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Got Skype?
December 2010
In This Issue
Got Skype?
The French Connection
Back to Basics
Blessings of the Season
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Keepin' the Faith

Gary UMC

If you live in the Chicago area, are in career transition and are in need of some spiritual support, please consider yourself invited to Between Successes Career Ministry, a joint ministry of Gary United Methodist Church and First Presbyterian Church of Wheaton. We meet from 7 to 8:45 p.m. every second and fourth Monday of the month at Gary UMC, 224 N. Main Street, Wheaton, IL 60187, in Commons E (come in the west side entrance). For more information, contact me at 630-510-1900 or call Angela Stephenson from First Presbyterian at 630-200-2533.
 
Every job search needs a little faith.
When I was about five years old, my parents took us to Disneyland in California and there was an exhibit at Tomorrowland that featured a videophone. This was back in the days of rotary phones, a time when making a long distance call was considered a real luxury. The idea of someday being able to see the person on the other end of the telephone line was unthinkable.

The future, ladies and gentlemen, is here. And it's called "Skype."

Skype logoWith all the fuss being made over social media, I'm astonished more isn't written about this remarkable capability of seeing people live via the Internet--for free. I was encouraged to journey to Skypeland by my new friend Bernadette Martin, an author and fellow coach I met in Paris this past summer. Bernadette "skypes" with clients from all around the world. Emboldened by her success stories, I came back to Wheaton, IL, purchased a webcam (less than $80) and asked my fabulous tech guy Brian Karel to hook me up. 

 

Amazing!

 

I've loved connecting with my brother Scott in Alaska, my daughter Kitty in Arizona and even my friend Bernadette in Paris. Just recently, I invited a new career coaching client who lives in another state to work with me via Skype. What a delight! Yes, it's a little awkward at first--and sometimes there's a delay between the audio and the video (hey, it's free). But seeing someone across the miles, across an ocean or several time zones adds a new dimension to building relationships. And isn't that what business is all about?
  
Paris Apartment
Courtyard at 12 Rue Arago
The French Connection 
My "junior month abroad" in Paris was... magnifique. Thanks to my business coach Jackie Sloane, I was introduced to Barb Vaughan, an American from Evanston who also owns an apartment in the 13th arrondissement (neighborhood) in Paris. I booked the apartment, cashed in my frequent flier miles and headed off to the City of Light for the month of August.

Living in Paris had been a dream of mine since my undergraduate days studying English literature and French at Arizona State University. I had always thought I'd study abroad but I took a detour with marriage, career and two children. Making that dream come true 32 years later took some resources and imagination. But I did it! And I'm forever indebted to:
  • Family who cheered me on (my husband Bill, my son Will and his girlfriend Yesenia visited me during the month)
  • Friends who supported me (including friend Leanne Wallisch, a seasoned traveler who also came to visit)
  • Former mentor Kristi Peterson who talked me off the ledge once or twice when I went into a tailspin about being away from my business for too long
  • New friend Bernadette Martin who introduced me to the world of Paris for English-speaking expatriates
  • Hostess Barb Vaughan who so graciously rented me her Paris apartment
  • My "posse," including Judy Beaver and Ann Fischer, who helped keep my business running
  • And especially to my clients whose messages and emails brought tears to my eyes, acknowledging me for being brave enough to fulfill this dream and inspiring them to fulfill theirs

If you'd like to hear more about my trip and ogle the sights of Paris yourself, please visit my blog

Back to Basics 
Besides working off the weight I put on while eating croissants in Paris every day (yes, every day), I'm focused on getting back to basics. That means continuing to serve people in career transition, helping professional services firms with their marketing plans and speaking to organizations that need to hear about the topics such as the power of networking. My newest presentation is "Fireproof Your Career in 2011," offering ideas on how to position yourself for change in spite of economic trends, company upheaval or changes in management. If you need a career tune-up or you're looking for a speaker, please give me a call or shoot me an e-mail.

National Speakers AssociationThis summer I was honored to be accepted by the National Speakers Association, and I'm reveling in the many wonderful resources of NSA as well as the generous people in the local chapter of NSA-IL. I'm proud to be on the membership committee under the leadership of Steve Beck, so if you're interested in learning more about becoming a professional speaker, give me a holler. Better yet, let's Skype!
Vickie in Paris
Photo credit: Leanne Wallisch
Blessings of the Season 
I hope you've had a chance to stop during the holidays and enjoy the many blessings of this season. Among my blessings? You! May 2011 bring you good health, much joy, prosperity and plenty of choices. 

 

Love,
Vickie