Monday, January 30, 2012

Some Unsolicited Career Advice

Dear Elyse on the Bachelor,

When you leave your job to go on the "Bachelor" to "find" "love", please be square with us. Please know that the viewers who are watching this are seasoned, sarcastic TV aficionados and we all know that you are just on the show to try to get some reality 15 minutes of fame - which is really 15 seconds - and you are going to end up on the next season of the Bachelor Pad for two episodes. Please don't try to elicit sympathy from us for your moronic move to leave your job that you "love." If you really loved it, if you really had passion for it, you would never have entertained the thought of leaving Florida to go on a reality show where you are guaranteed almost anything other than falling in love with the Bachelor.

Your Career Counselor

PS - When you come across as mean, jealous, and highly emotional on national TV, it will probably not bode well for you in the future.
PPS - When you state that you have already done everything that you want to do in life, you need to dream bigger dreams.

Salacious Skinny Dipping. The sullying of humanitarian Roberto Clemente's name by being mentioned on The Bachelor. David Gray's "This Year's Love," a twelve-year old song that I first started listening to 11 years ago. Awful satin one shoulder dresses. Neon Yellow fingernails. Gorgeous Puerto Rico. VIP Cocktail Waitresses being revealed for their true profession. Using "spending more time with" someone to rationalize doing bad things that you feel crappy about the next day. "Winning". Stomachs turning. Hyper-ventilating, teary-eyed drama.

All in a night's episode. It's good to know that there are some things that you can always count on in life.

PS - Does anyone else think that Casey S. looks like Paris Hilton?
PPS - TOTALLY shocked that boring Josh Groban kicked cute Jennifer to the proverbial curb! Whoa!
PPPS - Was anyone else reminded of Joe Millionaire during the whole skinny dipping episode? (Kudos to those who actually remember Joe Millionaire)

Friday, January 20, 2012

Book Review: A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future

A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the FutureA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel H. Pink
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I finally finished this book this week, and would have done so sooner if I hadn't left it at home during a business trip (some other books took priority). I really enjoyed my first Daniel Pink foray. I believe that he makes some really relevant points, and when I consider that this was first published in 2006, it is evident that he was on the forefront of the tidal wave of change that the marketplace has gone through.

Mr. Pink's thesis mainly boils down to the fact that because of Asia, automation, and technology the economy has changed. If a product or service can be made cheaper, better, or faster by any of those three factors, your field of work may be in trouble. The "left-brain" logical, analytic mindset that has dominated the American economy ever since the time of Henry Ford, has been outsourced and can be done just as well or better - AND cheaper - abroad than in the US. The so called "Knowledge Worker" is made irrelevant - all the engineers, the doctors, the service workers, manufacturers - can be provided for less cost by India or China than they can in the US. So what is a US knowledge worker to do?

This is where the brunt of Pink's work comes in. His supposition is that an American worker can no longer just be contained to the left-brain, analytic mindset that is taught in school - he/she must broaden their perspective and mind and use the long dormant and much maligned "right-brain" skills. By bringing a creative outlook to their analytic skills, the New economy worker has an opportunity to bring meaning and purpose to the widgets they produce - in fact, Pink argues that even in order to survive in the new economy, workers MUST bring their right-brain skills to work with them - otherwise consumers will not pay attention or buy the workers' products or services.

There are six areas that Pink outlines - three that jump to my mind right now are Design, Symphony, and Meaning - that workers must learn to employ within their skill sets in order to create products and/or services that people will want.

One of the neat things that sets this book apart is that Pink includes a host of exercises and steps for incorporating or learning each of the six areas that he highlights. Instead of just listing "six steps to a right-brain mindset", he gives you an action plan for how to incorporate these different areas into your life.

I thought it was an easy read, very easy to understand, with a compelling argument. If you're interested in learning how to augment your set of skills with "right-brain" creative qualities, I highly recommend it. And even if you're not, I still recommend the book because you should learn how to incorporate these ideas into your current set of skills - otherwise, you'll be left behind as the marketplace moves forward.

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