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Today, I am giving a presentation to the Colleges of Worcester Consortium Career Development Day entitled “Strategies in Career Development Advising for Creative Entrepreneurs”.  I cover the differences in working with people in more traditional business fields with the career development needs of those who are in artistic fields.

You may review  the handout or the Powerpoint presentation to get a better idea of how I work with people in these fields.


This past weekend, I attended the Art of Powerful Living workshop held at Easton Mountain, where a number of strong and spirited gay men gathered to look at their lives and learn some things about themselves and how coaching can help them move forward in their lives. As you can image, I do similar things in my work with people and their careers. While coaching techniques can certainly be used in the career development process, it’s not the entire process and there are more tools that I use. I got a few more tools for my toolbox and some more clarity about some of the goals t I want to work on.

Note: one strategy is to speak them out loud, so here we go: My goal is to have a syndicated career advice column for the GLBT media by the end of 2011. More on that later! (Let me know if you’ve got any leads/suggestions on this.)

This has brought more into focus a distinction that I’ve seen in my work. As you have probably seen, the title that I give to my work is a Career & Professional Development Consultant. Some shorthand terms for that would be career counselor or career coach. For me those don’t completely fit.

Someone who is a counselor specializes in the investigative process. What’s going in? What’s behind these feelings?  It seems to me that it’s about a lot of unearthing of the past to get to desires. Once found, it’s left up to the individual to manage that. While I really appreciate the work done here (I think that everyone can benefit from therapy), my work is a bit more action focused than that.

The more recent term that has come up is Coach. Coaches say that they aren’t interested in the past as much as the future. What do you want to accomplish? What’s the next step you can do to make things move forward? While I definitely work with people on action steps and moving forward, a big part of my work is making sure that people are moving forward in the right direction. Making progress in the wrong direction is the equivalent of wasting time!

I don’t have a degree in counseling or a coaching certification. My approach comes out of the field of adult professional development. I feel that the best term for what I do is Educator. I make sure that we can identify the proper goals and then take the action steps towards them. I do some aspects of counseling in that I dig up stuff in people’s background and some aspects of coaching where I help people plan for success.

So, can you identify the role you play? What do you call what you do?

I’m proud to announce that I will again be giving my Finding Your Calling Workshop at Easton Mountain this coming Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, and there are a number of changes to the program from last year:

  • It will be three days (Friday through Monday)
  • It is open to Men and Women (and those who choose not to categorize themselves in either duality)

I’m very excited about delivering this program again, and there will be more new about it soon.  Please tell your friends!

Here’s the workshop description from the website:

Finding Your Calling: Making Connections Between Spirit and Work (for Men and Women)
Too often in our busy lives, we are happy that we can make it through the day and don’t have the time to think about how our regular working lives are an extension of our spiritual core. Is what you do as a vocation feeding your soul and helping you to become a strong positive presence in your world. Many times, people find that they have fallen into the roles they play in life; sometimes for the better and sometimes not. By listening to and realizing what your innate gifts are, you can then take control of the direction of your career and make decision and actions that are in accord with you professional ethics and spiritual values.

This workshop will include journaling, exercises, conversations, assessments and meditations that will help you focus on what your real needs, goals, desires and motivations are.  all registrants will be supplied with prep exercises to do at home before the weekend.

Note: This program is open to all people regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender identity, but they must be comfortable and honoring of gay male sacred space.


For those of you who have been wondering where I have been, I would answer that I’ve probably been in the same situation that many of you have been: sick. I got s sinus infection last month and that hung on through two rounds of antibiotics and a lot of other time just feeling lethargic. I’m slowly getting back to health, but it’s taking longer than I want. Some things you just can’t rush.

We here in the United States have just gone through our semi-annual changing of the clocks, and I’m doing my best not to get depressed about it. I tend to be pretty light sensitive and having sundown at 4:30 right now (and getting as early as 4:10 in December!) usually puts me in a funk. It’s dark so early that you feel like you can never do anything outside in the evenings, so after a busy day, it’s just time to hibernate.

I’m trying to have another view of this time this year. The agricultural concept of letting a field go fallow (i.e. not growing crops for a season) is to allow it to rejuvenate so that it is stronger and more vigorous in the future. Just like we know that you get stronger by sleeping (because you break down the body during exercise and it restores itself during rest), your mind and spirit also need a break. If you consider that the Christian season of Advent comes at this time between Halloween and Christmas, you can see that people traditionally have recognized this time as one for rest and contemplation.

I’m seeing this time for me as an opportunity to rest in many ways do that my body mind and spirit can renew itself and get more grounded in itself and I can therefore make better plans for the upcoming year and the rest of my life.

As I do more research and writing, I’m seeing that a key area to the work I do in career development and planning has to do with the space in between identifying what you want and the actions you need to get there. Unless you feel your own personal power that you can take those steps, you’ll never do it. We all know people who know what they need to do to lead a better, happier, healthier, more successful life, but for some reason they don’t take those actions. I’m seeing more and more that it’s because these people don’t feel inside that they have the power to change. In developing my own personal power, I’ve found that you can discover it if you just take the time to slow down and notice it in yourself. That’s why we all need to be fallow occasionally.

You can choose how you will best be fallow. I’m going on a retreat this weekend to Easton Mountain called the Art of Powerful Living with Harry Faddis and Michael Cohen. I’m also taking all of Thanksgiving week off to just stay at home and recover from life (and the sinus infection sluggishness).

So, what are you doing to recover? What areas of your life are you letting go fallow intentionally?

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

Ken Mattsson

I am a career consultant who specializes in the connection between what your spirit wants to do in the world, and how to marry that to the work that you do in order to support yourself. While I work with people in all fields, I specialize in working with "creative entrepreneurs" and the LGBT community.

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