Posts Tagged ‘options’

I was “chatting” with a client over the Internet regarding career alternatives based on some assessment work we had done to unearth what I liked to call their “Best Stuff.” As he was recounting some of the potential options coming up, his email opined, “Here I go again… rambling…”

One may argue that this was indeed true, but my instinctive response was, “I like ‘rambling’… it’s when you get to see the most scenery.” The more I thought about my response, the more I liked it! (my friend Scott Ginsberg, at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com, once said, “If you don’t quote yourself, no one else will!”)

Here are some of my key points on why I’m a fan of Rambling:

1.   You DO get to see more “scenery.”

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it also reduces your field of peripheral vision. If your travel is a bit more meandering, including switchbacks, occasional detours and winding roads, you may not get “there” (wherever THERE is!) as quickly, but you will certainly have a lot more to look at. I see this as a good thing. The more scenery that you see, the more opportunity you have to discover a marvelous “destination” that you never knew existed.Image

2.   It bucks the traditional vocational system.

I feel for the job seekers and careerists who invest almost all of their time and energy in newspapers, the Internet, employment agencies, company career ladders and other “traditional” resources. To be sure, these methods all represent possibilities for success and may even hold clues to their career development or next position. The problem is: they are investigating the smallest number of opportunities in direct competition with the largest number of candidates. My statistics training goes back a few years, but these don’t sound like good odds to me! Rambling can get you beyond “the smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd” and may actually be the shortest distance to get to the better career destinations, whether you are seeking or new job or wish to grow in your present position.

3.   It starts the “trip” sooner instead of later.

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else, an excellent book by Dr. David Campbell, makes some strong points supporting a targeted career process. The problem is, I’ve had many clients who were loathe to even start a Career Road Trip until they could describe their final destination in clear, concise almost meticulous detail. Since they couldn’t do so, they never started and remained parked in their vocational driveway, never even backing out onto the road. With apologies to Dr. Campbell, I may rephrase his title to “If You Wait to Figure Out Exactly Where You’re Going, You May End Up Staying Right Where You Are.”

4.   It increases the possibility of “luck” showing up.

Luck, serendipity or delightful surprises are hardly ever planned, but they have a greater opportunity to show up for the Rambler than the Laser-Guided Careerist. To requote one of my favorite authors, Barbara Sher, “The amount of good luck that comes your way depends on your willingness to act.” (From I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was). Rambling creates the dynamics for serendipity to show up.

Allow me to “ramble” just a bit more on this subject. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a general idea of where your trip is headed.
  • Unplug the GPS.
  • Pull out of your driveway, take off and keep your eyes open.

You may be surprised by what you drive by!

Advertisements

ImageLet’s start with Yahoo! Developed in 1994 by two electrical engineering PhD candidates at Stanford (David Filo and Jerry Yang), it was originally called “David’s and Jerry’s Guide to the World Wide Web.” Not very catchy, so they came up with “Yahoo!” – easily remembered and, more importantly, they identified with the definition of a yahoo: “rude, unsophisticated, uncouth” (for data junkies like me, also the name of repulsive beings created by Jonathan Swift for his book Gulliver’s Travels).

The Yahoo name became an acronym for “Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle,” eventually acquiring the interpretation “You Always Have Other Options” as well. To quote former Yahoo! employee Ellen Simonoff, “People worked hard and ran fast because they realized they always had to stay ahead of the competition, … In those days, you couldn’t get your clothes on fast enough to get to work. And you couldn’t find a spot in the employee parking lot on Saturdays.”

Now, on to the Pareto Principle – also known as the 80–20 rule. Simply stated, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Once again, to satisfy theImage incurably curious among us (OK, me!), this rule came from business management consultant Joseph M. Juran, naming it after the Italian economist Vilfredo Pareto, who observed in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owned by 20% of the population. Pareto developed the principle by observing that 20% of the pea pods in his garden contained 80% of the peas.

Now, to put these two diverse topics together. In their excellent book The 5 Patterns of Extraordinary Careers, authors Citrin and Smith invoke what they call the “20/80 Principle of Performance.” In order to distinguish yourself, move beyond your assigned tasks (80%) to impact the organization at extraordinary levels (20%). Invest time going beyond your job description to grow as an individual and an employee.

When you do so, you continue to add value to your organization, enhance your professional development and create situations where you are able to contribute in new and significant ways.

And, if for any reason you and your organization decide to part ways in the future, “You Always Have Other Options.”

Well, DO you?!

The article, “Yahoo!, The Pareto Principle and the Careerist,” by Barry L. Davis, originally appeared in MCDA’s newsletter, Wellspring, at http://www.MDCareers.org. Copyright © March, 2013.

I’ve always wanted to juggle. I have read books, studied YouTube videos, pored over websites, etc. All to no avail. Yet I have family members who have picked up three objects and successfully managed it with ease.

I guess I just don’t have the talent!

Talent. Talent Scouts. Talent Management.  The word turns up a lot. In my reading and musings over the years, I have learned of four key themes that every talent (skill, gift, aptitude, expertise, pick the synonym you wish) seems to have. Maybe they will help you find yours. Allow me to share them with you:

1. You have an instinctive, top of the mind ability to use it. World class athletes don’t have to think about how to stroke a tennis forehand, counselors have an innate ability to hear emotions, engineers naturally gather data for decision-making, etc. You need not think about how to do it. It just happens. It’s hard-wired into your psyche..

2. You have a desire, a yearning to use it, even if you have difficulty describing it! I am constantly amazed by clients who clearly have innate abilities that they practice daily in their work and play, yet are unable to recognize their significance in planning careers and life decisions.

3. When you are called upon to acquire knowledge in this area, it comes easily and quickly. I still recall my struggle with learning geography (“Why bother?” – I asked myself. “That’s what maps and Google Earth are for!”), yet I was able to soak up information on computer technology and New Testament Greek like a sponge!

4. As you look back on the practice of this “talent,” you experience true satisfaction. “Flow” is the term used by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (read my reviews of a number of his books at http://www.shelfari.com/bl_davis) to describe what he calls the “psychology of optimal experience.” When you are in Flow, you lose track of time and space. When finished, you feel that you have accomplished something worthwhile, something of true value. It was worth doing.

  • If your talent meets these four criteria, then what are you waiting for? Start to use it!
  • Or, if you’re having difficulty finding where your talents lie, let’s talk!

In his excellent tome “The Passion Plan,” Richard Chang writes of making decisions regarding your life and work from two sources: your Head or your Heart.

If your decisions move from your Head to your Heart (based solely on rational thought, logic, what “makes sense,” etc. and then considering your subjective side), you will ultimately experience Regret“I wonder what might have happened if I had done this or that…?” Or, according to Chang, if you stay with Head decisions, you’re likely experience Sadness, as you realize that you failed to consider your deeper needs and desires before taking action.

Heart decisions can have their pitfalls as well. As Chang notes, if you start from your Heart and stay with your Heart, you are likely to make Risky, totally impractical decisions, placing your future in danger as you never tempered your Heart ideas with logical considerations from your Head.

The best process, he suggests, is the Heart-Head journey. Identify and clarify your Passions, those deeply held beliefs and drives that make you the extraordinary person you are and then evaluate alternatives and drive your actions through your Head to seek out the best path(s) to achieve your Passions.

According to Chang, this Heart-Head process is the ultimate way to achieve what he calls “capital P Profit,” Profit that feeds the soul as well as the body! In the introduction to his book he quotes Benjamin Disraeli- “Man is only truly great when he acts from the passions.”

How about you? Do you know where your passions lie? If not, take action to discover them.

I was “chatting” with a client over the Internet regarding career alternatives based on some assessment work we had done to unearth what I liked to call their “Best Stuff.” As he was recounting some of the potential options coming up, his email opined, “Here I go again… rambling…”

One may argue that this was indeed true, but my instinctive response was, “I like ‘rambling’… it’s when you get to see the most scenery.” The more I thought about my response, the more I liked it! (my friend Scott Ginsberg, at http://www.hellomynameisscott.com, once said, “If you don’t quote yourself, no one else will!”)

Here are some of my key points on why I’m a fan of Rambling:

1.   You DO get to see more “scenery.”

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it also reduces your field of peripheral vision. If your travel is a bit more meandering, including switchbacks, occasional detours and winding roads, you may not get “there” (wherever THERE is!) as quickly, but you will certainly have a lot more to look at. I see this as a good thing. The more scenery that you see, the more opportunity you have to discover a marvelous “destination” that you never knew existed.

2.   It bucks the traditional vocational system.Image

I feel for the job seekers and careerists who invest almost all of their time and energy in newspapers, the Internet, employment agencies, company career ladders and other “traditional” resources. To be sure, these methods all represent possibilities for success and may even hold clues to their career development or next position. The problem is: they are investigating the smallest number of opportunities in direct competition with the largest number of candidates. My statistics training goes back a few years, but these don’t sound like good odds to me! Rambling can get you beyond “the smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd” and may actually be the shortest distance to get to the better career destinations, whether you are seeking or new job or wish to grow in your present position.

3.   It starts the “trip” sooner instead of later.

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else, an excellent book by Dr. David Campbell, makes some strong points supporting a targeted career process. The problem is, I’ve had many clients who were loathe to even start a Career Road Trip until they could describe their final destination in clear, concise almost meticulous detail. Since they couldn’t do so, they never started and remained parked in their vocational driveway, never even backing out onto the road. With apologies to Dr. Campbell, I may rephrase his title to “If You Wait to Figure Out Exactly Where You’re Going, You May End Up Staying Right Where You Are.”

4.   It increases the possibility of “luck” showing up.

Luck, serendipity or delightful surprises are hardly ever planned, but they have a greater opportunity to show up for the Rambler than the Laser-Guided Careerist. To requote one of my favorite authors, Barbara Sher, “The amount of good luck that comes your way depends on your willingness to act.” (From I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was). Rambling creates the dynamics for serendipity to show up.

Allow me to “ramble” just a bit more on this subject. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a general idea of where your trip is headed.
  • Unplug the GPS.
  • Pull out of your driveway, take off and keep your eyes open.

You may be surprised by what you drive by!

I was recently “chatting” with a client via the Internet. This person was in the process of considering career alternatives based on some assessment work we had done for some general identification of what I like to call one’s “Best Stuff.” As he was recounting some of the potential options coming up, his email opined, “Here I go again… rambling…”

You could argue that this was true, but my response was, “I like ‘rambling’… it’s when you get to see the most scenery.” The more I thought about my response, the more I liked it! (Scott Ginsberg once said, “If you don’t quote yourself, no one else will!”)

I’d like to make some brief comments on the advantages of rambling.

1.   You DO get to see more “scenery.”

A straight line may be the shortest distance between two points, but it also reduces the field of your peripheral vision. If your travel is a bit more meandering, including switchbacks, occasional detours and winding roads, you may not get “there” (wherever THERE is!) as quickly, but you will certainly have a lot more to look at. I see this as a good thing. The more scenery that you see, the more opportunity you have to discover a marvelous “destination” that you never knew existed.

2.   It bucks the traditional vocational system.

I feel for the job seekers and careerists who invest almost all of their time and energy in newspapers, the Internet, employment agencies and other “traditional” resources. To be sure, these methods all represent possibilities for success and may even hold clues to their career development or next position. The problem is: they are investigating the smallest number of opportunities in direct competition with the largest number of candidates. My statistics training goes back a few years, but these don’t sound like good odds to me! Rambling can get you beyond “the smell of the greasepaint and roar of the crowd” and may actually be the shortest distance to get to the better career destinations, whether you are seeking or new job or wish to grow in your present position.

3.   It starts the “trip” sooner instead of later.

If You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, You’ll Probably End Up Somewhere Else, an excellent book by Dr. David Campbell, makes some strong points supporting a targeted career process. The problem is, I’ve had many clients who were loathe to even start a Career Road Trip until they could describe their final destination in clear, concise almost meticulous detail. Since they couldn’t do so, they remained parked in their vocational driveway, never even backing out onto the road. With apologies to Dr. Campbell, I may rephrase his title to “If You Wait to Figure Out Exactly Where You’re Going, You May End Up Staying Right Where You Are.”

4.   It increases the possibility of “luck” showing up.

Luck, serendipity or delightful surprises are hardly ever planned, but they have a greater opportunity to show up for the Rambler than the Laser-Guided Careerist. To requote one of my favorite authors, Barbara Sher, “The amount of good luck that comes your way depends on your willingness to act.” (From I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was). Rambling creates the dynamics for serendipity to show up.

Allow me to “ramble” just a bit more on this subject. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get a general idea of where your trip is headed.
  • Unplug the GPS.
  • Pull out of your driveway, take off and keep your eyes open.

You may be surprised by what you drive by.