I recently did a Google Image search on the word “career” just to see what it would turn up. There I found lots of pictures of signposts and arrows, lots of uses of the word Career in various typographic styles and, of course, eager, young (almost exclusively) workers attired in suits, ties and/or skirts, often carrying briefcases. While I wasn’t that surprised by the search results, I find myself continually surprised by the icons from the past that we still use to represent work and career. Almost like the stereotypical usage of an old, rotary phone being used to represent a telephone or any type of call, the use of the briefcase or the suit and tie is just as outdated..
Yes, of course, many people still report to a standard office wearing the standard corporate uniform, but many others now work in companies, locations and even in attire quite different. In fact, I would say that the standard icons we use for career represent less and less of the modern workforce every day. They also highlight our outdated views of career at a time when we need new and more powerful ways of developing the career you deserve. The anachronism of these icons might fool someone into thinking that today’s work world is just like our parents, or grandparents time, when I think it is clear that today’s work world is very much different, much more complex and filled with so many new opportunities.
So, I am asking all of you. What do you think the new icon for career should be? What visual metaphors spring to mind when you think of your work and your career? What single image springs to mind when someone says the word career? I’d love to hear what you think and what might envision. Share your ideas in the comments on this column, on the Career-Op pages on Facebook and Google+ or reply to me via Twitter at @careertips. I’d love to see your ideas!
For myself, my own thinking about new career icons follows a number of tracks. Here are a few of my ideas:
Since its invention, the telephone has always represented communication and, in many ways, business itself. “Let your fingers do the walking” through the Yellow Pages used to be one, major way of finding business and services and even customers that you needed. Today, with the ubiquitous nature of computers in business, along with the more recent counterparts, the tablet and smartphone, I think a good case could be made for making these devices the “briefcase” of our era. Instead of folders of documents, the daily newspaper, magazines and perhaps a lunch crammed into a briefcase, we carry our data and our knowledge around in these smaller and smaller digital “briefcases.” I think it is safe to say that the smartphone alone could become an icon for overall human productivity, not just career. So much, both good and bad, useful and not, occurs on these devices that it seems likely they will become the new icon of work and career.
A network of interconnecting lines and arrows
One clear truth about careers in this age, and even in the past to some extent, is that your career is made up of a host of connections between people, companies, data and more. A network diagram with lines and arrows going in every direction certainly seems to reflect the nature of career. Rarely do you walk your career path alone. You are constantly connecting with new people, new technology, and new information. I think a good visual icon for career should clearly represent this integrated series of connections where we live and work every day. Not only would it better represent the reality of our lives and work, but also reinforce the importance of these connections both for us and for those around us.
People often appear as career icons — the dapper professional, the uniformed plumber, the rugged construction worker, but too often they are both stereotypical and generic. As I often preach here in Career Opportunities, your career is personal — one of the most personal aspects of your life. Your career is, and should be, unique from any other career in order to match your wants needs and desires. Stereotypes are less and less useful today, as more people are developing what could be considered very non-traditional careers. They combine a unique blend of skills, knowledge and desire to create their own, personal career. Perhaps this means that the best visual icon for a career should simply be a picture of yourself, doing what you do. Maybe you are simply the best visual icon for your career. Someone as unique and individual as the career they develop.
What images come to mind when you think of career? Do they help you in the building of the career you deserve or do they hold you back with archaic ideas about work and career? Share your best visual career icons with myself and all the readers and listeners of Career Opportunities. Perhaps, together, we can find a new metaphor that represents career in a deeper and more meaningful way and move “Beyond the Briefcase!”
For the 3rd year in a row, I will be speaking at PodCampAZ, (November 14 & 15, 2009) which I consider to be the premiere New Media event for the Southwest. Even better, it’s FREE!
I will presenting on 2 topics this year:
My Podcasting Workflow – Audio and Video – A Real World Example
Need some help getting your podcast started. Join veteran podcaster Douglas E. Welch as he takes you through his audio and video podcast process, including discussion on recording, editing, hosting, RSS and more. This is a “Real World Example” showing you the process Douglas has developed over years of podcasting and offering you lessons learned in the trenches.
Stay in control of your RSS feed
In order to maintain complete control over your podcast you need to guard access to your RSS feeds religiously. While services such as Feedburner and others can greatly enhance your podcasting RSS feeds, you need to take some basic steps to maintain control in case your RSS service disappears or tries to control your RSS feed. Learn how web site re-directs, WordPress press plugins and more can help you maintain control over your RSS feeds and keep your podcast in your hands.
As you can see, I am concentrating on some of the nuts and bolts aspects of getting your podcast going. After doing this for 5 years, I understand how fun, important, enlightening, podcasting can be and I want to share that power with everyone.
It’s that time of year again – PodCamp AZ is coming to the University of Advancing Technology November 14th and 15th! PodCampAZ is a FREE networking media unconference, dedicated to blogging, video blogging, podcasting, social networking, and all other relevant media. At the heart of the unconference is the opportunity to have a conversation at large with those innovators which have created a successful blend of relevant media and put it to work for them. Speakers will address emerging trends and best practices on everything from print and radio to mobile, interactive web, and in real life information exchange. During PodCamp sessions, attendees are free to drop in, listen and learn about what is relevant to their needs, and if they choose to, move on to other sessions. You can also become an interactive part of the experience by sharing your knowledge as a speaker or stimulating ideas and asking questions as an active attendee.
If you are an established or aspiring blogger, podcaster, video blogger, or social media advocote and want to meet hundreds of people with the same interests, head over to podcampaz.org to get more information about this exciting event. And above all else, register to attend PodCamp AZ!
I received an interesting call from a friend yesterday that is leading me down an interesting New Media road.
Our friend is also a teacher at my son’s school, so when her son was preliminarily diagnosed with the H1N1 flu virus, there was a bit of concern. She showed no symptoms herself, but the school administration was concerned with her being in the classroom while she could potentially be carrying the virus. That said, losing her time and skills, when she was not herself sick, pushed them to try something a little different. That fact is, what they asked me to implement has been possible for years, but this particular situation was enough to push them into action. This is probably a familiar situation to anyone who is an new media consultant. People have to come to the decision to investigate New Media on their own. It is nearly impossible to push them into it.
In the classroom
The software and hardware we are using is nothing special and many other systems could be substituted for what I am about to describe. First, all of our classrooms are outfitted with Smart Technologies interactive whiteboards. These are projector based systems where a computer screen can be projected and also “drawn on” electronically. Since these screens can project anything on the host PC, it was a simple affair to load Skype (http://skype.com), create a user id and login. In our specific case, a microphone for their desktop PC was located and tested. The built-in mic on a laptop or a USB headset would also have worked. We are going to try and bring in a simple webcam to allow the remote teacher to see the classroom, but even one-way video would work for now. (An assistant will monitor the classroom locally and act as an intermediary between the students and the remote teacher A webcam, though, would allow the remote teacher to interact more closely with the students — watching for hands raised and confused looks)
In the “studio”
The remote end of the connection, set up in my home office for this first run, includes a standard Windows laptop or Mac Mini desktop computer. On the laptop, we can use the built-in webcam for video or connect my Digital8 camcorder to either computer to use as a more functional camera. A camcorder is a bit better as it has better quality optics and also allows for zooming in on materials and demonstrations. This would also allow you to record a high quality video of the presentation as it happens for later use.
For the audio portion, I am equipped with both lavaliere mics, like you see on television news shows and a shotgun microphone, like those used to record on location for television and film. You don’t need any of these, of course. You can use the audio coming from the camcorder or web cam, the microphone built into your laptop or a USB headset.
Most presenters typically want some way of writing or drawing information for their students and, in some ways, this becomes even more important for remote teachers. I have several solutions ready for this.
1. Flip chart and stand
I happen to have flip chart pads, stand and markers which I use for my own presentations, so we could simply set up one of these and point the camera at the pad. These are available at any office supply store. If you were teaching from an actual classroom, you could also just use the blackboard or whiteboard provided there.
2. Computer applications
On my Windows laptop computer, I have the program ManyCam which not only allows me to select a webcam or video camera, but also allows me to display whatever is on my computer screen. In this way, a teach could use a word processing program to type out whatever she wanted to present to her students, including pre-designed pages, Powerpoint presentations or anything else they might wish. CamTwist is a similar program for the Macintosh. Both are free.
To take it a step farther, I have a small Wacom drawing tablet and pen connected to this computer. This allows me to load any graphics or drawing program and use the computer screen as a virtual whiteboard.
Again, you can make this as simple or complex as you wish within the bounds of the technology you have. In our case, I think I am going to start out with the flip chart and maybe use the other technology if we think it might help.
We are supposed to conduct our first sessions this Wednesday, so I will right up another report to let you know how it went — the good, the bad and the ugly.
As you might imagine, this same setup could be used to bring in virtual guest speakers for your class, group or event. I am amazed how few people take advantage of this technology and the access it gives to experts across the country and the world. It matters little where you teach or live these days. You can still bring amazing people to talk to your class or even set up virtual “sister classrooms” all over the world. Imagine helping your students learn with another classroom in the UK, Australia, Europe, Africa, — wherever.
If you would like to know more about using New Media tools like these, leave a comment on thie blog post or post your questions to the New Media Interchange Community site. Finally, I am also available to come to your school, business or group (perhaps remotely) and show how New Media can be used to further education in all its forms.
Internet radio play, “Prelude To A Revolution” about the American Revolution and the lead up to the signing of The Declaration of Independence was created, written and produced by Keri Dearborn, Michael Lawshe, Rosanne Welch and Doug Welch. Warner Brothers Sound Supervisor, Michael Lawshe and New Media expert Doug Welch talk about their internet radio projects and the impact of New Media and Voice Over.
Talking with people about new media in all its forms is always interesting. I see such opportunities in new media and I want everyone to benefit. In my discussions, though, I find it is so easy to overwhelm people with all the possibilities new media can provide. After 10 minutes or so, they glaze over and we find it hard to move onto the next level. There are simply too many options and people start to move into analysis paralysis..unsure what to do first.
After a long talk with a client today, I realized that on of the best ways to approaching this problem is to provide a series of “new media prescriptions” to start them on their way. Taking a lead from David Allen’s Getting Things Done, we need to establish the next, concrete action to take. Over the next several weeks I will be presenting a series of prescriptions to help move people into the new media world, one small step at a time.
New Media Prescription 001 – Get a blog!
One of the first steps anyone needs to take is to create a blog. In order to start moving on any of your new media plans, you ned to place…a home…where you can start to post everything you are creating. In most cases, we all produce content every day, but without a place to share this information, it lanquishes.
So, today, I want you to start a blog. You can use Blogger.com, Typepad.com, Tumblr, My Space, and any number of other free sites. If you have your own web site already, you can start a blog there as well. It matters little where you set up your blog. it is much more important that you set it up somewhere.
Next, if you do have your own web site, find some way to place a link to your blog on the main page of your web site. Get help in doing this, if you need it, but please do it. It will go a long way towards exposing your new blog to the world. It also helps to mail a link for your blog to friends and family. Ask them to share it with thier friends, too.
Finally, start posting content to your blog. What content? Whatever strikes your fancy. If you have attended an event, write up your feelings about it, shoot some video, post some pictures. Blogging and podcasting need not take up extra time in your day. You simply need to capture the content that is part of each day and share it with others. You’ll find that capturing your content will be much easier, since you now have a place to put it. Don’t believe me? Give it a try.
Need help getting your blog started? Ask your questions using the comments link below. You can even leave a video comment, if you like.
Next time: Podcasting, Video and audio without a web site
Everyday we read about the on-going conflict between new media (podcasting, YouTube et al, live video streaming) and traditional media (television, radio). While I believe there is a place for both in our media diet, there is a clear inevitability that new media will displace television, just as television did to radio.
Many-to-many media is quickly on the way to supremacy. The success of TiVO and video on-demand services makes it clear that the audience wants more control over their media and they want to consume “what they want, when they want, where they want it”. No matter what traditional media companies might create, anything that follows the old “broadcasting” model will continue to lose ground to media that provides interactivity and an on-demand accessibility, whether that is ona television set, computer screen or even our (ever more capable) cell phones. It would be folly to assume that new media is simply going to dry up and blow away.
The new media genii can’t be put back in the bottle. The audience has experienced the freedom that comes with new distribution methods and they like it. In time they will even come to love it.
The new media genii can’t be put back in the bottle. The audience has experienced the freedom that comes with new distribution methods and they like it. In time they will even come to love it. The Internet has changed the media playing field and it will never be what it once was. A once scarce resource, broadcasting bandwidth, has now been rendered obsolete. People have more and more opportunities for entertainment, created by people who would have never had a voice in traditional media. It is just as likely that you will be watching a show produced by your next door neighbor as one produced by NBC, ABC, and CBS, Worse still, without some major changes in the industry, the cost of network production will eventually outpace their advertising revenue as advertisers discover and adopt the new media advertising world. We are already seeing the beginning of that today.
It is my hope that traditional media workers will come to recognize this inevitable progression and bring their talent and creativity to what is, after all, merely a new distribution channel. They have skills and talent that can be better used in a new media world where projects actually get produced instead of suffering endless succession of pitch sessions that result in nothing but disappointment. Yes, budgets will be smaller, but just like new media’s ascendancy, it is inevitable that money will continue to flow into new media until we are seeing show budgets much like their traditional media ancestors.
Are you interested in the interchange between new and traditional media, join New Media Interchange, a group dedicated to bringing technology, creativity and entertainment together.
Join the online mailing list or join us at one of our face-to-face meetings