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Miriam Salpeter, Keppie Careers

It is true that each individual must exercise self-motivation to determine a direction and move forward. I think there are a lot of resources out there to help inspire people to do just that.

Making a choice to do something different, whether in a current job, or even in the way someone conducts a job hunt, can make worlds of difference in the outcome, no doubt! Thanks for your contribution to the Career Collective!

Walter Akana

Hi Miriam!

Thanks for your great comment! I do agree that there are lots of resources out there, and many can inspire and support job seekers in making choices that enable them to move their career forward. Sometimes, however, that overabundance of choices can be part of the problem.

In my experience in outplacement, I’ve found that most job seekers get fixated on techniques of job search without taking sufficient time to determine the unique value they can bring, and without focusing on exactly the right resources and networking audiences. It creates a situation where they can appear unfocused and undifferentiated – and therefore unattractive to decision makers.

I think lack of differentiation hurts one's chances to stand out in the job market, and will hurt one's chances of long-term success. So, yes, it’s as critical to stand up and do something different in job search; and that something different should matter and should be tied to longer-term career objectives.

Great to be on the Career Collective Team!

Chandlee Bryan

I couldn't agree with you more, particularly on the sensible of innovation of standing up and seeing what needs to be done. I recently read that one of the most successful strategies in today's market is to perform your job search as if you were an external consultant hired to assess and offer solutions to the organization you wish to work in. What are the pain points? How can you help remedy them (or--if you aren't the person who can, who would you recommend)?

As you say, success in job search is a short-term objective--finding out how to meet the needs of your potential employer--as well as your own--is a long-term one!

Thanks again,

Gayle Howard, Master Resume Writer

What an inspiring post Walter and so true! A lot of people get in the mindset that work is something you do to fund the lifestyle you want outside work. That type of "I'm only here to pay the rent..." attitude can spread throughout a company, ultimately leading to an overall malaise. It's hard to build and spread a feeling of motivation when you're bored and that mindset can be hard to shake when it's entrenched. I found this article inspiring and a nice take on the glass half empty philosophy. :) You're right. The most valuable asset you have is you!

Walter Akana

Hi Chandlee!

Thanks for your great comment!

There sure has been a real shift in the world of work! In reality, all jobs are temporary, and everyone is a contractor – even if they work in a “full-time” position. So, approaching search as an external consultant is a great way to look for work. In fact, it looks to me like the new model, and does require a different mindset.

I rather like Seth Godin’s ideas and believe he nails this new mindset in Linchpin! Doing great work, or “art” as he calls it, by standing up is the new way to stand out. And frankly, standing out is so critical today. If you don’t, you virtually guarantee being overlooked!

Great to be on the Career Collective Team with you!

Walter Akana

Wow! Thanks, Gayle!

I think you’ve really captured the broader perspective!

Frankly, having been part of corporate life, I’ve seen mindless rule following. Often, it’s actually a pretty sane response to the mismatch between what management says it believes and what it actually rewards. Yet, the results aren’t pretty. Not only does it breed a work to “pay-the-bills” mentality, but also drives out a sense of personal responsibility.

Perhaps one of the best things about the looming “end of work as we know it” and the rise of a “free agent” world, is that we can reclaim our careers! Of course, this does mean standing up to more individual responsibility – and to risk! Still, I think the rewards are great in both overall career and life satisfaction.

So, if we can inspire a new mindset that overcomes the malaise, then we can make a big difference. Great to have you as a colleague!

Rosalind Joffe

Walter - I, too, like what Godin says about this. And he's proven it in his own work every step of the way. Looking at what's available to you and making something from what you learn has always been a key to success. But motivation isn't always there and posts like yours do a lot to inspire. Good job@

Walter Akana

Thanks, Rosalind!

I love much of what Seth Godin has to say. He is such a clear thinker who cuts to the essence of what’s important in our changing world.

And he has a way of generating a contagious inspiration! Still, his ideas also have a pragmatic application to drive career and business success!

Great to be on the Career Collective team with you!

Jacqui Poindexter, Master Resume Writer

I SO agree with the idea of "self-determination" - this is the key to forward-MOVEMENT in life and in careers. Many people get stuck, feeling they are dependent on others to propel themselves forward. Though the world offers many opportunities for interdependence, we all must also continually exercise our independent thinking and tenacity to maintain life and career traction.

I also like the ideas of making your career your business and exercising good judgment. We all must take responsibility to focus on our own careers and take time and invest thought in emplacing decisions based on good judgment. This doesn't mean that from time to time we won't err or go sideways on our journey, but we learn from those mistakes and hopefully strengthen our foundation in the process!

As a final note, I love the idea of how "… we respond to the opportunities and challenges of the outside world now determines how much the outside world values us.” Very well put!


Walter Akana

Hi Jacqui!

Thanks for your terrific comment!

Yes, self-determination has always been key to forward movement. Yet, the world of work has so often conspired to convince people that it’s not so critical. It's fostered a dependence predicated on one-way loyalty. Reminds me of a line from Ball of Confusion, an old Temptations song: “Vote for me, and I'll set you free.” This may have worked once. But no more. Today, things simply aren’t “same as it ever was” (Talking Heads, by the way).

Success really does mean making your career YOUR business. You need to be clear about what you want to do and the value that can bring – and then step up to deliver it. It’s all about responding to the opportunities and challenges the world offers. Seth Godin calls it making the choice, and I couldn’t agree more.

Great to be part of the Career Collective with you!

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Threshold Consulting

  • Walter Akana is a Career/Life Strategist who works exclusively with mid-career professionals who want to achieve more self-direction and satisfaction in their careers and lives. He is Reach certified as a Personal Branding and Online Identity strategist, and is a Reach Keynote Speaker




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