Tag Archives: career

How the hell did I end up here?

Today, I’ve been thinking about my career as a blogger, asking the question, “how the hell did I end up here?”

I never liked writing essays, stories, or pretty much anything on paper. My grades in English from high school through college were mediocre. Everything changed when I wrote that first blog.

You see I’m a talker, always have been since about age 5. I have this vivid memory of stuttering and being unable to speak my mind. Then my Dad was driving me somewhere, we passed the Delta Center (old name of the Salt Lake City Jazz NBA stadium), and my mind clicked. I was able to say whatever I wanted and instantly started gabbing.

I didn’t stop gabbing, and annoying everyone around me, until I found blogging. It was my perfect place to say whatever I wanted. I loved it.

Coincidentally, I don’t feel the need to talk anymore. It’s all left on the blog and my mind, and relationships, are free to be…well, normal.

At work, things progressed pretty smoothly. I was able to convince my bosses to let me start blogging. It was all about the mission and how to improve our work. They liked it, the community liked it, and I was on my way. The reputation I had built up carried me into my next few jobs where part of why they hired me was the blogging.

Then, finally, it was my job. I was hired to be a corporate blogger. It was a great gig and I was able to do what I loved and get paid for it. The next step occurred to me sometime during that job. Instead of blogging for somebody else, why not do it for myself?

A few months later, on July 1, 2011, I took the plunge. Full-time writing for my own site and my own business, and most especially with my own content.

Of course, this changed everything. I went from corporate sponsorship to advertising based. I had to learn how to write for the public at-large, instead of for a specific group of business people. The transition hasn’t been hard, but I can’t say I’ve found my groove. The main issue is determining how to stand out amongst the millions of websites out there.

Which is where I sit today, trying to find my voice and working on building some momentum for this blog. It feels weird to look-back on my progression like this. There is no way I would have imagined it ending up this way. I mean my job at the time I started blogging was a technical trainer for web 2.0. That’s a pretty solid 90-degree career turn.

I guess that means I don’t know how I got here. It just kinda happened. I’ve been following my obsession with blogging for seven years and have yet to stop. I wonder where it will take me next…

 

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Albert Einstein’s letter to a little girl who wanted be a scientist

From the delightful Dear Professor Einstein: Albert Einstein’s Letters to and from Children comes the following exchange between Einstein and a bright, witty South African girl named Tyfanny, who reminded Einstein of his own granddaughter and with whom he exchanged several letters despite being at the height of his career and cultural prominence.

In a letter dated September 19, 1946, Tyfanny writes:

I forgot to tell you, in my last letter, that I was a girl. I mean I am a girl. I have always regretted this a great deal, but by now I have become more or less resigned to the fact. Anyway, I hate dresses and dances and all the kind of rot girls usually like. I much prefer horses and riding. Long ago, before I wanted to become a scientist, I wanted to be a jockey and ride horses in races. But that was ages ago, now. I hope you will not think any the less of me for being a girl!

Sometime between September and October 1946 — a snappy response time by the day’s standards — Einstein replies:

I do not mind that you are a girl, but the main thing is that you yourself do not mind. There is no reason for it.

 

Source: Brain Pickings - Women in Science: Einstein’s Advice to a Little Girl Who Wants to Be a Scientist

 

 

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Couple starts backyard garden – now growing for farmers markets in Beverly Hills

Is it possible to turn a passion for home gardening into a career growing for farmers markets? Such is the hope of Jennifer Little and James Imhoff, who gave up successful jobs to start Little Farm Fresh in their San Gabriel yard. They have gained a cult following for their unusual heirloom produce, including cape gooseberries, Black Cobra chiles and Richmond Green Apple cucumbers, and believe that their goal — “spending time together doing what we love” — is within sight.

They met as high school sweethearts in Palmdale 19 years ago and stuck together after he was injured in a car accident. A decade ago they bought a home a few blocks from the San Gabriel Mission, and Little attended Los Angeles Trade Technical College. She became a pattern maker for a local wedding dress designer, Camille DePedrini, while he worked his way up to be lead stage manager for Sunset Bronson Studios.

But his health suffered as the job forced him to work up to 100 hours a week, and she longed to spend more time outside in the garden. Two years ago they started offering their garden’s bounty with a small delivery service. Still, it was only after a stroke of luck — a horse in which they had just bought a share, TJ’s Passion, won its first race at Golden Gate Fields — that they felt inspired to take a risk.

 

Keep reading to learn how they finally arrived - “Two years ago we were digging up the lawn in our San Gabriel yard, and now we’re selling in Beverly Hills”

L.A. Times - Market Watch: Passion for gardening leads to Beverly Hills

 

 

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Open position – Data Artist – see a story from chaos and communicate it visually

Bitly is seeking a Data Artist:

We have a lot of data. Uniquehilariousimportant data.

We’re looking for a talented designer to work with our data science team to tell the stories in our data in a beautiful and witty way.

Our ideal collaborator can see a story from chaos and communicate it visually, and has experience creating simple designs that communicate complex data in a variety of different media.

You’ll be working on everything from product design to interactive widgets to print design with media partners, so be flexible and excited to take on new challenges.

Our team is a bunch of quirky computer scientists, physicists, and mathematicians. You shouldn’t be afraid of math and code!

If this sounds great to you, send us a few samples of your work along with a few reasons why you would like to join our team. We’re looking forward to meeting you.

via – Bitly

Facebook Programming Challenge – solve a challenge, get a phone interview

 

How does this work?

Take the timed challenge. If your code passes the test, you will be contacted for a telephone interview. If your code is too similar to another applicant, you will both be disqualified, so please don’t share or post your answers online.

What position are these tests for?

These are for various positions in our Software Engineering department. You can check them all out here.

 

Take the Facebook Programming Challenge!

Careers on the ocean

A post from Aaron Hartmann, a marine biologist, describes some of diverse of ocean-related jobs out there:

Fisheries observers: Want to improve your sea legs? Fisheries observers live aboard fishing boats and ensure that the animals being harvested are big enough and not in numbers exceeding legal catch limits. Their work is critical for managing ocean harvesting in order to ensure that we don’t drive species to extinction.

Oceanographer: Open-ocean ecosystems, deep-sea communities, hydrothermal vents, oxygen minimum zones, garbage patches, currents, winds, and global seawater circulation—oceanographers do it all (not surprising given their title).

Engineers: Submarines, remote sensing buoy systems, remotely operated underwater vehicles and ocean-scanning satellites—engineers make them all. Thanks to their work, we are constantly going deeper and farther, discovering more about the ocean’s unknowns.

Aquarist: The survival of animals that live in public aquariums worldwide depends on professional aquarists. These people know more about what makes marine critters happy than anyone else, and I know this from experience. Working alongside aquarists at Birch Aquarium, I’ve learned an incredible amount about corals over the past few years.

via Science Minded (w/ 4 more careers)

Today is International Women’s Day – celebrate and show your support

Today is International Women’s Day. Celebrate all the wonderful women in your life!

Also, take some time to help support an issue:

Women in the U.S. make 81 cents to the dollar men earn doing the same job. 

Nearly 50 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, on average women are still paid less than their male counterparts for doing comparable jobs in the U.S. — that’s called the pay gap. It means that each time the average woman starts a new job, she’s likely to start from a lower base salary than her male counterparts.

Just as interest compounds, so does the pay gap. As a woman moves from job to job during her career, the pay gap between her and her male colleagues is likely to become wider and wider.

Personal financial advisors and legal occupations suffer the largest gender pay gaps. Personal and home care aides and special education teachers have the smallest pay gaps.

Unequal pay isn’t just unfair, it’s illegal. But unless men and women who have the same job discuss what they’re getting paid, unequal pay can go unaddressed indefinitely.

via Narrow the Gap

 

Learn more and join in:

 

Google Doodle for International Women's Day

The theory on career development: what psychology says about choosing your passion

In college I studied psychology and absolutely loved its theories. The field is so new and unknown that simply being able to describe how people behave is an accomplishment. Freud, the most famous psychologist, was really just a creative writer with a bit of fact.

I find something powerful in these theories. They allow me to make sense of a life that is often confusing and complex. For example, I recently fulfilled a dream by going from corporate blogger to personal blogger (this site).

It’s a great time for me but can be tough, and when I tell this to friends and family I receive a whole range of reactions, from support to disdain.

It becomes hard, at times, to find people to relate with. Most in my corporate network have trouble sympathizing with my new lifestyle, and I with them.

Complaining about your boss is no longer relevant to me, and hearing about annoying people at Starbucks seems petty to most.

It got me thinking about why this happens and I found an interesting psychology theory. One that applies to more than mid-career changes, but also to parents, teachers, and counselors.

Social Cognitive Career Theory

Social cognitive career theory (SCCT) represents an effort to extend Bandura’s social cognitive theory to the context of career development.

It is part of a revolution in psychology that believes people are an active agents in, and shapers of, their career development. This element of self-direction can be just as important as genetic and environmental factors, and puts an emphasis on self-exploration as a model for strong career decisions.

The theory draws on three basic constructs self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and goals.

Self-Efficacy


Self-efficacy refers to personal beliefs about an individual’s capabilities to perform . They are context-specific, meaning they change depending on the topic (e.g. I can be a writer, but not an engineer).

It is surprising how many of us have strong beliefs about careers “we know we cannot do,” but where do these thoughts come from?

They are thought to develop from four sources:

  1. Personal accomplishments
  2. Vicarious experiences
  3. Social persuasion
  4. Physical and emotional states

Remember that these are beliefs not actual actions and results. Many of us will not try something, that we could be great at, simply because at some point in our life we developed a limiting belief.

Outcome Expectations


Outcome expectations are acquired through learning experiences with a strong focus on the consequences of a behavior (e.g. what will happen if I do this?).

The difference between self-efficacy and outcome expectations relates to beliefs about performance and consequences.

Self-efficacy is the belief that one can execute the behavior needed to produce the desired outcome (performance).

Outcome expectation is a person’s estimate that a certain behavior will produce a resulting outcome (consequence).

These expectations are thought to develop from:

  • Performing that action in the past
  • Observation of the outcomes produced by others
  • Attention to self-generated outcomes (e.g. self-approval)
  • Reaction of others to outcomes
  • Sensitivity to physical cues during task performance (emotional disturbance, sense of well-being)

Goals

Goal-setting has been defined as deciding on specific outcomes of learning or performance. By setting personal goals, people help to organize, guide, and sustain their own behavior, even through overly long intervals, without external reinforcement.

Thus goals constitute a critical mechanism through which people exercise personal agency or self-empowerment.

The interplay between self-efficacy and outcome expectations is constant. The achievement of a goal increases self-efficacy and improve outcome expectations for the next time. Often creating a positive reinforcement loop, or, through failure to achieve a goal, a lack of new goals in a negative reinforcement loop.

One factor that seems to strongly effect goal-setting is specificity. One study found that those with high self-efficacy tended to set specific goals, whereas those with low self-efficacy tended to set vague ones.

Those with specific goals tended to achieve more, set more challenging goals, progress more, and evaluate personal progress more effectively.

Conclusion

Thinking about your own, or your children’s, self-efficacy is important. Do you think you can do it?

If not, what is stopping you, are you thinking about something that prevents you from trying it?

Do you set goals, specific ones, and do you feel comfortable doing so?

In my situation, I find myself living and dying by goals. I have to self-start my day and continue pushing through distractions.

Having a specific but challenging goal has defined my work. Even more, it guides me through tough times and when questions of self-doubt arise.

But, then again, I think I have a high self-efficacy and a strange lack of fear for the outcomes of my behavior. How about you, is there one area you excel in or have trouble with?

Sources: Career Choice and DevelopmentSelf-Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents, & Self-Efficacy, Motivation, and Outcome Expectation Correlates.

Photos: Cobalt123 (swimmer), Woodley Wonderworks (children’s table), Angie Torres (goal setting), & JJPacres (writing).

 

Funny business, a woman’s career

Funny business, a woman’s career – the things you drop on your way up the ladder so you can move faster. You forget you’ll need them again when you get back to being a woman. That’s one career all females have in common, whether we like it or not: being a woman. Sooner or later, we’ve got to work at it, no matter how many other careers we’ve had or wanted. And in the last analysis, nothing’s any good unless you can look up just before dinner or turn around in bed, and there he is. Without that, you’re not a woman. You’re something with a French provincial office or a book full of clippings, but you’re not a woman. Slow curtain, the end.

Margo Channing

from the movie All About Eve