Summer Solstice - Put Fresh Life Into Your Job Search


Friday, June 21, 2019, was the Summer Solstice in the northern hemisphere. It was the longest day and the shortest night of the year, and the beginning of summer. The summer solstice is honored in several cultures as the union between heaven and earth. As we emerge out of spring, where we were in a period of renewal, birthing new ideas, and shedding icy layers, we slowly grow into summer, a time of manifestation and ripening of fruit. Summer is an ideal time to set intentions and state goals for the rest of the year. Below are suggestions for starting the summer off right.

– Unleash your spirit. The summer solstice enables us to take advantage of the light that can help us release burdens, doubts, and fears, so we can become open to new opportunities. Enjoy and bask in the sun. Connect with your inner child, and take time to play.

Listen to your inner self. Pay attention to your dreams, sorrows and beliefs.  Reflect on ideas that have been sizzling in your mind since spring. Ask yourself, “What progress have I made in the past year?” “What do I want to accomplish within the next year?” “What goals do I want to attain before the end of the year?” What can I do to attain these goals?” What people, resources, skills, and other do I need to attain my goals?”

Make friends with your inner child. List things parents warned you about. Examine attitudes and beliefs you developed as a result of these teachings. Do admonitions like “Never question authority,” “Boys don’t cry,” apply today? Examining long-held beliefs opens you up to new ways of seeing things.

Rise early. Watching the sun rise is a powerful reminder of nature’s cycles we often take for granted. Wake up with the sun. Watch it rise. When the sun is low in the sky, you can stare into it, fill your eyes and body with light.

Restructure work time. List your job energizes and stressors. Concentrate on the positive responsibilities, and intersperse negative activities with short breaks and rewards. Avoid unnecessary meetings and delegate.

Develop a positive outlook. See the glass half full instead of half empty. Reinforce the positive in yourself and others. Most of all, develop a sense of humor and learn to laugh at yourself. Smell the roses. Enjoy small pleasures such as walking in the park or watching toddlers play.

Be active. The ancient Greeks and Romans saw real meaning in the summer solstice. Many festivals were held at this time. An important festival was the run-up to the Olympic games. The summer solstice marked the one-month count down to the athletic games. Start your new exercise regime during this summer solstice.

Spring clean. For the ancient Romans, the summer solstice was time to celebrate the home and family. Use this summer solstice time to care for home and work chores like cleaning your work office or home attic.

Plant a tree. For the ancient Chinese, the summer solstice was a time to celebrate the earth by giving back to it. Plant a tree in your backyard or a local park. Help clean up a public place or work with your neighbors to sweep trash off the streets.

Have a bonfire, but ensure the fire is out before retiring for the night. Sitting around the bonfire and talking with friends, co-workers and family, may be the quintessential summer activity. It’s also what the ancient Vikings of Scandinavia did to celebrate the summer solstice.

Plan a trip. The longer and warmer summer days allow travelers more time to see sights and explore cultural and geographic destinations. For example, Stonehenge in England, built by the Druids thousands of years ago, gathered at this remarkable landmark to mark the summer solstice.

Express gratitude. Remind yourself of what you are grateful for. When you focus on what you have, rather than what you lack, you emanate the energy of abundance. And the truth is we all have something to be grateful for!

Find something stimulating in each day. Seek challenges at work or in leisure activities. Respect yourself. Engage in positive self-talk. Tell yourself, “I’m OK just as I am,” or “I’m human and I’ll make mistakes.” Reward yourself. Realize that you don’t always have to prove anything or excel over others.

Draw or doodle. Write a question that clearly states what you want to know. Underneath it, draw whatever flows though your hands. Use your intuitive skills to interpret the meaning and symbols in the drawing.  Note the sequence of steps and your thoughts and feelings as you study the drawing.

Play mental games like “what if….” These require a willingness to think freely, so don’t close doors on ideas. Resist thinking, “Don’t be silly!” or “That’s stupid.” Lose yourself in enjoyable activities daily. Exercise, sew, paint, sing, dance, write, start a scrapbook or photo album.

Make something for yourself. Creativity feeds the soul and focuses the mind. Pick something you’ve always wanted to learn how to make. Soap! Beer! Bread! Jewelry! Leather stamping! Painting! Knitting! Go to your local craft or hardware store, or checkout YouTube and find something you’d like to learn how to do and do it!

Make something for co-workers. Cut that soap up and wrap the bars individually in something you’ve designed. You can design a label for that microbrew you made and give a bottle to coworkers! Getting something homemade means more to many.

Host a potluck for co-workers. It’s a wonderful time to reach out to people you’d like to get to know better. You’d be surprised how much fun you’ll have and how many work colleagues you will know better.

Limit time you spend on social media. Social networks can be great for connecting but they can also sometimes skew how we perceive ourselves and other people. We can be fooled into feeling as if everyone else’s lives are so much better than our own, but they’re not really. Most of us try to show our best selves on social networks and we should. But there are times when it’s better just to turn it off.

Strengthen at least one Quester trait to add spice to life. Tips for developing Quester skills like confidence, purpose, creativity, and resilience are found in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is a registered psychologist, coach, internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, and author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life. Carole Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential. Contact:

Cutting Cost During Transitions

Are you considering a career transition? Are you unemployed? If so, manage money wisely.

Here are some tips.

Prepare. Planning and willingness to live on less temporarily will stretch the time you can go without a full-time job. You’ll not only have more time to find that ideal position, you’ll also eliminate a financially controlled deadline.

Before making a career shift, determine how long you can live without an income. How much can you live on and where will you get it? A careful review of expenses and potential income may disclose that you can manage several months without a salary.

–  Create a budget. Identify your monthly income. List all current income sources like salary, unemployment benefits or severance pay (if applicable), interest/dividends, savings and partner’s income. Also itemize assets that can be converted into cash including pension funds, insurance policies and stocks. And, identify future income sources such as student loans or assistance from relatives.

Next, identify expenses. Include housing, education, furniture, clothing, dry cleaning, medical and other insurance, entertainment, car, utilities, food and restaurants, taxes, job hunting, and miscellaneous costs. Add 15 percent as a cushion.

Try to lower your standards temporarily. Look for ways to cut. Involve family members in financial discussions. What expenses can they can cut? List a lower number for each expense.

–  Conserve your cash. Live frugally. Saving early in the process will enable you to have enough for essentials later. Will your old car do? Do you need to eat out as much? Stay disciplined. Use coupons. Look at your needs, rather than wants. But do treat yourself sometimes.

–  Look for additional income sources. Can you get a part-time survival job?  Work as a sales clerk, waiter, delivery person?  Register with a temp agency? Can a family member help?

Contact your creditors. Work out interest-only or reduced payments early. Most will cooperate.

Reduce credit card purchases. Pay cash to save interest charges and prevent overspending. If you must use credit cards, pay the full balance each month.

Cash in “luxury” assets. Comparison shop for insurance and other expenses. Trade down to a less costly home or share a residence.

Deduct job hunting expenses from your federal income tax if you’re moving to similar work. These “miscellaneous deductions” require receipts. Allowable expenses include employment or career counseling, resume costs (typing, duplicating and mailing), phone and transportation.

If you’re relocating to another city, you can deduct some moving expenses. Education costs are also deductible if you’re upgrading your skills to maintain or enhance your present job or salary. However, if you’re changing fields, establishing a business, or have been unemployed for more than a year, you can’t deduct these. Contact an accountant or the IRS for more information.

Review your health coverage under the COBRA Law. Check Department of Labor’s web site to learn ways they may be able to help with your Surf the internet and yellow pages to investigate other health care options. Many local clinics provide services on a sliding scale fee. Better, maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Borrow. Some debt is okay provided it excludes mortgage payments and doesn’t exceed 10 to 15 percent of your income.

The easiest loan option to negotiate comes from parents. To maintain family harmony, agree on an interest rate and repayment schedule. Consult an accountant to determine if it’s taxable.

Credit unions are often cheaper and easier than banks. If you deal with a bank, shop around. Consider borrowing from your 401k, your company profit sharing plan, your life insurance policy or stock investments. Check the feasibility of a home equity loan or reverse mortgage to tap your home equity.

Seek financial assistance. Visit is the country’s leading debt relief and financial education company. They provide financial consulting to ensure clients are on the right path to wise money management.

The National Center for Financial Education: www., offers money management tools. Quicken Basic 99and Microsoft Money 99 give ability to track various accounts. For debt management, contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling at 800-388-2227 or visit:

Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, offers additional ways to stretch income. Carole Kanchier, psychologist, digital/newspaper columnist, coach and author of Questers Dare to Change, shows clients how to clarify and attain desired life career goals.

Responding to Illegal Job Interview Questions

It is important to know your rights as an employee. Unlawful questions are not acceptable on applications, during the interview process, or in the workplace. Although improper questions by employers might be simple mistakes, they could also be intentional cases of discrimination that should be reported.

Legal and illegal interview questions
How you would you respond to each question?
1. How old are you?
2. What’s your native tongue?
3. What language do you use when writing?
4. What’s your marital status?
5. Would you be willing to work overtime as necessary?
6. To what clubs do you belong?
7. How much do you weigh?
8. How’s your family’s health?
9. Have you ever been convicted of a felony?
10. In what branch of the Armed Forces did you serve?
11. Have you had any recent illnesses?
12. Do you have children?

Scoring: Questions 3, 5, 9 and 10 are legal. The others are illegal. Generally, interview questions should focus on your ability to do the job. It’s illegal to base hiring decisions on certain other criteria.

Numerous federal and state laws protect employees form discrimination. These include the Fair Labor Standards Act, the National Labor Relations Act, the Civil Rights Act and the Occupational Safety Act.

For example, Title V11 of the Civil Rights Act, makes discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion, or national origin illegal in hiring decisions, and The American with Disabilities Act requires that an employer provide equal opportunities to individuals with disabilities. Check your state and federal acts related fair employment and housing practices.

There are situations where a specific job might require an answer to some questions that might appear to be illegal for other jobs. For example, a firefighter needs to be in good physical condition so health-related questions are acceptable.

Smart interviewers can get the information they want by asking open-ended questions. For example, instead of asking “Are you living with anyone?” interviewers can ask “Do you foresee any situations that would prevent you from relocating?”

Examples of illegal and legal questions

Illegal — When did you graduate? What’s your birth date?
Legal — Are you over 18?

National Origin, Citizenship
Illegal — Are you a US citizen? Where were your parents born?
Legal — Are you authorized to work in the US?

Marital/Family Status
Illegal — With whom do you live? Do you plan to have a family? What are your child-care arrangements?
Legal — Would you be willing to relocate if necessary? Would you be willing to travel as needed for the job?

Illegal — To what social organizations do you belong?
Legal — List any professional, trade or other groups to which you belong that is relevant to performing this job.

Illegal — How tall are you?
Legal — Questions about height, weight and strength are acceptable if certain minimum standards are essential for safe and efficient job performance.

Disabilities or Limitations
Illegal — Do you have any disabilities? Please complete this medical history. What was the date of your last physical exam? Do you need an accommodation to perform the job?
Legal — Describe how you would carry a 200 pound weight 50 yards with or without accommodation.

Arrest Record
Illegal — Have you ever been arrested?
Legal — Have you ever been convicted of __________? (The crime should be related to the performance of the job in question.)

Illegal — Were you honorably discharged?
Legal — What type of training did you receive?

Illegal — We haven’t hired a woman before. What makes you think you can do this job?
Legal — Describe the skills you have to do this job.

Drug Use
Illegal — Do you take drugs, smoke or drink?
Legal — Have you ever been disciplined for violating company policies about the use of alcohol, tobacco or other drugs?

Illegal — Are you pregnant?
Legal — Will you be able to work overtime or travel?

Do the forgoing or any other areas of discrimination apply to you? If so, what are these? What can you do to turn around an illegal interview question or situation to protect you from discrimination? What federal or state law or agency could help you resolve a discrimination issue?

Dr. Carole Kanchier, career and personal growth expert, informs and inspires you to realize your potential. A coach and international newspaper/digital columnist, she is author of award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life:

Using 'Force' Can Give You More Control

In the movie, “Star Wars,” Obi Wan-Kenobi gave Luke Skywalker a sword that seemed to have magical powers. The sword was useless to Luke when he lacked confidence in his abilities. But when Luke realized that he had the magical powers within to create his own perception of reality, he wielded the sword with confidence and accuracy.

Do you have control over your life career?
Indicate yes or no:

  1. I didn’t get the position because I didn’t prepare for the interview.
  2. When I trust my judgment I make wrong decisions.
  3. I can solve most of my problems.
  4. I’m often a victim of circumstance.
  5. I can get any job I want if it’s congruent with my personal qualities and I persist in pursuing it.
  6. I’m too old to go back to school.
  7. I can learn new skills if I try.
  8. I try to avoid challenging projects.
  9. If I studied hard at school, I got good grades.
  10. I don’t perform well under stress.

Scoring: One for each yes to odd numbered statements, and each no to even numbered ones. The higher your score the more you believe you have control over your destiny. You assume responsibility for your thoughts and actions.

Take charge of your life career
Pay attention to the words you use to express your thoughts. They influence how you feel about yourself as well as goals and outcomes you attain.

Review the speech patterns below that express independence and self control, or dependence and helplessness. Choose those that demonstrate choice and responsibility.

Differentiate between knowing and imagining.
You haven’t given your supervisor a report that was due three days ago. You say to yourself, “He stressed how important it was to submit it on time. He’ll be furious.” How does your internal dialogue continue?

a. “I wonder how I can slip it on his desk without seeing him?”
b. “I don’t really know he’ll be furious. … I’m imagining this. What really happens may be different.”
c. “I’ll take my lumps. I’m late.”

If you chose b you distinguished between knowing with imagining. We can make educated guesses about peoples’ future behaviors based on past experience. But we can also scare or anger ourselves by imagining a negative scenario and convincing ourselves it will occur. Don’t live in a world of untested assumptions. Look for and expect positive outcomes.

Differentiate between can’t (inability) and won’t (emotional choice).
As you’re finishing work, a colleague invites you to discuss a new job opportunity. You say, “I’d like to but I have to participate at the meeting. Thanks anyway.” When he leaves, you talk to yourself.

a. “I don’t have to go to that meeting. I’m choosing to go even though I’d rather find out about that job.”
b. “Rats, another stupid session when there’s no time to get anything accomplished.”
b. “I have so many clerical tasks to complete that I never have time to look after my career growth.”

In selecting a, you’re choosing to affirm that you have a choice, even when you select the same option. We often choose to do things because of the negative consequences of not doing them (getting fired if we don’t choose to work). However, this is a choice.

When you say, “I choose to,” new options may become apparent. For example, instead of staying in a job you dislike, you can choose to look for another job in the same or different organization, return to school or establish your own business.

Restructure negative beliefs. Write down all negative thoughts you had within the past day. Rephrase these to make them more positive and to illustrate personal control. For example, if you said, “I’ll never find a job because I’m too old.” Restructure this, “I have the experience, skills, maturity, confidence creativity and persistence to find the position I want.”

Don’t be a prisoner of false beliefs. Choose thoughts, words and speech patterns that express images of confidence, independence, responsibility and control. Empower yourself by using words that illustrate personal control.
Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Carole Kanchier, gives additional ways to gain more control over your life career:

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.

Is Temp Work Right For You?

Meg hasn’t held a steady job for a year, and she likes it that way. She works as a contract worker, writing and editing technical service manuals for a Silicon Valley firm. She’s happy to be one of the thousands of temporary workers in North America.

Today, people have many employment choices, including temp work. Temporary services are booming. Temp employment can be a source of flexible, fulfilling work that can provide a bridge to full-time employment. According to research, one-third of temp employees prefer this arrangement over traditional employment options.

Are you suited to temporary employment?
Answer “yes” or “no.” I like . . .

  1. Trying different kinds of work.
  2. Working where and when I choose.
  3. Earning good or extra money.
  4. Investigating a company before making a long-term commitment.
  5. Developing new skills.
  6. Meeting new people.
  7. Adapting to new situations and surroundings.

Five or more yes responses suggest you may enjoy temp work. Temporary employment can benefit both workers and client companies.

Because companies must constantly shift gears to meet the changing demands of the global marketplace, they need to have 10 to 20 percent of their work force as temporary. The Conference Board (a business intelligence organization that distributes information about management and the marketplace) found that about 90 percent of U.S. businesses use temp workers to meet demand periods, cover employee absences, and work on special projects. Companies also like to observe temps during a trial period to determine their suitability for permanent positions.

More than three million temporary and contract employees work for America’s staffing companies during an average week. During the course of a year, North America’s staffing companies hire nearly 17 million temporary and contract employees.
Companies find that effective use of temporary staffing can increase productivity and profit levels. Many organizations prefer using staffing firms to find suitable employees over posting job wanted ads. Employers tend to hold temp workers to as high a standard as they do full-time employees.

Many staffing firms offer competitive benefit packages which include medical insurance and bonus pay. Cash awards, gift certificates and free lunches for top employees are other perks. Opportunities to acquire computer or other skills are added benefits.

Varied types of workers seek the assistance of the 19,000 staffing offices nation wide. These include burned-out professionals who want to try something else, homemakers re-entering the work force, and people who need second jobs to meet expenses. Opportunities abound for engineers, financial analysts, word processors, human resources personnel, and varied managerial levels and health professionals.

Temp jobs can last from a day to several months. The average tenure is 10 weeks. Many temp or contract workers stay much longer. A number get hired permanently.

People select temporary employment for many reasons. It can be a bridge to a full-time job and relieves some of the financial and emotional stress during job search or college/university attendance. It also provides flexible hours, days and assignments. Gaining new skills while making valuable business contacts is another benefit. Employees who want medical, pension or other benefits can also find these perks with some staffing firms.

You have the option of being a full-time temp or combining temp work with traditional employment and/or self employment. If your goal is to work as a permanent, full-time employee, but are having difficulty finding the right job or company, temp work can help pay the bills. If you’re looking for new ways to work, want to learn varied skills, investigate a different industry, have more flexibility or control over your career or work schedule, temp work is an option.

To get the most out of temp assignments, get to know temp agencies in your area. Many temp agencies focus on specific industries including account staffing, technology staffing, legal staffing, finance staffing and other.  Maintain regular contact with them. Inquire about the benefits they offer, and get information about their clients (employers). Find out what kinds of jobs are available, their respective salaries and locations of employers. Let them know that you’re eager to learn new skills and gain experience in a certain field. If your goal is full-time, permanent employment, advise them of this.

Don’t pass up opportunities to learn. Don’t expect each temp job to be perfect, but see each as a valuable experience that can help you achieve your career goal.

For more information about staffing firms in your area, check the local phone directory. Also check the internet for local firms as well as the American Staffing Association’s website:

Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Carole Kanchier, discusses numerous other ways to access temp agencies and find jobs:

Carole Kanchier, coach and author of Questers Dare to Change, shows clients how to determine job suitability and attain desired career goals.


Are You Stressed At Work?

Do you feel powerless about aspects of your job? Do you feel unappreciated? Overworked? Are you always tired, irritable? Do you lack enthusiasm? Think of quitting? If so, you may be experiencing job stress.

Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s a problem when you feel so overwhelmed by work demands that normal coping strategies don’t work.

Studies report that anywhere from 70 to 80 percent of North Americans feel stressed at work, and nearly half say they need help in learning how to manage stress. Job stress can lead to varied health, social and economic problems. Workers, for example, may experience physical violence, verbal abuse, phone rage, back pain, insomnia and cardiovascular diseases.

High Stress Jobs

Job stress is not limited to any one type of occupation. Studies, however, consistently rank the following as highly stressful: combat personnel, disaster relief workers, inner city public school teachers, astronauts, nurses, air traffic controllers, professionals who work with severely challenged or ill patients, prostitutes, short-haul bus or taxi drivers, social workers, airline pilots, deep-sea fishermen, hard-hat divers, factory workers who do monotonous, rapid, repetitive tasks, farmers, police men/women, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, attorneys, physicians, flight attendants.

Job categories don’t tell the whole story. Some workers in high stress jobs manage jobs well, while others in less demanding jobs are stressed. The severity of stress depends on the demands placed on workers and the perceived amounts of control they have in performing tasks. For example, managers who perceive they have considerable responsibility but little authority, experience severe stress.

Certain personal characteristics contribute to job stress. These include poor planning, inability to relax or manage change, and failure to care for physical, intellectual, social or spiritual needs. Unrealistic expectations, emphasis on security, a loner lifestyle and inability to delegate also facilitate stress.

Work environments that promote stress offer little support, challenge, flexibility, recognition and feedback. Workers have no decision making influence, ambiguous job descriptions, rude customers or clients, few breaks and excessive competition. Little or no preparation, inconsistent rules, endless paperwork, few advancement opportunities, politics, and insecurity, caused by layoffs, are other stressors.

Minimizing Job Stress

Change perceptions. A major stressor is how you see real or imagined threats to your well-being, and the perception that you can’t cope or don’t have options. Since your perceptual bias is learned, it can be unlearned.

Keep problems in perspective.  View mistakes as learning experiences. If you have a setback, identify what went wrong, modify plans, and try again.

Manage time. Keep a daily record, and recognize time wasting habits. Identify time needed for essential tasks, and modify your schedule accordingly. Make lists and prioritize. Avoid unnecessary meetings and delegate when possible.

Clarify roles, responsibilities and goals. Know what’s expected.  Ask supervisors for constructive feedback on performance. Discuss ways to eliminate frustrations and rigid demands.

Explore ways to creatively redesign your job. List energizing and draining job components. Spend more time on energizing tasks and less on draining ones. Intersperse frustrating activities with short breaks and rewards. Rotate job functions. Schedule breaks.

Maintain optimism. Expect success. Fill your mind with positive, constructive thoughts. Listen to inspirational tapes, read motivational books. Begin each day with a positive thought.  Rephrase negative thoughts to make them positive and illustrate control.

Lead a balanced life. Look after your mind, body and spirit. Leave worries outside the bedroom and sleep at least seven hours. Eat healthily. Watch sugar, coffee and alcohol intake. Exercise regularly.

Schedule quiet times to think and reassess. Reevaluate priorities — career advancement, family or health. If you want more time with your children, cut down on golf with colleagues.

Do something stimulating and enjoyable each day. Enjoy small pleasures such as walking.

Develop support systems. Cultivate meaningful, supportive relationships that allow you to share frustrations. Consider professional assistance. Hospitals, mental health professionals, company EAP programs and educational institutions offer courses, counseling and advice. The internet and books provide a wealth of knowledge.

Choose productive attitudes and behaviors. Identify people, places, activities and conditions that revitalize you. Also identify places, activities and conditions that drain energy. Each month, pursue at least one activity that revitalizes you, and eliminate one that depletes you.

Use stress as an energy source to change, grow, accomplish desired goals, and achieve competence and confidence.
Award winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, by Carole Kanchier, discusses numerous other suggestions for measuring and preventing stress:

Carole Kanchier, PhD, registered psychologist, coach, speaker, and author of Questers, shows individuals and organizations how to manage stress.

Use Mind Power to Attain Desired Goals

Can we create our own reality? Can thoughts, meditation, visualization, faith and intentions help us achieve desired career goals?

Research suggests that our mind can influence our physical reality. When the body is in peak condition and the trained mind is completely focused, an individual can achieve the extraordinary.

Athletes, who do mental training along with actual practice, show greater improvement than those who only do physical training. Tiger Woods mentally pictures his golf ball rolling into the hole. World class figure skaters mentally rehearse their routines.

Moreover, ordinary people have learned to shrink or eliminate tumors and undergo surgery without medication using similar techniques.

Some use mind power to achieve desired career goals. Barbara, a former Silicon Valley technical writer, imagined herself tending her herb garden and teaching in Hawaii. She’s currently living her dream.

You too can train your mind to achieve desired career — and life goals.

You are the director of your life. You create your own life script by your mental attitude, the thoughts you think.  Mind has unlimited potential, but like other muscles, it has to be built up.

You need to practice mind building skills such as relaxing, breathing, meditating and visualizing desired outcomes. You must also have faith that you’ll achieve your goal and work hard.

Your subconscious mind holds the key to your potential. It takes orders from your conscious mind. To strengthen your mind power, learn through relaxation and meditation exercises to slow your brain wave frequencies at the alpha or subconscious level to seven to 14 cycles per second (the conscious mind functions at 15 or higher cycles per second). Then practice techniques such as visualizing outcomes and stating affirmations to help you achieve desired goals.

Seven goal attainment strategies

1. Write your goal and deadline. Have a clear, precise picture of your desired outcome. Ensure your goal is consistent with your purpose. Write a paragraph indicating why you want this goal. Include all the benefits to yourself and others. INTEND to achieve your goal.

2. Practice imagery daily. Imagine yourself living your goal today. Do this in a relaxed state, when your mind is at the alpha level. Visualize your goal clearly; include details. Don’t limit yourself by thinking about money, responsibilities or other externals. Hold your desired outcome firmly in your mind.

Experience achieving your goal. Notice how it feels, smells, sounds and looks. If you find this difficult, make a collage or take a photograph depicting your goal.

3. Identify barriers that may hinder you from reaching your goal. Write down how you can overcome these obstacles. Include all the people, groups, resources, personal strengths, and tools that can help you overcome obstacles.

4. Develop an action plan. Every day do at least one activity that will lead you to your goal. Use a daily organizer to plan activities.

Focus on your goal. Concentration is like a lazer beam that cuts through obstacles. Work hard. All your activities should lead to your goal. Ask yourself, “Is what I am doing  moving me closer to my goal?” Turn down promotions if they’re not compatible with your goal.

Consider failure a learning experience as you move toward your goal.

5. Have faith you’ll attain your goal. Faith consist of desire, belief and expectancy. Desire is the initial motivation, the force that pushes you towards your goals. Belief is what sustains you between desire and expectancy. Expect to achieve your goal.

Avoid negativity. Think and talk about things you want, not those you don’t want. Eliminate negative thoughts and feelings such as such stress, worry, hate or anger.  Replace negative thoughts with positive statements or pictures.  Avoid phrases such as, “I can’t.”

If there is the slightest hesitancy in your mind, you’ll not achieve your outcome. You’ll also fail if you try too hard because this suggests you have doubts.

6. Develop a support group. Meet often to review your progress and to get encouragement and suggestions. Avoid negative people

7. Keep your mind, body and spirit in top working order.  If you use you’re mind you’ll get what you want. Make sure you know what you want.

Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Your Life by Carole Kanchier provides additional tips to clarify and attain desired goals.

Author Bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, educator, speaker, registered psychologist/coach, and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Carole Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential. Contact Carole:;
Boost Adaptability and Flexibility
To succeed in our continuously changing world we must embrace new ideas and technologies, and strengthen Quester traits such as adaptability and flexibility described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life


Adaptability and flexibility have meanings which are broadly the same but not identical. Adaptable indicates long-term changes; flexible suggests more short-term alterations. One might adapt to the introduction of a new shift pattern, and be flexible enough to work late next Wednesday.

Teachers adapt lesson plans to accommodate for the physical and intellectual needs of each student. They must also be flexible enough to handle unexpected circumstances, such as sudden illness or emergencies

A building might be adaptable enough to accommodate a warehouse or a school (a long-term use), or flexible enough to vary the number of rooms by having easily-moved internal walls (a shorter-term change).

Adaptability Examples

  • Suspending judgment
  • Uncovering and mitigating risks
  • Using many resources to ace given tasks
  • Willingness to learn new tasks and strategies
  • Suggesting unique ways of increasing work output
  • Drawing new conclusions from changing information
  • Working part-time while pursuing college studies
  • Changing plans at the last minute
  • Taking risks! Moving into action without a plan – Planning on-the-go
  • Bouncing back from setbacks with a positive attitude
  • Developing a “can do” attitude to change
  • Shifting priorities in response to the demands of a situation

Flexibility Examples

  • Willingness and ability to readily respond to changing circumstances and expectations.
  • Admitting an oversight and suggesting alternative ways to avoid similar mistakes
  • Customizing cover letters to emphasize skills which correspond to unique requests of job targets
  • Delegating routine tasks to focus on priorities
  • Enabling workers to vary arrival and departure times as long a they work required hours
  • Keeping calm while managing challenges
  • Planning ahead, but having alternative options in case things go wrong
  • Thinking quickly to respond to sudden changes in circumstances
  • Persisting in the face of unexpected difficulties
  • Anticipating and responding positively to changing environments
  • Taking on new challenges at short notice
  • Managing changing priorities or workloads

Job categories that require workers to be adaptable and flexible include: Sales, Marketing, Advertising jobs, Event Manager, Publicist, Journalist, Broadcaster, Mental Health Administrator, Researcher, Teacher, Protective Services workers (military, police, firefighters) Lawyer, Management Consultant, Hospitality jobs (hotel and restaurant managers), Self Employed entrepreneurs.

Take the Quester Quiz to clarify adaptability, flexibility and other Quester traits:

Strengthening adaptability and flexibility

Know who you are and what you want. Focus on desired goals, but be open to changing circumstances.

Focus on the positive. Think about who you want to be and do. Believe in yourself. Look for and expect good things to happen. Avoid phrases such as, “I can’t.”

Don’t hold grudges or blame others. Listen, understand, make needed changes and move on.

Be open to new ideas and strategies and adapt to changing circumstances. Continue to learn. Read, take courses. Challenge conventional beliefs. Find better ways to do things. Place no limitations on yourself.

Look upon something different or unknown as an opportunity to challenge yourself. If you don’t try something new, how will you find out you can do it? View mistakes as learning experiences.

Use intellect and intuition when making decisions.  Research needed information, then use intuition. For example, ask dreams a question before falling asleep, journal, meditate, relax in nature.

Be authentic. Do what you feel is right for you, not what others think. Your actions should be consistent with your thoughts and feelings. Don’t succumb to peer or family pressures.

Manage Fear. Identify worrisome issues. Minimize these by researching relevant information and resources. Live in the present. Let go of “attachments.” Form a support system.

Enhance courage to risk. Review three successful risks taken. Note what made these successful. Identify perceived barriers for taking another risk, and explore ways to overcome these.

Strengthen resilience. Approach problems from different perspectives. Ask for feedback from people with diverse backgrounds. Take things out of their ordinary context and create new patterns for them. Notice the number of ways you can use egg or milk cartons. Develop a playful, childlike curiosity. Ask questions, experiment.

Describe a work or personal situation where you showed flexibility. For example, working for a college degree while meeting changing demands of family members. In addition, recount a situation where you demonstrated adaptability.

Questers Dare to Change provides additional tips for bolstering Quester traits required for success in uncertain times:

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Carole Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.

Risk: In the Eye of the Beholder


Are you a risk taker? If you said no, think again. You may be more of a risk taker than you think.

Dan works as a sales clerk to support his fledgling acting career. Before that he taught school, following 11 years as a computer programmer. You may perceive Dan to be a risk taker having left two positions which had good security and pay.  But Dan doesn’t see himself as a risk taker. For Dan, risk involves physical activities such as mountain climbing.

Most of us are more conscious of the risks we avoid than those we take. That’s why we don’t think we’re risk takers. And because we’re aware of the risks we avoid, we assume that others take bigger risks. But they may be avoiding risks we’re taking. So risk, in this sense, is in the eye of the beholder.

What’s risky to you?

  • Physical danger – sky diving, skiing, taking drugs, having cosmetic surgery?
  • Psychological/Emotional – staying in a dead-end job, getting married or divorced?
  • Social – giving a presentation, telling jokes at a company party, traveling solo in a foreign country?
  • Intellectual – taking a graduate course, chairing a high-level policy meeting?
  • Economic – investing in stocks, buying a home, starting a business?
  • Career – changing jobs or any combination of the above?

Enhance ability to risk
Think about three successful risks you’ve taken in any life component. What did you do to make it turn out well?  In which categories did the risks fall? What have you learned about yourself and your risk taking behavior?

Describe barriers that are blocking you from making a desired change. For example, Personal Barriers include fear of loss of a secure income; fear of failure (such as starting a new job); fear of what others will think; fear of success; and guilt that change might create family hardships.

Societal Barriers include old notions of “career”; outdated retirement policies; traditional gender roles; and blocks imposed by educational institutions, unions and professional associations.

Let go of “attachments.” The more attached you are to something, the greater the fear of losing it. Ask yourself, “What do I want to let go of?” “What’s the worst thing that can happen if I let go?” “What people, resources and support would make my goal less risky?”

Live in the present. Because most fear centers around the future, don’t spend time worrying about what might happen.

Know yourself. Clarify your purpose, strengths and priorities. What do you really want to do? How does this differ from what others think you should do? Replace the “shoulds” with your own values. As you turn your priorities around, risking will become easier. It’s simpler to risk for something you’re passionate about.

Clarify a goal in harmony with your purpose. State and write down your goal and outline a plan to achieve it.  Break the goal down into small steps. What’s the first step you could take? When could you take it? Do this for each step.

Watch “self-talk.” Each time you catch yourself saying something that fuels your fear, say “cancel,” and replace it with a more positive statement. Shift your vocabulary from being a victim to someone with power and strength.

Educate yourself. Read books, listen to tapes, or take courses on building confidence, strengthening ability to risk, or any other topic of interest.

View setbacks as learning experience as you move toward your goal. Failure can be reduced by researching, planning and persisting. Depersonalize setbacks. Ask yourself what you would do differently and then make the necessary modifications.

Look upon something new as an exciting opportunity to challenge yourself and to grow. If you don’t try, how will you ever find out if you can do it?

Balance tentativeness with commitment. Set goals but don’t write these in stone. Be open to new experiences.

Establish a support group. Confide in and ask for help from supportive family or friends. Associate with positive people.

Complete this Fantasy Risk Exercise: Think of an important risk you would like to take.  What appeals to you about taking this risk? What would you gain?  What is frightening about this risk? What will you lose?  What’s the worst thing that could happen if it turned out badly? If the worst happened, what would you do?

Where could you get information to pursue this risk? From whom could you get support? What could you do to make this less risky? Less irreversible?

If you broke the risk into small steps, what would the first step be? How soon could you take it? Do this for each step. Evaluate the outcome of the risk. Did it turn out as expected? If not, why? What have you learned?

Celebrate your success whether or not it turned out as expected. Gradually, you will see yourself as a risk taker.

Creating a life worth living and finding the courage to risk pursuing you dreams isn’t easy, but you can do it!

Questers, described in Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, show you how to risk and strengthen other winning Quester traits!

Author bio: Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  Dr. Kanchier has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.


Spring is a time for renewal and rebirth. Spring, a season of transformations, may be the time to dare yourself to make desired changes in your life career!

Award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life redefines the way we look at careers and work, and offers a master plan for career success. The 6th edition of Questers is available from amazon: (

Case studies of purposeful, growth oriented, Questers, quizzes, and guidelines show how to manage lifelong personal, career and spiritual growth.

Questers answer many questions adults have related to career and personal growth.

  •  Strengthen “Quester” traits to succeed. Take the Quester Quiz:
  •  Recognize and become who you were born to be
  •  Understand how job dissatisfaction affects health and productivity
  •  Determine whether you’re ready to make a career shift
  •  Overcome fear of failure
  •  Protect yourself from layoffs
  •  Grow in your current job
  •  Identify where you fit in the career and life cycles
  • … And so much more

I am available for interviews and consultations. A complementary pdf copy of Questers Dare to Change is available for review. My website provides sample articles and additional information:

Many thanks for your interest and consideration. I look forward to exploring possibilities with you,

Kind regards,


Carole Kanchier, PhD 403.695.9770

 Author Bio Carole Kanchier, PhD, is an internationally recognized newspaper/digital columnist, registered psychologist and author of the award-winning, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life, and the forthcoming Arouse the Force Within You!  She has taught at University of California, Berkeley and Santa Cruz and University of Alberta, and served as visiting fellow at Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, and other institutions of higher learning. Dr. Kanchier is known for her pioneering, interdisciplinary approach to human potential.