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Archive for August, 2011

Get Free eBook: The High-Tech Career Handbook: The Best of Career Opportunities 1998-2003

August 29th, 2011 Comments off

htchcover.jpgMy first book, The High-Tech Career Handbook: The Best of Career Opportunities 1998-2003, is no longer in print, but you can get your own FREE eBook version (150 pages) by taking some simple actions.

Take any of the actions below, then fill out the online form to let me know. I will then send you a PDF version of The High-Tech Career Handbook: The Best of Career Opportunities 1998-2003 of your very own.

Thank you for supporting Career Opportunities!

** Find other Career Opportunities Products here!

Categories: News/Opinion, Special Tags:

The importance of the teachable moment – Podcast

August 27th, 2011 1 comment

Career Opportunities podcast logoDuring our recent 3 week trip visiting family in Sicily, I had the opportunity to spend several days with our 25-year-old cousin Orazio who is just finishing up a 5 year program in Engineering. We talked about many things related to his career over this time, but something struck me again and again during our time together — the importance of the teachable moment.

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A teachable moment is an unplanned opportunity to communicate a very important lesson. These opportunities can come and go in a flash unless you are ready to take advantage of them immediately. Whether you are on the sending or receiving end of a teachable moment, you need to recognize these opportunities when they occur and pursue them, regardless of what other plans you might have. A teachable moment is fate telling you that you need to have this discussion, that you need to share this wisdom, that you need to stop and listen, right now.

Why are teachable moments so important? They are important because you are in a situation or at a moment when the lesson will be most useful or most applicable and certainly the most memorable. Something in the world is conspiring to give you this opportunity when it will do the most good. Perhaps you were having a discussion about something when a perfect example walks in front of you. Maybe your friend is facing a problem you have faced before and this is the moment for you to share your knowledge. Maybe there is simply an important lesson that needs to be related and your current conversation has opened an opportunity to address it.

Teachable moments are important because they show a need and receptiveness to receive a message or a lesson. Sometimes, without consciously thinking about it, we know we need an answer and that this is the time to get that answer. I find this to be the case during any Q&A session I facilitate. The most important questions to be answered are those foremost in the mind of the audience. You may want to talk about A, B or C, but the questions lead you to X, Y and Z because that is what your audience truly wants and needs to know. Denying the needs of the audience serves no one. It is much better to follow the teachable moment wherever it leads. In this way, your audience will gain the highest benefit and so will you. Answering people’s most important questions is never a bad idea.

Taking advantage of teachable moments requires something very important, though. It requires the ability to pause and readjust.  When you are presented with a teachable moment you need to follow it where it might lead. Sure, you can make a note to return to your current conversation, but do not ignore the pull to explore what is foremost in your mind. This goes for both sides of the conversation. Sometimes, as receivers of information, we need ask our teachers to explore something more deeply. These teachers need to be reminded that the information they consider most important might not be the most important to their listeners.

As a teacher, we also need to tell ourselves to pause when needed. We might want to plow forward with the next topic on the syllabus, but if the students will gain more from an ad hoc teachable moment, all the better. Explore that topic and everyone benefits, even if the schedule gets messed up a bit. This is one reason I like the Q&A format so much when addressing a class or an audience. They aren’t there to hear me pontificate on this or that topic, they are there to gain value from my experience by discovering how it relates to their own lives. It can be a bit humbling to let your audience control your presentations, but it can also be extremely effective when your main goal is to help your audience discover something new that can change their lives.

Look for teachable moments in your day and explore them fully when they occur. Whether you are talking with a 13-year-old boy like my son, or presenting to a room full of CEOs at a major conference, look for those serendipitous moments when the outline goes out the window and you start to have a deeper conversation that leaves you all feeling energized and enlightened. Teachable moments occur more often than you might think. If we can all get better at noticing and exploiting them, it can help us greatly in building the career we deserve.

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What I’m Reading…Read This Before Our Next Meeting

August 26th, 2011 Comments off

I am reading this book, for free, courtesy of Seth Godin’s Domino Project and their sponsors. It looks as if that deal has expired, but the book is worth checking out. — Douglas

Read this

Read This Before Our Next Meeting

by Al Pittampalli

One mediocre meeting after another quietly corrodes our organization, and every day we allow it to happen. Culture change occurs when a transformational idea spreads to enough people. Like a virus that makes its way from person to person, spreading exponentially faster, so can the Modern Meeting. The status quo must go. Now. Before it’s too late. 1. Meet only to support a decision that has already been made. 2. Move fast. End on schedule. 3. Limit the number of attendees. 4. Reject the unprepared. 5. Produce committed action plans. 6. Refuse to be informational. Read the memo, it’s mandatory. 7. Work with brainstorms, not against them. CUT THIS OUT AND BRING IT TO OUR NEXT MEETING.

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What I’m Reading…Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything Fast

August 25th, 2011 Comments off

Instant influence

Another book in my “To Read” stack. A review will be coming soon if I deem it worthy of one. — Douglas

Instant Influence: How to Get Anyone to Do Anything–Fast

by Michael Pantalon

If you want to motivate your employees to be more productive, convince your customers to use more of your products and services, encourage a loved one to engage in healthier habits, or inspire any change in yourself, renowned psychologist Dr. Michael Pantalon can show you how to achieve Instant Influence in six simple steps. Drawing on three decades of research, Dr. Pantalon’s easy-to-learn method can create changes both great and small in 7 minutes or less. This scientifically tested method succeeds in every area of work and life by helping people tap into their deeply personal reasons for wanting to change and finding a spark of “yes” within an answer that sounds like “no.”



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I Like This – August 22, 2011

August 22nd, 2011 Comments off
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Event: Mega Mixer LA – Tuesday, August 30, 2011 – 6:30pm – 9:00pm – Hollywood, CA

August 19th, 2011 Comments off

I will be participating in this event as a representative of CareerCamp International and the Career Opportunities Column and Podcast. Join me and many other organizations. — Douglas

Mega Mixer LA

Date: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Time: 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Place: St. Felix, 1602 North Cahuenga Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028



Join entrepreneurs from across Los Angeles for a summer mixer that you won’t want to miss! It may be summer, but we know all your hard working dedicated entrepreneurs out there are still burning the midnight oil. So we’re putting this mixer together with great groups from across Los Angeles to celebrate the summer, what we’ve accomplished this year, and ourselves!

This summer soiree will be a great opportunity to make connections with entrepreneurs across all industries and neighborhoods. Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with members from some of Los Angeles’ most active entrepreneur, freelance, and small business organizations.

We’ll be meeting at the fabulous new St. Felix in Hollywood.


Come to mix, mingle, and munch! Complimentary appetizers will be served and there is a no-host bar available.


Parking lot and metered street parking are available.


Confirmed participating groups include:


The Entrepreneur Connection™

Under30CEO, LA Chapter

Tuesdays With Transitioners


CareerCamp International

Career Opportunities


Cost: $10 per person

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CareerCampSFV (San Fernando Valley) – Saturday, September 24, 2011

August 18th, 2011 Comments off

Careercamp sq lg


Join us for CareerCampSFV this September. Get your free tickets here!

A full day of great discussions, speakers and career building information to “Help you Build the Career You Deserve!”

The Congregational Church of Northridge

9659 Balboa Boulevard

Northridge, CA 91325


Stay tuned to this blog for more information.

We look forward to seeing you at CareerCampSFV!


Opting out of social media is no longer an option – Podcast

August 12th, 2011 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logoMany years ago, I could almost forgive people for not being as heavily into email as I was. Email was somewhat new. It was a bit technical to use. Sure, people who opted out using email made my life a little more difficult. They made it harder to coordinate group activities like parties, snacks for the Little League team, etc . You always had to make sure you called certain people on the phone to make sure they were in the loop and such. Still, you knew that not everyone “got” email. These days are long gone, though. Today, someone who doesn’t use email is akin to someone who doesn’t know how to dial a telephone. Email is now a basic life-skill — a basic tool in organizing our lives and coordinating and communicating with others.

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Does this sounds familiar? It should. Social media — like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and more — is now no longer something you can ignore. Opting out of social media is no longer an option unless you wish to ignore one of the most important career and life-enhancing tools available today. Sure, you can get by without social media, but ignore it and you are making a decision to stop progressing in your career. If you do not engage in social media, you will see your work peers and your family progressing far beyond you as they use these tools in enhance their lives. You won’t just be standing in place. You won’t be maintaining the status quo. You will be falling behind at an ever growing rate.

It is a harsh world

Does this sound harsh? Yes, I agree that it sounds harsh and a bit unrealistic. Surely social media can’t be that important? It is just a fad, right? It is important to remember that the train was just as fad. The telegraph was just a fad — the phonograph — the telephone — the “taking picture” — the automobile — just a fad — until it became an integral part of our lives. The Internet — and social media as part of that — is much the same. It is a fad until the point where it ultimately and dramatically changes our lives. Surely we have learned by now that there comes a time when a new technology ceases to be a fad and becomes a fact of life. For social media, now is that time.

This doesn’t mean, of course, that you can’t control your usage of social media. You still get to decide when, where and whom you connect with. Opting out, though, is not an option. If you try, you will be punished. You will place yourself on the sidelines. You will be less informed and less available to opportunities. It would be liked opting out of using the telephone, radio, computer, television or other useful tool.


Of course, even with my plain speaking about social media and the effects that opting out can cause, I often get a lot of push back from people. “It’s dumb. The people on social media are stupid. it rots your mind. It wastes your time. it has no value.” Say what you like, I think that social media has proven its effectiveness for me and others. Do people use it for stupid things? Can they spend too much time there? Do they annoy other people? Sure, but then again, people do that in the face-to-face world, too. Why should social media be any different? These are issues with the human race in general, not specifically social media.

Over the years, I have tried to gently bring people along on this crazy journey that is technology, and specifically the Internet. I have tried to show them the value and usefulness of new media, podcasting and social media. We have now reached a time though when one must be blunt. I must be direct, because you, or someone you know, needs to hear this message. Opting out of social media is no longer an option if you want to build the career you deserve. While there can be a few issues with using social media, the benefits to be had far outweigh them. At my own age of 47, I know I have decades of my career ahead. I know that I cannot ignore the power of social media any more than you can. For one final, over-dramatic flourish, opting out is like the caveman opting out of this dangerous new technology called fire. After all, it was only a fad.

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Make the extrinsic intrinsic in your job search

August 5th, 2011 1 comment

Career Opportunities podcast logo


1. Not part of the essential nature of someone or something; coming or operating from outside.


1. Belonging naturally; essential.

While engaging in the weekly #careerchat a few weeks ago, I was once again reminded of how much has changed in the work world over my last 25 years as a worker and careerist. We were discussing networking for job leads and career development and a lot of the advice seemed old fashioned to me. There was a discussion of setting up informational interviews, resumes, references and such and it seemed that many people were missing the deep changes that have taken place in the work world. After chatting for a while, I was finally able to put my finger on the nature of these changes.

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We used to think of job hunting as an extrinsic activity — one outside the normal realms of work and life. We only really engaged in networking and resume development when we were actively looking for a job. Once happily ensconced in a company, all our focus turned to moving up the ranks with little thought towards what might be happening at other companies or even, more dramatically, in other careers. We stayed happy in our cocoon until something forced us to once again enter our job search mode.

Today that world no longer exists. Job search and career building are not something we do just when we are out of work, it is (or should be) intrinsic to our lives. In today’s hyper-connected world we never know where our next job, project or even career is coming from. We could just as easily find a new job through a Facebook contact as a classified ad. We might make a connection at the coffee shop that changes our entire life. You never know, so you must always be engaged and aware of opportunities. Career building is not something that exists outside your daily life — it is a deep and dramatic part of it.

In the chat, we discussed setting up informational interviews with people who work for companies, or in careers, that might interest you. I would say, though, that you don’t need to do that in some formal way based more in the 1960’s than 2011. Every person you meet potentially has some information you want or need. If not, they might have a friend that works in a business that deeply interests you. Instead of making the networking process extrinsic, make it a part of your everyday life and more importantly a deep part of you.

This can be a big change for some people who like to compartmentalize their lives. In the past, work was work and life was life, but for better or worse, those lines have blurred. Instead of trying to keep them apart, you need to learn how intertwined they truly are. Once you understand this integration, you will be better prepared to take advantage when opportunity strikes — better prepared to respond intrinsically — when an opportunity appears.

Starting today, abandon the concept of job search as something you only engage in at specific times and places. Building the career you deserve is an intrinsic part of your everyday life, not some outward set dressing you put on when needed. You don’t need specific times and places to network, to hand out resumes to engage possible employers. The fact is that is happening around you every day whether you are aware of it or not. Become more aware of these basic changes in the work world and open yourself more to them. In this way, I think you will find that your opportunities will grow, your contacts will deepen and your job search will be much more productive.

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