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Astrid's Designing Your Encore Life workshop at Pace University gave me both practical and psychological insights and helped me manage my transition in ways that were unexpected and highly positive. The possibilities of an Encore life were overwhelming to me and, despite my years of corporate employment law, I was now unfocused. Who was I? What had I done that was transferable? What was it I wanted to transfer? What did I really want or think I wanted?
Astrid's workshop required me to answer those questions and more. She asked about core values, interests, tolerances, passions, work and life experience. She listened carefully to the answers many of the students volunteered, and gave concrete suggestions as to how to develop a plan to move forward in a meaningful way. She did not offer one solution to fit all but, rather, paid careful attention to the needs and desires of each student who chose to share. The experience was empowering.
—Constance Harris, Assistant Director, Pace University Encore Transitions Program
[Opera America hired Astrid to lead two workshops for our 2013 Leadership Intensive.] Astrid’s background in nonprofit management and ongoing work with performing arts organizations meant that she was able to tailor the leadership workshops to the specific needs of opera leaders.
Astrid is an invaluable resource for ALL lawyers in transition. I felt lost and defeated after years of working at a law firm,and I wanted to make a change but didn\'t know how. Astrid immediately inspired confidence and helped me make positive changes in my career and personal life. The coaching process was empowering as I re-discovered my strengths and interests in addition to working on improving my weaknesses. With coaching, I was able to identify alternative career paths that I would find rewarding and that I would be passionate about based upon my unique set of strengths and values. Astrid also coached me through my interviews and brought out the best in me as I presented myself to new employers. I am excited about the opportunities in my new career, and coaching was instrumental in allowing me to be a happier and more productive person.
Joshua D., New York, NY
I am thrilled to be teaching a new class at the Yale School of Music entitled “Creating Sustainable Careers in the Arts” and we have gotten off to a great start. I teach a combination of
• How to create a positive mindset and project confidence;
• How to be an authentic, powerful and unique artist; and
• Entrepreneurial skills that will help you advance your music career.
Over the course of the semester, my students will learn how to adopt the mindset and learn skill sets and the processes necessary to become successful music entrepreneurs. Here is why this is so important, no matter what kind of career you envision as a musician.
My students are a mix of instrumental majors, a composer and a singer. All are dedicated to having performing careers. Most envision creating something new in the field, which we will explore in greater depth through a semester-long project. Many want to teach, either privately or at an institution.
Among the first week’s assignments were two pieces of wisdom from Steve Jobs:
Why are we reading about business entrepreneurs when all I want is to work as part of a performing arts organization and not create something new?
Here's my answer:
With the state of the arts world as it is, it is more important that ever to be the kind of person who thinks like an entrepreneur:
Status quo is no longer an option. Established performing arts organizations are in transition and are faced with the challenge of how to survive, let alone thrive, in the 21st Century. Music conservatory graduates, no matter how talented they are, need more than just raw talent. Indeed, with no guarantees of success as a musician, even musicians who do not envision creating a new enterprise and are looking to join an existing structure need to be asking themselves the following questions:
1. Know your authentic, best self and what makes you unique. This will help you to be positive and inspire confidence in those around you.
2. Look for opportunities and don’t wait for them to come to you.
3. Be flexible and open-minded about your opportunities.
4. Learn from your challenges and build on your experience.
5. Get support and create a network of like-minded people with whom you connect and share.
6. The corollary to the foregoing: Be a generous, supportive colleague so that people will want to work with you and ask you back.
That’s what my course is about: to help these amazingly talented young people gain the confidence in themselves to create a vision of success, look for opportunities to make that happen and go after them with the goal of creating a financially sustainable career.
Stay tuned for how we make that happen.