JobTalk’s first post was on November 18, 2011 under the blog name Job Talk NJ. It’s only been four months, but I’ve learned enough that I thought I’d share. While this post is personal in that I’m sharing what I’ve learned, it’s all career-related. Hopefully some of what I’ve learned can help you!
Lesson #1 People won’t always be on time for meetings and won’t always let you know that in advance. And, sometimes they won’t show up.
Solution #1: I always bring something else to work on if I’m meeting someone at the library or at Small World Coffee. This way, my time isn’t wasted if a person is late or is a no-show.
I also make sure that I know exactly what I will work on if someone is a no-show, that way I’m not caught off-guard trying to figure out what to do and can be productive right away.
Lesson #2: I am only a tiny bit tech savvy, but not savvy enough to customize my own WordPress site.
Solution#2: Stop wasting time trying to figure it out and find help. That is, I realized that I cannot be all things. If I am not capable of doing something, it’s more efficient to ask for help.
Lesson #3: Balance is a lie. I’ll explain. Often I’ve found myself asking the question to my interviewees, “How do you balance work and personal life?” If you’re an entrepreneur or CEO, your job is all-encompassing. And if you are striving to have some semblance of balance in your life, especially in your earlier years of doing your job, you’re going to fall short.
Solution#3: Accept it. If you don’t love you’re what you’re doing enough to live a life “off-kilter,” you should rethink what you’re doing. My interviewees that are CEOs, entrepreneurs or have other leadership positions love their jobs and accept that the long work hours go with the territory.
Lesson #4: There’s more advice about how to create a high-trafficked blog than I knew. Around January, I started realizing the potential for JobTalk and thought, “Well, I gotta start getting readers.” I spent hours googling phrases like, “creating a successful blog,” and “marketing your blog.” All that searching really did was to take me away from JobTalk’s mission.
Solution#4: Stop googling! Ultimately, I realized that the each individual really blazes her (or his) own trail. Yeah, there are models we can use, but at some point, we’ve got to figure it out on our own. I’m now focused on my mission, once again. It’s too early to tell whether or not Job Talk 4 All will gain a following. But right now, I wholeheartedly believe it will, so I’ll keep on keeping on and not let myself get distracted.
And by the way, the googling addiction, I believe, really takes away from our own abilities to create our career paths. Don’t get me wrong, the Internet is a wonderful tool, and I’m glad we can get information on careers (among other subjects) that we want to know more about. But there comes a point when we all have to stop googling and take action!
Lesson #5: I can’t write a good post when I’m really tired.
Solution #5: Pretty simple. Go to sleep. I know a lot of people try to work through the night. And certainly I can do things that don’t require much thought when I’m tired like folding laundry or vacuuming. But trying to write a good post only produces bad results. When I’m working at night and I find that I’m not able to hold a thought or am coming up short on things to say (not usually a problem for me!), then I know it’s probably time for me to get some shuteye.
Share what you’ve learned on-the-job lately.