Career Conversions. Life Changing Career Choices

Opportunities Will Pass You By

April 2016

Let me tell you a story about an executive I have very high regards for. Respecting confidentiality, let’s call her Denise Smith.  Denise works at a very prestigious Fortune 500 company and has a team of Directors that report to her.

One day, she and two of her Directors were having a conversation about what the next step in their careers might be.  The two directors were very excited.  Director “A” began, going on and on about what he wanted out of his career.  He said, “I want to be Senior Director and make a lot of money and I want…”  Everything Director “A” said he wanted was very self-serving and not very clear.

That’s when Denise, without being rude, kindly interrupted him, turned to Director “B” asked Director “B” what career aspirations she had in mind for herself. Director “B” paused for a few seconds…then said, “I’m not sure.”

With that, Denise simply said, “Well then, I suppose the opportunities I had in mind for you wouldn’t be a very good fit.”

BOOM!!!!!! BAM#### BONG~~~~

Could that have gone differently?  Absolutely!

Why am I even bringing this up?

Because, this is not an uncommon story.  Too many times highly skilled, high potential mid-level managers on up the corporate ladder get stumped when caught off guard in what appear to be casual conversations.

The fact of the matter is, even a casual conversation is a meaningful conversation when it comes to your career.

What do all wildly successful people have in common?

  1. They know who they are, what their key areas of expertise are, and what makes them unique. That means they know the answer to the question- “Why would I hire you/promote you/put you on this team over anyone else who is qualified?”

  1. They have an “I’m my own boss” mentality. Years ago it used to be if you conformed and did a good job, then you got that promotion, retired at 62, and collected a pension. Ugh, that model doesn’t exist anymore. As your own boss, you manage your career instead of letting your career manage you.  What can you do this year that will help you get to where you want to go next year? Education, stretch project at work, connecting with people who could be influential in your career?

  1. They build their personal brands. That’s’ right.  Brands are not just for companies and products.  You are the product!  People say to me, “I don’t like sales.”  I can understand comments like that but in reality we are all in sales each every single day. You need to know what you want and how to communicate it.  You communicate the value that you bring to the table.

Can you answer these questions?

  • What value do you bring to your employer or your employees for that matter?

  • Are you visible? Do people know who you are and what you do?

  • Can you demonstrate the value you bring?

So now what?

Now is the time to get started developing your own personal brand.  Otherwise, opportunities will pass you by.  People will forget who you are. The very people who could have helped you get to where you want to be in your career. That would be horrible.

 Then…you may be stuck in your career or in a position you really don’t like. And you may well know how that discontent can trickle into your personal life. Not pleasant.

So make a commitment to learn more about personal brand development and develop your personal brand.

What’s Blocking You From Getting Promoted?

So, you want to get promoted and you believe you should be the one.  What would that promotion bring you?  How would your life change?  Why would having that promotion be rewarding?
You know where you are.  You know where you WANT to be.


What are some of the roadblocks to getting promoted you might be facing with your employer?

#1:  You Are Too Valuable In Your Current Role
Potential Issue

Your Manager may be stalling because he does not want to lose the production you bring to his team.

Tips:  Develop a solution to your Manager’s problem by creating your own succession plan.  If you haven’t already begun training one or two people to step into your role, now is the time.  Who do you know that are the best candidates to fill your position and produce immediately?

#2: Your Manager Won’t Endorse You For Promotion
Potential Issues

One issue might be that your Manager doesn’t want to lose control, influence or power over you.  Another one you may be experiencing is that your Manager may feel you will outshine her if you are promoted.  Still another issue may be that your Manager is directly telling you or is avoiding telling you that you are not ready for a promotion.

Tips: In any of these roadblocks to getting promoted, take advantage of moments to have career conversations with your Manager.  I recommend approaching the conversation in a curious, nonjudgmental manner so that your Manager does not get defensive.  Express your desire to get promoted, in what ways you believe you have earned the promotion, then ask – “What would you need to see in my performance to assure you that this promotion would benefit the company and support company objectives?”

#3: There Is No Position To Be Promoted Into
Potential Issue

When there is no position to be promoted into within your current organization that leaves your current position being what you make of it.

Tips:  In this case, create your own new career opportunities.  Start by looking at the problems that need to be resolved.  Once you have established them, set priorities, and then set out to solve them one by one.  Create solutions that you can be involved in and identify the return on investment with that solution.  You have just created a proposal that could lead to your promotion by adding value to the company and positioning yourself as the authority to perform!

#4: Another Employee “Needs” To Be Promoted
Potential Issues

Roadblocks to getting promoted here might be political.  Even though this other person may not be as qualified as you, a “favor” may be owed, or a Senior Manager wants this person…politics.

Tips:  Enlist endorsements of other people within the organization who can be influential in your career.  If you truly are the most qualified person for the promotion, have the courage to talk with your Manager, respectfully asking for help in understanding how promoting this other person would benefit the company.  Create a plan to give this other person a “win” as well; for instance a new title or perk.

#5: Your Manager Doesn’t Believe You Are The Best Person For The Promotion
Potential Issue

What if your Manager is grooming someone else for the promotion because he is not even aware that you are interested in a promotion?  Ouch!

Tips:  If you have not had a recent conversation about your future career goals, get something on the calendar immediately with your Manager.  Prepare for that meeting.  Be able to state clearly what your goals are, why, and “What’s In It For Them”- the value you bring to the company.  Have prepared specific key accomplishments you have made during your employment AND what those accomplishments meant in terms of dollars, revenues, profits, market share, or whatever it is that were the key objectives you attained.  Articulate how your goals will create a new reality for you Manager.  Request assignments that will increase the experiences and skill sets you will need to be promoted.


Promotions are based upon performance, so keep track so you can be prepared to have courageous conversations with your Manager.

And remember- “If it’s meant to be, it’s up to me!”

Would you like to have a specific conversation about how you can get promoted?

trish_socialmediaCall me.  Trish Dervin 636-778-9090
email me: [email protected]

Wishing you success!


What’s It Worth?

I ran across an article years ago that comes to mind often when I hear of executives and managers trying to create talent rather than develop talent their team members already possess,

Who does this remind you of?

Once upon a time, there were 4 animals. They decided they should achieve something big and meaningful in their lives. So they organized a sports team that is they won the competition, they would donate proceeds to a local charity. The team activities consisted of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. Each of the animals, a duck, a rabbit, a squirrel, and an eagle,  took on the challenge of learning each activity.

Well, the duck was an excellent swimmer, but he did not do so well in flying and was a poor runner. Since he was slow at running, he was pulled from swimming and had to focus his efforts on running. This caused his web feet to be badly worn, so that he was only average at swimming.

The rabbit started at the top of the team in running, but developed a nervous twitch in his leg muscles because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing, but he encountered constant frustration in flying because his coach made him start from the ground up instead of from the treetop down. Hence, he did not do well in climbing and running because he was exhausted,

The eagle…was a problem child that was a non-conformist. He didn’t see the big picture. In climbing, he beat all of the others, but he used his own way to get there.

The moral of the story is this. Each animal has its own skills and talents if encouraged to exercise those gifts, a greater contribution to the overall performance of the team would be realized. By NOT building on strengths and focusing on weaknesses instead, individuals begin to feel less of a contributor, which leads to feelings of failure, which leads to low morale and turnover. We all know the cost of hiring, training, and opportunity cost of good talent gone bad!

Business team celebrating a triumph

A GREAT team, like the one on the left, is one that has a shared vision and common goals beginning with the leader and expanding across the entire team. The leader knows how to choose the right person for the right position on the team. As one of my clients says- “The right seat on the bus”! This is how you realize record results from your team.

Patrick Lencioni, best-selling author of The Five Dysfunctions Of A Team, has a checklist for building a cohesive team:

1. The team is small enough to be effective 3-10 members
2. There is genuine trust among them
3. Members regularly engage in productive conflict
4. Meetings result in clear-cut action items and commitment to meet objectives
5. Each member holds one another accountable
6. Leaders are focused on the team versus their own agendas

So- what’s it worth to you to develop a cohesive team with a strong foundation of trust and build on the strengths of each team member?
I’d like to hear. Send me an email to provide feedback or ask questions. Maybe I can help!

trish_socialmediaTrish Dervin, CELDC, CCMC


[email protected]

Your reputation precedes you…

You’ve heard that expression before – Yes?

If I were to say that to you, it would mean that I have heard of you before I met you. It would also mean that I have preconceived notions about who you are, what you do, what you are like and potentially a host of other perceptions based on what I have heard.


Hmmm… Imagine if you could have more control over how others perceive you… What would that look like? How do you want to be perceived?

Your reputation is your most valuable asset. Your reputation becomes your “personal calling card” so to speak. It’s how people remember you.

Think about conversations with your boss regarding advancing into the next role in your company; or meeting with potential clients, investors, or partners for a new venture?

In addition to those scenarios – picture yourself on a job interview or “networking event” and the statement comes up – “tell me about yourself.” Or –“what do you do?”

Your reputation drives demand for your services.

But how do you establish a reputation that is credible and in demand?

Develop your personal brand. Your Personal Brand – very simply put – is your unique promise of value as stated by William Arruda “personal branding guru”. It’s what those around you expect from you – what your known for. Effective branding is based on authenticity: the real, genuine authentic you! Take 4 minutes to view his video.

Most people think of a brand from a corporate stand point. For example: When you think of Volvo – what do you think of? Volvo is known for safety or Bounty – the reliable picker upper.

Why do we remember this? Because Volvo and Bounty tell us how they want us to remember them.

So what about you? Your personal brand will ensure that you’re recognized for the relevant and compelling value you provide to your employer and your clients.

What would that result in?
The end goal is that your personal brand will help build your reputation and help you to grow your network internally and externally in a way that interests others so when they think of the perfect person for this next project, they think of you. When a position you want to be promoted into becomes available- you are top of mind. Or when a prospective client is in need- you are the one they call. People will seek you out for your knowledge and expertise. The unique VALUE you bring to the table.

Here’s the bottom line: If you don’t develop a personal brand – you and your reputation are at the mercy of how others will perceive you and you could possibly be left on the sidelines.

If you are happy in that place. Great! Some people simply are; and that’s ok? Others want to step their up their game and advance in their careers. That’s great too!

Which are you? Happy right where you are? Or are you ready for career advancement – whether you are pursuing a new position internally or externally; or trying to build your client base?

Drop me an email [email protected]Let me know what your thoughts are about what I have written here and what would provide further insight for you.

trish_socialmediaTrish Dervin, CCMC, CELDC

Career Conversions, LLC


A friend of mine sent this heartwarming story to me.  I thought I would share it with all of you.  If you think about it – time is all we have.  How do you choose to spend it?  Do more of what makes you happy!

A young man learns what’s most important in life from the guy next door.

Over the phone, his mother told him, “Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday.”

Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

“Jack, did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It’s been so long since I thought of him. I’m sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago,” Jack said.

“Well, he didn’t forget you. Every time I saw him he’d ask how you were doing. He’d reminisce about the many days you spent over ‘his side of the fence’ as he put it,” Mom told him.

“I loved that old house he lived in,” Jack said.

“You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man’s influence in your life,” she said.

“He’s the one who taught me carpentry,” he said. “I wouldn’t be in this business if it weren’t for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important. Mom, I’ll be there for the funeral,” Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser’s funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time. Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time. The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture.

Jack stopped suddenly…

“What’s wrong, Jack?” his Mom asked.

“The box is gone,” he said

“What box?” Mom asked.

“There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he’d ever tell me was ‘the thing I value most,'” Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

“Now I’ll never know what was so valuable to him,” Jack said. “I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom.”

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox. “Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days,” the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention. “Mr. Harold Belser” it read.

Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack’s hands shook as he read the note inside. “Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It’s the thing I valued most in my life.” A small key was taped to the letter.

His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch. Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved: “Jack, Thanks for your time! -Harold Belser.”

“The thing he valued most was…my time.”

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days.

“Why?” Janet, his assistant asked.

“I need some time to spend with my son,” he said.

“Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!”

Think about this. You may not realize it, but it’s 100% true.

1. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
2. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don’t like you.
3. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
4. You mean the world to someone.
5. If not for you, someone may not be living.
6. You are special and unique.
7. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won’t get it, but if you wait, sooner or later, you will get it or something better.
8. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good can still come from it.
9. When you think the world has turned it’s back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
10. Someone that you don’t even know exists loves you.
11. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
12. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know and you’ll both be happy.
13. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

Until next time…Take Time!


trish_socialmedia   Career Conversions


Is there really a ‘2-hour job search’?

Have you spent hours, days, weeks or months, sending out resumes without a bite?  Not one reply?

Let’s look at how you are approaching your job search.  I have a few questions for you.

question mark on a sticky note against grained wood

  1. Do you have a job search strategy?  By that, I mean a systematic approach to the search or are you sending the resume everywhere hoping it lands in the right hands.

  2. Do you have a list of the 5 companies you want to work for?  There should be a list of the top 5 companies you want to work for.  Those are your main focus.

  3. Are you networking?  Yes, networking is for you, too.  Actually, making connections and building relationships with people who can be influential in your career.  Confidently communicating to who you are and what problem you solve, is critical in the search.

  4. Do you have a strong resume and LinkedIn profile?  Or perhaps a webpage showcasing you and your ‘value add’ to an organization?  Think of yourself as a product then sell you!

  5. Do you have an accountability mentor or coach?  The search can be an emotional drain and it’s important to have someone who holds you accountable to do what you say you’ll do and to support you through the process.

  6. Are you investing time each day into personal development?  Reading books, listening to pod-casts or YouTube videos that are focused on professional development or leadership, can build confidence and skills that will empower you as you network and interview.

If you answered ‘yes’ to all six, then you should have some stories and / or advice for others.  We’d love to hear about your search.  If you’ve landed a position, tell us about it and congrats!

If you answered ‘no’ to these six questions, then you have some work to do.  A proactive systematic approach to the job search will save you from wasting time, energy and probably money.

To learn more about maximizing your search, checkout The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton. book-large

Feel free to email me about a complimentary consultation or email me with your questions and comments.

Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach

Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach


Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach
Office: 636-778-9090
[email protected]

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Internet and web concept with questions marks sign and icon on a colorful globe on white background.

Whether you’re working for a company or you’re self-employed, have you asked yourself lately ‘Why do I do what I do?’ If it is your purpose, your life’s work, I am so happy to hear it. You are one of the lucky few. A friend, a doctor who sees many patients throughout her day, just emailed a quick note to me this morning saying she can’t believe how many people she talks with who are unhappy with their jobs. I think people DO want to find our life’s purpose and for some, they’ve had it on their heart from a very young age.

You can spend years trying to find your life’s purpose. Maybe it’s right there and you don’t even know it. I have always loved the work I have done. Ten years in corporate telecommunications and business ownership, the next ten as a commercial real estate broker. It wasn’t until my father became terminally ill and I took a break from work to help care for him, that I finally asked myself ‘why’, why am I doing what I do? What was my purpose, my calling? What did my living legacy look like?

With coaching and the use of assessments to determine my strengths, interests, and values I decided that I was no longer interested in people’s real estate portfolios or business objectives. I have always been passionate about helping people achieve their goals throughout my entire career. I took a position as a recruiter which morphed into the discovery that my passion is more about helping the “candidates” taking control of their careers, helping them figure out who they are, what they want to do, and giving them the tools, techniques and resources to make it happen! I pursued my career management coaching certification and pursued my passion. I found my ‘why’ and work with others to find theirs.

In Simon Sinek’s book ‘Start with Why’, he explores why Apple over HP, why Google over Yahoo, what do Apple and Google do that other companies do not? These companies, and many other discussed, start with their Why and it is carried throughout their organizations via their employees. It gives them a reason to go to work and do their jobs, because they feel like part of something bigger than the tasks they do.

Here’s a tip – ask yourself; “What is the one thing in this world I want to change? Why do I want to change it? Who would it impact? How would I go about doing it?”

I encourage you to read Sinek’s book and find your ‘why’.

Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach

Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach


    Trish Dervin, CCMC, Career Coach

Office: 636-778-9090   Cell: 314-249-3191
[email protected]

Have you been responding to job board postings and submitting your resume with no results?   A recent CareerXroads survey shows that only 15 percent of positions were filled through job boards. Most jobs are found through connections that people have inside the company they are targeting or through their networking efforts.

Let me share with you a true success story that came about as a result of creativity and a connection.

 Sam worked for Company A for over 20 years until the division he worked for was sold to Company B. He worked for them for over 4 years until the company started offering employee buyouts. Sam is 54 years old and needs to work a few more years before he can retire. His position with Company B was that of a software development project manager and he was the contact for the clients that Company B was developing software for. He decided to take a chance and took the buyout. He was certain that with his skills and experience he would find another position since software development project managers are in high demand in almost every industry. Vector_0908

With the buyout money, he had some time to job hunt.

Sam responded to dozens of job board postings by submitting his resume and a tailored cover letter.  He never received a response from any of the companies he applied to. After weeks of searching with no success, Sam did what few do. He had met the vice president of Company C, one of Company B’s customers and one he had done some work for. Sam designed a position doing for Company C what he did for them when he was with Company B. Instead of paying Company B for project manager services, they could have him do it. He requested a meeting with the VP and presented his proposal with all the advantages and savings associated with his idea.  Sam illustrated his ROI to the VP. As a result, he was hired.

Sometimes you have to see a need/problem in the company you have targeted then create the job that solves that problem. Use LinkedIn or your contacts to find the decision makers in the company you’ve targeted and go for it!


Trish Dervin, CCMC

Career Conversions, LLC

636-778-9090  /   [email protected]

“Mom will cry.”  Just one of many reasons holding people back from a career change.

I’ve met many professionals who entered into a career to make mom and dad proud. ‘My son, the lawyer’ was a dream for Michael’s mom.  After a few years practicing law, Michael hated his job. There were many perks such as money, for one. The box seats at the sports arena and symphony were great for treating family and friends to events.  But when Monday morning came around, Michael dreaded going into the office.

So, how do you tell mom you don’t want to be a lawyer anymore but a motivational speaker and author? You can’t because she’ll cry. mother and son

Family and friends opinions of the change you want to make can be a major factor that is holding you back from making their dream come true.

Here are 4 steps to take to prepare for the transition and announcement:

  • You need a mentor, friend or coach who can help you understand more clearly what you’re what capable of, and what you’re here on this planet today to bring and contribute.  Each one of us has tremendous talents, gifts, and passions that are meant to be tapped and utilized in service of others and the world. If you doubt it, then you’re not ready to do what’s required to build a successful career.
  • Try it on: For example, if you’re in real estate but think you want to start your own business, try it on – interview people doing what you want to do (and people who failed at it), research it online. Read everything you can get your hands on about this new business direction, go to networking meetings with people in the field.
  • This doesn’t happen overnight. You’ll need to identify who you really are and determine the directions that will align best with your values, visions and needs. This process takes time, energy, patience, trust and commitment.
  • Create S.M.A.R.T. goals: You need a 3-month, 6-month and 12-month plan, with Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely goals, and someone in your court to hold you accountable.

When you are equipped with a transition plan and a coach to guide you and support you through the transition, you’ll be able to address the questions that those in your life will ask.

Are you ready? Then take that first step!


Trish Dervin, CCMC

Career Conversions, LLC

636-778-9090  /   [email protected]




I created a very successful Explore, Hunt, and Conquer Your Career one on one coaching program for individuals who wanted to be very intentional about their goals – and their results – for their job search. I am now offering the same program as a tele-group coaching program, only for less out of pocket investment. I have just a couple of openings left thought I would open it up. If you think you might be interested, read on to find out about the benefits you’d receive and give me a call!

The 3 top benefits of my Explore, Hunt, and Conquer Your Career Groups Coaching Program and why it might be right for you:
1. ACCOUNTABILITY: Stating your goals and actions to a group that holds you accountable keeps you focused on meeting those goals. Get the accountability you need at a low level of investment.
2. SUPPORT: That feeling of “being alone” throughout your job search disappears! I and the other members of the group are right there with you every step of the way.
3. HIGH VALUE COACHING: You will get the same coaching program that I give to individuals for a lot less out of pocket investment. In this Explore, Hunt, and Conquer Your Career Group Coaching Program you will explore what career alternatives would best fit who you are and learn how to confidently communicate who you are and what you want to prospective employers and individuals as you build your “rolodex” and make connections with people who could be influential in your career. You will have your repertoire of killer documents ie resume, cover letters, thank you notes etc. so you can be seen and heard! Next you will have all of the ammunition you need to get an offer because of the winning telephone and in-person interview techniques you will learn.

My primary promise is that by the end of this program, you’ll have a professional power plan with tools, tips, strategies, and techniques that you can immediately implement as you go along, so you can conquer your career and live a richer, fuller, more satisfying life!

Here are the details. You’ll get:
• One 1-hour tele-session call per week with me as your facilitator and 2 or 3 other individuals in the job search mode. (To give you the best value, this program is limited to 4 participants.)
• Each call will be a combination of lecture so I can deliver the learning tools you need, exercises to reinforce that learning, and delivery of action items for you to do in between calls so you can continue moving forward daily.
• There will be dedicated time on every call for you to share your wins and express any challenges and receive specific, targeted coaching for you.
• Unlimited emails support in between calls. I’ll be available to answer your questions and help you with any challenges as they come up.

It is intense and for those who are serious about moving forward to securing the position that is truly right for them. Please call for details – 636-778-9090.

If you want the benefits of accountability, support, and high value coaching … if you’re intrigued, wondering if this group is right for you … email me, call me, and decide!

trish_socialmediaTrish Dervin, CCMC

Career Conversions, LLC