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Work Is A Four-Letter Word
I can hear the jokes already and most of them are not politically correct. Let me throw out a word that we often don't attach to work and yet I think it is a word of redemption, of contribution, of achievement, of community, and ultimately, of legacy.
Here it is: LOVE.
Kahil Gibran proclaimed, "Work is love made visible". I would further clarify his position by insisting that a job is what you do for a paycheck.
Work is what you do for a life. It is that energizing, all-encompassing activity that allows you to bring skills to bear in ways that are satisfying beyond a pay period. It is that activity that saves you from being a faceless number in a mechanistic wheel-hence it holds redemptive powers. It is that activity which makes a contribution to a larger world order. It is that activity from which you sense a measure of accomplishment and achievement. It excites you. It gives you joy. It binds you to a community of people who are stakeholders in what you do.
Ultimately, it has a ripple effect and the potency of a legacy for those who follow.
"Ah come on!" you insist. "How about a garbage collector? A waiter? A store clerk? Who is going to love those jobs?"
Great question. And at face value, it seems that not every employment opportunity has such grand potential. Just take the money, leave it as soon as you can for greener pastures. Screw those miserable bosses. Thumb your nose at the customer.
And tomorrow you die.
That's it. Plain and simple. While you are looking for the dream vocation, the better work environment, the nicer boss, reality can step in and your one moment on the Planet is gone forever. It's a reality made even MORE real by current events.
There's an uneasy shift that has taken us by storm and rattled our plod-along workaday world. Many are paralyzed by the insecurity of the times. The terror of 9-11 and the subsequent global aggressiveness pushed us over the edge. With a wobbly U.S. economy, unsettled change continues to bombard us.
Mega-mergers boggle the mind with the endless zeros streaming behind a behemoth's financial size. We gasp at the number of employees who are cast off from a consolidated giant. We see plant closures and layoffs in everything from clothing manufacturing to banking. Overnight web companies turn almost under-age youth into millionaires and executives at age 40 are left scratching their heads. Then, dot.coms fail, leaving bewildered employees in the rubble. Wall Street meltdown, corporate greed, and icon-like presidents who crash as fallen idols make daily headlines.
Despite statistics that indicate employment is coming back, there's pain and inaccuracy behind these cold numbers. We are working more but feeling as if we're earning less and living in time poverty. Affluenza is an all too common word. The consistent notion that work should be a 24/7 event is being challenged by a rising number of strident voices. And with those voices comes a cry for the most urgent answer to sustainable success: finding meaningful work that makes an impact and lets us live in the bargain. Answer that plea and we'll unleash a productive and creative power akin to a tsunami.
In short we want to LOVE what we do, who we do it for and who we do it with AND love the life we create outside that work. That's the essence-the Holy Grail-the mysterious work/life balance piece. Finding that Holy Grail is done by parallel processing, working on two tracks. The first track is to make work "work" for you in your current situation.
Wouldn't it make more sense to transform wherever you find yourself-even while continuing to search-so that if and when you leave, there's a faint footprint of achievement, community, contribution and yes, even the memory of a beneficial interaction. Such a transformation allows you to love yourself in the process. It keeps bridges from burning and strengthens a network of relationships that one day you might call upon.
The critical question becomes: how do you turn a "job' into a "work"-into something that gives you more than a paycheck? No, you might not be able to alter the corporate strategic plan, paint the garbage truck peppermint pink or change a boss from a toad to a prince. But, there are specific action items you can take within your sphere of influence. Too often, we expect management to lead us in career directions, to provide us with recognition, to make "it" a better place.
It's just like a marriage: there's responsibility on both sides. Using the tools offered by Bev Kaye and Sharon Jordan Evans in Love it. Don't Leave It (available at major bookstores), you'll find a literal alphabet soup of specific action steps to help you take ownership for your life at work
Don't wait. Time is too precious to squander. You CAN fall in love again.
(c) 2004, McDargh Communications. All rights in all media reserved. Reprints must include byline, contact information and copyright.
About The Author
Eileen McDargh, CSP, CPAE is one of top-ranked women business speakers in the United States. She's authored numerous books the newest of which is The Resilient Spirit, radio commentator, and serves on the Board of Directors of the National Speakers Association. You can find Eileen at http://www.EileenMcDargh.com.
Surviving in Corporate Amercia: Part 1 - Email
There is a saying that goes, "The best offense is a great defense". Nowhere is that applied better in the corporate world than in the intelligent use of email. In this age of technology, E-mail is a multi-purpose tool that can be adapted into each user's organizational patterns. Firstly, we will get the basic do's and don'ts out of the way.
How To Get Promoted - Take Control Of Your Destiny!
It Is Up To You
Behaviour To Climb The Stepping Stones To Career Success
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Old Hiring Foxes vs. The Hedgehogs
You are about to compete for the best people again. The recovery is happening. Labor statistics indicate over 280,000 new jobs were created in the U.S. last May. Is your company's hiring process a competitive weapon-or a ball and chain? If you're not sure, here are some places to look:
Career in the Toilet?
Individuals not within their target career field may feel insecure, doubtful, or maybe even ashamed of their current job title. Career changers make up a large portion of the job-searching population. Although people (in general) are "creatures of habit," they thrive for change ? especially when unhappy in their current position or industry. Continuing with educational goals or transferring to another industry can alleviate these feelings, yet shouldn't be the only remedy administered.
Students Searching for a Job
Searching for a job has become easier than ever for those who are graduating from school and looking to enter the workforce. Many schools offer guidance services as well as networking opportunities for graduates looking for work after finishing school. Recruiters often work hand in hand with career services on a number of campuses to connect with the kind of individuals they have in mind for specific positions. While these types of services can open doors to several people, hardly anything offers more in their job search than online employment web sites.
Career Education Options For Working Adults
Ask yourself this question: "Do I like what I do for a living?" If you answered "no", what are you doing about it? Maybe you have a "good" job, but it's not very rewarding to you personally. Maybe you have job with good pay, but bad hours or worse ? a job with good hours, but bad pay. Perhaps you've just done your job for too many years, or are excited to work in some of the new careers that just weren't available when you finished school.
Seven Myths You Must Challenge Now To Begin Your Second Career Today
* Has it been awhile since you explored career options?
Who Do I Have To Kill To Get A Job?
I have had more than my amount of trouble in getting a job. I did everything I was supposed to do. I went to an Ivy League school, got a 3.75 grade average, and then graduated as president of his class. Then I entered the job market.
Create A Rappin? Resume
(Percussion sounds emanating from who knows where while you listen to the cadence of the words below.)
7 Steps To A Job-Winning Resume
A new resume can jump-start your career. Your network contacts may ask for a resume and some industries absolutely, positively demand a resume as the price of admission. When you begin thinking of your resume as a power source, the results can be astonishing.
Global Economy Creates Need For International Business Pros
The increasing globalization of business has created a demand for MBA graduates with a specialization in the international management of business. Many institutions, including several accredited universities, offer the opportunity to earn an international MBA online. Online International MBA programs are ideal if you are a working professional who may not have time to attend traditional, on-campus classes, or if you just prefer to have the flexibility to work when and where you want from the comfort of your own home or office.
Closing the Gap on Your Career Goals
If you still picture a steady progression up the ladder when you think of your career goals, it is time to shift your thinking. For most people, climbing the career ladder is no longer an option. The working world has changed so dramatically that linear career paths rarely exist, except as historical symbols.
Applying for a Job in Another Country? International Resumes
Is an International Resume still a Resume? This is a very common question among those looking for work overseas for the first time. When you contact companies about applying for a job with them you will not often be asked for a resume, you will be asked to send along your CV. I remember the first time I was asked for my CV, I had no idea what they wanted and I couldn't seem to be able to find out, no one I knew, knew what at CV was either. Thank goodness there is the Internet now where information is easy to find! A CV is basically an international resume. CV (Curriculum Vitae) or international resume will differ from your regular run of the mill resume that you are used to writing. For example each country has different guidelines that they like to work within. Finding out these guidelines will take you much further in your international job hunt.
Image and Style Count
When I was a child, there was a pool nearby and every year my parents bought us season tickets. My brother and I swam there everyday. One day we were swimming the length of the pool underwater. As I came up at the edge of the pool gasping for air, the lifeguard was there to meet me. He asked if my brother and I would join the swim team. We were so excited; we talked about it for days.
Seven Steps to Making a Successful Career Change
My first job was secretary to Moses. Having to transcribe and make 2,430 copies of the Ten Commandments convinced me I was on the wrong career path! OK, maybe I'm not quite THAT old. But I did start out as a secretary. While I didn't mind the work, eventually I decided it wasn't very satisfying. I often felt like a "tool" that helped others contribute to the organization's success. I wanted to make my own contributions, to find creative ways to make a difference. It took me about 12 year to come to that conclusion, decide to do something about it, and change my life.
Crafting A Stellar Career Summary For Your Resume
Are you a career changer? Or, are you satisfied with your stable career but interested in updating your resume? Are you a professional who has tried different things but are still searching for the kind of work that best suits you? Whatever your career situation, what your resume most needs is a stellar career summary.
Six of the Best for a Winning Resume
1. Be Complete
From Bumbling Bosses to Cranky Co-Workers ? How to Overcome What Makes You Hate Your Job
I'll be the first to admit that I hated my job. It took many years for me to come to this realization since I kept accepting promotions in the hopes that the awful ache inside of my chest would go away. This ache was not a medical condition ? it was me longing to have a career where I could be happy.
Make a Great First Impression
Searching for employment is one of the most nerve-racking activities to engage in. As if the direct need for income is not stressful enough, the process of writing a résumé, networking in your industry, and applying for jobs can leave anyone shaking in their tracks. Once you have hit the pavement and made a few contacts the phone calls should start coming in. With a little effort, hopefully a phone call could lead to an interview; which happens to be one of the most horrifying portions of career building. With the completion of a good interview, a job offer is just a step away. Here are few tips of turning any interview into a memorable experience for the Employer (and just might help you land the job!):
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