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Archive for February, 2013

Looking for a few good advisors/editors for my next Career Opportunities book!

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

I am starting to ramp up production of my next Career Opportunities book and I am looking for a few good advisors/editors to help me make it as great as possible. This will involve “crowd sourcing” this advice — having a number of people look at and comment on what I am producing.

Books

The next book is tentatively entitled “It’s Your Career After All: The Best of Career Opportunities – 2003-2012.”

This will be a collection of columns from the eight years since I produced “The High Tech Career Handbook” back in 2003. Additionally, though, I am looking to expand on the previous material with sidebars, comments, annotations, links and more. This is where the advisors come in.

I am looking for perhaps 10, dedicated, advisors to help me with the creation of this book. This number might change as I move forward, but I my thinking is that 10 people can easily coordinate and communicate both with myself and their peers over the course of the book’s creation.

At this point, of your work, I am offering a free electronic copy of the book and Advisory Board credit in the book when it is completed. That said, I am hoping that you will get more from your advisory role than just a book. I think the conversations we have around the various topics could offer a great chance to think deeply about your career and hopefully jumpstart you on to some unforeseen adventures.

To be clear, this will be a lot of work. Right now the collected Career Opportunities columns run to about 50K words. With the additions I already have in mind, I can foresee the final word count to be around 75K words. While I will ask everyone to suggest edits and corrections, I am, more importantly, looking for questions that need to be answered, expansions that bring more value to the existing text, new areas of thought to be explored.

Are you interested in joining me on this journey? Email me at career@welchwrite.com and let me know your level of interest in the project. What special qualities do you bring to the table? I would love to have a wide range of advisors — in age, in skills, in careers — so that the book provides as much value as possible.

Thanks for reading and listening to Career Opportunities!

Categories: Announcement, Books, News/Opinion Tags:

Archive: “A Year of Leadership” with Douglas E. Welch, CareerCamp Online 2009

February 28th, 2013 Comments off

From the archives, here is a video of Douglas E. Welch presenting on “A Year of Leadership” for the very first CareerCamp, CareerCamp Online 2009.

year-of-leadership

Can’t see the video above? Watch “A Year of Leadership” on YouTube

 

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What you need #2: Work that you love — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

February 27th, 2013 1 comment

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What do you need to have a successful career? I think one of the most important parts of any career is finding work that you love to do. Great careers are not built on work you don’t mind doing or work you can do without any effort or work you can tolerate. Great careers are built on doing work that you love to do — work that you can’t imagine not doing — and work that excites you, invigorates you and gets you out of bed each morning ready to tackle whatever comes your way. 


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Dew web

Does this sound like a fantasy? Does it make you think, “There can’t possibly be work like that for me!” The fact is, though, that everyone can and should find work that they love to do. Your future — indeed our future as a people — rests on more people finding life’s work through which they can dramatically heighten their effect on the world. The past is past and will not serve us anymore. America — and many other industrialized countries — are no longer worlds of manufacturing and hard, physical labor. The work world is now one of thinking and dreaming and acting to make those dreams come true. If you want to find your place in this new world, finding work you love can be an important first step.

I know, many of you might be thinking, “but work is meant to be onerous, dull and difficult. That is the way it has always been.” While that may have been true in the past, I don’t think it is a requirement for the future. Sure, you can stunt your career growth by failing to develop skills, failing to find your niche in the work world or failing to understand how the work world has changed. If you do these things it is nearly assured that you will have the type of career that was prevalent in the past. A career that is “nasty, brutish and short” to quote Thomas Hobbes. Today, though, you have a choice. You can work hard for someone else or you can work hard for yourself and your career.

If you believe that your work and career must be onerous, dull and difficult, then that is exactly what you will achieve. We are all burdened with concepts from the previous generations — and previous centuries. Some parents and other elders might explain to us that work is meant to be unpleasant — something you merely tolerate — rather than a place to find fulfillment. While this might have been more true in the past, here and now in 2013 there is no need for this to be true. We have more freedom and more ability to develop the careers — and lives — we deserve than ever before in history. We only need to reach out and grasp the opportunities we are given and stop trying to develop a career with a 19th Century mindset.

How do you find work that you love?

First, you have to discover what work you are most capable of doing. You’ll need to do some hard thinking about what natural skills you bring to the table. Are you good with mathematics, spatial concepts, logic, empathy, interpersonal skills? Then you need to think about how you might apply your natural skills to your life’s work. If you are empathetic and have good interpersonal skills, you might go into caregiving, psychology, medicine or a host of other people-related careers. Do you excel at logic and math? Careers in statistics, investing, and programming might hold interest for you.

The best thing about starting with this approach is that when you discover and think about your natural skills, it often points the way to your desires, too. If you have natural skills in one area, you may find that that is also work that you would love to do on a daily basis. This isn’t always true, of course, but following your natural skills certainly leads you in the right direction. Too many of us never think about our skills and our desires when building a career and we often end up in jobs that go against our own interests.

Once you have discovered your natural skill set, you can begin to look for work that builds on those natural skills as much as possible. While looking, think about ways that your skills and work might have great effects on the people, companies and world around you. Where can you do the most good for both yourself and the world? Where can you have the most impact? This is where you should focus your attention. In fact, that becomes a great early decision factor for accepting or rejecting any individual job. Is this a job/company where you can have great effect or will you be just another cog in the machine? Effective people build a career where “cogs” are simply replaced with another, similar cog, when the need arises.

If you need help in discovering your natural skills — and your career likes and dislikes, please take a look at my book, Career Compass: Finding Your Career North. There I detail a method of discovering the work that you love to do and also the work you most dislike. With this knowledge you can begin seeking out and accepting jobs that will lead to your great career and not some poor duplicate of your parents’ — or even worse, grandparents’ — careers.

I believe that you might do adequate work in a job or career you do not love. You might even, on occasion, do good work. I also believe, though, that you can never do GREAT work at a job or career that you do not love. Love is an essential ingredient in any great career. Love allows you to grow. Love gives you the energy and drive to work hard — perhaps harder than ever before. Love drives you to acquire new skills, new knowledge and new insights so you can have even more effect on the world. Love is what keeps you working when faced with difficult challenges. Love is what helps you build the career you deserve!

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Books on Hold: Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future

February 26th, 2013 Comments off

Books on Hold is a blog series dedicated to books I have seen in passing and requested from my local library. See more in the series at the end of this blog post. — Douglas

Just Start: Take Action, Embrace Uncertainty, Create the Future

From Amazon.com…

“In a world where you can no longer plan or predict your way to success, how can you achieve your most important goals? It’s a daunting question. But in today’s environment, where change is the only constant, it’s a question everyone must answer. This is true whether you are an innovator or an entrepreneur, a manager or a newly minted graduate.

The first step, say the authors of this book, is this: “Just start.” In other words, take action now and learn as you go.

Written by a trio of seasoned business leaders, Just Start combines fascinating research with proven practices to deliver a reliable method for helping you advance toward your goals—despite the uncertainty that is all too common today. Babson College President Leonard Schlesinger, organizational learning expert Charles Kiefer, and veteran journalist Paul B. Brown share their own deep and varied experiences and draw from a source where striving amid constant uncertainty actually works: the world of serial entrepreneurship. In this world, people don’t just think differently—they act differently, as well.”

Previously in Books on Hold:

Categories: Books, Business, Education Tags:

Jobs Available – Listings of all types at Jobs.WelchWrite.com – Search by keyword and location

February 24th, 2013 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:

Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – Feb 24, 2013

February 24th, 2013 Comments off

Job Openings from Tuesdays with Transitioners

Jennifer Oliver O’Connell, organizer of Tuesdays with Transitioners posted these job listings recently. Join Tuesdays with Transitioners Meetup group to receive these job listings directly via Meetup.com and email.

Job Listings from Tuesdays with Transitioners – February 24, 2013

  • Assistant Manager, Curriculum Development
  • Wells Fargo
  • Sales Management Consultant, Tuscon Area
  • Big Lots Northridge opens March 1
  • Elephant Bar in Northridge, opening soon!
  • Ross Dress for Less is hiring!
  • Rubios Mexican Grill is hiring
  • Software Q&A Engineer

Link to Tuesdays with Transitioners for details on all these positions

** Find more jobs on the Career Opportunities Job Board from SimplyHired.com

Archive: Work and Freedom — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

February 22nd, 2013 Comments off

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When we are working, we often think about what those hours will buy. Is this part of a new car, a new HDTV, a new house? We think in terms of money — how much per hour, how much we need to cover our credit card bills, how much to pay the mortgage? I believe, however, that we are buying something much more important with our work hours — something much more precious. We are not just making money or buying “things”, we are actually purchasing little pieces of freedom. When you think about work in this way, it takes on even greater importance in our lives.
Not money or things


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While we might like to believe we have unlimited freedom in today’s society, if you look at your life you will see that that is not quite the case. We have to make compromises every day. We have to make enough money to support ourselves and our families. We have to live where there are sufficient jobs. We have to live in houses that look like all the others. We systematically sell pieces of our freedom so that we may live.

That said, we also need to consider the possibility of buying back some of that freedom every day. Saving money, under-consuming and focusing on those things that are truly important to us can take back moments of freedom that money alone cannot buy. Sometimes we even have to sacrifice money and possessions to regain large chunks of freedom that our friends and neighbors only dream about.

The freedom to…

So what are these moments of freedom?. I will use a few examples from my own life. Over that last 10 years, both my wife and I have “sacrificed” a more “normal” lifestyle in order to achieve a large degree of personal freedom. Sure, we have to work. We have to make money. We have to pay our pills, but we do this more as necessity rather than a focus of our lives. We have given up the stability, prestige and monetary benefits of corporate jobs, but we have gained much more. We gain the freedom to be available to pick up our son each day at school. Since we establish our own work schedules, we can decide to go to the beach on a Wednesday when it’s less crowded and work on Saturday. To a large degree we can choose who we work for and the work that we do. Each hour I spend working yields even more hours of freedom.

We also gain the freedom to be able to work wherever we might be. Sure, my computer consulting business mainly ties me to the city, but I often support clients who travel all over the country. I am also confident that, if necessary or desired, I could reestablish my business in any city of significant size. I have the freedom to work for one person, one company or many, which keeps me from depending on any one source for my income.

Too often, people give lip service to the concept of a balanced career. They complain that they want more time with their family, but they aren’t prepared to give up the 100 inch plasma TV in order to have that time. They feel trapped in their jobs because they have so over-extended their income in buying the trappings of a good life. They HAVE to go to work, otherwise what little outside life they have will falter. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to have more time with your family, then you have to work fewer hours, not more. Working more hours, to make more money, actually reduces your free time. Instead, you need to decide to spend less, so you can work fewer hours, and then spend that time with your family. You need to buy freedom, not things.

You cannot buy freedom with money, no matter how hard you work. You can only buy freedom by reducing the amount of money you need to make to support your lifestyle. Once you achieve this, your time with family, the time to explore your interests and the time to live the life you wish will arrive. Remember, you are not simply getting a paycheck each week for your labors. You are buying your freedom.

***

Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Video: Career Interview with Andrea McClain of M Street Coffee – Indie Coffee Bar Owner

February 22nd, 2013 Comments off

A conversation with Andrea McClain, owner of M Street Coffee (http://mstreetcoffee.com) in Sherman Oaks, California. Recorded for CareerCamp Online 2009. We talk about Andrea’s career path and the challenges of running your own business and being an entrepreneur.

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Video: A Year of Self Preservation with Douglas E. Welch – A presentation to Tuesdays with Transitioners

February 20th, 2013 Comments off

I was invited out to speak to the career group, Tuesdays with Transitioners, in what has become an annual presentation. This year I present “A Year of Self Preservation.” You can watch the entire presentation below in this YouTube video.

It is a fact of nature that we often spend many hours of each day focused on someone else. We focus on our boss, our job, our family, our projects — but one person is usually left out of this focus — you! We can easily lose ourselves in the clamor for our attention. This year, though, I call for “A Year of Self Preservation”. A year of returning the focus to ourselves and our own lives, so that we can continue to help others.

It is my firm belief that we can only, truly, help others when we ourselves are in a good position. If we try to do too much, without the support of friends, family or a stable income, we risk placing our own life, work and income in jeopardy. This isn’t selfishness. Self preservation is about establishing a firm foundation where you can stand so you can offer a helping hand to others.

The tenets of A Year of Self Preservation are:

  • Taking care of yourself first — not last
  • Learning when and how to say — No
  • Distancing yourself from negativity and avoiding the downward cycle

 Attendee Comments

“Valuable information, superbly presented. Time well spent.”

“Very good subject and some great insight on the topic. I enjoyed it.”

“Today’s meetup was very thought provoking. Douglas’s presentation was wonderful and very timely. We must constantly be reminded of this “self preservation” and the importance it plays in our happiness throughout life.”


Watch “A Year of Self Preservation” on YouTube


Books by Douglas E. Welch
  

 

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Our own actions matter more than President, Pope or Prime Minister — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

February 19th, 2013 Comments off

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In these days of global, instantaneous, communication, we are much more aware of what is happening in the higher circles of government. We know what bills are making their way to the House floor, what debates we will see in the House of Commons and how the latest tax law changes will effect us. That said, due to this better communication, we often overestimate how much effect these large governmental organizations have on our day-to-day life. In the worst cases, we can begin to ignore what is happening in our own backyard, in our own families, in our own careers. It is important to remember that your daily actions will have far more effect on your life than nearly any governmental action. 


  

When we over-focus on what the President, Pope or Prime Minister is doing we lose sight of more immediate — and I would say, possibly more important — issues close to home. Should you ignore government entirely? Of course not, but you also shouldn’t let it become the daily driver of your thoughts and actions. I can guarantee you that there are much more pressing issues close at hand that desire — and require — more of your attention.

In some cases an excessive focus on high-level, external issues is often just a way to avoid facing the issues that are close at hand. Every day I see people worried about this policy or the other — and how it might effect then — when their own immediate household is in disarray. Sure the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve is certainly important in the grand scheme of things, but shouldn’t you be more concerned with the fact that half your staff is so unhappy they are on the verge of walking out? Shouldn’t you be more focused on the fact that a big order for very important customer is about to be late and cost you thousands of dollars in future sales? Yet, I still see people spending hours of their time discussing, arguing and even obsessing over the big picture while ignoring the small.

In some ways I think this behavior comes from a bit of arrogance. We like to think that since we are aware of these governmental policies more than ever before, we can effect them more than ever before and they effect us more than ever before. The truth is, governmental policies often only effect us in small, incremental ways and we can often effect them in very small ways. It is rare (although not unheard of) that a policy will remove your ability to do business. On the other hand, though, a major crisis in your own office, factory or startup could effect your viability directly and quickly. Where should you be devoting more of your attention?

You have the power in your hands to directly effect your life, your business, your career every day. The actions you take — from the smallest to the largest — will decide how successful you are in all of these areas. Don’t allow yourself to get too tied up in the machinations of governments (and large, far-flung corporations). Focus on what is happening right in front of you first. It is here where you can have the deepest impact. In some cases, your immediate, local, direct actions can have effects far up the chain of government. Just as employees are challenged to “manage from below”, your actions at the local level can have far reaching effects.

The world can be a frightening and confusing place sometimes. As we gain access to more and more global information, we can feel somewhat powerless to effect higher level policy and actions. While it would be great for all of us to feel more powerful in the management of our government, that fact is our biggest power still lies within us. It lies in the direct effect we have on the people and and world immediately around us. Don’t lose sight of how important that can be to both your life and career. This direct effect — not the actions of Presidents, Popes and Prime Ministers — is what will define your life and legacy.

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Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:
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