Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Retirees, University, Women @ home

Link between Social Media and Success

The reason why we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind the scenes with everyone else’s highlight reel – Steven Furtick

reelI have always liked Earl Nightingale’s definition of success, “the pursuit of a worthy goal”. Worthy, being beneficial to self, to others, without intentional harm.

In interacting and dealing with people throughout my career I have seen three stances on success (there might be more of course); there are those who share the above definition of success, with a clear goal and planning towards it; and others who continue to look for meaning and experiences that help them clarify what success means. A third growing stance is related to those who see success as a hierarchy of where one is compared to others.

Stuck in endless competition, comparing selves to others, seeing success as a hierarchy is one that may get us to our goals but will not allow us to enjoy its benefits as we are busy looking at how we can “beat others”.

Key platforms (related to career) where comparison is inevitable, even if subconsciously, are LinkedIn and Twitter.

Just browsing these two platforms can make one very quickly feel that they are on the wrong path, will never catch up, missed the boat or about to miss the boat, or that all they have done in their career is insignificant and basically, unless they fiercely fight and advertise their winnings, there is no way one could even smell success and it all looks gloomy from there.

So while keeping tabs on what is going on in those platforms and within our network, we need to approach it within the context of our goals and limit our emotional involvement, just like the news. The key question should always be,

How will LinkedIn and Twitter help me reach my worthy goal?

and devise your own social media strategy, specific to you and your goals.



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Posted in High School, University

Hey Youth! Be the next “Penny”!

You don’t have to be foolish to be young – Anonymous

foolsOnly one thought came to mind watching Canadian Penny Oleksiak capture her medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics, “16 years old!”

People joke that the youth all think they want to be the next “Mark Zuckerberg” of Facebook. The truth is that while the youth might think that, even though it is literally a one in 7 billion chance, their behavior does not walk the talk.

Most of the youth I have come across laugh over petty things, are pessimistic, disrespectful to knowledge, impatient, image driven, taken care of and managed by their parents, etc… just look around! I am not eluding that there aren’t serious, assertive, respectful, patient, realistic, independent youth out there, it is just that those who want to be the next “Mark Zuckerberg” are the former whereas those who ARE going to be the next “Mark Zuckerberg” are the latter.

I always say that age has nothing to do with success. Just as the youth are key, the middle-aged are also key and even more profoundly, those over 60 … they are vital.

However, let us come to terms with one thing, there is no success without self discipline and respect for self and others … in any age.

Penny is 16 years old … it is not that she won medals, it is what it took to get there. She probably trains 6 hours a day and trains during holidays. She probably goes to school and takes schoolwork seriously for at the end of the day, she needs knowledge for her longer term success. She is aware of the commitment it takes to accomplish anything in life.

So youth? What’s stopping you? Why can’t you be the next “Penny” in Maths? The next “Penny” in literature? The next “Penny” in Engineering? The next “Penny” in Social Work? The next “Penny” in anything you choose!



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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, University

Learning from Careers: Jeff Skoll

I’ve come to realize your career is all about the choices you make. Every single one matters. – Demi Lovato


I have mentioned before that one of the fastest ways to know the next steps to take and decisions to make in our careers is to identify 10 people we think are doing interesting things, one of them for me is Jeff Skoll.

An Engineer by background, entrepreneurial in growth, passionate about social change, here are some of my learnings from his career*:

  • Careers need not be complicated, they can be simply made up of a few ‘yes’ decisions
  • Sometimes it is about who you happen to meet, so take every meeting seriously
  • Take a chance, if you can, the best careers are not always with large stable organisations
  • Our degrees give us the knowledge we need to think, what we do in our careers does not always match what we “study”
  • Being interdisciplinary is good
  • In your career, the bigger your service to others is, the bigger impact you have on people, and the more rewarding (both financial and reputational) your career will be
  • Give back to those who have helped you along the way


* based on my Wikipedia / Google search



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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Retirees, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

Do what you love?

If you tell me how you get your feeling of importance, I’ll tell you what you are. – Dale Carnegie

VIPEver since I can remember, career coaches and advisors tell us to do what we love … choose a job that you love, choose a volunteering opportunity that you love, choose an industry you love, etc….

I always supported that view but at the same struggled with it.

You see, love is both restrictive and generalist at the same time. It is restrictive in that it advocates one or two things that I “love” and go find a job / opportunity / place that supports that. It is also generalist in that it advocates “love” that is so relative, you see I love eating … and I love art … so will I go and rush to become a food critic / restauranteur or gallery owner in a rush?

I came across the quote above and thought that maybe we ought to start asking people about appreciation … what makes you feel important?

While some may see this as self-involved, isn’t that the whole point?

When we tell people to do what they love … we are asking them to follow a desire irrespective of impact. But when ask them to do what makes them feel important … we are ultimately asking them to take their passion and apply it to an area, place, action, words, etc… where they feel appreciated, i.e. making an impact.

This appreciation translated to motivation to keep on learning and improving.

Whether you are in high school, university, early career days, stay at home parent or experienced professional assessing goals, what makes you feel important?

The clarity that emerges will no doubt surprise you.



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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, Entrepreneurship, High School, Retirees, Social Media, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

Why Traditional Networking is Dead

A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life. – Charles Darwin

NetworkTraditional networking is dead. Be it in the form of networking events or even social networking (networking over social media).

You see, it is not that *networking* is dead … it is networking that doesn’t add value.

We are busy and unless something adds value, we are seldom committed to attend or participate. An exception to this rule is one who is generally extroverted and enjoys connecting and meeting people or one who has intended to meet someone specific at an event.

From alumni organizations, professional associations to job seeker and business oriented sessions, from connecting with fellow colleagues to someone who is in a field or job you are interested to connect with, it is time to move from traditional networking to value based networking.

There must an intent or aim to networking, there must be appropriate people who can add value towards the specific aim, and it must be transparent.

One idea is to utilize “speed meeting” formats where people meet based on a specific theme and run brief meetings with each other as facilitated by the host specifying specific matters to discuss.

Another idea for social networking is to move from the need for a general introduction or connection, to a specific introduction that states a purpose and expectations from both parties or use group setup and membership to connect like people with like aims and objectives.

In all cases, networking is a need and in these economic times, critical. What is more critical however is to make it count and not just say “here goes another hour or here goes another connection”.



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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Retirees, Unemployment, Women @ home

Series – What do I want to do?: Barriers to Action

If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it. – Michael Jordan

hurdlesOnce we start to take action in the direction of our goals, we will undoubtedly face what we see as barriers, or more often, fears.

Barriers are more easily dealt with, as we first must see them for what they are, challenges that we need to work around or solve to get something better than we had even originally planned. They are easy to solve, even if we don’t think they are. The key is to keep it simple.

The more challenging ones are the fears. What if what I want to do:

  • has already been done by someone who does it better? – Fear of Failure
  • makes others move away from me and end friendships? Fear of Disapproval
  • will not be appreciated by anyone? – Fear of Rejection
  • is something that will expose parts of me that I am ashamed of? – Fear of Losing Image
  • is impossible to do where I currently live? – Fear of Helplessness
  • is something nor I nor anyone else believe I can do? – Fear of Success
  • is good but someone then copies me and does better? – Fear of Being Vulnerable
  • pushes me to make peace with something that I don’t like in my life? – Fear of Being Vulnerable
  • is something I will fail at? – Fear of Loss of Image and Fear of Failure
  • is possible but I have no one to trust and I have to do everything on my own? – Fear of Being Conned

And the list can go on and on.

We all have fears but can we approach things by feeling these fears but moving on knowing that the only thing worse than failure, or success, or disapproval to materialize is never doing anything about it! The reality is that these fears may materialize but at least you did something. Clarify your values and then go for it … clarify what risks you can handle that will not put you or your loved ones in jeopardy and then go for it.

How many times have you thought of an idea, a good idea, and next thing you know someone else did it? It is not that you missed the boat but the fact that there are people of action and people who don’t take any. Those who don’t take any lose nothing, they lose everything!



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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Retirees, Unemployment, Women @ home

Series – What do I want to do?: Affirmations for Action

nowHere are some thoughts and quotes that should help you stay on track.

We are at our very best, and we are happiest, when we are fully engaged in work we enjoy on the journey toward the goal we’ve established for ourselves. It gives meaning to our time off and comfort to our sleep. It makes everything else in life so wonderful, so worthwhile. – Earl Nightingale

The only way to get rid of the fear of doing something is to go out and…do it! – Susan Jeffers

Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence. – Thomas Szasz

Pushing through fear is less frightening than living with the bigger underlying fear that comes from a feeling of helplessness! – Susan Jeffers

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. – Steve Jobs

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Posted in Career Growth, Early Career, High School, Leadership, Retirees, Unemployment, University, Women @ home

Series – What do I want to do?: Turn Strengths into Actions

Infuse your life with action. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Make your own future. Make your own hope. – Bradley Whitford

runNow comes the easy part … action.

Now that you have reviewed your week and looked at what you do, what gives you energy and what doesn’t, simply and quickly, find ways to stop doing the things that drain you and do not belong in the life necessities and requirements area.

Following that, manage and organize the life necessities and requirements tasks either by outsourcing if possible or setting a schedule for them and a daily contingency and expectation that something might surprisingly come up.

Then focus on the things that give you energy. What kind of roles would these things fit under? Consultant? Designer? Speaker? Coach? Manager? Don’t assess them for now, just list the possibilities.

For example, you love talking about careers with people, the possible roles are: writer, coach, career counsellor, author, HR Performance Manager.

Another example is loving to shop, the possible roles are: personal shopper, writer/blogger, copywriter in social media, marketer for products and services.

Feel free to talk to people who have more experience than you do or those you look up to and trust that they have your best interests at heart.

You then look at which ones are easy to implement both in terms of time and affordability (if you have to setup your own thing), and have both the necessary knowledge and experience (not necessarily formal) to do it.

Then get started and plan the steps necessary from training, to licensing, to networking, to marketing keeping in mind the most important two ingredients; courage and sharing your plans with people who love and support you.



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