A life is full of reasons to …
… not share your real self
… build your life around one value: security
… work because “you have to”
… keep your dreams a secret (even from yourself)
compare your “progress” to others + not believe in yourself.

So I exist to write + teach + inspire you to believe in yourself.

Which really means that I show you how to make your own fairy tale career come true. Because now that you’re here, it means you’re old enough to start believing in fairy tales again.

My name is Sabrina Ali. And I’m a Career Counselor.

I work with professionals and executives under 40 (virtually + around the world) that don’t feel fulfilled by the careers that they worked so hard for. So what I do, is I teach them how to become their own Career Advisor. If this applies to you, you’ll know this: You’re busy people who still want wisdom and sense in busyness. Because there’s nothing quite like navigating your career path with confidence, clarity while being true to yourself.

I invite you to fill out the tiny form on the right so that we can rendez-vous in your inbox (right now about 2-3 times a month). Below is where the library of articles begins (you’ll always be the first to get them if you’re on my very confidential list + some more private messages about what’s going on behind the scenes). Here is where you can find a road map in digital form (something I created just for people experiencing career disappointment + dissatisfaction), to learn more about me, click here and/or how I may be of assistance to you?

If you’d like, you are always welcome to drop me a note. You can do that here.

Make yourself at home. xo

32 (actually) interesting networking questions you could ask instead

Networking … it’s a dreaded word.

And an even more dreaded act to engage in (at least for most people).

Unfortunately you only call something “networking” when you don’t like nor look forward to the experience of meeting or seeing people. BUT you have to call it something to make it feel like it wasn’t a total waste of your time.

Right?

But the truth is that networking is an everyday, day-to-day, daily occurrence. Like (hopefully) brushing your teeth.

When networking feels good, it gets called “a great conversation” or “a new connection” or “a lovely experience” or “so good to get to know you better.”

So do what you must in your head to make the necessary re-arrangements – to know networking as a positive force in the world.

And what makes the experience so lovely? (Don’t worry – it’s not a rhetorical question!)

It’s usually because one or both of you wasn’t following a script.

And …

One or both of you more than likely inspired the other to feel authentic.

And …

One or both of you certainly has better things to do with your time and because you do, you make everything you do worth your while and worthwhile for the other person by default.

So …

To help you create more magic moments (because isn’t life better when there’s magic in it?!) between you and another human being, here is a list of 32 questions that are actually interesting to be asked + intriguing to hear the answer to.

Use your discretion here. Read the situation you’re in. Risk being more you. And of course write to me to tell me how things went:

1. What inspired you to get into the work that you’re doing?

2. What’s the most memorable compliment you’ve ever received for your work? What made it so memorable?

3. What do you want it to say on your tombstone (alternatively: What do you want to be remembered for?) + What do you do each day to support this personal legacy in the making?

4. What do you think you need to take your career to the next level? (If you have something in mind that could help, offer).

5. If you could have dinner with anyone – dead or alive, real or imagined, who would it be and why?

6. Do you have a morning ritual?

7. When was the last time you amazed yourself?

8. When was the last time someone amazed you? What did they do?

9. If you could sit down with your 15-year-old self, what advice would you offer that you could actually hear + use? BTW – you’re not allowed to write yourself off as unreachable or rebellious or arrogantly deaf. We’re talking about you meeting you to help pave the way for your future.

10. What’s something you want to accomplish before this year is over? (If you can think of a way to help, offer).

11. Even though you are a ______________________ [insert job title] what do you consider to be your expertise? And is that because of training, real life experience or a combination of both?

12. Did a teacher change your life? How?

13. What are your strategies for dealing with criticism?

14. If someone wanted to recognize you so that you knew that you were doing a great job, what would be a meaningful way to do that?

15. Where and when do your best ideas come to you?

16. Have you ever met someone whose work you truly admired? What happened?

17. How do you celebrate your successes?

18. What influenced your career choice + approach the most?

19. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received to apply to your career?

20. What’s the worst piece of advice you ever got about your career?

21. When you need support for decision-making in your career, who do you go to or what do you do?

22. If there was such a thing as a career fairy godmother, what would you wish for?

23. If you taught a course on how to be a success in your career, who would you invite to guest lecture?

24. Is there a quote or person that you keep in mind and aspire to in your career approach?

25. If you were to give a class, what would you love to talk about and what would be required reading?

26. What do you do or value outside of work that contributes to when you are at work?

27. What do you think of the concept of work-life balance? And how does it apply or not to your life?

28. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? And what skills from those aspirations apply to what you do now?

29. What does your family think of what you do for work? Or maybe more accurately, what do they think you do for work?

30. In your career, what do you want to pass on as your legacy to future generations?

31. What are you thinking about the most when you wake up each day?

32. Right now, in terms of growing your business (or your career), what’s the highest leverage challenge you’re facing? (If you know of something that could help, offer it. With a generous spirit).

And don’t be shy about asking yourself these questions as part of creating your own career fairy tale come true. Get to know yourself better: Journal the answers to yourself because I bet you don’t even know what you’d say for certain.

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November 8, 2014 tagged as:

get ready to write your own ticket

What I’m about to share with you shouldn’t be a secret anymore. And I’ll warn you right now that it’s going to sound unbelievable. Every time it’s happened over the years, I’ve found myself thinking: “Another one?!? I get to see another one!?! How can this be?” And if these weren’t the stories of my…

the gift of failure – and how to unwrap it

We grow up wondering if we’re ever going to feel “it.” You know, maybe if we’re lucky, we’ll stumble upon that illusive feeling. What feeling do I speak of exactly? The feeling of inner worthiness. The one we refer to as being “good enough.” In pursuit of this feeling without a set criteria, we create…

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September 22, 2014 tagged as: ,

how does the world see you?

Of course you can always ask for feedback when you want to know how the world sees you from whomever, but there’s a caveat to the question – wouldn’t you rather know how the world sees you at your best? ‘At your best’ is your ‘money maker’ or ‘hire me’ quality – something about you…

something for when self-doubt visits you on your career path

Believe. It’s one of my favorite words. Ever. The word itself used as a mantra brings me into the present and I use it to help me remember the big picture of life for those not so inspiring days. (Hey – they happen to all of us. And to ignore that or deny that is…

creating career happiness begins with forgiveness

Forgiveness + career. They go together. They belong together. They influence and affect one another. But very rarely are they ever spoken of in the context of togetherness. Too often it is the lack of forgiveness that prevents you from being the person you want to be doing the job you want to be doing….

fairy tale career or fairy tale romance? how do you choose?

Whether in a movie on screen or the movie you call your “real life” – career and romance are pitted against one another to create a great deal of angst as well as drama. Seems hard to create happiness in both. And that’s how it looks in the tabloids too. It’s a choice for sure,…

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July 3, 2014 tagged as:

a more beautiful career means learning to ask a more beautiful question

Honestly, I feel really sad (and sometimes mad too) that most people don’t know what a beautiful question is or how to ask one nor how the beauty of a question can dramatically alter the course of one’s life. (In fact, I am painfully aware of how you rob yourself of the kind of experiences…

at work shit happens … and what’s that like for you?

Work is stressful. Incredibly so. But do you know why? It’s because even though we all know that shit happens at work, we don’t want shit to happen at work. It’s like you think you’re just there to do your job. And if that were true, you could just do your job. But work, like…

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June 3, 2014 tagged as:

40 ways to create more career possibility for yourself especially when you think it’s not possible

Think of these 40 as a starter kit. The purpose of this list isn’t to judge yourself or others for their (or your own) method. Though you you know and I know that your ego will do that anyway. Your ego doesn’t like hearing that possibility exists when it thinks there are none and certainly…

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