Hay House Radio - radio for your soul. Listen Now
September 12 - 25, 2010
Dr. Susan Bernstein Teaches You How to Renew and Revitalize Your Career —continued

Editor: Hi Susan! Your new show Work from Within just hit the airwaves! What kinds of topics will you discuss on the program in the coming weeks?

Susan: To me, too many people are just "going through the motions" at work. A recent survey by the consulting firm Towers-Perrin found that only 20 percent of employees are truly engaged with work. I'd love to hear from and help callers who are feeling stuck or frustrated with career situations. I’ll teach you simple strategies for revitalizing your career, ways to decide if you should leave a job or stay, strategies for finding your next job (whether you're employed now or between jobs), alternative ways to make a living, dealing with money pressures at work, and becoming more flexible and resilient at work. Overall, it's my goal to help Work from Within listeners to find the joy within them and express that in their lives and livelihoods. I'm so grateful to Hay House and the Movers and Shakers program for giving me this opportunity.

Editor: You've helped thousands of professionals navigate out of chaos and into more fulfilling careers. How did you first become interested in supporting people in finding jobs that fit their needs?

Susan: When I went back to school in 2001 for a Ph.D. in Somatic Psychology, also known as mind-body psychology, I thought I'd become a psychotherapist. But, something else was brewing. To fund my Ph.D., I went back to The University of California at Berkeley, where I had earned my MBA, and worked in the career center. Originally, I helped MBA students with interviewing and writing resumes. Many of them asked me "how do I blaze my own non-traditional career path?" So I started counseling these students, especially those who felt stuck or confused. When they'd get mentally mixed-up or confused, I’d share the mind-body tools I was learning in school. I’d show them how to listen to what their bodies were telling them. Simultaneously, in 2005, during my clinical internship, one of my clients—a nine year-old girl—threatened to take her own life. Thankfully, she didn't. But she helped me realize I didn't have it in me to work with depressed and anxious people as a full-time job. At Berkeley, the students were telling me that I was assisting them in an innovative and effective way. They loved that integrating the mind and body helped them feel more aligned in their career and life decisions. I was feeling great about my work and wanted to experiment with having my own practice. Then the words "work from within" came to me in a dream, and I decided to launch my business. I started by focusing on helping people navigate career transitions, and have moved into a bigger message about helping people enjoy their work, from the inside out.

Editor: Wow, you've clearly had impact on many people. It would be great if you would share a few tips with us. For example, when someone comes to you and says he feels stuck at work but doesn't know what to do, where should he start if he wants to make a change?

Susan: My orientation to working with people who are stuck is to suggest that before you jump ship and grab another job, which you may not end up liking, instead, you can maximize your return on life energy—your ROLE. That's about minimizing your energy drains and maximizing your energy gains. I'd start by asking, "What's draining you?" Write down all of your frustrations with work, those places where you give away your energy, where you get sapped. Maybe it's repetitive work, politics, too much time in front of the computer, or anything that bothers you. Then, write down where you gain your energy. Perhaps that includes helping interesting people, getting to travel, and writing. There's no "right" and "wrong" here.

After you've listed your drains and gains, start by turning around your drains, tuning them up into what you desire. If it's a drain to do repetitive work, you might crave more variety in your activities. And then get even clearer about your gains. For example, if you like helping interesting people, what kinds? How often would you like to work with them and what type of help would you like to provide? Now, you have a list of desires. Each day, do something that fills your energy. And, choose one small step that takes you in the direction of maximizing your ROLE, your Return on Life Energy. Follow your intuition and interests as you explore and experiment and craft a life that you deeply desire.

Editor: And how about people who are out of work. What advice would you give them? ?

Susan: First of all, be gentle with yourself. Do something positive for yourself every day, like take a walk, call a friend, read an inspirational book. Then, be sure you've taken care of the money—reduce your expenses and, if you don't have a financial cushion, find simple ways to bring in money, even babysitting, gardening, or serving others in some way. Next, rather than search for a job from a place of panic, which can set in if you have trouble trusting the natural flow of your life, start by asking yourself what you'd love to do. Especially if that's different work than you've done before, what steps could you take to move you in the direction of work you desire? For example, I wanted to coach people. I found places to do some volunteer coaching that turned into paid work. If you’re seeking similar work, write down all activities you used to do in your prior work. Then, randomly choose three of those activities. Let's say they are writing, organizing, and speaking.

Now comes the brainstorming: If you could do those three activities together, what problem would they solve? I ask this because a job is a collection of activities that solves a problem. So maybe the problem is that a business owner needs someone to write speeches for them. Or maybe the problem is that a professional organizer needs someone to arrange and write their website copy. Then what you can do is be proactive—meet with the kinds of people who have the problems you've defined and just ask them about their problems. Don't start off by staying you are looking for a job, because if they don't have one to offer, you've closed the door. Instead, ask them to tell you what's happening in their industry. You may hear that they have a problem that you can solve. That's when you start talking about your expertise and create a situation where you can offer to do a project for them.

Editor: Your show actually came about as a result of your participation in the Hay House Movers and Shakers workshop. What was it like to be a part of Movers and Shakers?

Susan: It was amazing to be with Hay House CEO Reid Tracy, coach-extraordinaire Cheryl Richardson, and the ever-affirming Louise Hay. I learned how to build my multi-media platform and, most importantly, how to clarify my message. The words "come alive at work!" came to me during the program, a meaningful touchstone for me.

Reid, Cheyl, and Louise all shared outstanding insights. I learned that it takes time to create a genuine message and really connect with the audience who needs to hear it. I appreciated Reid's straightforward "tell it like it is" discussion about what publishers look for in authors. Cheryl gave us laser-sharp coaching from her warm and generous heart, and Louise shared her uplifting spirit and messages that reminded me to always see the positive. I made friends with a number of participants, all great Movers and Shakers. I love checking the Movers & Shakers page on Facebook and have really connected with my fellow Mover & Shaker, Helen Kim, host of Conscious Wealth. It's been great to encourage each other and share what we’re learning. We’re both striving to share what we learn so we can help other Movers and Shakers get their messages to the world.

Editor: Lastly, will you tell us a bit about yourself? What are some of your hobbies?

Susan: I love being in the dance of life. I believe that when we move, especially with intention, we change. So I go to Soul Motion classes and love listening to the music and moving with my fellow dancers in a freeform way. It's a nice contrast to the linear part of my life as a business owner. I live in Marin County, California, one of the best places in the world for mountain biking and road riding; Being on my bike is really invigorating for me. Growing up with a mom who's trained at places like the Cordon Bleu in France makes me a "foodie," and I love experimenting with recipes and hosting dinner parties. While I'm an extrovert by nature, I still need quiet time. I enjoy writing and journaling, reading time travel novels, and soaking up everything I can about the mind-body connection, especially ways to move my body and touch something inside that helps me know myself better. And then, of course, I love to share what I learn!

Listen: Work from Within-Sept. 16: How to Come Alive in Your Work