[DARE #5] Let’s Get Rid of Your Sunday Blues

dare5I have to confess that I did not complete my OWN dare last week?

What was the dare? To initiate a thoughtful or provoking conversation within one LinkedIn Group.

I’m not ashamed. There is no regret.

I am actually happy that I decided not to participate.



Last week, I opted to put my family first.

I cared for my little boys who all have head colds.

I gave a family member temporary shelter to help her out of a bad home situation.

I managed to survive a week with spotty childcare.

So on that note, here is this week’s dare.

Dare #5: Reflect on why.


We all should reflect on why we are working so damn hard every now and again.

Here are some questions to think through:

  1. When will it stop – the madness? Must every generation sacrifice itself so that the future generation is in a better position? Are you finally enjoying life or are you hoping that your kids will get to?
  2. What are you most grateful for? Are you showing this [insert noun] your appreciation on a regular basis? What if today was the last time that you could enjoy or honor this [insert same noun as above]?
  3. What’s success worth to you and what are you willing to trade in order to be successful? What are you not willing to exchange for success? Have your actions aligned with your responses above?
  4. Is there something that you’ve been waiting to do until the perfect time? Are you waiting until the stars align? What if I told you that there is no such thing as the “perfect” time?
  5. Why are you killing yourself to make your boss look so good? Are you getting something big enough or as valuable as the magnitude of your effort? Is it worth it?

Just some “light” questions to consider before the launch of this week.  No need to break out a journal. Instead, be honest with yourself.

The point of this exercise is to encourage you to reconsider your actions if they do not align with your personal values. Truthfully, I’ve asked myself all five questions at some point in my career.

Reflectfully yours,




[DARE #4] Let’s Get Rid of Your Sunday Blues

sunday dare4

Last week I asked you to “ask for more.”

The rationale behind that dare was three-fold, to get you to:

  1. Think through what you might need more of to live a more manageable life
  2. Identify who holds the power in giving you this need
  3. Persuade that decision-maker in a way that focuses on their needs

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Can Blogging Help You Build Your Career? 5 Questions to Consider


Ten years ago, the blogosphere seemed like a place for those looking to write about an interest outside of their jobs. Today, there are thousands of blogs covering a wide variety of topics, from recreational to career-focused. The spectrum of content is vast and ever-growing.

So, why blog? Continue reading

[DARE #3] Let’s Get Rid of Your Sunday Blues

sunday dare3final

How did last week go? Did you complete Dare #2? Or did you try your own dare?

I spent last week asking folks about my newsletters and blogs. The 4 things that I learned where:

  1. You get a crapload of emails so career guidance from different sources blends together
  2. You want to receive relevant content that includes stories that align with your experiences Continue reading

Have an Interview Coming Up? Tips for Prepping with a Partner

mock interview interview partnerWe all get nervous before a big interview! Your hands turn clammy, your heart starts thudding and the thoughts in your mind are going a mile a minute. This is me being interviewed on Varney & Co., however right before Varney launched his first question I was experiencing all of the above. It’s not a fun feeling, to say the least, but if you take the time to prepare, you can quiet those nerves and walk into your next interview ready to deliver your best.

So, what are the best ways to prepare? Continue reading

[DARE #1] Let’s Get Rid of Your Sunday Blues


Introducing a daring Sunday series meant to embolden you so that you start spending more time enjoying life instead of just enduring life.

There are 52 Sundays in 2014.

14 are left INCLUDING the one on September 28th.

That means you had 38 chances to reset your circumstances.

So, how did you net out?

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4 New Ways to Answer the Weakness Question

4 New Ways to Answer the Weakness QuestionWhether you’ve been on a few interviews or many, chances are you’ve come across this dreaded question:

“What is your greatest weakness?”

Job candidates often fear being asked this and consider the weakness question to be one of the hardest parts of the interview process. They don’t want to say something that will take them out of the running, but they also don’t want to say they don’t have any because avoidance is the worse strategy in this scenario.

So what’s the best way to handle the weakness question and answer portion of an interview? Continue reading

Does Following Up Make You Glow? [Seeking Executive Assistant/Project Manager]




To: Potential Candidate

Start Date: Monday, August 25th 2014

Application Deadline: Monday, August 18th 2014

RE: Seeking an Executive Assistant / Project Manager

About Career Outcomes Matter LLC (melissallarena.com)

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Mission Possible: How to Thrive As a Working Mother of Young Children

r-TWIN-MOMS-GIVE-BIRTH-large570The statistics for women are alarming and indicate that our measurement of success needs to change. As I continued reading [Thrive, by Arianna Huffington] while nursing my twins and watching my toddler, I thought about whether someone like me could find the time to actually thrive now, not just when my kids are in school full-time. I’m a working mother with my own career coaching business and three boys under the age of 4 at home. The idea of focusing on my well-being, let alone sitting down for more than 30 seconds, initially felt impossible. I wanted Continue reading