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The Art of Communication and Your Career from the Career Opportunities Podcast [Audio]

December 25th, 2017 Comments off

The Art of Communication and Your Career from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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Communicating well with those around you may be one of the most important parts of any career. Whether you are communicating with your family, your co-workers, your managers or the world, whenever you fail to communicate effectively, the consequences are swift and painful. If you are having issues in your career, take some time to think about how you are communicating. I can guarantee you will find something lacking in your approach that might have prevented a lot of workplace angst.

I was reminded about the importance of communication through a recent event in my own life. It involved a school announcement that the archdiocese (my son attends Catholic grade school) would be adding 20 days to school year, starting with the Fall 2011 calendar. While I personally had no real issues with this, the outcry from other parents was swift and loud. There were a variety of arguments against adding these days, but I believe at the heart of the argument was the presentation of this new policy as a fait accompli (a thing accomplished and presumably irreversible, Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).

Read this entire article – The Art of Communication and Your Career from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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(Re)Reading – Steal like an artist 10 things nobody told you about being creative by Austin Kleon – 1 in a series

December 25th, 2017 Comments off

(Re)Reading – Steal like an artist 10 things nobody told you about being creative by Austin Kleon – 1 in a series

I’ll be highlighting books that I am reading (or re-reading) on all sorts of topics this year. Today we start with this book on creativity, work, the nature of art and more. Even on re-reading, it never fails to generate new thoughts and new ideas.

Steal artist

You don’t need to be a genius, you just need to be yourself. That’s the message from Austin Kleon, a young writer and artist who knows that creativity is everywhere, creativity is for everyone. A manifesto for the digital age, Steal Like an Artist is a guide whose positive message, graphic look and illustrations, exercises, and examples will put readers directly in touch with their artistic side. — Amazon


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37 Copies/12 eBooks Available from the LA Public Library

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Commit to noticing and remembering more of each days progress from the Career Opportunities Podcast

December 18th, 2017 Comments off

Commit to noticing and remembering more of each days progress from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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Ask anyone you know and I am sure you will hear the same thing, “What day is it? How did it get to be 2011 already? The year is moving so fast!” It seems a simple truth that the older you get the faster the days, months and years seem to pass. We go to sleep in one month and wake up in another, not really recalling what happened in between. This year, though, I am going to try and pay more attention to the passing of time and the things I accomplish along the way. Call it mindfullness. Call it paying attention. Call it “Getting Things Done.” No matter what you call it, let’s commit to noticing and remembering more of each days progress.

Looking at the calendar I see that this is the 14th day and 2nd week of the new year. Both weeks have been very busy for me, but looking back over my calendar (a shared Google Calendar, in my case) I see that I had 11 client calls and 2 user group meetings and 1 night of archery practice with my son. We usually think of calendars as forward-looking devices, but they can be just as useful as a tool to remind us of everything we have accomplished. I even have a service that adds my Twitter messages to my calendar so I can see what I was talking about last week or last month.

Read this entire article – Commit to noticing and remembering more of each days progress from the Career Opportunities Podcast


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Don’t make resolutions, make action items from the Career Opportunities Podcast

December 13th, 2017 Comments off

Don’t make resolutions, make action items from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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I am writing on New Year’s Eve here in Los Angeles as celebrations of the New Year have already started in other, distant parts of the globe. We will be attending a party tonight to bring in 2011 ourselves, as will many others. One big topic of discussion at all these celebrations will be New Year’s Resolutions. The beginning of the calendar year is always a good time to reflect on the past year and plan for the next, but I want you to think about this new year in a new way. This New Year, instead of making resolutions, make action items. Instead of trying to make things happen, make them happen. To quote Yoda from the Star Wars movies, “Do, or do not. There is no try!”

The trouble with resolutions is they are a waffling way to approach change. There is already an assumed “try” in them and I think this is what allows us to abandon them so easily. There is also a bit too much thought and too little action involved in resolutions. We think and think on what we want to accomplish, but unless we take some direct action towards our goals they will always remain dreams.

Read this entire article – Asking a lot of myself…and you, too from the Career Opportunities Podcast 


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Demand more from yourself and others from the Career Opportunities Podcast [Audio]

December 4th, 2017 Comments off

Asking a lot of myself…and you, too from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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After a busy few months, things have slowed down a bit here for the holidays. This has given me more time to reflect on the year and think about what I want to accomplish in 2011. After a bit of this thinking, I find that the watchword for the New Year is going to be “demanding.” It will be a demanding year, but that demand will not be entirely external. The fact is, I am going to be demanding a lot more of myself, too. Even more importantly, I am going to be a bit more demanding of you…at least as much as I can be at a distance.

Read this entire article – Asking a lot of myself…and you, too from the Career Opportunities Podcast 


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Accepting Thanks and Communicating More Clearly from the Career Opportunities Podcast [Audio]

November 27th, 2017 Comments off

Accepting Thanks and Communicating More Clearly from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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The Thanksgiving holiday here in the US always leads to people giving a tremendous outpouring of thanks for everything from years of service or marriage to something as simple as holding the door at the grocery store. While it is always worthwhile to be reminded of those things for which we are thankful, there is another side to the conversation. We need to think more deeply about the act of accepting thanks and how that simple act can also lead us into more effective communication.

First, when someone thanks you, what do you do? Do you say “No problem?” It is a very common response, but I don’t think it really communicates a proper reflection of thanks. No problem seems, to me, more of an acknowledgement that something has been said instead of accepting the thanks that were offered. “No problem” is similar to saying “It was nothing.” The fact is, your kindness was more than nothing and accepting thanks shows that you understand the transaction that just occurred. You didn’t have to go out of your way to hold the door, pickup the dropped item or help with something else. You went above and beyond the call of duty and someone appreciated that fact. Take the thanks that were offered and acknowledge that you heard the thanks. Make the communication complete. It leads to a better experience for everyone.

Read this entire article – Accepting Thanks and Communicating More Clearly from the Career Opportunities Podcast

 


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Sometimes you just do the best that you can from the Career Opportunities Podcast

November 20th, 2017 Comments off

Sometimes you just do the best that you can from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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Sometimes you just do the best that you can. Most of us want to do more with our life, our work, heck, even our day, but sometimes you just can’t get it done. I am having one of those times right now. Everyone in the family seems busier than usual and it is leading to days where our only thought is sinking in to a comfy chair at night and turning off our minds. My wife has an amazingly busy scheduled teaching at 4 different colleges, my 7th Grade son is deep in his studies as well as flag football, chess and a host of other programs and I am taking on more of my “Stay at home Dad” role again as well as balancing that with my consulting and writing work. We all seem to be running in a hundred different directions at once.

Read this entire article – Sometimes you just do the best that you can from the Career Opportunities Podcast 


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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 17th, 2017 Comments off

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12 Show Your Work by Auston Leon

 Do It 2017! #: Show Your Work by Austin Kleon: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered [Book]

My reading copy of this book came from the Los Angeles Public Library in eBook format

Reading Show Your Work was like listening to my own frequent talks on career topics. Much is exactly the same message I have preached to people for years. That is, the only way to get your work noticed is to share it as widely as possible. Music must be heard. Art must be seen. Writing must be read. Otherwise, it is a wasted effort. Share, Share, Share One message I share deeply with the author is the utmost importance of sharing your work via blogs and social media. As the author puts it, “It sounds a little extreme, but in this day and age, if your work isn’t online, it doesn’t exist.” If your work can’t be discovered, stumbled upon, ran into, seen in passing, found in a Google Search, etc, you are severely limiting the exposure and discovery of your work. I don’t frequently use the word “MUST”, but I will on this occasion. You MUST make your creativity discoverable, through social media or other methods, or it simply doesn’t exist. Of course, you can ignore this if you are only creating for yourself, but most who create want their work to be seen, to be cherished, to be sold, to be understood, to be an important impact on the world. Don’t let your work languish. As the Bible says, “Don’t hide your light under a bushel.”

While your at it, check out Kleon’s other book, Steal Like An Artist (see my previous blog post on this book). I think you’ll find it enjoyable and greatly useful, too. What do you have to share? What should you be showing off to your friends, family and the world? 

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10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield | Douglas E. Welch Holiday Gift Guide 2017

November 15th, 2017 Comments off

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10 Do the Work by Steven Pressfield

I have read — and re-read — and would highly recommend you do the same. In fact, I am thinking that I will make it (and Pressfield’s earlier book, The War of Art) required reading before I will work with any client. Both books have helped me tremendously in my life and work. We all have to start somewhere on our creative adventures and Pressfield’s books are like an experienced guide that can help to lead us through the creative forest. Revisiting them on a regular basis reenergizes me to face the fight that all creatives feel.

Of course, creativity isn’t just the domain of some specialized class of people. We are all creative in unique ways and we all experience the haunting voice of resistance, as Pressfield names the monster that frightens all of us away from big, transformative changes in our lives. Pressfield reminds us of the nature of this beast and gives us the tools we need to defeat it — again and again.

In my work, I meet so many people who don’t realize their own potential. They drastically underestimate their power to change their lives and change the world. They face the resistance dragon and allow it to eat them nearly every time instead of emerging, triumphant, like St. George. It is often my goal to give them the tools — the horse, the lance, the sword — to help them slay the dragon of resistance just as I have to fight against it everyday. Sometimes I can bring them along with me — at other times, not, but I will never stop trying.

So, to repeat my unasked for advice — get these books, read them and then start on your own creative adventure. You can overcome resistance and create something new, something unique and something great!

The War of Art is also available from Amazon and your local public library. Add it to your creative toolbox today!

Do the workWar of art

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Little Boxes – and they all look just the same from the Career Opportunities Podcast [Audio]

November 13th, 2017 Comments off

Little Boxes – and they all look just the same from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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When you are writing your resume or interviewing for a job, do you fall into a common trap? Despite all your unique insight and experience, do you end up looking and sounding like everyone else? Do you we end up looking like the “little boxes on the hillside, little boxes all the same?” For decades we have been taught to sit down, shut up, and act like everyone else. We have been taught to wear the same clothes, watch the same television shows, read the same books and have the same opinions. Even a cursory look at the world today will show you that this is no longer true. The world is an amazingly diverse place. Yet, when we go job hunting, we revert to methods from the 1950’s and beyond. We endeavour to be the “company man” who keeps his head down and makes it through our career relatively unscathed. 

Read this entire article – Little Boxes – and they all look just the same from the Career Opportunities Podcast


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* A portion of each sale from Amazon.com directly supports our blogs 

** Many of these books may be available from your local library. Check it out! 

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