One of the four Vegetable Personality Styles is the Purple Carrot. The color purple is rich in history and tradition. It is the color worn by royalty and treasured for its richness. The purple carrot is very firm when raw with deep roots like a person who is responsible, firm, and knows what is right.
If you have a Carrot Personality Style, you create stability and order. You value the rich traditions from the past, and you know from past experience what works well. You keep things organized and working smoothly.
A Carrot Personality Style might be interested in work that provides structure and order like administrative work, accounting, statistics, rules, and technical skills. As part of a team,
a Carrot Personality style wants to know how things have been done in the past, proper documentation, cost, and liability.
The reason for working may seem obvious. You want to get paid. But there are many other reasons for working besides money. Hunger in your heart, mind, or stomach will motivate you to work. Here are just a few motivators.
Play – You love doing the work whether it’s the process, accomplishment, or just being and doing.
Purpose – You are passionate about solving a problem or producing a result that fits with your beliefs and values.
People – You live and grow by working together with others.
Pay – You need a level of pay to maintain the standard of living you desire.
“[Work] is about a search…for daily meaning as well as daily bread, for recognition as well as cash, for astonishment rather than torpor,” – Studs Terkel from his book, Working.
Playing for fun
Curiosity, learning, exploring, creating, and building can all be play if the work is done for enjoyment rather than primarily for pay. Play is all about stimulating the body, mind, and senses. Fun looks different depending on who is defining it. One person finds climbing a mountain fun, while another might prefer planning a party. I have fun learning something new, gathering information related to my interests, and helping my clients grow and find new opportunities. Sitting in my comfy office on a sunny day feeding my curiosity would seem unreasonable to one person, while risking your life for extreme sports would seem crazy to someone like me who prefers a long walk on a fine day. Whatever your definition of fun, take time to enjoy it.
Kaiser Permanente’s article, The Health benefits of Doing What You Love, describes the many ways, “Making time to do what you love can help you ease your stress, lift your mood, and expand your social circle.”
Working with a purpose
Merriam-Webster has many definitions for work from kneading dough to producing a desired effect, result orexerting influence. Some of our best work involves a service or product that improves the lives of others. Helping my clients design a purposeful life and getting paid to do meaningful work brings me joy. Getting paid is important but offering services like the Always Employable Virtual Career Center, https://alwaysemployable.wordpress.com, networking meetings, and workshops at no cost fits my values and purpose for helping you find job search strategies and a healthy lifestyle for staying employable.
Work that brings smiles and hugs are some of my most rewarding accomplishments. Recently we had a family meal. My granddaughter said, “Nona, your job is to be with us.” I said, “that is definitely one of my jobs. I also have clients, “and writing club,” she replied. Those are all work I enjoy. Some are for pay. My work like the Inspiring Writing Group or working on cooking and science projects are for fun, smiles, and hugs. Being a role model and influencing the lives of others are some of the most important work I do.
When paid work is far removed from a person’s values and purpose, it’s important to find meaningful work in other areas of our lives.
Live and Grow with People
We naturally need people in our lives. You may feel like you need a big circle of friends, or you may be comfortable with a small cozy group who know you well. If you don’t naturally seek out friends and connections, you may need to get a little out of your comfort to find people in your life to help you find meaning in your life work.
We need mentors, teachers, professionals, and a support system for developing the skills, experience, and training to do meaningful work.You may be comfortable with phone calls or meeting in person but finding strategic connections may mean stepping into the digital world of social media. It can feel overwhelming at times with so many choices and opportunities, but it may be worth the effort depending on the work you want to do. Walking into a business and letting them know what you like about them can be one of the best ways to connect especially with smaller businesses.
In his class, Surfing the Gig Economy, Brian Hutchison shared a video of the song, Stand by Me, that fit perfectly with this article on how we need people in our lives. You are going to need somebody to stand by you for support. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Getting paid to maintain your lifestyle
“New research on the meaning of work shows that more than 9 out of 10 employees are willing to trade a percentage of their lifetime earnings for greater meaning at work. “Harvard Business Review.
Getting paid, developing skills you want to use, managing your career, and having a financial plan are all important, but too often work for fun and purpose are undervalued. Work whether paid or unpaid, education, and training are important parts of your career, and staying healthy keeps you working at whatever you choose to do.
“Work is no longer just about paying the bills.” Andrea Hsu, NPR.
Work can be paid in dollars, benefits, giving purpose and meaning to life, or giving to others. Besides working for a necessary paycheck, you can design a purposeful life with meaningful work in everyday activities. Create your LifeWork Success Portfolio online, print, or both to demonstrate your accomplishments, expand your confidence, show your work, and stay employable whether working full-time, freelance, or intermittent.
Artists and creatives are often expected to have a professional well-organized portfolio. Yet many employees, job seekers, and entrepreneurs have never considered taking the time to bring their accomplishments and work history together into an attractive portfolio format. As time seems to speed up and transitions are the norm, an organized portfolio prepares you for fluctuations in the economy and new opportunities.
Change Brings New Opportunities
As consumer demands change, companies adjust to stay afloat, and occupations adapt or disappear. New opportunities arise for those who are prepared to transition into new roles with an updated career portfolio including a master resume and career documents.
You can stay always employable with a strong portfolio of accomplishments at your fingertips. Use your portfolio to check the relevance of your skills, update your master resume, include focused resumes and collect other supporting documents. With a dynamic portfolio, it will be easy to determine what you need to do to grow your skills and gain more experience to do the work you love.
Arrange your portfolio sections based on where you are in your career. For example, if you are a job search veteran with an immediate need for work, you will move your Job Search Tools section to the front of your portfolio. If you are learning your strengths, transitioning, or preparing for the future, you will want to begin with the About Me section at the front of your portfolio.
The purpose of your portfolio is to gather personal and career information, job search tools, plans, and goals in one place. You can use a binder, ePortfolio, or other organizational tool. if you need a portfolio to take to an employer, you will want to choose the most relevant information from your portfolio to put in a separate professional presentation, binder, or folder. Use the method most appropriate for your field of interest. Grow your portfolio and adapt it to your career transformations. Be creative, make your portfolio yours, and use the section titles that work best for you. Here are some examples:
Purpose for Working
Preferred Working Environments
Examples of Accomplishments
List of Supportive Connections
JOB SEARCH STRATEGIES
Job Search Assessment
JOB SEARCH TOOLS
Skills You Want to Use Inventory
Thank You and Cover Letter Draft
Projects you successfully completed
For information and support for creating a Career Portfolio, supportive worksheets, and Career/Life Coaching, contact Nancy J. Miller.
After researching writing courses, the ones listed here were reputable sites that are up-front about their pricing. Most of the courses have paid and certificate options. The information about each site is taken from the internet and not guaranteed by this writer. Links can change at any time. Sites that require a monthly subscription are listed at the bottom of the page. Further investigate sites of interest.
I have time to write now, and so much to say, why am I feeling fuzzy? There are so many distractions and things to do, but I can’t seem to focus on anything. I started the outline for restructuring my website and drew a blank. What could be going on? I will share some of my challenges, actions, and results to get back to writing.
When I have difficulty writing, I notice physical needs. One physical distraction is hunger. I got back from the dentist an hour ago. The hygienist coated my teeth with fluoride and said it’s best not to eat for 2 hours. I had a small granola bar for breakfast and half a cup of coffee anticipating a nice lunch at noon. It’s 1:00 and I’m wondering if I should go ahead and eat and risk less benefit from the treatment. Should I plow through when I am not at my best? Or should I take on other tasks that don’t require mental stamina and creativity? Good questions to ask myself.
My plan: Plow through and write about the problem while I am feeling it, do something active for 20 minutes and then have lunch.
Result: After sitting in the dentist chair for an hour, doing a task that needed to be done and required physical movement helped my body and brain work together.
I’m trying to work, but I can’t think of anything. I had a busy morning and early afternoon is not my most creative time of day, so it’s difficult to just sit down and work on a plan using my creative juices that are not flowing.
Result: After a breathing and visual focus exercise––ok, I threw in the vowel exercise just for fun––I feel more relaxed and focused to finish writing. Bonus: I even forgot I was hungry while doing these exercises.
Questioning whether the time and effort is worth working on my website was a distraction that gave me the mind fuzzies. Will anyone find my website? Will they care enough to read all the articles and information I keep adding? Will I be wasting my time? These are questions worth answering.
My Plan: Put in the effort to make my website representative of what I can do for the reader, make sure it is easy to navigate, invest time/money into making the website easy to find. Hire someone if I feel uncertain about doing it myself. If I am hesitant about reworking my home page, I will procrastinate, and it won’t get done.
Result: I feel motivated to carry out this plan. It is doable and I can’t wait to start, but I am looking forward to first having lunch.
Need more strategies for overcoming the mind fuzzies, lack of focus or overwhelming distractions?
Always send a thank you after a formal interview or strategic conversation because a thank you will make you more memorable and more likely to get the job you want. When a hiring manager or person of interest remembers you, they will be more likely to bring you back for a second interview, hire you, or refer you for another opportunity.
When you are in the middle of a sea of job seekers, how do you rise to the top?
When an organization interviews lots of people, it is very easy for them to mix candidates up or forget specifics. Your thank you helps remind them who you are
Following a scheduled informal interview to gain career information.
When someone has taken the time to discuss their career path, job search strategies, or career options with you.
Email, letter, or both to show gratitude
Whether you send an email, letter, or card will depend on the situation. The best way to know what to send is to ask the interviewer, at the end of the interview, when they will be making a decision, or when you might hear from them. You don’t always have the opportunity to ask questions at the end of the interview, but be prepared with questions, so you won’t miss the opportunity to get more information. Have a draft thank you prepared ahead of time ready to personalize for the specific interview.
If they will be deciding in the next week, send a thank you email within 24 hours of the interview.
If they don’t give you a time frame, send a written note or letter and an email the day of the interview if possible.
If the decision will be longer than a week, then mail a thank you.
The advantages of written vs. email thank you letter
For formal interviews where professionalism is important, mailing a formal typed thank you letter with a customized letter to each interviewer, is often preferrable.
A letter gives you space to tell the interviewer why you want to work for the company and why they should hire you in your own words.
A hand-written note, especially if you have neat readable handwriting, can be more personal.
Mail takes longer, but it is more likely to get to the sender. Email can get lost in spam or missed in a mass of emails. Be sure your subject line tells the receiver what it is about, for example “Thank you for the interview for <position> or Thank you from <your name>
When time allows, it is safest to send an email and mailed thank you (don’t send identical letters).
Thank you letter format
Your name and address
The recipient’s name, title, address (to each interviewer)
Subject line if email
Dear Ms./Mr. last name, or if it is someone you know, you might use a first name.
First paragraph: Thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk with you. Add something specific about the interview to remind them who you are.
Second and optional third paragraph: Discuss your qualifications specific to what you now know about the job. Add something you didn’t have the opportunity to discuss in the interview.
Concluding paragraph: Conclude with thanking them again, telling them how you will fit with their team, and the best way to reach you (even if you have already told them) for questions or more information.
Closing: Something simple like “Sincerely” or “Best Regards.”
Sign your name
Add links to social media, portfolio, etc. if desired
Tip: Whenever possible, be specific in your descriptive words. You stand out from the crowd when you use memorable words rather than general overused words. Use a thesaurus if needed. General words like, “great” don’t have a lot of meaning. In the thank you letter from Indeed above, what other word could be used instead of “great” in this sentence:
“It was great learning more about the company and culture”
If you can’t find a specific meaningful word for your sentence, consider eliminating it since it just takes up space. Get help if you are having difficulty creating powerful sentences.
A less than perfect thank you letter is better than none-at-all, as long as you check your grammar, punctuation, correct spelling of names, and consistency. Be respectful of others time, do something extra, and set yourself apart with a thank you. It gets easier every time you show appreciation. You can start with social media by giving a recommendation before asking for one, thanking colleagues for sharing their expertise, send a thank you email for a gift or card. It will soon feel natural to say thank you, and it could be what gets you the job you want.
Most of the literature and government programs emphasize the importance of play for children. Play is just as important for adults for the same reasons: freedom, fun, fitness, stress relief, relationships, energy, and general well- being.
When you incorporate play and delight in your life and work you will attract customers, employers, and friends that will help you and your business grow and excel. You can play with your kids, grandkids, pets, friends, and family, and appreciate playfulness in yourself and others. Get in the habit of having fun moments. Stretching, running, jumping, and laughing with kids is the most exhilarating exercise I have found. It hits all of my senses at once.
“By giving yourself permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, you can reap the myriad of health benefits throughout life.” The Promise of Play.
Actively playing relieves stress, improves learning and creativity, increases energy, and enhances productivity.
Distress (what we often call stress) can lead to physical ailments, conflicts, and emotional stress. Healthy stress (eustress) activities lead to a healthier more creative mind and active body. When you feel good you will have more resilience to manage conflicts, uncertainty, and change.
Employers want to hire people who are adaptable members of their team. You will be prepared to manage disagreements at work and at home if you take a moment to breathe, focus, and relax throughout your day. Mindful moments will help you:
Focus on the work you want to do.
Feel better and have more energy for your job search.
Have that healthy glow that people want on their team.
Be the person an employer wants to hire.
“When you’re stressed, your body produces cortisol, a hormone created in your adrenal glands, which at high levels can interfere with brain functioning and impair your immune system. Prolonged, unmanaged stress can also cause depression, digestive issues, sleep loss, weight fluctuations, headaches and fatigue – not exactly setting you up to nail an interview.”
How to De-stress While Job Searching
Incorporate healthy stress activities in your daily routine for greater productivity.
Healthy stress activities give you inspiration and energy.
You will recognize when distress is depleting your energy and motivation when you regularly practice mindful moment exercises.
Mindful Moment Breathing Exercise
Oxygen fuels the mind and body, but we often get so busy piling on things that need to be done or worrying about things we have no control over, that we don’t get the oxygen we need. Start your day with a breath of fresh air with this 4×4 breathing exercise (sometimes called Box Breathing Technique). You don’t need to have perfect timing to benefit from deep breathing.
Put your hand on your belly to feel your belly inflate like a balloon when you inhale and deflate as you exhale.
Gently breathe in through your nose 4 seconds and hold 4 seconds.
Breathe out through your mouth loudly 4 seconds and hold 4 seconds.
Optional: You can breathe in and out colors; mountains and rivers; or relaxing visualization you want to focus on for mindful relaxation.
The Sleepmaker Waves app lets you set the timer for a minute (or more) and breathe to the rhythm of the waves. (Free on IOS or Android).
Tense and Release Mindful Moment Exercise (sometimes called Progressive Muscle Relaxation).
You often don’t even know what you are tensing until you purposefully relax. In this exercise you will tense sections of your body while you breathe and then relax. If you are sitting in one place, or doing repetitive work, set a timer so you can do this mindful moment exercise every hour or two. This exercise will give you a healthy brief tension in your body while you focus your mind on your breathing and your muscles. Breathe in as you tense a group of muscles, then breathe out as you relax.
Tense your face: forehead, eyes, and mouth, then relax.
It’s common to tense your jaw and it can easily become a habit. You don’t even recognize you are doing it. When your jaw is tense, your throat is often tight. For this exercise say each of the vowels: a, e, I, o, u, while exaggerating each one. If you watch yourself doing the exercise, it might even make you smile which is another face exercise you want to do often.
Start with and deep breath, let it out and relax.
Say A-E-I-O-U. Exaggerate each mouth movement for every letter and hold each one for a count of three. Put extra emphasis on the O and U. Now, relax your face, close your eyes, and smile. Inhale and exhale deeply. Open your eyes and relax your face.
Optional: Gently move your head to each side and up and down.
Use this exercise when you feel distracted and need to focus on a job or project. It may take practice to focus all of your attention on one object, sound, or feeling but you can use this exercise anywhere to focus and relax.
Take a couple of deep cleansing breaths.
Notice everything your senses are bringing in: your vision, hearing, and feeling (everything your body is touching).
Choose one of your senses, for example, your vision: focus your vision on what you can see in front of you. Breathe.
Focus on one object. Breathe. If the object makes you smile, that is even better).
You can do this with your hearing by focusing on one sound. You can focus on what you feel with your body.
Values Assessment The things you spend your time, money, and thoughts on will become your values. Thinking about what is important to you before you look for your next techno gadget, home, or job will give you time and money for the things you really want, rather than being driven by friends, family, and the media. Here are some examples of work values with a Work Values Inventory to help you prioritize your values.
Independence Helping Security Integrity Status Prestige Achievement Respect Responsibility Power Influence
Our lives are a lot like a lake: ever changing and ever flowing. Change is good. Change keeps things clean, fresh, and moving. But change that we are unprepared for can cause a sense of disaster and loss. Knowing what you value will help you establish meaningful goals to prepare for the changes you will experience throughout your life.
A cancer diagnosis, surgery, and dental procedures can cause different levels of anxiety. Being prepared with NLP techniques will help with the stress of routine or unexpected procedures. The NLP techniques of association, dissociation, reframing, anchoring, and using submodalities helped me de-stress and prepare for medical procedures. Read more…