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Careering: Verbing Careers

February 9, 2010 Leave a comment

With people’s careers lasting longer than most companies’ lifespan.
Relying on a company for life seems more like an illusion than reality.

With most generation Y changing job more than 5 times in their twenties
and switching 5 careers (such as developer, project manager, accountant)

The word ‘career’ is as outdated as the newspaper’s ‘classifieds’


That’s why I like the term Careering, it makes it a verb & an action.
It something that you do, rather than something that you have.

So smart careering is to work to acquire new skill in-order to reach your next dream job.

You can take some careering actions:

  • Find a project to under take
  • Find opportunities to present your projects
  • Join & participate in a professional association (PMI, Toastmasters, AMA)
  • Volunteering
  • Become a hobbypreneur
  • Reading & commenting on blogs or any non-facebook social network
  • Start a blogs or a podcast
  • Go to conferences & meet people.
  • Switch jobs or roles in your department or company
  • Take on different responsibilities
  • Learn to delegate
  • Take classes & get a certificate
  • . . .

There so many ways to improving your skill & network that will broaden you & you careers

I’m not advocating to job hop, but to find & get opportunities … to create options for your future.


What careering steps are you going to take?
  Please don’t just watching TV or gaming, I tried that & it just doesn’t really help.

Categories: Careering, Learning, Living

Switching Time with Soft Side of IT

February 8, 2010 Leave a comment

I have decided switch my focus & restart previous blog: Soft Side of IT.

As much as I love this topic, in general & google there are less interest in this topic than information technology. So I am going take a hiatus from this blog.

Also I have been working in IT all these years & I’m currently in a large implementation project. I want to document some lessons learned & usage of technologies.


This is a careering move as well, as I see this blog somehow go down in google ranking every week, my old blog remain in the first page. I just want to make sure people will be able to see my post, when anyone google me.

I still know in my heart that teaching and leading are intertwined & the importance of improving teaching skills. That’s why I know eventually I will come back to this blog.

Thank you all for reading & support,
Ian

Categories: Blog, Careering

Happy with New Year’s Goals

January 7, 2010 1 comment

Happy 2010!

How’s everyone’s first week?
Do you have resolution or goals for 2010?

Both resolutions & goals seems similar, but I just found it’s better to defining goals.
After trying resolution for a few year getting no where; Last year was just health & a blog; both were accomplish.

This year I am going to attempt more than last year. After my last 2 post with a year in review & my next decade goals, I have developed goals for 2010.

By writing it down, I am committing to reach these goals:

  • Certified as a PMP: Always been a goal
  • Take the GMAT: For my MBA goal
  • Go to SXSW: Ever since I heard Malcolm Gladwell’s talk at SXSW, I always wanted to go.
  • Get a Mentor: I just need careering advices
  • Developing 1 iPhone App: Learn more about the mobile applications
  • Maintaining Health & Exercising 2-3 Times/Week: Just because …

What are your 2010 goals?

 Make sure to:
   – Write down your goals
   – Keep it somewhere
     (it’s in my iGoogle)

When you write goals down, you will find out what you are really willing commit to.

Categories: Careering, Living

My 2009 Look Back

December 29, 2009 Leave a comment

After listening to the December episode of 20/30 vision & their recommendation, so I decided to do my own “a year in review”.

Honestly, this was a simple year with simple goal to focus on health, keeping up with the blog.

This is my look back on my accomplishment:
– Health (Nutrition & Exercising)
– Regularly Blog
– Lead in a team
– Taking over role/responsibilities
– Experiencing large project with management of constant changes
– Finally completing the PM continue education Certificate
– Taking my first real vacation in my years of working (for the sake of relaxing)  =)


Lessons learned:
We have a choice in our decision
It’s not what you think, we have have unconscious choice during life such as: deciding to listen, pay attention, taking action …

Teaching/Mentoring well can make all the difference
I found using my teaching skill, I was able to help coworker on learning a new system in 1-2 days & keep on seeing productivity improving. Then I compare with people (me included) whom had to learn by themselves & the impact in productivity & confidence.

If you don’t ask … you don’t get
During november, my boss stated there will be no vacations for the first half of 2010 due to the big push for the project go-live (unless it was already approved); at least that was everyone’s interpretations. Although I really wanted a week for SXSW in March … so I asked … and I got approved. Sometimes our assumption/interpretation can be just wrong, that’s why we need to ask.

The difference commitments can make
Going to the gym regular can be tricky … and sometimes down right hard; Not Committing vs Committing to health makes a real difference.

Teaching gains respect, especially when you leading them in the future
After training the people I lead in my area, I found more respect & commitment to the task I requested to accomplish from people that are younger & older than me.


My biggest surprise was the power of teaching & mentoring. I always enjoy it & I do it to help others to waste less time on things than I did. The surprise came when I saw benefits on the teacher side in the business world. I was also surprised at there is such a un-relatedness between teaching & training. (after going in so many training sessions)

This exercise was fun! This post is definitely one that I’m going to revisit.

I am definitely recommending people doing a year-in-review for themselves, it quite refreshing!

Categories: Careering, Learning, Living

How to Recover from a Loss of Will?

November 27, 2009 Leave a comment

From my last post, we showed impact when someone lost the will to learn.

Problem: Once will is lost, you have unconscienceously given up … you are then just waiting for failure to hit.
Question: How to can you avoid such failures?

Here is a 3 simple step answer:
1st Step: Identify/Admit you have given up & imagine the outcome
     Once you identify the problem, then we will be able to foresee coming train wreck

2nd Step: Then you decide between these 3 choices

    Continue in Limbo: Decide to put No change
    Completely Give Up: Give up and do something else
              OR pass it on to others
    Climb Back Up: Determine what you need to do breath life back to your project/job

3rd Step: Take those action

If you stay in a losing situations, it will just eventually blow-up. So the 2nd step is the key point to make us take control of such losing situations. Once a decision is made, a momentum will grow towards motivation to take action.

I had experience this so many times, and this is the most effective way that I have found to recover motivation toward a project/job/business.

Categories: Careering, Teaching

The Importance of the Will to Learn at Work

November 18, 2009 1 comment

After reading Water Cooler Wisdom’s post on ability to learn a few days ago; My interpretation of what was the important skill wasn’t the ability to learn, but it is the willingness to learn.

We are all trained on the ability to learn for 12 years in grade school, plus the extra few year in university in learning a specialization; But what differentiate people in school & work is the willingness to learn.

At my full-time, I notice on days I’m willing to learn & improve, I would take the initiative solve issues & push to learn how things work. While on days like the day I had today, I was on semi-autopilot in front of the computer, such as doing spreadsheet work, doing some system/issue checking & e-mails … . The good thing, because if I’m able to recognize this is happening, I’m able to reverse this.

At my part-time teaching job a few weeks ago, I had a new student that did really bad at multiplying 6, 7 & 8. What I find was that she kind of given up on it when she gave no effort in answering question and just said “I hates math”.

Do you see yourself doing something similar? (I did)
This hit home today, I find myself doing something similar. I wasn’t putting as much more effort & I said to myself that I hated doing a particular task.

For kids or grown-up, the will to learn can really make a difference in work & self improvement.

Categories: Careering, Learning

Vision, Mission … Why Bother?

November 6, 2009 1 comment

ShadowPointingIn an in-class assignment, we were ask to make a vision & a mission statement for our life or career.

I was always confused about the difference between vision & mission statement … so we were taught the difference were:
   Vision = External purpose
   Mission = Internal purpose
Honestly, I could never under stand what’s the point of it. The company ones usually just seem long & generic most of the time.

On the contrary, It was an interesting exercise; We had to consider what’s important to us & what our life/career meant to us. It put a spotlight on what my direction in life.

This is mine (for now):

  • Vision: To show the power of teaching with leadership throughout my careers
  • Mission: To improve work-life & leadership through teaching

After the exercise, now I do appreciate mission statement & vision; Especially the process of creating it. It really get you think in a bigger strategic way.

For anyone who want to figure out their career path or bored about their life; I suggest you should try creating a vision & mission statement, you might just be surprise what you find out.

Categories: Careering, Leading, Teaching

To Succeed: Try, Try, Try Again!

October 22, 2009 1 comment

Bulb_oldDo you remember how many resume did you send before getting your first jobs after college?
To succeed in anything, you got to try, try, try again!

Perseverance is need before success arrives, just look at these examples:

  • Edison & his associates had around 10000 light bulb prototype before success
  • Henry Ford founded 2 car company before Ford Motors
  • The iPod had 4 revision before getting the click wheel right & gain mainstream attention for the device (This includes thousands of prototypes)

As for me, this is my third attempt at blogging, I learn something in every attempt:

1st Blog: Take-Talk
My first one was a podcast notes & recommendation blog. I loved listening to & learning from podcasts; it seems logical to follow my passion to share what I gain from them. I found passion sometimes is not enough to keep me going, because there are spikes & valley in passion.

2nd Blog: Soft Side of IT
With my experience in IT in 10+ roles, it would be a great career move to write about lesson learn in Information Technology jobs. Again it fell off since I had interest in IT, but passion was another story. This also lead to peaks & valley in writing for the topics, plus it was too broad.

3rd Blog: Teach … Lead … Careering
This time, learning from my last few attempts; I regroup & started this new blog (After a few months of break). By learning from failures … this time I made sure I had passion, interest, experience, career motivation & a future before I start. if one part falls off, I can rely on one the 5 things to keep pushing me forward. I don’t know if it will succeed or not, I just know this fits what I want to do.

To gain experience at any new knowledge, skills, industry or anything else; you need to try, try , try again to succeed.


Did you know:


Categories: Blog, Careering, Learning

Will You Accept an Adequate Career?

July 28, 2009 Leave a comment

500 DoSJust saw the movie (500) days of summer again and still loved the film. This time around, I also admire his job vs his career passion. (Don’t worry, I am not spoiling the key plot about a boy meets girl story)

The main character Tom began the movie working at greeting card company; he was pretty good at it. Although he studied architecture & we see hints of passion for it.

At first we see him working adequately glad for his job of 4 years. To him it was a job that he could find after college to pay for expenses. Slowly we see him moved to a position that leads to a outburst. After quiting, he started to work hard for his passion of architecture.

Questions: Can you imagine that happening to you?

What will you go for after the outburst?
– Begging for the job back
– Look for another similar job using your work strength/experience
– Search for your true passion & work to it
– Fore go the money & go for your current dreams/passions

The interesting thing I saw was that after a few year of taking a regular job; He had saved up and he could negate his reason for taking his old job (expenses) & go for his passion.

Categories: Careering

Careering: Connecting the Dots

July 5, 2009 1 comment

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs, Standford Commencement Speech, 2005.

People LinkI was having coffee with a friend from my computer science undergrad days. We found out we both liked programming in our teens, which led us to our degree. Beside our degree, we found how our 1st job affected our career many years late.

He start as a programmer for new products at a IT firm … then a developer for the university in a new research program … then work for a small software firm … Now, he is a senior developer for a startup.

I started as a teacher for a part-time job & a data analyst using enterprise softwares for full-time …….(See my LinkedIn)…… Now, I’m a business lead for a systems implementation; as a lead, I often guide & teach my colleagues.

My friend have got 1-3 man programming team, doing every other thing to get products to work; giving him a edge in startup environment. As for me, beside working with big systems, I constantly help people, business & IT work togather through describing complex ideas with other experts. Every dot in our pass has influenced the pther dots in our career.

None of us knew or planned our current position we are in. When we look back, we were able to see what & how we got here; just as Steve Jobs described.

Steve Jobs’ story ends with (5 min within the video):
“Believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path, and that will make all the difference.”

Categories: Careering