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Archive for May, 2012

Elsewhere: Veteran Central: A Career-Oriented Social Network for Vets

May 30th, 2012 Comments off

I have been working with some of my CareerCamp co-chairs to develop a veteran-specific CareerCamp here in Los Angeles for many of the same reasons listed in this article. Veterans have some very specific career needs that could be well addressed by fellow veterans sharing their experience and advice in an unconference setting.

Vet central

Veteran Central: A Career-Oriented Social Network for Vets

After spending nine years on tour with the Navy, Michael Barrett found that adjusting to civilian life — especially finding a stable and well-paying job — was a tough and arduous process.

“It’s a difficult transition, because we don’t have a profession to speak of,” Barrett explains. “We’re handicapped in that regard, and we’re less marketable in the work world.”

While entrepreneur Jonathon Lunardi was researching veteran suicide with his brother-in-law, Paul McDonald, he became familiar with Barrett’s sentiments and saw a need to help veterans bridge the gap and become successful in the civilian world. Together, Lunardi and McDonald started Veteran Central, a job resource and development network exclusively for veterans. Lunardi, now the company’s CEO, told Mashable that the startup focuses on job placement and tools for young, blue-collar veterans.

Read the entire article

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Video: The Fine Art of Troubleshooting Anything from BarCampLA

May 28th, 2012 Comments off

Douglas presents what he has learned about troubleshooting over nearly 25 years of computer consulting and how it can be applied to many life situations outside of technology.

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Can’t see the video above? Watch “The Fine Art of Troubleshooting Anything” on YouTube.


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Your career depends on the company you keep – Podcast

May 25th, 2012 Comments off

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The choice of servants is of no little importance to a prince, and they are good or not according to the discrimination of the prince. And the first opinion which one forms of a prince, and of his understanding, is by observing the men he has around him; and when they are capable and faithful he may always be considered wise, because he has known how to recognize the capable and to keep them faithful. But when they are otherwise one cannot form a good opinion of him, for the prime error which he made was in choosing them.” — Niccolo Machiavelli

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Even as far back as the Renaissance — and probably before — people have known that good people attract other good people while evil, avaricious, greedy, mean people attract those with the same failures and vices. You can be, and will be, judged by the company you keep, but few people seem to understand or remember this very useful part of human nature. Worse still, even when people understand that the company they keep is damaging their career and life, they remain in their company simply because leaving it — quitting a job, finding another, moving schools or homes — is simply too much trouble. This column is a reminder that the damage you do to your career by associating with the wrong people is far worse than the inconvenience you will face in trying to change it.

When my wife and I hold our annual parties, one comment we hear again and again, is about the friendliness of the people we attract to us. No matter how old or young, what they do for a living, how rich or poor they are, our friends all have a certain quality that makes it fun to be around them and share their lives and engage in conversation about the world and our place in it. Over our 26+ years together, my wife and I have often commented on how lucky we are to have found such a wide variety of amazing friends. Then again, perhaps it isn’t just an accident that this happens.

We, like I would advise you, are very careful to bring a particular type of person into our lives and into the life of our son. Like us, they should be marginally optimistic. They should love a good conversation, regardless of what the topic might be or where it might go. They should be as comfortable grabbing a quick bite at Henry’s Tacos as they are attending a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown LA. They should have hobbies and interests that they like sharing with others like our friends who belong to the local geology club, are docents at the LA Zoo, share the archery field with us or those who get a kick out of camping at the beach.

Why do we look for people like this? Because they are the people we are ourselves — or least, strive to be. We look at our friends and hope that others see us in the same light. Our friends are a reflection of ourselves and over the years this has proven to be a very good thing. We have developed many deep and long standing relationships based on our underlying — even unspoken — methods.

Now, take a look at your friends, your co-workers, your business partners. These people are a reflection of you, your dreams, your values. Do you see in them what you would most like to see in yourself? If not, why not? If you are surrounded by those who skirt the law, take advantage of others only to better themselves, or abuse those around them, why are you there? Surely you must know that when seen from outside, these people reflect directly on you. You become one of them, whether you like it or not.

Surround yourself with those people you respect and you will find the respect of others. Find those people that are successful without being evil and you will find the same path for yourself. Seek out those people who reflect the “better angels of your nature” and you will find long term abiding friendships that accurately reflect who you are and what you want out of life.


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Video Archives: Career Prescriptions at Tuesdays with Transitioners

May 21st, 2012 Comments off

Douglas E. Welch offers his career “prescriptions” – actions that every careerist should be doing to “build the career you deserve.” These prescriptions include blogging to share “what you do and how well you do it”, selectively using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media sites and maybe even producing your own “show.”

Recorded at Tuesdays with Transitioners in Northridge, California. (


Don’t see the video above? Watch “Career Prescriptions” on YouTube


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Elsewhere: Continue Your Education the Easy Way by Finding a Discussion Buddy from

May 18th, 2012 Comments off

I often say that I have some of my best ideas when I am talking something over. The act of communicating my feelings and thoughts about a topic help to trigger other, new thoughts. I know that when I am prevented from talking to with people — due to a heavy work schedule or other commitments — my thinking suffers.

Perhaps you could put together a regular meeting of some like-mined folks to help you think some new thoughts, too, or help you better understand a topic you are all learning for the first time.

Do you have a “study” group or just an informal gathering of folks on a regular basis? Tell us about it in the comments.

Continue Your Education the Easy Way by Finding a Discussion Buddy

Sometimes the act of learning something new can be a bit difficult on your own. You can read all the books or articles you want, but it doesn’t always sink in completely. Productivity blog Pick the Brain has a really simple solution borrowed directly from the education system: find a study buddy to talk it out with.

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Archive: A Death in the Family

May 17th, 2012 Comments off

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Funerals have a way of sharpening your perspective on everything. The father of friend died unexpectedly this week. He had also become our friend over the years, helping us with legal and corporate issues in our small company. I also worked for him, providing computer assistance. As I talked with his wife after the services, she related how I would need to stop by soon to help her sort out all the information that was stored in their computers and help her put things in order. What’s even more striking is, this is not the first time I have had this discussion with someone.

Now available from Douglas E. Welch and

Cultivating cover

Cultivating Your Career Opportunities by Douglas E. Welch

11,000 Words

While we often talk about having one, monolithic, Reputation – with a capital R — I believe that there are a series of reputations that combine to create the whole. It is often said you can’t “do” projects, you can only do the individual tasks that make up the project. 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. Cultivating Your Career Reputations examines each of these reputations in detail and helps you find specific areas where you can improve your work, your actions and your thoughts so that your overall professional reputation can grow

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Working in high-tech often means working very closely with people and developing relationships that go far beyond the usual situation of employer and employee. Over the course of your career, many people will become family. You need to be prepared for the eventualities of life, in both your own life and the lives of those around you.

As we grow older, we all prepare for the day when we die. We create our wills, buy insurance, and create Trusts, all in an effort to make it easier for our family and friends when we pass. In addition to all the usual arrangements, though, all of us need to consider the new, computerized world in which we live. In the past, our children may have sorted through paper documentation, but now, more and more, of our lives are bound up in our computers, our email and many other personal and business-related documents.

Computer issues might seem a shallow thought compared to the other issues surrounding a funeral, but in today’s world, it is very important. In the last 2 years, I have faced this issue with several clients and, as I work with many older people in my consulting work, I am sure to face it more as the years pass. To that end, I am developing plans for all of my clients that can help make computer issues less of a concern when the time comes.

First, every member of the family should have some concept of where family data is stored, passwords needed for access and backups in the event that anything happens to the family home. Too often, I find myself digging for passwords or even attempting to crack passwords in an effort to access data. Data could be scattered among several directories or even several computers. None of us likes to think about death, but I try to keep, in the back of mind, the old adage, “I could get hit by a bus tomorrow.” We never know what is coming and the only way to insure that our families can continue with as little trouble as possible is to prepare today.

Next, insure that backups of data, even if they are relatively old, are placed in several locations. Family members should share backups with other family members and friends. You may never need this information, but if you do, it will be extremely important to access it easily.

Clean out your paper files and label everything religiously. It should be obvious where to find a variety of information no matter who might be searching. If your son or daughter can’t find the deeds to property, life insurance policies and more, get to work today. They won’t need further difficulties at an already difficult time.

Have I prepared enough myself? Probably not, but each passing funeral brings more urgency to the task. My own wife jokes of how she will have to call in a close friend to sort out my hard drive when I am gone. In making my own preparations, though, I can learn to develop systems and advice for my clients.

As I see others struggle through their times of loss, and how our computerized lives can make it more difficult, I am re-dedicating myself to removing as many obstacles as I can, both for my clients and myself. I hope you will use these guidelines as a start for your own preparations. No matter what your age, you need to consider how your high-tech work impacts those around you at one of the most stressful times in their lives.


Categories: Audio, Podcast, Show Tags:

Registration is now open for CareerCampSCV 2012 – July 14, 2012

May 16th, 2012 Comments off


Our third CareerCampSCV (Santa Clarita Valley) is happening on July 14th, 2012 and tickets are available starting today. We hope to see you there!

Unemployed? Underemployed? New college graduate? Considering new career options?

Join us for CareerCampSCV 2012!

When: Saturday, July 14, 2012 9AM to 3:30PM

Where: 26455 Rockwell Canyon Road Santa Clarita, CA 91355

FREE Admission • FREE Parking


College of the Canyons Career Center presents CareerCampSCV, a FREE hybrid conference/unconference dedicated to helping you build the career you deserve. The day will include scheduled speakers, ad hoc presentations and breakout ses- sions on all aspects of building your career. CareerCamp is FREE for all adults who want to build or improve their career. Space is Limited. Register for FREE today. For more information, a list of scheduled speakers and additional career content

Categories: Announcement, CareerCamp, Events, Special Tags:

The little truths we need to tell ourselves – Podcast

May 15th, 2012 Comments off

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Telling the truth, especially in situations that require it, is important to every career. The truth can be hard. It can be dangerous to your job. It can also raise you above others who have decided to ignore the problems that are right before them. Sure, we all tell little white lies to smooth our interactions with others, but in the end, the truth is usually the most powerful tool we own.

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The scary part is that we humans have a great ability for ignoring the truth even when faced with it. Worse still is our ability to lie to ourselves. Most of us are great at ignoring the truth in our lives, our relationships and our work. We can go through great gyrations to ignore that one, large, inconvenient truth and when we do so we damage everything around us. This is why it is so important to learn to tell ourselves the little truths we face every day. In our hearts and minds we often see things exactly as they are. When that happens we need to acknowledge those truths, not ignore them.

What sort of little truths do we face in our career each day? Sometimes we can know in our hearts that we are not that good at our job. Maybe we lack skills. Maybe we lack training. Maybe we lack the right environment. Some people will lie to themselves and think they are doing a great job, even though evidence to the contrary is right in front of them.

It is far better for you to acknowledge your limitations and then work to remove them rather than trying to hide them from yourself and others. This doesn’t mean you have to go around the office explaining to your manager and co-workers just how lame you are at your job. You only need to tell yourself this little truth — acknowledge it fully — and then figure out some way to improve your work. This is where the power of little truths can be deeply felt and used.

Perhaps you know that one of your teammates, your manager, your CEO, simply isn’t up to the job they have been given. Maybe some form of substance abuse is involved. Maybe they are involved in illegal business practices. You can lie to yourself — and them — and explain it all away. It isn’t embezzlement. It’s just creative accounting. No one will find out those parts are sub-standard. What does it matter? Maybe Bob is just having some health problems. He can’t possibly be doing drugs in the bathroom.

Lies like these are convenient to you. They let you get through the day with less worry and anxiety. They can also lead to your greatest and easiest downfall. Each of them could bring your job, your company and your career to an end with a short, sharp, shock. While these truths are often the hardest to face, they are also the most important. If someone is embezzling, you want to make it very clear that you had nothing to do with it and, more importantly, brought it to the attention of someone in charge. This is the clearest way of protecting yourself from prosecution, even if it does mean the end of your job.

If someone is abusing drugs, and you do nothing, you are enabling their abuse. You may even be enabling their death if the situation is serious enough. You can try small interventions first, but in the most dangerous cases you may have to face the issue head on. It could be that your co-worker is endangering your life and the lives of your co-workers. To stand by and do nothing is facilitating your own injury and perhaps death. In a situation like this, you should see how important the little truths can be. If ignored long enough, by enough people, these truths can turn into dramatic situations.

What are some truths that you need to tell yourself right now? What have you been ignoring in hopes that it might just go away? Who is in danger because of your willful ignorance? Yourself? Those around you? What are you going to do about it? Are you going to ignore these little truths and let them get worse until a crisis occurs or are you going to face them — in large ways and small — and seek a solution that benefits everyone. I hope you can see the paths that the truth puts before you. It should shine clear and bright if you only make the effort and have the courage to see it.


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Elsewhere Online: How to Legally Work With an Intern at Freelance Switch

May 15th, 2012 Comments off

Thinking of working with an intern? Check out this great overview.

My first and most important rule is…pay them something, anything! It really makes a difference.

Only slightly less important, second, the intern MUST learn something immediately useful to them once they return to school or to the job market.

Treat your interns as you would like your children treated if they were interns somewhere. Think of yourself as a teacher who is getting some assistance from a student, not simply someone to answer the phone.

How to Legally Work With an Intern

School is coming to an end for another year, and many students will be participating in internships for the summer. An internship can be a real win-win situation—the hirer (you) gets low cost or even free help while the intern gains valuable work experience.

I did a number of internships in my college days. I’ve also managed interns in my professional days. When I worked for a small, post production company in Boston, we had an intern in our office every day of the week. They helped us with tasks such as blacking out tapes, burning DVDs and videotapes for our clients, assisted in shooting projects, and brought a great, young energy into the office.

What did they get out of it? They got to use state-of-the-art professional shooting and editing equipment for free. Many of these students couldn’t even get their hands on stuff this awesome at their colleges. Plus, they were encouraged to create their own projects when the equipment was free, which happened often since we were such a small shop.

Read the entire article at


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Video Archives: Production, Promotion and Proactivity in Your Career

May 15th, 2012 Comments off

Douglas E. Welch (, wirter and producer of Career Opportunities Column and Podcast, presents to Tuesdays with Transitioners, a career group in Northridge, California (http://tuesdayswith transitioners,


Can’t see the video above? Watch “Production, Promotion and Proactivity in Your Career” on YouTube

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