Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dealing with Numerous Career Choices

As I offer input on peoples’ career choices, an oft-encountered dilemma they face is a confusion of possibilities. While there is no perfection on this earth, it is possible to objectively consider many alternatives so that reasonable choices are made. That means you should use an approach that helps you systematically eliminate alternatives.

One technique is to employ a decision table. This gives you a chance to carefully consider career options relative to your personal values and your needs in a career. By using an objective method to evaluate career choices, you can come to very good conclusions. More information on this approach can be found in an article I wrote:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Concept for a Mobile Career Center

There are numerous outlying and underserved populations that do not receive career mentoring but that could benefit from such advice. This is especially the case during layoffs and economic downturns. Recently, I was asked to provide a top-level design of a mobile career center. To satisfy this requirement, I developed a concept briefing. This briefing provides the following information:
  • Rationale
  • Materials and Equipment
  • Staff Roles
  • Hours of Operation
  • Example Activities and Services
  • Marketing
  • Cost Projection
  • Related Issues
A brief article on this concept is available: From there, you can link to the full briefing.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Self Discipline is a Small Price to Pay

If you are not in control of yourself then you will never be able to focus your energies on what is important for your personal life nor your career.

Andrew Horton says that self-discipline is crucial on our path to realize the success we desire. Unfortunately the concept of discipline is misunderstood and we mistakenly confuse discipline with pain and discomfort. As you know, we do everything in our power to avoid pain and to attract as much pleasure as possible. However, the true meaning of the word discipline is "to instruct or educate, to inform the mind, to prepare by instructing in correct principles and habits." He wonders if you could change your understanding about and feeling toward discipline, if you finally realized the true meaning of discipline and saw discipline as something that helps, guides and instructs, rather than something, which is difficult and causes pain?

Learn more from Andrew by reading his full article:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Achieving Your Greatness

Personal responsibility is an important part of the foundation of your success. Without it you are just a by-stander waiting for something to happen.

Rabison Shumba writes that greatness is dependent on you as an individual. It takes individual readiness, effort, and decision to start walking in the direction of destiny. You are born into a world that is focused on limits. For example, you can only earn so much salary, you can only work so many hours, you can only manage so many projects at a time, and so on. Until you make a decision to build the internal capacity to make an impact on humanity, you will always grapple with limitations and barriers.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Importance of Personal Integrity

In job postings you will see the list of skills and background required. However, you will also see scant attention paid to the quality of the person. Dr. Raymond Comeau advises us to develop both parts of ourselves, our professional and personal sides. He insists that there are no shortcuts to personal and professional success. It requires planning, effort, focus, dedication, and above all integrity. It is personal integrity that cements all those elements together. You can be highly gifted and intelligent. But, without a strong moral core, all that is moot. When ambition and greed rule, disaster is sure to ensue. Someone without strong personal integrity is like a ship without a rudder. That person will drift with whatever tide, current, or wind comes their way. Not only will they never reach port but they will also be a menace to anyone on their path.

Read more of Dr. Comeau’s thoughts on this matter at

Monday, October 10, 2011

Bridging the Leadership Gap

Many companies give titles that contain the words leader, manager, and administrator, thereby confusing those terms. Often in my career I have seen organizations water down those terms to the point where "boss" is the only definition one could apply.

Brad Smith draws a clear differentiation between leaders and managers, and corrects their misdefinition. He says that leadership is not management; it is human energy, stimulation, and ignition. Management is not leadership; it is human energy structured for accomplishment. However, leadership without management is ineffective and management without leadership is lifeless and ordinary. It takes both to reach the level of effective accomplishment we expect and demand today. You can think of leadership as a pump for energy from the individual employees into an organization. Management in this analogy would then be the plumbing to direct and focus that energy for task completion. It takes both energy and task completion for any company to be effective. It takes deep insight, vision, and synchronization to build a company that is great.

See more of Brad's thoughts at

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Now is the Time

New graduates hardly know where to start. Some do not start. They do not even take advantage of their college's career development services.

According to Lawrence Danks, it's often been said that those who do not plan for their future won't have one. You will have one of course, but maybe not the type you were hoping for. The best way to have a good future is not to become the victim of circumstances, but to do what needs to be done to be successful. This is not the time to procrastinate or to do less than you're capable of. Your future starts now. What you do today creates your tomorrows.

Lawrence takes us through a series of considerations within his extremely valuable discussion. Read more at

Monday, September 12, 2011

You are the Beginning of Your Career

Who do you look to if you want a career, or even if you just want a job? Is the government responsible for that? Is some company or non-profit responsible? Who?

YOU are the one responsible! Your career starts with YOU.

Pat Anderson says that there are indicators in your attitude and your actions that determine whether you will thrive or succeed no matter what the circumstances are. See her article ( to find out if you have the right mindset for success and, if you do not, how to change it to start achieving success.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Achieving Personal Success

You are responsible for your career. Yes, there are those who can help you along the way. But, you have to show the spark. Without that spark, there is nothing to be fanned into a flame, no matter how much effort is applied.

Ron Chordigian shows that there are eight pieces of evidence that indicate the spark exists:
1.  Always Take Full Responsibility For Your Life.
2.  Live Your Life With Purpose.
3.  Be willing to pay the price to achieve your dreams.
4.  Stay focused no matter what.
5.  Build credibility for your self as an expert in your field.
6.  Always have a written plan for your goals and dreams.
7.  Never quit.
8.  Do not let procrastination defeat you. It is your biggest enemy.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Once You Narrow Down Career Options

We have been talking about exploring personal traits as one way to begin choosing a career. One you begin to reach a decision, what then? Kathleen Schaefer offers that success lies not in looking outside for the perfect job, rather it is beginning the process with you and what you want to create so that when a good match shows up it is a mutual process of discovery and development of a work situation that suits everyone's needs. She lists seven areas of effort:

1. Identify your talents and skills.
2. Know what you are passionate about.
3. Determine what change you want to create.
4. Be able to describe what you are about in 30 seconds or less.
5. Communicate who you are to everyone you meet.
6. Find a way to do what you love, sooner than later.
7. Network with others.

Read more of Kathleen’s writing on this matter at

Monday, August 15, 2011

Target High Achievement

High achievement is something that many people desire, but only a few ever arrive. Similar to a race, most people get very enthusiastic at the start, but dwindle in the middle or towards the end - and therefore do not achieve the goals they have set for themselves. If you are bent on your personal and career development, achievement should be on your agenda.

What sets high achievers apart from the rest of the crowd? Cee J. Fuerte has observed a list of primary ingredients that are always part of the High Achiever's character:

1. A High Achiever Does Not Make Excuses
2. A High Achiever Learns from Mistakes and Failures
3. A High Achiever Believes in Himself
4. A High Achiever Makes Plans and Acts on Them

Read more of Cee J.’s thoughts on this topic at

Monday, August 8, 2011

No-Cost Career Tests

As you seek a direction in life, it is good to understand your particular desires, talents, and personality. Career tests can help you explore these personal traits and then suggest paths you might follow. Though one-on-one career counseling from a specialist may be important, one can begin by using no-cost tests. These provide an early start to the testing phase of a career counseling process. Take advantage of them as you discover the path that is right for you.

I have written more on this topic, to include a summary of specific tests and how to reach them. See this article:

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Career Assessment Basics

When trying to discover a career that fits one’s basic nature, the insights of third parties can be very valuable. One approach to gaining such insights is to take a career assessment. Some people think of these as “career tests” . But, this is a mistaken notion. A “test” has definitive answers. Such answers are not possible to attain in the process of finding a meaningful career.

Donna Lovette says that when choosing which road to travel, or endeavoring to take a look at the future, one will surely have a hard time. It is very difficult to foresee where an individual wants to be in a matter of ten or twenty years from the present. A correct starting point is needed if you want to chart a future course. A career assessment can be an excellent tool to aid an individual get a sense of the types of activities and jobs that might be fit for them. However, there are times when a person who is taking a career assessment can misuse, mistake, or misunderstand the assessment as a real "test" that carries an unlikely meaning.

Read more of Donna’s thoughts on this subject at

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Success is not a One-Person Show

Being a stand-out person does not mean trying to be a stand-alone person. Successful people know how to work with and through others. They also know how to learn from others.

Rizvi Syed tell us that, once you step out of your college or university into the corporate world, you have to remember that the corporate environment is a lot more competitive and fierce than the campus environment. You can follow a few simple tips to help your career advance. These tips may not give you instant success but will surely help you tackle career obstacles. One of the most important of these tips is to seek advice from more-experienced people.

Read more of Rizvi's thoughts on this matter at

Monday, July 11, 2011

A primary key to a successful career is to maintain a steady cycle of study-learn-work-produce. Continuous self-improvement is a part of that cycle.

Ade Adenekan tells us that self improvement, whether one likes it or not, will never cease to be a major factor that influences the successful life style of any right-thinking person on this side of the great terrestrial divide, no matter the echelon to which he or she belongs, be it lower, middle, or upper in the society. In order not to be left behind in today's economic, social, and political world, no stone should be left unturned for personal achievement. Remarkable laurels are only for those who have created a notable niche that makes them to stand out of the crowd in their community.

To read more of Ade's thoughts on this matter, see

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Your Calling

There are three levels to achieving success:

1.     Your Calling.       The purpose to which God calls you and empowers
                                     you to achieve.

2.     Your Career:       The path you are currently pursuing as you seek to
                                    achieve your purpose.

3.     Your Job:            The current activity your are performing as you follow
                                    your path, the means by which you achieve
                                    milestones along that path.

These three levels are unique to each individual. They are driven by the passion one has for completing their life’s work.

You can read more material bearing on a person’s calling by looking at the writings of Pastor Carl Mathis (

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Choosing a Career – Applying the ASAP Method

Gary Crossley, a specialist in career transitions, offers that we should strike a balance while selecting a career to pursue. Sound advice for striking the required balance is to use the ASAP method of career choice:

         A = Assessment
         S = Skills
         A = Analysis
         P = Preparation

He is not trying to rush things "As Soon As Possible". Rather, he illustrates four critical steps to success that have to be carried out in a timely and deliberate way.  If you work through these four items you are likely to make a wise choice good for your particular situation.

Read more of Gary's thoughts on this matter at

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Take Priority Action

Action is the fuel of success. One begins with a vision, refines that vision into goals, refines the goals into plans, and refines the plans into daily actions.

Marianne Van Weezep has written a very good introduction to this topic. She says action has to be derived from priorities and that priorities should be grouped in three categories. Our choice of action needs to be based on an objective understanding of priorities.

See more of what Van Weezep has to say on this topic at

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Differentiating Yourself

Standing head and shoulders above the crowd is necessary for career success. Here are two quotes to think about:

If lots of things were easy, anyone and everyone would do them. The term for this, commoditization, really means nobody makes any money doing it. It's the hard that keeps average participants away from some things, and makes the effort of the few who tackle the problem and deliver results valuable. The way to financial success is to take something hard, so much so, few other people can do it, and make it look easy.

    - Don Dingee, Editor, Industrial Embedded Systems Magazine

A successful person disciplines themselves to do regularly and whenever necessary those things that most people do not want to do.

    - Daniel R. Murphy, Coach, Self-education and development

Read more of Murphy’s thoughts on this matter:

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Be Encouraged

You can achieve considerable success in your career. It is possible to overcome what most people call discrimination, accidents of birth, and late blooming as you continue down the path you prefer. But, you will find that it is not something to be done casually. There are no get-rich-quick schemes, no 90-day wonders, and no labor-free approaches to a successful career. If you want success, you have to reach for it. That reaching takes time and effort: a continuous cycle of studying, learning, working, and producing. In this personal enterprise, you will find great joy and solid employment opportunities.

That this is true is demonstrated by my own experience. You can read about that in a longer article: