All Choked Up

Too many times, when it matters most, we lose touch with our natural abilities to perform and simply blow it. Taking a test, speaking in public, and laying a bunt down in the bottom of the ninth to advance the winning run are just a few of the scenarios where people might let themselves – and others – down. And yeah, add the job interview as a common scenario where screwing up really matters.

 One cause of choking is from over-attention to the wrong details (paralysis by analysis), such as when I ask another golfer in my foursome whether they inhale or exhale during their backswing. The results, at least from my perspective, are often hilarious. For the job interviewer, it might mean focusing on the big stakes at hand or how much specific detail to highlight in their answers. And are they wondering whether they got all the spinach off their teeth from a lunchtime salad?

 Another cause of the proverbial screw up is simply improper preparation. Practicing in “game time” situations will help develop some resiliency to the stress that candidates need to perform under. By the time a job prospect gets an interview, typically their qualifications – as depicted on resumes and cover letters – have already passed muster. It’s the ability to communicate under pressure that is being assessed, as well as the fit for the environment and culture of the organization.

 Launchpad Career Coaching prepares candidates for the rigors of networking and interviewing. If you think you’ve been your own worst enemy during the job hunt process, let us help you take your hands off your own throats.

 Email or call Howie at, or (612) 747-7171, and start to breathe easier!



Don't Mind the Gap

Sexism, ageism, and racism are some of those exasperating, negative prejudgments job hunters face in the modern, yet not fully-evolved vocational marketplace. Here’s another one to add to the list, one that I believe I’ve made up (try Googling it!): gapism. This is the assumption that a job candidate with a resume showing some time without ordinary employment is in some way flawed or incapable of providing amazing impact to a company’s mission.

Really?! Those two years you took off to raise young kids or care for ailing parents weren’t indicative of a sacrifice in a job trajectory in favor of an amazing expression of compassion? Or the six months spent assuring that sea turtle hatchlings made it safely to the sea, helping assure the ecologic balance of our planet, weren’t spent advocating for a bigger picture outside of your own needs? By the way, has anyone noticed that businesses are restructuring, merging, being sold, and simply shuttering their doors in accelerating numbers? Career transitions, and hence gaps, might just be the new normal.

Unfortunately, there are recruiters, hiring managers, and automated applicant tracking systems that categorically dismiss candidates who, in fact, have the character, skill-sets, and determination to provide precisely the value that companies want. Ironically, the gap could make the developmental difference between being merely adequate and rock star spectacular!

Navigating the world of careers and job search is rife with conventional thinking and antiquated rules that drive candidates crazy. Jumping through hoops, bounding over gaps, and job hunting in the career jungle is easier with a coach from Launchpad. Email or call Howie at, or (612) 747-7171.

The gap is probably not a big deal!

The gap is probably not a big deal!

Get Out of Job Jail!

4 Reasons We Stay in Lousy Jobs

We’ve all probably been there at some point in our careers. We’re bored, we’re unappreciated, we have a horrible boss, we’re underpaid or just plain UNHAPPY. But we stay too long, only to find ourselves disconnected from our passion and purpose, merely collecting a paycheck. Why do we stay in this virtual prison?

1. We’re afraid that nobody else will want us. We once felt capable and valuable, but those feelings have eroded into a lack of confidence. Even though we hate it, at least we have a job.

2. We’re fearful of putting ourselves “out there” and being subject to the judgments people will make about us. Better to just avoid rejection and stay where we are, under the illusion that the job won’t eventually suck the life out of us.

3.  Even after months and years of evidence to the contrary, we’re under the mistaken belief that, if we just stick it out, things will get much better. Maybe your bad boss will see the error of their ways, or some project currently under development will rescue the company from its lagging sales performance. Magical thinking often gets in the way of the best career decisions.

4. We’re uncertain of our ability to proactively find a job we really want, having taken opportunities in the past that fell into our laps. Writing off a proactive career move as too difficult, our spirit withers while waiting for the phone to ring from a recruiter with your dream job. See #3 on the perils of magical thinking.

When your friends and family get tired of hearing you complain, and tell you to do something about it, it’s time to get serious. The pain of getting a new job is NOT worse than the pain of sticking with your current, lousy one. Does it make sense to put this decision off even one more day?

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Feeling Stuck?

Polls consistently show that a staggering number of people aren’t particularly engaged in their work. The truth is, about 70% of the working population is unhappy at their jobs, a few actively looking to improve their situations, and most simply bearing the pain that comes with day-after-day-after-day of slogging through chaos, dysfunction and agitation.

With the stress to keep a comfortable paycheck, made even worse by the fear associated with the uncertainty of career transition, it’s no wonder people feel stuck. To start a job search, the pain either needs to be unbearable, or the impetus for change isn’t their own idea (think mergers, acquisitions, and organizational restructuring) It doesn’t have to be this way!

Do you know anyone who’s stuck in a bad (or no) job and can’t find their way out? Contact Launchpad Career Coaching. We unstick people, helping them connect their deepest desires with a career focus, and guiding them along the path to landing a great job.

Here are some signs you might be unhappy with your job:

  1. The heart palpitations begin around 6:00 on Sunday night, when the reality of Monday on the job sets in.
  2. The best days at work are when the boss in on vacation – at a place with limited or no digital connectivity.
  3. To successfully promote your product or service, you can’t be very truthful with customers.
  4. Your dog doesn’t think you’re fun anymore.

Do Your Own Damn Laundry

“Do your own damn laundry, and cook your own food, and get your own job” says Marcus Lemonis, host of CNBC’s The Profit.  His number 1 tip for young workers? Don’t get too comfortable on your parents’ couch.

It’s not surprising why many people, from recent college graduates through their mid-thirties, live with their parents. Faced with high rents and daunting debt, living with the ‘rents can provide a nice economic kick-start to a life of independency. It can also create complacency and dampen the motivation to make it on one’s own. The best solution? Get a great job!

Launchpad Career Coaching gives people the best shot at success in a competitive job market. Through coaching, clients feel more connected to their goals, communicate them clearly and concisely, and can answer the question “tell me about yourself” in a compelling, interesting way.