Career Advice from Dog Sledding in the Arctic

Career Advice from Dog Sledding in the Arctic

Editor’s note: Congratulations to the winners of last week’s contest: LC, Allen Lucas, Kathleen Vallejos, Sharon Bove, Sharon C, Shaleen, Danielle Stevens, Jason Lai, Sophie Lizard, Hood, Annabel Candy, and Jim Hamlett.  Enjoy your subscriptions to The Sun Magazine and keep sharing the love!

On arrival in the Arctic

For a girl who grew up in Florida, the idea of dog sledding in the Arctic seemed a bit nuts.

But when I turned 40 last year, I found myself wanting to do something … different. I wanted to celebrate this milestone and the happier life I’m now leading. I wanted to stretch myself in new ways.

I suppose a part of me also wanted to prove that this party called life was just getting started.

It was everything I hoped for, minus the cake.

Not only did I create some amazing memories, I couldn’t believe how many career insights I brought home as souvenirs.

The good news is that you don’t have to go dog sledding yourself to add a little more thrill to your life and career. Here are the take-home ideas (and cool videos) you need to get excited and get going on your own adventure. (more…)

Forget Whistling While You Work-Let Your Heart Sing

Forget Whistling While You Work-Let Your Heart Sing

When you’re unhappy, you wonder: should you focus on improving your outlook or changing your situation?

Changing your outlook sounds easier and certainly less scary.  The positive thinkers will tell you to smile and the good feelings will find you.  Look for the silver lining.  It will all work out.

But after a while, positive thinking needs to lead to positive action.  It’s great to find a way to enjoy the job you’ve got in the short-term, but how do you know when to make the leap for the work you love?

Dave Hoskins may not have all the answers, but he has the experience.  He started playing guitar at age seven, but was convinced a career in music was too risky.   After twenty years of trying to “whistle while he worked” in other careers, he’s now got a great new band, named LYRE, and the confidence to let his heart sing.

We could all stand to take note.


What We Have Here is a Failure of Mentorship

What We Have Here is a Failure of Mentorship

T he numbers are staggering.

Worker satisfaction levels are the lowest ever recorded in 22 years of surveys.

In February, June, and October of 2010, the number of U.S. workers voluntarily quitting surpassed the number fired or discharged.

84% of those currently employed are looking for a new job in 2012.

I can’t help but wonder: how did we get here?  Wasn’t the knowledge economy supposed to be better?

It’s easy to point a finger at the unstable economy, to imagine the stress and workload that accompanies the employment turmoil is the real source of the problem.  However, my informal analysis based on the clients I’m seeing is that federal government workers (who comparatively enjoy a lot more stability and security) aren’t terribly fulfilled either.

It’s also easy to blame the “entitlement seekers” of Gen Y, except the unhappiness isn’t confined to a particular age group.

As I started talking to people, it seemed the real issue was a problem with mentorship.

And it’s a problem that’s been allowed to fester for a long time. (more…)

Don’t Gamble With Your Career: How To Find The Right Mentor

First of all, a huge thank you to the folks at Copyblogger, who published my guest post on the connection between social intelligence and blogging.  Check it out here.

And a big hello to all the new arrivals.  Welcome!

Suppose you’re a writer and you’re in search of the perfect mentor to take your skills up a notch.

Do you tap Stephen King or Jon Morrow?

Now suppose your son needs someone to teach him basketball.

Would you prefer Michael Jordan or the neighbor down the street who played for Duke?

Sadly, many of us would make the wrong choice.

Admit it.  You’re sometimes motivated by bragging rights more than learning.   You want to impress your friends and colleagues with the company you’re keeping.  A well positioned mentor seems to suggest you’re destined for the top of the food chain yourself.

And you justify it by saying: look how successful they are? They’ve sold a bazillion thingamabobs and they’ve been on Oprah.  Of course they’d be a great mentor!

Maybe, maybe not.  It’s important to distinguish between networking and growing.  Turns out there’s a lot more to choosing a mentor than just stalking the best name in your business.  (more…)

Rejoice! The Top 10 Benefits Of Being A Nobody

I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – Too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! They’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June —
To an admiring Bog!

Emily Dickinson

When you’re getting updates from hundreds of people on Facebook and Twitter and other social media sites, it’s easy to start feeling a bit inadequate.  Everyday it seems like one or more of your friends has launched a product, found a job, climbed Kilimanjaro, or done some other amazing thing you…haven’t.

So you start frantically trying to network, get your act together, and knock things off your bucket list.  You wonder if you aren’t dreaming big enough or being bold enough.  The more you try to “fix” the problem, the harder you are on yourself and the the more you start to feel like a Nobody.

So maybe you haven’t made it into the Guinness Book of World Records yet.  Maybe your achievements haven’t even made it into your parent’s Christmas letter.  Take heart.  Some of the most delightful people on Earth have been Nobodies too (like Emily Dickinson–well, at least for a while). (more…)

A No-Excuses Challenge To Brighten Your Workplace

A No-Excuses Challenge To Brighten Your Workplace

Editor’s note: Guest post by Dawn Lennon

I was working around the clock at a job where I was in over my head. My days were a maze of meetings, problems, and questions that I couldn’t answer. Lunch was a package of Twinkies or a dozen marshmallow Peeps.  I didn’t think anyone noticed or cared I was neglecting myself, until one day, Paula showed up at my office door with a bowl of hot soup and crackers.

She was the administrative supervisor, who, from that day on, made sure I ate lunch daily and kept an eye on my health, both physical and emotional. She showed me how much real comfort we can bring to our colleagues.

There’s always something we can do, wherever we work, to reach out. We often hesitate because we think we may be intruding, overstepping, or acting out of character. When we act from the heart, odds are that our gifts will be received gladly. (more…)