That means working
- for more than one company at one time
- online and in virtual teams
- with greater freedom
- on our communication skills and being clearer about what we need and want done
- in different spaces, at home and co-working.
This article explores the changing dynamics from our need for greater flexibility and control in our working lives. It suggests we are moving towards a freelance economy, with predictions that one in three people will be working online, independently, by 2020.
That means working
Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's famous investigations of "optimal experience" have revealed that what makes an experience genuinely satisfying is a state of consciousness called flow.
Flow is the mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity. In essence, flow is characterized by complete absorption in what one does.
For a review of Mihaly's concept and book "Finding Flow" go to
An interesting study based on North Korean research.
The results are not unexpected as when they reduced the working hours, they did not reduce the workload.
But it does beg us to ask- Would your life be better if you worked less? Could you accomadate the reduced pay if it meant more time to do the stuff you love?
The first piece outlines how to master LinkedIn from the basics to more advanced approaches.
The next piece is some handy hints on the etiquette of LinkedIn, presented as an infographic, so it's easy to share with office colleagues or use in training.
And my own advice when career transitioning:
Transition can be isolating , so find a group, join meet-ups and associations, and use LinkedIn for increased networking, sharing ideas and engaging with others for mutual support.
A great article from Women's Agenda by Pip Marlow and her reflections on learnings in the workplace and beyond.
I particularly like her reference to spending time on what we can control and less on things we can't.
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Ok - so you've worked out what you want to do and need to stay in your current role for a while longer...but you hate it. So how do you survive, be productive and a nice person to be around?
Shawn Achor is the author of The Happiness Advantage. He works at the intersection of human potential, success and happiness. This TED talk describes how to increase happiness and meaning, raise success rates and profitability, and create positive transformations that ripple into more successful cultures.
This list is surprising and inspiring...think Cononel Sanders and Ronald Regan and you'll be on the right track.
There are a number of diagnostic tools available to help you determine what your preferred learning styles could be. Learning style theories in adult careers form a part of a much bigger range of concepts and other content concerning personality and self-development, so make use of these to help find a theme or trend that can assist you further. As with any diagnostic tool, the advice is to not solely rely on this to make a decision.
VARK is a guide to learning styles built around a short questionnaire developed by Neil Fleming.
If you dream about a different career, but have not acted on this dream it may be because you have been put off by the myths we subscribe to or the mind games we play on ourselves when it comes to change.
Once we get to our midlife there are many reasons we tell ourselves why we shouldn’t take the risk, but there are more reasons why we should confront those assumptions. Read on and lets explore how the myths, combined with the mind games, can be the biggest impediment to a career transition.
I’m too old to change
Ok lets confront this myth head on, the feeling that it’s too late to change or that you just can’t change. By our midlife we can honesty say we have worked hard to get to where we are and it’s challenging to think about change, especially when it’s wrapped up in the fear of starting again.
But big changes are possible and what often need’s changing is our entrenched beliefs about ourselves and our abilities. Remember beliefs are just thoughts that have been reinforced over time from our families, culture and our situation. But what’s the alternative if we are empty and unhappy.
I think its time for a light bulb joke: “How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb? One but the light bulb has got to want to change.”
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not naive about age discrimination in the workforce. It does exist and it’s real as many employers don’t consider older people for advertised roles and perpetuate the view that older employees won’t change or learn new things. But we can counter these expectations by making sure we have upgraded our skills, especially when it comes to technology.
In the end this is not hard- the hard part is confronting what’s holding us back. What’s the mind game we are playing when we would rather not confront the fear of what comes with change?
I’m being selfish by thinking about a career change
There are two aspects to this one.
The first is the belief that you should be happy with what you’ve got. It’s a tough job market out there and the economy, we are often told, could go through another crisis any minute. So basically who are you to be thinking about change now?
Lets tackle the ‘its tough out there so keep your head down’, which is constantly reinforced through news about downsizing and outsourcing.
There is no doubt that the economy is changing and employment and hiring practices have changed.
But what’s makes it tougher is the mindset that we don’t need to change too. If we hold onto old beliefs and practices then we’ll not be as effective in transitioning across roles.
But even more fundamental than this, is the belief that we are being selfish to want more - more satisfaction, more happiness or more meaning from our careers and that stops us from even attempting to make change.
This shows up for midlife women who were taught from a young age to put others first and reinforced by the superwomen phenomenon– you’ve seen this and probably experienced it. We can do it all - look after families, be a great partner and daughter and be effective at work, maybe even help out in the community or at our children’s schools….
And then if there’s anything left over we’ll take that for ourselves. Well that’s clearly a recipe for burn out and exhaustion.
We must prioritise ourselves. Only then will others around us be happy. I didn’t say be selfish but we can go for win- wins.
There’s one perfect job out there for everyone
The bad news is that this is the single biggest myth of the 21st century. There’s one thing out there that you are supposed to be doing that will make life perfect… you just need to find it!
Well good luck. How long have you been searching for this perfect role that will match all your interests, skills and personality?
Worse still we end up being paralyzed with fear after we’ve spent all this time looking for the perfect job only to feel disappointed when we land roles that just don’t fit. Think about the mind games we play about 3 months into that new job, just around the time when we have to front up to the probation review.
The good news is that the question is wrong. What if it’s not one job- one role- one place? What if you don’t have to choose one thing?
What about thinking about exploring and creating a lifestyle that meets our needs and then think about how work fits around this?
What’s the best thing for me to do now?
It’s the most common question we ask ourselves, we weigh up the pro and cons to come up with a logical, analyzed and well thought out answer, based on loads of external input.
What if I said you can’t think your way out of this? What if I said that you can’t use the same thinking that got you into this, to get you out of this. (Apologies to Mr. Einstein for this mangled paraphrasing).
What if you don’t start this process with your head but with your heart?
What if the solution is not external to us. What if finding your career sweet spot requires you to spend time with yourself. To be curious and to explore those things you love doing, that you’re good at and that fit your values.
And don’t panic when you don’t know immediately how this will happen.
This will grow and evolve as you identify those strengths and match them with what’s important now.
By getting clarity on what you could be doing and matching this with the lifestyle you want, the answers will show up as the unconscious mind will look for opportunities to create the next steps.
Mind games are a funny thing when combined with our inner story. That thing you tell yourself about why you can’t transition into a new place.
Are the stories you tell yourself standing between you and the next great move?
Maria Simonelli is the creator of the Career Redesign Program and loves supporting people between 40-60 years old, seeking new possibilities to help them use their innate creative skills to solve their career dilemmas.
The Melbourne workshop program is open for bookings. Early bird rates close on the 20 September. For more information visit www.careerredesign.com.au
This insightful blog post starts with
"About a year and a half ago, I had an epiphany.I was in a job I enjoyed. The prospects were great. But I decided that I didn’t want it any more. I needed change. I seemingly became unemployable overnight."
And the conclusions are worth a read: