Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

Don’t stress: how to conquer the 21st-century evil

stress lessWork-related stress is one of many modern-day evils. Rather than rage an all out assault, in one foul swoop, job over-load makes a far more insidious, stealthier attack.

Little warning signs, like rising irritability, tiredness, and a faint sense that all is not well, are often ignored. Pushed to one side, rated as insignificant, many people mistakenly believe stress can be pushed to one side – something that can wait. Until it’s too late.

“It’s a busy time of year,” you may say. “I’ll take a break over the holidays.” Or you may convince yourself that once you get your current project finished you’ll get some rest.”

You continue to burn the candle at both ever-diminishing-ends, drinking endless cups of coffee to stay awake, or drowning in alcohol to help your over-active mind escape.

Your boss wants more productivity from you.

More. More. More.

Like Mathew’s company – a leading NZ financial institution. Despite their escalating profits they’ve cut back his bonuses. He has to work harder to earn back what he’s lost.

But, worse – they’ve cut back on employees too. Mathew’s so overloaded he’s beyond stressed. Relentless deadlines, sky-rocketing unachievable targets, and insatiable demands led to a heart-attack.

“They need me. We’re short-staffed at work,” he tells me, as he returns to work. Prematurely.

When is enough, enough?

“The world continues to allow evil because it isn’t angry enough”, author Bede Jarrett, once said. Passionate anger, constructively used, can become the fuel that drives you to embark on transformational, liberating change.


What are the 21st century evils?

Let’s start here (I know there are more) – greed and fear and narcissism.

Greed of the corporations who want more, more, more. For less, less, less.

I know there are good employers out there. But I know the opposite is also true. I hear the war stories every day in my work as a career counsellor and psychologist. The worst employers inflict fear on employees in myriad of ways.

Maybe you haven’t been told you’re expendable in so many words, but the inference is there. “If you don’t like it, you can leave,” one woman was recently told, when she tried to challenge bullying behaviour. “Get on with it, or we’ll reduce your hours and you can go and stock shelves.”

Really? Is this how people treat each other. No wonder recent workplace surveys report over  83% of the workforce is disengaged.

The narcissistic employer only cares about one person, one goal, one world view. Theirs. Do you have a narcissistic boss – check out this article >>  I’ve had many!

Dis-empowered, fearful employees worry that if they push back and say, “This job needs two people,” or if they try to work less hours, in order to hopefully achieve more, they’ll get over-looked in the next promotion round, or marked down as under-performing in their performance reviews. Worse, they worry they’ll be sacked.

No money, no life. Right?

“We know the people who will do well here,” a former manager once said to me on my first day at work. “They’re here at night, and they’re here in the weekends.”

No one dared question this mentality. Certainly not me, then a recent graduate, and single-mother with a mortgage to feed. I watched colleagues fall like flies. Heart-attacks, anxiety attacks, depression. Succumbing to the consequences of work-place stress. Many lost their battle with the booze. Some lost their marriages. When I developed shingles, and was warned that I might go blind, I knew this wasn’t my best life. This wasn’t any life. Not one worth living.

Power up for health

As Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor, psychiatrist and author, once said, find meaning in your situation. What are you learning? To stand up for yourself? To value your health? To value your relationships? To value YOUR LIFE?

If Viktor can find meaning witnessing the truly evil behaviour of Hitler’s mindless followers, and suffering at the hands of the German’s hostilities in the concentration camps of Theresienstadt, Auschwitz, and Dachau, you can find meaning in your workplace evil.


Heed the early warning signs

Think traffic lights. Green, yellow, red. Green – all’s going well, things are flowing. You’re in the passion and well-being zone.

Yellow, things are getting a little congested, your natural zest is slowing. It’s time to take your foot off the brake. It’s definitely not time to accelerate your pace, or take a chance and risk running a red.

Red! You ran the stop sign. What on earth were you thinking? Someone’s going to pay – that someone is you. If you’re ‘lucky’ you might get let off with a warning. If your luck’s out – bad. You’re dead. Physically or mentally. Whether it’s a heart attack, or a nervous breakdown – it’s a long journey back.

Like Clive who burnt out so badly one morning he just couldn’t get up. “I couldn’t speak, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t function at all. It took three years…and only now can I say, “I’m back.”

At 55 he’s reinventing his career. And yes, he’s found meaning and purpose from his own suffering. To help others live significant lives – devoid of stress.

“I’ve been to too many funerals, and heard to many pre-death confessions, where people have told me, “My life has been one of regret…I wish I had….”

So Clive, is taking his life back. Reinventing his career, his life. Living and working with passion and purpose – and balance! He’s training to be a life coach and working as an EAP counsellor. He couldn’t be happier – and healthier.


You’re human. You have limits. Your life matters.

Biologically we’re incapable of sustaining prolonged levels of stress, no matter how great our will.  If you don’t address your stress, your body’s adaptive resources can become exhausted – making you sick.

Thankfully there are simple but powerful strategies at hand to help you avoid too much ‘bad’ stress, so you don’t become ill, anxious or depressed during the change process.

And who knows, maybe once you have your stress levels back in check, or have found ways to proactively remove the sources of stress in either your work or private life, you may end up falling back in love with a job that you’d come to hate.


What can you do right now?

You have three choices:

  1. Know what you can change – and change it
  2. Accept what you can’t – and live with it
  3. Leave. Leave a situation that is creating harm.


Peter hated his job so much he quit, with no job to go to. You may not have that luxury. You may not be that impulsive.

Perhaps quitting, will take time. But whatever you do, take action. Don’t remain passive. Do not be a victim. Plan your escape. Put more energy into finding your next job, your next best-fit career, than you do your current work.

Get excited!

New is exciting

New is unexpected

New is that moment of stunned silence when you first see it

New is intuitive-know-how that makes everything effortless

New is the joy that you may never have experienced

New says, choose me

And new never cares what other people think

New is the changing you – the new job, the new career, the new way of working and living that now waits

Of course, making the right move, does take some planning.

Get real about what’s important

“I used to be the sort of person who usually put her head down and worked towards a goal and if I worked hard enough and aimed for my goal, then success would follow. And for the first time my life plan wasn’t working out,” said Juliet de Baubigny, a powerful venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. Her entrepreneurial genius, is said to have contributed to the transformation of companies such as Google and Amazon.

Several years ago her marriage ended in a bitter divorce, her young son was diagnosed with Type I diabetes, and she ended up in the ICU with bilateral pneumonia, all within six months. “It makes you question faith and humanity, “she said. “So I thought, how do I redirect this?”

Juliet – heeded the call for change – embarked on a quest of discovery.

“I consulted every shaman, every psychic, every priest to learn about what was really important to me what my value system was.” The result? “The things that matter most in life are health, family and doing what you love.

Juliet’s imparts her wisdom to her children, “Do what you love, work hard, tell the truth and be kind.”

If only more kindness prevailed at work. Just think what a better place the world would be.

I’ve said it once, but I’ll say it again. Do not, under any circumstances stay in a job that is making you physically ill. Perhaps, your mindset needs to change. Perhaps it’s the job. But whatever the cause, take action now to find the cure. Conquering this escalating modern day evil is so critical that I devoted a whole chapter to it in my new book, Mid-Life Career Rescue. And readers agree. As one reviewer wrote:

“An important book for anyone in a job that is making them physically ill

Cassandra Gaisford’s book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, puts passion first, exactly where it should be! She gently nudges us out of complacency by reminding us our career doesn’t have to be life-draining if we are willing to take time figuring out what we want and the skills we have to actually do it. And then brilliantly she provides all the action steps we need to make a move by asking simple, yet powerful questions to help us find the answers already there inside of ourselves.

I definitely recommend reading the chapter on stress in her book. I wish I had the valuable information she laid out 15 years ago when I went through a ‘brown out’,” one step before complete ‘burn out.’ If I knew what physical signs to look for I would have left that job way earlier than I did. Unfortunately for me I learned the hard way what a stressful job situation can do to you both mentally and physically, but you don’t have to. Instead, you just need to read Mid-life Rescue, and follow the advice of Ms. Gaisford.”

Learn the easy way

Work-related stress may be one of many modern-day evils; but it’s one you can wage-war on. Take your power-back. Proactively identify workplace stressors and seek to eliminate or minimise their impact.

The best weapon in your armoury? Love. Work with passion – do what you love, and love yourself enough to maintain the balance. Love your job, love your health, love your relationships. Love your friends. Love your family. You can have it all – sometimes doing less, really does give you more.


So my friend, tell me, “How will you reclaim your one precious life?”


I’ll leave you with these wise words from Rumi,

“This being human is a guest house. Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor. Welcome and entertain them all. Even if they are a crowd of sorrows, who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture, still, treat each guest honorably. He may be clearing you out for some new delight. The dark thought, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invites them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.”



Career expert Cassandra Gaisford, is the author of the Amazon #1 best-selling book, Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late.

Visit www.worklifesolutions.co.nz and get her free eBook, “Find Your Passion.”


P.S. Perhaps, the solution to workplace stress is to employ yourself. If you’re a mid-lifer wanting to explore this as an option, my good friend Brian Jones, has written an excellent book – called “Over 50? Start Your Business! Build Wealth. Control Your Destiny. Leave a Legacy.” It’s on special currently –  only $0.99 on Amazon. What are you waiting for?








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Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Mid-life Without A Crisis: change careers with confidence

MidlifeCrisis or boomer bliss1Do you postpone making changes in your life because you think you’ll live for ever?

I do.  Sometimes.  But the  older I get  the more I’m aware of my own mortality.  More so, as I watch world events, like the recent Paris killings, and the premature death of All Black legend Jonah Lomu at 40, unfold.

What is mid-life? 20? 30? 40? 50? Who really knows how long you have on this earth?

If you’re like me, as you reach the end of your 40’s, and head into your 50’s,  very often there’s a dawning realisation you haven’t done what you wanted to do with your life yet.

There can be some existential angst. Why are you here? Does your life have meaning? Have you lived a significant life? Will you be remembered. What’s your legacy?

Mid-life crisis or wake-up call?
Some experts have defined this sense of impending disappointment a mid-life crisis.

A mid-life crisis is said to be suffered by some people as they realise they have reached a midpoint in their lifespan and because of unrealised goals, self-perceptions or physical changes as a result of ageing or health issues, experience conflicts or dissatisfaction within themselves.

Sometimes, a crisis can be triggered by natural transitions caused by menopause, and life events –  the death of parents or other causes of grief. Things like, unemployment, or underemployment. Suffering a job or career that you hate, but not knowing what else to do and how else to earn an equivalent living. Or suffering an identity crisis, or empty nest syndrome when your children leave home.

While experiencing a mid-life crisis, people may reassess their achievements. “Have I achieved my dreams?”

This mid-life evaluation, is a call for change. It can create a burning desire to make significant improvements in many areas, including career, work and job, work-life balance, marriage, romantic relationships, finances, and physical appearance and well-being.

Whatever camp you are in, depressed or desirous, there’s no doubt at some stage you’re going to die. The only question is when, and whether you can can honestly say you lived your best life.

Mid-life is a wake-up call, a pivotal crossroads, a threshold which beckons you to cross.

Wake up to your best life – midlife without the crisis
Numerous studies abound of childhood, adolescence and old age, but the years from 30-70 have often been neglected.

But results from a body of new research paints a far different portrait of mid-life, than previous images of doom,  and gloom, one that may shatter the cultural perceptions and disabling beliefs that have plagued those in the middle decades.

The findings challenge the view that middle age is automatically a time of slow decline or fraught with angst and psychological discomfort.

Even 10 years ago, societal attitudes portrayed midlife as a time of hazard and peril, say researchers from the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development (MIDMAC)

“It was considered a time of empty nests, stress and worry, poor health, menopause, midlife crises,” said Orville Gilbert Brim, who directed the MacArthur research. “But the more we got into, the more we studied it, we found that on balance, middle age really is the best place to be.”

Their research shows midlife to be a time of stable relationships, financial security, good health and satisfying, relatively secure work. “For most, it is smooth sailing,” Brim said.

While the researchers expected to find many people complaining that they had lost control over much of their life during these middle decades, they discovered instead an increased sense of control. “That was one of the biggest surprises,” said Margie E. Lachman, professor of psychology at Brandeis University in Boston and a member of the research team.

Is your life a little choppy? Take back control

Is your job sucking the life out of you? Is it preventing you from living your best life? Take control back.

As Filmmaker Michael Moore said, “I want us to all face our fears and stop behaving like our goal in life is merely to survive. Surviving is for wimps and game show contestants stranded in the jungle or on a desert island. You are not stranded. Use your power. You deserve better.”

Last week’s tragic loss of life in the wake of the Paris killings, and closer to home, the far-too-early death of All Black Legend, Jonah Lomu (aged only 40), is a thundering reminder that life can be short. No matter how much willpower, how much strength, how many determination, when death comes calling he doesn’t often knock.

So my friend, tell me, “what will you do with your one precious life?”


Career expert and award-winning artist Cassandra Gaisford, is the author of the Amazon #1 best-seller, Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you love, before it’s too late.

Visit www.worklifesolutions.co.nz and get her free eBook, “Find Your Passion.”

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Friday, November 20th, 2015

What a bummer it’s Friday

What a bummer it’s Friday…

Some beautiful, timely words, from the always beautiful photographer Carla Coulson arrived in my inbox today. I was fortunate enough to do a photography workshop with her in Puglia, Italy last year. Carla is currently living in Paris and refusing to succumb to terror.

One of the biggest things she is drawing on right now, in the wake of the mass killings, is her ability to remain positive. It’s so important to your success and well-being to try to do the same – even when life is turning to custard. If Carla can stay positive, and choose love not hate, living as she does, in a city still on alert to more terrorist attacks, you can too. I know you can!

Here’s a brief excerpt from her newsletter:

You may have noticed on this blog if you have been following along for a while that there is hardly a negative word, there are no ‘hump days’ in my life, no “TGIF’s” (Thank god it’s Fridays) and no funny little photos of mugs on my desk saying “I don’t like Mondays”.

There is a very good reason for all of this. Because I don’t want negativity in my life. I love life and in particular the life I accidentally created for myself. And please don’t take this the wrong way, I am not boasting, I like to think I am humble, thankful, grateful for this fabulous life I have had the chance to live.

How can I have a hump day when I love the adventure of each day? And instead of TGIF I have OWABIF (oh what a bummer it’s Friday). And the truth about Mondays is that I have always loved Monday’s cause I profoundly love what I do and I can’t wait to get to Monday and delve back into this world of creativity.

I am not Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music skipping across the hills singing and my life isn’t perfect but in the last couple of days I feel like one of the most fortunate gals on the planet.

On Sunday I went with Francesco to pay tribute to the people who died in the terrorist attacks on Paris and afterwards we sat in the sun along the Canal St Martin. I was feeling very emotional about what happened and I wanted him to know that if anything ever happened to me that I would die happy. I felt I have had more fortune than one girl can hold in her heart. I am so very grateful I have  had this second chance and these past years have been more fulfilling than one could expect in 10 lifetimes.

Being pissed off enough in my old life and having a catalyst (winning the best client of the year award at my local Thai take-away) got me out of a stagnant life and it gave me the chance to find photography, to let me live in Italy and Paris and suck in big gulps of life and love everyday. It let me hang on tight to my honey on the back of a scooter on a dusty road on a remote Greek Island and wake at dawn on the Amalfi Coast.

Photography made me an observer of minute detail, of the beauty in a flower, a street corner, the way a dumpling is softly folded and the lady next door to me ties her hair. I got to go from living an “unconscious life”, feeling emotionally dead and operating on automatic, to finding me, the real Carla, same on the inside as the outside, in-person or on the internet. My great fortune was to have found me. Thank-you dear life for this gift.” ~ Carla Coulson.

Read the rest of her inspiring post, and savour her beautiful photography here >>

Here’s one of the piccies I took on my workshop with Carla in Italy – enjoy!

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If you’d love to be like Carla and find the real you – please follow this link >>  I may just have the life and career rescue you need.

Have a great weekend everyone! So looking forward to Monday!

Sunday, November 15th, 2015

Do you hate Monday’s? 3 ways simple ways to change careers

Do you hate Monday’s?

So many people dread Mondays…hopefully not you! I read recently that there are more fatal heart attacks on Monday at 9am, than at any other time of the week. A shocking, but not surprising statistic. When you hate your job you’re health is the first to suffer.

According to Dr. Larry Dossey, a Texan physician, deeply rooted in the both the scientific and spiritual worlds, ‘the best predictor for a first heart attack is not any of the major risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, and diabetes mellitus), but rather job dissatisfaction!”

Dr Dossey’s view is that our thoughts and feelings about the loathing, dread or challenge of our work can create a heart attack. How? According to leading psychopharmacologist Candace Pert, thoughts and emotions create a chain of toxic chemical reactions in the body.

So it makes sense, if you want the opposite to be true – a healthy body, mind and spirit – you’ve got to be happy at work.

I was so miserable at work once, it took all my positivity to get through the day. Here’s a couple of things that helped me while I tried to find another way to make a living. You’ll notice, sitting around whining to others isn’t one of them!

  1. Look for the silver linings that can help you transform a crisis into an opportunity. What’s the gift of being unhappy at work. Chances are your career dis-satisfaction is the call for change!
  2. Happiness isn’t something that just happens – it’s something we actively participate in creating. There’s no better place to start than training your mind, and shaping your attitude.Even when life turns to lumpy custard find something to be grateful for.
  3. Take control – feeling helpless, accepting the unacceptable, and procrastinating about taking action can lead to feelings of depression, hopelessness and quickly erode your confidence. Taking action will quickly help to get rid of the job blues. What can you do today to take control? Downloading my new book and working through my roadmap to success might be one of them!

If you, or anyone you know, could do with a career rescue, or you just want to make some new intentions for 2016, my new book Mid-Life Career Rescue is on sale at Amazon today at the special price of $0.99. Unhappiness at work does not discriminate for age! The book is not just for mid-lifers but people in their 20’s, 30s and 40s too.

It’s currently ranked #1 in Hot New Releases!

Here is the link to the book http://www.amazon.com/dp/B017L7G3B4, please help me to keep it growing, by downloading and leaving a review. The review can be one simply sentence, and hopefully you’ll mark it 5 stars!

Thank you!

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Friday, November 13th, 2015

How to leave a job you hate and find a job you love

IMG_3893 copy croppedDo you feel caged by your job, your wings clipped, unable to fly?

Do you feel just like this poor bird trapped in a workplace in my home town. Are you looking through the bars, wishing you were somewhere else?

That was me once. But unlike this parrot, I’d lost all my colour, my zest, my confidence. I lost my belief that I could ever find happiness.

But I did find happiness and I did find a job that I really loved. And you can too.

Perhaps you’ve convinced yourself you’re lucky to have a job. That this is as good as it gets. Or ‘better the devil you know.’ Or some other mistaken belief that keeps you stuck.

But if you’re honest, if you ask yourself, “Is this my best life? Is this all I deserve? Do I value myself enough to leave?” And then if you listen, you really listen…

Listen, either to the whisperings of your soul, or to your body-barometer…the tension in your chest, your pulsing heart, the feelings of irritation, anger, hatred, despair, or something worse, you’ll find your answer.

Like James who told me he no longer cared if he lived or died. But when I asked him, ‘What made you come to see me, he replied, “Because I know I can do better. Because I’m not a quitter.”

If you’re a mid-lifer who has forgotten how to fly, but you know you want to break free, release the things that keep you stuck, and regain your colour, your hope, your confidence, your SELF, I’ve got the keys!

For less that a cup of coffee this my new book Mid-Life Career Rescue: How to confidently leave a job you hate, and start living a life you  love, before it’s too late will help you get your mojo back.

All for less that a cup of coffee!

Tip and strategies I’ve used myself to reinvent my career, and those I’ve successfully employed when working as a holistic psychologist, career counselor, and through my life coaching and mid-life make over workshops, will help you:

* Discover a job you love
* Boost confidence, courage and self-esteem
* Flame the embers of inspiration and passion
* Identify areas of strength
* Overcome stress and doubt
* Break free of a job you hate
* Work with your passion

Quit feeling trapped. Reclaim your power! Find a job you love and finally live the life you want.

DEAL ALERT. $0.99 today! Purchase or download or see a free sample on Amazon here >>



5 star reviews!

Inspired to change and realize my own midlife path of success”

Inspired by stories of others who have been successful later in life. A very well written and constructive and optimistic book. It was music to my middle age ears to read its never too late to make a living doing something you love. Yes please !
Read more reviews here >>



Tuesday, November 10th, 2015

How to change careers with confidence

Mid-lifeCareerRescueQuit feeling trapped. Reclaim your power! Find a job you love and finally live the life you want. Make sure you download the free Kindle version of my new book ASAP, because it is only free on Amazon today!
Get it while it’s HOT!


5 star reviews!

“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down – it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months. It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.” ~ Mandy Scott-Mackie

Not just for Mid-Lifers – but anyone fed up with work!

Please share this post with any disgruntled friends.

Screen Shot of 5 star review 2015-11-11 at 9.35.22 am

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

It’s time to think about what you want your work-life to look like next year

It’s that time of year again…

It’s time to think about what you want your work-life to look like next year.

If you’re ready to make a change, but only wish you knew what it was, I have something that will help.

If you’re feeling too overwhelmed and stressed out to even think about a move to happier work, I’ve got a cure too. If you need a bit of inspiration, you can get it for free and start blazing your own trail to career nirvana.

Or, if you need all the above and more…read on!

Need a career rescue in 2016? Or know someone that does? Click the following link to be the first to be in the know to download my new book, Mid-Life Career Rescue, when it launches for free on Kindle https://worklifesolutions.leadpages.co/free-book-mid-life-career-rescue/

Remember sharing really is caring. Share this newsletter and the post above on your social media pages and with family and friends who may benefit from a career rescue. They’ll thank you for it. And I’ll be grateful for your help too.


“To be honest, I couldn’t put the book down – it was as though Cassandra had got inside my head and written it specifically for me! It helped me process the what/where questions I was asking myself and discussed all the aspects that had been tumbling around in my head like a washing machine for many months.  It helped me process my thoughts, clarify my thinking, formulate a real plan and prepare myself for my new life.” ~ Mandy.

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Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Down Load My Free book: Mid-Life Career Rescue

Mid-life Career Rescue_v7Need a career rescue in 2016? Or do you know someone who does? Click here and be in the know during the free promo.

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