Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Close

Archive

Archive for August, 2012

Archive – Say what you mean and mean what you say

August 17th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

What do you do when the boss asks you whether a project will be completed on-time? How about when they ask you what you think about a particular project or idea? If you are like most people, you might prevaricate, hem and haw, even outright lie – anything to keep you out of hot water. It is a natural human trait, but one that has corrosive effects on business and relationships in general. We might think that we are protecting ourselves, or protecting the other person from some hard truths, but instead we are only setting ourselves up for eventual conflict and maybe even failure. If you want to have an effective and successful high-tech career, you need to say what you mean and mean what you say.


Please rate and review Career Opportunities in the iTunes Podcast Directory!

Career op itunes

Recently due to technical issues, Career Opportunities was dropped from the iTunes Podcast Directory. The show has reappeared but all previous Ratings and Reviews have been lost. If you enjoy Career Opportunities, please click the graphic above and leave a new rating or review to restore Career Opportunities into the list of top career podcasts on iTunes.

Thank you so much for listening and showing your appreciation for the work I do.


Like Career Opportunities on Facebook


Say what you mean

Too often, in the effort to safe face or save a job, we don’t say what is on our mind. You are afraid that pointing out the mythical naked emperor or the fatal flaw will doom any career aspirations you might have. In some companies this might be true, but if so, you really don’t want to work there anyway. In fact, it is by pointing out problems, issues, challenges or flaws early on that you make a leap forward. If an entire project is based on a flawed assumption it must be addressed early or you are sowing the seeds for project failure before you ever get started. Wouldn’t it be better to solve the problem while there was still time?

Instead we dance around the issue, demeaning the importance of the problem until even we don’t believe it is a problem at all. It doesn’t make the problem go away, though. It only postpones the inevitable crisis until such a time that you can do nothing about it. Crash! Another project down and out and no one seems to know why.

Starting today, you need to say what is on your mind. You need to share your concerns. You need to offer up options. You need to move away from little white lies and shaded truths and do what is best for you and your career. Failed project after failed project does nothing for your career, while speaking up and telling the raw truth that needs to be told could help your career thrive. You don’t have to be mean about it, but neither should you shy away. Simply offer up your thoughts and feelings and see if others can address them in a rational fashion. If not, trouble is looming.

Mean what you say

There is another side to this equation of honesty and openness, too. Not only must you speak up when problems occur, you must also exhibit the utmost responsibility to follow-through on whatever you promise to others. If you say the project will be on-time, it had better be on-time. If you promise to do the due diligence on a contract, you had better do it. You must mean what you say and not simply offer up words that others want to hear. If you can’t deliver on a commitment, you have to renegotiate this commitment or you and every one who depends on you is going to suffer. You owe it to everyone to let them know as soon as possible whenever you are unable to fulfill a commitment. Don’t leave them hanging until the last possible moment. Don’t leave your boss or co-workers without critical information or charts in a meeting before the executive. Don’t leave the web site design without a critical bit of programming on launch day. If you do, you are liable to find yourself in the unemployment line before the end of the day. Had you only renegotiated the commitment, or found some way to garner additional resources to help you complete it on time, you would be a hero, not a pariah.

Honesty, in all forms, seems in short supply today. Throughout politics, business and life the importance of honesty is diminished day by day. We don’t even call it lying anymore. People were mistaken, misinformed, out of the loop. They are never, ever dishonest. But calling dishonesty by a hundred different names does not alter the central truth. Say what you mean, without malice or hidden agendas. Mean what you say by keeping your commitments and honoring them like the bond that they are. To do anything less is a failure of courage, character and your career.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Jobs Available – Listings of all types at Jobs.WelchWrite.com

August 15th, 2012 Comments off

Looking for a job? There are a host of job listings available on Jobs.WelchWrite.com every day.

Enter the keywords you are searching for and your location to get fresh and focused listings.

Career jobs

Jobs.WelchWrite.com

Categories: Announcement, Jobs Offered Tags:

Fear should move you to action, not inaction – Podcast

August 13th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

Fear is an ever-present part of our lives. Since the days when humans stalked — and were stalked — on the plains, fear has been an integral part of our human experience. Based on this history, fear should not be seen as a bad thing. Rather, fear should be seen as a wise emotion, one that keeps us aware and alive and points out when we should launch into fight or flight. Unfortunately, for many of us in the modern world, fear is used as an excuse for hiding away and avoiding fearful situations when we should be facing them. In too many cases, fear moves us to inaction at exactly the moment when we should be spurred into action.


Please rate and review Career Opportunities in the iTunes Podcast Directory!

Career op itunes

Recently due to technical issues, Career Opportunities was dropped from the iTunes Podcast Directory. The show has reappeared but all previous Ratings and Reviews have been lost. If you enjoy Career Opportunities, please click the graphic above and leave a new rating or review to restore Career Opportunities into the list of top career podcasts on iTunes.

Thank you so much for listening and showing your appreciation for the work I do.


Like Career Opportunities on Facebook


Deer in the headlights

Take the cliche “deer in the headlights” moment. Just when the deer should be bounding out of the way of the passing vehicle they stand transfixed, unable to move. I know that in my past I have felt this same fearful paralysis, but I have also learned that it is better to do almost anything rather than simply stand there and take the impact.

I see this fear paralysis happen nearly every day with friends, family and acquaintances. They are faced with major life or career challenges, but they remain frozen in place. They can’t decide to move one way or the other and, just like the deer, they are run down by the event, giving circumstance all the power and only reacting to what has happened. As you might imagine, this is a horrible place to find yourself — feeling that life is crashing in upon you. There is an option, though. There is a way of taking control of fearful situations and using them to your best advantage.

Using fear to guide you

First, you need to learn what fear means. In today’s relatively safe world, we don’t fear life or death situations. Rather, we fear change. We fear new experiences, new jobs, new people. We fear anything that stretches us, our body or our thinking. Knowing this, we should recognize that fear is a harbinger of great things. Fear shows us exactly what we should be doing. To feel fear means that something is so important to us that we are willing to risk failure. In many cases, to be fearful of something is the strongest possible indication that you need to do it.

Next, you need to learn to take your fear and let it spur you to action, not inaction. When you are fearful of something, take some small action towards that new project, job, decision, whatever. For myself, I have always found a power and excitement in action. I have never felt so powerful — and so relieved — as when I have quit a job I did not like. Suddenly all the weight that you had been carrying on your shoulders is lifted and you feel light with possibility again. The fact is, we fear the unknown more than we fear the known, daily, disappointments of our lives. Why else would we stay in bad situations — bad jobs, bad marriages, bad locations — for so long. Don’t let fear trap you. Let it free you instead.

An action plan

The next time you feel fear creeping up on you, I want you to remember a few simple questions to ask yourself. These can help you to tame fear and use it for your own purposes.

Are you fearing what might happen or simply fearing the change itself?

Too often our fear has nothing to do with the actual event, but rather it is simply the fear of change in our lives and work

What small action can you take to move towards your fear?

Like Dorothy looking behind the Wizard’s curtain in the Wizard of Oz, confronting your fear will often reveal it to be small and unimportant

What is the fear trying to tell you?

Are you fearful of failing or do you fear success more? Sometimes the fear of success — fear of the changes success might bring — scares us more than the fear of failure. One change often begets more change and the thought of all that change can send us into a fear spiral. That said, the more change we face, the more we are able to face. Learning how to deal with fear and change is a cumulative skill. The more we do it, the better we get at it.

Too often fear can spur us to inaction at exactly the moment it should be spurring us to action. Don’t be like the deer in the headlights. Make a move. Leap out of the way of the oncoming car. Use your fear to motivate you, not trap you in a place you would rather not be. Fear is a powerful emotion. Don’t ignore it. Don’t hide from it. See it for what it is. Embrace it and let it show you the way to a better life and career.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Archive: Open your eyes and ears – Podcast

August 2nd, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

If you have ever visited the wilderness after a long time in the city, you have probably noticed an interesting phenomenon. When you finally pull over and turn off your car, you are struck with an odd, almost overpowering sense of silence. This silence can seem so “loud” as to almost be palpable – something you can reach out and touch. After a short time, though, you start to notice that there are indeed sounds among the silence. You start to hear the buzz of hummingbird wings, the call of a scrub jay and even the sound of the breeze through the trees.


Please rate and review Career Opportunities in the iTunes Podcast Directory!

Career op itunes

Recently due to technical issues, Career Opportunities was dropped from the iTunes Podcast Directory. The show has reappeared but all previous Ratings and Reviews have been lost. If you enjoy Career Opportunities, please click the graphic above and leave a new rating or review to restore Career Opportunities into the list of top career podcasts on iTunes.

Thank you so much for listening and showing your appreciation for the work I do.


Like Career Opportunities on Facebook


Just as we can become used to certain smells and eventually ignore them altogether, so we can block out the constant cacophony that surrounds our lives. It is only when we get away, to a different, quieter place, that we can see how much we are unconsciously ignoring – how much we are missing in an effort to control our lives.

This same phenomenon also effects your work life. Until you disengage yourself from the constant din, you cannot hear nor address the underlying issues, the hidden sounds, that hold the real issues and the real answers to your work and career. Of course, getting away from life’s noises can be easily accomplished by taking a trip to the mountains or the desert, but how do you escape the noise of your work? Here are a few ways to get started.

Change desks

Changing environments is a great way to shock your system and open up a new view of your work. As often as you can, spend a day working in another office or department in your company or working from home. If you are like me, you will immediately notice a change in your work. The new sights, sounds and interactions are sure to trigger different thoughts and actions. As you sit and listen to the work around you, you may discover hidden problems, dissatisfaction or even new ways that you can have a greater impact on your company.

Don’t bury yourself in regular office work, though, while working off-site. Do what needs to be done, but then open your eyes and ears to this new environment. Listen for the office equivalent of the breeze through the trees. At the end of the day, try to lock in some of the memories and feelings of how it felt so you can revisit them even when back in your own office.

Get out

You can experience even larger benefits when you totally divorce yourself from your work environment, even if only for a short time. One of the best methods, and one of the easiest, is to take a long walk. You can do this alone or take along an interested co-worker or friend. There is something about moving that frees the mind of its usual burdens. If you are walking with a co-worker, you will probably start talking about the usual complaints of office life, but given enough time, your discussion will turn to more important issues. You can even start your walk with a particular topic in mind and bypass the complaint stage entirely.

Write it down

Finally, one method that serves me well is taking my journal and a nice pen, finding a comfortable and beautiful spot and starting to write. In fact, this is exactly what I am doing right now, as I write this column. I am sitting at a picnic table in a beautiful wilderness park in the Santa Monica Mountains. My view overlooks a small pond with ducks bobbing on the water, birds calling in the background and the quiet appearance of a horse and rider from around the bend in the trail.

While it might seem odd to write about high-tech careers in such a bucolic environment, this contrast is exactly why I came here. Away from the “You’ve got mail!” bleeps and bloops of the computer (although still within cell range) I can let part of my mind wander while the other parts reach deeper for new thoughts, new ideas and new methods of improving my life and career.

While you may not think yourself a writer, we are all thinkers . Writing in a journal is just thinking on paper. No one else need read your thoughts. In fact, I recommend against it, but you will find that the act of putting your thoughts down on paper makes them real and concrete and greatly improves the chances of those ideas becoming reality.

Find a new place, whether it is within your company or up in the mountains, where you can escape the noise for a little while. It is only in this way that you can begin to hear the important sounds – the thoughts, the ideas, the desires – that will help you to grow your high-tech career.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Elsewhere: Large collection of Free Microsoft eBooks for you, including: SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Office 365, Office 2010, SQL Server 2012, Azure, and more

August 1st, 2012 Comments off

Eric Ligman from the Microsoft SMS&P Partner Community Blog posted a large collection of Microsoft-related ebooks available for free today on his blog. The books run the gamut from Visual Studio to Windows Phone 7 and area all available as PDF downloads.

If you work in a Windows computer environment, this could be a great resource for you and your career.

Large collection of Free Microsoft eBooks for you, including: SharePoint, Visual Studio, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Office 365, Office 2010, SQL Server 2012, Azure, and more.

Ms booksEric also has a second blog post with even more books available, Another large collection of Free Microsoft eBooks and Resource Kits for you, including: SharePoint 2013, Office 2013, Office 365, Duet 2.0, Azure, Cloud, Windows Phone, Lync, Dynamics CRM, and more.

 

Categories: Books, Education, Elsewhere, Shared Tags:
Google+