June 25, 2010
What’s it like to live in garbage dump? That’s exactly where we go on Friday, into a huge garbage dump in Managua, Nicaragua, to see how people live — and work — in La Chureca dump. This past March I led our ‘enriching lives and careers trip to Nicaragua’ and recorded inspiring interviews that I want to share with you. We’ll hear from Rubén Silva, the coordinator of the youth community centre, Juntos Contigo, in La Chureca dump. He tells us about his career that’s a unique combination of social worker, and electrical engineer. And, you’ll hear about “experience based volunteering,” the new face of volunteering.
Ryan Leech lives and breathes mountain biking. Since childhood it was his hobby and his passion. But how do you make a hobby pay the bills and remain your passion? Ryan tells all. He’s made a living from mountain biking for over 10 years, and counting, since high school. He’s now one of the best-known trials riders in the world. Through a gradual process of meeting older riders, learning the business side, performing, and attracting sponsors like Norco Bikes and Kenda Tires. He now travels extensively, does shows, gives inspirational talks.
June 18th 2010
The thread that holds Howard Esbin‘s career together is “visual literacy” — left art school, got into the jewellery business, became a teacher, did a masters and a PhD, researched stone carvers in Africa, led two non-profits, and finally returned to education in the form of a pro-social game called Prelude promoted through his company Heliotrope. Thing is, he wasn’t able to connect the dots and tell himself what his career theme was, until he was 55, and had a larger perspective on the twists and turns in his career. His story, like others, illustrates the difference between two kinds of genius. Howard told listeners: “There’s the 25 year old who turns math on its head and is a prodigy, and that’s what society looks at in terms of genius… but there’s another kind of genius that’s uncelebrated, unknown, takes years and years of the person doing the work and doesn’t know quite where it’s going maybe questioned about their sanity… this other kind of genius manifests in middle age, when there’s a breakthrough, Brahms didn’t write his first symphony until he was in his forties, … slower organic nonlinear non rational approach.”
Ryan Doucet took leave from his Ottawa-based job to open a lobster pound in rural PEI. He spoke to us from his new career locale, Richards Fresh Seafood, right on the wharf in Stanhope PEI. When asked what he’d learned about making career and life choices, Ryan said: “Don’t be afraid to fail.”
CareerCycles asks: What’s the thread that holds your career together? If you look back at your own twists and turns, and all the things you’ve done, what word or brief phrase knits them together? Are you like Howard Esbin, whose theme is “visual literacy”? “Building models that help”? “Serial entrepreuneur”? “Planning and reliability get the job done”? “Learning through play”? With so many of us looking for meaning in our careers and lives, naming our theme can bring relief and provide a sense of meaning and purpose, for the present, and as a compass to direct your next move.
In my experience working with many career clients, I’ve notice how good it feels to people when we land on just the right word for a strength of theirs. And conversely, I’ve notice how vulnerable and ‘naked’ people feel when they cannot name and describe their strengths, especially when it comes to communicating to prospective employers, for example, in interviews or resumes. So it fascinates me when I find a gem that helps you name and clarify a strength, like this piece on the humble strength of humility, from Positive Psychology News Daily of June 8, 2010:
‘One of the leading researchers of Humility, June Price Tangney at George Mason University, describes Humility as a rich, multi-faceted construct characterized by the following qualities:
- An accurate assessment of oneself, including both strengths and weaknesses — neither unduly favorable nor unduly unfavorable
- An openness to new information, including ideas that contradict former opinions
- An ability to keep one’s own place in the world in perspective. David Myers points out that humble people are less inclined than the normal population to self-serving biases.
- An ability to forget oneself, to move out of the middle of the frame’
Wouldn’t a prospective employer be attracted to an individual who exhibits these four points? So in your next interview, when the interviewer says, ‘tell me about yourself,’ woudn’t it be great to respond with a few of these points?
Meet with an objective career professional to improve the health of your career
WHY A CAREER CHECK-UP?
- Everyone has a career
- One’s career naturally goes through cycles of stability and change, and needs periodic attention
- It will likely lead to better career experiences and outcomes
- Many careers can be improved without changing one’s job
- A regular checkup prevents problems that might otherwise occur