Quit Looking for Answers. Start Managing Your Career with Better Questions

One thing I've noticed in my 15+ years of helping people figure out what they want to be when they grow up is how uncomfortable we are with questions. Despite the fact that the questions we ask inevitably shape the results and opportunities we find, we are so focused on answers, we don't pay attention to asking the right questions. Nor do we pay attention to how our questions can... Read more →

Some Thoughts on "Managing People"

I've been thinking lately about our focus on "managing" people. I spend a lot of time with front-line supervisors in various capacities and they are obssessed with how to control people's behavior. The discussions are of two basic types--How do you get staff to do the things you want them to do? How do you STOP staff from doing things you DON'T want them to do? There are variations, of... Read more →

Where are the Meaningful Conversations at Work?

This weekend, I went on a retreat with 10 other women to reflect on our experiences in 2011 and plan for what we wanted to do in 2012. It was a fabulous experience that I'll be writing more about. One of the most eye-opening realizations I had in our weekend away was the profound LACK of meaningful conversations at work and in our personal lives. Sure, we're talking all the... Read more →

Professional Development Tool: The First Hour

What I do first thing in the morning tends to set the tone for the rest of my day. Starting with my email inbox inevitably sets me up for a day of reacting to other people's agendas and unproductive "multi-tasking." When I begin my day with an hour spent on a high-impact project, though, things tend to flow more smoothly. I accomplish more and feel that sense of "flow" more... Read more →

I'm excited to announce that I'll be running a month-long Online Career Clarity Camp from October 10--November 7, 2011. Who Should Participate? I put this camp together for people who are ready to: Move from Career Certainty to Career Clarity--For people who recognize that there is no certainty when it comes to our careers, so we have to gain clarity about ourselves and our opportunities in order to embrace uncertainty.... Read more →

A 3-Step Process for Learning From the Depths

I was contacted this morning about doing a presentation on an old post of mine, "On Becoming a More Reflective Individual Practitioner," so I re-read what I'd written back in 2008. One paragraph I quoted in the post really stood out for me. It was written by Joy Amulya of the Center for Reflective Community Practice at MIT from her booklet entitled What Is Reflective Practice? Certain kinds of experiences... Read more →

The Power of Good Questions

I'm working on two online courses I'm planning for the fall (more on that coming soon) and thinking a lot about the power of questions in career and professional development. We think that development is about finding answers, but I would argue that it's largely about the questions we ask. There are three characteristics of good career questions. They should: Be compelling and provocative. The best career questions drive you... Read more →

Four Strategies for Combating Career Tunnel Vision

One of the things I've observed repeatedly is how stunned people are when they lose their jobs. Despite the fact that the writing has usually been on the wall for weeks or months, there is a palpable sense of disbelief--how could this happen to ME?! I've found that this is generally a result of career tunnel vision, a condition that can plague all of us. Career tunnel vision comes about... Read more →

Six Positive Professional Development Strategies for the Toxic Workplace

I'm finding that the combination of "doing more with less," and the morale fall-out of the recession is increasingly adding to the psychological burden that many of us deal with at work. We've always had bad bosses, ill-tempered co-workers and heavy work loads, but there's a special something in the air that I think makes things even more difficult than they've been. Over the weekend, I ran across a nice... Read more →

Career Simplicity--Paring Down to the Essentials

We live in a complicated world, getting more complex all the time. I've come to believe that our best--really our ONLY--strategy for dealing with this on an individual basis is to look for career simplicity. How do we pare things down to the essentials so that we're able to focus and build on what really counts? Beth Kanter had a great blog post a few years ago about the need... Read more →