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 So the idea that we will follow a single passion until our dying day is simply outdated.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.


The potential strike in Vegas is about robots taking hospitality jobs

From Gizmodo:

“I voted yes to go on strike to ensure my job isn’t outsourced to a robot,” said Chad Neanover, a prep cook at the Margaritaville, said.“We know technology is coming, but workers shouldn’t be pushed out or left behind. Casino companies should ensure that technology is harnessed to improve the quality and safety in the workplace, not as a way to completely eliminate our jobs.”

The article also cites a survey from Cognizant that reported “three-fourths of hotel operators said AI-based systems would become mainstream by 2025.”

 

Hype slayer

Which reminds me:

I need to put this glorious gif somewhere

My love (obsession?) for career education is deep. I could talk about how we train people for the job search and the future of work for hours (and sometimes I do). I love listening to peoples’ work lives. But I know career education isn’t the most entertaining subject. As much as I try there’s only so much I can do to transform traditional career advice like “research all the companies”and “LinkedIn is your power tool” into engaging content. Enter, gifs. I love gifs. My newsletters have them. My courses have them. Gifs help me liven up some of the driest parts of my career content (and really, when I say dry I mean desert-dry…)

Today I hit a major milestone in my gif appreciation: I made my own.

I teach people how to build soft skills, specifically negotiation, networking, and public speaking. Unfortunately developing these three skills make people feel incredibly uncomfortable. To deal with discomfort I drive home this motto: embrace awkward. Awkwardness is to be expected when we try new new things. Awkwardness happens with difficult conversations. Stepping outside our comfort zone is bound to be awkward. Avoiding awkwardness is futile. Instead, we should embrace it and power the the fuck through it.

Power-the-fuck-through-it doesn’t make for snappy, corporate friendly workshop copy, so Embrace Awkward is my go to motto.

Anyhow, I’ve enshrined my favorite career advice in a lovely gif for my upcoming course, How to Ask for a Raise.

My day’s work is complete.