Passion is a funny, quirky emotion that comes and goes. But sometimes, in love and life, when you do passion right it has staying power. Scott wanted more than anything to ski everyday all winter long. He left before the last crash burst to follow his passion. An banking executive by trade, he made the big jump to a large, high-profile Canadian ski resort as a financial consultant in order to satisfy his passion for the slopes. He reasoned that going to a dead-end, boring job that would earn a small living as a worthwhile trade-off for a great skiing opportunity.
He is now the IT manager, supervising 2 reports, and managing a whole system upgrade with new software installations to manage ski-lift ticketing and lift operations. It turned out to be the best of all worlds as he loves his job, and is well-paid and pursues his passion. Why is it that some people land a job within record time while others seem to linger in a search limbo, languishing without really looking?
Yes, there are obvious external factors that impact the length of an job search: age discrimination, requirements of an industry, heavily impacted functions and a few regions in deep recession. However, external factors do not account for everyone in search limbo.
Seems that your degree of passion and engagement helps to determine the ease and ability to be out there and involved in that business and to be known and connected. They are just driven to do it and will continue to turn over rocks, go down paths and do whatever it takes to be in the game no matter how rusty or inept at networking they are.
Passion can be the crucial ingredient to future success when one is in a transition phase between employment, consulting engagements or startup opportunities. Passion generates the motivation and drive to act and to do with the requisite intensity and persistence in the face of adversity, obstacles and daily doses of bad news reports.
Certainly money is a key motivator, but people leave substantial incomes every day because they were simply miserable going into work every day.
Organizations change over time, new management teams are formed that may not be compatible. Haven’t you seen people more consumed by their philanthropic work than their current position? That they pursue the former with more zeal than the latter can be a guidepost to other possible futures.
They frequently come to realize that it is possible to make the avocation into the main career passion. Certainly, it is often too easy to be discouraged and dissuaded from making that kind of transition because passions seem to present themselves as financial and career risks.
Sometimes it is not an obvious route to monetize a passion but we tend to foreclose options by pre-deciding against them. A woman had a passion for gourmet food, cooking, and great restaurants. Fortunately she lived in San Francisco so they all were in abundance. After years of working in public relations in consumer brands, she segued into the hospitality industry.
She started with small steps: writing articles, attending food events to network and doing some public relations pro bono work for a small ethnic restaurant in to promote their unique cuisine. She is now with an executive in a San Francisco public relations firm in their food vertical.
Yes, there are trade-offs to consider, priorities to rearrange and terms to come to but sorting out your values and options to put meaning, and passion back into their work lives will be worth the effort.
I subscribe to multiple global recruiting blogs and online recruitment and HR newsletters. Usually they tend to talk about how to find the A-players (see earlier blog) or using social media and other technologies. But sometimes an article will catch my attention as new and different that needs a response or strategy. This one in the June 15th issue of Recruiter Week grabbed my attention: Rise of the Micro-resume.
The article refered to a website and social service in China, Sina Weibo. This site in China will have more than 200M members soon and it is a cross between Twitter and Facebook.
Here is an excerpt:
On June 13, 2011, CNNgo.com reported that thanks to a massive February 2011 push by Sina Corp, China’s largest Internet portal, through the company’s “micro-blogging” site, Sina weibo—which means “Sina micro-blogging”, the Chinese are taking to 140-character “micro-resumes” like Peking ducks to water. (Visit Sina Corp’s English-language report.)
Aside from the Groupon-type overly sardonic and cutesy metaphor, this was real news and a significant trend in the worldwide employment marketplace. Is this a precursor of things to come? Of course it is. Should you follow suit and reduce yourself to 140 character summary of accomplishments, skills, and abilities? Well, folks, I think its a beyond difficult to try to brand yourself in a one-line tag and not come out sounding like a slogan, but you have to try, at least.
The better part of valor would be to follow the advice that is now nearly 4 decades old. Since the rise of the corporate man (or woman) the advice has been to identify and reach out to the hiring manager. I would say that this advice is even more relevant today. It's not enough to build a distinctive brand online with multiple social profiles globally, a website and blog. What is crucial is who sees it?
To a recruiter you are a transaction until they decide you are the best fit for the job. But to a business friend and colleague, social media contact, or alumni that you have a relationship with then you are a real person that they know, and can vouch for. To a hiring manager you are tangible in the form of a resume or executive summary.
What would give you the best chances of getting visible, heard, and interviewed: a 140 character summary or a fully branded online presence combined with a personal introduction? I build online branded presences for my clients all the time. They work.
People as Cogs: perception drives performance
by Nilofer Merchant |
With peers in a few CEO roundtables, I've heard things like: "I plan on hiring 3 biz dev people to get $345K per headcount in revenues." After publishing a book about closing the execution gap by focusing on the "peopley" stuff, CEOs of major companies took me aside (in a friendly way) to suggest I had made a major faux pas, and would be seen as having gone "soft." In spite of a forest's worth of academic papers and rafts of best practices published by the likes of HBR on the importance of the "soft" stuff, most companies continue to treat people as inputs in a production line. I've had leaders ask me if this "people engagement thing" is something that can be added on, after the core business stuff is done, sort of like adding frosting to a cupcake.
For the rest of this article visit ( http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/06/people_are_not_cogs.html ) Harvard Business School Online
This interesting short article pointed out the obvious persistence by the use of terminology in many executive suites and board rooms. However, even more engaging were the associated comments to the article. I believe the use of Web 2.0 has been the addition of comments to every article or news story. Further, that these comments can in turn be commented on by other readers creates a "just-in-time" community around that topic that embellishes, expands and enlivens the original far beyond the intention of the author. One detraction was the author's penchant to slang as in "gotta" when responding to comments.
Two reader comments caught my attention. One placed the blame of the impersonal and objectifying language used such as "headcount" at the doorstep of business schools and their cirriculum. Given that most faculty had actual real world experience in the bowels of a company, I have to concur. One solution someone suggested was to put them on merit pay and remove tenure to see how quickly they start referring to themselves as "talent".
But the other comment really was interesting and I take issue with it:
I love the idea of the two camps being one - but the 'existence proof' you cite is, sadly, very flawed.
Google and Apple are successful because they sell Market Leading - nay - World Leading products. The fact that they have different people-engagement approaches is, sadly, coincidental.
By contrast, Henry Ford, also at a time when he was producing the World Leading Model T Ford, was treating his people like dogs.
There is an enormous difference in perceived value between assembly line workers of Henry Ford's day and today's information/knowledge worker. Factory workers were treated as interchangeable parts and perhaps rightly so but, of course that doesn't justify the behavior. When someone leaves Apple or Google, part of the company's intellectual property just walked out the door. There is a reason that in tech companies in particular the term for Human Resources has been replaced by Talent Management.
It seems fair to extrapolate that as work becomes more and more knowledge based, even manufacturing with AI, then regard for the talent that provides the intellectual horsepower will have to improve as well. And, yes, it will have to migrate to business school as well.
The new tech bubble: Irrational exuberance has returned to the internet world.
May 12th 2011 |
from the print edition, Economist
Some time after the dotcom boom turned into a spectacular bust in 2000,
bumper stickers began appearing in Silicon Valley imploring: “Please God,
just one more bubble.” That wish has now been granted. Compared with the
rest of America, Silicon Valley feels like a boomtown. Corporate chefs are in
demand again, office rents are soaring and the pay being offered to talented
folk in fashionable fields like data science is reaching Hollywood levels.
And no wonder, given the prices now being put on web companies.
Read the full article in the Economist
Far be it for me to take issue with the Economist as the article was mostly accurate in terms of facts delivered. I live here and went through the first so-called "bubble". Without rehashing the gory details of the first bubble, let me just point out that all the derisive, mockers of online pet store, grocery delivery, and auto sales need only look at Amazon.com, Safeway.com and Cars.com. I buy pet supplies, hair products, lawn furniture and massages online now. The Economist's focus in on shareholder and investor's ROI. They miss the far broader view.
That there was an economic collapse in 2000-2001 in the tech sector is not disputed but how much of it was caused, egged on and goaded by Wall Street greed and the Fed policies that, by the way, enabled this last crash as well. Were those tech companies too soon to IPO? Yes. Were they overvalued by Goldman Sachs. Definitely. Are the dot.com companies to blame. Not even for 40% of what happened.
Did Silicon Valley suffer for it, yes? But, Wall Street didn't in that giant IPO ponzi scheme unless you were one of the last ones in or didn't sell soon enough. Over 400,000 jobs were lost here and less than half have been recouped. In addition, 3000+ companies went under (source linksv.com). What was lost? Talent, jobs, productivity, new products and markets but not the will to keep on growing businesses out of nothing but an idea.
What's different this time? Linkedin, Groupon, Facebook are all profitable. Linkedin's share price at $45 was in line with its profits and growth rate. Is Wall Street's cultivation of it's institutional investors and the day traders antics to run the stock price up 100%, based on pure greed? Yes. Is that Linkedin's fault? No. Will Linkedin's share price be back down to the original offering level? Yes, because that's where it logically belongs.
Is there a bubble? On Wall Street, in Private Equity companies, and with the new Angel investors, yes, but not in Silicon Valley. Company leaders are taking their time to bring companies public or do an M&A. Linkedin was founded in 2003 or end of 2002. It just went public after 8+ years not 8 months.
Here people are working hard to make a living and a profit building new products and services using and creating new technologies. What does this have to do with the rest of the economy and the world? Silicon Valley has replicated itself worldwide. There is job creation here based on bio-tech, nano-tech, clean-tech, software, Internet, alternative energy technologies, and consumer electronics. This is not going away but rather it is growing and expanding.
Yes, it's nice to have it shovel ready but tomorrow bandwidth rules economic structures not more car lanes.
The true story is that job creation, and business opportunities can be replicated world-wide and it is happening. The Economist just doesn't have the full perspective nor does it understand the ramifications beyond the point of view of the investment community.
Word of advice? Don't buy the stock, rather, look for the job and business opportunities. Build a Groupon leveraged business like all those little E-Bay businesses. Uncover ways to make money for yourself not Wall Street and welcome this new boom for all it's worth.
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