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Archive for March, 2011

Question: Do you plan on changing jobs in 2011?

March 31st, 2011 Comments off

Click to answer this question over on the Career Opportunities Facebook Page

Career op question

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I Like This – March 30, 2011

March 30th, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Elsewhere Tags:

Elsewhere Online: The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit new video series

March 28th, 2011 Comments off

My friend, Matt Moran, has re-launched the web site for his book, The IT Career Builder’s Toolkit and he is starting a new career-focused video series. Visit his web site (link below) for complete information and videos.

Matt will be doing a twice weekly videocast on careers, consulting, technology, and where they intersect with life.

Categories: Books, Elsewhere, News/Opinion, Video Tags:

Buy Now: Production, Promotion and Being Proactive in Your Career Transcript

March 25th, 2011 Comments off

Now available from Career Opportunities…

#alttext#

$4.99 via PayPal





Item will arrive by direct email after purchase

This 11,000 word transcript of my recent talk, Production, Promotion and Being Proactive in Your Career, is now available as a PDF download.

For far too long we have thought that only entertainers needed someone else to promote them and their product. What I’m suggesting in this talk is that everyone needs to reach out and create their own audience by realizing that their work deserves to be promoted as much as any actor or singer. This is true regardless of what type of work you do. If you don’t produce something unique, and promote that unique advantage, you are severely limiting your career.

This talk details the hows and whys of being proactive in your career and how to utilize new media tools to show people “what you do and how well you do it”. It offers clear steps to take your career to the next level instead of remaining the anonymous person deep in a corporate department.

This lightly edited transcript will allow you to review the talk more carefully at your own pace. You can also mark up, copy and paste sections to highlight the information that interests you most.

Categories: Books, Products, Speaking Tags:

Your career is about YOU! – Podcast

March 25th, 2011 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoYou may have noticed over the years that I don’t write about typical career-related topics here on Career Opportunities. Where other columns might focus on resumes or interview skills, I prefer to talk about how your career relates to you, your needs and your goals. Too often I think we forget the a career is a very personal thing. It isn’t some academic process that happens to someone else. It happens to you. You have to live with your career, day after day, so shouldn’t you be building the career you deserve?

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When we talk about careers we tend to focus on the external factors. How can I perfectly answer that tough interview question? How can I mold myself into someone this company will want to hire? How will our boss feel about this action? Will the company have issues with that? To my eye, we spend entirely too much time trying to satisfy external forces and factors and too little looking out for ourselves. The true success of your career is how much you gain from it, not how much others gain from you. Sure there should be a balance, but in most career situations we err on the side of pleasing our employer instead of pleasing ourselves.

This can get lost sometimes among the pressures of work. We can become so desperate to keep a job, any job, that we will do things against our own best interest. We will work ourselves into the ground. We will do only the barest minimum of work to remain employed. We will turn off our minds at work, trying not to notice how deadening the work has become. Do you recognize yourself in this description? I know there have been times in my own career where I have felt this way and I am sure you have experienced them, too. Recognize them for what they are — clear signs that something has to change. Then, go about making that change. It can be hard, but it is so basic to building the career you deserve.

Again, you must remember that your career is about you. No one else can, or should, make your career decisions for you. You are the one who must live with your career, so you should be the one directing that career. Sure, you can and should ask for guidance and advice, but beware hidden agendas of those who might be counseling you. A manager might try to convince to remain simply because she doesn’t want to got through the hassle of replacing you. Your family might tell you to “suck it up” rather than risk the uncertainty of a new job or career. Friends might discount a new job offer out of envy or indifference. Seek out those who truly support you in your career. Consider their advice carefully — then decide on your own.

Only you can make the final decisions in your career. You might seek to place the blame elsewhere, but in the end the finger points directly back at you. If you let others decide your career fate, they will. They have their own agenda, their own needs, their own desires. They will decide what is best for them, not for you.

So, what career decisions have you been abdicating? Which decisions have you allowed others to make for you? It’s time to take control and build the career that is best for you. It isn’t about this job, this company or even this particular career — it is about you, your wants, needs and desires. Once you realize this, you will find yourself on the path to a great career.



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I Like This – March 23, 2011

March 23rd, 2011 Comments off
Categories: Elsewhere Tags:

CareerCampLA-2 happens this Friday, March 18, 2011

March 14th, 2011 Comments off

CareerCampLA-2 is almost upon us.

If you, or someone you know, could benefit from a day of career development presentations and discussion, please join us! I will be leading a discussion on Social Media and Your Career and there will be a host of other great content.

CareerCampLA-2 takes place at Los Angeles Southwest College, 1600 W. Imperial Hwy, Los Angeles, CA from 8am-2pm. You can find complete information, video of previous CareerCampLA talks and register for your free tickets by visiting http://careercampla.wordpress.com.

I hope to see you there!

Douglas


What is CareerCampLA?

What is CareerCamp and Career Camp International?
CareerCamp is a community organized, career-focused, unconference which calls upon local communities and people to share their knowledge, expertise and other important information on developing yourself and your career.

What is an unconference?

Unconferences are self-organizing conferences, similar to many professional conferences, but instead of hiring well-known, professional speakers, they call on the attendees themselves to provide the content and focus for the event. Every person who attends is highly encouraged to present on some topic deeply important to them or, barring that, to facilitate an open breakout session or round table discussion or even just to engage and converse with their fellow attendees between presentations. A few organizers band together to find a venue for the event, recruit sponsors and invite attendees, but the focus of the unconference is driven solely by the attendees.

Some might question the usefulness of presentations by their peers, but we have found that there is an enormous amount of real-world expertise available in each and every local community. CareerCamp utilizes a format that draws out that expertise and benefits everyone. CareerCamp (and other unconferences) provide a structure and an opportunity to share this expertise in ways that traditional conferences do not. Additionaly, CareerCamps also attract career development professionals who can use CareerCamp as a way of introducing themselves to a new audience of potential clients.

How was CareerCamp developed?

The genesis of CareerCamp was found by attending BarCamp unconferences held around the world. CareerCamp founder, Douglas E. Welch, was a long time attendee of BarCamp, which is an event that embraces any topic, although it often leans toward technology. After seeing the success of BarCamp as a way to illuminate and educate within a community, Welch applied the unconference concept to the specific world of Career Development.

What is the typical structure of CareerCamp?

Each CareerCamp can and should be different, but there are some basic steps that suit the purpose of the day.

Much like any unconference, each CareerCamp is driven by a small group of passionate organizers in the local community. These organizers locate a venue, select a date, collect volunteers to assist on the day of the event and sponsors to cover the minimal costs of the CareerCamp. Local restaurants can be recruited to provide breakfast or lunch. Local stores can offer gift cards for their services to be used in a free raffle for attendees, often held at the end of the day. The organizers are also responsible for promoting the CareerCamp by reaching out to local media for coverage, sometimes bringing in various media as sponsors.

On the day of the event, attendees arrive, check in and are greeted in an opening session where the organizers briefly explain the mechanics of how the day will proceed. Typically, there will be a schedule board, divided into a grid of rooms and session times. Most CareerCamps have 3-5 session rooms for each hour of the day, as well another series of rooms or seating areas are available for open, un-moderated, “breakout” discussions. This combination of presentations and open discussions allows for a wide variety of content to be shared across the day and allows the attendees to choose among this content as most benefits them.

After the opening session, attendees proceed to the schedule board and begin placing their presentations, and breakout discussion topics on the board — selecting both a room and a time for their presentation. As the time for first “session” period approaches, attendees make their way to the session or breakout rooms and the first presentations begin.

Between each session, attendees are given 15 minutes to re-visit the schedule board and select their choice for the next session period. This process then repeats throughout the day. When possible, a catered lunch is provided, allowing the attendees to remain on-site and continue their discussions and networking between morning and afternoon sessions.

A closing session ends the day thanking the attendees, sponsors and organizers, soliciting feedback from the attendees and, in some cases, offering a door prize raffle of items from various CareerCamp sponsors.

What is CareerCamp International?

CareerCamp International is an organization dedicated to facilitating CareerCamp unconferences around the world. We provide information and resources to those local organizers who are interested in hosting their own Careercamp. Through web and mailing list resources, we connect past, current and future organizers to share best practices, promotional materials and expertise.

Past CareerCamps have included:

CareerCamp Online 2009
CareerCampLA
CareerCampSCV

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:

Those who take advantage – Podcast

March 6th, 2011 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoAs you have probably heard before in my writing, I promote sharing as a great way to promote yourself and your work. I believe that the more you share, the better off you will be. Often, though, people counter that advice with, “But won’t others just steal my ideas or otherwise take advantage of me?” Yes, there are people who will take advantage of your openness, but I believe they are a minority. The benefits of sharing what you know far outweigh the actions of a few bad people. That said, it is important that you be able to identify those who are trying to take advantage of you so that you can avoid them as much as possible.

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There are several “red flags” that can give you clear notice that someone is out to take advantage of you. This might often seem to be small, inconsequential things, but they are clear indicators of trouble ahead. If you run into any of these red flags, it is a clear indication that you want to proceed very carefully with any relationship. Don’t ignore your intuition. There is an old adage that says, “If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.” You could also create a corollary to this. If is sounds suspicious/odd/dangerous, it probably is.

Red Flag #1: Asking you to discount your fees or defer payment

There are some occasions when discounting or deferring payment might be in your best interest. An unpaid opportunity might be just what you need to gain exposure to a new set of clients, but choose very, very carefully. If the first discussion you have with someone is about discounting your usual fees, it is often best to avoid an opportunity. Experience has shown me that those who ask for discount up front are often the most troublesome clients. It is never a good sign and clearly shows that they do not value your work as much as you do.

If someone asks you to defer your payment until the project is sold or otherwise funded, think very carefully. The person will often proclaim a host of non-monetary benefits the project will have for you — exposure, contacts, merchandise — but in many cases none of that actually materializes. If you do decide to defer payment, you need to very active in obtaining the supposed benefits. Too often, though, the benefits never materialize because your partner doesn’t have the ability to follow through on what they offered. Have clear guidelines about how much “payment” you expect, even if it is not measured in dollars.

Red Flag #2: Lack of a “bias towards action”

Another clear sign of trouble is discovering that your partner lacks a “bias towards action.” The more someone talks about something, the less they actually achieve. Here in Los Angeles discussions can go on for years without producing anything, if you let them. Make sure everyone you partner with has a bias towards action, or look for another opportunity elsewhere. Otherwise, you might wake up years later to realize that you have been spinning your wheels much too long.

Red Flag #3: Not meeting the clients

If your partner insists on being the only person to talk with the clients, the investors, the producers be very suspicious. This often indicates that they are taking sole credit for your work and may cut you out of the entire process the moment they think they can. If there are meetings with investors, make sure you are included and make sure your work is being clearly represented as your work. This is one of the most dangerous situations for you, as you can see your hard work being used to make money for others without returning a cent to you.

Despite these red flags, I advise you to continue sharing what you know as freely as possible. The fact is, just because people have some of your knowledge, this does not mean they can duplicate what you do and how well you do it. You need to share in order to be successful. Books, business plans, artwork or scripts do no sell themselves by sitting in a drawer. They must be shared in order to be useful. If you stop sharing your work, you will quickly find that opportunities will stop coming to you. Without sharing, no one knows the great ideas you have. No one understands how special you are. Don’t let your fears block you from great opportunities. Watch for red flags, yes, and avoid projects where they occur, but also look for those great opportunities that come your way.



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