Career Opportunities

Helping to build the career you deserve!

A weekly ComputorEdge Column and twice-weekly podcast by Douglas E. Welch
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Elsewhere Online: Toxic employees from Seth Godin

I think we can all identify the toxic employees Seth describes here. Mainly because we have often faced them in our day-to-day retail and service intereactions. Even worse, some of us may have even been these toxic exployees at some point in our career. I know I had some times when I was leaning in that direction.

I will second his opinon that toxic employees are often the result of the company and management. If you accept toxic employees and/or continue to create them, you have no one to blame but yourself when customers never come back.

Toxic employees

Toxic employees are the ones that have difficulty with their co-workers, or worse, far worse, with your customers.

They make two big confusions:

1. They confuse "How can I help this prospect/customer?" with "How can I get rid of this person and get back to work?"

2. They confuse, "How can I have a better day by treating this person with a great deal of respect?" with "Why isn't this person treating me with the respect I deserve?"

Toxic employees are usually afraid, poorly managed and underappreciated. They can rarely be bullied into changing their behavior, often because they themselves are bullies. Managers can hire the non-toxic, re-assign the toxic and be really clear with themselves that they're willing to pay almost any price to keep toxic employees away from everyone else. And if toxic employees appears to be a pattern, my bet is that it's your fault, not the employees.

From the customer standpoint, if you face toxic employees at a company, you have to take a stand by complaining and/or never patronizing them again. It is the only way that companies will realize that having employees such as this is simply unacceptable. Are you ready to take responsibility for your own satisfaction?

(Via Seth's Blog.)

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Cultivating your career reputations

Career Opportunities podcast logoToday marks the beginning of a series of columns on what I consider a very important topic...your reputation. You will notice above though, that I use the plural form, reputations, in the title. While we often talk about one, monolithic, reputation, I believe that there are a series of reputations that make up the whole. Each column in this series will focus on one particular reputation that makes up your overriding reputation. By examining each one in detail, I hope to provide you specific areas where you can alter and improve your work, your actions and your thoughts so that your overall professional reputation grows.

Next Friday: August 3, 2007: A Reputation for Fairness

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Recently requested from the library

Here are 2 books I recently requested from the library. One great thing about Los Angeles is the size and breadth of its library system. It is rare I can't find a book, even recently published, in its collection.

You can hear interviews with both of these authors on Tech Nation with Moira Gunn from the IT Conversations web site. Follow these links to listen directly from the web site.

Steve Ettlinger - What's Inside a Twinkie?

What's inside a twinkie? Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Steve Ettlinger, author of "Twinkie Deconstructed," who reveals that it isn't all technology.

Nassim Taleb - The Black Swan

Dr. Moira Gunn speaks with Nassim Nicholas Taleb, the author of The Black Swan, about the role of the improbable in our lives.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Podcast Listeners and readers -- Join my LinkedIn Network

Join my linked in network to share information, discussions, recommendations and more.

Please mention youa re a listener or reader of Career Opportunities when you send your invitation.

View Douglas Welch's profile on LinkedIn

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Event: Twiistup 2 - Aug 8

Twiistup 2
Wednesday, August 8, 2007 - Thursday, August 9, 2007
7:00 PM - 12:00 AM

Air Conditioned Supper Club
625 Lincoln Boulevard
Venice, California 90291

Hosted By Your friends at Twiistup Twiistup is an organization focused on generating energy and excitement around new ideas in the tech community. Born in Santa Monica, CA, Twiistups are for mingling with other techies in a lively atmosphere of tunes, videos and inspiration. We provide a way for tech innovators and start-ups to bring their creations to an audience of peers, business developers, venture capitalists, investors, entrepreneurs, job seekers and people from the web and software space.

Showing off at Twiistup 2 will be:
- JibJab
- Campusbug
- CrowdRules
- Fafarazzi
- Faqqly
- ElephantDrive
- The Faizon Love Show

Friday, July 20, 2007

Immerse yourself in other environments in order to improve your own

In some confusion during my recent trip, I missed posting this column. -- Douglas

Career Opportunities podcast logoAs we develop our careers our focus narrows more and more over the years. We find our niche and develop it more and more carefully. We specialize in fewer and fewer skills until we have our career honed to a razor-like sharpness. This has long been the way of developing a great career and yet this method holds some pitfalls. When we increasingly specialize in one narrow area, we are in danger of closing out ideas, innovations and activities from other disciplines that could lead to great advances in our career.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

Doing..or having done to you!

Career Opportunities podcast logoIt is rare for life to present you with a simple either/or situation. Normally, life is lived in shades of grey -- an almost infinite set of possibilities. That said, while talking over career problems with some friends last night, we stumbled across a dichotomy that every careerist faces today. In your career, and in your life, you can either "do something" or have something done to you. You can either control your career or let someone else dictate what you do and when you do it.

Next Friday: July 20, 2007: Immerse yourself in other environments in order to improve your own

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Friday, July 06, 2007

Is that all there is? Is my career going to be a repetition of this day...forever

Career Opportunities podcast logoThere is a day in our career when a fearful thought can strike us? We are sitting at our desk, doing something we have done a thousand times in the past and the thought creeps up on us. -- is that all there is? Is this the sum total of our life for the foreseeable future? Are we doomed to spend the remainder of our days shuffling paper from one pile to another? Scary, isn't it?

Next Friday: July 13, 2007: Doing...or having done to you

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Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Prelude to Revolution - A Live Radio Play for Independence Day

It's Independence Day here in the US, so please allow me to humbly present this LIVE radio play recorded with a group of friends, which tells the story of the beginnings of the Revolution. Our history has many lessons to teach, even when it is over 200 years in the past. Enjoy! -- Douglas

Declaration of Independence

Prelude to Revolution

The voices and events leading up to the American War for Independence


Performed LIVE on July 01, 2007,

An audio play taken from historical documents and eyewitness accounts.

A Resounding Peal of Freedom!

Listen to Prelude to Revolution

Written, Produced and Directed by Keri Dearborn and Michael Lawshe of Eclipse-1 Media with assistance from Douglas E. Welch of

The Cast

Cast Picture 2

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Monday, July 02, 2007

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EVENT: KERNSPIRACY: A Place for Designers to Share Secrets - July 11

This sounds like a neat get-together. Even though I am not officially a "designer" (and if I wasn't out of town at the time) I think I would check it out just to meet some neat people in the industry. If you do make it to this event, how about writing a guest post for My Word, telling us what it was like? -- Douglas

Jul 11, 2007

KERNSPIRACY flyerKERNSPIRACY: A Place for Designers to Share Secrets

Halfway through another steamy summer and we're headed back to Barbara's for cold drinks and copious design geekery. We're on the second Wednesday this month since we didn't want Independence Day harshing our mellow. See you there, and we hope you're prepared to opine on the virtures of CS3 and/or show off your new iPhone.

KERNSPIRACY is a community building and peer support project for designers and creative professionals. Los Angeles is a tough place to be a designer, and it's often easy to feel like you're out there all on your own. KERNSPIRACY is intended to address this issue by creating forums for people to ask for advice, feedback and support from their creative peers.

KERNSPIRACY hosts bi-monthly get togethers where designers and other creatives can come out to meet one another and trade ideas and critiques. If you're a designer, please come and bring a question, a design you'd like some feedback on or just a business card. If you know a designer, please invite them to do the same. At the very least, we can all have drinks together and complain about Quark.

In addition, KERNSPIRACY manages a corresponding e-mail discussion list to allow folks to interact between events and to facilitate faster response times for more pressing concerns. The list info page can be found at You can also subscribe by sending an e-mail to kernspiracy-request {at} tokyofarm {dot} com with "subscribe" (no quotes) in the subject or body.

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