EscapeBlog

Get Creative at Work

February 9th, 2010

Written by Pamela Skillings

Grand Street: Painter
Image by moriza via Flickr

Are you a creative soul trapped in a cubicle job? Check out this article from Metro: Let Your Office Creativity Fly Free.

I shared some tips with Metro columnist Drew Hinshaw for the article. Creativity at work is one of my favorite topics and is also the focus of my upcoming New York University course: How to Think Like an Entrepreneur at Work.

I strongly believe that knowing how to tap into your creativity and use it in a business setting is essential to superstar success in any field (and especially for entrepreneurs). More to come on that…

I know my posts have been sporadic and short lately. That’s because my business is booming and my time for blogging here is limited. Check out the blog I write for About.com if you miss me. : )  Hope to be back and posting more soon.

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Be An Entrepreneur….Or Just Think Like One

January 24th, 2010

Written by Pamela Skillings

As a career & interview coach, one of my core philosophies  is that we all must learn to think like entrepreneurs when it comes to managing our careers.

That doesn’t mean all of my clients are running their own businesses — many are very happy and successful in Corporate America or working for others. However, they all know that it’s important to run their careers like they would run a business.

An entrepreneurial mindset is key to success in any career path these days – whether you’re starting your own company, climbing the corporate ladder, or managing a career transition.

That’s why I’m excited about teaching a new class at New York University called How to Think Like an Entrepreneur at Work: Improve Your Results in Any Job

In three weekly evening sessions (February 10, 17, 24), students will learn the techniques and strategies that successful entrepreneurs use to identify opportunities, generate brilliant ideas,  develop and sell their “products” (including their expertise and talents), create action plans, persevere in the face of rejection and obstacles, and more. Learn more and sign up to join us.

P.S. I  am also gearing up to teach a new NYU semester  of Coaching Clients Through Professional and Personal Transitions, which provides instruction on essential transition coaching skills for managers, HR specialists, and professional coaches. It’s a valuable class for anyone working with clients or employees in transition.

Join Me on JobRadio USA on Tuesday

January 11th, 2010

Written by Pamela Skillings

Tune in to JobRadio USA on Tuesday, January 12th at 9pm. Host Kenrick Chatman and I will discuss strategies to help you escape from Corporate America and create a dream career around your passion. We will be taking your calls to help you brainstorm your own escape plans.

To attend this show by phone, dial 347-838-9326. You can also listen via your computer by visiting www.blogtalkradio.com/thecareercatalyst and pressing the play/chat button. If you cannot participate live, visit the same URL above to either download or listen to the archive.

We Wuz Robbed — Career Advice for Burglars

December 17th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

burglarOn Tuesday evening, I returned from leading a 2-day workshop in DC to discover that my apartment had been visited by burglars who helped themselves to some holiday gifts and rifled through our belongings.

I was shocked and more than a little freaked out. I have always felt 100% safe in my building and my neighborhood. We have not had a break-in in the building for more than 10 years.

We have a doorman and security cameras and a very vigilant live-in super. The burglar struck in the middle of the afternoon when my husband and most of my neighbors were at work. He was wearing a suit and tie, carrying a briefcase, and hit three apartments in one afternoon.

I have lived in New York City for 20 years now and I was robbed once before. That was in the early ’90s in a sketchy building on the Lower East Side (which was still very sketchy back then and had no boutique hotels or non-dive trendy bars). We had a crappy lock on our door and a passing acquaintance with the crackheads and hookers that frequented our block (shout out to Eldridge Street back in the day).

This latest incident was more shocking. It’s not that stuff was stolen. Hopefully, insurance will cover most of it and the mess will be cleaned up (Google search of the month: How to remove fingerprint dust). It’s that our safe little haven was violated.

Our friendly local NYPD officer gave us some tips for increasing security so this never happens again. She mentioned that there have been more burglaries in New York City since the economy tanked, which makes sense. Christmas is a busy season for burglars looking for presents to steal. This particular burglar has hit a few other buildings nearby as well.

Officer C seemed confident that he would be caught eventually, though she was equally confident that he would serve his time, get out, and start burglarizing again. As she put it, “That’s their career. That’s what they know how to do. They might get put away for a while, but when they get out, they go back to their career path.”

So it seems I can find a career lesson even in the aftermath of a burglary. It’s not a very encouraging one, I know. But maybe this particular burglar leafed through one of the 14,000 books on career change in my library (mine and many others by such brilliant people as Barbara Sher and Barbara Winter and Richard Bolles) while he was ransacking my home office. Maybe he found some tips and inspiration to change his career and change his life. Maybe he’ll spend the money he makes pawning our electronics to go back to school and become an x-ray technician.

Ah well, I’m just happy that nobody was hurt and the stolen stuff can be replaced. We’ve upgraded our security to make sure we won’t be receiving any other unwanted holiday visitors. Sorry Santa, but you can’t be too careful these days.

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Free NYC Workshop — How to Start a Freelancing or Consulting Business

December 13th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

woman-cubicleIf you’ve ever fantasized about escaping from Corporate America to start your own freelancing or consulting business, mark your calendar for Thursday, December 17th.

I’m leading a free workshop on making the leap from employee to entrepreneur in New York City, in partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration and Operation Hope.

Join us to get practical advice and useful resources for launching your own freelancing or consulting business and network with other current and future solopreneurs. This holiday season, give yourself the gift of career independence.

How to Start a Freelance or Consulting Business

Presented by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Pamela Skillings, President of Skillful Communications and author of Escape from Corporate America: A Practical Guide to Creating the Career of Your Dreams

When: Thursday, December 17th, 6 PM to 8 PM

Where: Operation Hope, 2511 Frederick Douglass Boulevard at West 134th Street

Admission: FREE. For more information or to confirm your attendance, call Operation Hope at 917-477-2800 or email reginald.mason AT operationhope.org

More Free Entrepreneurship Resources: I am currently working with the New York City Department of Small Business Services to help develop the next generation of New York City entrepreneurs. We offer free classes and workshops, along with other resources. Find out more.

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Attention Career Changers: Free Makeover and 15 Minutes of TV Fame

November 10th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

makeoversalonA major women’s magazine is working on a TV special and looking for a career changer who could use a makeover to update your look, boost your confidence, and wow them at your next interview or meeting.

If you’re a woman between the ages of 25 and 45 and currently searching for work, you could get a makeover from a dream team including a top NYC stylist and colorist, professional  makeup artist, and fashion stylist.

If you’re interested in this makeover opportunity,  send an e-mail to mschaberg@hearst.com by November 15th, 2009 with your name, address, e-mail, phone number, age, and dress size. Please also include two photos (one full-length and one head shot) in your e-mail. Candidates need to live in the New York City area or be willing to travel to NYC at their own expense.

The makeovers will take place in late January and be featured in a spring 2010 TV special.

How to Quit Your Job

November 10th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

This resignation letter is concise, creative and pretty freakin hilarious.

Andrew is a genius. He is setting his bridges on fire and laughing as they burn.

I love the psychotic threats mixed with prim distaste for lack of “foresight” and “acumen.”

Time for a Career Break? Your Sabbatical Guide

November 3rd, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

stepssabbaticalperuHave you ever fantasized about quitting your job to travel the world? Maybe you don’t have to wait until retirement to experience the joys of the wanderer’s life.

I wrote about the benefits of career breaks in Escape from Corporate America and I recently had the opportunity to meet some experts on the subject of how to take a successful sabbatical.

Corporate escape artist Sherry Ott and her partners run a fantastic web site called Briefcase to Backpack — it includes valuable advice on asking for and planning a sabbatical and inspiring stories from people who have taken career breaks.

Before trekking off to Nepal on her latest jaunt, Sherry asked me to provide some advice for corporate types who are thinking about taking a career break. Check out the articles on how to know when it’s time for a career break and the very real benefits of taking a break before changing jobs.

You should also check out the Briefcase to Backpack tips on planning your career break — you’ll find everything from destination advice to packing guidelines and more.

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Dream Jobs and Job Nightmares — Work-Related Dream Analysis

October 30th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

During this week leading up to Halloween, a holiday designed to let you live out your secret fantasy or nightmare for the evening, I have been plagued by weird dreams about work. I decided to do some research and  it turns out that bizarre work-related dreams are very common. But what do they mean?

According to self-proclaimed dream analysis experts, if you are dreaming regularly about your job, it’s a good sign that your subconscious is trying to tell you that you’re overworked or feeling overwhelmed by career issues. This is why I have now scheduled an overdue vacation so I can start dreaming about Caribbean beaches instead of gray conference rooms.

Have you ever awakened from a twisted office nightmare that makes you fear for your sanity? After researching dream interpretations, I discovered that there are several very common work dreams. I bet you’ve had at least one of them. Read on for interpretations of what these job-related dreams may be telling you about your waking life.

5 Most Common Work-Related Dreams Explained


desk-sex-boss1) The Dream: Sex with Your Boss

I might as well cover the most exciting (or potentially horrifying) dream first, right? If you’ve been living in shame and confusion about sexy-time dreams involving your vile boss, you’ll be relieved to know that you’re not alone. Many people dream about sex with a boss or authority figure at the office.

The Dream Interpretation

Maybe your boss just happens to be hot. Maybe you have a suppressed fetish for pinstripes and comb-overs.

On the other hand, sex in dreams can also be a metaphor. You may dream of sex with someone that you feel a strong chemistry with — even if the chemistry is strictly professional. Or your boss may represent something — authority, success, control. Your dream of hooking up with the boss may indicate that you want to connect with the part of you that he/she represents.

Years ago, my friend T. was troubled by a dream of very satisfying sex with her then-boss, who was not particularly attractive and about as far from T’s usual type as humanly possible. For weeks, she had trouble looking him in the eye without blushing. Actually, after hearing about the dream, I got a little giggly in his presence myself. We decided that the dream symbolized her eagerness to please her new boss (and to have him please her with a positive performance review).

2) The Dream:  Killing  Your Boss

But what if your dream self is more interested in homicide than hot sex? Have you ever dreamed about harming or killing your boss?

The Dream Interpretation

The straightforward interpretation here is that your dream self is acting on strong feelings of dislike or envy toward the boss in question.

Another interpretation is that your dream murder victim represents a part of you that you resent or hate. Maybe your boss represents a nightmare version of the future you. Then again, it’s possible that you just played a rousing version of Shag, Marry, Kill before bedtime.

naked-with-briefcase3) The Dream: Naked at Work

In this dream, you’re going about your business at the office when you suddenly realize that you’re completely naked. Oops.

The Dream Interpretation

There are a couple of potential reasons for your public dream nudity. The most common interpretation is that your nudity symbolizes feeling caught off guard. Perhaps you are currently overwhelmed with responsibilities or feel unprepared for a particular project or presentation.

If nobody else in your dream seems to notice your pantslessness, your subconscious may be trying to tell you that you are blowing your fears out of proportion and you’re the only one who thinks you’re out of your depth.

Alternatively, if the discovery of your dream nakedness makes you feel ashamed or  horrified, your subconscious may be reflecting feelings of vulnerability or embarrassment surrounding a secret that you’re keeping. read more…

Dream Job Posting — Chief Strategy Officer for Well-Funded Start-Up

October 19th, 2009

Written by Pamela Skillings

laptop_beachI love nothing more than connecting a talented person with a dream job. So when a client asked me to help him find someone for a senior position, I jumped at the chance to do some matchmaking.

This is a perfect example of the hidden job market at work. This position isn’t being posted on the job boards. You have to be tapped into the right network to even hear about it. And I know that someone out there in my extended circle is a perfect fit. Could it be you?

About the position: The job is Chief Business and Strategy Officer for a NYC-based technology start-up with venture financing. This company already has a fantastic product and  a significant client base. They are looking for someone to help them chart the company’s future growth and build new partnerships and revenue streams. You would be based in New York City (with some travel required) and report directly to the CEO. The compensation package is very competitive and includes bonus and stock.

Job qualifications:

  • Minimum of seven to ten years of sales and business development and managerial  experience.
  • Significant knowledge regarding financial companies and markets.  Some experience with healthcare would be preferred.
  • Proven performance in gaining new business and growing revenue with Fortune 1000 companies.
  • Visionary thinker with strong presentation skills

If this sounds like you, send a cover note and resume (no attachments) to story @ escapefromcorporate.com.

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