March 29, 2015

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What if I Don’t Have a Passion?

October 20th, 2013

National Public Radio story: I know I’m supposed to follow my passion. But what if I don’t know my passion? LISTEN to the answer to the questions below…

As a fairly recent graduate of an Ivy League institution (with a bachelor’s degree), most of my classmates seemed to have some idea that career and life path choice should be driven by a “passion” such that the right choice is self-evident to the chooser. What does this belief mean to you as a social scientist? …

You may sense where this is going …

Assume I have no such passion. Furthermore, I am a fairly well-qualified young generalist.* What paths should most appeal to me if my goal is to maximize doing “interesting” work? Doing meaningful work? Achieving social status? (Which of these goals should be primary?) Need I try to develop a passion before selecting a life path/career, and if so, how do I do it?

All the best, Max

*Two years out with a BA from an Ivy League school. Top 10 percent of the class but not an academic rock star. A record of primarily reading/writing-intensive courses, as well as basic to intermediate economics, calculus, statistics, a proofs course. Time spent abroad in study and travel, though no foreign language fluency. Two years in the private sector with a decent amount of analytic and management experience, but without a big name behind it.

- Max Kornblith sent the question above to Tyler Cowen, an economist.

Posted by Sunny Klein Lurie, Fast Focus Careers

Find a Better Career

February 14th, 2013

Tough times can shake people’s faith in their ability to make a career change to something better. In the midst of a sluggish economy many people are staying in unsatisfying jobs where they are unhappy and under-employed. To pull free of the wrong job fit or find a rewarding career after a job loss, it’s time to rethink your approach. Here is one important step to take to begin the process of finding a better career.

Discover YOU: your strengths and passions.

Often individuals who thrive consistently have high self-awareness about their strengths and passions. Many successful people including Oprah and Richard Branson, Virgin Air have said a condition for great achievement is passion. When your strengths and passions are applied in your work, your potential and enthusiasm are limitless. People who use their strengths and talents are more than three times as likely to report an overall excellent quality of life.

Once you clarify your authentic strengths and interests, you’ll be a powerful force when interviewing and striving toward your career goals. Do not look for a new job before you identify your strengths because you are likely to become underemployed and mismatched in the wrong position.

So how do you determine strengths to select a path that is right for you? Begin by brainstorming what triggers your enthusiasm and what motivates you. Sit down in a quiet place to list 20 things you like to do. Then look for patterns. Do you prefer working with data, people, things or ideas. You may discover, for example it’s more important than you realized to be physically active and your work should not be behind a desk all day. Or you want to be around busy and loud environments, which might rule out a secluded one-person office. You’ll know a particular career is right when you are curious and enthusiastic about getting started.

Get clear about yourself by answering the following questions:

- What is one skill or strength you do well that you would like to use in your work?

- Which of your previous work results are you proud ofand what were you doing?

- What tasks and topics get your heart racing?

- If you could do one thing in your professional life that would have the most positive impact, what would it be?

After completing the questions, it helps to talk through your answers with someone. Talking about yourself with a peer helps to uncover patterns and shines a brighter light on your skills and interests. It is critical not to isolate during a career move; it’s the kiss of death. Sometimes what you need most is a person who believes in you. It’s interesting that other people often can see for us what we may not see for ourselves. Other people can push us through walls that block us, sometimes just by having a new set of eyes on the problem. Often creative ideas are born during discussions with a different perspective. Many times, all it takes is an encouraging word or new idea from a friend to move forward. But a career change is not easy and next time we will cover the next step to help you handle change.

by Sunny Lurie, Fast Focus Careers

Thinking About a New Career

January 13th, 2013

2178788631_4554876975-1A low risk way to test a new career is try it on the side. Many people want to experiment before leaving their full time job. Even if you are busy, “side launching” is a viable and effective way to begin your new career or business. These ideas can help you get going:

1. Be disciplined and consistent about the hours you choose to work on your idea. Is it from 5 to 7am before your family life or other commitments begin — or are late evening hours better? Are you carving out time on the weekends? Be honest and clear with yourself about where to find pockets of time and make it a part of your routine; your road to success will be faster.

2. Decide whether and when to tell friends, colleagues and your boss. You may be surprised by their enthusiasm and support. When I knew I was leaving Key Bank to begin my own company, I told my manager several months ahead and they were supportive.

3. Determine benchmarks for yourself that indicate when you would consider making your side work a full time venture. What would you be willing to sacrifice for a time if it meant being able to devote more energy to your new career? Be realistic but also be willing to go for it! Thanks to Ladies Who Launch for these ideas.

-Sunny K. Lurie, Ph.D.

10 Interview Tips from a Headhunter

July 17th, 2012

Whether you’re being interviewed to be an intern or a CEO, you’re going to run into a few notoriously tricky questions–here’s a road map of what you’ll be asked, and how to craft impressive answers to even the toughest questions. No two situations are ever exactly the same, but as a general guide, these are the types of questions that could come up in a typical interview.

1. Why don’t you tell me about yourself?

This question, often the interview opener, has a crucial objective: to see how you handle yourself in unstructured situations. The recruiter wants to see how articulate you are, how confident you are, and generally what type of impression you would make on the people with whom you come into contact on the job. The recruiter also wants to learn about the trajectory of your career and to get a sense of what you think is important and what has caused you to perform well.

Most candidates find this question a difficult one to answer. However, the upside is that this question offers an opportunity to describe yourself positively and focus the interview on your strengths. Be prepared to deal with it. There are many ways to respond to this question correctly and just one wrong way: by asking, What do you want to know? You need to develop a good answer to this question, practice it, and be able to deliver it with poise and confidence. The right response is twofold: focus on what interests the interviewer, and highlight your most important accomplishments.

Focus on what interests the interviewer

Do not dwell on your personal history–that is not why you are there. Start with your most recent employment and explain why you are well qualified for the position. The key to all successful interviewing is to match your qualifications to what the interviewer is looking for. You want to be selling what the buyer is buying.

Highlight Important Accomplishments

Have a story ready that illustrates your best professional qualities. For example, if you tell an interviewer that people describe you as creative, provide a brief story that shows how you have been creative in achieving your goals. Stories are powerful and are what people remember most. A good interviewee will memorize a 60-second commercial that clearly demonstrates why he or she is the best person for the job.

2. How long have you been with your current (or former) employer?

This is a hot-button question if your resume rejects considerable job-hopping. Excellent performers tend to stay in their jobs at least three to five years. They implement course corrections, bring in new resources, and, in general, learn how to survive–that’s why they are valued by prospective employers. If your resume rejects jobs with companies that were acquired, moved, closed, or downsized, it is still viewed as a job-hopper’s history. Volunteer and go to events where hiring authorities may be found. Ratchet up your networking to include anything that exposes you to hiring authorities who can get past your tenure issue because now they know you. Your networking efforts have never been so important.

3. What is your greatest weakness?

An impressive and confident response shows that the candidate has prepared for the question, has done serious self-rejection, and can admit responsibility and accept constructive criticism. Sincerely give an honest answer (but not a long one), be confident in the fact that this weakness does not make you any less of a great candidate, and show that you are working on this weakness and tell the recruiter how.

4. Tell me about a situation where you did not get along with a superior.

The wrong answer to this hot-button question is, I’ve been very fortunate and have never worked for someone I didn’t get along with.

Everyone has had situations where he or she disagreed with a boss, and saying that you haven’t forces the recruiter to question your integrity. Also, it can send out a signal that the candidate is not seasoned enough or hasn’t been in situations that require him or her to develop a tough skin or deal with confrontation. It’s natural for people to have differing opinions. When this has occurred in the past, you could explain that you presented your reasons and openly listened to other opinions as well.

5. Describe a situation where you were part of a failed project.

If you can’t discuss a failure or mistake, the recruiter might conclude that you don’t possess the depth of experience necessary to do the job. The recruiter is not looking for perfection. He or she is trying better to understand your level of responsibility, your decision-making process, and your ability to recover from a mistake, as well as what you learned from the experience and if you can take responsibility for your mistakes. Respond that you’d like to think that you have learned something valuable from every mistake you have made. Then have a brief story ready with a specific illustration. It should conclude on a positive note, with a concrete statement about what you learned and how it benefited the company.

6. What are your strengths?

Describe two or three skills you have that are relevant to the job. Avoid clichés or generalities; offer specific evidence. Describe new ways these skills could be put to use in the position you are being considered for.

7. How do you explain your job success?

Be candid without sounding arrogant. Mention observations other people have made about your work strengths or talents.

8. What do you do when you are not working?

The more senior the position, the more important it is to know about the candidate’s qualities that will impact his or her leadership style: is the person well adjusted and happy, or is he or she a company zealot? Discuss hobbies or pursuits that interest you, such as sports, clubs, cultural activities, and favorite things to read.  Avoid dwelling on any political or religious activities that may create conflict with those of the interviewer.

9. Why did you leave your last position?

At high levels, issues that relate to personality and temperament become more important than they might otherwise. The recruiter wants to know if you will fit in with the client company. The recruiter may also be fishing for signs of conflict that indicate a potential personality problem. Be honest and straightforward, but do not dwell on any conflict that may have occurred. Highlight positive developments that resulted from your departure, whether it was that you accepted a more challenging position or learned an important lesson that helped you to be happier in your next job.

10. Why do you want to work in this industry?

Think of a story to tell about how you first became interested in this type of work. Point out any similarities between the job you’re interviewing for and your current job. Provide proof that you aren’t simply shopping in this interview. Make your passion for your work a theme that you allude to continually throughout the interview.

by Russell S. Reynolds, Jr., with Carol E. Curtis, authors of Heads

Posted by Sunny K. Lurie, Fast Focus Careers

Key words interviewing, career change, career counseling, job search



Tips for a Career Journey

June 1st, 2012

Dear Class of 2012:

As you head into the post-academic world, you have an opportunity to focus on your own career destiny and I encourage you to tap the power you have within you. You earned your degree with a tremendous amount of effort, time, and, more than likely, a big financial investment that may also translate into significant student loan debt. As you begin your career journey, I share this wisdom to help you find your way in the world-of-work.

Your First Job Won’t Be Your Last: Studies show that adults change careers five to seven times throughout their working lives. So, test drive jobs and see if they are career worthy and don’t settle for roles that don’t play to your strengths. Your first job out of the gate is a single step on a lifelong career path and you have the right to change your mind as often as you like.

Networking 90/10 Rule: You know how important it is to build your professional community and connect with people to tap the hidden job market. Plan to spend 90 percent of your time being seen and heard so others can consider you for opportunities. Social media is a great way to network but only spend 10 percent of your time behind your computer so you maximize in-person connections that will distinguish you beyond the competition.

The Zig Zaggers: Since career changing is expected, understand the power and the liability of Zig Zagging when changing jobs often. You will be perceived as a flight risk if you don’t stay in a job long enough to earn your worth but you can also be a wealth of new ideas for an organization that needs your skills and experiences. Consider your movement wisely and understand the career world is small — never burn a bridge and maintain professional connections especially when you move away from a job.

Empower your Network: In addition to the graduation well wishers, your friends and family are probably asking how they can help. Accept their gracious offers and tell them what you do well so they know how to connect you with their circles of influence. If you have specific organizations you want to work for, ask your network to check their Rolodexes and LinkedIn connections to see if they can make a personal referral. Share your strengths story so your network has an easy to remember conversation to share with others that illustrates what makes you unique and employable.

Be a Skills Agent: It’s OK if you still don’t know exactly what you want to do career wise. This is the time for informational interviews and test driving. But, you must have a clear picture of your professional strengths and competencies so recruiters and employers can help you fit into a role in their organization. Don’t focus on job titles but rather focus on concrete skills examples that illustrate what you do well.

Are You LinkedIn?: With 150 million members (that number grows daily) LinkedIn is the number one professional networking resource out there. Recruiters and headhunters troll this site regularly searching for new talent. Fill out your profile in total, use a professional photo, and seek out recommendations to endorse you for specific skills and accomplishments. Join Groups, participate in discussions, and use this tool often and to your best advantage. A dormant LinkedIn account will do you no good.

Be Your Own Best PR Agent: You should be packing your resume, personal business cards, and your professional portfolio with you everywhere you go. Seriously, you need to become your best self advocate and be ready to discuss how you bring value to an organization at all times. You are responsible to market yourself and in this ultra competitive market, there is no such thing as top of the class entitlement. I don’t care where you minted your degree or how high your GPA is — you must be able to showcase what you do well in an articulate conversation and demonstrate your emotional intelligence and your strengths.

Take a Risk: So perhaps your dream job does not materialize right off the bat but another opportunity does surface. Take a risk, try something new, and expand your comfort zone. You may just find something you love and an accidental career you would have never considered otherwise. The greatest risk is not taking one at all. You are also more employable when already employed.

Be a Solution Provider: It’s easy to go into the job search focusing on what you want. While that is important you must also be a solution provider. In our current economy you may land contract or temporary work that leads to full-time permanent work so be industrious and lead with I Believe I Can Help You…and provide a solution to an issue or concern.

Be Resilient:One of the most sought after competencies by employers is the ability to deal with adversity and change. It’s tough out there in the real world and it doesn’t get any easier once you land a job. Showcase your resilience and be ready to discuss how you have overcome challenges, including how you are dealing with a tough job market. Proving you are resilient may land you an opportunity.

The Class of 2012 is the succession plan for the future. You have the opportunity to identify your passion, carve out a niche for yourself, and thrive in a career knowing that you can always change direction. Create relationships with influencers and connectors and be ready to talk about what makes you unique.

Celebrate the successes you have earned — I am cheering you on all the way. Now the tougher journey has begun but I have confidence that you will succeed if you assume the responsibility and take the power you have and use it wisely.

by C. Dowd Higgins, Huffington Post

Posted by Sunny K. Lurie, PhD.
CEO, Fast Focus Careers
Key words: Career management, career counseling, career planning, career change

Projects are the New Job Interviews

May 29th, 2012

Resumes are dead. Interviews are largely ineffectual. Linked-In works. Portfolios are useful.

But projects are the real future of hiring, especially knowledge working hiring. No matter how wonderful your references or how well you do on those too-clever-by-half Google brainteasers serious firms will increasingly ask serious candidates to do serious work in order to get a serious job offer.

Call them “projeclications” or “applijects.” World-class talent will engage in bespoke real-world projects testing their abilities to deliver real value on their own and with others. Forget the “What’s Your Greatest Weakness?” interrogatory genre; the real question will be how well candidates can rise to the “appliject” challenge and help redesign a social media campaign, document a tricky bit of software, edit a Keynote presentation, produce a webinar or peer review a CAD layout for a contract Chinese manufacturer.

Exploitive? Perhaps. But most organizations have learned the hard way that no amount of interviewing, reference checking and/or psychological testing is a substitute for actually working with a candidate on a real project. I know advertising agencies that have an iron-clad, inviolable rule that they will only hire creatives who have successfully done freelance work with an account team. Similarly, a fast-growing Web 2.0 “software as a service” company doesn’t waste its time asking coding candidates trick questions during job interviews; they have potential hires participate in at least two “code reviews” to see what kinds of contributors, collaborators and critics they might be.

Sometimes these sessions effectively pit a couple or three candidates against each other. But there’s nothing fake or artificial about the value they’re expected to offer. These organizations treat hiring as part of their on-boarding process. Hiring becomes more holistic rather than “over the wall.” More importantly, everyone in the enterprise now “gets” that people only get hired if and only if they deliver something above and beyond a decent track record and social graph.

Ethically, the most interesting behavior I’ve observed is that firms exploring “projeclication” hires aren’t asking for free labor. They’re paying below-market rates for their candidate’s insights and efforts. If I were a 20-something coder or a forty-something marketer, I’d undeniably have mixed feelings about giving my best efforts for discount compensation. That said, it’s worth something to know what it’s like to really work with one’s colleagues on a real project as opposed to the all-too-misleading charade of iterative interviews. To my mind, this approach is an order of magnitude more ethical than the “free” and unpaid internship infrastructure that has gotten so out of control in so many industries.

But just as many organizations have grown more skillful conducting Skyped interviews and using web-based quizzes and questionnaires as qualifying screens for candidates, my bet is we’ll soon see new genres of project-based hiring shape enterprise human capital portfolios. Facebook and Linked-In are obvious venues for “app-sourced” — that’s “app” as in applicant, not application— business project design. Increasingly, project leaders will design milestones and metrics that make incorporating job candidates into the process more seamless and natural. College graduates, MBAs and older job candidates will learn how to sniff out which “applijects” are genuine invitations to success and which ones are sleazy bids for cheap labor. In the same way job candidates learn how to interview well, they’ll get the skills to “appliject” well because they understand how to optimize their influence and impact within the constraints of the project design.

Ultimately, the reason why I’m confident that “projects are the new job interviews” is not simply because I’m observing a nascent trend but because this appears to be a more efficient and effective mechanism for companies and candidates to gain the true measure of each other. Designing great applijects and projeclications will be a craft and art. The most successful utilizers will quickly be copied. Why? Because the brightest and most talented people typically like having real-world opportunities to shine and succeed.

Should your next hire come from a great set of interviews and references? Or from knocking your socks off on a project?

by M. Schrage, research fellow at MIT, Sloan School
Posted by Sunny K. Lurie, PhD.
CEO, Fast Focus Careers
Key words: Career management, career counseling, career planning, interview, career change

Harvard Bus. Review, Work Today

April 23rd, 2012

Recently published, The Corporate Lattice, Harvard Business Review Press; August, 2010 defines an emerging model more suitable for today’s workforce. At the heart of the lattice organization is a customized workplace that provides agility and options for both employees and employers. Individuals have more than one way to get ahead — and even more than one way to define what get ahead means. For employers, these options create strategic flexibility and drive greater employee engagement, resulting in superior performance.  The book’s three key components or “lattice ways” involve:

  1. How careers are built. Depicting career paths as multi directional with moves up and down, as well as diagonally and across. Success is defined and achieved in a multiplicity of ways.
  2. How work gets done. Shifting from nine-to-five, in-the-office to results-driven work through a hybrid of remote and physical locations and communication methods.
  3. How participation is fostered. Moving from top down to “all in,” as technology enables relationships, teamwork and collaboration that can no longer be constrained (or controlled) by the traditional rules of hierarchy.

The pace of change is faster. Organizational structures are flatter. Companies are much easier to see into. Careers zig and zag. Work is done whenever and wherever. Information flows in every which way. And performance and productivity are more dependent upon a highly educated workforce– much more diverse in every respect than ever before.

Together, these changes are forever altering the traditional assumptions on which the prevailing corporate ladder and the command-and-control, top-down management style that defines it were built. In the new book, Deloitte, Vice Chairman and Chief Talent Officer C. Benko and Deloitte Services, Director of Talent M. Anderson make a compelling case that it’s time to dismantle the metaphorical ladder.

The authors show that organizations are indeed making lattice investments — Web 2.0 technologies, career pathways, remote and virtual work sites, social networking, workplace flexibility, inclusion programs, etc.–but through the lens of corporate ladder thinking. These companies are responding with ad hoc, siloed and reactive efforts that fall short of the desired results by failing to also address the underlying “ladder” mindset and structures. By providing a framework to integrate these efforts, companies and individuals alike can visualize the shift and have greater clarity about the changes underway, thereby making both existing and future investments more productive. – PR Newswire.   Added to Fast Focus Careers Blog by Sunny Lurie

Flexibility Beats Passion, Says LinkedIn Founder

March 1st, 2012

Listen up, job hunters…LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has pulled off something extraordinary in his book-writing debut. He has challenged a well-worn idea: the importance of letting your passions guide your  job hunt and replaced it with something better.

As far back as 1971, when the first edition of What Color Is Your Parachute? appeared, career coaches have been urging people to start by figuring out what they love to do most of all. Then, the conventional wisdom says, figure out a way to spend your life in that field, whether it’s being a pastry chef or a hedge-fund trader.

That’s fine advice in a world where we settle into one career for most of our working lives, Hoffman and co-author Ben Casnocha argue in the newly published The Start-Up of You. But, the authors  point out, such a world doesn’t exist any more. Opportunities come and go at an astonishing speed.

For example, you might graduate from college and then head off to India to be a public-health specialist. If that didn’t sustain you, you could spend the next decade collecting an MBA and then giving management consulting and government service a try.  Even those might not be your final destination; you might uproot yourself once more to become a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.

Such zigzags shouldn’t be seen as fumbled attempts to solve the passion question,  Hoffman and Casnocha argue. Instead, they say, bouncing around in the job market is healthy, normal” and maybe even optimal.

The most important virtue, in their eyes, is adaptability. You may have some early ideas about what looks most fulfilling, and you shouldn’t disregard those hunches entirely. But you won’t really know your passions until you discover what you’re really good at, and what pursuits are being rewarded. or at least tolerated in the marketplace.

In short, the authors say, “you don’t know what the best plan is until you try.”

Building up LinkedIn, as a social network focused on people’s work identities, proved to be a perfect fit. But even that isn’t Hoffman’s final destination. He’s LinkedIn’s chairman but not CEO these days, and spends much of his time as a venture capitalist at Greylock Partners.

For people who aren’t going to soar that high (which happens to be 99.9% of the book’s likely readers), Hoffman and fellow entrepreneur Casnocha offer a series of down-to-earth maxims. Most of the advice is quite good, though a few pointers seem forced. Among the authors’ suggestions:

- Develop an ABZ plan, where A is what you’re doing now, B is a logical next step, and Z is your fallback plan in case nothing goes right. Keep that safe landing spot in mind, and you can take more risks without being one step away from calamity.

- Maintain an identity separate from specific employers. Hey, it’s 2012. Even the best jobs can come and go, as General Motors, Kodak and a host of other companies keep proving. Whether you’re in sales, strategy or pastry decoration, the authors urge you to  Develop a public portfolio of work that’s not tied to your employer. That way, if one job becomes a cul de sac, you can still keep moving forward.

- Explore new career possibilities via side projects at first. That way you can safely discover if this year’s hobby might become next year’s main source of income. Move up Move down

- Hang out with people who are already the way you want to be. This advice, of course, is tantamount to a plug to join LinkedIn and become an active networker, poster, etc. But it’s a valid idea anyway.

There’s a sunny quality to “The Start-Up of You” that comes from the authors’ decision to focus on the most successful examples of the principles they espouse. (That former World Bank staffer in India, by the way, turns out to be Sheryl Sandberg, now the chief operating officer of Facebook.) If some people have remade their professional identity too many times like itchy drivers constantly switching lanes on the highway, we don’t hear about them.

But Hoffman and Casnocha finish strong. They point out that the adaptive, entrepreneurial spirit that they champion is found in some of the world’s most prosperous and harmonious countries. When immigrants uproot themselves to get to the U.S. or other places where the entrepreneurial spirit is strongest, they validate the power and the appeal of an adaptive path.

By G. Anders, Contributor

Posted to blog by Sunny K. Lurie, Fast Focus Careers (statements I strongly agree with I’ve put in bold face)

Should I Stay or Go With My Passion?

February 14th, 2012

I recently read a delightful series of “Life Reports“ published by New York Times columnist David Brooks. In these reports, Brooks asked people over the age of 70 to reflect on their lives, what made them successful, happy, sad, regretful, hopeful, etc. Not only were the reports fascinating to read, but they also got me thinking about the decisions I have made in the past year and the changes that I have made in my life.

After college, I joined Teach For America as a high school math and special education teacher. I cared and still care deeply about education inequity; however, I realized early on that teaching full-time was not for me. At all. In fact, I realized that everything I had planned for myself (grad school, academia, policy advisement) was not for me. I wanted to sing! Act! Write!

What was I to do? Was I being selfish? Was I being irresponsible? I think not. Six months later, I am not only still pursuing my career, but I am also working for two different arts education organizations in New York City. With one, I, along with other company members, use theater as a means for educating youth about HIV/AIDS, sex education, bullying, and a host of other issues. In another job, I run an after-school singing club that uses leadership skills as the basis for its curriculum. And yes: I still audition, perform, and write my own music all around the city!

All this is not just to say that life is great or easy; rather, it is to convey the idea that you can follow your passion and deal with issues you care about. Care about medicine but really would rather sing than be a doctor? Want to end world hunger but really want to do ceramics? Want to be an advocate for kids but creative writing interests you much more than a JD? Well, you don’t have to go down that unwanted path. Here are my three nonscientific R’s that I have found to be extremely helpful:


It’s important to take time and think about what we really want. In our fast-paced society, most of us are always in a rush and rarely take the time to reflect on what we are doing. Are you doing things because you love them? Because other people think you should do them? Because of prestige? For financial security? There are no right or wrong answers to these questions; what is most important is that you are able to answer these questions honestly to yourself. At that point you can actually begin to assess what is most important to you and whether or not you are truly striving toward the things you value most. For some, that will be financial security. For others, it will be happiness. And for many, it will probably be a mix of both. But once you truly reflect on what it is you actually would love to do, then you can start trying to center your life around that goal.


So, you know what you want to do, but there are a few problems in the way: college loans, kids at home, parents need financial help, your pedigree might fall. These are all issues that worry many of us; however, we can never go after what we really want if we spend our entire lives putting our passions on the backburner. Also, most of us don’t have to deal with all of these issues at one time, but the older we get, the more responsibilities we will have. Why not be bold while we’re still young and don’t have as many financial burdens that come with building families?


Reward yourself. No, I don’t mean go on shopping sprees and vacations that you cannot afford. I’m suggesting that you look at what you love, whether it is music, writing, sports, or medicine, and make it a part of your life. If you like music but are not in a position to go fully into the music industry, make sure you treat yourself to a concert or two. If you love writing but can’t leave your consulting job, make sure that you give yourself an hour or two on the weekends to fulfill that passion. You work hard. Maybe you cannot make the big jump to a new career, but you still deserve to incorporate your passions into your life.

These have been helpful to me, and I hope that they can be somewhat useful to you. Happy living.

By: Lumumba Seegars

Added to Fast Focus Careers Blog by Sunny Lurie

Update Your LinkedIn Privately

September 1st, 2011

Question:  I am not actively looking for a job, but I want to make some significant changes to my LinkedIn Profiles so that I am branding my skills and experience in the best way possible. I’m worried that my LinkedIn activity will be seen as a ‘red flag’ to my employer and lead them to think I am actively searching for a new job. What should I do?

Answer: Great question! As more and more individuals begin to use LinkedIn (approximately 120 million people currently), the changes you make to your profile could be potentially shared with many individuals. Some of the changes you might make in LinkedIn like adding a new job position, adding a link to a website, recommending an individual or adding a connection send out ‘activity broadcasts’. In your situation, you do not want to share those changes with your connections.

The easy way for you to make changes to your profile that others don’t see is by managing your privacy control settings. You have the ability to manage those activity broadcasts (i.e. turn them on or off) and select who can see your activity feed. Keep in mind that joining a group will generate an update that cannot be turned off .

Here is a helpful link on how to show or hide your LinkedIn activities.

As with all of your information that is accessible via the web, make sure you understand what others can and cannot see (and understand the implications of someone viewing that information) before you add or change information about yourself.

Answer supplied by Amy Wolfgang.

Dr. Sunny Lurie photos by Perkoski