About Lisa Quast

5 Tips For Reducing Stress
The Day Of Your Job Interview

Little Things Can Easily Derail Your Big Moment
If You Don’t Prepare, Says Career Coach


After months of responding to job postings, you finally land an interview.

This could be a pivotal moment in your life and career so it’s natural to feel nervous. But there’s no reason to let stress rule the day, says Lisa Quast, author of the book “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want Every Time” (www.careerwomaninc.com).

“Life routinely throws us curves, and that’s just as likely to happen on your job-interview day as any other day,” Quast says. “Traffic could be bad. You might spill something on the blouse you planned to wear. Any number of things could go wrong that aren’t directly related to the interview, but can knock you off your game.”

While it’s not possible to anticipate every scenario, Quast says a little preparation can help you keep the anxiety level manageable.

She offers these tips for navigating your interview day as stress free as possible:

•  Know where you need to go. Don’t wait until right before an interview to make sure you have the correct address and phone number. Verify these online by checking the company website a few days ahead of time. You also should download driving directions or program the address into your smart phone or GPS to find potential routes and estimated drive times. “When in doubt, do a trial run,” Quast says. “You can drive there the weekend before to get the lay of the land and see where to park.” Don’t rely on technology alone. Always have a hard copy with the address and driving directions, just in case GPS or the smartphone fails you.

•  Obtain the correctly spelled name of the interviewer. And remember, bring a printout of the job posting. “It always surprises me how many people show up for a job interview and can’t remember the name of the hiring manager or even the job title of the position they’re interviewing for,” Quast says. “Don’t be one of those people.”

•  Schedule enough time for the interview. Block your calendar so you won’t need to rush from one job interview to the next, or go straight to another appointment or back to work. “The interview could take much longer than you think going in,” Quast says. For example, if things are going well, you might be asked to interview with others in the organization. Be sure to schedule ample time in case you need to stay longer. “You don’t want to be stealing quick glances at your watch when you should be listening to what the hiring manager is saying,” Quast says.

•  Turn off your cell phone. “When I say off, I mean off,” Quast says. “Don’t put it on vibrate.” The reason, she says, is that almost everyone can hear a cell phone vibrating in a purse, briefcase or pocket. You will be aware that a call is coming in for you. The people interviewing you will be aware. And you will be aware that they are aware.

•  Take a bathroom break before the interview. Use the restroom before you leave your house and avoid too much coffee or other liquids shortly before your interview. If you need to use the bathroom when you arrive at the company, ask the receptionist to point you to them before he or she informs the hiring manager that you have arrived.

“One additional thing you can do is give yourself a pep talk before the interview,” Quast says. “Mentally remind yourself of all the things you plan to do during the interview, the points you want to make about your experience and the questions you have about the company.

“You may not be able to eliminate all the butterflies, but your preparation should help reduce the stress and let you concentrate on making the most of the opportunity.”

About Lisa Quast

Lisa Quast is a career coach, a business consultant and author of the book Lisa Quast “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach: A Foolproof Guide to Getting the Job You Want Every Time” (www.careerwomaninc.com). 

As a former Fortune 500 executive who climbed from the lowest rung of the career ladder, Lisa has a unique, comprehensive perspective on what it takes to achieve professional success. Lisa shares her insight and expertise on all areas of job searching, hiring and navigating the workplace in regular columns for Forbes.com and The Seattle Times and frequently contributes to nationally published articles.

Her female-focused career blog won the 2012 and 2010 Stevie Awards for “Blog of the Year” and her first book “Your Career, Your Way” has received several accolades. In 2014, Lisa released her second book “Secrets of a Hiring Manager Turned Career Coach,” which shares all of her inside knowledge on how to conduct a successful job search. In it, she divulges the secrets she shares with her coaching clients to help them find and get a job they love with a 100% success rate.

Career Burnout

Career Burnout: The Root Cause is Loss of Purpose

Physician and mindful living expert Romila “Dr. Romie” Mushtaq, MD has a unique perspective to discuss career burnout; not only is she a neurologist specializing in mind-body medicine, but she also used the mindfulness-based techniques she teaches to heal herself from career burnout as a physician.

Career burnout is characterized clinically by loss of passion, physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

“Career burnout can lead to stress-related illnesses such as insomnia, anxiety, and ulcers. The Center for Disease Control estimates that 80 percent of doctor’s office visits are due to stress-related illnesses,” Dr. Romie notes.

In her recent TEDx talk in Fargo, N.D., “The Powerful Secret of Your Breath,” Dr. Romie discusses the root cause of career burnout.

“Career burnout arises when our external world is not in alignment with our internal soul compass.  The way we find our life purpose is being aligned with our internal soul compass; this is the place within us where all the answers reside – some call it your intuition, your gut instinct, or your internal wisdom.”

Mindfulness, being fully present in the current moment, is as simple as one thing: breathing, Dr. Romie says.

“Being stuck in the past can lead to depression and a feeling of hopelessness.  And when we lose hope we cannot heal. When we are worried about the future, we fuel anxiety. Only in the present moment are we truly connected to our dreams and life purpose.”

Dr. Romie combines her expertise and professional experiences in neurology, mind-body medicine and meditation to help individual and corporate clients contend with their stress-infused lives. She teaches how to take mindfulness from the meditation mat into a mindful way of living – and breathing – to prevent or to heal from career burnout. She illuminates the medicine behind the mindfulness and how to connect to life purpose in her TEDx talk: “The Powerful Secret of Your Breath” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slKAFdJ8ZHY). 

About Dr. Romie Mushtaq

Dr. Romie completed her medical training and education at the Medical University of South Carolina, The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and The University of Michigan.  She previously served as an assistant professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin. A personal health and wellness life coach, Dr. Romie heals clients from around the country at the Center for Natural and Integrative Medicine in Orlando, Florida and travels extensively to speak about the scientific and medical evidence behind mindful living. You can learn more about Dr. Romie on her website:www.brainbodybeauty.com.

Find Your Career Passion

NAACP Image Award Nominee Shares
Tips for Combining Career & ‘Burning Desire’
‘Make Time to Pursue Your Passion!’ in 2014,
Says Moonlighting Toyota Attorney

In January, the job search websites go crazy as people start the New Year resolved to find work that’s more satisfying.

“While thousands of people are dealing with the tragedy of unemployment, many others are looking for jobs that are more fulfilling than the ones they have,” says attorney and author Pamela Samuels Young, www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com, whose newest novel, “Anybody’s Daughter,” is one of five nominees for NAACP Image Awards’ Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction. 

In January 2013, job search website Indeed.com had a record 17.3 million unique visitors—a 24-percent jump, and January 2014 will likely see a similar increase. Many of those job seekers won’t be looking for just a job, but one they’re passionate about.

“It’s great if your day job is your passion,” Young says. “But if it’s not, you don’t have to give up a position that pays the bills in order to pursue your dream. You can do both.”

Since 2006, Young has pursued her passion—writing legal thrillers—as well as her day job as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for Toyota Motors Sales, U.S.A., Inc. She was described by one reviewer as “John Grisham with a sister’s twist.”

“I enjoy practicing law and I didn’t want to leave Toyota, nor could I afford to. But I also had a burning desire to write mystery novels,” says Young. “Anybody’s Daughter,” her sixth novel, is described by Kirkus Reviews as a “fast-paced, well-written thriller that’s grounded in social issues.” The book takes readers inside the world of child sex trafficking in the United States.

“I’ve always believed that if you have a dream, you should formulate a plan and make it happen. So that’s what I did.”

Young’s plan included rising at 4 a.m. to squeeze in some writing time before heading off to work, and turning weekends and vacation time into creation time.

“Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I’ve published six novels, while still practicing law,” she says. “The hard work and commitment have definitely paid off.”

Young offers these tips for busy professionals itching to pursue their own passions.

• Schedule time to devote to your passion. “On my calendar, you’ll find a few hours or full days blocked out as ‘Writing Time’ every week,” Young says. “You have to schedule time for your passion. If you don’t, the day-to-day demands of life will get in the way.”

• Put “passion” time ahead of “pleasure” time.  If you’re working full-time and pursuing another “job,” you won’t have a lot of free time. “You’ll have to cut back on watching television, socializing with friends and even family time,” Young says. “Explain your goals to friends and family. People who have your best interests at heart will support you. “But do take an occasional break to relax.  Otherwise, you’ll burn yourself out by working around the clock.”

• Learn from others. Surround yourself with people who share your passion. Sign up for newsletters, read books and join communities of other like-minded people, Young says. “There are tons of professional groups whose sole function is to help their members develop their creative talents and business goals.” Young is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime, an organization that promotes the advancement of women mystery writers. “Not only will you get energy and inspiration from networking with others, you’ll grow.”

• Don’t put your day job on the backburner. Young says it’s important to give your day job 100 percent. “I never want my co-workers to think I’m phoning it in because I also have a writing career.” That attitude has paid off. “I have a strong support system at work. My co-workers read my books, critique my manuscripts and come to book signings.” Many of the people Young thanks in the Acknowledgements in each of her books are co-workers. Her fourth novel is even dedicated to another Toyota attorney.

“Don’t just dream about pursuing your passion,” Young says, “make it happen!”

About Pamela Samuels Young

Pamela Samuels Young is a novelist, motivational speaker and Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., the sales and distribution arm for Toyota and Lexus vehicles in North America. She published the first of her six legal thrillers in 2006.  “Anybody’s Daughter” is her latest. Her novel “Buying Time” won the American Library Association’s Black Caucus 2010 Fiction Award.

The NAACP Image Awards celebrates the accomplishments of people of color in the fields of television, music, literature and film and also honors individuals or groups who promote social justice through creative endeavors. Winners will be announced Feb. 21-22.

Career Advice from Darlene Quinn

Do You Have to be a Renaissance Person in
Today’s Economy?
Deteriorating Job Conditions Affecting More U.S. Adults;
Professional Woman of Many Hats Offers Perspective

Brushes with poverty, extended periods of joblessness and a reliance on welfare is part of the “new normal” for the average American worker, according to new data reported from The Associated Press. 

Economic security isn’t what it used to be before the economic crash of 2008; survey data points to the loss of manufacturing jobs, the globalized economy and a widening gap between rich and poor as reasons for why 4 in 5 workers in the United States will experience economic hardship in their lifetime.
“I certainly don’t envy what the average worker will likely endure throughout his or her career, but as an ambitious woman coming up through the ranks of corporate culture – the boy’s club – many decades ago, I know the hardship of sustaining the career of your dreams,” says 75-year-old Darlene Quinn, author of Unpredictable Webs, (
www.darlenequinn.net), the newest in her stand-alone series of suspense-filled dramatic novels which are now in development for a major TV series.

Quinn is a former senior executive with the Bullocks Wilshire department store chain who went on to pursue an award-winning career in fiction writing. She started by earning a bachelor’s at San Jose State University and she became a schoolteacher, later climbing her way up the corporate retail ladder during a time of tremendous upheaval in the fashion industry.

“Change is natural; change is life, and you don’t have to be afraid of it,” she says.

Quinn, a family woman who has also been proactive in managing beauty pageants, volunteering for charity and corporate training, offers the following career advice to struggling professionals:

• Parlay your strengths; experience and education isn’t everything.Unfortunately, many workers are finding this out. Nowadays, even advanced college degrees are no guarantee of job security. It’s not uncommon to find holders of master’s degrees working in low-paying jobs. While a degree is still needed to get your foot in the door of most professional job openings, consider that which you most excel. As a professional, you may not be perfect in every aspect of your career, but there are activities in a job that you probably do regardless of work. Perhaps that’s managing groups of people, writing or designing websites. What is your strength, and how does that translate to a more promising field?

• Shoot for the top! Of course, you don’t have to be in a state of economic hardship to consider switching fields. The Internet is allowing us to be more connected than ever and permanently altering the employment landscape. Perhaps you see an opportunity in online education and, as an administrator on a college campus you know the weaknesses of today’s traditional university system. If you take well to new software, are available beyond the usual 9-to-5 hours and have a stable work history, then why not make more than a lateral move?

• Is it time to trade in that necktie or pantsuit for your passion?After having accomplished so much in the corporate world, Quinn decided it was time for a new direction, so she pursued her passion for writing and has done very well, winning multiple awards. Perhaps it’s time to take what you already love doing so well at home and apply it to a career. If you love cooking, for example, and others love what you create, you may want to consider a new career.

About Darlene Quinn

Darlene Quinn is an author and journalist from Long Beach, Calif., whose novels about deceit, intrigue and glamour in the retail fashion industry were inspired by her years with Bullocks Wilshire specialty department stores and are now in development for a major TV series. Her newest, Unpredictable Webs, is the winner of the Beverly Hills Book Awards for Excellence in Fiction and was selected as the number-one President’s choice before publication. The novel continues her series, including Webs of Fate, which won the 2011 Reader’s Favorites Award before it hit bookshelves; Webs of Power, winner of a 2009 National Indie Excellence Award, and Twisted Webs, winner of the 2011 International Book Award for General Fiction and the 2011 National Indie Excellence Awards for General Fiction.