Intuition as Your Career Way-Finder

I've found that figuring out what you want to do in life is both a science and an art. The "science" part is the practical stuff, the step-by-step, "research this, try out that, reflect on what you discover" approach. And there's something to be said for researching occupational and work trends to get an idea of where the demand for your skills may be and what kind of education and... Read more →

Jessica Hagy of Indexed fame has an excellent illustrated post on Forbes--20 Ways to Find Your Calling. Number one on the list is Ignore the future, deal with the present: The question, “What should I be when I grow up?” is wrong. Ask instead, “What is next today?” People become fat one bite at a time, and we become adults one hour at a time, so what we do today... Read more →

Positive Professional Development Tool: Career Stepping Stones

In our ongoing career and professional development, there are times when it's helpful to look at our past. It may be that we're bored and contemplating a change. We may have been laid off and had change thrust upon us. Even as part of our ongoing reflective practice, mining our past experiences can give us great fodder for the future. One way to look at your past is to use... Read more →

Managing Your Career When You Have More than One

One of the hardest questions for me to answer is "what do you do for a living?" Unlike most people I know, I don't have one, simple bite-sized nugget to describe what I do. Depending on who you are, I might tell you that I do one or more of the following: Help people work through career transitions and develop their career/professional development plans. Work with government agencies and nonprofit... Read more →

Is Your Fear Sapping Your Passion?

This morning I'm re-reading Steven Pressfield's Do the Work. It's become a go-to-book when I need to remind myself how to start creative projects and move through the massive resistance I face whenever I want to bring something to life. Lately, I've been sifting through various options for where I want to go next, noticing that I've lost some of the passion that had fed what felt like awesome ideas... Read more →

Moving from "Or" to "And"

I've noticed that for many of us, careers are binary things--we do this job OR that one. I can work for someone else OR I can work for myself. Twenty years ago, even ten years ago, this either/or thinking made a lot of sense in a more stable world with relatively limited options. For good or ill, that world has changed though. There is little place for binary thinking. We... Read more →

Become Your Own "Job Creator"

Earlier this week I referenced an excellent article by Jeff Dyer and Hal Gregersen, Find a Job Using Disruptive Innovation. Their first piece of advice was to ask more and different questions. Their second suggestion was to start looking at the real jobs that need to be done, not at the jobs you once did: . . . when people become aware of a "job" that they need to get... Read more →

Quit Looking for Answers. Start Managing Your Career with Better Questions

One thing I've noticed in my 15+ years of helping people figure out what they want to be when they grow up is how uncomfortable we are with questions. Despite the fact that the questions we ask inevitably shape the results and opportunities we find, we are so focused on answers, we don't pay attention to asking the right questions. Nor do we pay attention to how our questions can... Read more →

Your Career is a Jungle Gym, Not a Ladder

. . . look for opportunities, look for growth, look for impact, look for mission. Move sideways, move down, move on, move off. Build your skills, not your resume. Evaluate what you can do, not the title they're going to give you. Do real work. Take a sales quota, a line role, an ops job. Don't plan too much, and don't expect a direct climb. If I had mapped out... Read more →

Attention is All

Our instinct is to try to ignore what’s going wrong so it doesn’t bring us down all the time. But really, the key to improving what we don’t like in our lives is to pay attention to it. By paying attention we can’t help but make it better. --Penelope Trunk For the past several months, I've been avoiding mirrors. I noticed my clothes getting tighter, but I didnt' really want... Read more →