30 is not the new 20

Building Skill – The Magic of Myelin

Today we begin getting into the subject of what is going to get you ahead in work and hopefully other areas of life – the building of skill, and eventually expertise. A skill is any action that you make your body undertake; that can be shooting a basketball, speaking a phrase in a foreign language, an accountant adjusting someone’s tax return, a clerk typing up a document, or a guy at the gym doing a squat. Expertise is when you have built an amalgam of skills in a specific area and can apply them to the point that it is an unconscious process. Continue reading →

What Do You Really Want?

Being that it’s Monday and the start of a new week, and you no doubt are starting to get a clearer idea of the reality of employment at the moment, I think it’s time I asked you one very simple question: what do you really want? Don’t answer straight away (but if you have thought about it already and have the answer, well done!), but really think about it in terms of your whole life. What do you want out of your career? Your family life? Your health? Your hobbies? Your life in general? I bet there’s at least one, more likely a couple of those that you can’t answer. Continue reading →

The First 6 Months Part 2 – Fitting In

Dylan* had been working as a junior solicitor in a new practice for a few months. It was a very different workplace to what he expected – the owner of the practice was quite old and did everything with a pen and paper, he tolerated almost no criticism, and he could be difficult to work for at the best of times. Dylan would complain to his mother most nights at home, until one night he informed her he was going to say something. “Be very careful” said his mother. “This is an incredibly experienced man working on extremely important, high profile cases, and this is wonderful experience for you. He owns the practice, so he can run it as he sees fit. If you want to speak about something small that’s bothering you, do it respectfully. Don’t go in there all guns blazing with all your problems, it won’t work out.” Dylan decided that he had had enough of how things were run, and laid out his list of grievances to his boss the next day.

He was fired. Continue reading →

The Importance of Sleep

Sleep is important. But you knew that already, didn’t you? That’s why you’ve been staying up late watching your favourite tv show, or going out drinking midweek, or playing Call of Duty into the early hours of the morning, then wondering why you’re so tired all the time at work. In staying with the mission of this site I’m going to spell it out for you loud and clear – you need to wake up to yourself (pun intended). All those things above that you feel like you can’t live without will seem like so much wasted time when you spend your first week at work actually having a good 8 hours sleep every single night. Continue reading →

The Myth of the “Dream Job”

One of the links I just put up on the previous post goes into how “if your chosen career feels safe, you’ve chosen what society wants for you”, and farther down is “how to break out of the matrix”. For those of you that have bought into this, or think that working in an office is a rat race and boring, or that any “typical” job is going to leave you depressed everyday, you couldn’t be more wrong. The media has done a really good job in the last 10 years of convincing everyone that their working life sucks, that they could be doing so much better work and all you have to do is have a bit of courage and “leave it all behind”. I think I proved in this post just how stupid and dangerous for your career that could be. Continue reading →

Recent Reading

Hello everyone. It’s been a bit of a slow start here as I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to devote to writing. I’m quite surprised at how many followers I have already – it’s great to have you here and I hope you’re enjoying the content, because I really want to help people by keeping things real rather than blowing a whole lot of feelgood hot air. Please feel free to tell me in the comments what you want to see more of – while I have a good 20 or so ideas for articles, whatever you want I will try and deliver.

http://savvycareer.wordpress.com – Lisa is doing some great writing here, showing the non sugar coated version of unemployment in the present day.

 

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.636/full – Study on how obesity affects people’s perceptions of you and how it can hurt your chances of getting a job.

 

http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/the-secret-to-being-happy-at-work-8212-and-loving-it/story-e6frfm9r-1226657694118 – Somewhat reaffirming that happiness at work is not about the traditional “finding your dream job.”

 

http://www.news.com.au/business/worklife/australian-graduates-pay-for-internship-programs-in-china/story-e6frfm9r-1226657101561 – Yikes! Seems for some professions, jobs are rarer than hen’s teeth. Be careful about going to uni and investing years and thousands of dollars in a field that is almost impossible to crack.

 

http://www.primermagazine.com/2013/live/designing-your-dream-life-uncommon-assumptions-common-misconceptions - I love Primer Magazine usually, but take a look at this article and tell me how much it seems like wishful thinking.

 

Baby Steps

Today I’m going to clue you in on a concept crucial to success in all endeavours of life: baby steps. I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase many times, it essentially means to take small, incremental steps in whatever you are doing. When we look at how skill is developed, this makes perfect sense. Rather than speaking of baby steps in relation to skill, however, I’m going to speak of it in relation to success and goal setting, so that you can apply it to your career, a business plan or any other goal you might have. Continue reading →

The First 6 Months Part 1 – Perception

So you’ve landed yourself a job. Huzzah! You’re likely excited and nervous at the same time, which is completely understandable. The first 6 months in any job is the most crucial to your success, because that 6 months is essentially your first impression. Sure, if you walk in on day one, offend a whole lot of people and generally come off as an obnoxious jerk, then that single day is your first impression. For most of us, people will give you a few chances, like when you forget their name and such early on. That’s why you want the 6 months to go right from day one – here’s how to do it. Continue reading →

Prepare for the Worst, Hope for the Best

Well, now that you have started in your quest to find a job, I’m going to let you in on a little secret that’s going to hopefully make the process a bit easier and not turn you insane: it’s going to be rough. It is better you know now what things are likely going to be like than discovering it mid job search and almost suffering a nervous breakdown from the stress. Lisa over at Savvy Career has a great post about it here. Continue reading →

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