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Archive for March, 2012

Want a signed copy of my Kindle eBooks? You can get it!

March 30th, 2012 Comments off

A new service has popped up to allow authors to “sign” their Kindle eBooks —

I have never been a big seeker of autographs, but some people are. This is an attempt to extend the autograph into the digital age. I am always trying out new services to see what they bring to the table, so I figured that I might as well give this one a try.

You can request a “signing page” for any of my 4 eBooks by clicking on the image below. Give it a try and tell me what you think.

eBooks by Douglas E. Welch

I now have 3 career-related books available in the Amazon Kindle Store. I invite to take a look at each one. Free samples are available for download.

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

30,000 Words

Navigating the special difficulties of a high-tech career can be troublesome for workers, young and old. Career Opportunities, a weekly column for ComputorEdge Magazine in San Diego, California and Colorado Springs, Colorado, has addressed these issues for almost 13 years.

While simultaneously developing his own high-tech career, author Douglas E. Welch has shared his insights, trials, setbacks and successes with his readers. The High-Tech Career Handbook collects the best columns from 1997-2003 into a book for all high-tech careerists, whether they are just starting out, building their career or looking for a new career in the high-tech world.
Topics covered in the columns include getting your career started, ethics, fairness and the benefits of doing honest business, personal development, professional development, and the tips and tricks for transitioning into a mature career.

Cultivating Your Career Reputations

11,000 Words

While we often talk about one, monolithic, Reputation – with a capital R — I believe that there are a series of reputations that make up the whole. This book will focus on the combination of reputations that make up your one, overarching, Reputation. By examining each of these reputations in detail, I hope you will find specific areas where you can improve your work, your actions and your thoughts so that your overall professional reputation grows.

Why break your Reputation down into its constituent parts? It is often said that you can’t “do” projects, you can only do the individual tasks that make up the project and achieve the desired result. The same can be said for reputation. You don’t build your reputation as a whole, you cultivate the smaller reputations that create it. Each individual action builds your reputation in unique ways and each requires some thought as to how they relate to the whole.

Table of Contents

  • Introduction
  • The Reputations
  • A Reputation for Fairness
  • A Reputation for Honesty
  • A Reputation for Trustworthiness
  • A Reputation for Decision-making
  • A Reputation for Empathy
  • A Reputation for Helpfulness
  • A Reputation for Compromise
  • A Reputation for Clarity
  • A Reputation for the Big Picture…and the small
  • A Reputation for Balancing Work and Self
  • A Reputation for Creativity and Innovation
  • Conclusion
  • About the Author


Career Compass: Finding Your Career North

5,100 Words

Imagine if when you were born you were given a magical compass to lead you through your life. It would always show you the way. It would show you the right answers on tests, lead you to the right college and to the right course of study at that college. It would lead to your first job, your first (and maybe last) love and always show the path ahead. This isn’t some idle fantasy. We each have a compass to show us the way, if only we would take it out of our pocket and use it. This compass, of course, is our desire. Instead of a needle, it is a feeling, a pull, a tension — in some cases, an overwhelming flood of feeling that says “Yes, this is the way — this is the one — this is where you need to go!”


“I am deeply convinced of the importance and effectiveness of social media. Like the Internet itself, which made social media possible, social media allows you to expose your talents, your products, your creativity to a huge number of people all over the world. The “loose contacts” we make online are the beginning of what I call our own global family.

This isn’t one unwieldy global online community, but rather our own personalized family made up of those that bring value into our lives. Our communities might overlap in some ways, but they will never be the same. They can’t be. We are all unique individuals so therefore our communities will reflect this uniqueness In fact, when our communities are too alike, we might be just following the crowd instead of building our own community.”

Social Media Self Preservation is now available in the Amazon Kindle Bookstore.

*Amazon Prime members can “borrow” the book for free.

An Audio Book version of Social Media Self Preservation is also available


* Kindle books can be read on nearly any computer or mobile platform including, Mac, Windows, iPhone/iPod Touch, iPad, and Android phones and tablets. Download Free Kindle Reader Software

Categories: Announcement, Books Tags:

Beware the red flags in your job search and career – Podcast

March 27th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

The color red means something very special to human beings. It means danger, warning… it means to get your attention. We use red cards in soccer to denote a flagrant foul, red lights at intersections, railroad crossing and for the lights on our fire trucks. Red grabs our vision and our attention when we need it most. That said, many of us are ignoring the red flags that appear in our job search and career. Whether out of ignorance, fear or desperation, we don’t see the warning signs that should let us know, clearly, when a job, career or self-worth is in danger. If you continue to ignore these red flags, I can guarantee that you will suffer the, often harsh, consequences and find yourself wondering where it all went wrong. How much better it would be to recognize these red flags and avoid these bad situations before they do you harm.

Join us for…ccla-wide.jpg

April 20, 2012 9a-Noon

LA Southwest College

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Go with your gut

The truth is, red flags of warning pop up in our life all the time. You notice someone driving erratically and you avoid them by choosing another way to work. Someone shows up at your door selling magazines, but something doesn’t feel quite right so you don’t open the door. An email arrives claiming a friend is stuck at Heathrow Airport without their wallet, but you check in with them before acting.

We are often following our gut in these situations. We can feel when something is not quite right. Still, in many cases, we ignore that feeling and act anyway. I know I have done it and I am sure it has happened to you as well. We ignore the red flag and we pay for it. I am asking you to trust your intuition more in general, but also especially when it comes to career choices. When we are participating in a job interview, contemplating job offers or developing our overall career, we have to take special notice when our intuition is sending us signals.


The most recent red flag moment for careers appeared in the mainstream news over the last few weeks. It seems that there were companies requiring job candidates to give them their Facebook and other social media passwords so that the company could see what they were posting. While I am more than happy to let companies view anything I post publicly on the Internet, I am vehemently opposed to handing over my private password to anyone who asks. In fact, merely being asked for such information throws up a huge red flag in my mind. Why do they need it? What are they fishing for? What will they do with the password? Doesn’t this also violate the privacy of everyone of my online friends?

(You can find my comments and links to news and opinion stories regarding this password issue on the web site in a post entitled “Companies should never ask for your social media login info”)

Just say no!

When confronted with a choice like this my advice is to leave the interview as quickly and politely as possible and consider yourself lucky you discovered this issue BEFORE you started working there. A company has no right to ask you for this information and you should feel no obligation to comply. You will feel pressure, sometimes great pressure to comply. They may tell you that you cannot be considered for the job unless you provide the information. I liken this to nothing short of employment extortion.  Invasive policies like this — or asking for other prohibited information — has no place in any company. Even worse, it probably points to other bad policies that exist at the company, which you may only learn of once you start work. Don’t let them pressure you into doing something your gut, and your mind, knows is wrong.

Don’t ignore the red flags that are often waving right in front of your face. Not every company has practices that raise red flags. Go out and find another, better, place to work.  If you found this job, this opportunity, you can find another. You have the skills and knowledge you need. Find a company that respects that. Don’t be so desperate that you take whatever scraps are thrown your way. If you do, you are damaging your potential earnings, your resume and the complete career that you are trying to build. Red flags are there for a reason and they should be heeded when they arise. It is an important part of building the career you deserve.


Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Some notes from the BeOnFire Twitter chat this evening – Tenacity and Persistance

March 26th, 2012 Comments off

Be On Fire Logo

I stopped by the weekly #beonfire Twitter chat this evening for the first time and stepped into a discussion about tenacity and persistence. Here are some highlights from my comments during the chat.

  • As with all things, you have to balance tenacity and persistence with thinking or you can try harder at the wrong thing.
  • @Pistachio Yes, we all have cycles in our energy level. You have to know where you are a the moment and how to proceed
  • @ShellyKramer Anything you learn from is NOT a failure, even if you close/abandon that particular project.
  • @BSchuler I think true failure is rare, but re-aligning is very, very common. We adjust with each step we take.
  • @Pistachio Important to understand that certain projects go “fallow” for periods of time, then come back. Not really dead.
  • I think more people are stopped by fear of failure then failure itself, so important to get people moving in any way.
  • Really tenacity is using inertia in our favor. Letting small movements carry us along — Object in motion staying in motion
  • @npersona Tenacity and persistence is about Intelligent thinking about WHY you are being tenacious and persistent. Stubbornness is ego driven.
  • For me, the difference is am I doing for what I want to accomplish or because my ego is over-involved in some way. Ego = big problem
  • For me, this is why I work with/collaborate with others. Doing something with/for others helps with the ego.
  • @Pistachio Sometimes, you just have to kick yourself on the butt and realize you are being destructive in  your stubbornness. i.e.
  • @Pistachio when we “take our ball and go home” unless people do it exactly our way. THAT is EGO with a Capital E
  • What drives me? Others. I have often said that I do my best work when I am working for something that helps others as well as myself
  • @ShellyKramer Yes. Everbody wins or no go. Winning at the expense of others, knowingly and actively is BAD JUJU. 🙂
  • What will I be more tenacious about? Working hard to spread word about my career unconferences and finding more backing. Fund raising is NOT my strong suit.

A complete transcript of this #beonfire Twitter can can be found on their web page.

Categories: Career Tips, Discussion, Elsewhere Tags:

Sideskills can help you show people “what you do and how well you do it!”

March 26th, 2012 Comments off


A few months ago, I met some of the principles of at a local networking event here in Los Angeles. We randomly started talking, but I was immediately taken with their service and their message. They were seeking to make it easier for people to connect and communicate about their work and their careers. Like myself, they saw a disconnect between job search methods of the past and the those required for the world we live in today. Most of us are still using job search and career development methods first created in the 1940’s and 50’s. The world has changed greatly since then, but our methods seem stuck in the past.

This is true whether you are looking for work or looking to hire someone at your company. The old-fashioned paper resume should be an artifact on display in some some career museum, not the main method of selling your skills to a company, and yet, it is still the most common method used. Sure, these paper resumes get slurped into high-tech database systems which are supposed to allow companies to tease out the best candidates, but in reality, if the data going into the system is flawed, the data returned by these systems will be next to useless.


Enter Sideskills. This free service allows everyone to create a “Presume” (profile resume) that best suits THEIR needs, THEIR wishes and THEIR methods of building their career. The “Presume” is quite flexible and allows users to input not just their job history, but their job skills. Instead of simply listing that they were an Senior IT Tech, they can talk about their database development skills or their hardware troubleshooting skills or their programming skills. They can offer extensive examples of their work and link to recommendations from others.

Here at Career Opportunities, I often recommend that any resume first “tell a story. A resume shouldn’t just be a dry listing of job titles, dates and companies. Rather it should be a living document that tells a story about your career and, more importantly, tells a story about “what you do and how well you do it.” Sideskills can help greatly with developing just such a story.

Sideskills can be used to find full time positions, part-time, but also facilitates developing freelance work based around your skills. The system provides methods for people to “hire” you directly through the site. You can accept or reject a request and even use Sideskills to manage payment for this freelance work. I often consul people to try freelancing, even in the smallest way, as part of their career strategy. In many cases, they find that not only do they prefer freelancing, but freelancing also better fits their career wants, needs and desires.

Freelancing can also be very useful in earning income between your full time positions. As you know, it can often take weeks or months to find the next job when the current one ends. Freelancing can help bridge that gap so that we feel comfortable looking for the BEST job instead of desperately searching simply for the NEXT job.

Sideskills can be a great facilitator for one of my dreams for the world of work. I dream of a day when your work, your jobs, your opportunities come to you instead of you having to go begging for your next job. I want to turn the job search world on its head and help companies find great workers, not wait for the random resume to show up on their desk. The world has changed and our job search methods must change with it. By constantly showing people “what we do and how well we do it” we can help them to discover us and our talents the next time they need someone for their company and Sideskills can be a great way of making that happen.

I hope you will take a moment to check out and start building your own “Presume”. You can find mine here — Douglas E. Welch. I believe that if enough of us make the effort, we can change the way we all find work — or that way the work finds us!

Dew presume

Categories: Business, News/Opinion, Products Tags:

Companies should never ask for your social media login info

March 20th, 2012 Comments off

Facebook login 2

What do you think about this story? Add your comments!

Categories: Business, Career Tips, News/Opinion Tags:

From Cultivating Your Career Reputations by Douglas E. Welch…

March 13th, 2012 Comments off

From Cultivating Your Career Reputations by Douglas E. Welch…

A Reputation for Balancing Work and Self

Work is a part of our life, not the sole, driving influence. We all have seen people who are subsumed by their work. While it may be fine for a short period of time, relationships quickly start to deteriorate and the person finds that they are more and more isolated from the world as a whole. Then, weeks or months later, they arise from the fog like a groundhog waking up in February, wondering where everyone went.

Read a sample or buy Cultivating Your Career Reputations


Categories: Books Tags:

#CareerChat – Talking about Gen Y

March 13th, 2012 Comments off

Great #careerchat today about Gen Y. Here is what I had to say.

  • @bizMebizgal Hmmm…hope we don’t fall into generation bashing. “Hey you kids, get off my company’s lawn!” and all that. #careerchat
  • @kbaumann Yes, I hear so much disparaging stuff about youth, but the young people I know don’t seem like that at all #careerchat
  • I many ways, we have to be careful of trying to apply our career experience to them. The world had changed dramatically. #careerchat
  • @bizMebizgal In one way, the concept of 1-2 long term jobs vs a series of shorter term positions. It is more “work” to manage
  • When I write about careers, I use the term to mean a succession of work/projects/etc, not one or two “jobs”
  • Each generation has it differences, to be sure, but we really need to watch for our bias in labeling their “faults”
  • @sunshinejess22 I think every generation demonizes youth in some way. You think we could grow beyond that.
  • @rezlady I also try to encourage people to direct their career and not simply let it happen to them.
  • On major issue for Gen Y is that have learned that what THEY want is more important then what a company wants. Causes conflict.
  • Yes, they must meet company needs, but responsibility for their own career happiness lies directly with themselves.
  • Different approaches can mean that parents can often be pushing children towards choices that no longer fit.
  • We have to be very careful in using the exception the rule. Every gen has some slackers but not ALL slackers.
  • Guess who is most to blame for lack of comm skills though. Oh Oh, it’s US (i.e. the parents) Yikes!
  • Yep, for me “Success is supporting yourself and your family doing something you love!”
  • Re: parents – That said, we also have to realize they they are growing up in a much different work from ours. Not bad, different
  • I think we have to watch too using college kids as guideline of gen. We all changed quite dramatically once we left
  • @bizMebizgal I think college is an extension of high school for most and it is only on exit that reality starts to kick in
  • @BeKnown A think a wide breadth of knowledge is important, with a few spikes of expertise here and there.
  • @kbaumann I would say it is a combination of both. Those who have internalized the “soft” things do better overall.
  • @WorkAtKforce Career centers have to be sure they are not teaching career skills for LAST generation. Can turn off students.
  • Re: Career Services – @tacservicesllc In some cases you have to go out and find students where they are i.e. social media, campus life, etc.
Categories: Community, Seminar Tags:

What are you looking for? – Podcast

March 12th, 2012 Comments off

Career Opportunities podcast logo

What type of job or career are you looking for? I often talk to people who have no idea. They seem sure that they want something else, but they have not done the hard thinking about what the “else” might be. If you truly want to escape a job or career you hate, you need to think about what you might like to do, what skills you will need, if you will be required to move and a host of other issues before you can hope to make any progress. We all need a  goal before we can set our path to get there.

Career Compass: Finding Your Career North by Douglas E. Welch

5100 Words

Download Sample/Buy Now from


View other books by Douglas E. Welch

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What do you want, like and dislike?

First, you need to clearly investigate what you like and dislike about your current work or your overall career. In my eBook, “Career Compass: Finding Your Career North” I lay out how you might start to think about this. There are four areas where your current work might fall — Work you do today but don’t enjoy, work you don’t do today and don’t enjoy, work you do today and enjoy and work you don’t do but think you would enjoy.

If you take each aspect of your work — daily tasks, management, rewards, environment — and start plotting them into each of these quadrants, you might just discover something important. Often the reason we dislike a job is not about the whole job but rather about certain aspects of the job. There are also tasks that you would like to do as part of your job that you aren’t allowed to do or that aren’t seen as important.

You might find that you can alter your current job or career to match your needs without changing everything. You might find that you could transition to a job within your current company that better fits your wants, needs and desires. You can’t do this, though, unless you truly and deeply know what you want and need to be more fulfilled in your work life.

You can buy “Career Compass”, a 5100 word Amazon Kindle book using this link for $2.99.  It is readable on almost any device including your computer, iPhone/iPad, and Android phones and tablets using the free Kindle Software.

Small, defined, steps

Once you have a better idea about what you want out of your job and career you need to start plotting small, defined steps to develop that career. Maybe you need to do some research into the types of companies and organizations that could use your skills in new ways. Perhaps you need to get some more training or a certificate in a particular area of study. It is always a good idea to talk with someone who is currently working in your area of interest and see what they can tell you about the good and bad of their work. It is often hard to get a clear picture of a job from the outside. There are always those little quirks and problems that often only insiders know and understand.

Line up these small, defined, steps in your to-do list and start thinking about them every day. Make them part of your daily actions and thinking. Post them in a place where you can see them every day. Job and career changes don’t just happen. They require attention and work. That said, by breaking them down into small tasks, you can often accomplish much without feeling overburdened. Before too long you will start to see movement in your search

Even more, when we start taking action on our goals, opportunities often present themselves. Perhaps we ignored those opportunities in the past because we weren’t focused on the change we wanted to create or perhaps your action and initiative has caught the eye of someone who is looking for someone just like you. Action begets action, so get started today.

Have you really thought about what you want out of your job and career? Have you thought about what particular parts of your job you love or hate? Can this thought and knowledge lead you to the career you deserve? I think so. We have the ability to change our minds and our lives if we only listen to ourselves. Don’t feel trapped in your current position. Start taking those small steps today that can build the career you deserve in the future.


Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Career Tips from February 2012

March 8th, 2012 Comments off

Here are the Career Tips and questions shared via the @careertips Twitter account.

  • [Tip] Do you closely follow news about the publicly traded company where you work? You should. Employees are often the last to know.
  • [Tip] Let interviewers know as much good information about you as possible. Make them look forward to seeing you in the office every day
  • New Booklet: Career Compass: Finding Your Career North –
  • [Tip] What do you say behind people’s back? What would you do if they did the same? Paybacks can be nasty.
  • Amazon Prime users can read my books for free. Please take a look and review if you like them. Thanks! –
  • [Tip] At work, never assume that someone understands you. Have them say it back in their own words to be sure. If not, try again.
  • [?] What is your secret to career success? What skils, talent or attitude help you build the career you deserve?
  • [Tip] What work do you do best? Think — How can you do more of it? How can you get even better at it? Now go and do it!
  • [Tip] I Like This – 50 Blogs for Your Must Read List –
  • [Tip] Mondays are time to re-group, make plans and get started on this week’s accomplishments. Don’t let them be filled with dread.
  • [?] What is keeping you from changing jobs this year? Fear, insurance, income? Could you do better somewhere else?
Categories: Career Tips Tags:

CareerCamp is where you should be! — Join us and start building the career you deserve!

March 8th, 2012 Comments off

Careercampintl logo sm

Fair warning.

Over the next 6 weeks I am going to be banging the drum pretty loudly for CareerCampLA (and CareerCampSCV and CareerCampSFV). CareerCamp is a pet project of mine and one that I take great joy and interest in. CareerCampLA 2012 will be our 6th CareerCamp overall and I love what it does for people — employed, underemployed or unemployed.

What is CareerCamp?

CareerCamp is a locally organized and locally sponsored unconference dedicated to “helping you build the career you deserve.” Each CareerCamp hosts a series of presentations and break out sessions hosted by the attendees themselves. There is a huge amount of career knowledge in the local community and CareerCamp is designed to bring out and share that knowledge.

Some people will come to listen. Some will come to teach. Some will come to discuss, but all come with an open desire to build their career and help those around them. Often I see people who promise that they are only there to listen take the reins of a discussion or presentation and share their amazing knowledge in a way, perhaps, that  they have never done before. CareerCamp provides a safe, supportive and positive environment that leaves people feeling energized at the end of the day — ready to go out and make their career the best it can be.

What is an unconference?

Unconferences are self-organizing conferences, similar to many professional conferences, but instead of hiring well-known, professional speakers, they call on the attendees themselves to provide the content and focus for the event. Every person who attends is highly encouraged to present on some topic deeply important to them or, barring that, to facilitate an open breakout session or round table discussion or even just to engage and converse with their fellow attendees between presentations. A few organizers band together to find a venue for the event, recruit sponsors and invite attendees, but the focus of the unconference is driven solely by the attendees.

Some might question the usefulness of presentations by their peers, but we have found that there is an enormous amount of real-world expertise available in each and every local community. CareerCamp utilizes a format that draws out that expertise and benefits everyone. CareerCamp (and other unconferences) provide a structure and an opportunity to share this expertise in ways that traditional conferences do not. Additionaly, CareerCamps also attract career development professionals who can use CareerCamp as a way of introducing themselves to a new audience of potential clients.

Spread the word

It is on of my greatest desires to spread the good that CareerCamp can offer all around the world. The CareerCamp International web site highlights each local CareerCamp and also provide a bit of info on what CareerCamp is and how it works? Even better, join us for CareerCampLA and see how it all works in person. The best way to understand CareerCamp is to experience first hand. it all becomes clear when you become part of the process and energy of a CareerCamp.

A personal invitation

I want to offer each of you a personal invitation to visit a CareerCamp or, even better, organize one of your own in your local area. I am confident you will be amazed at how productive and energizing your day can be. You can find some examples of the talks given at CareerCamp on both the CareerCamp International and the local CareerCamp sites. Take a moment to watch or listen. I think you will like what you find there.

If you would like to know more about CareerCamp, either attending or organizing your own, add a comment here on this web site, on the CareerCampLA or CareerCamp International sites, on the CareerCamp International Facebook page or our Google+ page. I’d love to hear from you. Bring your questions and ideas. Both help make CareerCamp even better.

Categories: Announcement, News/Opinion, Seminar, Speaking Tags: