Thinking about a career change in 2020? Pick one of these conversations to fire you up

“It’s insane to think that we should know what we want to do forever or that it’s somehow a better life or we’re a more successful person if we’ve done one thing. I mean, it’s really just outdated. It doesn’t make any sense. You know that’s not true.” – Alexandra, episode 5 of the 50 Conversations podcast for career changers

In my podcast for career changers, there’s a reoccurring theme when it comes to our careers: lifetime careers no longer exist. And while we all kind of know that, it’s so damn refreshing to hear people talk about it openly. It’s even better to hear how people have adapted to this new world of multiple career changes.

I’ve been slowly releasing episodes from my podcast for career changers over the past four months. The goal of the podcast is to both normalize career changes and show the many ways people make a career change.

In the podcast, I ask guests who have changed careers exactly how they did it. It’s a casual conversation, usually under 20 minutes, and perfect for a commute. We chat about the ups and downs of career changes, the many ways to learn new skills, the process of upskilling, and always end with outstanding advice for career changes.

podcast for career changers

My podcast for career changers is like having a career coach in your pocket; you’re sure to find something in these episodes that resonates with you. It’s better than taking a career assessment any day.

So I’m sharing a round up of episodes that shows you the many ways to change careers. Whether you’re the person who needs a career change but don’t know what to do or someone who just needs career change help these are the podcast episodes for you.

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The new world of work: Skills > Tenure

Here’s a quote that should light a fire in any mid-career professional who’s been on a corporate treadmill the past five years:

Constant upskilling and digital dexterity will outweigh tenure and experience

6 Ways the Workplace Will Change in the Next 10 Years

We’ve all been raised and educated to think that tenure and experience will keep us employed and indemand as we grow in our career. It appears that is no longer the case, at least according to research from Gartner. More on that:

By 2028, the most high-value work will be cognitive in nature. Employees will have to apply creativity, critical thinking and constant digital upskilling to solve complex problems. “The demand for digital skills has grown by 60% over the past several years. In today’s digital economy, the demand for new ideas, new information and new business models that continually expand, combine and shift into new ventures and new businesses will increase,” says Griffin. “Employees must consistently refresh their digital dexterity to meet these needs.”

Predictions are never for sure but one thing that is for sure is that we’ve already seen tenure become less valued in the workplace. We saw it after the crash in 2008 when our friends and family were laid off without any regard for experience. We see it in older workers who struggle to get work despite having decades of experience in our industry. We see it in discussions about the future of work, as employers debate whether to train their existing workforce or hire new people with the digital and data fluency to thrive in digital transformation (the implication being that the old workforce will simple be laid off).

As I write in my book, skills are the currency in our new world of work.

The brutality of work as a content moderator

We talk a lot about emerging jobs in the future of work. One job that has emerged in the last decade is content moderator. Content moderators work behind the scenes – invisible to most – to help keep horrific content out of our social feeds.

And they suffer greatly for it. A new report by The Verge, The Terror Queue, presents the horrible reality of content moderation. In the article, they share that moderators are often underpaid and subjected to horrific mental working conditions. This quote puts it into perspective:

“Every day you watch someone beheading someone, or someone shooting his girlfriend.”

Imagine that were your job. Then imagine this is how management supported you:

Google content moderators in Austin are required to view five hours of gruesome video per day.

Managers for Accenture routinely force employees to work into their break time, deny them vacation time

Google offers one standard of medical care to full-time content moderators, another for contractors. Contractors get almost no paid medical leave. –

Workers at Google are often not informed about the potential mental health consequences of content moderation when they apply for jobs.

Content moderators, according to the article, make roughly $18/hr, or $37,000 a year. And not all of them have the same access to medical care, with contractors having little to no access.

In one example, moderators with rare language skills, are immigrants trying to become US citizens. They’re employed as contractors to review Middle Eastern content:

Peter, who has done this job for nearly two years, worries about the toll that the job is taking on his mental health. His family has repeatedly urged him to quit. But he worries that he will not be able to find another job that pays as well as this one does: $18.50 an hour, or about $37,000 a year.

Like many of his co-workers working in the VE queue in Austin, Peter is an immigrant. Accenture recruited dozens of Arabic speakers like him, many of whom grew up in the Middle East. The company depends on his language skills — he speaks seven — to accurately identify hate speech and terrorist propaganda and remove it from YouTube.

Several workers I spoke with are hoping to become citizens, a feat that has only grown more difficult under the Trump administration. They worry about speaking out — to a manager, to a journalist — for fear it will complicate their immigration efforts.

There’s a cruelty here that is hard to reconcile. I don’t know if the managers at Google and Accenture know what content moderators deal with, or if they’re happy to just ignore it.

In all honestly, I don’t even know what the answer is for this type of work. The article profiles other content moderators who are making more money, and even they are having breakdowns and PTSD.

The brutality of this type of work can’t be overstated. Yet it’s invisible to most of us as we carry along scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through our social feeds.

I wrote a career change book thanks to #NaNoWriMo

Last year I participated in National Novel Writing Month (#NaNoWriMo) to kickstart the process of writing a nonfiction book. In November 2018, I wrote just over 35,000 words!

Fast forward 11 months and I just got the final cover for my book that helps career changers navigate the #futureofwork.

Career change book
A new book for career changers and the future of work with a bit of a twist

While NaNoWriMo is geared towards fiction writers, I found the community, tips, and single focus on writing for volume super helpful to beat procrastination and make writing a priority.

But here’s the fun part: my nonfiction career change book has a touch of fiction in it. I put a dystopian choose your own adventure type story in it.

Putting a fictional interactive story in a nonfiction career change book isn’t traditional. But the #futureofwork isn’t traditional. And in truth some of the things happening in the workplace look quite dystopian.

I aim to help workers navigate it all. So this isn’t your average career change book. The word of work has changed and so too should the career advice.

Curious? Join my virtual book release party.

And if you’re thinking of writing your own book, check out NaNoWriMo:

And see how to get started writing your first draft.
https://lnkd.in/gU9Askk

Workaholics, burnout and the false promise of following your passion

Everyone in my generation has been raised with the idea that all we needed to do was follow our passion and everything would work out just fine in our careers. Finding your passion is the ultimate end goal in the quest for a career (that and paying off student loans).

In all this talk of passion, nobody mentions burnout. Or the fact that jobs come is many different crappy, boring flavors.

If you’re nodding along to the sentence above, watch this video. You’ll appreciate the honesty about careers, and get a small does of history about how we as a society shifted from the notion that a job is a job, to the idea that a job is a career and it should be a calling!

It time for a new career narrative, one that’s more honest and aligns with our new world of work. In my book I write about how telling people to follow their passion is unhelpful. We’re not longer working life long careers. Our passions, interests, needs all shift over the course of a lifetime. So the idea that we will follow a single passion until our dying day is simply outdated. The advice keeps people stuck, especially career changers.

Instead, people need to follow their curiosity, exploring different jobs and paths that align with their needs and interests as they grow.

Repeat after me: Your college major doesn’t determine your career path

How can we talk about college in a way that doesn’t imply graduates will be set on the path of a lifelong career based on their major?

A college major isn’t the sole factor that determines your career. Our careers are multifacted. They’re shaped by new work experiences and the skills collected along they way, as well as life events, curiosity, people we meet, and more.

If you know a college student who is stressed about which major to choose, share the tweet above. Grant it, that won’t help the stress about which job will pay off students loans (that’s another conversation) but at least we can reframe the conversation that a college degree is only the first step in a life filled with career learning.

Rage click response: Why remote work can be f*cking great for your career

Last month I rage clicked on the article by Suzy Welch, Why working from home can be terrible for your career. I’m so glad I did because I’ve been meaning to write about why remote work is so good for your career.

For media companies looking to stand out in the attention economy, getting a well-known Leadership & Management Expert to write on today’s hottest topic, remote work, is a smart move. Brand name + trendy career topics = clicks. And getting that expert to write that remote work is “terrible for your career” is sure to bring in a few rage clicks.

Telling people that remote work will kill their leadership opportunities feels like a desperate attempt by out of touch leaders to stop a generational shift. Flexible work hours, which includes remote work, are the most sought after perk in the workplace. Millennials are leading the charge for more flexible work policies.

But they aren’t the only ones. Spend any time in a Facebook group for moms, travelers, and anyone other community who’s population is still required to show up for a 9-5, and you’ll see post after post of people asking how to get a remote job. Drop into the #digitalnomad or #remotework hashtag on Insta and you’ll see the cat’s already out of the bag. Remote work is fucking great for your career and those of us doing it know it.

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AI as flirt coach?

“It coaches you on what to say on the [first] call,” he says. “Some of it will encourage you to be calm. Some will give you specifics into what kind of person they are, like ‘traditional’ or ‘modern’ lifestyles.”

AI could be your wingman—er, wingbot—on your next first date

Another example of AI teaching people skills. So curious how it feels to be coached by AI. Using AI to coach people on people skills total flattening of the range of ways to interact with people.

And if someone doesn’t know how to engage on the phone, how will they do in person?

Also have they made sure teh person writing the scripts for these interactions actually has people skills? I wonder what that would look like in a job description.

Burn the career ladder down it doesn’t work anymore

That’s a snippet of the advice I shared during my guest appearance on Your Confident Self podcast.

I had such a ridiculously fun time talking with the delightful host and coach, Allegra Sinclair. I could have talked with her for hours.

In the episode, How to Take Control of Your Career and Remove Fear, I shared all the things about how the world of work is changing, whether robots are taking all our jobs, and why the career ladder is dead.

Give the episode a listen and then subscribe to her podcast for more goodness.

Podcast for career changers: Update!

podcast for career changers

tl;dr: Next round of interviews takes place starting July 22. Sign up here to share your career change stories.

The last two weeks have been a whirlwind! I’m half way through recording interviews for my mini podcast for career changers, 50 Conversations.

The podcast project started as part of my new book which arrives in Fall 2019. The book teaches people how to change careers, upskill, and thrive in a rapidly changing workplace.

When I put the call out for interviews with career changers on LinkedIn, I wasn’t sure what to expect. The brilliant part about career changes is that they come in all shapes and sizes. My goal with the mini-podcast is to showcase the variety of paths people take while showing others how to change careers.

So far all the conversations with career changers have been riveting. The list of topics we’ve covered is long: bootcamps, online courses, going back to school at 35, masters degrees versus certificates, learning to code, imposter syndrome, community college programs, working in cutting edge roles, artificial intelligence and automation, workplace learning, layoffs and bouncing back from layoffs, the future of work, and so much more. There have been plenty of giggles and more advice than I could possible write in a blog post.

The conversations span Gen X and millennials, including two recent college graduates who have already changed careers. Most, though not all, are college graduates of the last 15 years who are to figure out the new career narrative, one that doesn’t match what they were promised when they got their college degree.

I’ve interviewed people who are just starting over, people who are in the middle of a bootcamp experience, and those who are on their fourth career change. All of the conversations are filled with nuggets of wisdom, reflection, and success.

Want to share your career change story or know someone who does? Submit your info and I’ll reach out in July when the next round of interviews resume.

Interviews with the next batch of career changers will resume in mid-July. The first podcasts will be released in late July. If you want to know when they’re available for your ear, sign up below.