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Archive: Our passions — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

October 24th, 2014 No comments

Our Passions

Career Opportunities Logo 2012

From the Career Opportunities Archives…

Two weekends ago I attended the latest incarnation of BarCampLA. This unconference has become one of the highlights of my year as I get to “confer, converse and otherwise hobnob with my fellow wizards!” For a more detailed overview of what BarCamp is, you can visit the web site at http://barcampla.org. While that will give you a somewhat technical definition of BarCamp, for me is it a weekend devoted to passions. Passions about life, work and the world at large. 

Read this entire column – Our Passions

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Video: The Southwest Quadrant – Jobs you never want to do from Career Compass: Finding Your Career North

October 23rd, 2014 No comments

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Video: The Southwest Quadrant - Jobs you never want to do from Career Compass: Finding Your Career North


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The final quadrant — the nasty old, Southwest. We don’t want to spend a lot of time time down here. This is where, I am sure, some of you have spent some time. These are the quadrants — which is, things you don’t like to do and things you never want to do. Say you were a, say you were thinking of being a teacher, but you suddenly realized that man, you really hate little snot-nosed kids. You just can’t stand them and they aggravate you so much. That’s telling you something, right? You don’t want to be a teacher. Or you don’t want to be a teacher at the elementary level. I know it sounds silly and I often say silly things for the effect that they have. If you don’t like kids, put that on your chart — if you don’t like working with kids. Then you will avoid all the situations where you are forced to work with children. You would be surprised how many people don’t pay attention to something like that. They simply ignore it, because a job is presented. Bam! I got to take it.

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Video: Don’t let fear make you give up control from “Transition as the New Normal” with Douglas E. Welch

October 22nd, 2014 No comments

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Fear can drive us to inaction as well. it can cause us to retreat to our cave and basically let the — make the world go away. The worst thing you can do, because if you try to disengage with what is going on around you — one, it doesn’t further your actions. You feel further out of control and, frankly, if you don’t manage your life — if you manage your career — there are lots of people out there who wil gladly manage it for you. Your managers. Your supervisors. Your family. Your spouse. If you don’t make a decision, they will gladly go, “You need to do this!” and all of a sudden, you’ve lost even further control. You given up your control,to them. Which I don’t think is necessarily something you want to do. I think, even in the smallest ways, we need to feel in control of our own lives as much as we can.

Video: Don’t undervalue your achievements from “What is success and why you might have it already?

October 21st, 2014 No comments

Don’t undervalue your achievements from “What is success and why you might have it already? 

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We undervalue our own achievements. Someone will say, “Hey that was a great dinner!” You’ll say, “oh no no no. Found a recipe online.” We always do that. We’ve got to stop doing that. We really do. We have to realize our own achievements and understand “That was a good meal  and I’m proud of that and I will do that again.” We have to look at ourselves through other’s eyes sometimes. We have to let someone praise us and simply stand there — being in theater, where I came from originally That’s my degree is in theater — one of the first lessons I had to learn was simply when someone comes up and says, “Oh, what a great show. You did so well.” and just simply sitting there, taking it in and saying, “Thank You.” There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s nothing to be uncomfortable about. They’re saying you did a great job. Your job is to say “Thank You.” To say anything else insults the person who is praising you. You just said their opinion doesn’t matter to you. I want you to put yourself in their shoes and see you through their eyes. They saw something in you — of they are speaking genuinely — which most people do. They saw something in you that was exceptional. Take that. Accept that. Accept that as a success in your long road of overall success. The next time someone says Thank you. The next time someone praises you, I want you to just stop and say, “Thank you.” 

Video: A great career combines your wants, needs and desires from “It’s Your Career, After All” with Douglas E. Welch

October 20th, 2014 No comments

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You have to learn about your person wants, needs and desires. These are three words that I come back to again and again and again and again in my career columns and everything I do. Wants are those cool things we want. We want the flashy car. We want the nice house. We want the you know, whatever accoutrement or luxury that you would like to have. Needs are what you need to survive. You need the money. You need a place — a decent place — to live. You need a decent family life. You need to live geographically close to your job, if at all possible. And you desires are those things that go far beyond wants or needs and these are the intrinsic parts of your life that reward you. It’s a little difficult to talk about, but your desires are those things that — given your druthers, to use and old fashioned phrase — given your druthers, these are the things I love to do. These are the things that would give me the most joy. Well, as you might imagine, the ability to combine those three things together in a career — chances are you are going to have a darn good career, because your thinking about those three, necessary parts of any career that combine to make a whole that is much bigger than any of the three individually.

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Archive: The answer lies somewhere in-between — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

October 18th, 2014 No comments

The answer lies somewhere in-between

Career Opportunities Logo 2012

From the Career Opportunities Archives…

Another Little League season begins here in Los Angeles and my son is joining his fifth team. It would be overstating the fact to say that I enjoy this time of year, but I do support my son in doing something that he enjoys, even if I don’t enjoy all aspects of it. One great benefit I receive, though, is the opportunity to observe people and how they interact in this microcosm of the world.

Looking back over the last several years, I have mined my time at the baseball field for a number of different essays I have published post the last home run of the day. You might question how career discussions can rise out of a kid’s game, but I often find that parts of our lives can illuminate the issues we find in our careers. For me, life and career are inextricably linked.

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Video: Building a “Hybrid” career from Career Compass: Finding Your Career North

October 16th, 2014 No comments

Building a “Hybrid” career from Career Compass: Finding Your Career North

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Maybe you’re a musician, like my friend Andrea, and you have to make things work out. Well, one of the ways for musicians that I often recommend — and for other people that have outside interests — is, if you can’t do the job fully — if you can’t be a full time musician, perhaps you can be a part time musician while working in a company that deals, in some way, with the music business. You can exploit your interest in music by using it in different ways. You could use your knowledge of the music business to actually end up supporting and financing your interest as a musician yourself. I call them hybrid careers. Often times when people are transitioning I will talk to them and I’ll say, “well, what do you do on the side? What other interests do you have?” And perhaps they’re a lawyer or a paralegal or something like that, but they really don’t like working in a law office. One of the things I recommend to them is, “Have you ever thought about working for a software company that makes software for lawyers? Because you have some technical skills and you actually, sort of like the tech side and playing with computers. Why don’t you take your legal knowledge that you built up and you don’t want to simply throw away, but apply it in a different way?” If you’re a musician, why don’t you work for a software company that makes music software for kids? Or develops other projects for children based on on music. There are ways of taking your interests — the things you’re not doing today, but would like to do — and actually either build them into your current career or build an entirely new career.

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Video: Pay better attention to regain control from “Transition as the New Normal” with Douglas E. Welch

October 15th, 2014 No comments

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Take Control. Take it back, if you feel that way. take control back of the situation. In order to do that, you have to pay deep, deep, attention to your life. Often times, we tend to either get distracted or simply cease to pay attention to what is going on around us for a variety of reasons and that’s a sure cause of losing control. If you’re not paying deep attention to what your doing in your life and what is going on around you in your life, yes, you will feel out of control, because you can’t possibly hope to be in control because you’re not paying attention to what’s going on. In a talk I gave on Saturday, I talked about “I’m not asking you to make decisions willy-nilly — and just do them off the cuff. I want you to make carefully decided decisions.” When you’re faced with an issue I want you to stop — that can be hard when things are a little crazy, but there are times you just need to stop and say, draw it out if you have to, “What’s going on? What do I need to do? Where do I need to be?” — and then make the decision and act on it.

Noted: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know What You Want to Do via The Muse

October 14th, 2014 No comments

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don’t Know What You Want to Do via The Muse

3 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Don't Know What You Want to Do via The Muse

I started college as a musical theater major, but by the end of my freshman year, I knew I wasn’t supposed to have a career on stage. I dabbled in psychology before finding my calling in marketing.

A friend of mine, on the other hand, started her career as a marketer. But after picking up running, she’s in school to become a physical therapist. Another friend has been a software engineer by education and profession, and he recently transitioned into data science.

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Video: What does success mean to you? from “What is success…and why you might have it already?”

October 14th, 2014 No comments

What does success mean to you? from “What is success…and why you might have it already?”

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You need to define success in a way that makes more sense and has — this is an important word — has more nuance than the current beliefs of success. There are shades of grey here. What’s the mathematical concept, you can never actually walk to a wall if you are constantly walking half way to the wall, you’ll never actually make it to the wall. There are endless ways of dividing up these levels of success and the trouble is, success for you could be quite different than success for you..or you..or you…and probably will be. You may feel that living in a small town, working at a good job, having your own business in a small town, working online is much more preferable although it only pays this much — to working in a corporate office with all the stress, but it pays this much. I personally have made that decision in my own life. I often describe it as I buy time. I have time to spend with my son. I’ve always had time to pick him up from school, drop him off at school, go to school events during the day, because I work for myself. I make my own schedule. Do I make as much money as someone else my age with my skills? Not in the least, but you know what? I don’t care, because its those people who come to me and say, “Oh, I can’t go to the ball game. I had to work late. Oh, I missed him hitting the home run. Oh I couldn’t go see him in the play.” They miss their children’s lives. That’s important to me. Other people? Maybe no so and that is fine. Typically, though, if they’re complaining about it, it does effect them. They are upset about it, but they have given that away in search of something else. So, we all have to decide, for us, what we want out of this.

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