Ah, growing up. As a kid you want nothing but to be “a grownup” so that all the rules stopping you doing what you want don’t apply. Then as an adult you wish for the simplicity and free from responsibility that being a kid offered.
I feel like I’ve finally grown up. It’s taken a lot of hard learnings, mistakes and regrets to get here, and I’m sure I’m not done yet.
We all have hopes, dreams, goals, aspirations and intents in our careers.
Some of us will achieve them all. Some of us will achieve more. Some of us will fall short. None of these things are “good”, none are “bad”. They are just … there.
I have achieved more than I could ever have imagined as a small country town boy from a small nation at the bottom of the South Pacific.
In this current environment of Big Tech layoffs, it is timely to remind ourselves that we are not indestructible and that we need to take time off in order to do our best work and be at our most happiest and energized.
The common mistake is that we “need to push through” and that “taking time off just means I have to do all that work in less time”. That is wrong.
Do you need or want to do presentations and/or demos at work? Does it scare you shitless? It used to for me. But there are ways to make it easier and even enjoy the process and event, read on!
Your brain # It is totally normal and expected that you may feel very nervous about doing things like presenting or doing demos in front of other people. You are isolated, being stared at by a number of sets of eyes, the audience has expectations of you, and others on your team probably have expectations of you.
I’ll start by saying, there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with being a specialist or just loving “one thing”. Frankly I am envious.
But I want to dedicate this post to the Generalists, to those of us that like multiple things, love roles with multiple aspects and/or bring together multiple disciplines.
It took me many, many years to realize, accept and eventually celebrate that I am a Generalist.
What is a Generalist?
This post carries a content warning. I’m going to write about the very real world impact of misinformation with a very real example involving cancer and it does not have a happy ending. Please choose to read on based on your comfort in reading about a difficult topic.
Misinformation has been an issue for the lifespan of modern humanity. Mostly constrained to the political and military realms, the act of relaying a set of information that is incorrect to confuse others is an activity deployed with somewhat regularity.
I’m gonna start this post with “there is no perfect or correct process here”.
OK, so let’s talk about the somewhat convoluted process of hiring, and getting hired. If you are reading this, pretty good chance you clicked a link via LinkedIn or Twitter, in which case you probably already have or had a job, and so you have at least one reference point. I hope it was a good one.
I’ve never managed to really establish a “meditation” practice, but I do find value in some simple mindfulness aspects like breathing and taking small breaks during the day to reset.
This last week I’ve been using my Apple Watch to prompt me to Breathe and Reflect, the two modes it has. Is it simple? Hell yes it is. Is it effective? Actually, quite.
When you open Mindfulness on your watch, you are prompted to choose a mode.
This is a topic that has come up in discussions recently, where the opening gambit of the person I’m talking with goes along the lines of “you have taken some career changes along your journey, how did you achieve that cause I want to do the same?”
So let’s talk about this, because there are some learnings along the way, and also some variations on the theme.
Step 0: Identify your Transferable’s
I’ve always been a nervous person, worrying about things, overthinking, finding it difficult to “trust the system” or “trust by default”. It has lead to situations where behaviors kick in that are … suboptimal.
In 2012 after a particularly intense series of situations at work, I started to have physical symptoms like sweats, racing heart, thudding heart, feelings of impending doom, low level agoraphobia. I went to my doctor and neither of us understood what was happening.