Career without Care

DSC_0123Think about it, without CARE, there can be no CAREer. Several days ago the realization that the first four letters of career is a word all by itself rushed to the forefront of my imagination. Naturally, and for those who know me, forefront occupancy will never be enough as the next question rebounded recklessly: “Other than residing under the same roof, could there be a connection?”

For many, the concepts of career and care have nothing but a few letters in common. While it can be quite obvious for the satisfied few, a career without care simply never would do. Typically this is where I would ask: “How do you define your work and performance effort? Do you care about your career or does a distinction exist, if so, where?”

Unsure, here’s a quick list indicating four letters may be missing in your life: “if you…”

  1. Are unhappy
  2. Curse the clock for its apparent slow-motion tease
  3. Use vacation time the moment it becomes available
  4. Never arrive at work early or remain until the project is complete
  5. Wake up each morning with cold sweats, leg cramps, and a migraine
  6. Take an extra ten minutes in the kitchen area stirring your morning cup
  7. Daydream about winning the lottery, believing this will be your lucky week
  8. Can sleep only after artificial elements have been introduced into your body
  9. Multi-task with Facebook while texting more than work duty accomplishments
  10. Pretend to work the final 30 minutes of your shift… tip of the day, you’re not fooling anyone except yourself

As a career coach, I insist one cannot live contently without the other. In other words, if one does not “care,” there can be no “career.” Bet you’re asking for advice on how to put “care” back in your “career.” Am I right? Thought so.

I’m not a guru offering a sure-fire cure to career unhappiness. The resolve is as unique as you are and must come from you, actively. In other words, happiness does not enter unannounced or without conscious AND physical effort.

Good news on the side, it is NEVER too late for happiness… if you believe otherwise, well, I guess it may be too late.

Moments mirror: With such a grand portion of life defined by our career, it would be shame to regret what could have been if only… if only “Career held Care.”

By now, I hope you are scratching your head, not in confusion but resolve. NOW is the time to grab those four letters in your life and career, holding on tightly and never letting go. 

Truth is, there are no certainties other than this moment, not even this evening is guaranteed. I now ask one simple request, for the next five minutes, SHOW you self you care and then SHOW someone you love… little things like this will move mountains… just gotta trust me on this one.

Turning another year older today, I am…

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs

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Promise Without Practice

Over the past month we’ve been accompanying David and his journey after being terminated from Chity College. Today, we are taking a turn onto a subject itching to get the rub.

DSC_0004Throughout my years as a career coach, college instructor, business owner, and employee, I’ve had the pleasure to hear excuses justifying poor behavior. Truth is, when it comes to one’s personal and professional life, promises are meaningless unless partnered by practice.

Before scratching your head, let me share what most have heard and many have used: “I get paid XX amount of money per hour and that is all I will give them, no more.”

If you’ve stated the above, reflect to your initial interview when you accepted “XX amount of money” to perform a job. Is your acceptance of a job at a specific rate of pay a promise with or without compromise?

To say it is with compromise is to say I will work at a pace “I believe” is equal to the amount of pay being returned for my labor. In other words, I will work half-ass because I am getting paid half-ass.

To say it is without compromise is to say “I agree” with my promise and will work 100% at all times. After all, I agreed to the rate and the employer agreed to my labor.

Focusing on your career, what are the consequences of promising without practice and what (if any) the advantages of practicing what you promise?

If You Promise But Do NOT Practice: Don’t second guess yourself, your supervisor knows…

  • Job dissatisfaction increases (latest statistics suggest over 70% of employees are not satisfied with their work—are you?)
  • First out the door (not talking about end of shift out the door, I’m talking about the first to fall prey to downsizing… if you wonder why, you need two doses of reality)
  • Limited promotions and positive recognitions (wonder why the other guy (or gal) is getting the promotion and increased compensation. Really?)

If You Practice What You Promise:

  • Recognition and rewards finding their way to you are enhanced
  • Job satisfaction increases as the constant inner complaining voice no longer haunts or drags the day
  • Your value as an employee magnifies through cross-training, team building, and attitude

When I moved to Orlando, many years ago, I responded to a job posting with a starting hourly rate of $8.65. Given my education and professional background, I was surprised to earn an interview. During the interview I was once again informed of the entry-level pay. I accepted the position, promising to practice without compromise or complaint.

Six months after hire, I was managing the department, two years later I earned the title “Vice President of Operations.” Not bragging, just supporting the concept that those who do not compromise their work ethics or performance are subject to positive reinforcements.

When it comes to character, what defines you personally and professionally? For a few moments, jot three promises you make consistently but fail to fulfill. Once completed, take a look at the proverbial mirror and scribe the many ways you justify not practicing what you promise. Don’t fool yourself, we all fail fulfillment, that’s being human.

If you are entering the employment scene for the first time or are a seasoned professional and desire promotional considerations, I suggest practicing what you promise. If you are not committing yourself completely even though you agreed upon the rate of pay, rethink that strategy.

Next time you find yourself making excuses to milk the clock, do a half-ass job, or pretend to perform, recognize the mirror reflects two ways.

Interested in developing proven career success techniques or securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters? For those at a career disadvantage, take control by taking advantage of one of our most popular guides and learn ways to overcome barriers to employment (arrests and/or convictions). Visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support or contact me at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Follow Me on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blogsite: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com

TI (10) Motivation: an elusive slinky

DSC_0272Motivation is a mysterious animal. One day she’s held comfortably among stable reminders as to why one works with diligence while the next day she slithers away like an elusive slinky, justifying a day-to-day humdrum. Once distracted from course, regaining ones most-wanted mojo can be quite the chore.

Examining David’s situation, being a victim of an illegal termination placed a heavy burden beyond the surface, affecting mojo like soul without shadow. I recently spoke to David and asked about the concept of motivation.

David: “Not sure why, but I can’t seem to get out of the funk. I’m researching positions and trying to get a grip on options. The hardest thing is getting the right mindset. You see, I committed myself completely in my last position and to have it all taken away like it was. I wonder if people get off on being mean. I wonder if Bertha got off when she did what she did.”

Danny: “I don’t think people are inherently mean or find their mojo by placing pain in others. Then again, what you say about Bertha may prove this theory wrong; who knows, maybe karma’s boomerang will come face to face to her soon. Truth is, everyone goes through tough times. Statistically speaking, the majority of employees experience downsizing. What you are going through is not yours alone, though it feels like it. Best thing to do is continue with positive affirmations and turn this challenge into an opportunity.”

David: “Challenge into an opportunity, seriously? I got fired, no challenge there.”

Danny: “I know it’s hard but take a look at how you define you. Not how others define you. Last week we discussed the idea of ‘living or existing.’ It’s clear you’ve been existing, not living. Again, you are not alone as most don’t live, they exist. Look around, people exist in the Thorazine zone, wasting good air while pretending to be alive. Truth is, most live in a walking coma.”

David: “Yeah, seems like by the end of the day I just go to bed without accomplishing anything except doing a good job at doing nothing. Guess I’m in the zone too. There are things I’ve been thinking about doing. One thing I’ve always wanted to do.”

Danny: “That’s it. The one thing you’ve always wanted to do. That’s where motivation fuels life and life, in turn, fuels motivation. I encourage you, as I encourage everyone, to follow that one thing. What is it you’ve wanted to do and how does it make you feel when thinking about that one thing?”

David: “Write a book. Not sure it would be a best seller but thinking about sharing my life, my struggles, and getting back up, how this could be an inspiration to others who stumbled or found life to be a heavy burden. I find passion and reason just thinking about doing it, is that the motivation you’ve been talking about? Problem is, what do I do once I know what I want to do?”

Danny: “Do it.”

The ability to recognize and capture motivation does not come with a set of directions. David had to undergo an unfortunate circumstance to find and pave what he truly wants.

What about you? Are you on the path forged by coincidence or one forged by your own dreams? Are you finding satisfaction in your work, in your life, and in your world? Are you motivated? If not, why not?

Why not, I ask? Here’s a clue, FEAR. Fear destroys motivation by trapping dreams inside a door-less room. In the beginning of this article, an elusive slinky was referenced to describe motivation. Upon additional reflection, I don’t think that’s an accurate statement.

Motivation is not elusive, it is either wanted or unwanted. Prove to me if this is untrue. Toy with me for a moment: In your life has good enough been good enough and will always be good enough? If so, you proved me right.

Hard truth: In life, there are no dress rehearsals… got it?

I coach people to live, not to exist. It brings comfort to know David is beginning to tread upon his dreams and is motivated to conquer personal and professional challenges. I think he wants it and looks forward to his story; no doubt it will prove to be interesting. As for you and your mojo, I’m not so sure…. Are you?

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

TI (9)? I Exist… And You?

Much has happened over the past week as David slouches in the saddle once again. Last time we reviewed how the power of affirmations and visualization can lead to great success, personally and professionally. Catching up with David we find that part of his process during the termination process revolves around one simple question: “Are you existing or living?”

DSC_0090 Two weeks ago I asked David to begin the affirmation and visualization process – of which he states he has. Problem is, he now questions if there is a meaning in life or do we just exist between birth and death? Actually a complicated question asked throughout the ages… and first asked (officially) by a Socrates. So many years later, same question… same excuses.

David: “Once terminated by Bertha, I stopped thinking about duties of the day and began to think about purpose… or if there is one. This thought hit hard last week while standing in a return line at Walmart. I saw on the faces of all entering sadness, hollowness, and burden. Their eyes and body language yelled existence, not living. I stood there, wondering if my eyes disclosed the same lack of passion… water began to swell and I’m not really sure why. I just felt so much sadness, like I was drowning in a river of emptiness.”

Taking David’s thought to the next level, questions slid inside a diving pool… are we poised to ask, do we dare ask, are we afraid of the answer: “Are you living or existing? Are you happy with your life, your career, and who you are?” With heaviness, I followed David’s experience at Walmart and took trip to our local market for a view from my own eyes.

Like David, I saw what he saw… for the first time my eyes opened to a world where self- and social- delusion no longer blinded vision. Who knows, perhaps I noticed you in the crowd… did you see me or are you capable of sight?

Knowing the vast majority of people are not satisfied with their current job/position, I would like to know how you are going through each day without purpose, not just professionally. With this, I encourage each reader to take the next fifteen minutes to reflect on themselves and respond to the following (would appreciate feedback but expect none):

  • What does the concept “exist” mean and how does it differ from the concept of “living”
  • Are you doing what you believe you were born to do
  • What keeps you motivated, professionally and personally (please do not say money)
  • When you are gone, what do you want to be remembered for (do not mention easy things like being a great mom, a great dad, a hard worker, a religious person, a great knitter—I am looking for something unique—and we are all unique—and personal)

With these questions in mind, I went back to David and asked for his insight. As expected, David remained depressed over the termination.

David: “When teaching and seeing student eyes open to new possibilities and insight, I grasped a sense of wonder dreamed about as a young child. Yeah, I’ve owned, operated, and ran large and small organizations, but the feeling of being alive was only profound when teaching. Bertha took that away, and enjoyed doing it. I’m trying to visualize regaining that sense of self, but all I see is her smile, smirking and slashing without regard to civility, right or wrong.”

Danny: “Yes, getting back on the track to ‘living’ is not going to be easy, but it can be regained. Perhaps you will find some comfort in the old saying, ‘what comes around, goes around?’ Who knows what karma has in store.”

What about you? Are you afraid to look into the mirror with eyes no longer shut? Are you existing day to day until death or are you living, appreciating the moment? When was the last time your body thanked your lungs for air? Think about it before slighting the question as being silly. Look behind the veil, if you can.

I’m not asking for me, I’m asking for you: Are you existing or are you living?

Looking onward, David comes to share more about his trip(s) and times alone with Bertha. Through the next few letters, you will recognize the deceit and desperation behind the makeup Bertha wore so well.

If you have any questions or would like to add to the journey, contact me directly at dhuffman@educationcareerservices.com to see how ECS can help you. Be sure and have your peers join in on the conversation and adventure… they may thank you one very difficult day.

Danny Huffman, MA, CEIP, CPRW, CPCC
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
Blog site: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com