Industrial Myth 1: Career Fail Is Bad Luck


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Good morning, campers!

Today we will start our talk about Industrial Mythology. These are the tales we tell ourselves about working, originally dutifully passed down from generation to generation. Oh, the injustices laid at the door of Fortuna! (an image of the Roman goddess of luck, Fortuna, appears for you)  As if life was a thing that simply happens to people!

Here’s the truth: If you let life blow you around like a piece of driftwood, it will do just that. Yes, you will end up on some beach somewhere.

As a kid, I believed that somehow the winds of Fortune would magically blow me toward my “dream job”.  I believed in the myth of the “career ladder”. Just “start somewhere” and climb up from the bottom. This belief was the driver. All I did was unquestioningly follow lock-step grade to grade winning A after A and B after B. I was an excellent student. I got to the honor society, but I was totally unprepared for life after high school graduation (so, I went to college). By becoming life’s flotsam I handed my fate gift wrapped to the winds. Then, I complained to myself and commiserated with everybody who would listen about how “Life didn’t turn out the way I imagined it” and how all my teachers lied to me about “how things should be”.

The emotional reward was a seething sense of resentment against school which goaded my sense of “righteousness” into high gear. Feeling superior. Nothing like it in the world…The amazing thing is how many people in 2016, in the early 21st century still hang on to this tattered old medieval belief that a human being’s life is in somebody/something else’s control. This is straight out of that basic “crap-app” package that the “social factory”(the culture) installs into maturing mental operating systems (you).By merely “drifting” through life with fingers crossed you are handing your powers to decide what happens to you to Fortune’s tides. Next time, we’ll talk about how to “hack” Luck and make that driftwood into a surfboard.

 

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The One Skill New Grads Will Use Most


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My English teacher told me in high school that I probably would not make a living at all as a poet, though pithy words on paper sprang like a primal spring  out of me. That was the day I purposed to go into journalism, the left-sided sister of poetry. All I knew in my heart of hearts was that words on paper was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. How was I going to get it done? What I did not know was what I did not know. The one skill everybody will use after formal classroom days are done is seeking: mining sources for information on which to base the decisions we make in life.

Upon graduating from high school, unlike Malia Obama, I went straight into university intending to grow my embryonic career through acquiring the explicit skills necessary to become a professional writer. I considered Columbia Journalism School because the place is literally enmeshed in the publishing industry. Back then, before I knew anything about networking, I had an inkling that whatever profession you wanted to be into, it was a good idea to be where its denizens were rife. I was a quiet, dreamy soul who thought I was channeling Ida B. Wells. I had no idea what becoming a professional journalist meant in real terms except from television and radio. I had no idea what people like Barbara Walters suffered as a woman in journalism. Back then, blacks in journalism were almost unheard of. I had serious knowledge gaps and I had to fill them myself.

The nearest and dearest do not always make the best sources of information. Nobody warned me away or opposed my burying myself in researching best journalism schools on the east coast. Nobody I ever heard of in my neighborhood ever escaped “the ‘hood”to become anything other than homemakers, teachers or preachers. Education and the gospel ministry were good, solid professions. Broadway, The Washington Post and NBC were not. My Sunday school teacher told me point blank that the theatrical stage was not a good career choice for a Christian young lady. My high school guidance counselors never suspected that the newspapers and broadcasting was behind all that “looking it up”. They probably just figured I was just being my personality test-perfect bookish self. Perhaps they were thinking to recommend to my parents that I be  submitted to therapy to treat my introversion.

Did I go to journalism school? Yes, but not to Columbia. One of the reasons for this “fail” was not having information enough to make a strong case before my parents.

New professionals; dearest readers, information rules.One of the skills any new grad will use most often after formal classroom is  this: where and how to access and extract needed information from the mounds of information dug up. You will use this information to make the billions of little decisions every day such as where to work, political affiliation, diet, personal style, and how to create a life.

 

 

Skills You Got In School Worth Gold


 

new-college-grad-quoteNow that you have graduated from formal education, campers, all kinds of advice will be flying at you from all directions at light speed.

What you learned in school, at home and anywhere else is not the “whole truth”.

No one source on earth can ever be the sole font of truth. You have to test for the truth in all things for yourself. I have always made this a rule of thumb: Don’t believe everything you hear and half of what you see. In fact, right now, you may be questioning everything you have ever heard and doubting the validity of everything you have ever learned anywhere. You may even be disillusioned about the value of it all. Good! 

You are now synthesising knowledge for practical application to your life.

It’s a flashing headache! Don’t blame yourself for not understanding that life is like a 2 thousand piece puzzle scattered all over the floor without even a pencil drawing to guide you in putting it together.  Up to now, you probably learned math for math class and writing skills for English class. You were so busy earning good grades to pass the test to pass the course to get to the next higher course that you never thought about how to make a sensible whole of apparently unconnected information. School just crossed their fingers and hoped you would “get it” bye and bye–about the time you graduate. However, certain things you picked up in school are essential to the rest of your life. Such as…

  • Research: gathering information from many sources
  • Decision Making: justifying making a move based upon the results of your research
  • Focused attention: the ability to stay with an idea over an extended period of time until you get results. Focused attention is the one skill you will use to become an expert at what you do for a living. It is also the basic skill you will use to create what is called, “flow” –closely tied with cultivating a happy, satisfying life.

Congratulations on your graduation. Now, nobody but you have the responsibility to make wise decisions on your own about everything from maintaining good health to keeping a social life. Digging for and handling all kinds of information from unbelievably diverse sources is an essential life skill you will use the rest of your life. You see, formal education was just imbibing what society is obligated to hand down to you. That’s just background. You now stand at the place of the beginning of your real education.

 

 

 

Free At 18! 6 Ideas To Rear Kids For Success


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Campers, this is the part of the program where The Administration makes its statement of the main idea and the “purpose driver” of this intercession.

In the summertime of my life, I was doing motherhood and at the same time preparing to teach elementary school. In those days, I struck upon the idea that bound my child rearing methodology together like a strong cord in a single statement: free at 18. This is what it means:

As “On Children by Kahlil Gibran “The Prophet”” by Kahlil Gibran says,

“Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you”.

  1. A parent’s job is to help the souls they bring into the world  to recover their heaven-given mandate and encourage their highest development before they depart from your immediate influence or “leave home” as it is commonly called.
  2. Progressively deepening, age-stage appropriate, positive life lessons in all areas of being human should be taught by example and by precept  using direct instruction, modeling and other ways and in several modalities. This is a parent’s mandate.
  3.  At specific times and at the end of life, an accounting of the satisfaction of the responsibility for this mandate will be required.
  4. The child has the right during their lifetime to question how she was reared and why.
  5. Educational systems exist as “experts” in  the intellectual training  portion of child rearing, acting as assistants to parenting. Schools should never be seen as taking the place of parents.
  6. Your children are spirit beings just as you are and have come to the earth with their own heavenly mandate just as you have yours.

 

 

 

 

Summer Camp:Welcome To The Workplace Jungle!


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Hello, Campers! Today is New Career Day.

Here’s an intergenerational conversation starter. Do you want to survive the first 90 days of your first job? Do you want to be tagged as “has potential”? Do you want not to be “firing fodder”? First, let’s talk about your head:

Get this: You are now just one more jobless adult.

If you did not get recruited into a job through those campus recruiters you met last month (will meet this month)you now have an identity situation in this society. The day you pried those cute but impossibly uncomfortable new shoes off your swollen feet, you became a grownup.You are not a student anymore. You are a grownup–an unemployed, jobless grownup. Go to “finding and keeping a job”, our next class. Suppose you did get recruited? Congrats! You are now a  first job, bottom-of-the box, new employee.

You are a newbie. New employees are paid newbie money.

I hope you did not expect to get the salary your supervisors get. Yes, they have been out of university  so long everybody on Facebook looks like kids to them. You look like a kid to them. Your business now is to prove yourself to them. You have to work a while (a year or so) and get successive positive performance reviews to get pay raises. It’s called, “paying your dues”, “longevity” or “tenure”. Oh, and yes, when you were quoted your salary, you were introduced to a few other new words: “compensation package”, for starters. That includes your pay, your perks, and your “bennies”(benefits), not just your adjusted pay. If you look at your check you may note that your take home pay is what you get minus Social Security, state, and federal income taxes taken out of your gross pay.

The Office of Personnel takes care of your issues now. 

Notice that  you are a new employee as opposed to an applicant. You may or may not have been informed of all this means except in the short orientation where you got all those pretty brochures and smelly papers to sign. I hope you were not asleep. Another thing–watch what you sign and what you check off on those forms. Read all that stuff about your insurance plan, payroll savings plan, profit sharing, union dues and the like very carefully. Ask Personnel questions about anything  you do not understand because they affect your check too.

Welcome to The Work Place Jungle!

Finals Are Coming! Graduates Ready?


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Welcome to Victoree’s Workplace Summer camp!

It’s the middle of April and that can only mean one thing–finals are coming.  This little season just after spring break and before final exams is dedicated to the fine art of “life readiness”. The next several posts will be dedicated to the flood of newbies coming to the workplace who will find out soon enough exactly what school never prepares young people for. Mama is going to “break it down” to optimize the chances of workplace survival. It’s a mimi cram course–sort of like an “interim semester”, so keep what you need and toss what you don’t.

Welcome to Life Skills Summer Camp–the early edition.

A Sense Of Purpose


Purpose

Purpose

“Purpose” is a hot button word these days. Human resource professionals to philosophers are abuzz with it. It’s eel slippery and everything is tied to it. It’s one of those concepts that the closer it is examined, the clearer it is. Then, it becomes clear as ice and disappears into everything. We study and obsess on the subject until it suddenly means nothing. Funny thing: when a strong sense of purpose is in place, everything else falls into order.

In my ministry to the weekly job club in my neighborhood, the number one prayer request is for Heavenly direction. We humans want to have confidence in the “rightness” of our decisions. We want to know for sure that our paths are straight to “the target”. Unfortunately, life is nothing like our left-brained imagination and will not cooperate with any of our straight-to-target plans. Who is brave enough to tell the truth about the real, crooked-as-a-dog’s-hind-leg paths we take to get to “where we are born to be” in life? This is the very reason so many methods to locate life purpose crop up every day–everything from drawing to channeling. The prophets mumble.

We get annoyed to distraction with the “trial and error” methods of discovering, pinning down and hog-tying that one thing we enjoy and do best that the world needs so much people will pay good money to have the service performed.  Remarkably, our perception of “purpose” and that “one thing” are as closely bound together as mace is to nutmeg.

Many look at “sense of purpose” as something that drops down on us from above. Others see it as something that is deeply buried and must be unearthed. Whether we catch it in a bucket or wrestle it out with a shovel, purpose is the keystone of life’s arch.

JOB HOPPER, JOB HOPPER, WHY DO YOU HOP?


Would you believe....?

Would you believe….?

The question is, “Why on earth don’t you settle down and get a job like a normal person?” Or, is it, “Why the **** (choose your own bad word) do you go from-job-to-job so much? Then there is the ever-refreshing, “Why can’t you keep a job?”

I just brought all this up (UGH) as the possible thinking behind the one question that scares applicants the most:”Why did you leave your last job?” Of course it must be answered. The potential employer does has a right to know, so, “Non of your beez-wax!”, although flipping like an Olympic diver on the tip of the tongue, is never the right answer. Oh, yes, there are “right answers” and none of them are:

  • My last boss was a jerk
  • It was a conspiracy against me
  • I lied on my resume
  • I stole millions from the company

Some people–some we even elected to positions of power–can really say that they bad-mouthed the boss, were the object of bullying, lied about having an MBA or stole #Big-Bucks from consumers, friends, family, and shareholders. Regardless whether or not they made the news for what they did, there is a way of handling it on the resume. If the immortals of imfamy can, so can all of us lesser lights. Of course, if there was an “incarceration event” (prison) it is better for the applicant to be candid about it then NOT GET TOO DETAILED. We humans become the stories we tell ourselves. Negative stories make for negative outcomes in interviews. Someone who has spent a substantial amount of time out of the workforce caring for a relative can actually tell that story provided it is short, to the point and told in a positive way. A military wife is not required to hide a lifetime of making multitudes of “homes on the base” in support of a spouse’s career in the armed forces.

The norm is that workers, especially younger ones, seldom stay at one job for more than 2-3 years. There is an unspoken rule, though. Frequent job change might be expected these days, but  the “hopping” has to suggest a thoughtfully planned array.

Heaven, the Racetrack and the Hamster Wheel


This Lenten Season, I have taken on a personal/professional growth goal: working through Dan Miller’s 48 Days To The Work You Love. To force myself out of my one cracking great weakness, procrastination, I borrowed the book from my local library instead of purchasing it immediately. Believe me, this is one work worth the shelf space. It is available in traditional print and Kindle version at Amazon.com . Currently, I am  at the point of defining for myself the words vocation, career and job. Why don’t we travel together in this journey awhile? It would be a hoot!

Career "The Racetrack"

Career “The Racetrack”

Career

We must have clear, personal meanings for vocation, career, and job since these words are too often used interchangeably. A closer examination using the Oxford English Dictionary shows just how farcically inaccurate doing that is.  Consider that the word, “career”, which comes to the English language from a 16th century French word, “carriere”:a “road; a racecourse”. In turn, the French word comes from the Latin, “caraia”:a track for wheeled vehicles. Its root is the Latin word, “carrus”, or, wagon. This is probably where we got the word, “carriage” and “car” from. So, a career is a racetrack–like the Roman Circus Maximums in the movie, “Ben Hur”. Don’t you love this rushing around and around in a circle? Nascar: that’s a career!

Samuel hears the call.

Samuel hears the call.

Vocation

Gazing deeply at the word, “vocation”, we see in the Merriam Webster Dictionary that this noun strikes one of the main chords in “passion” (another word bandied about these days in employment lingo).  Having a vocation means having a strong desire to be/to belong someplace or in something. Vocation has a “fixation” or object/place of desire. Until the employment profession co-opted the term, it used to mean the personal answer to a divine call toward living a life dedicated to serving in a priesthood. The word has roots in Middle English, Anglo-French and Latin–combining “vocare”, to call, and “vox”, voice. A person with a vocation hears a “call” to a specific kind of work and is in essence “saying yes” in answer to that divine summons. Drawn toward heaven: that’s a vocation.

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

The J. O. B. (just over broke)

Job

Last of all there is the word, “job”. A job is “a paid position of regular employment”, according to the Oxford Dictionaries. This noun seems to be the “one-dollar bill” of economic currency, embracing the idea of a “task” or a “responsibility” carried out on a regular basis. I cannot get a fix on exactly where this word comes from, but it sure carries a nasty connotation that focuses on every-day, basic, common, and even difficult and dirty tasks. It is even used as slang for paid criminal acts. Of all three, this is the word that has in its morphology become an action word. The hamster wheel:what we have to do every day to earn the salt…or the lettuce.

So, tell me…what is the definition of these words in your life?