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Don’t ask the same question twice — from the Career Opportunities Podcast [Audio]

November 18th, 2019 Comments off

Don’t ask the same question twice — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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…or tell your Echo, “Alexa, play the podcast Career Opportunities”

If you want to truly endear yourself to your family, your co-workers, your boss, you business partners, your investors, everyone — endeavor to never ask the same question twice. When you ask a question of anyone, no matter who, make sure you capture the answer to that question for future reference. Even if you think you might never need that answer again, write it down. The fact is, you never know when or if a question is going to pop up again, so always err on the safer side and take notes so you never have to ask that question again.

Read Don’t ask the same question twice — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

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

Do you remember how unique you once were? from the Career Opportunities Podcast

October 16th, 2017 Comments off

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Take a moment to look around you while you read this column or listen to the podcast. Take in all your surroundings. Notice the clothes you wear, the furniture in your office, the books on your bookshelves. Look at the art on your walls, the DVDs near your player. Now, consider what all this says about you. Do all these things represent a unique individual or could this be the home or office of the mythical “Everyman”? Do these items present you as someone special or yet another cog in the world’s machinery?

The fact is, the nature of the modern advertising world and the nature of our corporate work within that world is to make us all like those around us. Where we once started out with all sorts of unique points and edges and curves, the world slowly grinds these off, often leaving us as round and smooth as everyone around us. There was a time, though, when we truly saw ourselves as unique individuals in the world. Long before kindergarten, peer pressure, high school, job interviews, and years of work, we once reveled in our individuality, our uniqueness. There was no other Doug, Rosanne, Jenny, Tracy or Jennifer quite like us.

Read this entire article – Do you remember how unique you once were?

 


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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! 

Podcasting, YouTube and Live streaming from Two Challenges in Building Your Career [Audio] (0:52)

April 11th, 2016 Comments off

A Clip from Two Challenges in Building the Career You Deserve with Douglas E. Welch. 

Watch the entire presentation.

Podcasting, YouTube and Live streaming from Two Challenges in Building Your Career

Listen to this clip

 

Douglas E. Welch (http://douglasewelch.com) presents to the class Career Development – Theories and Techniques at Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology taught by fellow CareerCamp Co-Chair, Danielle Gruen

The two biggest challenges are deciding what you want to do as a career and then building the career you deserve once you decide.

I discuss the Career Compass method of discovering your career wants, needs and desires and then using various social media tools to show people “What you do and how well you do it”

Transcript:

Last year, podcasting has exploded — with The Serial podcast and all these other — for whatever reason it has suddenly hit its moment. And so, I am recommending to people — if you have and interest in that — if you have have an interest either an audio podcast or a video podcast. Most of my gardening podcasts are video podcasts, which I also post to YouTube and elsewhere. If you have an interest in that, pursue it. It’s not as scary as it once was and it’s not as technically fraught as it once was. Literally, with your phone now, there’s the YouTube Capture app. I can send — record a video and post it to YouTube directly from my phone. Last week, as South by Southwest, and app came out called Meerkat which is basically, bring it up, click this, click that, I’m live streaming right now. Boom. And we’re live streaming on the Internet. It automatically got tweeted out and people can start to watch right now.

Links for items mentioned in this talk:

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Podcasting, YouTube and Live streaming from Two Challenges in Building Your Career [Video] (0:52)

April 11th, 2016 Comments off

A Clip from Two Challenges in Building the Career You Deserve with Douglas E. Welch. 

Watch the entire presentation.

Podcasting, YouTube and Live streaming from Two Challenges in Building Your Career

 

Douglas E. Welch (http://douglasewelch.com) presents to the class Career Development – Theories and Techniques at Pepperdine Graduate School of Education & Psychology taught by fellow CareerCamp Co-Chair, Danielle Gruen

The two biggest challenges are deciding what you want to do as a career and then building the career you deserve once you decide.

I discuss the Career Compass method of discovering your career wants, needs and desires and then using various social media tools to show people “What you do and how well you do it”

Transcript:

Last year, podcasting has exploded — with The Serial podcast and all these other — for whatever reason it has suddenly hit its moment. And so, I am recommending to people — if you have and interest in that — if you have have an interest either an audio podcast or a video podcast. Most of my gardening podcasts are video podcasts, which I also post to YouTube and elsewhere. If you have an interest in that, pursue it. It’s not as scary as it once was and it’s not as technically fraught as it once was. Literally, with your phone now, there’s the YouTube Capture app. I can send — record a video and post it to YouTube directly from my phone. Last week, as South by Southwest, and app came out called Meerkat which is basically, bring it up, click this, click that, I’m live streaming right now. Boom. And we’re live streaming on the Internet. It automatically got tweeted out and people can start to watch right now.

Links for items mentioned in this talk:

Help Support Career Opportunities!

Link Focus: Grab Over 500 Free Programming Books from GitHub from Lifehacker.com

March 7th, 2014 Comments off

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Grab Over 500 Free Programming Books from GitHub from Lifehacker.com

This story from Lifehacker.com points up just how easy it can be to get an education in today’s world. The article links to over 500 free programming ebooks available for download from GitHub — the home to version control service Git and a social network focused around programming.

Github

Github Web Site

Programming languages are covered, but also books on algorithms and data structures, databases, data mining, machine learning and much more. Hit the link for a complete index and download links.

Whether you are a technology beginner or someone seeking to build their career (or change to a new one) online resources like this a free and easy source of learning materials to help you on your way. Combine these with a mentor or two and you can be learning a lot investing mainly your time.

More info on GitHub:


Link Focus is a series that comments on some of the links I share on my social media accounts and here on the web site. To get these links as I find them, subscribe to me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and elsewhere. Also look for the “My Favorite Things” posts that appear regularly in the blog. These include collections of links for each calendar month.

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Archive: Don’t be afraid – You won’t learn unless you ask — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

December 13th, 2013 Comments off

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No matter who you are, where you live or what you do, if you really want to learn something about your work, your ideas or a particular product, you only have to ask. Of course, asking for feedback can feel embarrassing and even frightening. Still, listening to other’s consul and opinion is one of the most important ways that we learn to improve our own ideas.

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Books by Douglas E. Welch
  

The idea for this column came to me as I was watching a presentation at BarCampLA-3 (http://barcampla.org/), an un-conference here in Los Angeles that runs about every 6 months. One of the first sessions was Susie from SuperViva.com, a goal-tracking web site. I was impressed with the site, but I was even more impressed with Susie. She demonstrated the site and then asked everyone in attendance for their comments, questions and ideas. That takes guts! It also provided her with a wealth of information on what new features people might want and how to modify the site to better meet the members’ needs. Susie clearly thought her site was ready for review and knew she needed input from a wide variety of people, so BarCampLA offered her a great opportunity.

Now, you don’t have to go as far as presenting your work in a public forum, at least not yet, but there is a variety of ways to put the power of “asking” behind any of your projects, personal or professional. Start small and then grow into more public environments and larger groups of people as your project matures.

The first step in getting feedback on your ideas or projects is to collect a trusted and smart group of friends. Once you feel you have your idea in some basic form, take the idea to them and ask them what they think. This initial discussion can, and should, alter your original idea, adding features, removing others and getting you to the next step.

You start with a small group so you can acclimate yourself to the fear that all of us feel when we ask others about our ideas. We worry that others will hate the idea or even worse, want to change the idea so much that it no longer feels like our own. This fear is real and palpable. It is also the one thing that can keep you from learning and growing, so it must be overcome at all costs. Some of us can dismiss it through our own willpower. Others, like myself, will have to use tricks or rewards or otherwise force us beyond the fear. Whatever method you find best, you must move beyond the fear.

After your initial round of feedback, and any tweaks you have made to your idea or project, it is time to implement the first version. This version doesn’t have to be complete, but it should offer some clear idea of what you are trying to accomplish. Now it’s time to expand your feedback group. From the very beginning, everyone should be enticed to provide feedback on your idea or project.

Nothing can replace this hands on “usability” testing that the only the real world can provide. You will quickly notice issues and you should work just as quickly to resolve them. Sometimes, you might change one feature, only to realize that the initial idea was better. Change it back. Do whatever it takes to meet your user’s needs. I can guarantee that you will be learning something important every day.

Now that you have your idea or project in some basic shape, you repeat the process with an even larger group. This new group will bring different needs, thoughts and experiences to your project and help to refine it even more. Their ideas might contradict the concerns of earlier users, but you might find that this is simply a sign that a feature doesn’t work as well for 1,000 people as it did for 100. Again, you tweak and change, add and remove features and continue refining your ideas.

At this point, you have probably started to communicate your idea to the world at large, but this certainly doesn’t mean you stop taking input from those around you. In fact, this process should continue for the life of your product or service. If you don’t make a concerted effort to continually receive and act on feedback, you are stunting the growth of your ideas and business. 

***

Make your own Career Classroom — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

September 16th, 2013 Comments off

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The explosion of educational MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) seems to indicate a large, renewed interest in nontraditional educational opportunities. People are looking for new opportunities to learn when and where they can. While there are a tremendous amount of large MOOCs available, and you should be investigating them, this trend has also sparked my own thinking about smaller, self-directed learning opportunities. You don’t always have to rely on someone else to create your learning opportunities, like traditional schools and universities. You, along with a small group of friends, family, or coworkers can create your own time and place to learn together. In some ways, I think that these smaller groups can help you learn more deeply, in a more intimate learning environment, than any MOOC possibly could.


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What do you want to learn?

Your first task in developing your own Career Classroom is to think deeply about what you want and need to learn. This can literally be anything. Let your thinking roam. I believe that no matter what learning we do outside our jobs, it directly affects our career in some way. How could it not in a world where our lives and careers are so intertwined. Your new learning might be directly applicable to your career, like new computer skills or learning more about business and finance, or it could be supposedly non-business-related education such as art history or learning to play the guitar. Whatever you learn becomes part of you and you can never tell just how you might apply your new knowledge, so don’t limit yourself when thinking about your educational topics.

One of the best reasons for pursuing self-directed education though, is that it’s personalized to you. You get to decide what interests you most and then pursue it. You aren’t beholden to a specific college curriculum, specific topics or specific subject area. You are free to choose what you want and need most. What would you like to learn, if you gave yourself the time and permission to learn it?

Find like-minded people

Once you have your short list of educational topics, start looking for like-minded people to join you on your educational journey. Who do you know that is also interested in similar topics? Who else is looking for a way to expand their life and career? Reach out to everyone around you. You can never tell who secretly might be yearning for a way to learn something new. That quiet co-worker who diligently does their job might want to be the next great novelist. You can never tell, so you have to ask.

Once you have a topic and a small group of people to join you in your virtual career classroom, you will need to develop a plan for how you will learn together. Even though I am a huge believer in the power of technology, I believe that your career classroom should consist of both virtual and face-to-face elements. Use the Internet to share information and discuss the topic but, if you can, reserve an hour a week to meet in person to discuss your topic, too. Of course, this face-to-face time can be handled virtually and online, too. I am finding that Google Hangouts can be an excellent analogue for a face-to-face meeting, if you can’t get together in person.

The reason for this discussion time is that I often find the some of the most important learning happens during conversations rather than just through reading materials or watching presentations. Discussions almost always trigger new questions, new thoughts and, hopefully, new answers to go with them. Even when complete answers are lacking, though, conversations will turn up areas of your topic that require more research and lead even deeper into your subject and your learning.

You might be thinking to yourself, “but how can I learn without a knowledgeable teacher to lead me and give me the information I need?” For me, the best educational experiences come from when I learn something myself rather than having someone simply “download” their knowledge to me. Information in today’s world is much more open and available than any other time in our history. In your Career Classroom, you’ll have a host of information to “teach” yourself and your Career Classroom partners. Instead of having just one teacher, you’ll have, potentially thousands, all available at your fingertips.

Every student a teacher

One important lesson to take away from your self-directed educational adventures is that each person in your group is not only a student, but a teacher as well. I firmly believe that we learn best by teaching others, so that should be an integral part of your career classroom, too. As a matter of course, when another group members comes across an important piece of information on your topic, it is their job to teach it to everyone else in the group. In teaching this information, they will not only share it with you, but learn it even more deeply themselves.

Thinking “big” about your continued career education can be important, but don’t neglect the small, the focused, the personalized education, you can do for yourself and with small groups of friends, family and coworkers. We are often the best judge in knowing what we want and need to learn and focused, self-directed education can be one great way of learning it. Think about what you want and need to learn, then find others who want to learn, too. Together you can support each other on your educational journey and also become both student and teacher as the need arises. I think you’ll find that learning together using these self-directed methods could be a great way of building the career you deserve.

***

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