Interview with Brenda

When work works, life works.

Brenda Griffin

Brenda Griffin is a specialist in uplifting people to believe in themselves. An experienced veteran in the corporate and business world, Brenda has lived great success in the world of hazardous waste. She’s taught hundreds of classes to fortune 500 clients using her lifelong natural gift as a vibrant teacher and communicator. Her communication style puts people at ease and builds their confidence, even on the most complex topics. Yet with a successful track record of promotion and performance, Brenda’s also known lay-off, down-sizing, and the pink slip!

Through experience, executive and career coaching training and the school of hard knocks, Brenda has learned what it takes to get back on your feet and achieve that next job. Brenda now shares her technical competence with job seekers by showing them how to present their achievements. She helps people to understand their value and then how to present that value to potential employers.

Brenda knows how to get your resume the attention it deserves. She understands the action steps required to put you at the top of an employer’s want list, and she’s learned how to teach others to do the same. Brenda motivates and guides others to get back up, get that job, and create a road map toward their dreams.

Most of all, Brenda shows people how to believe in themselves. Once people understand their value, job searching becomes an exciting adventure – whether you simply want a new job, or really need one.

She is a Certified Executive and Career Coach, skilled “Get A Job” expert.  Her innovative, engaging Get A Job program is now available.

 

Frequently Asked Questions – Interview with Brenda

To answer this question, it’s probably best that I share with you two defining moments and resulting “compelling story” that brought me to where I am today, coaching people like you on exactly what to do to achieve your career goals, and to increase your level of happiness.

The first defining moment in my life happened in early 1995 when I experienced my first layoff. I didn’t know what hit me. I was standing in Human Resources when they told me I was laid off. The company, they said, is changing business direction. Stunned and confused, I went home and stared at the ceiling. One minute I was angry, the next sad. Mostly I was confused. I just didn’t get it! For weeks I was stuck on the “why” and couldn’t seem to move to “What’s next?”

It was hard to reconcile it all. I was promoted twice in five years, performed beyond expectations, and they said I had a bright future – but all the mistakes! They were flashing before me. Add to that, as I grew up most people worked at one company for life. The idea of being “let go” created a wall of shame I didn’t know how to manage. The hardest part was I suddenly had nowhere to belong, and I didn’t know how to fit into my own life. Really, I didn’t know who I was at my center.

Aware I was making the mistake of taking this personally, I came to see that I was making an even bigger mistake – fusing my very identify with my job title. This false belief was what ripped up my core and caused me so much confusion. I simply didn’t know who I was without my title. In my mind, I went from Brenda Griffin, “Senior Somebody at Swanky Firm,” to Brenda “Who?” from “Unemploymentville.”

Thankfully, all that changed in an instant at an Air and Waste Management (AWMA) dinner meeting.

A former boss had reached out. Knowing I needed to network, Lydia invited me to join her on a committee she chaired for AWMA. That way, I could start making contacts and be seen and known. Over time I started feeling good about belonging somewhere, yet I was still bruised by the layoff. My self-esteem was flat and the shame lingered. I continued to believe I needed a title to be somebody. Then came the first AWMA dinner meeting.

I sat at the table enjoying the company of my colleagues when the ritual started. Everyone stands and introduces themselves one by one, by name, title and organization! I sat there paralyzed. I wanted to run but it was too late – I could feel my heart skipping. I could sense my voice was about to crack and I wasn’t sure I could form any words. My mind was racing. “What should I say?” “How will they respond?” “Do I belong here?”

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. -Eleanor Roosevelt

Then, in the middle of this anxiety and confusion, a miracle happened – clarity prevailed!

I saw the truth. I could simply be proud of who I was as a person. I had the power to lower the wall of shame. I was free to focus on the present and look forward to my future – my what’s next!

As my turn approached, I took a deep breath, and found strength in my voice. I stood up, smiled, gazed around the room and introduced myself to my peers. “My name is Brenda Griffin.”

For everyone else, the moment surely passed without notice. For me, I suddenly knew in my core that who I am, and my value as a person, has nothing to do with a job title.

Over the years, my roles and titles have come and gone. My mistakes still happen, and they still flash before me. Still that moment of clarity stays with me – I am Brenda Griffin.

From that moment on, I reached out to people looking for new jobs. I shared my experiences with what I learned about successful job searching in an effort to ease their pain and shorten their search. I offered contacts, provided leads, reviewed resumes, and most importantly, provided support.

And as it turned out, after getting rehired after that first lay off, I would be hired and laid off, again and again! An Enron-esq Chapter 11 bankruptcy, mergers, facility closures would be in my future in spite of a track record of success.

The result? I became an expert at getting re-employed. Consistently getting high paying jobs in the field that I love – the environmental field.

My second defining moment came when I had an opportunity to write an on-line training program for a self-help website. Of all the topics I could have chosen to write on, I chose helping people to get jobs, whether due to unemployment or because they were stuck in a dead end.

I remember filming the videos saying, “I want you to have a job that has you jumping out of bed everyday raring to go!” As we cut that take, I heard a small voice in my head say, “You are working full time but what has you working evenings and weekends that’s bringing you joy?” I knew at that moment that I was no longer called to the environmental field. My new calling was reaching out to disappointed professionals who wanted more from their careers.

I have since made a commitment to dedicate the rest of my professional life to helping others improve their work lives. I have completed several programs on executive and career coaching to hone my skills and keep up with the very latest in my new profession. In the process, I’ve helped hundreds of people get clear on their career goals and get into action achieving their dreams!

I work with professionals just like you who are really good at what they do; however, have never been taught exactly how to adjust their career mindset, or to set goals for successful career management or who have been taught that it’s ok to but your career on auto pilot thinking things will simply work out on their own! That being said, the professionals I’ve worked with run the whole gamut.

I have helped many professionals in a wide variety of industries. Yet, to be honest, most likely I haven’t hit them all! Does this mean you are at a disadvantage? No, quite the contrary. Here’s why: professionals from all walks of life and careers are probably ALL doing (or not doing) the same things when it comes to managing their careers. What my clients find helpful is that I bring a fresh perspective to their situation and give them resources they’ve never heard of to put into practice. Because of this, they stand out and get results.

Although we will occasionally touch upon stress management and other “life coach-y” things, you have me as a career mentor and consultant. I ONLY work with professionals looking to improve their careers. In other words, I don’t consult with small business owners and I’m not a Jill-of-all-trades-coach. I refer those people to other professionals. What that means to you is that I am focused on anything and everything that works for success on the job. Because my focus is narrow, what you get with me is no-nonsense, undiluted expertise on what works for career professionals. In addition, I’ve walked a mile in your shoes! I can relate to what you are going through and can teach you to keep moving forward taking that next step.

I work with professionals who are absolutely excited and deadly serious about having a rewarding career. They want to end the sleepless nights wondering if they will either find another job or have the position they know they are capable of achieving. These programs were created for you to put systems in place within a few months (sometimes weeks!), which will eventually lead you to getting all the happiness and rewards you want on the job—not in three, four, or many more years, which is a conservative estimate on the traditional time it takes to get life situations turned around.

Being a high achieving go-getter myself, I’m known to work best with other high achieving go-getters who are super-ready to get going and just want to know exactly what steps to take to get what they want. Through my own career assessments results, I am a strategic thinker, with a high priority on achievement. I put these to good use with each client.

Consider what you’ll do with me to be an action-learning course. You will be expected to take serious and consistent action. No excuses anymore, just a very different way of thinking and full support while you achieve your goals: life-long career management skills, greater career confidence, increased opportunities, more of life, consistently and in record time.

To be honest, I’m selective with who I work with. I want to make sure people I work with are ready and able to do the work. So, I carefully select my clients, choosing to (gently) turn away workers who aren’t suited for my programs and won’t get the results for which they would have signed up for. It wouldn’t be fair to them.

My programs are NOT for those who have no money and are absolutely, financially and/or emotionally desperate, at least not right away. It’s been my experience that people in financial and/or emotional crisis do not trust the recommendations I give them and do not do the work.

If you fall within this category, it’s absolutely OK. We’ve all been in times of financial and/or emotional crisis at one point or another. Do yourself (4) favors:

1. Get some money coming in with a full-time or part-time job at the very least, and then call me. This will take the edge off and provide a little more peace of mind. Mostly, it will de-clutter your mind enough to focus on your assignments and the BIG picture; or,

2. Get emotional assistance with a therapist or counselor, which will give you the professional tools to deal with a crisis (because I am not a counselor!).

3. Subscribe in RSS or e-mail to my articles. This information will get you started towards your goals until you’re ready to work with me one-on-one.

4. Make a point to watch the videos on the site and read the articles for inspirations. These will give you a LOT of things to think about.

Doing these four things will really help you get primed for our work. When you’re ready, call me and we’ll get you started. (I’m in no rush and will be here when you need me.)

Another type of person I won’t work with (without exception) is the whiner or the chronic skeptic, as well as individuals who consistently make excuses for not getting their assignments done or challenging every aspect of the program. If you are one of these people, I gently and respectfully ask that you not call and I hope you understand why. We’ll probably just not work well together and I wouldn’t want you to waste your time or money. Is that fair?

Improving your career begins with understanding YOU; your skills, talents, abilities, motivators, experience, what your major struggles are, and what steps you’re prepared to take to make some changes. Then, it means taking serious action on it. My first step always includes asking a very important question – What is most important to you in your career right now?

Strategy

We examine where you are at and where you want to go in your career. It could be as simple as updating your resume and as intricate as defining your perfect work. You decide where we will focus our time based on your goals. Once we have identified where you would like to be with your program, we prepare a strategy to meet your goals.

Tools

We will examine exactly what it is getting in your way and identify tools and techniques for getting past the barriers and inventing the life and career you want. Barriers come in two varieties: lack of knowledge and mindset.

I will spend time getting you up to speed on topics that you identify, and I have expertise. After all, if you had all the answers, you wouldn’t need me! So be assured you will get the information you need to take the next step forward toward your career goals.

In addition, we will address mindset issues that come up. Like self-sabataging beliefs and behaviors. This is where the coaching comes in. I will ask you some questions. I may make you uncomfortable! I want to get to the heart of what is blocking your success. Don’t you? Then we will get you unstuck.

We’ll discuss the concept of self-talk, how it is an essential tool for creating change in your life and how it impacts your belief system. We will use techniques for changing your self-talk to ensure it is positive, forward thinking and uplifting. I will show you how, once you’ve changed your self-talk, you can change your self-image, which has a direct impact on your performance.

For example, you may not really know the best way to network. I will consult with you to craft a plan to improve that skill. I will also explore any mindset issues around networking and get to the bottom of what else may be going on underneath. Are you avoiding networking for other reasons beyond not knowing the basics that is impacting your success? Are you feeling insecure? Are you feeling inferior in some way? Have you lost confidence? We’ll figure it all out and get you back on track.

People learn differently and we will examine the various ways, and techniques, for capturing your goals. Rather than shooting from the hip or skipping from here to there using trial and error for career management, we’ll memorialize a plan to get you to where you want to go. I’ll be sure to have those goals be measurable and attainable to set you up for success.

Embrace

What needs to be embraced? Change. When you step, you change places. Things are different. Loss is involved. And with loss comes grief. That can be scary for some, exciting for others. Either way, change can be stressful. Even positive change! Having change on the radar helps to manage the various stages that go along with grief. And when it hits, you can say – oh, just feeling a bit of change…it will pass!

It won’t serve you to put so much effort into identifying goals for career changes if, in fact, you haven’t mastered time and stress management techniques. We will also take the time to look at how to blend you career goals into your daily life so that you get the results you want. This step alone will start bringing you more joy than you’re experiencing now.

We will take time to discuss what is happening and use tools to manage the stress of change. It is what it is and can’t be ignored! It also can’t get in the way of meeting your goals. You will be able to see and monitor your own progress!

Partner

With your career goals identified and your action plan in place, all that is left is doing the work and experiencing results. (Yes, you will do the work and love doing it because you are on your way to the career you want!) And, I won’t leave you hanging. My programs include plenty of follow up and accountability to speed your success.

Score

At the end of the day, it’s all about results. These are the steps to getting the career you long to have. These steps can be applied to any career goal you have. So whether you want a great resume, interview confidence and preparation, identifying your natural fit, a job search action plan, or enhanced work performance with the Mastermind Executive Plan ™, my steps will get will there.

These are the steps that I’ve created that have led to my success and the success of others. I know they sound simple. Because they are! And know you can benefit from the process as well.

In addition to these principles, you will learn hundreds and hundreds of things to manage your career more easily, to make your time work for YOU, to work smarter not harder to eliminate the fears and self sabotage holding you back, and set up systems for creating more happiness-producing events in your career, in your life and in your family.

Yes! The result of our work is an approach to mindset shifts and goal-setting that, over time and with your dedication, works consistently to manage you career for a lifetime.

Depending on your goals, you can expect to:

  • Create a strategy within the first three months
  • Get proven job search steps and strategies you can apply right away to not have to reinvent the job search wheel
  • Learn time saving techniques that will dramatically cut down your learning curve
  • Make yourself stand out in your company and in your industry by crafting your personal brand
  • Recognize new job opportunities and seize them with confidence
  • Get out there and network effectively (for once)
  • Create powerful relationships and friendships
  • Learn how to package your expertise in resumes and cover letters
  • Sell yourself with confidence and ease on paper, in person, over the phone and on-line without ever feeling sales-y
  • Evaluate and negotiate job offers, politely declining any that don’t meet your needs
  • Learn how to handle your time more efficiently so you actually have time for you while excelling on the job!
  • Understand the importance of locking-on to a vision
  • Understand that your feelings of self-worth affect the way you treat yourself and others, as well as how you approach your career goals
  • Work smarter at building your career, not harder
  • Learn the value of possibility thinking to overcome barriers to success and happiness
  • Learn how to recognize and change habits and attitudes to reach new goals
  • Understand how the thought process determines future results
  • Understand the impact of self-talk on self-image
  • Learn how to change beliefs and, therefore, change performance
  • Create a long-term, compelling career plan, which will bring you more joy, less stress, more happiness, greater income potential
  • Learn how to have more confidence in setting, and reaching, goals
  • Stay accountable to these goals and achieve them
  • Create new goals for your career every 90 days to draw yourself into your future instead of dreading the days to come

Obviously, this depends on how much you put into the assignments that I give you. That said, virtually all clients see results within the first couple of days in the form of more positive self-talk and renewed optimism towards their careers and goals. Many find success over months as they pursue new job opportunities. As you know, there are variable involved with the economy. Most people find working with coaches gets results faster simply because of the accountability involved (that helps overcome inertia) and the clarity gained on what is really most important. Those magic moments happen during the coaching process as strategic questions are asked and clients get to hear themselves talk out loud.

Do all of your assignments and fieldwork. Be totally focused on your career goals. Understand that it’s not a “quick fix,” it’s not magic and it can take up to a year for you to plant all the seeds and for those seeds to grow into the fruit that you can enjoy. It takes work and it is YOU who must DO the work. When clients diligently put in the time and apply the steps, they experience results! More importantly, they experience confidence that they have gained skills and what it takes to manage their careers for the long run, not matter what is happening in the economy.

My coaching comes with a 30-day “unconditional happiness” guarantee. What this means is that after the first 30 days, if you don’t love the work we’re doing, if you don’t see that it’s exactly what you need to overcome your challenges and achieve your goals, then not only do you not have to continue, you can have a full refund of every penny you paid! Does that sound fair?

Any seminars you attend are also guaranteed. If, after the first hour of a 4-hour seminar, you don’t think the material is what you are looking for, your entrance fee will be refunded in full. Just let me know at the one hour break that you are leaving and requesting a full refund. I’ll make that happen. Also, refunds will be made for anyone providing cancellation notice 24-hours prior to an event.

Resumes – sorry, no refunds for resumes.

Yes, a resounding Yes! At what price happiness? As a result of working with me, you will experience greater career confidence, and a sense of well-being as you walk out your career goals.

What you’re regularly getting is what I call a series of AHAs! that will move your career and your goals faster than you would on your own. Expect to get a lot of these as well as the resources you’ve been looking for and haven’t found until now. That’s what you’re investing in, results in your career that you want and need – greater work satisfaction, a new job, a better job, better skills, increased performance, not just more “information.”

Congratulations on making a decision for success! I’m happy to work with you to achieve your career goals…

Did you know that one of the most prominent characteristics of successful and happy people is that they take action? They take educated risks, are decisive, take action, and they move forward towards success and happiness faster as a direct result of this. It’s a well-known fact these people make decisions based on their gut instinct. So, that being said, since this feels right for you then go for it.

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