Never say “whoa” in a bad spot!

Never say “whoa” in a bad spot!

“Never say whoa in a bad spot” is an expression I learned from my father Sterling Laffin, seen here as a young man.  He just celebrated his 93rd birthday.

When you are driving a team of horses across an icy patch of ground, the worst thing you can say is “whoa” (that’s horse driver language for “stop”).  If you do that, the horses are certain to stop and quite possibly not start again, or at least be slipping and sliding and much more unsure of themselves than if they had just kept going across the ice.  And quite possibly, they will end up stuck.

The relevance to your career is this:  often the best time to stop what you are doing is not when you hit a bad patch.  As tempting as it may be to pull the plug when the going gets rough, I have learned that if you do that, the only thing people may remember is that you quit.  Not all the great work you had done before, or even the circumstances of why you gave up…just that you gave up.

Even worse, if you actually quit your job, you may find your career gets mired in all sorts of things for a while, even a long while, and you are stuck.  That’s when second-guessing yourself may come in to play.  How bad was it really?  Should I have ignored the fact that my boss is a jerk and just kept going?  Others seem to be making it across that icy patch, maybe I could have too?

So how bad does it have to be to warrant stopping?  What are the circumstances that make it worth shouting “whoa” and declaring to yourself and others that you are done?

I suggest that everyone needs his or her own personal set of standards to help assess whether it is worth the risk of quitting.  What are the things that are truly “no fly” zones for you?  Taking the time to establish these standards in your own mind can give you the measuring stick you need when the going gets tough.

While I encourage you to think on what your standards are, here are a few of mine that may kick-start the discussion for you:

1. Integrity feels wobbly – it is easy to say “I would never sacrifice my integrity” but what does that actually mean?  If something is clearly dishonest or illegal, that’s a clear call.  But what if the integrity of a situation isn’t totally clear and just feels wobbly?  At that point, for me, it is simply time to listen to myself and decide if the situation crosses my personal boundaries.  Feeling the integrity go wobbly is enough for other measures to come into play and if the feeling persists, it is likely time to get out.

2. I’ve looked at all sides, and it still looks bad – I have made more than a few wrong calls based on being fixated on only one side of things.  An issue, particularly one that brings into question whether you should quit, rarely has just one side.  Ask yourself: have I looked at all sides?  Or am I so focused on this one thing that is so wrong, I can’t see beyond it?

3. My health and well being are being compromised – these are two sure fire challengers.  If a situation gets so bad that you are becoming ill, or the quality of your life and those around you is negatively impacted, its time to seriously consider bailing out.

4. What are the consequences – quitting a situation or a job, will not be without its consequences.  The old axiom “look before you leap” is an important one.  Jumping off the train may seem like the only alternative, but consider whether you will be landing in a bed of thorns and how long it may take you to get back on track!

Having taken measure of your situation, you may still feel that it is time to make a change and maybe it is.  My advice:  don’t do it in the heat of the situation.  It is always better to leave under the best possible circumstances and that is not likely to be when you steam out of the office in a fit of rage.  May feel good for a short time, but then the consequences set in.

Does this mean you have to stay stuck in a bad situation?  Absolutely not!  There are times when you need help to set those personal measuring standards and take a full account of where your career is at.

If you would like to talk about whether it is time for you to leap and what the consequences might be, give me a call!

Happy Springtime!

Linda Oglov

PS – hope you can join us at one of the upcoming Step into Your Future workshops.  Next one is May 2-5 at beautiful Poet’s Cove, Pender Island, BC.  I will lead 2.5 days of work focused on YOU!  Peter Ciceri, international executive turned psychotherapist and business coach, will be a special guest speaker speaking on the topic of career transition and self-esteem in the wake of job loss.  To find out more please click here >

How spending a few days in a beautiful setting can give you a new perspective on your life and career!

The jury is in!  Verdict: taking a few precious days to focus on what is important to you, what you are meant to be doing, and how you can make that happen, works!  And if you do it in a peaceful, beautiful setting that is even better!

We started our Step into Your Future workshops in 2011.  Since then several dozen people have signed up to be part of a small group looking for a facilitated, safe and supportive opportunity to pull the seams out of their career, examine the fabric and decide what they wanted to make out of it.  Some people have started to sew a whole new existence, and others have decided to put the career back together again in a similar fashion but with perhaps a new lining or different trim.

The premise is simple:  bring smart, reflective people together in a gorgeous place and good things will happen.  And it doesn’t matter what field you are in, how old you are or how accomplished you think you are or are not.  In fact, here are a few of the common myths that have been shattered:

  • Everyone else will be smarter, or more senior, or more accomplished than me – wrong!  We have watched senior executives take advice and reflect on the words of someone in mid career, and that person in turn realize she is on the wrong track and it is time to make a change herself.  Get over it!  If you are ready to let the seams out of your career, even a bit, this is the right place for you.
  • Everyone else will be further along than me in thinking about a career change – wrong again!  Most people who come to the workshop have simply an idea that they want to make a change but they often don’t know what they want it to be.  If they do know, this is the place to try out a few patterns and see how it all fits together.  If it doesn’t work, you can start again.
  • I don’t need another workshop that is all talk and no action – right you are!  In this workshop, you emerge with an Action Plan.  Some people will just have a few first steps down on paper, others will have it flushed out and ready to roll.  But an action plan is guaranteed.

The workshops have been held in a range of lovely places over the past couple of years but we have now landed on just two workshops per year, in two fabulous venues:  Pender Island, BC and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

The value of these two beautiful places is not inconsequential.  Neither are the fun times that are built in (and optional!) to each workshop.  There is time to reflect, be challenged and make new friends and new connections.

So if you are ready – or think you might be ready –  to take a look at the fabric of your life and career, please check out and register at Step Into Your Future online.

Linda Oglov


Career Transitions

Career transition comes in many forms. It doesn’t always mean a change in careers. It may be the realization you are exactly where you need to be.

The term career transition can mean several things: you are looking to change jobs; you like your current job but need to improve some things; or it is time to completely reinvent your career and go in a new direction. Or you may be approaching that magical age that used to be called “retirement” but have tons of energy and interest in either carrying on or finding something new.

And sometimes it is simply affirmation that you are where you should be. As Will Rogers once said: “Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there”.

The Step into Your Future career transition workshop can help. Those who participate almost universally have one thing in common: They want to figure out what their story is now and what actions steps they need to take to create their future.

My job is to set the framework, establish a safe environment, ask the thought-provoking questions, and bring the group – usually of diverse backgrounds – together. Bonding and finding common ground in the workshops is one of the real benefits. As one recent workshop participant said: “We quickly established a safe zone that allowed us to share, laugh and grow.”

Here is what participants in the recent workshop in Kingston ON had to say:

“As a busy professional, I rarely dedicated quality time to thinking critically about career transitions situated in the broader context of my life. Linda is a gifted facilitator with a light yet effective touch. I truly feel that this workshop has helped me come into my true power.”
– CM, President, Consulting Company

“I felt inspired and on a high for days.” – KM, Executive, Personal Growth Foundation

“The workshop was amazing and for me affirming.” – KM, Accountant

“There is a book in me and it is going to get written!” – SH, Communications Expert

During this four-day intensive workshop conducted in a retreat-like atmosphere, you will create the foundation you need to Step into Your Future with purpose and confidence:

  • Day One: Examine your game. Tell your story.
  • Day Two: Play to your strengths; and work on your weaknesses.
  • Day Three: Start to take action – get your game plan in place.
  • Day Four: Declare yourself – tell us your new/renewed story and plan.

Join us. The next Step into Your Future workshop is April 26-29, 2012 in Victoria, BC at the beautiful Inn at Laurel Point. I would love to have you with us. There are just few spots left, so if you are ready to step into your future, please call me asap at 604-288-7031.

P.S. Oglov has arranged a very special workshop room rate with the Inn at Laurel Point, but reserve your room now, because it expires at midnight on April 12! As part of your stay, you also will be offered a unique tour of Victoria’s culinary treasures by Tour de Fork!

WIN more business with “Better Pitching” Workshop

Not winning all of the business you think you should? The “Better Pitching” workshop, created by Bill Baker and I, can help your business team find its pitching groove. This full day workshop will permanently reshape your thinking about pitching, and arm you with dozens of immediately actionable tips and techniques that can help you improve results – no matter what business you’re in.

Here is what the managing partners of a major national agency recently had to say about our workshop:

“Loved the session…the feedback from our team has been great and I personally felt it was a very, very beneficial session. “
“As a next step, we’ll use this as a jumping off point for (our company’s) new business manifesto and begin to implement a new business system…(we have) a very galvanized team.”

What would make the difference in your career?

What keeps you up at night? What is the area that you think could make a big difference in your career? I would love to hear from you! Also please contact me if you are interested in direct assistance with career transitions, need individual business coaching or think your team could benefit from the Better Pitching workshop.

I can help create an environment that touches the spots in your career that need to grow, expand or that actually need to be defined. Here is a sample of topics that could be addressed in upcoming workshops, webinars and via other outlets:

  • What does it really mean to start your own small business? You have the check list (hire accountant, register for tax purposes, etc.) but what are the things you may not have thought of? What will make the difference between success and failure?
  • Freedom 95? How do you keep your career going or find something new – that will take you to that magical retirement age – or will you ever retire? The experts tell us that 84% of boomers expect to work after age 65, and 63% of us will never retire. What does that mean for YOU?
  • Reflections on Life During the 2012 Summer Olympics – and After! I am gearing up for working with the stellar iLUKA team during this Summer’s London 2012 Games. I look forward to sharing my perspectives in future newsletters.

Let me know what you think about the above topics and what interests you these days. I look forward to hearing from you.

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Thank you!

Linda Oglov