career advisor

Career Advisor

In The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work, Alain de Botton wrote about his experiences spending time with people working in a range of professions. While shadowing a career advisor at a career fair, he witnessed how infrequently the man’s advice was sought out by students:

“He spoke of how few people were willing to invest in his services, and how few of those engaged him for more than a single introductory session… Most people were resigned to spending their entire adult lives working at jobs chosen for them by their unthinking sixteen-year-old selves… A few passers-by picked up leaflets as they brushed past the stand, but most moved on in a hurry, headed for a defence contractor and a supermarket chain across the way.”

Alain concluded with a reflection on how indifferently our society perceives a career adviser:

Read more: Dying Slowly Or Unfurling Gracefully?

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stone to star

Surviving or Flourishing?

“Listen, are you breathing just a little, and calling it a life?” - Mary Oliver

Full immersion. It’s the recurring theme of Mary Oliver’s work. As a poet, she constantly invites and even provokes readers to question how fully they are engaged with their One Wild and Precious Life. If you applied her challenge to your work life, what answer would it evoke?

21 days ago I had a sabbatical from my usual routines and took part in a rewilding retreat with the tagline A chance to slow down for 20 whole days, live in a magical location and breath deeply. The respite from email, Facebook, mobile phone and computer, was a welcome break from all the surface noise. Having neglected to do a great deal of reading over the last few years, I savoured a couple of books, including Studs Terkel’s classic, Working - people talk about what they do all day and how they feel about what they do.

In an interview he held with a movie critic, she spoke of traversing a sea of unfulfilling jobs until finally landing something she loves. Reflecting on the pilgrimage she said, “I never felt they [office jobs] were demeaning, but they exhausted my energy and spirit. I think most people work at jobs that mechanize them and depersonalize them.”

Read more: Surviving or Flourishing?

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leadership types

Leadership: Selfless or Self-serving

“Each of us is a unique thread, woven into the beautiful fabric, of our collective consciousness.” Jaeda DeWalt.

It has been long maintained that the wisdom of the collective unconscious speaks to us by way of stories. In channelling what needs to be heard, artists act as modern day shamans who are best able to express the zeitgeist of an era.

In his book, Vital Signs, Gregg Levoy explains our culture’s fixation with vampires & zombies, “Part of the reason so many people are fascinated nowadays with vampires and zombies is our collective fear of being sucked of our life force, drained of our vitalities, and left in a bloodless and catatonic state...Most of us know, or have known, the experience of feeling like the living dead. Being at a job that, like a vampire, sucks the life out of you. School years spent staring zombielike into space and dreaming about the pleasures of the flesh or perhaps about freedom. Evenings spent clocking your statutory 4.8 hours of daily television. Being in a relationship in which you feel like a mere ghost of your full vital self."

While zombies might have top billing in escapist-oriented culture, it is sociopaths that are featuring most in more realism-based ones. Think Don Draper in the corporate world, Frank Underwood in the political realm or everyman Walter White in small town nowheresville.

how to start a small business

 

When exploring the question of how to start a small business, I typically invite people to start by exploring their heritage and the beliefs and values instilled in them. As Ted Hughes simply put it, “Before us stands yesterday.”

Read more: How To Start A Small Business

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