Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Think of Yourself as a Dog for a Moment

Again, you're a dog.

Life has taken a sharp downward turn. You've found yourself in 'short-term' accommodation and you need a new home. You know that you definitely have services to offer to a new family and that if you present them well you will be back into the good life.

What are those valuable services? Can you present them in one minute or less?

Yes, you can. And here's how they might look.

My saying that you should pretend that you're a dog was a gimmick, right? The principle works for people too.

My thanks to fellow dog-lover, Duane Borden, for sending me this video.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Canada's Brand Ranking as a Nation

As of a few months ago Canada came sixth overall out of 50 nations, after the US, Germany, France, the UK and Japan in the 2010 National Brands Index ranking. At the same time, the Canadian brand was first in the 'welcome' that we give to visitors to this country, and the Canadian brand is regarded as the world's most valuable.

According to Rosie Waites that middle figure, the one about welcomes, might well amount to already well developed abilities on the part of many of our people for providing excellent customer service and for making Canada one of the world's premier travel destinations. It probably also means that many of us are already able to tell others how to groom existing cultural traits that will serve new business.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

NO Big Trends in Canadian Job Tenure

Not for 35 years.

Job tenure is measured by the Canadian Labour Force Survey as the length of time in a job. Although a lot of people may have thought that there was a golden age not so long ago when large numbers of Canadians held just one job for life and that that age has now passed, Professor Stephen Gordon's analysis of the data indicates that, at least for full-time jobs, that is not the case. The broad patterns have remained “remarkably stable.”

For one thing, almost 50% of jobs last five years or less. Think of the stress!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Coping with Life's Upheaval Using Writing

As career developers we meet a lot of people who are struggling with emotional upheavals of one kind of another. Quite often, but not always, this upheaval is the result of being layed off. We sense that such people will find it difficult to do all the work that might be required to find the next steps in their careers whilst they are preoccupied with the past.

I am delighted to be able to say that there is a fairly straightforward technique that can help many of us in these circumstances. It requires nothing that you would not expect to find in any office, although I am sure it's worth studying the literature to get it right.

The basic idea is simply to get the client to write about an emotional upheaval of their own choice for about fifteen minutes to a half an hour on each of several days. Ask the client to be as uninhibited and expressive as possible. You do not review the writing; however, you might find it beneficial to support the client by asking for some form of verification that the work is done.

Professor James W Pennebaker provides a good summary.

I am indebted to the author of the ‘Barking Up the Wrong Tree’ blog for pointing me toward this information.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Do Not Think of a Hippopotamus

I want you to keep yourself from thinking of a hippopotamus for, say, the next five minutes. Go ahead, I'm watching you.

[Five-minute pause here.]

How did it go? How did you manage to avoid thinking of this unusual animal without ... er ... thinking of this animal?

If this predicament is new to you then perhaps you've never been someone given to unreasonable anxiety or worry. But if, like me, you know exactly what it's like to ruminate excessively over old life crises or disasters, or the potential for new ones, then this kind of waste of mental resources will be all too familiar to you.

Lots of people are troubled with unwelcome ruminations. Clients can find anxiety especially disabling. Fortunately there are remedies. Here's a recent series of interviews of Dr Mark Reineke intended for consumers. Dr Reineke is a distinguished psychiatrist and author. Let me just mention however that although the content seems excellent the interview quality is not stellar.

Interviews: 1 2 3 4 5

Picture: Norbert Nagel