Posts Tagged ‘SHRM’

My “Get Up” Blog for March – Getting Up after “Career Falls”

When corporate culture where he worked shifted away from Val Boston’s business philosophy, he “got up” to start his own consultant practice where he could be true to his values.

For the March blog as part of my monthly “Get Up” Blog series inspired by US Figure Skating’s “Get Up” campaign, I am featuring people getting up, not from from physical falls, but from “falls” or unexpected downturns in vocations and careers. The “Get Up” message inspires us to get up from the many different types of falls we can have in our lives just as figure skaters get up and continue after a fall on the very hard cold ice.

I have four short stories to share:


Adult figure skater Shauna Lynn Panczyszyn shared: “I moved to my current city for a job that sought me out. They had made promises that they didn’t keep, and hired someone else to share my position without telling me a week after I started. Three and a half months later they fired me with absolutely no explanation. But I “got up” and dove head first into full time freelance illustration (link to her website) and haven’t looked back. Four years later it is the best thing that could have happened to me, AND I was able to fit skating into my day. Before that, I would have to travel an hour to another rink (my current was just across the street from where I live and I could only skate weekends there) just to get some ice time after work IF I didn’t get stuck working late.


After moving internationally and discovering that her past experience was not really valued in the US, Noa Ronan had to get up and forge her own path as a coach and consultant.


A consultant I met at my local SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) chapter – Triangle SHRM here in North Carolina, Noa Ronan of Noa Ronen Coaching,, shared, “11 years ago I moved from Israel to the US. I had a fulfilling executive career as a change management consultant and HR and Training executive. But after our family relocation to the US reality hit me, neither my Israeli career experience nor my MBA from Israel was of interest in the US when I applied for jobs. I felt very lost and stuck; I didn’t want to apply for jobs that will take me back to what I did ten years ago or go in a different direction. I loved what I did and I didn’t want to let go of who I was in my past. It took me few good years to fall and fail again and again until I was able to “get up” and let go of the story I was telling myself about my “glorious” past and recreate who I want to be right here in the present. Today I am using all the skills I have acquired over my career with new ones, and I coach global leaders and people in transitions. Letting go of my past was about being present with my new reality and recreating a new future for myself.


And from a highly respected consultant who has been an invaluable mentor to me as I started my own business in 2010, Val Boston of Boston and Associates, LLC: “After 5 years with a global organization, they were sold to a much larger firm. With the acquisition came a major cultural and philosophical shift, from a service focus model to a more “bottom line” one. This change in business philosophy was in direct conflict with mine. I then I “got up” and decided to launch my own consultancy focusing on Diversity & Inclusion, and Leadership Coaching. That was 17 years ago!”


And another friend from TSHRM who is so supportive of my figure skating journey, Diane Olsen (link to her LinkedIn profile) shares her story of “getting up” multiple times: “After ten years building an amazing insurance industry career, where I climbed ladders, I turned down the ultimate promotion at a very large company. I decided to move cross country and go back to school, but soon found myself in a financial position where I needed to go back to work full time. I grabbed the first job that came along. When that company shut down, I job-jumped a few times while trying to finish my degree part-time. I had a roller coaster on my resume now.

Then it dawned on me that I created this storm. What was I going to be when I grew up? I didn’t get my answer until years later. I took a job in Raleigh as an Operations Manager for a start-up company, and I was employee number nine. Over the course of eight years, I built four other departments, was promoted to VP of Operations and HR, and was able to be a part of the buy-out of the company at the end of 2015. Each of these departments I created had information pulled from a lot of the in-between jobs I’d had in the past.

Sometimes, you are dusting yourself off without even realizing it. I have since left that job, taking a well-deserved hiatus. It’s a bit stressful being in transition, but exciting at the same time. Needless to say, I look forward to “getting up” and starting my next adventure with open arms.


Life, like the ice, can be very hard, with falls giving us a good jar. But we can rise up, persevere, and move onto something better.

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Links to all my earlier “Get Up” monthly blogs can be found on my skating blogs and videos blog page.

Tom Rath on “Being Fully Charged in the Workplace”

Tom Rath, 2016 NC State SHRM Conference Keynote Speaker (photo from NC SHRM Conference website)

Tom Rath, 2016 NC State SHRM Conference Keynote Speaker (photo from NC SHRM Conference website)

In addition to the outstanding kick-off keynote from leading transgender activist Janet Mock (see link to last week’s blog), the North Carolina SHRM (Society of Human Resource Management) team scheduled another great keynote for the second day of the conference. Tom Rath, a multiple-time New York Times Best Seller list author spoke about how to be fully charged in the workplace. As employee engagement continues to decline, this is a key issue that companies must address.

Tom started with a very disturbing statistic – that 49% of people surveyed felt that they were not spending time doing impactful work in their daily vocational activities vs. the mere 22% who answered that question positively. (Remainder were neutral or provided no anwer.)

Some of Tom’s key points:

• We need to really increase this 22% who feel they do meaningful work. Some tactics include realizing that small wins generate meaningful progress, and when people see meaning in their work, they create more.

• Three key components of increasing meaningful work include having interest in what you do, focusing on skills you are good at, and meeting the needs of others.

• Top performers are not often well-rounded, but great teams are.

• In daily interactions, most people need five positive interactions for every negative one. It is therefore important at work to lead with the positive and acknowledge people for their good work.

• When listing the top good and the bottom bad interactions during a typical day, interactions with friends and family where at the top, and two very worst were co-workers and bosses.

• Only 11% of people answered positively to “I had a great deal of energy yesterday.” Small changes in proper eating, fitness and sleeping can lead to big changes in energy. Scary Fact: going 6 days in row with less than 6 hours a sleep per night is the same as operating at a .08 blood alcohol level (DUI level in most states)

• Social networks and social structures can have a tremendous impact on encouraging positive healthy behaviors. Example: smoking in our culture.

Tom then closed with three challenges to us as HR leaders in how we can lead as examples:

1. What changes will I make in my daily routines to model to others that I am putting my health first?

2. What steps will I take to add more positive interactions with others in my environment?

3. What will I do with my colleagues to help them connect their daily efforts to the meaning it creates?

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From the NC SHRM Conference web page including links: Tom Rath is an author and researcher who studies the role of human behavior in business, health, and well-being. He has been described by business leaders and the media as one of the greatest thinkers and nonfiction writers of his generation. Tom has written six New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers over the past decade, starting with the #1 New York Times bestseller How Full Is Your Bucket? His book StrengthsFinder 2.0 was the top-selling book of 2013 and 2014.

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