Archive for January, 2010



Posted by: Barbara | Comments (0)

With the arrival of the holidays, so comes a plethora of new movies.  I try to catch a few good ones and recently saw “Up in the Air” with George Clooney (heartthrob).  He plays the role of Ryan Bingham, who travels around the country firing employees, whose own bosses lack the guts and compassion to do it themselves.  Clooney’s character, Bingham offers a snapshot of the harsh reality of corporate downsizing, leaving newly fired employees either angry or stunned like a deer caught in headlights.  Bingham offers cursory counseling in their all too brief session, but in one scene, he truly mastered the drill.  By reviewing the fired employee’s resume, Bingham notices that previously he was a chef and suggests that he return to that line of work.  Through all the awkwardness of just being fired, the employee’s taunt face relaxes and you see it light up with a sense of wonder and excitement at the idea of pursuing his former culinary pursuits.  Bingham is right…being unemployed is an opportunity to create a new direction and to revive lost dreams.

The reason I like this scene so much is because I deal with this dilemma all the time in coaching those who’ve lost a job, are retiring of their own volition, or need to re-enter the work force.  A break in your career’s timeline permits you to start with a fresh slate paving the way to exciting new options before you.  If you saw the movie, you may think Clooney’s comment “this day is an opportunity for you” was unfeeling or even insulting.  But the truth is that having a gap in your life plan gives pause to review what you value, where you want to go and how to get there.

I help my clients unlock the mysteries in finding their new path with a variety of strategies.  Here is a popular exercise that is very insightful.  Begin by recalling your childhood.  Ask yourself the following questions and then write the answers in a journal:
• What you were good at?
• What did your teachers say about you as a student?
• How did you spend your time?
• What made you/your parent’s proud?
• Who was your favorite adult and why?

Review your notes and look for patterns and themes.  Those will serve as clues to guide you to long forgotten interests and passions that now will add light to your day and years to your life. 

If you want to dig deeper into where your interests lie, please email me at or call 310.399.1575.

Categories : Retirement Coaching
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