I always encourage lifelong learning, but now is absolutely the time to stretch out of our comfort zone to embrace the possibilities that this time of change presents. Stepping into change stems from hope….
When you see spontaneous social protests erupting from Tunisia to Tel Aviv to Wall Street, it’s clear that something is happening globally that needs defining. There are two unified theories out there that intrigue me. One says this is the start of “The Great Disruption.” The other says that this is all part of “The Big Shift.” You decide.
Paul Gilding, the Australian environmentalist and author of the book “The Great Disruption,” argues that these demonstrations are a sign that the current growth-obsessed capitalist system is reaching its financial and ecological limits. “I look at the world as an integrated system, so I don’t see these protests, or the debt crisis, or inequality, or the economy, or the climate going weird, in isolation — I see our system in the painful process of breaking down,” which is what he means by the Great Disruption, said Gilding. “Our system of economic growth, of ineffective democracy, of overloading planet earth — our system — is eating itself alive. Occupy Wall Street is like the kid in the fairy story saying what everyone knows but is afraid to say: the emperor has no clothes. The system is broken. Think about the promise of global market capitalism. If we let the system work, if we let the rich get richer, if we let corporations focus on profit, if we let pollution go unpriced and unchecked, then we will all be better off. It may not be equally distributed, but the poor will get less poor, those who work hard will get jobs, those who study hard will get better jobs and we’ll have enough wealth to fix the environment.
It’s an interesting phenomenon – the issues my clients face seem to come in waves. Recently I’ve seen several people who are struggling with horrible bosses and really lousy work environments. It makes sense, right? More people are more stressed at work that ever. Doing more with less, less turn around time to get things done, more emails, texts, etc coming at us than ever. But is this really unavoidable? Do you have to suffer in silence, take the abuse and then spread the negativity by talking it out with your friends and family; growling at the cashiers your encounter, drinking too much, or however else you deal with the nasty behavior of people who ‘control’ your working life?
You know what I’m going to say, right? No you don’t have to take it. Recently several clients of mine has decided that sticking it out in toxic work situations was not worth the risk of ruining their mental and physical health. They actually decided that, even without actual jobs to move to but with other options in the wings, to resign. Making the decision was scary, certainly, all things considered. But all things were considered, so clarity reigned. This is where the bravery lives.
I’m Mad As Hell and I’m Not Going to Take It Anymore!
The rise in the unemployment rate last month to 9.2 percent has Democrats and Republicans reliably falling back on their respective cure-alls. It is evidence for liberals that we need more stimulus and for conservatives that we need more tax cuts to increase demand. I am sure there is truth in both, but I do not believe they are the whole story. I think something else, something new — something that will require our kids not so much to find their next job as to invent their next job — is also influencing today’s job market more than people realize.
If you want to learn about success, talk to a successful person. If you want to learn about failure, talk to a very successful person. In his new book Fail Up, TV and radio host Tavis Smiley offers lessons on how to turn life’s setbacks into success.
2011 marks Smiley’s 20th year in broadcast — and that anniversary got him thinking: “The way I arrived at this place [of success] was failing my way — all the way,” he says. The book is sort of a Top 20 Worst-Of list: It details the 20 biggest mistakes of Smiley’s life.
Some of these mistakes were news even to Smiley’s close family. Before the Fail Up manuscript arrived at his parents’ house, Smiley called home to tell his mother and father they were about to read things they’d never heard before. Smiley was the first person in his family to go to college — but when he marched across the stage at Indiana University to get his diploma, he hadn’t really graduated. It technically took Smiley 16 years to get his degree; during college, he had been arrested and sent to jail for check fraud. “I couldn’t bring myself to tell my parents that I’d gone to jail while I was in college,” he says. “[Or] that I didn’t have a college degree.”
I had approximately 10 years of MarCom experience and had replied to an ad in the paper. I was called and asked to meet for an interview with one of 3 partners that owned the Portland, OR Public Relations-Marketing firm. I was really excited because the job was a great fit, close to my home and in my field.
I had been requested to meet at a local restaurant for breakfast. I was there early and he showed up about 20 minutes late, so my nerves were already frazzled. He looks right at me and says, “Oh this is never going to work out! You look just like my ex-wife.” So do I stay for breakfast knowing I am totally deflated and there is no hope…. I decide to stay and work at getting 3 contacts from him. No such luck! He was arrogant throughout the meal, not helpful, and never even looked at my resume or experience to discuss. Every time I drive past their offices, I shudder!