Blue Sky – Update April 2021

Blue Sky Update – April 2021

Here it is, a few days later than usual, April’s recap of my Life as a career coach, writer, and human being.  As things start to ease up, I am looking forward to ‘blue sky’ filled days and the opportunity to deliver more online workshops and coaching.

Update – Friday 2nd April 2021

This week I enjoyed an impromptu chip picnic by the beach on Friday with a longstanding friend and colleague. We have not seen each other in person for about a year, and it was great to catch up.

Both of us are moving ahead with our businesses, new clients, and online workshops for me—a new gallery space for her.

And we initially met at a networking event over five years ago and have been firm friends since.

Update – Friday 9th April 2021

 ‘If you want to improve your writing – read it aloud.’

I have heard this offered as a piece of writing advice several times to aspiring writers and published authors alike.

Read it aloud – so you can listen and hear how your words are coming across, what you stumble over, where you sound confident, where you make sense or where you don’t.

How many of us would do the same with our CVs, job applications and personal statements? What might you notice if you did?

I don’t always manage it. Reading my own words aloud can make me cringe, but mistakes and fumbles leap out at me when I do.

But don’t just take my word for it; read more here.

As always, I’d love to hear your views – is this something you do already?

Update: Friday 16th April 2021

How often do you allow yourself to dream, immerse yourself in your ideal world? Give it structure, and form so you can inhabit the future you want for yourself?

If you think this is something you might need, then allow me to introduce you to the Walt Disney Creativity Strategy – the idea being that there are three parts to creative thinking:

The Dreamer or Possibility (Blue Sky thinker)

The Realist or How to thinker (bridge building)

The Critic or What if thinker (identifying blocks)

And based on a study of the success of Walt Disney and his meeting rooms.

It is a technique we used with participants towards the end of our two-day Career Development programme. We found it an excellent way to bring things to a close and send people away with a clearer sense of purpose. Going back a few years now, so thank you, @Winnie Sorensen, for reminding me recently what a great technique this is.

So much so that I based my latest Careerresilience article on it – ‘giving yourself permission to dream’.

Update: 23rd April 2021

Show not tell.

In 2017 I took a life Writing course, mainly because I was feeling a bit stale. I wanted to shake things up a bit, and I wanted to do something largely unrelated to my professional life as a career coach.

Little did I realise quite what a difference it would make to my life, but that is a whole other story ????.

But show not tell – is a classic piece of writing advice and drummed into us on the course. Don’t tell us your character was embarrassed; show us instead what Peter did, what Peter said.

And I had cause to tweak and share this piece of advice during the week while coaching a client through an interview process during the week.

Show and tell.

Show what you can do, paint a picture with you right in the middle doing the work.  Have examples that tell a story, that bring your application to life, give it some movement and energy. Use SAY (Situation, Action, Yield) or STAR to (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to give your examples structure and a clear and positive ending.

Finally, you might be wondering why I have left in the; ‘tell’, well because we live in an age of keywords and algorithms. I would be interested to hear what other career coaches think about this.

Update: Friday 30th April 2021

I am on a mission – on a drive to oust, remove, clear all unnecessary and irrelevant paperwork from my office and then my home.

And all because of a chance remark from a friend via Zoom about the files on my shelves, this is my Zoom/Teams backdrop ????. Because things were neatly stacked away, it was a case of out of sight, out of mind.

Now I am in the middle of some serious decluttering; the gaps you can see are signs of progress. I was shocked to find bus tickets, taxi receipts, and invoices from twenty years ago ????.

It is time I think to apply SARK to my workspace, ‘nourish your eye and spirit with inspiring things. They will bloom with your tending.’

Other things could be occupying these shelves.

Until next time.


SARK – Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy, Author

Until next month