Category Archives: Future
The reality for most people is you will have many jobs and careers.
My journey so far would appear to be all over the map. I started as apprentice potter, a newspaper delivery boy, a general dogsbody in a kitchen, a cook, a chef, a computer scientist, a student politician, a trainer, a charity campaigner, a political campaigner, a english teacher, a dive instructor, a politician, a cabinet member, a marketing VP, consultant, startup founder, a college professor, a tech support, and a developer.
Every job and career can teach you many things (if you are paying attention), changing either, will give you a faster track to understand the similarities and difference in different sectors and jobs. In the end by having different of jobs/careers you will see connections, innovations that others who are stuck in one role and career will rarely see.. For me I connect so many disparate things, see opportunities where others are blind and I am constantly readdressing what others see as the “truth”, common sense or the obvious. All because they are coming from one angle or a limited few angles and I am not.
Hint when you have lost your keys stand on a chair it will allow you to see the room from a different angle that you are unfamiliar with and you will pay more attention because it is new.. I am suggesting the same thing about your career..
A job and career should fit to your needs and desires at the time.. sometimes that will be simply to pay the rent, other times it should be explore another part of you. Choose a pathway of jobs and careers that will make you happy and that will teach you the things you need and desire, to help you with the next step.. consider it a pathway or a tree with many opportunities..
Plan your professional life.
So if you change your job career regularly what about loyalty to orgainsations and businesses, fair question:
- Public companies are often more loyal to their shareholders and the organisations survival then you, yes even if you are the founder or CEO.
- Private companies loyalties are determined by the power structure or family relationships or funders.
- Governments are loyal to the last electorate vote, who often vote on the last bad thing the government did, whole programs and departments are wiped out as governments change.
- Non-Profits immediate future are determined on the economic cycle
Ok a touch cynical I appreciate, but the reality is organisations are always changing even if a bit slowly. And so should you!
Here is a couple things that helped me and things I continue grow:
1. Importance of self awareness
The more context and angles you see yourself in, the more constructive feedback you get, the more you will truly understand yourself. As you experience different organisation cultures you will build an understanding in what you like and dislike. You will need to book sometime for yourself to reflect, process and understand.
Most people are not truly aware of what their dream job is, they even think they do, just do not know until you have tried it. Maybe you have be driven to this point because it was what was expected of you by your family or friends or teachers. Chill, I personally do not think you have to have a job or career for life, you are not a penguin you are a human you have choices. Sometimes having choice is part of the problem..
In my experience, there is something more powerful then the right job, its working with an awesome team. When this happens the role seems less important as long as you are contributing to the team. Being good in your role and being proactive in learning becomes natural.
Trying out a few personalities tests will also give you some slivers off your personality, remember most of this are very superficial and a snapshot in a time and a place.
2. Fear should become your friend
We all need become unafraid of changing both careers and jobs or at least manage the fear so it becomes your adrenaline, your extra boost, a source of strength, not weakness.
You can reduce fear by planning for the change, e.g. taking evening courses, internship, work seven days a week (5 in one job, 2 in the new role), get a mentor in the role you want to be in. Take a vacation and go to a conference that concentrates on that role, check out if these people are the ones you want to be surrounded by.
It is not easy to learn new skills for which you are being paid for. You will often feel “stupid” and fustrated at yourself. Understand the basics of anger management, because your mistakes will make you angry at yourself more! Ask your partner(s), friend(s) or family(s) to keep an eye on you and help you adjust, reflect and process.
3. Choose your boss carefully
It does not matter how good you are, if your boss does not like you, the rest is irrelevent. You must choose a boss who can be both your coach and mentor. You are recruiting for you. You are looking for the best match for you. Let them worry about if you are good match for them. Your interviews should be 50/50 in terms of questions, yes you asking 50%.
Questions to ask:
- How many of your staff have you coached and mentored?
- Describe to me your coaching style?
- Can you give me examples of your staff that have outgrown their roles?
- Have any of your staff ended up in senior positions to you?
- If I fail project how will you react to your colleagues and me?
4. Understand how to build a new network
You will not be here for ever, find out who the good people are. You have a strong advantage over those who stay in one job or company, your network will grow faster, this gives you more opportunities for new roles. Again match people on your personality, not power/influence. Look for the people you want to work with again. Also look for the people who are really good at, what you are not.
5. Understand how to learn and grow your skills fast
This is very important. Get to really know how you learn best and expand your learn capabilities. You should not, use one learning model to understand this, you use many models (they all see different things). It may require an investment on your part, in the end understanding this will determine in part your success in each job and career. Accept that your will occasionally make a mistake or even fail.
Here are some learning style models:
- Honey & Mumford Learning Styles Questionnaire (Activist, Reflector, Theorist and Pragmatist)
- David Kolb’s model (Accommodating, Converging, Diverging and Assimilating)
- Neil Fleming’s VAK/VARK model (visual learners, auditory learners and kinesthetic learners)
- Grasha-Reichmann Learning Style Scale (avoidant, competitive, collaborative, dependent, independent and participative)
6. Grow both your leadership and followship abilities
Whilst we have media mythology that states that leaders are more important.
Leaders only exist if they have followers.
If an organisation expects you to serve as a slave for five years before you can have some leadership responsibilities move on, go work for a smaller growing organization, who offers opportunities.That said it is also important to occasionally work for larger organisations to understand how to work in one e.g. how bureaucratic systems work, how the culture of having several tiers of management, effects innovation and the impact policy decisions from on-high effect the person on the ground floor or customer facing.
In my career I have chosen to work in leadership and then not. It has accelerated my abilities in both. But it is not easy. It has taught me humility, patience, the ability to coach upwards and let others fail if need be. Sometimes you need to reinforce your roots, other times explore a branch. Growing upwards is not always the best choice.
7. Do not burn bridges
A lesson I learned from politics. You will fail, what people really respect is how you do it with humility and style and then come back and show people why you are good. You also never know who will be your allies in the future, occasionally you will have to forgive others and move on. Sometimes you will work out in hindsight it was you creating the problems.
8. You own your future
Plan your professional life. Work out where you think may want to be. Look at the skills, knowledge and experience you will need to acquire, to achieve each step. This plan should and will change as opportunities pop up. Reflect on each job, what did you like about it and what did you not. Reflect on your bosses, what was good and not, how will this improve both your leadership and followship abilities. How specifically are you going to grow, what books, courses, conferences will you attend? Which personality tests will you pay for.
Make a plan, but stay on your toes and change as you learn.
Do not let your manager or HR “talent manage” you. They care about their needs or the organizations needs not yours. Of course listen to their advice, but check in with their motivation. Yes ask them!
Most talent management and skills databases systems are simply shit. They are limited by traditional concepts of the education you have received and the job titles you have had. They are predicting your future by looking at your past. Idiots. Just imagine if we limited the human races future on the past, so why do we do it for every individual. Your past could be a reflection of your parents, the financial place you have come from, if you were teased at school, things that as an adult you can choose to move on from.
Even currently online resumes miss the point, how limited in expression and in understanding the professional needs of a human, even from an organisation perspective they are limited in use.
This simply waste of human potential, angers me so much, it is in part why I founded Professional You and why in time I will blow this shit into the past.
This has become my flame, the thing I will build all the skills I need towards, the types of people I will hunt for to help me with this mission. And if I fail it would be for a cause I believe in.
My path is clear, I understand the full grown tree that I need to grow, in myself. This clarity took many roles, many careers, many failures and success.
I hope this post helps you find some of your tree, or helps you on your journey. Please share your learnings, so I can learn from you 🙂
Did I learn anything? Yes. Was it a good crowd of people? Most definitely. Would you recommend it to friends? Yes. Were there ideas to spread? Absolutely.
The theme of TEDx Vancouver was “Frontier” this year. This is my third TEDxVancouver and fifth TEDx event and it has being interesting to see it grow.
There are some who just go for the speakers, me I go to meet the audience, people who are willing to apply are already interesting and hopeful the speakers will intiate ideas for people to talk about. I prefer to learn and evolve through dialogue.
Thoughts on Speakers:
Reid Gower ****
The video was inspiring and keyed into hope, aspiration and the beauty of the planet we live on.
Nolan Watson ***
“Don’t donate to Africa, invest in Africa!” .
“treating symptoms instead of effectively solving problems”
Spoke on how naïve compassion kills lives
“Pursue what gives you meaning…and what allows you to share your joy with everyone”
“Twenty years from now, the things you would be most disappointed by are the things you didn’t do, rather than the things did” – Mark Twain
A story, of force changed and how they dealt with it. Two snowboarders, one breaks his neck (and cannot snowboard anymore) both build a device to make learning snowboarding safer to learn, esp tricks.
The importance of expressing emotion. It started off really well, that our society often represses our emotions. But the actually case ‘the building of the a wooden temple to burn down’ (could you have built a house for a homeless family instead?) was interesting but only for people who could really afford it, so it felt self indulgent, when compared with the other stories.
Sean Aiken ***
“what matters is what makes you come alive”
“Those who are most passionate about their work, are those that are connected to the meaning behind what they do”
Jose Figueroa ***
A story of stupid immigration bureaucracy. Not the first one I have heard when you have a conservative government with a commitment to slow down immigration.
‘Canada has the obligation to respect innocent people’
I would have loved to hear this in spanish with a translated. Some people complained about the political nature of this talk, but I pointed out to them that anything involving humans and change inherently becomes politics.. hmm if politics comes from the latin – citizen + city does that mean it does not exist in the rest of the country 😉
Seth Cooper ***
Interesting speech about using games and gamers to solve some of the world tough problems, the examples were in bio chemistry. For me this is old news.
Christopher Gaze ****
“Shakespeare is all around us. Alive and well.”
Excellent stage presence. I learned a lot of the metaphors I take for granted and are from Shakespeare. One drunk actress came up to me later to say that he had got one line wrong. Me I just respected him even more 🙂
Jer Thorp ****
“By placing data into a human context it gains meaning. These are our histories.”
A man who loves his data and knows how to use design principles to make it more readable.
Kara Pecknold ***
Saw her presentation at the Design Thinking conference, liked it. She had definitely polished both her presentation and slides, so it was an upgrade in terms of presentation. Design process – Discover, Define, Develop, Deliver
“99% of life lives beneath the surface of the ocean”.
Really cool tech, sign up to see live data come in and watch the fish swim by from camera upto 800 miles out into the pacific. http://www.neptunecanada.ca/
Although the content was too much, I think he delivered some of the most important messages, where the whole audience could help.
“Inaction is an action”
“There is no way you can sustain status quo.”
“people that operate under ‘status quo’ are going to fall behind”
“The future of humanity is in the NGO Community and the youth will join them”
“That if the youth of today vote they will change politics forever”
My reflection from his:
Youth of 2day could change the political system by voting, say no to status quo or they cud let their inaction be their legacy
Victor Lucas *****
I think in terms of content, emotion and presentation this was the best presentation, the context was = what advice will he give his girl when she is born and understands language, they are simply rules that any of us could apply to ourselves.
1. Don’t be a dick – People love people who aren’t dicks. Go light on the sarcasm. What people remember most about dicks, are that they were dicks.
2. Don’t dick around – Touch the world. It takes work, planning, and goals to be happy. Don’t let dicking around be your goal
3. Don’t hang out with dicks – If you aren’t a dick, you’ll attract people who don’t dick around. If you hang out with dicks, other people will think you’re a dick.
They actually feel quiet Canadian?!
Venue + Crowd management
Amazing for presenting, bad venue for meeting people, no WIFI within the theatre. Crowd management was poor. $80 per person and 1000 people turned up not sure where all the money went considering how many volunteers helped out
Limited, they ran out of meat and I ended with vegetarian, its ok I can eat grass ;-). Apparently no vegan? The pop tart donut things were interesting if you could fight other people for them.
The presentation organization was smooth and professional.
Billy the kid was awesome. It would have being nice to have more than one performer.
I love sailing, but the number of times they changed the camera angle started to make we sea sick (for those speakers whom did not use slides). Though seeing the person on the screen was helpful as if you were one or two levels up those presenters were a mite small.
This was awesome. The venue was very cool (Space Centre) as the whole venue was open including the laser show (which was cool but too long). Looking forward to when the venue is in a place that does not need cash for drinks.
Suggestions for next time (I will add to these as my brain returns):
Help people network
Give people 10 random people they should meet, have ‘professional’ volunteer networkers whose job is to get people together to talk, have a lot of space so people can easily discover people, have games people can play based on the talks.
Call to Action
Stalls for each speech where you could pick up notes and ways to get involved and help. As well as find people who want to talk more about that talk 🙂
The president dude said that he wanted to form a community and I think it can become one. So involve us in dialogue, before and after the event. Don’t just talk at us.
- Maybe start with the theme – crowd source it. If you have courage get the community to vote their top five and than let the organizers choose.
- Let us all see the applications, this will allow us to choose who we want to talk to at the event. Not brave enough for that than publish the attendees list with our links.
- Have so many non-celebrity speakers and get some professional trainers to get their presentation skills upto speed (yes I would volunteer for that). OK after writing this I find out that you sort of did this but not with the TEDx Vancouver community but with another community (http://tedxvancouver.com/vancouverisawesome-com-helps-select-kara-pecknold-as-speaker-at-tedxvancouver-2011/)
- Have a space where by skilled people can volunteer (see which skills they can offer), this will help you choose good people and also people may volunteer to be coached by an expert volunteer.
- Choose an online platform to keep the dialogue on-going after hearing the speakers (twitter is helpful for buzz not so much for dialogue).
- In the end community forms out of lots of interactions between people and the best is when you can watch the dialogue without having to intervene.
- Use the space on the name badges for something useful, yes your name helps, AND some unconferences have “Ask me about..” or “Three things I love…” people often just need an excuse to talk to each other, make it easier, especially for the shy types
- I wonder what you can learn from each talk, if you applied it to TEDx Vancouver?..
TED.com talks played on the day
These were interspersed during the day. Apparently to make sure we don’t go native or become to NIMBY and share in the global movement 🙂
Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization
Charlie Todd: The shared experience of absurdity
Mark Bezos: A life lesson from a volunteer firefighter
Matt Cutts: Try something new for 30 days
Whoops missed one (Thanks Chris Ryan)
What do you think? I welcome your views both pro and anti 🙂
Its not the money, no I don’t get free courses or any discount on other courses. Here are 15 reasons why I teach:
It turns skill into knowledge
I have always found the act of refining and teaching what you think you know, turns it into something more refined, more useful even. It can make you think very deeply on a topic and for me; it makes me question the foundations of what I think I know. It encourages me to seek alternative answers, sometimes before I have formed a question. It allows me to reflect on some of the decisions I made in the ‘field’ and explore other options of a possible future from that decision point. Whilst you can copy someone’s skill you cannot copy his or her knowledge, as I believe knowledge comes from a journey, which you have to travel and reflect upon.
“Knowledge is the inoculation of information” Anon
I learn & and grow as much as my students
Helping others learn, if you listen to the students questions, can challenge your own thoughts and feelings on a matter. The ‘tired’ teacher just forces the student to learn what the ‘agenda’ tells them, whilst an ‘awake’ teacher will explore with the student the path of understanding and together they can grow. Occasionally I will meet a student who does not receive my materials or teaching in the way that works for us, this keeps my thinking and rethinking of different styles, materials, activities I need to use to involve and engage the students mind.
Staying ahead and preparing for the future
To teach keeps me up-to-date with my domain expertise and it pushes me to understand the likely trends for that domain. I than have to translate that into my lessons and it explain to my students and prepare them for it. Of course at the same time I am preparing myself for the future.
Hubris does not take over
Some teachers think they know it all, not only is this naive in terms of knowledge but also in terms of communication/engagement. They are idiots. I need to remind myself that I am not an idiot! 😉
I test my assumptions
Working with people from different generations and history is really useful as your assumptions are constantly challenged not every Gen Y acts like a Gen Y or every baby boomer like baby boomer. We often get surround by ‘shortcut labels’ or brands and start to believe that every women thinks’ shopping is fun or every teenage boy only thinks about sex. As you teach you get to see the next upcoming generation, how they think/feel, learn and make sense of the world. On the counter side you get to see the older generations re-training themselves.
Prevention is better than cure
Effective education can prevent many problems in our lives, communities and society. Unfortunately we as a human race spend more time fixing problems after they have occurred, rather than preventing them with education. If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.
It helps me understand humans to a greater level
I am thirsty for works on memory, learning, processing, communication, interaction and risk. All of this curiosity helps me explore, test and understand. Hopefully over time it improves my lessons and the students retention and ability to use the knowledge.
I believe in meritocracy
I am strong believer that our society has too much cronyism and nepotism and this needs to be balanced with meritocracy. Note I said balanced not replaced. There are days when I would suggest that meritocracy should be then dominant force, but not completely replace.
I like partnership
For me I have a contract with each of my students. They do their part and I will do mine. Sometimes life intervenes and does not allow the student to put the work in. I don’t have that choice.
I like accountability
In the end you get to see how successful you are as a teacher by the students work. When did you teach well and when you communicated a concept that was unrefined or too fluffy. For me this holds me accountable.
The global need to share
Like most human beings I have the need for acknowledgement, to belong and be part of something. Teaching satisfies part of that need.
It reminds me to be patient, understanding and compassionate
The most effective teacher will take their time and not hurry a student. They will allow ideas and thoughts to grow in the student and I greenhouse them until they are ready to be challenged. I don’t believe the Socratic method is always helpful, especially in early stages of knowledge development; it can force people down a path of believing in what they can defend. It can be very aggressive which not all humans appreciate. Nature often reminds us that to allow something to grow, you have to wait. Don’t get me wrong, there comes a time for testing where the Socratic method is very helpful.
It improves my ability to explain and communicate
For every lesson I have to think of a number of ways to explain the same concept, so that students with different learning styles can understand the concept well and grow beyond it. Very helpful in business.
It improves my leadership & mentoring
My simply philosophy for my employed teams, is to help them out grow you and the organisation, so they move on. I don’t expect anything to be forever. If you want to keep people in your life you have to work at it and try not to take each other for granted. Even so I think those people who work or play together for long periods have found a way to evolve and grow together. I have and do coach/ mentor a number of business leaders and politicians, I will cover this in another blog.
Teaching is not just in the classroom.
Mentor, Coach, friend, lover, colleague, leader, follower, we are all teachers.
“Those that cannot do, teach” Anon
Whilst I don’t agree with this statement, for many of reasons above. For me teaching is part of my life not the whole of it, hence why I prefer to do it part-time.
Here are some of my thoughts on the future of culture and identity.
Language will evolve
I believe the the barrier of language will disappear and it will become more of a your style of communicating, the way you think and your values, that will differs us. Technology will start easily translating the basics, whilst at the same time the tidal wave will push people to learn english for business and travel.. India got there sometime ago and China is already make leaps in getting their population to have english as their second language. English schools (teaching as a second language )is one of the fastest if not the fastest growing industry.
A global culture
I will think we will see a greater merger of national cultures online; currently it is very English speaking American. We already see it happening with entertainment. Bit by bit I see more trends coming out of smaller countries in terms of word usage, behaviours, etc. Perhaps merger is the wrong word, as I feel that it will be something different more complex than any one national culture.
A lot of product and services are still built in a western methodology in terms of process and systems. Of course Japan has already influenced this in certain sectors e.g. cars and consulting. I think we will start to learn more alternate ways of encouraging community and collaboration from the rest of the Asian countries.
For us lucky few who were here and now, who could benefit from cheaper flights, which allowed some of us to travel around our country or even the world. Exposure to other cultures I think deepens understanding for those willing to learn and may also give us a greater appreciation of our culture. Of course it is all about the experience, who you meet, the events that occur whilst you are in that country. Serendipity really.
Expressions of culture
Through software and the advert better quality camera, whilst still becoming cheaper – Film has dropped in terms of cost, other countries are able to enter the film industry again and reveal their thoughts, fears and dreams to us. At the same time our ‘tolerance’ for low quality production has risen. Allowing a rise of new media producers use smart phones and free software to create something.
Distribution of culture
Starting with the Internet we have greater access to each other, it helped globalise culture distribution. Successful open global platforms have increased our ability to share such as YouTube. Even global closed systems such as Xbox live or iTunes are allowing us to explore new avenues of communication and access media once hard find such as music.
We are demand more transparency from everything, governments, corporations, food etc. I don’t see this declining in fact I see it having a massive impact on the future of business.
If you live in the first world immigration is occurring, in fact there is alreadly competition to get the entrepreneurs of the future, best skilled or the hardest workers. Countries where there are more older than younger people are seeing their budgets slowly shift tax dollars to health and social care. Combine this with a reduction (in the richer nations) of child birth means they will run out of money to support their older population. Some countries are thus trying to make it easier for young people to move to their country. I think within ten years countries will start paying immigrates to move there. I think this trend will mean people will start to move countries more often and be exposured to multiple countries in depth.
I think these trends will take decades, probably a lot of pain. It may be sped up by global tragedy or an alien invasion. If we don’t get wiped out by us or others. The end result I see is one human race with a greater understanding of itself and each other. Personally I believe in Infinite diversity infinite possibility as it will give us a greater opportunity to survive as a race.
What do you think or feel?
Over the last couple years I have being considering design in terms of my startup Professional You. We are working on something that will have a large amount of complex data in our system and that needs to be easy to access and manipulate.
In my life, design started with Technical drawing at school as child. It than evolved in basic computer games later at school. However it was PageMaker and Quark Xpress both in their first versions that got me really into thinking about what I was creating and the process. I still have this amazing book called ‘One Minute Designer’ by Roger C. Parker that was an amazing help to get me started. This lead me to training professional typesetters how to use the first Desktop Publishing software.
Later in life I took on a computer science degree and studied system design and UX at University which helped me to understand some more of the language and concepts. During my placement year I created with a partner a business to help businesses upgrade their paper based systems to electronic ones particularly Finance and Admin systems. It taught me a lot about change management and the direct impact on people that systems have, thus my design and process became very people aware.
So back to the present, 19 years of marketing later…To help me with startup, which I can visualize entirely in my head I decided to absorbed some books:
- Head First Web Design – Ethan Watrall
- Design Interfaces – Jenifer Tidwell
- Universal Principles of Design – William Lidwell
- Designing Web Navigation – James Kalbach
- Business Model Generation – Alexander Osterwalder
- The new Drawing on the right side of the brain – Betty Edward
- Color – Betty Edward
- Basic Perspective Drawing – John Montague
- Is that there is value in iteration and striving for perfection can lead you down a rabbit hole
- Practice, practice, practice
- Working and playing with good people refreshes the souls and is fun
- Combining the words design and thinking implies there is a process that it is more than just intuition.
- Good design thinking involves engaging both the rational and the emotional parts of your mind.
- That you need to be able to take criticism and other points of view.
- That you have to have some part of you that enjoys turning chaos into order
- That your audience may not think and feel as you do
- That you should never stay still and need to bounce between what is safe and what makes you sacred
- That there needs to be story behind it a consistency of your journey
- That ‘pure’ design is elegant and more often occurs in nature than in human creation
- Simplicity and complexity can both be beautiful
- That whilst we admire perfection we don’t trust it
- Engage the users early and often
So here is my view of what will happen in the next five years.
With most populations (first world) set to decline over the next 20 years. I believe that Governments in the first world will start to compete heavily for talent, in part due to the need to generate enough tax from business to support the elderly. This will lead to businesses becoming more effective at using their actual workforce, rather than just using them for the job they were employed for.
Systems will catch up and make network business, project management, matrix & network management more dominate.
I believe the mouse will be dead in the next five years, with all our computer monitors having touch screen capability(without the grease problems). In addition our phones will be a credit card thick. Virtual reality will become available for the average person, starting with games , science and academia. Video Conference will be at such high quality that people will start to trust and rely on it. Electronic paper will be used for Newspapers, magazines and books.
We will start to see AI’s that become competent at solving a wide range of cognitive problems, and offering solutions- to the point but not quiet personalty. E.g. Goggle Version X. Virtual games will exist where you play yourself against or with other people and AIs
Oil will return to pre-recession prices plus, the Peak OIl problem will be back on the agenda. Governments will ensure that the Car manufactures solve the problem.
I have a few more ideas but I would like to know you think will happen in the next five years?