In the past, you might have been told to jealously guard the secrets to your success and only give away as much information as it took to achieve your goals. Each piece of information you had, that someone else lacked, gave you a bit more power — a bit more leverage. You would tie people to you, knowing that no one person had all the answers — all the secrets. This was the path to career success. The goal was to make everyone so dependent on you that they couldn’t dare fire you. If you haven’t already figured this out, that world is no more. Using such behaviors today is more likely to get you fired rather than build your career.
Whatever indicators you use, it seems clear the US economy is slowing down…some even say, stalling. Whenever the economy slows down it can put tremendous burdens on us all as we are driven to work longer hours with fewer people, along with suffering the stress of on-going layoffs, reduction in hours and more. Looking back on previous downturns, I see that taking care of yourself, physically, emotionally and economically, becomes extremely important. If you don’t, you can find yourself adding personal problems to the economic ones you already face.
And sometimes, we need to take the — we need to stand and have the courage to look to those edges of things and say “Hey, that’s something that’s really cool that’s happening over here where these 2 things bump up together. Maybe I can make something of that.” We’re not stuck in the standard job rules of saying “This is Job A. This is Job B. All jobs are pre-defined. They all come with their own list of requirements.” No. You can make jobs up. You can find places where you interests interact and find a job that falls in that sliver of compatibility for you. Where not only are you interested in the job for this reason, but also for this reason. To me, the more combinations of your interests you can find in a given job, the better you will like that job, because it will engage you to your highest degree. You won’t be using just this part of your brain. You’ll be using your whole brain. It won’t be using just your fingers to type on a keyboard. It will be using the part of your mind that knows numbers and figures and accounting or art design or whatever. I think that, oftentimes, we miss those opportunities because we do get stuck in that kind of rigid thinking of this job and this job and this job.
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It is the 4th of July, Independence Day here in the US, where we celebrate the founding of our nation. If you haven’t read the declaration recently, there are some truly stirring words to be found there, starting with “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” While we all may be created equal, the circumstances of our lives are quite different. In many cases, we find it hard indeed to seek out “…life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness…” in the ways the signers first imagined. We are constrained by so much in society today, both culturally and economically, that we each need to form our own “declaration of independence” and seek out that happiness we all so deserve.