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Posts Tagged ‘Career Shifters

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It is hard for a start up to get started on their social media strategy because they can’t describe their fans

Earlier today, I posted a reworded version of Umair Haque’s 10 Sun Tzu Rules in the Networked World

The first rule gives new startups a lot of trouble. “Who are our fans?”

People going into their first job or making a career switch have the same trouble. How can we say who we work for when we know so little about them? When we are asked too abruptly to describe our future customers, we feel very anxious and tend to freeze.

Freezing in terror is a common psychological response to the unknown

Freezing falls into a common ‘class of problem’ that positive career psychologists can sort out for you. This is how we think about your predicament.

We are on the edge of canyon staring at a frayed rope bridge, and our eyes are naturally drawn to the long drop down. It is sickening.

But we have all heard the advice – don’t look down – and it is good advice.

The solution is to focus on what we have going for us

What we have to do is to take our eyes off the long drop down, and take stock. Take your eyes off that drop now, and look at your pockets.

What resources do you have? What is in your pockets? Do you have a map? And so on.

Feel better?

Now we want to keep our focus on what is going for us

A tricks of the trade will help.

I found this version of an elevator pitch that will do the trick.

Hello, ____________(their name).  I’m ___________ (my name).

I heard/read in _______________ (source) that________________________________(event/issue).

Perhaps, ______________(co name) should consider__________________________(my brilliant idea.)

As _____________(informal/formal position), I __________________________(achievement/activity).

And ________________(result).

So what do you think?

Thank you.  I would like to continue this conversation. Here is my card.

And we should spot a solution quite readily

I am sure your potential customers can swimming into your imagination quite vividly. In fact, you are probably surprised (and impressed) by the clarity and detail that you imagine!

Did it work? Do let me know.

Oh, and do jot down a few scenarios down before you lose the pictures.   Then you can see if your social media strategy falls into place easily.

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Sleepwalking to work, through work, at work?

David Bolchover, who wrote The Living Dead: Switched Off Zone Out – The Shocking Truth About Office Life and guest posted for the Timesonline, wrote on his book blurb that he left corporate life to do something with his life!

I also got an email for an organization that specializes in Career Shifts – you know those awkward career changes when you are going to do something different. They quote Howard Thurman whom I am sure David would like too.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.”

British poet David Whyte says similarly:

“There is only one life you can call your own, and a thousand others you can call by any name you want.”

If you can’t bunk out to the nearest bookstore to look for one of his books of prose or poetry, spend part of Easter listing all the times at work and play that you have felt truly alive.

It would be great to hear which of those you could sneak into your work life . . .


To sneak good stuff into your job, look for Dr Rao speaking to Googletalk (on YouTube). There is no reason to be in job that is deadening.  But it might be way we “hold the conversation” that needs to change.

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