"After working with Amber, I finally found the job I was waiting for for so long! They made me a great offer and all of my "non-negotiables" and values were respected and my expectations were exceeded. Our sessions really helped me to focus on what was important and definitely contributed to me finding a fantastic position."
- Ana Schuster, Research Scientist, San Francisco, CA
"Thank you so much for offering such a wonderful service. You're a great coach and I deeply value the time we've spent together and the progress you've helped me make in my life. I wouldn't be this far along in my goals or have this much courage to push forward without your support. I've made more progress with you in the last 2 months than I made in 2 years of therapy."
-Joanne Stewart, Geography/Wildlife Project Manager, Glasgow, MT
"I highly recommend Amber as a life/career coach. In our work together focusing on career transition, she's provided exceptional value in her ability to assess situations quickly and offer concrete tools, processes and plans of action to enable successful growth, change and resilience."
"Amber was fantastic. After working with her for the past year on career transition and a possible move abroad, I can honestly say that I have work/life balance and better non-defensive communication skills. Plus I'm on my way to live in Europe. I highly recommend Amber. She's the complete package: focused, reflective, practical, and supportive."
Technical/Business Consultant, San Jose, CA
- Kerry Philp, Marketing Manager, San Francisco/Rome
"Working with Amber was a life-changing experience. She helped me reach new heights in my career and finally succeed at long-standing personal goals. She is extremely personable and has the ability to connect with her clients quickly. She is trustworthy, always encouraging, and a patient and insightful guide through life experiences in pursuit of goals and dreams."
-Nanette Mickelson, Business Analyst, San Jose, CA
"In just a few short months of working with Amber, I have experienced what I can only describe as exponential internal growth. Amber's unique insight, her attention to the not so obvious, lends to her overall spirit and excellence as a life coach. I am blessed our paths have crossed. She is indeed exceptional."
-Leslie Stephenson, Business Owner, New York, NY
"I worked with Amber during a big transition time in my life. I was deciding between a career shift and going to graduate school. She helped me focus in on what I'd like to contribute to the world and navigate balancing work and personal commitments. Amber is a great listener and was able to reflect back to me my own experience. I can especially recommend working with Amber if you are at a point of transition in life and want someone who is action-oriented."
-Justina Cross, Program Director, Berkeley, CA
"Working with Amber, I've achieved challenging career objectives, improved personal and professional relationships, and found greater balance in my life. Her techniques allow your strengths to be realized, your journey to be appreciated and a greater sense of purpose to be obtained. I am a more confident and fulfilled individual today as a result of Amber's coaching."
-Laurel McCloskey, Communications Professional, Albuquerque, NM
Dear friends - the start of spring is a good time to reflect on new beginnings, opportunities and decisions. Here are a few thoughts to help you kick-start this process and make empowered and intentional decisions in your life and career.
How to Make a Big Decision
Life is full of decisions - big and small. Most of us make small decisions in our every day lives fairly seamlessly. However, the bigger the decision, the bigger the impact and often the more pressure we feel to make the "right" decision.
For example, let's say you're deciding between two different job offers - one pays better but includes a commute (and less time with your family/friends). This decision impacts you, your family, your friends, your money and your career (as well as other potential relationships/areas of your life). That's a lot of weight on one decision!
My husband and I were recently faced with a big decision on whether or not to move out of San Francisco (spoiler-alert - we decided to stay) and we used some of the below tactics to make an empowered and intentional decision.
The next time you're faced with a big decision, I invite you to pick and choose which exercise/s might work for you.
Trust Your Intuition:
Research shows that people who make decisions quickly, even when lacking information, tend to be more satisfied with their decisions than people who research and carefully weigh their options. Your intuition is there for a reason and your job is to quiet the external noise (fear, doubt, worry, guilt and what other people want/expect) so you can truly listen to it. So, find 10 minutes where you can be alone and quiet. Take a few deep breaths. Where do you feel intuition in your body? What does it feel like? What is your intuition telling you?
Since intuition is emotions-based, it can be the most fulfilling way to approach a decision. However, the size and potential impact of many big decisions merit a closer, more thoughtful examination. We navigate the world through both rational and emotional filters. The rational brain buys the house, the emotional brain picks the colors and furniture.
So let your intuition lead you in a direction and allow for a rational examination as well. Here are a few ways to approach a rational based decision.
Create a Decision Matrix:
The standard pros and cons list has its limitations. It can give us a sort of tunnel vision, where we get so focused on the immediate consequences of the decision that we don't think about the eventual outcomes.
Instead, it pays to take some time to consider the longer-term outcomes. Take out a piece of paper and draw four quadrants. In the upper left quadrant, write down all the best possible outcomes if you decide option A. In the lower left quadrant, write down all the worst possible outcomes if you decide option A. In the upper right quadrant, write down all the best possible outcomes if you decide option B. In the lower right quadrant, write down all the worst possible outcomes if you decide option B.
Thinking in terms of longer-term outcomes - and broadening your thinking to include negative outcomes - can help you find clarity and direction while facing your big decision.
Ask Yourself Some Deeper Questions:
- What does success and failure look like for each option?
- What is fulfilling and disappointing about each option?
- Which option moves you closer to your life/career objectives?
- How will each option impact your day-to-day life?
Keep Asking Yourself "Why":
By asking yourself "why" as many times as needed, it can help you determine whether a decision you're considering is in line with your core values. Values are one-word descriptions that get to the core of who you are. When you're honoring your core values, you're truly alive and engaged and you show up as your best self.
For example, if you're deciding between freelancing and looking for a full-time job, you may ask yourself the following questions:
Why should I start freelancing? It allows me to make my own schedule, be my own boss and work on the projects I choose. Why is that important? Because I want to enjoy work when I'm at work and also have a life outside of work. Why? Because I want to make a real impact through my job and have more time with my family. Why? Because I want to leave a legacy through my work and connect with my family on a deeper level. Why? Because that's what's truly important to me.
Through this line of questioning, we uncovered the values of freedom, flexibility, independence, connection, impact and legacy.
Next, go through the same line of questioning about looking for a full-time job and pull out the relevant values. Last, compare and contrast which decision honors your highest priority values.
Own Your Decision:
Whichever decision you make or process you use, you'll serve yourself well by owning your decision. The very act of making a decision can be quite validating and liberating in itself. Once you make your decision, you may even find that you adopt a whole new perspective.
Throughout our own recent personal decision- making process, I adopted the perspective of deep gratitude. I was reminded that to be in choice, is to be empowered. We may move out of San Francisco one day - just not today. In the meantime, I'm better able to appreciate what we have and truly live in the present. Isn't that what life is all about?
Amber is a coach who has spent 20 + years helping thousands of professionals to find purpose, success and balance in life and work. She started her career coaching executives at Fortune 500 companies and non-profits on public relations. Amber craved more personal fulfillment, so she got trained as a personal life and career coach and opened her own business in 2003. She feels fortunate to have found her calling as a coach and is passionate about making a difference in other peoples' lives.
Amber completed her coach training from the Coaches Training Institute in San Rafael, CA, which is widely recognized as the most rigorous program in the industry. She graduated with honors from the University of Vermont with a bachelor's degree in women's studies and psychology and is an elected member of the Golden Key and Phi Eta Sigma International Honor Societies.
Thank you for reading the Life Coaching e-zine. Want to use an article in your website or e-zine? Great! Please be sure to include my name, bio and website link.