Posts tagged: Start over

Coworkers won’t communicate? Break out the Tip Cards

February 20, 2015

Evie Racette is a straight shooter.

Bred in the Midwest, she was raised to speak her mind. But these days, as the new town manager of Pinetop Lakeside, a resort town in Arizona’s White Mountains, she finds herself in a communication conundrum. How can she introduce necessary change if she can’t talk freely with her coworkers?

“I just took the position in October, and I’ve felt resistance,” she explains. “In the southwest you couch everything you say, and that’s been hard for me.”

Then she came across Unstuck’s new Tip Cards, and it dawned on her that the cards might tackle the elephants in the office using a process that suited the culture.

“I thought it would be a great resource for the staff. I saw it as problem solving in a removed way.” Evie says. “We all have interpersonal issues, and sometimes that’s not easy to share with your manager. The
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This year, let’s get stuck

January 13, 2015

What? Get stuck on purpose?

As counterintuitive as it sounds for a group called Unstuck to promote stuckness, we have a sound reason.

Yes, getting stuck hurts. It’s uncomfortable. Embarrassing. Shameful, even. Or is it?

What if we looked at getting stuck as a starting point rather than a stalled one? What if getting stuck was a sign of better things to come? What if never getting stuck meant that life never got better?

When you think about it that way, being stuck takes on a more positive light. It means we have the courage to admit that something is wrong. It means we have the drive to solve that problem, even if it’s a little bit at a time. It means we can be heroes in our own life.

What’s your lingering stuck moment?

Since we’re at the start of an untarnished new year, it feels like a good time to identify a stuck moment
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Fresh perspective for a fresh start

December 18, 2014

Amid the familiar traditions of ringing in the New Year — fireworks, friends, midnight countdowns — comes the silent little pep talk we give ourselves as we contemplate our future: “This will be a banner year,” we vow. “I’ll change, I’ll chase that dream, I won’t get trapped in the same old patterns. This will be my best year yet.”

And it can be — especially when you have beliefs in yourself and the world that inspire and
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How to keep going when you really don’t want to

December 16, 2014

In the days after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, many of us focused on what was missing. The New York City skyline felt bare. The world felt altered. And, in the quiet Brooklyn neighborhood of Prospect Heights, an out-of-work actor named Delissa Reynolds sought comfort in the ways she knew best — food, friends, a sense of belonging.

“It was a very tender time,” says Delissa. “People in the neighborhood really drew in together. We’d have weekend gatherings, usually at my house, where anyone could come to hang out, sometimes just over rice and beans.”

These “Sunday dinners” helped transform the experience of loss into a celebration of togetherness. And, for Delissa, they became the spark for Bar Sepia, a pioneering neighborhood bar and restaurant she’d open three years later. Next month, her dream project turns 11 — a milestone unimaginable back in those “tender”
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How to fix your worst money mistakes

October 2, 2014

In his late 20s, Jason Hull found himself stuck $300,000 in debt. He admits that, after graduating with an engineering degree from West Point, he’d used the relative riches of his first real job to enjoy the consumption-driven good life, blinders up to potential consequence.

“We’re such a consumer-based culture that we see fancy clothes, cars, and we think, I have to be like that,” Jason says. “It’s easy to fall into this trap of keeping up appearances, especially when you’re comparing yourself to your peer group. You buy things to impress that person on the street you’ll never see again. Things that will have no impact on your happiness or career.”

His moment of reckoning came when he realized that his relationship with the woman he wanted to marry could be jeopardized by how much he owed. She, after all, was debt-free. It filled him with shame that he wasn’t and,
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How to make the most of a big mistake

August 28, 2014

Mistakes are really stuck moments waiting to get unstuck. We fail, we learn, we do better. Sometimes, a lot better. Such is the case with the 25 successful women profiled in Mistakes I Made at Work: 25 Influential Women Reflect on What They Got Out of Getting it Wrong, edited by Jessica Bacal, Penguin, 2014.

We’ve culled five of the stories that offer some of the best advice for all of us, and categorized them by type of stuck moment for extra clarity. Experience is the best teacher — even if it isn’t yours.

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Rachel’s mistake: Rachel is used to being the best, and has a shelf of trophies and awards  — plus an acceptance letter to Yale Law — to prove it. When she wins a prestigious Rhodes scholarship to study political theory
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What to do when you feel stuck in a job

August 14, 2014

Ah, work. We have all manner of stuck moments around what we do for a living. And that’s not such a bad thing — because we’re identifying ways we can make our jobs and companies better.

Except if the job itself is what’s keeping you stuck.

When the hours spent at work consistently clock in anywhere from low-level misery to high-grade unhappiness, your most frequent debate is whether to quit or tough it out.

The very liberating answer is that it’s up to you.

More than anyone, you know what’s most important to you now and in the future, what you can and cannot tolerate, whether you can turn it around or need to head for the hills. But it does take honest reflection on your situation and your priorities to gain clarity.

To help with that, we created the Should-I-Quit-My-Job reality checklist. But before (and after) you begin checking boxes, there are a
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4 ways we stop ourselves from pursuing our dreams

June 27, 2014


Stuck moment: I’ve been nursing this dream for a while, but all I seem to do is muse, make lists, and then push the whole thing to the back of my mind. Is it doomed always to be a pie-in-the-sky?

• • •

We all have big ideas about our futures. We gaze out the window over our morning coffee and imagine how great our lives will be when we pull off that one thing. That one thing we know we were born to do. Could be a dream job, a childhood passion, or some fantastic feat of derring-do. In our mind’s eye, we see it just within our grasp…then the telephone rings. Ah, well, there’s always tomorrow.

Dreams are fun to think about, but they’re rarely as easy to pursue. Fear blocks us. We’re overwhelmed. We’re too comfortable. The list of excuses goes on and on. So we rationalize and resign ourselves to boring
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7 things no one tells you when you start a new job

May 19, 2014

Stuck moment: Wow, being the new face in the office is sure nerve-wracking. What does that acronym mean again? Where do I get lunch? Wait, who am I supposed to talk to about passwords and log-ins? I want to impress everyone, but right now, it’s all I can do to remember the name of the guy sitting next to me.

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When we start a new job — no matter how excited we are, or how many successes we’ve already chalked up — there’s always a period when we feel at sea. There’s too much information, and yet too little. We’re painfully aware of being the new kid on the block, but hesitant to say when things don’t make sense — we don’t want to raise any eyebrows.

How can we possibly get up to speed and appear confidently competent at the same time?

Try this: Instead of anticipating and projecting, stay
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An expert’s guide to being a beginner

March 22, 2014

Stuck moment: Starting over really sucks sometimes. I was a total pro, with respect and a corner office. Now I have to work my way up again with people who are half my age! How do I get my confidence back?

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Maria Nunes worked more than 20 years in the business and consulting world, rising to the top ranks of a well-reputed strategy firm. As a managing principal, she held authority and seniority. She was comfortable and knowledgeable. But in her heart, her true passion was for education.

“As time goes on, you look at what you have to lose and the stakes get higher,” she says. “Working with people who were very passionate about what they did gave me the courage to ask myself what I really wanted.”

One very deep breath later, she left consulting to start over again in education. She’s currently “paying her dues” as a masters
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