Doorways to the Future: Planning for 2013 Goals


Each goal is wish that you have clarified and are committed to making real in this world. Each goal can be a doorway to the future. The next part of the work is finding or creating the doorway by creating your plan.

Once you have goals

Before you begin planning, review your list of goals to ensure each one is:

  • Stated in terms of what you want (not what you don’t want)
  • Stated in present tense
  • Stated to include what you will experience (see/hear/feel) when you achieve it.
  • Stated to include the evidence that you have achieved it

Most of the time my goal list, the one I print out and paste in the back of my agenda, and in my journal; the one I look at every day and each week when I do my journal entry for the week, is more of a point form reminder and doesn’t have the detail I need to create a plan. It’s like the title. The plan provides chapter headings, and weekly and daily actions provide the substance of the story.

Pick one goal to work with first

Choose the goal that relates to your focus for this year; the one that will have the most impact. Sometimes the focus is a role, sometimes a feeling, sometimes an area of your life such as livelihood or relationships. Here’s how I’ve built a plan for my  focus area, creativity, and my focus role, writer. Once you’ve done one goal, do the others in order of priority.

My Core Desired Feeling in the area of Creativity is Joyful. Underneath there are three goals:

  • Finish the first draft of the novel
  • Write 52 Blog posts
  • Play with paints, collage, fabric

After my review I restated them:

  • First draft of novel 80-100K words completed; excited to begin revisions
  • Post each week is beautiful, edgy(for me), useful(for readers), and is shared
  • Journal weekly using paint, collage, visual play in weekly summaries

The goal and resources

The next step is understanding how I can use my resources (time, money, network) to achieve the goal.

The productivity software I used to use came with my first laptop computer—a program based on Stephen Covey’s First Things First, an older book with a ton of good ideas in it. In both the software and the book, Covey used the analogy of filling a jar with sand and rocks. If you fill the jar with the sand first and then try to put in the rocks you won’t manage it, but if you put the rocks in first and then pour in the sand you can fit them all into the jar. He tells you to put your most important life commitments in first and then let the sand of all the other commitments fill up the space that’s left. It is great advice, and I’ve used it for years.

It works when I am self-disciplined enough to do it. Part of the challenge for me is determining what’s a big rock, what’s sand, and then there’s the dilemma of recognizing when I see someone else’s big rock (or sand) as mine.

Big Rocks

Big rocks are your most important tasks. How do you figure out what’s important? Another tool from First Things First has been a big help. Four Quadrant Thinking. Divide a square into four boxes, and label as follows:

  • Q1 Urgent & Important, top row left
  • Q2 Not Urgent & Important, top row right
  • Q3 Urgent, Not Important, bottom row left
  • Q4 Not Urgent, Not Important, bottom row right

Then take your list of things to do (action items from goal planning and other items from your list) and sort tasks into the appropriate box. Most of us start with a pile of things in Q1, not so much in Q2 and a bunch of stuff in Q3 and Q4. To be productive and less reactive, you want to carve out more time for Q2 items like planning, creating, editing, researching, learning, and key action steps for your goals. This is what moves you forward and begins to make more space. Your urgent and important list, often firefighting, begins to disappear as the the results of planning and more long-term thinking are felt.

Daily Practice

The other gem that’s stayed with me and helped me work in a way that’s congruent with my values and feelings, is recognizing that:

What you do every day is your life. What you do every day, whether or not you are aware of it, whether or not you intend it, becomes your life.

Staying aware of what you do every day, even just logging it and seeing where the time goes, can be sobering. Logging has been helpful for my writing. Last year I kept track of what I wrote each day, and though my intention was to write some on the novel everyday, there were too many days when I only wrote Morning Pages (thank goodness for Morning Pages).

The first chapter in Priscilla Long’s book The Writer’s Portable Mentor: A Guide to Art, Craft, and the Writing Life  is called Daily Writing. It begins like this:

Writing every day is the key to becoming a writer. It is the only secret, the only trick. Don’t despise the fifteen-minute write. Don’t despise writing in your journal. Don’t despise writing down your complaints for fifteen minutes before going to work. Any writing counts.

Taking heart from this advice, I am honouring my Morning Pages, the other writing I have done, and recommitting to writing more than Morning Pages every day.

The the discipline of daily practice is good for those with writing goals and for meditators, musicians, fitness enthusiasts, and a host of others whose goals benefit from daily work.

Creating the plan: begin with the end in mind

Another Covey quote

Begin with the end in mind,

has become an operating principle. It’s habit 2 from Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. The first step in creating the plan is creating a more specific and concrete vision of what it will be like when the goal is achieved.

  • How will I feel?
  • How will I celebrate?
  • What will I see, hear or notice?

Goal: First draft of novel 80-100K words completed; excited to begin revisions

As soon as I include how I want to feel I realize that I need to pace myself and build energy toward the end of the process so I’ll be eager to begin revising. This tells me more about how to approach writing the first draft differently. I think I’ve been allowing myself to revise too much along the way. Time to just get it down!

  • When I’ve completed those 80-100K words I feel like I just finished a delicious appetizer and am hungry for the main course of revision.
  • I am going to celebrate with a dinner out and a five-day holiday on work on the novel (to create some space before I begin revising).
  • I see a double-spaced hard copy ready for a first read through beginning to end, and a fresh pad of lined paper ready to take notes. I have a red pen and a yellow highlighter handy and a pad of 3 x 3 sticky notes.I notice how real the novel feels and how much actual space it takes.

I’ve got a big smile on my face just writing this description, so I’ll be ready to dance and shout when it’s really there.

Creating the plan: consider the context

The goal lives in a context of

  • feelings
  • values
  • forces that support achievement
  • forces that oppose achievement
  • the current status of the goal, and
  • other commitments.

If you understand the context you’ll have a better chance of making a plan that will help you achieve your goal.

  • Feelings: I want to feel joy at having brought it to completion and energized by the story being ready for work.
  • Values: I want to complete the first draft having learned more about writing, and I want to have created something of beauty and meaning, something that speaks to my community, something that explores the importance of kindness, and something that demonstrates the importance of presence.
  • Forces that oppose or hinder the goal: self-doubt, lack of focus, not being in the world of the novel enough to stay attuned to it, fear of the dark parts, pushing instead of discovering.
  • Forces that support the goal: life-long desire to write, clarity of the dream that launched the story, daily writing, appropriate breaks, connection to other writers, attunement to my soul’s longing to see it finished, just enough reading about craft and practice, right effort.
  • Current status: 35,000 words of first draft done, approximately 65K to go, 5500 words per month, 1300 week per week.

Breaking it down makes it feels much more manageable. Hey, I might even get it done early. I’ve been working about forty-five minutes a day on the draft so far this year and the time seems to be about right, so I’ll continue. When I tried to go for an hour I gave up early, and when I tried for several hours a day, I didn’t do it at all. I am looking for  my sweet spot, the one that lets me sustain the work.

  • Other commitments on your calendar: For most of us, there will always be other claims on our time and resources.

Before you can make a realistic plan for new goals you need to review current commitments. You will probably have to find things to say no to before you can say yes to the time and resources needed for your new goal.

I start by figuring out how much time I’ve already committed elsewhere: work, family, courses, vacations, and then count the days that are left. For example, in January,for me  7 days were gone right away, along with two evenings, and 20 other hours. I have roughly 166 waking hours to play with in January over 24 days. To allow for unforeseen events, I’ll give myself an hour per day for Sera. I now have 142 hours left. Even though these calculations are fiddly, for me, it’s really helped me understand the urgency behind using that hour each day. It helps me cherish the time.

I need to do enough time calculations to create commitment and a realistic perspective without getting so caught up in the time the issue that I lose sight of the writing. I know that an hour for the book is a Quadrant 2 activity and clearing email is usually Quadrant 3, so at the very least I can learn to do the hour on the book before I tackle email.

Committing to time and keeping an eye on the word count works best for me. I also know I need to build in activity that will nourish the writing, and space for connecting with other writers so I don’t go too far down my own rabbit hole.

Steps for creating a plan:

  1. Review goal statements
  2. Plan your most important goal first; the one that will make the most difference
  3. Review the resources (time, money, network) you will need to achieve the goal
  4. Understand how big rocks, daily practice and a four quadrant approach can be used with this goal
  5. Begin with the end in mind
  6. Consider the context

May you have fun creating your plan; may the process bring you new insights and help you achieve your goals for 2013.

Join the discussion: What kind of planning process works for you?


10 Questions to Explore Self-Support

When we work with others we get used to the incidental support that comes from having colleagues down the hall and a network of expectations from those we work with that pull us through the day. When I switched to being self-employed and working on my own it took some time to understand what behavior supported me. Here are some questions to help you explore your self-support habits. Each one of us needs something slightly different for support so it helps to do a review of your current habits first.

1. What do you need to start your day off right?

Even though we’re different some things are simply true. Breakfast is one of them; eat something, preferably more than just a muffin. Get enough sleep.  Have a means of capturing your daily commitments and tasks.

Establishing a routine that prepares you for more engaged work, a warm-up, is useful too. My writing warm-up consists of Morning Pages, and a 10-Minute writing session with a short story prompt. Once I am warmed-up, I am ready to dig into work for clients, work on stories, polishing a blog post, or more work on my novel.

For some, exercise fits into getting the day started. For me this comes later on, as a break. Finding the right spot for exercise can help you establish it as part of your day.

2. How often do you need a break?

Some research suggests every hour; workshop leaders and trainers know that learners need a break at least every 90 minutes.

Writing, and other work on the computer is sedentary. Making sure you get up and move will increase your productivity and is better for your health.

If you know you’re not going to get to the gym, try developing some ten minute workouts that you can do throughout the day.

In addition to work breaks during the day, think about a weekly break. If you can give yourself a longer break once or twice a week, say lunch plus a walk, it can help renew your efforts.

Be aware of work tasks, projects, or social events that take recovery time and build that time into your schedule.

3. What do you need to fuel your work?

This is about eating to work (and enjoying it). Basically you use more energy thinking than plowing fields and the sharpness and clarity start to fade between three and four hours after you’ve eaten. Pay attention to see what refueling interval works best for you. Small meals work well, or a meal-healthy snack-meal pattern can work.

Remembering to drink enough water during the day is a challenge, but makes a big difference. Dehydration affects both thinking and energy.

If you are doing creative work it’s good to stay aware of what boosts your creativity (music, play with colours, seeing/hearing other’s work, meditation, movement). Build in time to replenish the inner resources that feed your creative output.

4. When do you need an outside opinion?

Once you’ve pulled things together and you feel you’re ready to share it with the world or your best client, you may want someone to provide some feedback. Identifying safe, confidential resources for this can provide help for your blind spots (we all have them) and give you a sense of whether or not you stayed on track and kept the work on target.

Develop some criteria for whom to ask and think about how you can develop reciprocity. You’re still out there on your own, but you will have ideas from outside your own patterns of thinking, and some folks who are already interested in the final result.

5. Where in your work will finding a mentor help?

Look for the area where you feel most challenged; where you know you need to grow; where you lack confidence; where you aren’t making the best use of your strengths and then look at the people you admire and whose work exemplifies where you want to go. Then ask. Suggest a framework for the mentoring work, and think about how you could make a contribution to what they’re doing. Take the time to build the relationship before you ask.

6. How do you network most effectively?

As an introvert my idea of a good time is time alone with a book. That said I love sharing information that will be helpful (my friends tell me I have the instincts of a librarian). My best networking happens when I have information to share with the group I am going to have an opportunity to meet. I am a flop when I don’t feel I have anything to give. I’ve found I need to do the research to make it worth my while. Even for an extrovert, it super-charges networking results if you do the research and prepare ahead of time.

A solid network is a huge asset when working on your own.

7. What administrative work keeps you in touch and what should be delegated?

When you start out you tend to do everything yourself. While you’re in the start-up phase it’s a good idea to log your reaction to tasks and note how you feel about them.

For some, doing the invoices helps keep you touch with what you’ve accomplished, for others it’s always on the bottom of the list and the accounting piece just makes you antsy. After a short while you’ll have a good idea of what you want to keep doing to stay in touch with key aspects of your business, and what to outsource once you have the cash.

8. What’s on your YES and NO Lists?

Your YES list has opportunities that connect with your goals, your joy, and your learning. Your NO list has the things you do that drag you down or suck time from what you really want to do.

As you become more successful you need to stay aware of both lists to give yourself support for saying NO to things that aren’t the best use of your energy and time.

9. Who is in your cheering section?

These folks can be real people you know (family, friends, mentors) or public figures you admire and want to emulate; even characters from books or movies (Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web).

10. What’s your celebration plan?

When you reach your goals, hit your targets, land the work of your dreams, you need to celebrate and share the good news. Have a plan, develop a ritual and enjoy your success.

You can also plan to share success by thinking about the group or organization you want to donate to when you reach your financial goals.

Once you know about what supports you, you’ll find even when you work alone you are connected.

Join the discussion: What activities support your work? How do you stay connected?

De-clutter Your Online Information

Do you live in an information jungle?

Do you have virtual (or real) piles of files and emails?

Is your favourites list hundreds of websites long?

Do you organize emails, documents and website favourites differently?

There’s hope, but it requires resolve and a system.

Before you start, review current work, objectives and your mission/purpose and values.

The overarching question for sorting:

Why do I need this?

How does this email, document, or website relate to your work/purpose/values/life?

If you aren’t going to use it in the next 6 months, toss it. By the time you get around to using it everything will be different.

Discard as much as you can. Your discard muscles will grow stronger with practice.

Step 1: Look at your current folders

Keep main folders/headings to about 20 (one screen length).

Some folders may become sub-folders with the right heading.

Example: Use Colleagues, Family, Friends, as sub-folders under the main folder People. Add folders for individuals in the appropriate sub-folder.

Once you’ve whittled your folders down, look again to make sure everything is current. Discard old material.

Ideally, your 20 folders can be main folders for emails, favourites, and documents; use the same file scheme in each area.

Once your folders are ready for action you can move on to

Step 2: Sort emails, websites, documents into your 20 major folders and sub-folders

When something doesn’t fit in a major folder, or an existing sub-folder, create a 2nd sort folder and put it there for now.

As you sort, watch for new themes or ideas.

Once you’ve gone through your folders you should have everything either in an existing folder, sub-folder, or in the 2nd sort folder.

Review themes. Could some themes be sub-folders for existing main folders?

Hint: Once you have more than 20 items in a folder, you may need a sub-folder to keep filing and access easy.

If you still have items with no home in the 2nd sort folder, rename it 3rd sort folder and move to

Step 3: The 3rd sort folder (this one requires the most thought)

Take another look at your main folders and sub-folders. If there is no home for the item, ask yourself again why you need it. If despite everything you just feel like you want to hold onto it consider a “Likes” or “Investigate” folder or sub-folder and file it there so you can review it again later.

Try really hard to keep it to 20 main folders, with no more than 20 sub-folders under each. It will be much faster and easier to remember and use. Once you blow past 20 it’s just harder and takes more time to use.

You might need a break if you have been working through the first steps in one time block. Give perspective a chance to return.

Once you’ve finished disposing of your 3rd sort folder you are ready for

Step 4: Scheduling your next de-cluttering session

Keeping the flood of information moving smoothly is a challenge. We accumulate much more information and it decays much faster than it used to just a few years ago. Regular information de-cluttering can help you stay current, be more productive, feel less overwhelmed, and become more sensitive to trends.

Want more? Here’s a favourite post from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits blog with 72 Ideas to Simplify Your Life to take the whole process further.

Join the discussion: What do you do to keep the information flood in check? How do you organize it? When do you discard? What kinds of information or sources seem “evergreen” What’s your biggest de-cluttering/simplifying issue?


10 Steps to Reconnect with Work You Love


A year after deciding not to pursue HR work I have a better idea of what snuffed the flame of engagement after a long career when I loved the work.

I began in HR in a small sixty-five person business because I wanted to help make it a great place to work. A background in organizational development and a successful six-month development process that engaged 85% of our front-line staff finished and I moved to the human resource function, the area that most needed attention. When I left the organization some eighteen years later, we had become part of a Fortune 500 company with operations in three countries and over 50,000 employees.

Over the years I gained experience in most aspects of human resources and worked with senior management who believed in the power of engagement and supported front-line staff. I’d say I had a pretty ideal work environment. Despite that, when I left I discovered I needed to dissolve or reframe a lot of ideas I had accumulated, and my view of myself.

I first looked at the internal and external drivers.

Internal Drivers

  • Personal Values
  • Personal Vision
  • Desire to Serve
  • Insight
  • Observations
  • Knowledge
  • Ethics

This is a list of my internal drivers. Yours may look a bit different. Now let’s look at the external drivers.

External Drivers

  • Company Leaders
  • Company Values
  • Company Vision
  • Company Policies
  • Boss
  • Legislation
  • Experts
  • Training
  • Front-line Opinion
  • Colleagues

As with the internal drivers, your external drivers may be a bit different.

From looking at the internal and external drivers you can see how, over time, it’s easy for your voice and vision to be overtaken by external voices and ideas.

So how do you get out from underneath and re-engage with the internal drivers that brought you to the work you love?

10 steps to reconnect with work you love

1. Identify and reconnect with your internal drivers.

Why do you do what you do? Pay particular attention to the values you want to embody in your work and to the vision you have for success in it. Is your desire to serve alive and well? If not, why not? What’s changed? How is your knowledge base? When did you last do some professional development that challenged you to be better? Is your conscience happy? Are any ethical concerns addressed promptly? Do you regularly observe the work of the people you serve? Do you know what’s great and what needs to be improved? Do you reflect on and gain insight from your day-to-day work life? Do you feel successful?

2. Assess your relationship with External Drivers.

Is what you do in tune with expert opinion or do you really feel it is irrelevant to your situation, and if so, why? Are you compliant with Employment Standards, Human Rights and WorkSafe legislation? Do you respond to the letter of the law or understand the intent? Are there many rules governing your work? If so, do you agree with them and believe they are needed? Are rules written or unwritten? What do you feel your professional colleagues expect? Where did you make assumptions? Are company policies clear, simple and direct? What assumptions have you made about front-line opinion? How frequently do you check it? Are the methods you use effective and accurate? How does your boss communicate expectations? Are they clear, written, communicated well? Does your boss embody Company values? Clarify as needed. How in sync are your efforts with Company Values? Do Company Leaders embody values that are important to you? Do they embody Company values? Does what you are doing build on your professional training or is it taking you in another direction?

Having a better understanding of your internal and external drivers lays a foundation for the next steps.

3. Review your strengths or discover them.

To what extent do you currently use your strengths at work? Estimate the amount of time you spend using your strengths. If you can hit the 20% mark you have a good chance of loving your job.

4. Look at how do you instinctively respond to situations.

Don’t know? Invest in the Kolbe A Index, an assessment that will give you insight into your motivations. Once you know your preferred method of operations, you can take steps to move toward doing more work that fits with your MO.

5. Log your highs and lows.

For two weeks log every high (activity where you felt very engaged) your lows (activity where you felt disengaged or bored). Once you’ve completed the log look for themes.

6. Have a dialogue with your professional role

You can dialogue either in a journal or by sitting first in one chair and then in another, speaking for yourself and then switching and speaking for your professional role. In each position ask what you like and dislike, what advice you have to give, what you would stop doing, and about what you would change. If you’ve done this verbally, make some notes after your dialogue to reflect on later. You can do this dialogue with a mentor or friend as well.

7. Write a profile of yourself.

Pick your favorite work related magazine and picture the article running three years from now. Which magazine did you chose? What are the accomplishments you highlight? Why did the magazine chose you for a profile?

8. What legacy you would leave if you left your job?

What would people thank you for and miss? What would you be most proud of? How would this position add to your career?

9. If, for some reason you couldn’t do this work, what would you do?

10. If, you attained enlightenment tonight, what would you do differently tomorrow?

Join the conversation: Do you sometimes feel disconnected from your work even though you love it? What do you do to reconnect? If you try any of these steps, let me know how they work for you!


10 Steps to a New Beginning


My new beginning began when I left the Regional HR Manager position at Capers in 2008 after the merger with Whole Foods Markets. I began doing some HR consulting for small businesses shortly afterward. It was a big change.

Finding the new beginning

After several years of experience as an HR Consultant and a lot of thinking, I decided to “retire” from HR. HR best practices remain part of my tool kit. I am still a CHRP, but now my focus is on writing, consulting, facilitation, and developing programs.

Here’s my learning from my transition; may it help you find a way to realizing your dream!

10 Steps to Prepare a New Beginning

1. Realize transition is a process and not an event.

I thought the transition happened when I left my old position, but I discovered that the process started before I left and continued for a long time afterwards. Trying new things and reflecting on what I enjoyed and did well was helpful. What do you want to continue to do? When do you feel great? What are you doing when you have your most enjoyable, most stimulating interactions with others?

2. Celebrate What You Achieved and Mourn What Is Passing Away

Appreciate where you have been and reflect on what it provides for your new beginning. What knowledge, skills, experience, insights, and connections did you find? What will you be sad to leave? What is unlikely to come again? Acknowledging what I lived helped me move forward.

3. Discover and resolve unfinished business

If you have any regrets, or have left something undone, whether communication or work, do what you can to finish. If you are unable to finish with someone in person or by phone, try writing a letter, even if you don’t send it. If it’s work that isn’t done, sometimes the other party doesn’t actually want you to complete it as funds, time, or interest has run out. This may not affect your own need to finish the work. If so, inquire more deeply. What is important to you about completing? What are the consequences if you don’t complete? Look for ways you can finish and respect your own feelings and needs.

4. Offer appreciation and gratitude for what you have received from others and through your own efforts

The previous steps bring to mind those who have helped us, cheered us, taught us, been companions, and those who made us confront the error of our ways. We remember the times when we persevered, floundered in confusion, and relished accomplishment. Often, we weren’t alone. As you feel the gifts others have given you, take time to thank them. Remember to appreciate the work you did and effort you made as well. Sometimes offering yourself genuine appreciation can be much harder than offering appreciation to others.

5. Take time to experience this space, clear of past obligations and what has been; be patient with not knowing

After clearing the past, a rare silence grows. The space between the out-breath and in-breath; it can be short or much longer than you anticipated. It can be hard to be there if you are anxious about the future and worried about what comes next. If you can be patient with not knowing what the future holds, and confident that the work of the past has planted seeds for the future, you can begin to get a sense of your new beginning. This step is essential, often uncomfortable, often avoided, and yet it offers a rich harvest of insight and new understanding if you stick with it. What comes up for you in this space between what was and what could be?

6. Clear what you no longer need

At each stage of our journey we acquire information, ideas and things that go with that part of our life. As you move away from the past, let go of what you no longer need; move it on to those who can use it now. As you release the things that no longer provide support it frees both space and energy for what’s coming next. Here’s a link to get you started from Zen Habits

7. Pay attention to when you are happy and to what people appreciate about you

Once you shed the habits of your old life, other sources of happiness and new ways of appreciating what you bring start to appear. Log or note when you are happy and what was going on. When someone thanks you or appreciates something that you’ve said or done, make a note, and find out more specific information if you can. When you feel happy and strong you are probably using your strengths. When someone else offers thanks or appreciation, they are likely responding to one of your strengths. When we spend 20% or more of our time using our strengths, doing what we do best, we’re much more likely to be happy. Learn more about the importance of operating from your strengths at Marcus Buckingham’s website . You’ll want to have as many options as you can for using your strengths in your new beginning.

8. Think about who you want to work with; acknowledge what you bring

As long as you are heading toward a new beginning, think about who you’d like to work with, and then think about what you have to offer. Dream! If you could work with anyone, who would it be? Why? What would that situation offer you? What might they need? What can you offer? In this TED talk Charlie Hoehn, a young graduate now working with Tim Ferris, delivers a funny and relevant rant about going after what you want, and not settling; inspiring whether you are 17 or 70. Charlie Hoehn at Carnegie Mellon TEDx 

9. Preview your new adventure

Find a tour guide for your new life, someone who’s been there, done that, who inspires you, and find out what it’s been like for them. Even if there’s no one around doing just what you think you’ll be doing, you can usually find people who do similar things, or parts of what you are interested in doing. Don’t forget to ask what they wished they knew when they were beginning. Sometimes you really can learn from others experience.

10. Discover where your life is calling you to step up

When one stage ends and another begins we discover our “edges” are new. Areas of challenge in the past have become mastery and faded from attention, and previously unsuspected challenges pop-up. Are you called to engage more fully in an area of your life that’s been neglected? Are skills that haven’t been used much, even though you’ve enjoyed them, now in demand? Are you ready to do something you’ve been longing to do? Is it time to tackle something you’ve put off?

Here’s to your new adventure!

Join the conversation and share what you’ve done to get ready for a new beginning. What’s worked? What hasn’t? Share any questions too.


Mentoring – Connect to Success

Portrait of smiling businesswomenLast January I became a mentor for Connect to Success, the Vancouver YWCA program that serves women who are entering or re-entering the workforce in a professional or skilled field, or who are underemployed and looking for more meaningful employment.  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the process and look forward to being a mentor again.

If you know someone who would benefit from the program, mentee information sessions for this season are Tuesday September 15th from 10:00 to 11:00 am, Monday, September 28th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm, and Wednesday, October 14th from 10:00 to 11:00 am. The sessions will be held at the YWCA Vancouver, 535 Hornby St., Vancouver (4th Floor). Pre-registration is required, so interested mentees are asked to connect to the program at or call 604-895-5858 for more information.

Mentors are professional women from a variety of fields (business, education, health, science, arts, social science and more) who meet with their mentee each month to share insights and experience, helping them transition into and succeed in the workforce. Matches last from 3 to 6 months with an average time commitment of 3 to 6 hours per month (includes in-person meetings, phone calls, and emails).

If you are interested in being a mentor you can find out more at or call Darcie Gabruck, Program Manager at 604-895-5857.