Designing a career: an adventure with Mair Dundon

(c) Mair Dundon http://www.quietaction.com

Creating a work life that makes sense and pays well is a task that most of us spend a majority of our lives focused on… Instead of having a single path, we design a WorkLife that can change and grow right along with us – a constantly renewing resource that is fueled by our life experience and the insights we’ve taken the time to gather and share. I picture us as a community of practice – supporting each other in designing our WorkLife with focus and creativity.

Being particularly susceptible to such things (and in a moment of having forgotten my New Year’s resolution, Do Less), I signed up to do this “Career Hackathon” workshop with my friend Brenda. Which meant that I spent the entirety of a gorgeous afternoon yesterday in a windowless, brightly-lit room, a design firm’s office on Market between Powell and Montgomery Stations.

Five of us made a valiant effort to keep up with our facilitator Mair’s instructions, frantically filling out a series of worksheets, marking them up, talking to one another, and doing it all over again. I was the only one in the room without a UX/UI design background, and I enjoyed going with the flow and imagining that the words “agile” and “lean” (as in “lean business,” not “lean in”) and “iterate” and “builds (as a plural noun)” were part of my everyday parlance. I was expecting this; I had signed up for a Career Hackathon, after all!

Even if you DO know what those words mean, here’s my translation of the workshop title: How To Design Your Perfect Career by Forcing Yourself to Consider All the Possibilities That Normally Freak You Out and Learning That Most of Your Assumptions are Untrue Once You Actually Start Talking To People Around You… While Also Getting Called Out On Your Shit And Frequently Being Told You’re Awesome By Very Interesting People Who Are Also Awesome. Continue reading “Designing a career: an adventure with Mair Dundon”

We know what we know

Last October/November, I caught that horrible cold/cough that was going around… and it stuck around for more than five weeks by the time I finally got over it.

My friend Mike knew exactly why I was sick.

The day before I woke up with the telltale tickle in the back of my throat, Mike and Penny and I had biked to the Clement Street farmers market. I bought a bunch of carrots. And proceeded to eat several of them. Unwashed. Much to Mike’s horror.

A devout germ-o-phobe, Mike hates touching things in public places Continue reading “We know what we know”

Repotting: right in my wheelhouse

20120721_110336At some point during my journey home on Friday/Saturday, I came across this article about repotting your career. Though the article itself is flavored with a rather Stanford-y perspective that doesn’t totally align with my own way of looking at things, I appreciate both the horticultural metaphor, and the author’s tips for switching things up professionally in a way that “can lead to greater innovation, success, and meaning in your work.” These include (in addition to “Know when it’s time to change…” um, thanks?): Continue reading “Repotting: right in my wheelhouse”

Rising again

At 6am, insomniac in the Penn Stater hotel in State College, PA hotel (which means it’s really 3am to my body, still in Pacific Time), I finally rose from the bed and resurrected this blog. I think this is version 3.0? I’m not sure. Shutting down and letting go of those old blogs go was a relief, in the same vein (but nowhere near as cathartic) as having shredded a lifetime’s worth of journals — all 100ish of them — a couple years ago.

A few clicks… and we’re back!

It’s been snowing and/or cloudy since I arrived two nights ago, but this morning the only clouds I can see in the sky are far away on the horizon. Still, there are a few snowflakes drifting gently (no idea where they’re coming from) to land on the dome-shaped skylight that rises glowing from the snowy roof outside my window, the dome a stand-in for the sun that I’m pretty sure will rise just behind it over the hill. Venus rose before I opened the curtains, rising further as the morning brightens.

In a couple hours I go “on,” and will be “on” all day giving an 8-hour workshop and then doing a book signing. Tomorrow, a shorter workshop, another book signing, and the long journey home (weather permitting). I will rise to the occasion. No matter how little I’ve slept the preceding nights, I always do… except when I don’t, but that has yet to happen on a speaking day.

But right now, venus and sunrise and a glowing dome and mystery snow from clear, brightening skies. And me, writing again, on the internets.