We are frequently contacted by reporters and others looking for expert advice. Below are some recent examples and resources.
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Helping our clients determine the next steps in their careers sometimes means helping them prepare for a change. When that’s the case, your goodbye email to your current employer can get overlooked in the flurry of wrapping up your position, but is a great opportunity to leave with grace and gratitude. Apochromatik’s Amy M. Gardner wrote a guest post for Corporette (the blog about “fashion, lifestyle, and career advice for overachieving chicks”) on the topic of goodbye emails. Please check it out!
Why Using Your Paid Time Off Actually Matters
Chicago-based executive coach Keith R. Sbiral holds the same philosophy:
“Think about it — if you are stumped by a crossword puzzle, what do you do? You put it down and come back to it later. The same is true of your career or job. Not only can you learn from being away and bring back new ideas, you can literally use the break as a reset to come back with fresh eyes. There should be no pride in being the person in the office that says, ‘I haven't taken a vacation in five years.’ Chances are that person simply isn't performing at their best level.”
Is it smart to bring up your side hustle during a job interview?
You still have to be careful about optics when you get the job and start work, says executive coach Amy M. Gardner. She says that you should avoid talking about your side gig at your new job and recommends having safeguards in place so it is clear that you aren’t working on it at work or using work resources.
“Bring your personal tablet or computer to work if you need to do something for your side hustle during your lunch, leave the office for side hustle–related calls, and set aside vacation or personal days so you can use them for your side hustle when necessary,” she suggests.
And remember that your co-workers might immediately point to your other job if you seem distracted or have lackluster performance at work, even if they’re completely unrelated, so make sure to always give 100%.
7 Habits Highly Successful People Have In Common
"Believe it or not, successful people don't work 24/7, but instead learn how to better manage their time. And they get more accomplished as a result. "They remember that there are 168 hours per week, and time to do anything they need, but not everything they want," Amy M. Gardner, a certified professional coach with Apochromatik, tells Bustle. "They track their time periodically so they know where it goes."
So grab yourself a calendar, and get to it. "Getting on top of your time is something anyone can do," Gardner says. "Just start tracking where your time goes for a week and assess whether you're spending it in a way consistent with your values.""
11 Guilt-Free Tips for Saying “No” in Your Social Life
"Consider, for example, keeping your Saturday afternoons free or establishing a price threshold above which you won’t be able to attend an event. “Adopting a policy is a way of drawing a boundary,” coach and consultant Amy Gardner tells us. “Because it’s presented as policy, [the statement] ‘I don’t want to do the thing you asked me to do’ doesn’t convey the same judgment.”
Professionals Share Tips for Becoming More Inspired & Efficient in 2018
"It sounds counterintuitive, but I've found that when I invest time in exercising, I'm much more productive and efficient and have more energy. I am also less likely to waste time during the day if I know I need to be finished at work in time to get to the gym or need to go to bed early so I can be up early." -- Amy M. Gardner
Start now to become tomorrow’s legal leader
Find a mentor. This can also help you sharpen your leadership skills, but finding the right one can be an art. Check out “Finding a Mentor: You Don’t Have to Go It Alone in Law School” on p. 20 for tips. “Ideally you’ll have several mentors,” said Amy M. Gardner, a lawyer and certified professional coach at Apochromatik in Chicago. “You want to have people you can go to when you aren’t sure of the next step, trusted mentors who can give you advice and guidance.” Along the same lines, finding a champion in your organization who’ll make sure you get the right work and experience can help you carve out a leadership role, Gardner said.
8 Secrets of People Who Never Miss a Workout
A due date—in the form of a scheduled race—is motivation magic. “I started running in 2017 and part of how I got myself to run was registering for a 5K and planning to do it with friends,” says Amy M. Gardner, certified coach and consultant with Apochromatik. After her first 5K in April, she signed up for another in September and a 15K the following month. “Whether it was not wanting to finish a race dead last or just wanting to keep a commitment to friends, it helped me get out the door on the days when running wasn't remotely appealing,” she says. “By the time I registered for an 8K on Thanksgiving Day, I was doing it because I knew it would be fun and didn't need the peer pressure/embarrassment threat to get myself training [anymore].”
University of Chicago Webinar Series
Amy M. Gardner co-presented a webinar on attorneys and change for the University of Chicago in December, 2017. The webinar is available free, and no University of Chicago affiliation is necessary to view it. The session addresses changes on the horizon in the legal profession, the psychology of change and how to shift from anxiety about change to embracing it and thriving, and action steps to prepare yourself now to be able to embrace change and maintain your sanity and sense of humor.
11 Old-Fashioned Ways People Showed Kindness That We Should Bring Back
"Growing up, it wasn’t uncommon to just go to [someone's house] to visit without an agenda other than a chat, especially when people were ill or going through a tough time," Amy M. Gardner, JD, CPC, ELI-MP, a certified professional coach with Apochromatik, tells Bustle. While you don't want to barge in when they're busy, it might be fun to surprise someone, simply by popping by.
University of Chicago Webinar Series
Keith R. Sbiral presented a webinar on career transitions for the University of Chicago in February, 2018. The webinar is available free, and no University of Chicago affiliation is necessary to view it. The webinar addresses how to evaluate a career transition, and how to move forward regardless of whether you decide to pursue a transition or stay in your current position.
The Resilient Lawyer Podcast
Amy M. Gardner was a guest on the Resilient Lawyer podcast, where she spoke with Jeena Cho about her career path, goal-setting, an actionable and practical time management tool you can use to get on top of your time and find more of it, and the most important hour you and your significant other can spend together each week.
Hustle & Flow Podcast
Amy M. Gardner was a guest on the Hustle & Flow podcast with Heather Hubbard. Amy addressed performance reviews: how to prepare for them, what to do during them, and what to do afterwards.
23 Expert Tips for Your First Day at Work Starting a New Job
“You’ll meet many coworkers who will want to tell you ‘their side’ of its operations, practices, procedures,” says Keith Sbiral, principal at Chicago-based professional coaching and consultancy firm Apochromatik. “This can be very distracting if you get sucked into potential gossip or cliques early on, so keep an open mind and maintain neutrality.”
You’ll have plenty of time to form your own opinions about anything and everything relevant to your job: your colleagues, your boss’ management style, your organization’s strategic vision and priorities. Just not on your first day.
“Your job is to be a sponge first and judge the information later,” says Sbiral.
A Better You...
Resist your temptation to shout your goals from the rooftops--research shows that sharing your goals broadly can trick your brain into thinking you're well on your way to achieving them without having put forth any effort, thus making you less likely to achieve them. instead, share your goals only with your support system until you start to make progress.
How to avoid falling into a post-holiday slump at work
“Find a time management or goal setting program that will fit your workflow and really make a difference in your new year,” says Keith Sbiral, principal at Apochromatik, a coaching and consulting firm in Chicago. “These can range from David Allen’s Getting Things Done to Michael Hyatt’s Best Year Ever book and webinar.”
Most workers say that they’d rather skip the holiday party. Here’s how to survive it.
An open bar is often one of the biggest perks of a holiday bash, but there’s no negotiating that you’ve got to restrict your intake. Amy Gardner, a coach with Apochromatik, a professional counsulting firm, goes by the following rule: "Don’t drink more than you would in front of a prospective client."
9 Ways to Help Save Money & Stress Less on Holiday Shopping
The point of holiday gifts isn't to perfectly express every aspect of your relationship, says Amy M. Gardner, a 42-year-old certified executive coach in Chicago, IL.
Often, people think of an item a person might like and then try to find it at the lowest price, she adds. Instead, Gardner recommends first choosing a spending limit for each person, then only looking at gifts within budget that match the recipient's personality and interests.
5 Tips for Stress-Free Holiday Gifting With Your Spouse
Certified professional coach Amy M. Gardner offers a prime example of a couple that wasn’t clear about expectations — and while they might be fictional, the awkwardness of their interaction feels painfully real. When Emma Thompson’s character in Love Actually receives a CD instead of the beautiful necklace she expected, it’s a cringe-worthy moment for all. To avoid a similar situation with your own spouse, communicate early on about the expectations you each have for the season’s round of gifting. Gardner suggests setting guidelines about budget, handmade versus store-bought, and whether the items gifted should be things you want or things you need.
25 Easy Ways To Instantly Look And Feel More Put Together
"When you find an outfit you know you look and feel great in, save it for the days you're exhausted, have a big meeting, or aren't feeling your best," says executive coach Amy M. Gardner, of Apochromatik. "That way, the day after too little sleep or when you are worried about other things, you know just want to put on that will help you feel your best, despite the nerves or exhaustion."
The Secret to Making Friends in Your 30s
“We all have people in our lives who we sort of know: the neighbor you say hello to, the woman you see at yoga every week, or the woman you see every day in line at the coffee shop,” says Amy M. Gardner, a certified professional coach with Apochromatik. “You already have something in common with them, so rather than starting from scratch, focus on getting to know those friendly acquaintances better.”
15 Easy Hacks That Will Make You On Time—All The Time
Another solution is to circumvent the travel time altogether and host any meetings or engagements at your place. “That way, you don’t have to incorporate the travel time. You just have to make sure you’re ready to meet on time—which is easier,” says Amy M. Gardner, former dean of students at the University of Chicago Law School and the co-founder of Apochromatik, an executive coaching firm.
11 of the Best Ways to Make Friends, According to Science
Use the exposure effect to your benefit: The more often you are exposed to someone, the more likely you are to like the person. "Without becoming a lurker, spend more time at a place where you like to hang out anyway," says Gardner. "The more you do, the more likely you are to be repeatedly exposed to people who have something in common with you."