Archives for millenials

When Is Self-Care Over-Indulgent?

 

I promote self-care a lot because I know that science supports it.  Stress in the workplace contributes to major chronic illnesses responsible for most early health-related deaths. It’s also a high cause of absenteeism. Self-care CAN be a way to manage stress.

However, since I teach generation Z and Millennials and work with Generation X through baby boomers, the chasm in understanding of the role of self-care and reasonable limits to self-care during work hours is vast and causing a lot of conflicts in today’s workplace, which has never had so many generations before.

Millennials have been accused of having a sense of entitlement. One of my current students, a millennial, even admitted that their reputation is earned.  However, the workplace also has much different expectations than when the generations before them entered the workforce. For the most part, there was a finite beginning and end to the workday. However, since internet and cell phone connectivity have enabled people to work remotely, the delineation between work hours and personal hours has been blurred. In some family-friendly companies, the employees who are parents enjoy more flexibility in their schedule, but the single employees are sometimes expected to pick up the slack.

How do we create boundaries around self-care that don’t cause drama that threatens collaboration and productivity? How does a company decide what is fair, enough, and truly restorative?

Firstly, it’s unrealistic and refuted by science to assume that people will fulfill all of their self-care needs at home. Brain fatigue starts to set in after just a few minutes of concentration. One or two 30-second breaks per hour to do something pleasurable is sufficient to restore the brain. Yawning and stretching (very slowly) are highly restorative exercises. This is a great time for mindfulness, like being present and still. The best part about mindfulness is that employees will start to become more and more self-aware and emotionally intelligent, and will naturally consider the impact of their self-care regimen on others.

Self-care does not have to consume a lot of time, in fact, less than a minute. But people misunderstand self-care and engage in activities that actually contribute to mental exhaustion, like social media, “venting,” and personal errands.

Even some fitness activities can be draining rather than restorative. It only takes 10 minutes to increase oxygen to your brain. There is some science that suggests that endurance training can make you more resistant to fatigue, but that doesn’t mean employers can allow employees to run a marathon during work hours.

If we follow a model that our country’s laws were designed around, your rights end where another’s begin.  Because emotional intelligence does not fully develop until the 3rd decade of life, usually well into a person’s career, most entry-level workers have blind spots around how their self-care impacts others, and they need to be coached here. They also have developed habits, especially social media, that can lead to greater distractibility and more frequent mental fatigue, which leads to more mistakes and less accountability.

In my career prep course, as well as in my coaching practice, I work with my students on defining who they want to be at work, what reputation they want to build, and how to brand themselves and deliver on that brand for optimal career growth. They are taught the neuroscience of mindfulness and are guided in making it a life-long habit.

My firm, Epic Careering, offers coaching to companies that achieve the same results, and as a byproduct employees spend less time in drama, less time in self-indulgent non-self-care, and more time cooperating, collaborating, and producing.

Schedule a consultation today and catalyze the growth of your employees’ potential tomorrow.

Bachman Turner Overdrive – LOOKIN’ OUT FOR NO.1

Bachman Turner Overdrive – LOOKIN’ OUT FOR NO.1

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a corporate consulting and career management firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where her students won the 2018 national competition and were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs.

Advance Your Career by Making Demands to Your Boss

Photo courtesy of sean dreilinger of flickr creative commons - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)(http://bit.ly/requestforhappiness).

Photo courtesy of sean dreilinger of flickr creative commons – Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)(http://bit.ly/requestforhappiness).

A number of years ago I had a co-worker who was unsatisfied with her position at our company. We worked in close proximity, and she had a habit of complaining to me about other employees. She lamented bitterly about workers who were allowed to leave early on light workflow days. They essentially only worked a few days a week and they were always guaranteed their same workstation. Meanwhile, she showed up to work nearly every day, but had to wander the work floor unsure of what her task would be for that day. In her eyes, the managers had their favorites, while everyone else had to suffer. Finally, I asked her, “Why not tell the boss how unhappy you are, and request a more permanent spot?” She stood silent for a moment, and then muttered an excuse about how her opinion wouldn’t matter.

In my past job, I noted that those who were bold enough to make demands from the boss often moved up in the company. To clarify, making demands doesn’t mean storming into your boss’s office and pounding your fist on the desk. It means making requests that will better your life and the company. Those who stayed silent often languished until their dissatisfaction either lead them to quit, or to remain unhappy and stagnant. Those who are really dissatisfied with their jobs can earn a reputation for being a toxic influence, which may lead to getting fired. This means not getting a good recommendation, which prevents you from landing anywhere new.

The thought of talking to the boss and making demands can be enough to paralyze some of us. A sense of dread and foreboding wraps itself around you and threatens to suffocate. Nervous thoughts and feelings of self-doubt swirl around in your mind. Silence rarely dispels dissatisfaction. You push back against the anxiety and summon your courage. You want to advance your career. Well, commanding the attention of your boss is the key to getting ahead. You no longer want to be the employee that goes unnoticed by your higher-ups. You have ambitions that need to be fulfilled, and you’re eager to take your career to the next level.

It may be tempting to keep your head down, work hard, avoid making waves, and hope you get noticed in the future. These actions constitute a good work ethic, but they may not capture the attention of your boss. That is, you may be a great worker, but not making noticeable waves only contributes to the status quo of your professional life. I always say, “If a tree falls in the forest, and no one hears it, who cares?” In other words, the impact is isolated. Furthermore, if you want to take your career to the next level and secure financial freedom, your boss and the relationships of your workplace has a role to play. In terms of promoting yourself, integrating and building relationships with other departments can also raise your visibility level. The requests you can make of your boss can run the gamut. Your requests can range from the relatively minor, like asking for a more comfortable chair, to the life-changing events, such as a promotion or a higher salary.

Don’t leave your compensation on the table

When there’s a discussion of compensation, salary is the first thing to come to mind. Compensation is important in the work place, because our time and effort have value. In the hiring process, salary negotiations may make or break a job offer. While you’re employed at a company, your pay can also make or break your position. Your salary may not increase as quickly as you like, so at some point you’ll have to ask your boss for a raise. Consider it in personal terms: not asking for a raise is simply leaving money on the table, especially if you’ve been at your current position for a number of years. There are long term losses to consider. Once you leave money on the table, you are decreasing your salary for years to come. This can add up to millions of dollars that are earned, but are uncollected. You CAN make up for lost time by mastering the negotiation process, but the challenge and skills needed increase with every year you are paid less than you are worth. You may ask yourself, “What should my salary be?” Plug your numbers into the Unlimited Abundance income calculator to discover the answer.

Personal time is critical to your well-being

Time off is critical to your personal and professional well-being. You can make all of the money in the world and your job may give you immense pleasure, but what good is it to you if you never relax or see your family? If you work constantly without being able to take a vacation, or critical time off when you need it, it won’t be long before the burnout sets in. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 2012 revealed that long working hours can result in a combination of stress, raised blood pressure, and other serious health problems. In some cases, working more than an average of 11 hours per day raised the risk of heart disease by 67%. In short, overworking can be detrimental to your hearth. The job you once loved slowly begins to turn sour. Instead of joy, the thought of work only brings you misery and dread. Additionally, you may forget how to derive joy from personal things— even when you are doing personal things, you can feel guilty about not working. That is a huge warning sign that priorities need to shift, or else time off will add to your stress. Personal time is vital to maintaining a healthy life.

Flexible Time

You may consider requesting the ability to telecommute or even flex-time from your boss. If you’re in the middle of unexpected life changes, such as a new child, a sickly family member, or the sudden need to move, working away from the office can be a huge benefit. Your boss won’t know you may need a more flexible schedule, unless you actually take the time to ask them. Some corporate policies are perceived to be inflexible, but many companies are seeing that competition for talent is increasing and are offering flex-time. Remote reporting is becoming more and more necessary to be a competitive employer, especially for hiring millennials. In my article, “Enticing Exclusive Millennials,” I wrote about effective ways for employers to attract new and recent college grads.

Additional on the job learning

Continuing your professional development is essential to your long term career. You can exponentially increase your value and promotability, thereby increasing your income. A good place to start is to know more about your industry and how to improve your performance. The fastest way to improve is to request feedback and constructive criticism from your boss, if he or she doesn’t already give it to you. Take that constructive criticism and focus on building your strengths and finding new ways to apply them, versus focusing on filling in your gaps. Marcus Buckingham, a business consultant and best-selling author, has written numerous articles highlighting the important of promoting your strengths instead of simply improving your weaknesses.

Education doesn’t end with your university degree; it’s only the start of your journey. You can consider attending industry conferences, tuition or certification reimbursement, or even bringing in training on-site for all employees to further your education. Your job is your passion, as well as a source of income, and it is a continual process to strive to become an expert.

You can also ask your boss what industry related books he or she is reading, and ask for sources of industry related news. Not only will this demonstrate your personal initiative, you will also have the opportunity to become more knowledgeable in your field. Having a goal to climb the advancement ladder is great, but not knowing what’s at the top of the ladder makes grabbing that first rung more difficult. If a boss doesn’t “get it,” you can also be the one to point out that if your boss can train you to replace him or her, they can move up. This only works in cultures where everyone isn’t always worried about their job security. If you’re in that situation, contact us and get unstuck!

Getting to know the boss

There are times when you need to get personal, and ask the boss what type of manager he or she is. Sure, you can take the “wait and see” approach and learn what type of person you’ll be working for. Or, you can take the intitive and ask. Some managers are, well, micromanagers. They have to oversee and have a hand in every aspect of the job. All decisions must go through them, and this approach can lead to learning valuable expertise on the job. Other managers prefer a hands-off approach. You’ll get the information you need to do your job correctly, and little else beyond that. Some managers are a mixture of the two approaches. The more you know about your boss, the easier it is to adjust your work style in order to avoid personal clashes. Better yet, when you know what style enables you to thrive and even what management style you would employ, you will want to qualify your employer before you accept a position. That way, you set yourself up for success from the get-go during the interview process.

You can ask your boss about their personal aspirations. What does the job mean to them? Where do they see themselves in five years? What does he or she think of the company? These questions may be difficult to ask at first, but knowing more about your boss can give you a nice snapshot into the company, especially if you’re new. Or, getting to know more about your boss could ease friction and tension at work (if it exists). Moreover, if you have a lot in common with you boss it could make promotions or job transitions easier. After all, personal relationships are vital to advancing your professional life.

Raising influence at work

Influence is another important aspect of your career. You can ask your boss for ways to become a team player for the benefit of your company. If there are critical projects, find a way to participate in them. Take your achievements and highlight them for higher-ups to see. If there’s a critical need that’s not being fulfilled, ask your boss how you can fill this gap. If there’s an issue or a need of expertise, you want to be the “go to” guy or gal at the company. Many of my clients have realized tremendous professional success by making themselves indispensable across the organization. This can come with some conflict, but the better you become at navigating and/or defusing that conflict, the more influence and responsibility you can anticipate.

If you’re ready to advance to the next level ask your boss for a promotion. If you’ve been turned down for a promotion, ask what you can do to succeed. If there’s a gap in your skills, discover how to close the gap. The problem could be as simple as needing more education in one area. Going into management is not always the most appropriate way to move up—not everyone is a natural manager and some are better off building their skills as a senior individual contributor. In this performance based economy, the length of time at a company is no longer the sole factor in terms of getting promoted. A promotion is something that has to be actively sought out. Again, if a manager doesn’t know you’re interested in moving up, he or she may not even consider you for a promotion.

Don’t forget the other perks!

There are little perks you can request from your boss to make your life easier to manage, especially when pure salary, vacation time or educational resources can’t be negotiated. A few examples include, having your dry cleaning reimbursed if you have a business formal dress code, reimbursement for a long commute, or having to pay a city wage tax. You can also consider healthcare flex spending accounts, college tuition savings accounts, and even childcare stipends. Sometimes these perks fall under different tax deduction categories, so it is more than worth it for an employer to make them a perk that they cover, versus giving you that straight compensation to pay for these things yourself. The ability to not use vacation time or lunch hours for doctor’s appointments is something else to consider. The big question to ask is, “What am I paying for out of pocket that my company can pay for where there is some kind of benefit for them, too?”

Your professional brand is your personal brand, and your brand is directly correlated to your market value and worth. What kind of value do you bring to your company, and your boss? If you had a great product, it would be insane not to advertise it, and to leave value compensation and perks on the table. In the same way, raising your personal status can pave the way for career advancement.  As I said earlier, silence rarely solves problems. If you’re feeling ambitious at work, or ready for a change, you have to voice your opinions to your boss. Sometimes getting to the next level in your professional life is as simple making a few requests.

The Who – You Better You Bet (Album Version Video)

The Who – You Better You Bet Full Length Version video. I love the second verse in the long version that I thought I would edit a video for it! Which has helped me to deal with my heartbreak! *sniffs* Well at least a little…..

Your Attitudes About Work Can Shape the Career Path of Others

child

Photo courtesy of Mississippi State University Libraries on flickr open source.

As a career coach I have met many clients who are unhappy with their career choices. I worked with a gentleman who made a decision to work in business. Business isn’t his passion, but it provided him with stability and good pay. As he got older, he realized he hated his choice. Being a businessman was not something he was passionate about, and it showed. Even so, he believed it was impossible to pursue a career that made him happy and to also earn a decent living wage. It was how his own father lived his life. These were the values he was brought up with and it is ultimately how he ended up working. He internalized these attitudes and they ended up becoming an absolute truth for him. My client wanted his children to live a more fulfilling life, but he was caught between the importance of a pragmatic career choice and one based on personal passion. As a result, he always told his children and younger peers that a stable career was more important than a fulfilling career.

We all know people who made a career decision based on their own generational beliefs that were formed from their life experiences, and the experiences of the generation that preceded them. The majority of us don’t second guess our career decisions, even if we are unsatisfied with them, and it is all too easy to pass our beliefs on to others.

Here’s an example of someone caught between the crossroads of a pragmatic career choice and their dream career:

We all have that friend who moved out to California to become a movie star, right? I do. He was 35 and considered it the last and biggest push he could make so that he’d always know that he gave it his best effort. I’m sure some thought of him as foolish, but I could not have been more proud. It didn’t even matter what the outcome is or will be. As long as he could make a living out there doing any variety of other things, he could continue to audition, build his portfolio and make connections. Until…

He found out that he has a baby girl on the way.  He’s scared. Not only was he never really sure if he ever wanted kids, but he’s still trying to figure out how to take care of himself. His biggest fear, however, is that this is the end of his dreams.

So, he has some big decisions to make in the next year and for the rest of his life. What would your advice to him be?

Chances are good, between us all, that he will get some very conflicting information, and that some advice would be well-intentioned, but potentially unnecessarily detrimental to his future. Furthermore, what he decides to do, and how he feels about it, talks about it, and lives it will make a huge impact on his daughter’s future.

How we advise him isn’t really as much based on what the BEST thing to do would be, but rather what our dominant paradigm is about work. As per my last article, “Are you martyring your dreams?” I wrote about how we shape the next generations’ attitudes about work, mostly unconsciously.

The actions and attitudes of one generation of workers can greatly influence the next generation. Personally, I do not want my children to ever feel limited about their work choices and commitments. My daughters are young, and are forming the next generation of workers. So, what about those of us already in the workforce? Thanks to longer life spans there is an incredible amount of generational diversity in the workplace. Four generations now work together and each of them brings their own attitudes to the job. Each generation also has its own perceptions about the previous and next generations. For example, Millenials are technology savvy, but entitled and lazy. Generation Xers are poor team players. Baby boomers and Traditionalists are slow to adapt and adopt new technologies. These perceptions are largely stereotypes, but each generation does have their own beliefs and values about work that informed and shaped their career decisions.  So, what are the attitudes of these different generations? How do our attitudes shape our own beliefs about work? And how do they shape the future of the workforce as a result?

First, let’s start with some common generational scenarios that lead to personal attitudes about work:

Gertrude was born during the great depression and remembers growing up during difficult times. She learned to save her money, hold on to what possessions she had, and generally respected authority. At work she was extremely loyal to her company, gained a great deal of experience, valued stability, and stayed there for much of her working life, putting in regular 9-5 hours. Her lifelong commitment paid off when she eventually made her way into upper-management. Her managerial style was direct and top-down. She preferred to talk face-to-face with her co-workers and subordinates, and would only settle on a phone call if she absolutely had to. Eventually, she became the CEO of the company and retired after more than 40 years of service. Gertrude’s beliefs and life experiences taught her that she needed to work hard, to be cautious, have lifetime loyalty to her employer, and that seniority is important to career advancement. Work is about picking a career, choosing a company to work for, and staying there until retirement.

Ronald was born at the end of World War II. His generation is one of the largest in American society and thanks to its size greatly influenced the direction of the country. He grew up during a time of prosperity, unbridled optimism and a rapidly changing political and social landscape. Ronald was raised to respect authority figures, but thanks to the changing nature of the country, he did not blindly trust the previous generation. Like his father, he believed the right course of action in a career was to pick a company to work for and to expect to stay there for at least a decade. He worked long hours, was on-call during the weekends, was loyal to his employer, and eventually made his way up the career ladder, thanks to his hard work. He essentially lives to work, believing it to be a priority over his personal life. A 60-hour work week didn’t matter, because he had something to show for it. Unlike his parents, Ronald has no plans to fully retire at 65. Ronald believes work is fundamental to his identity and self-worth. He puts in long hours at the office because it is how work “should” be done, and can’t understand why his younger peers aren’t willing to do the same.

Angela was born during the Regan Administration. Her parents worked hard, but they were eventually divorced. She grew up with everything she needed, but had less than her peers with married parents, whom she felt a great need to impress to be accepted. In short, her life growing up wasn’t easy. Her mother worked seven days a week to make ends meet. One day, the job her mother worked at for well over a decade laid her off, and she watched as her mother was forced to take a lower paying job. When she entered the workforce she was determined not to work as hard as her mother, and she was skeptical about staying with the same employer for life. Angela knew working hard was important, but she refused to “live to work.” She found a job with flexible hours that allowed to her work from home, and she isn’t afraid to change employers in order to seek career advancement. Angela grew up with a cynical attitude toward lifetime employer loyalty. She saw first-hand how easily an organization could layoff a longtime worker to make its bottom line. She placed an equal value on the workplace and her personal life, one was not more important than the other. Angela also values independence in her decision-making at work, and is willing to change employers to suit her needs.

Tobias was born during the end of the George H.W. Bush Administration. For the entirety of his young life, Tobias has been surrounded by technology. He doesn’t remember a time without the internet, barely remembers a time without cell phones, and is more at ease talking to friends on Facebook than face-to-face. He is young, highly educated, ambitious, and extremely confident in his own abilities. His parents worked long hours, but they were constantly there for him. Tobias was used to being praised for everything he did growing up. In his eyes, talent often triumphs hard work. It doesn’t matter how a project gets done, just as long as it is done. Life isn’t about working all the time. Unfortunately, he was dealt a harsh blow thanks to the Great Recession. Good paying jobs that match his skillset aren’t as easy to find. He has a lot of college debt, his standard of living isn’t as high as his parents, and the idea of organizational loyalty for life bores him. In other words, spending one’s life at a company doing rote tasks does not appeal to him. Tobias is optimistic. If he gets tired (or laid off) of one job, he can move on to another. He’s flexible, adaptable, and believes strongly in the personal brand he has built through social media. Despite Tobias confidence, he’s found it isn’t very easy to find a job in a field that uses his degree.

What are the generational differences on work attitudes?

In the scenarios I painted for you, Gertrude is from the Traditional generation, Ronald is a Baby Boomer, Angela is a Generation Xer, and Tobias is part of the Millennials. Each generation’s attitudes toward work are shaped by their life experiences and their differences are vast. In general, the older generations (Traditional and Baby Boomers) place a high value on company loyalty. Decades ago, it was common to expect to work for one employer for all (or much) of your life, and to retire from the same employer. Imagine the huge factories that used to dot the landscape of the Northeast and Upper Midwest. For example, a person could work for and retire from Ford (as an hourly employee or salaried management) and live a reasonably comfortable life. The hours were long, but working hard meant you could easily afford to provide for a family, and own lots of expensive possessions. Even a job in the corporate world (throughout all levels), meant long hours and good pay. It didn’t matter if a person worked up to 80 hours a week and rarely saw his or her family. Hard work and long hours were good for the family and society in the long run. The reward was a comfortable retirement could be that could be earned between the three pillars of pension, social security, and personal savings.

Younger generations of workers (Gen Xers and Millennials) grew up rarely seeing their parents, or seeing the stressful effects of long hours at work. Corporate downsizing, high divorce rates among parents, long periods of time without supervision at home (because of the many hours parents had to work), and the rapid rise of new technology caused this generation to seek a better work/life balance. Generation Xers in particular began to question the “workaholic” culture, and placed a value on flexible hours at work. Spending 10 to 12 hours in the workplace isn’t as appealing, nor is working at one company for the entirety of their lives. For many workers, staying 3 to 5 years at a company is a long term commitment, opposed to parents and grandparents who stayed with companies for 15 to 35 years. They want their identity and lives to be meaningful, and not completely attached to their career. Millennials often see their positions at a single employer as ephemeral, and have no qualms about leaving employers after short periods of time. Technology has always been a way of life and thanks to its immediacy, the generation can be impatient. Younger workers don’t believe in slowly working their way up to powerful positions. They are more apt to bypass the work ladder, and expect to take on higher management positions at younger ages with the help of a mentor.

Our beliefs shape our attitudes

Think about your own beliefs and career decisions. How were they influenced?

As we grow up there are three pivotal junctures in our life that shape who we are. From birth to 7-years-old, we observe our family, internalize their actions, and interpret them to be the correct way to live. For example: “Daddy works 10 hours a day and doesn’t like his job. That must be the way all grownups work.” From age 8 to 13 we begin to look outside of our family for role-models to influence our value decisions. “When I grow up I want to be a famous singer!” From the age of 14 to 20 we are influenced by our peers. We use our peers and society to test out our beliefs, to make decisions, start to finalize what kind of person we’ll be, and what our career will be. “Maybe I’ll be a computer programmer, it seems pays OK, and I don’t hate it.”

These major junctures in our life can even influence us in more subtle ways. We could tell a 4-year-old that life as an adult isn’t about fun, but it has to be spent working all of the time. That would become part of their identity, potentially. Or perhaps the young child would grow up, and revolt against this advice, being influenced in the opposite direction. Either way, we would use that advice to define us, and that’s when our strengths emerge, but it is also when a lot of untruths about ourselves are defined. The “truth” you know isn’t potentially true. We don’t have a looking glass into the future.

Going back to our formed beliefs and attitudes, how would you advise someone else in terms of their own future career decisions? Would you tell them that a pragmatic career decision is more important than a passion-driven choice? Let’s return to the example of our father-to-be.

As a member of the older generation, would you tell him that work isn’t supposed to be fun, and is only a means to secure a stable financial future? In other words, should he give up on being an actor and pursue a more stable career because he now has a child to consider? Or as a member of a younger generation, would you tell him not to settle for short-term work beneath his abilities, even if it meant a financially difficult life? I.e., don’t take any job if it’s not related to acting, because of your pride. These are the generational truths we believe in, and that we unconsciously believe should define us and others. Perhaps our beliefs about work and the future workforce need to be brought to the surface and reexamined.

The future will not be like the past. We can predict certain things about the future, but we don’t know what the future will bring. It is possible in the future that 85% of the jobs that graduates will be going for in 15 years from now don’t exist right now. Paul T. Corrigan has stated in his article “Preparing students for what we can’t prepare them for,” that the top ten in-demand jobs in 2010, didn’t exist in 2004. So how do you advise people in their career? How can you tell someone now that their best chance at a job is to settle for possible decisions determined by beliefs, rather than facts? An administrative assistant may be a decent career now, but it may not exist in the future, or may only pay a fraction of what it once did. There’s little authority in guiding people towards a “viable” career path. I’ve found the happiest and most productive people are those with a career driven by their passions. That is the most viable career path.

There was something that my older supervisor told me when I still worked as a recruiter: “Refute your biases.” And while she was mostly taking about refuting biases about people, I think it’s applicable to our attitudes on work. The whole reason I wanted write this is because all too frequently I see people making important career decisions on arbitrary feelings, untruths and things that aren’t real. Think about how different our attitudes would be if we made career decisions based on facts and passion, instead of ingrained beliefs.

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Teach Your Children

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