New Media Interchange

Dog Days of Podcasting – Day 4 – Archive: Don’t wait for others to energize your career — do it yourself

Part of the Dog Days of Podcasting,  A 30 Podcast in 30 Days Challenge taken by a wide variety of podcasters including the host of Careers in New Media, Douglas E. Welch.

You’ll find a list of all the Dog Day of Podcasting participants on the web site (http://dogdaysofpodcasting.com)  


Career Opportuntiies Logo 2012

Visit any business and you will find a host of the employees plodding through their work day. Clearly, they lost all energy and excitement about their work years ago, but instead of seeking a better job elsewhere, they put in their time day after day and wonder when someone will come and save them from the monotony. Truth be told, this is never going to happen. No one is going to come and take them away from their dull and pointless careers.

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Books by Douglas E. Welch
  

Visit any business and you will find a host of the employees plodding through their work day. Clearly, they lost all energy and excitement about their work years ago, but instead of seeking a better job elsewhere, they put in their time day after day and wonder when someone will come and save them from the monotony. Truth be told, this is never going to happen. No one is going to come and take them away from their dull and pointless careers.

The fact is, the only person who cares about your career is you. If you don’t take the initiative to reach out and find something better, no one will. Your managers, your company and your peers can’t care about your career. They are too busy thinking about their own concerns to add yours to the mix. You can’t sit around waiting for the career equivalent of the big lottery jackpot, I can guarantee you that it will never arrive.

Find some energy

Part of the reason people get trapped in unfulfilling jobs is that they allow it to sap their energy and their spirit. They simply feel too tired to pursue anything but the input-only entertainment of television or video games. Energy, though, is exactly what they need to find. They need to conserve one small bit of energy every day so that they can seek out one small, yet fulfilling opportunity or idea. Like exercise, the more you do it, the more you feel like doing it. You just have to locate that small kernel of energy that let’s you start the ball rolling.

Where do you find this energy? In most cases, you simply need to let go. Even when a job is unfulfilling we still carry a certain, inborn sense of responsibility. We still worry about the bureaucracy, the politics, the chances of layoffs or bankruptcy. It is one of the few times when we can care too much about the fate of our company. We allow these worries to drag us down and sap all our energy, even though we might be telling ourselves that we don’t care about our job at all.

So, disconnect from your job to find the energy you need to grow. Now, I am not telling you to stop doing your work. That would be foolish. I want you to disconnect from the petty, childish and demeaning parts of your job that are sapping energy you could be investing elsewhere. Do you and your peers spend your breaks and lunches complaining about the company? Are you carrying around anger, disgust or even hatred of your company? Let it go! You have better things to do with your time.

Investment

Once you start engaging in these damaging behaviors, you will suddenly find that you have more time, more energy for more enjoyable activities. Maybe that news story from today’s paper will entice you out to a new park or store. Perhaps you’ll feel like cooking that new dish you wanted to try. It is in these small ways that you’ll first see improvements. Then, as you gain more and more energy, the effects will spill over into other aspects of your life. Like a snowball rolling downhill, the energy grows and grows of its own accord.

Oddly enough, you might even find yourself enjoying and engaging in your current job more. Once you disconnect from those destructive behaviors, you might find out that your job isn’t quite as bad or quite as hopeless as you might have imagined. Sometimes, you’ll find that your new found energy is best re-invested in making your current job better, instead of moving somewhere else.

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Filed under: Audio, Dog Days of Podcasting, New Media, podcast, podcasting, Show, , , , , ,

Dog Days of Podcasting – Day 1 – What you SHOULD be sharing in your social media feeds — from the Career Opportunities Podcast

Here is my first, real, entry in the Dog Days of Podcasting Challenge. I’ll post each days podcast here, regardless of what other show it falls under, so you can see them all together — Douglas

 

Career Opportuntiies Logo 2012

A few weeks ago I talked about how to attract work and opportunities to you, instead of constantly begging for your next job. One of the biggest elements of attracting work to you is using social media to share the most interesting aspects of your life and work and show people “what you do and how well you do it.” Of course, it is worth taking some time to think about what you might share on your social media feeds that contribute to this end goal. Here are a few ideas to get you started in sharing the right kind of information.


Dog Days

Books by Douglas E. Welch
  
 

  • Short stories of your best work successes

These aren’t some self-serving stories about how you saved the day, although some may have that aspect about them. Rather you are sharing these stories to help anyone else who might be experiencing the same, or similar, issues in their own line of work. Depending on your work, this could be a post on how you solved a particular tricky accounting problem, solved a difficult problem with a hidden leak (if you are a plumber), made a car run better (if you are a mechanic) or created a great computer system that saved your company tens of thousands of dollars (or even a few.) As you can see, it doesn’t matter what type of work you do. We all have interesting stories to tell that can be tremendously useful to others. By sharing these stories, you not only show people the quality of the work you do, you also help them solve their own, similar problems. This alone could lead to a job or consulting offer down the road. I know it has worked this way for me.

  • What you are reading, watching, listening

Sometimes, the media we are consuming can be very illuminating about our lives and our work. For myself, I make a point of sharing what books I am reading, what blogs I subscribe to, what videos I am watching and the podcasts I listen to as I drive about on business and pleasure. I think that if people pay attention to these items, they can get a very clear idea about where my interests lie and it can do the same for you. Again, the best thing about this is that you are just sharing what you find interesting, not trying to promote yourself, so it is a nice, soft pedal, way of accomplishing the goal of letting people know you — and your work — better.

  • Your thoughts on work, industry and life issues

While you need to be careful about descending to the level of a “rant” in these posts, working out your job issues in writing can help you discover solutions to solve the problem. Don’t name names, but rather address the deeper issues involved. Create “what if” scenarios of what you might do to solve the problem if you had the power. Tell people how you personally dealt with a problem, even if you couldn’t change the situation yourself. You can, and should, also talk about issues in your industry and how you would address the problem. Again, thinking through these issues helps you in so many ways. You might hit upon a solution that no one has discovered yet. You might find a solution to your own work issues and finally, you might help someone else who is dealing with the same issues. Often people are helped just by knowing that they are not alone in their problems. If you can offer some commiseration with their issues, and perhaps even a helpful solution, you can develop a great reputation as a problem solver that can lead to large opportunities down the road.

  • Cool things that you discover in your life and work, online and offline

Finally, one of the greatest pieces of information that you can offer is the cool things that you discover both online and in your own life. As I read through my RSS feeds each day, I often find 2-3 items that are worth sharing with others. This often results in many ‘Thank you” messages being returned as well as people sharing the information with their readers/followers/Facebook friends.

These items can take several forms. Some might simply be for entertainment (witness all the silly cat pictures out there). Some might be useful answers to business problems such as new smartphone apps, new web services and new online publications. These items also can, and should, be elements from your own life. Interesting pictures you have taken, neat templates you created, interesting architecture, music, writing and friends you encounter in your daily travels. Don’t limit yourself to just sharing things that others create. Create your own “neat things” to share, too.

If you are feeling a bit stuck on what to share via your social media feeds, I hope that these ideas will spur you into action. I believe that it is through softer sharing, rather than blatant promotion, that we can have the biggest impact on our work and careers. Rather than jumping up and down shouting “look at me, look at me”, you can have much more impact instead saying, “Look at this cool thing I found. It helped me and it might help you, too!” That is certainly how I approach my own use of social media and I believe it can be very effective in building the career you deserve.

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Filed under: Audio, Dog Days of Podcasting, New Media, podcast, podcasting, Show, , , , , , ,

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