Showing posts with label Career. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Career. Show all posts

August 14, 2018

Taking Pride In Your Work

I thought this was a nice necklace. 

The lady in the hair salon had a necklace in the shape of a scissors.

I asked her about it because it seemed sort of unusual and neat. 

She said, "It's a scissors!"

And then she proceeded to squeeze the miniature two handles, and said, "You see, it actually opens and closes too!"

I could see and hear how proud she was of what she does for a living. 

Yes, maybe it doesn't earn as much as some other professions, but it was her job and she loved it. 

I think we should all try to take such pride in our work and in doing a great job!

Everyone has something important to contribute and every contribution truly counts. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal) 
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June 6, 2018

Radio-Activity

So earlier in the week, I had a great opportunity to visit the NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR). 

It was fascinating to see the reactor, control room, and all the cool experiments--not things you see every day, right? 

For safety, we had to wear devices that measured radioactivity and also go through machines that checked us afterward. 

When one person in our group went through the scanner, it went off with a red alert, and the poor individual obviously got really scared--like OMG is there some contamination on me or something.

But they went through again and it turned out it was just a false positive, thank G-d. 

I guess these really can be dangerous substances to work around, but still so marvelous how the scientists harness these neutron beams and direct them to all sort of fascinating scientific experiments. 

Being around all this science makes me think whether if I could do it all again--wondering aloud--whether I would pursue an education in one of these amazing scientific disciplines and work in the lab like a "mad scientist"--exploring and discovering new things and figuring out the mysteries of the universe and how the world really works. 

What a fun, fun field to work in!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal and Art by 4th grader, Phillip Kenney)
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February 26, 2018

What's Free And What's Not

I like this saying and wanted to share it:
"The dream is free, but the hustle is sold separately."

Yes, this is the home of the free. 

And we are all able to dream BIG dreams.

However, without the hard work and hustle, dream are not made, but rather they die on the vine. 

So dream big--imagine the very best.

Reach for the stars...

And then work your butt off to make it happen.

Choose carefully. 

No one can have it all.

You have to prioritize.

Also, you need to balance. 

In the end:
Dreams + Hard Work + Blessing From G-d

That's success by whatever standards you measure. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 5, 2017

From Cradle To Grave

It's funny how in organizations talk about the lifecycle of people. 

From a full lifecycle perspective, it's "cradle to grave!"

In terms of lifecycle on the job, it's "hire to retire (or to fire)."

Really the lifecycles are intertwined. 

It starts with the cradle...we are born and go through a maturation process that focuses on our education and preparation for life. 

Then we get hired into our (hopefully) dream jobs, where we spend our careers until we retire--or if you mess up badly and get fired or decide to change career course--you may have to go back to "go" and "do not collect $200" and you get hired again for another career round. 

Eventually you retire and start your 2nd life in retirement, where please G-d, you have the health and prosperity to enjoy the fruits of your labor and your families. 

Ultimately, our lifecycle ends at the grave with the death of our bodies--our souls go on to Heaven and live forever basking in the light of the Almighty. 

Thus, the human capital lifecycle. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 24, 2017

Steak or Peanut Butter

Ok, so yes this is not the best looking steak and peanut butter...

But that's not the point here.

I was talking to a workman who has a seasonal business. 

"Business is doing well," he said.

During the busy time...they can work 80 days straight without a break. 

And also work until midnight.

But the flip side is that for many months in the year, they have very little work at all.

It's literally feast or famine. 

As we were talking about this, he says to me:


"We really have to make it during the busy season, because that determines whether we eat steak or peanut butter the rest of the year!"

It struck me how difficult this must be too depend on a few months for how you live all the year round. 

Sure, it must be nice to have a slower season and have some rest, relaxation, and maybe some fun. 

But if, G-d forbid, you're not earning enough to support yourself for the duration of the year and you're stuck eating peanut butter because you can't even afford a steak anymore, then that must be pretty darn tough. 

Just something to think about and be grateful for if you can eat what you want and when you want to. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 20, 2017

Settle Down or Trade Up

So I always hear this question from people...


Should I be happy with what I have or should I seek out something better?


It's the age old question of whether to settle down or trade up.

When it comes to any decision in life...choosing a school, degree, career, place to live, an investment decision, or even your spouse and life partner--how do you know when you are making the right decision?

Maybe you like or love what's in front of your eyes, but you still don't know 100% if there's something better out there for you.

Every choice means you are settling in some way, because let's face it, nothing is perfect in life!

When is good, good enough for you?

There are trade-offs with every decision.

And it's a matter of what YOU can live with!

A guy may say, "I like this girl, but I'm not sure whether she's the one for me or that I really want to settle down with long-term."

Someone else says, "I'm studying to be an accountant, but you know I really always liked psychology."

And yet a third person says, "I like working at company ABC, but maybe I can learn something new or do better financially for myself and family if I go somewhere else."

So when do you settle down and when do you try to trade-up?

The dilemma is fateful because you don't want to lose what you have, but you also don't want to potentially miss out on something even better for you.

Listen, we're not prophets!

No one knows whether your investment in something is going to pay off in spades or land you flat on your butt. 

All you can do is try to weight the pros and cons of every decision. 

If you treat life like a roulette game in Las  Vegas, the one thing that is pretty sure is that at some point, you will lose it all to the house. 

So choose wisely and make sure you are passionate about your choice and that can live with it over time. 

Know that you made the best decision you could by looking at it from all angles. 

And most important of all, be grateful for everything you have--these are blessings from the Almighty Above and you need to have faith that He/She is guiding and helping you all along the way. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 18, 2016

State Of Education

So here's a sign at on the miserable state of education in America. 

"Develop Your English Skills For A Career In The Federal Government"

An advertisement in downtown, Washington, DC.

It's amazing that we can't assume proficiency in basic English skills.

Again, forget perhaps more challenging fields of the present and future such as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

We can't even assume proficient English language skills for the Federal government in the Capital of this great country. 

Certainly, would understand the need for people with specialized foreign language skills for domestic positions as intelligence analysts and various overseas positions, but English???

There are more advanced degrees and certifications out there than over before, but are people really any smarter or ready for successful careers, life skills, and survival in modern-day America and the broader world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 29, 2016

STEM Lost And Found

So this was a shirt of a local college campus that I took yesterday. 

It shows aspirations to be all sorts of things...from a doctor and lawyer to a cowgirl and princess. 

However, in this list of  22 professional aspirations there is a noticeable lack of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). 

Yes, doctors do have to know science, but not necessarily the type that opens up the world of discovery and innovation like a researcher or scientist!

STEM are the fields that over and over again have been reported as grossly lacking in this country. 



Another article in IEEE Spectrum (August 2013) claims that while the "STEM crisis is a myth," still "we should figure out how to make all children literate in the sciences, technology, and the arts."

From my experience, while I certainly get to see a lot of awesome technical talent, I also see and hear too many moans and groans when it comes to a lot of basic skills in STEM.

One colleague said the other day (and in a public forum), "Oh, don't depend on my math skills for that!"

Others that I know have difficulty with everything from simple spreadsheets, backing up their computer files, or even balancing a checkbook, and other such fundamental skills. 

Growing up with a dad who was a math whiz, a sister with a PhD in bio-medical science, and me majoring in accounting, business, and later diving into IT, I learned to appreciate, on many fronts, how important basic STEM skills are, and I in turn used to drill my own kids with workbooks and worksheets--and they perhaps at the time resented me for it, and maybe only later in life, started to love me for caring and trying.

In school, I found a lot of the education in STEM to be lacking coming across too often as esoteric and disappointingly devoid of day-to-day meaning and application in the real world for the regular people not building bridges or spaceships, so I certainly understand the frustration of young people who while they may be interested in pursuing these critical areas of education, may be turned off at the way it's being presented to them. 

We need great teachers who not only know the material, but love what they do and know how to make the material come alive to their students. Also, we need jobs that pay commensurate to the value of the talent and not nickle and dime the developers, researchers, and engineers while lining the pockets of the executive suite. Finally, we should focus the hearts and minds of our people on the real meaning of the work they do and how it helps people and society, and not just on what often comes across as isolated tasks or the organization's free dry cleaning and all you can eat buffet lunches. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 8, 2016

Meeting the Boss, John Kerry

What an awesome day today getting to meet Secretary of State, John Kerry. 

It is truly very cool to work for the Federal government and to be part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Meaning, purpose, contribution, service, and constant learning--that is a lot of goodness and opportunity to receive in one's career. 

Thank you G-d for the amazing moments as well as the daily grind to work through it all. ;-)

(Source Photo: Colleague)

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February 15, 2016

Two Days--Two Scary Statistics


(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)

Happy Presidents' Day today!

The picture is of a snoozing guy on the Washington, D.C. metro with a scarf that looks like the American Flag.

Scary statistic of the day: 

- Robots and artificial intelligence are forecast to push unemployment to 50% by 2045

Is that a good thing because people will have more time for leisure?

No says the experts...work gives live meaning, and without it we'll all be sleeping our time away on the Metro. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Happy Valentine's Day yesterday!

This photo is of luscious chocolate covered strawberries from Godiva. 

Scary statistic of the day:


Is this a good thing since people are perhaps further along in their education and career then and more ready to get married and have this as a priority?

No, says the research, since 50% believe that we are simply not better off with marriage and children as priorities.
_________

With these two holidays and statistics taken together, we are heading towards a very jobless and loveless future.

Andy's advice for the young folks (who of course won't listen because they are young):

1) Get married and get bliss!

2) Get a technology degree and get employed!

You can have a job and a spouse...little human-robot children to follow. ;-)

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January 3, 2016

Forcing Kids Backfires Big Time

Fascinating article in the Sunday New York Times today on how the stress we are putting on our kids is making them sick. 

With testing of High school students showing incredibly alarming rates of mental illness:


- 54% with moderate to severe depression.


- 80%+ with moderate to severe anxiety.


And 94% of college counseling directors "seeing rising numbers of students with severe psychological problems."


Even pediatricians are reporting 5-, 6-, and 7-year olds coming in for migraines and ulcers!


Another teacher said with all this, "We're sitting on a ticking time bomb."


Under the pressure to get into great schools and get a foot in the door in excellent careers and attain high-paying jobs, we are making our kids work longer school days, do more homework, take more Advanced Placement (AP) exams, participate in numerous extracurricular activities, and achieve, achieve, achieve. 


We've taken away normal play time--the fun out of life growing up--and the imagination, exploration, and discovery away from kids just being kids. 


The paradox is that "the pressure cooker is hurting, not helping, our kid's prospect for success."


Especially for parents who themselves grew up poor or lacking, maybe they are trying to do the "right thing"and give their kids more than they had and a "better life."


But maybe even the best intentions to mold children to be what we want them to be, or think they should or could be, is misplaced.


If only we could all take a little (or BIG) chill pill...you can't force success--with forcing you get the opposite results.

Back off people--instead of pushing and endless disciplining--how about we listen to the children, guide them, show unconditional love, and be excellent examples--show them integrity, a strong work ethic, along with an appreciation for work-life balance, then perhaps we will get not only the success of the next generation that we all need, but also happier, better adjusted, and healthier children. ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 15, 2015

The Wrong Way To Test

As educators are pushed to improve students' test scores, sometimes they run afoul.

In Atlanta, 8 former public school educators were sentenced to prison--three were sentenced to as long as seven years--for a conspiracy inflating student scores by "changing answers" to the tests. 

Interestingly, in another article today, we see that not only are students put to the test, but so are job applicants

In fact, "Eight of the top 10 U.S. private employers now administrator pre-hire tests in their job applications."

While testing can certainly show some things, they can also miss the point completely. 

I know some people that test wonderfully--straight A students, 100+ on all exams, 4.0 GPAs--and for the most part, they are wonderful at memorizing and prepping for the test...but sometimes not much else. 

Some of them have no practical knowledge, little critical thinking or creativity, and are even sort of jerky. 

And others who test poorly may be well thought, articulate, hands-on, and good with people--I'd take a million of them. 

"Failing the test" is not necessarily getting it wrong...it may just be errant to the current educational and professional testing system that values memorization and spitting back over insight, innovation, and practical skills. 

The challenge is how do we compare and contrast students and professionals competing for schools and career advancement, if we don't easily have something standardized like a test to rally around. 

Maybe there is no getting away from more holistic assessments--where we look at bona fide life and career experience, a wide range of recommendations from teachers, coaches, and supervisors, hard and soft skills (including communications and interpersonal), professional and personal ethics, genuine interest in the pursuit, and the motivation to work hard and contribute.  

Tests--students cheat, educators game the system, memorization and robotic answers are the name of the game to get the A, and boring homogeneity prevails--but it's often the easy way out to evaluating candidates for a phony success. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 12, 2015

Live To Live or Live To Die?

In The New York Times today, David Brooks presents “two sets of virtues, the resume virtue and the eulogy virtue.”

The resume virtues are the skills you need to get ahead in the marketplace, and the eulogy virtues are “whether you were kind, brave, honest, or faithful.”


While we'd like to believe that most feel that being a decent human being is more important than how much money we earn, unfortunately our education and economic systems are geared far more toward the latter, where it's widely acknowledged that "money makes the world go round!”


In fact, many will often sacrifice the moral high ground for landing on a bigger, cushier hill of worldly possessions and pleasures. 


Interestingly enough, my daughter asked me last week, whether it is better to personally live a happy life but die with a horrible reputation or to live selflessly, struggling with life challenges, but be revered after you die?


To me the answer was simple--live, learn, and grow regardless of momentary personal happiness. Do what’s right, period--honor and chivalry is alive and well. 


But my daughter told me that over 90% of people polled chose their happiness in life as their #1 goal.


I suppose it's easy to say what's the point of leaving a legacy if you were not happy living your life every day, but I would counter with what's the point in chasing life's daily pleasures, if you were a bum and everyone knows it?


The point isn't even what people say about us when we are alive or dead, but rather that we know that we tried our best to live as decent, ethical human beings and that hopefully, we left the world a better place than when we got here.


Sure, there is no blessing in being poor or unhappy--but living purely to satisfy one's voracious materialistic appetite is just being a selfish little pig--come on admit it!


On your deathbed, will you wish you that in your life you had more money and status or that you had been a better, more giving human being? 


I say forget the resume and the eulogy, just think about what will really gives you peace of mind and inner happiness and it's more than any amount of money can buy or any seduction you can imagine.  ;-)


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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April 21, 2014

Disease Of The Ordinary

Wow, I love these glasses--red, big, and with wings!

I asked the store owner about them, and he said he gets these mostly for (window) display purposes.


But one lady actually bought a pair similar to this for a big event she was going to. 


I think these would certainly make a statement (however crazy) when someone walks into the room wearing these. 


Maybe that's the point for many people--to stand out!


People want to be noticed, special, and be thought of as something or as somebodies. 


Being 1 of 7 billion people is not very satisfying--so how do we differentiate ourselves?

  • The fancy house and cars we have
  • The clothing and accessories we wear and carry
  • The trophy wife or husband that hangs on us
  • Our own physical good looks, fitness, and skills
  • The prestigious university we went to and the degrees we possess
  • Climbing the career ladder and our titles and offices
  • Our pedigree from kings, clergy, hollywood, rich, or otherwise famous or successful people
  • The children (and grandchildren) that we rear to be smart, successful, well-integrated, etc.?
  • How religious we are, how much charity we give, the kindness we show others?

This is something that we all struggle with as human beings--what is a life of purpose, meaning and how do we know that we've achieved it?  

I think the problem for many is that we measure ourselves by what we have and not who we are. Perhaps, this is a clear mistaken case of quantity over quality.  


Down in Florida, I see so many "haves" and "have nots"--but it's not enough for the haves to have, but if they aren't showing it off, getting stares, having people talk about them, then they seem to feel uncomfortably ordinary. 


What is this disease of the ordinary that people must ever run to escape from--and even with the reddest, wildest, wing glasses or whatever--will they ever feel truly happy and satisfied inside?


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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January 7, 2014

Live Stress Free, Almost

As we all know, stress is a killer--so you want to minimize it (if you can)!

There is a great little piece from CareerCast on the most and least stressful jobs out there in 2014.

From least stressful--audiologist.

To most stressful--enlisted military.

Anyway, to avoid stress--keep calm like the picture says, but also consider jobs with the following attributes:

- Desk job

- High growth potential

- Fewer strict deadlines

- Less travel

- Greater congeniality 

- Non-hazardous

One question from the list of jobs...why be a taxi driver earning an average of almost $23,000 a year in one of the top 10 most stressful jobs, when you can be a hair stylist earning about the same and have the 2nd least stressful job out there? 

So trade in your driver's license and learn to give a great hairdo! ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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June 22, 2013

Hiring and Marrying Great People--Is It Random or Predictable?


The Atlantic (21 June 2013) has a startling article about hiring at Google--"It's a complete random mess."

With all the Google information genius and the brainteasers they test people with, all the rounds of interviews they put them through, they found "zero relationship" between how people scored in tens of thousands of interviews and how they performed in their jobs.

No only didn't the interviews predict good hires, but "colleges didn't matter, GPAs...didn't matter."

Only one guy who was the world's leading expert in something, and was hiring for a very specialized area seemed to be able to weed out the wheat from the chaff in interviews. 

"People are complicated, organizations are complicated, matching people with organizations is complicated."

This reminds me of what it's like to match people for intimate relationships...very, very difficult. Sort of like, men are complicated, women are complicated, and matching men and women is complicated.

Whether matching people to organizations or to each other, getting a good Shidduch is a big challenge and hard to predict the outcome. 

Perhaps that is why the average person goes through seven careers in a lifetime and "50% of all marriages in America end in divorce."

Making a good match with a company or a person is hard--because as I heard as a teenager, "you never know what the person is really like until you wake up with them in the morning"--morning breath, hair messed, bad dreams, pissy moods, and all. 

Similarly, with a company, until you work there and actually have to live the culture and deal with the people, policies, and politics, you won't really know what it's like just by asking around and reading up about them on Glassdoor.

Also, not only do you have imperfect information about the people and jobs when you try and match them up, but people change (organizations do to, but much more slowly--it's a bigger ship to turn around). 

Yes, while past performance are predictors of future performance--good skills and bad habits, they do stick around--at the same time, people do learn, grow, mature, and change--hopefully for the better. 

As the old Jewish saying goes, "with age, comes wisdom"--and hopefully, more mature and better ways of dealing and coping with challenging and complex people and situations. 

So what should you look for--whether in a new hire or a marriage mate? 

Start with a good heart and a good fit; look for a track record of success in life, a hunger to succeed personally and professionally, someone willing to learn and grow, and not be afraid to work hard, have some failures, and get back on their feet again--that's life. 

Say a prayer and don't be fooled by the superficial things or what people just say to get the job or the mate--look for what they do (action speaks louder than words) and remember, personal beauty is more than just skin deep. ;-)
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January 15, 2012

Adapt and Live!

Train

The Times, They Are a-Changin' is a song by Bob Dylan (1964), it is also the reality of our times today, and how we react to all the change can make or break us.

Like with Agile Software Development, one of the main values is "responding to change over following a plan," to improve the success of software development, similarly in the world today, we need to be able to rapidly and flexibly respond to change in order to successfully compete.

Fast Company (February 2012) has two important articles on this topic--one is called "Generation Flux" and the other "The Four-Year Career."

Generation Flux is about how we are living in a time of "chaotic disruption" and that this is "born of technology and globalization." Generation Flux is a mindset of agility versus a demographic designation like Gen X or Y.

All around us we see the effects of this rapid change in terms of business models and leadership turned upside down, inside out, and sideways.

Recently, we have seen:

- Mainstay companies such as American Airlines and Hostess declare bankruptcy

- Some titans of the Fortune 500 companies ousted, including Carol Bartz of Yahoo, Leo Apotheker from HP to name just a few

- Others, like RIM and Netflix have fallen from grace and are struggling to regain their footwork--some will and some won't

At the same time, we have seen the ascension of companies like Apple, Google, Facebook, and Amazon becoming the "kings of the hill"--driven in part by their agility to get in and out of markets and products:

- In 2010, Google was getting out of China; today Google is expanding its presence once again. In addition, Google continues to start up or acquire and discontinue services regularly; just last year they closed Google Desktop developed in 2005, Google Health Service started in 2008, and Google Aardvark purchased in 2010 (and more)

- Amazon, once an online book and music retailer has now become the premier e-Commerce company as well as the No. 2 in tablets and in the top 3 in cloud computing.

- Apple was slick in developing the navigation wheel on the iPod only to get rid of it completely with the touch-screen of the iPad.

- Facebook continues to adapt to security and privacy concerns, but still has more to do, especially in terms of simplifying choices for their users.

According to Fast Company, to survive, we need to be profoundly agile and "embrace instability, that tolerates--and enjoys--recalibrating careers, business models, and assumptions." The article points out that this is just as Darwin has professed, ultimately it is the agile that will survive--not the strongest or smartest.

For organizations, change, agility and adaptability is the name of the game, and they are depending on petabytes of information and the business intelligence to make sense of it all to make the right decision every day.

For individuals, "the long career is dead" (U.S. workers have a medium job tenure of only 4.4 years and have an average of 11 different jobs over a lifetime) and "the quest for solid rules is pointless" (with automation and robotics atrophying low- and middle-skill jobs and part time, freelance, and contract work all on the rise). Now, in an agile marketplace, "career-vitality" or the continuous broadening of individual capabilities is encouraged and expected, and the "T-shaped" person with both depth or subject matter expertise as well as breadth in other areas in becoming more and more valued.

Moreover, hard skills are important, but social skills and emotional intelligence are critical to get along, share information, and collaborate with others.

Of course, not all change is good, and we need to speak up and influence the direction of it for the good, but in the end, standing still in the path of genuine progress is like standing in front of a speeding locative.

While the quiet and serenity of maintaining the status quo is often what feels most secure and comfortable in uncertain times, it may actually just be the forerunner to the death knell for your career and organization. There are no short-cuts to continuing to learn, explore, and grow as the world around us rapidly evolves.

Adapt and live or stagnate and die.

(Source Photo: here)


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September 18, 2011

Bringing The Marriage Back Into Our Jobs


Federal Times (11 Sept 2011) reported on a human capital study done by the Partnership for Public Service (PPS) and Deloitte that found that "after the three-year [employment] mark, employee' satisfaction scores plummets" from 77.2 the first year to 66.2 after the third year.

Tim McManus, the VP for PPS underscored the significance of employee dissatisfaction on productivity and retention, when he stated that "it's more than just the end of the honeymoon period; your marriage is on the rocks."

For sometime now, we have been hearing about the high frequency of job changing for Gen Xers and Yers; this week, I actually heard of someone who had changed jobs literally 50 times before the age of 30!

Certainly, I would imagine that living in a high-tech, fast-paced culture that we do now, contributes to the number and rate of job changes, where people are looking for lots of responsibility and recognition in short order or they simply move on. There is a notion that life is too short to waste it in an unproductive or unfulfilling job.

Further, the poor economy, where layoffs have become commonplace has likewise contributed to an employment culture where employers and employees no longer feel beholden to each other, and each is looking out for their own best interests rather than their mutual success.

Unfortunately, what is getting lost in this employment picture is the notion of career. To employers, a person has become a human capital asset--kept on-board only as long as they remain more of an asset than a liability. And correspondingly, to many employees a "job is just a job" now-a-days--it is a temporary phenomena for X hours a weeks for "as long as it lasts," rather than a long-term place for personal and professional growth.

In a class this week, I had the privilege of hearing a terrific career development officer discuss the lifecycle of a job, as follows:

1) Steep Learning Curve -- We all go through it...can anyway say, "how do you use the copy machine?"

2) Strong Expertise -- This is the point where we are really excelling...we have become subject matter experts and are valued for that expertise.

3) Losing Your Edge -- At a certain point, people start to lose interest, performance, or get out of sync with their boss or the organization.

4) Hitting Rock Bottom -- If there is no course correction, employees who have "lost their edge" go on to become restless and dissatisfied and risk a precipitous decline.

Picture step 4 as a potential big SPLAT.

Most people start off their careers "bright eyes and bushy tailed," but at some point, if they are not well-managed, they become discouraged, disillusioned, demoralized and so on.

Obviously, this hurts the organization and the employee--both suffer when the two are out of sync. However, employees may change jobs at any stage in the lifecycle of a job, but the later stages become more painful for boss and employee.

So as leaders, are there things we can do to keep job satisfaction scores high or does the very notion of a lifecycle of a job mean that eventually "all good things must come to an end"?

I think we certainly can do things to make for a longer and more fulfilling job life cycle--training and career opportunities, ethical management, good communication, recognition and rewards, mentoring and coaching, work-life balance, treating people fairly, and more.

At the same time, even in ideal situations, people, organizations, and markets change, and we must change with them. It is important to recognize, when things have changed inside ourselves and our organizations, and when it's time to make a change outside in the job market. This is healthy when it's done for the right reasons and when it results in new opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute.

Every situation brings new challenges and opportunities and we need to meet those head-on striving for job satisfaction, working through times of dissatisfaction, and recognizing life cycles are normal and natural--we are all human.

Good luck!

(Source Photo: here)


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March 24, 2011

Where Do You Want To Work?

The Wall Street Journal (21 March 2011) published an article on the results of a study by Universum of over 10,000 professionals with between 1 and 8 years of work experience identifying who their ideal employers are and these are the results.

Interesting--from the top 10 employers...

- 4 are well-known, exciting technology companies (Google, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft)

- 4 are federal government agencies (Department of State, FBI, CIA, and NASA)

- 1 is a childhood sweetheart...Walt Disney

- 1 is a non-profit dedicated to "eliminating educational inequity"...Teach for America

The complete ranking of all 150 employers can be found here.
The results were derived from young professionals picking up to 5 ideal employers from the list of 150.

Respondents could also write-in employers not listed and the top one's requested were Facebook (with 600 million members are climbing, no surprise), Department of Homeland Security (critical mission, don't know why they weren't on the original list of 150), and the United Nations (the "great melting pot" as they say in NY).

The list provides some food for thought for those thinking about their own career aspirations--whether just starting out or looking to make a change.

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July 16, 2010

Getting to Success

These "21 Suggestions for Success" by H. Jackson Brown Jr. are lessons to live by and lead with.

Worthy of posting on the blog, in the office, and referring to again and again.


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