want to be just a viable candidate for right now. You want to stay ahead of the curve and keep being viable into the future.

These are a few ideas that I have discussed with others, and if you have any, feel free to post those in the chat or reach out to me and let’s have a conversation about it.

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What NOT to Say in a Job Interview

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What should you NOT say in a job interview? The first thing that comes to my mind is nothing. You should not say nothing.

If somebody asks you a question and you’re not sure of the answer or all the words just completely left your head, it’s important to acknowledge that, say, ‘oh my goodness, I just forgot that the word I was looking for,’ and then from there, share your thought process, like how you would go about solving the problem.

We’re all human. So it’s just about connecting with the other person, and not feeling bad about not being perfect.

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How to Respond When a Company Isn’t Hiring

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How should you respond when a recruiter or hiring manager says they currently don’t have the budget for new staff? Or do they say they just hired for the role?

That could be a go-to line but there are a few things to know and that you can ask to turn this into an opportunity:

When do they expect to have the new budget?

Because it could be a matter of when an employer decides on headcount or the number of people that they could hire, it could be helpful to ask when they expect to have a new budget. For example, not all companies might actually have a fiscal year that ends in December and then starts again in January. There might in fact be some that start in June so their hiring practices could ramp up during the Summer. You could essentially plan for the turnover to start happening at that time or the expansion of the teams.

What should you be preparing for?

While you continue your job search, there may be some new technology you could learn, especially if there are months to go before they start hiring.

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Why New Videos?

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The mission behind adding in different kinds of videos morphed from frequently asked questions that I could answer around careers and job search to an attempt to help as many people as possible.

Taking the position of Chief Empowerment Officer, as it were, I want to be the glass half full and to explain the why behind some of the things that I’m noticing in recruitment and in career journeys because that part can help us to understand and embrace change when it occurs or it can help us to decide between a couple of options.

These videos are really about empowering you to think outside of the box for yourself and be able to contribute in an authentic way to the world.

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What Should You Study for a Tech Career?

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What exactly should you be studying if you want a certain role?

Check Job Boards for Current Skills

Nowadays in careers where we get to drive our careers ourselves. We’re not waiting for an employer to do it and employers aren’t taking on that responsibility. Essentially what I would recommend doing is first and foremost, if you’re ready to look now, go out and pull up at least three jobs and those jobs should be what you’re targeting now, then go through the requirements area.

And if they are in fact asking for the skills you’re looking to study, then go ahead and study those skills, especially if you don’t feel like you’re very strong in them right now.


Use Skills to Search for Jobs

If the job descriptions are not requiring the skills you are looking to study, then the next step is to look for jobs with your target title. Go ahead and search for the skills and see what types of jobs come up. You can actually search for jobs according to skills and not just job titles. And that might help be insightful as to if that is a path you want to go, at least for what the market is asking for right now.

Search Market Trends

Now there’s a couple of other things that you can do to determine if, in fact, this is the right job or study pattern for you. One thing you could do is look at Google Trends, and start searching for that and see if that’s a popular term or skill in your area in the market. I’ve seen businesses use that to determine what they should focus on.

Network. Network. Network.

Now, something else that you could do is you could actually use this as a good excuse to network. Find somebody who is senior in their experience level, in their career, who’s been doing this awhile, and find out what trends they see happening in the area.

What to study in tech? Check job requirements, trends, your network

Ask them a couple of questions, get to know them, build that relationship. And I say it that way in case you don’t already know them, but this is a way where you could network and get a chance to answer the questions for yourself. By gathering the information for yourself so you can take ownership of your next steps.

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Sacred Time: What it Means to Me

I wanted to gather and share my thoughts a little bit on what Sacred Time is because the name tends to be presented back to me when people realize that it’s about setting aside time for yourself, for self-care, for the things that matter to you, and that helped to fuel you so that you can be a part of the community.

So some of that can be just taking time to read or breathe or play music, or, practice a hobby that gets you excited and keeps you going because that’s really, what’s needed. A lot of things that we do aren’t really about the destination, which is why we’re not necessarily always excited when we arrive somewhere. It’s about the journey.

And so what can you do to be present in this moment so that you can be a part of the journey, to the purpose, of your life, and to the destination that you’re headed towards. That’s what Sacred Time is about. At least to me.

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Embrace Change

I wanted to share thoughts on why I consider the full-time to be and embrace the season. Um, and part of that is because usually changes afoot, fall is the time of year when I noticed that hiring picks up and that corresponds when students go back to school, children go back to school. Um, and then the hiring picks up somewhere, uh, the beginning of, or middle of September.

And then I also started to notice that that’s my favorite time of year, uh, that the leaves start to turn and you get the pop of color cause I’m in Washington state. Um, and then the leaves, um, when the storms come, the leaves fall off, um, and it, it can be a very sad time because then I realized winter is coming. Winter is here Game of Thrones. Thank you. Um, but then the starkness of the trees without the leaves, um, is a bit much and a bit sad.

So this is a time that I consider to embrace the change and embrace the process because, for every Fall and Winter, there is a Spring.

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