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The word ‘career’ is as outdated as the newspaper’s ‘classifieds’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

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Categories: Careering, Learning, Living

Daily Habits → Moving Forward Bit by Bit

January 21, 2010 Leave a comment

   Exercising 2 times a week for 90 minutes, to some people, this seems just impossible …

Just like new year resolution, I fail to keep on task. After setting goal in my last post, I can honestly say I do almost nothing to move forward any of this.

   What if you take a 5 minute bike ride everyday?
           That is not overwhelming anymore!

This gave an inspiring moment from listening to an old podcast while working out. It talked about setting daily habit & the exercising example on this post. (Unfortunately, I could’t find the anymore anymore)

A small daily habit just makes goals more do-able!

This is surprised me; Kids do homework everyday to learn better … while somewhere along the way … we have lost the concept of daily habits. This idea seem so simple, but so powerful.

Setting daily habit is much more different than monthly or even weekly habits. Even with weekly or bi-daily goals, I find myself reasoning excuses to do it the next day; While daily just forces you to do what needs to be done.

These two habits to my challenge to myself that I will do:
– I am going take 1/2 hour everyday to work on some part of the blog (such as making notes)
– At least 1/2 hour per day to working PMP or GMAT


Can you imagine setting a small daily habit on something you always wanted to do or learn? Let test drive this idea.

Categories: Blog, Learning, 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

Vision, Mission … Mantra

December 14, 2009 Leave a comment

In a previous post about the power of vision & mission … After writing the post, I realize some people has a bad feelings toward such things as vision & mission. For anyone that could careless about mission/vision, here a simple alternative from Guy Kawasaki:

Create a Mantra

Guy recommends instead of writing vision & mission where no one remember it; a much better alternative would be 3-5 word mantra. A few keywords that describe your purpose.

Here are some example from Guy’s post:
  Nike: “Authentic athletic performance”
  Target: “Democratize design”
  Wendy’s: “Healthy Fast Food”

In my opinion, the process of creating vision & mission is still really beneficial to the writers, because you get clear what you should be focusing on. After that creating a mantra would be a good idea. When strategizing in the future, I would:

1. Create a mission & vision: For the executives/self to reflect on
2. Create the mantra: To share & inspire others & self

After reviewing my mission & vision, I realized already got mine, which is: 
Teach, Lead, Careering.


This mantra suggestion came from this keynote from Guy Kawasaki about startup; it’s super funny & lots to learn from. For people who want to know more, you should check the podcast mentioned & Guy also details this in his book, Reality Check.

Categories: Leading, Learning

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

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

Best way to Learn: Embracing Failure

October 3, 2009 1 comment

Grill-FlameThis past Tuesday was FailCamp Toronto, it was pretty enjoyable & insightful. The point of the seminar was to “Embrace failure”.

Here is an interest comment that caught my ears:

We rarely learn from success,
all our best learning comes from failures & mistakes.

From working for years in parts of IT & a decade of teaching, I really like this comment.

When I teach, I often allow kids & co-worker to try the system/math problem, so they can learn to figure out how things work & learn to try. Sometimes I do this so much that the kids end up teach themselves. (I just give a few leading comment/questions)

Here is an exercise: Which way do think you learn more from this scenario?
Learning a new computer system at work, when the teacher:
1. Corrects you every moment you might do something wrong
2. Just let you try out the system, even though you are making mistakes.

In the first scenario, you might feel safer because the teacher is making sure you are clicking correctly; but do you think you can really can anything with the system?
While the second scenario might sound scary to play around with a system, you will definitely remember most of the errors or weird results from the mistake.

By letting mistakes happen, it gets the person to remember because it makes thing more exciting & no one way of doing thing.

Categories: Learning, Teaching