The Best Career Advice

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Katherine Whitehorn said it best – “the best careers advice to give to the young is ‘Find out what you like doing best and get someone to pay you for doing it’”.

That’s why I devoted a special section in my book Out of Bad Comes Good – The Advantages of Disadvantages to career changing techniques that are really different and really work.

For example:  a one-sheet that you can provide an employer on an interview that will move your resume to the top of pile. 

A resume is no longer enough to remain competitive.

Providing a list of ways you can specifically help the company that you want to work for helps your potential employer connect the dots.

Some companies like Google use elaborate interviewing techniques to winnow down to the person they want to hire.

But no employer can resist an applicant who takes the time to spell out specific ways they can help that company from day one. 

If you’d like to read the chapter on Career Chaos for free – and two other preview chapters as well – click here.   It has the details on how to prepare the list and use it in an interview setting.

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The Greatest Gift To Give a Son or Daughter

When my son graduated from college, I wrote a congratulatory note inspired by the author Sidney Greenberg that said:

“It is more important to know how to make a life than a living.”

I’m sure he would have appreciated a BMW more!  Who wouldn’t?

But the greatest gift we can give to our children, to those we love or for that matter to ourselves is the reminder that making a living and making a life are not the same thing. 

We tend to connect a happy life with money, but tens of thousands of psychologists and psychiatrists will tell you that money doesn’t insure happiness.

A recent Gallop study found that the average American by his or her own admission was happy if they earned around $75,000 a year.  After that, happiness did not proportionately increase with their income no matter how high it went.

Rabbi Greenberg leads us to this —  “The indispensible requirement for mastering life is mastering ourselves. We learn to live when we learn to give.”

As a Professor of Music Industry at the University of Southern California I was asked by graduating students:  “How can I be successful and make a lot of money?”

My answer.

Don’t try. 

Just work hard at being excellent doing something for which you have a great passion.

Ironically, the richest people may have money but they don’t always know how to make a life.

We can make that adjustment today.

Pursue passions not dollars.

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Do Not Postpone Joy

I have come to discover a fascinating author and physician who wrote a book called “Train Your Brain, Engage Your Heart, Transform Your Life”.

Amit Soot, a Mayo Clinic doctor says, “Do not postpone joy waiting for a day when life will be perfect and all your stressors will be gone”.

It’s about living in the moment.

There are always excuses for postponing your joy.  If you let these opportunities get away, you may have to wait a decade later to come back to it.

Being too busy or too stressed is not a good reason.

To quote Dr. Soot: “I have never had a day when my boat was fully secure in the harbor, the water was a deep blue, the winds were quiet, and the sun was bright and shining in the sky.  Waiting for such a day would be a very long wait.  So I need to admit the reality and find fulfillment in the present moment accepting all its imperfections”.

Your mind tends to push joy away and keeps you logged off from life.

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  • Another way to say it: Chase potential happiness, rather than run away from potential pain.

  • Happiness (or joy) is often a choice!  For some, the choice comes easier, for others (like me), it’s about re-learning how to look at things.  I strive for seeing — and experiencing — the joy every day.  It is not easy for me as I have to turnaround a lifetime of looking at what’s not happening instead of what is happening.  Reminders like this are always helpful, and thank you for the book recommendation.

Motivational Workouts

There is a new trend surfacing in New York City and Los Angeles and soon to be in 60 locations due to an acquisition by Equinox.

Cardio fitness.

Motivational sayings.

Lots of sweat and a very expensive fee – if you can get into a class. 

Lady Gaga, Chelsea Clinton, J Crew’s Mickey Drexler and Katie Holmes are among the celebrities who are earlier adopters.

SoulCycle is a spinning class with loud music and the all-important new exercise ingredient – motivational inspiration.  And they are onto something.

Exercise for the mind and the body.

You could start today with a motivational workout.  

Inspirational voices and music along with physical exercise. 

Even a walk with a pep talk.

Which begs the question, what great things would happen if we could put half the energy we put into physical fitness into bolstering our emotional health?

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Stephen Colbert On Suffering

TV’s Colbert Report star Stephen Colbert lost his father, a doctor and two brothers in a plane crash when he was 10 years old while they were flying to a prep school in New England. 

Colbert offers in a New York Times Magazine article that this profound sadness may actually be his explanation for becoming a comedian. 

It was Colbert’s mother who he credits for helping him not become bitter.

“She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed, and that’s directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us.  What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain – it’s that the pain is actually a gift.  What’s the option?  God doesn’t really give you another choice”.

There is value in suffering and sometimes it takes a great comedian to point it out.  Out of bad comes good.

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