Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Laughing Baby

This is what I'd like to do with my tax return, and this is how I'd respond if I did.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Dear Lovely Reader

Thank you for visiting my blog!  Just a reminder that I only infrequently update this blog these days.  The blogs I use mainly are:

Headstuck!  Career Change Blog:

http://www.thecareerpsychologist.com/headstuck-career-change-blog/

And Working with ACT for organisational leaders, HR managers, trainers and coaches:

http://workingwithact.com/

Look forward to seeing you there!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Being with Sadness

I went home yesterday to visit my old Grandfather, 92, who now lives in a home, much to his disgust. He was grumpy because he felt he’d been locked in there against his will. He was surrounded by old women, many of them even grumpier, so we went outside for a cup of tea.

It was cold outside and windy. For some reason, we got onto talking about the gloomiest of subjects. We both felt low. We talked about how he missed his daughter, Rowena, who died before I was born. It felt uncomfortable and sad.

It was sad. I felt like crying.

Some years ago I would have taken this discomfort as a sign to run away. I may have cracked a joke, or left a bit earlier, or hurriedly changed subjects.

But this time I sighed and stopped and just sat there. In the middle of the day, sitting with my Grandfather, sharing time, sharing life, a perfect moment. I gave up the struggle, and shared what was.

Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,

what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Naomi Shahib Nye, “Kindness”

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Certainty Bias

A fantastic interview with neurologist Robert Burton highlights the mind’s Certainty Bias.

The mind evolved to help us make sense of the world around us, because without that understanding it’s pretty hard to know how to act.  Not many of our ancestors had time to make a list of pros and cons before making important decisions.

But in today’s context the mind’s pull for certainty has different consequences.  The mind likes nice, uncomplicated beliefs which can help us make sense of a situation.  Yet these beliefs often leave us trapped by our own perceptions:

“I must get this right”.
For important events and decisions, our mind will tell us how important it is to get this right.  Yet the mind will be far slower to identify what ‘right’ is.  The unspoken assumption is that right is perfect.  Perfection is hard to achieve… so procrastination ensues.

“I need to know the likely outcome / if I can cope before I start”
The mind likes to dictate terms and the terms are – no movement towards a new project unless certainty is guaranteed!  The trouble is this often stops us from taking action on the things we value most.  Result: the mind’s goal will be achieved…by doing nothing.

“I need to have all my things around me / complete silence / the right people to work effectively”
The trouble is we rarely get the ‘right’ environment.  Deep down we know this and that we need to start right now – even if it is with the wrong pen.
“If I was good at doing this it would be easier / life is about enjoyment”
The great happiness myth!  The problem is life isn’t meant to be enjoyable in the sense that we should enjoy each moment.  Our most fulfilling moments weren’t preceded by feeling good – far more often they were preceded by the most dreadful doubt and fear.  Our intolerance of ambiguity keeps us stuck – which eventually makes us miserable.

So what can we do about it?
As Burton acknowledges, the most important thing with such thoughts is to recognise them.  After all, you do not need “the right result” so much as you are having the thought that you need it.  Even recognising this as just a thought – not reality – is effective.

Once you’ve noticed your thoughts, bring your attention back to your behaviour.  The mind often leaves behaviour unspecified, because perfection is more certain than an imperfect first step.  This makes purpose hard to find.

So try to counteract this by getting specific about what it is you will do:
  • I’d love to get the right result – so I will make a list of what that result looks like in practice.
  •  I’d love to know more about the outcome I can expect – and the most important things I need to know are what the client really wants and why they want it.
  • I don’t want to fail – and the main risk to failure is that I don’t revise properly.  Therefore, I will make a revision plan.
  • I want better working conditions – so I will make a specific list of improvements I could make,  starting right here and now.
  • I want to enjoy myself – but I am willing to experience uncertainty now in order to make progress towards my goals.

Friday, 22 April 2011

A Sad Post

A friend of mine, Rupa Patel, died this week from meningitis. She was 24.

I feel utterly wretched about this. Will you forgive me, blog readers, for writing about it?

Rupa was a lovely, sunny, kind person with so much enthusiasm for life. Everyone trots out these cliches but in Rupa's case they really were true.

After we graduated, Rupa asked me to review her CV which I gladly did.  Frankly, it didn't read well. Nothing like the real Rupa, who was so fun and vivacious and natural. It was full of management speak, trying to sound professional, trying to sound as though she was someone else. The thing is, Rupa didn’t need to be anyone else.

In one hilarious example, Rupe wrote this under Interests and Activities:
In my spare time I like solving brainteasers, and other mentally stimulating word and numerical problems.

To which I wrote:
Do you really? Is that true? I am not sure how I feel about this. It sounds a bit weird!

I still to this day cannot imagine Rupa solving brainteasers, she was FAR more likely to be chatting animatedly with someone about psychology or the latest gossip in the pub, but there you are.

After the CV was finished I wrote this:
Overall, I think you should think about your core strengths. What are they? What are you really interested in? What are you like as a person? Your strengths – the real Rupa – are the things I would be really interested in as an employer. They are the reasons why I would employ you. So they should be the theme of the CV.
To help you, here are some of your strengths I have observed: bright, conscientiousness, funny (ha ha not weird), friendly, great teamworker, responsible, organised (very), fun to work with, willing to learn, highly capable, interested in psychology, ambitious, presentable and reliable (you’re always the first to respond to my e-mails), enthusiastic, intelligent. THIS STUFF DOESN’T COME OUT IN THIS CV.


Of course, Rupa didn’t need my advice really and she soon landed an excellent job. But there is something in what I wrote that consoles me a little bit. I hope she believed me when I said these things. I hope she felt good when she read them. And I hope she felt some confidence as she went out into the brave new world knowing that the people she met really did think she was amazing.

And at least I said them... So often I don’t.

Rupa, you will be missed terribly and my heart goes out to your family and friends.

Everyone at Bloom Psychology and The Career Psychologist will remember you, and we will do our best to honour you in the work we do.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

The Rat Race

"A rat race is for rats. We're not rats. We're human beings.
Reject the insidious pressures in society that would blunt your critical faculties to all that is happening around you, that would caution silence in the face of injustice lest you jeopardise your chances of promotion and self-advancement.
This is how it starts, and, before you know where you are, you're a fully paid-up member of the rat pack. The price is too high".
Jimmy Reid 1932 - 2010

Friday, 11 March 2011

Cat vs Printer

Now that this is essentially my personal blog, look how quickly the quality is deteriorating.

So in the spirit of further rapid quality reduction, here's a video of a cat and a printer.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Dog Confused by Escalator

So, my main career psychology blog is now here at The Career Psychologist website.

This frees this blog up a little....

So finally, I can bring you films of dogs being confused by escalators.

Useful.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Running

Sometimes I forget to run.  Or rather, my brain finds short term excuses not to.
And I need to run to remind myself that I need to run.
I need to run to reconnect to the world around me.  And I need to reconnect to the world around me, to remind myself how beautiful it is, and how privileged I am even to be here.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

I'm moving! Come with me?

Look, we've been living  here on Blogger for a while now.  I've loved the time we've spent here, and am grateful to Blogger for all it has done.  But the time has come to move on. 

This blog is moving to a new, more focused brand called The Career Psychologist.

The content will remain the same.  I write about the psychology of career change and the psychology of work.  I'm interested in the difficulties our minds cause us when we try to change.  I'm clear about the value of meaning and the need for acceptance, mindfulness and willingness as the engine of behaviour change and ultimately, happiness.

I write about the increasingly common trap of of career paralysis.  I write about full, mid and quarterlife career crises and how psychological flexibility is critical to them all.  And occasionally, I write about cats, mental health, sport, music, psychology, time management, and my own news and family.

We'll laugh, we'll cry, we'll live the dream.  But we'll do it all on Wordpress.

Follow me here!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Self Compassion in Business

A few years ago, I'd have laughed at the idea of using compassion - let alone self compassion - in a business context.  It seems so incongruous.

But now I think it's indispensable.

I think it could be argued that the main problem with the workplace is lack of compassion.  Showing compassion is often equated with weakness, or letting ourselves or others off the hook.  In fact Paul Gilbert has shown that we fear that we will become lazy if we are too compassionate, so it is seen often as a bit soft, unbusinesslike.

Yet I would argue the alternative is far less successful.  Effective leadership, organisational design, employee engagement, meaning in work, resilience - all of these start with compassion.  And the evidence is growing to support this view:
  • Students with most self compassion were least likely to procrastinate (Williams, Stark and Foster, 2008)
  • Self compassion predicts resilience / re-engagement with goals following failure (Neff et al, 2005)
  • Self acceptance predicts willingness to receive and act on feedback (Chamberlain et al, 2001)
As Kelly McGonigal outlines here, self compassion correlates with lower depression,  social anxiety, anger, judgment, close mindedness, less unhealthy perfectionism, greater social connection and empathy.

And not only that, but self compassion can be taught.  The big question is how.

Many cognitive therapists would start with disputing or changing negative thoughts about ourselves.  Yet I would start with context.  And for this, no one says it better than Ken Robinson:

"Human beings were born of risen apes, not fallen angels. 

And so what shall we wonder at? Our massacres, our missiles, or our symphonies? 

The miracle of human kind is not how far we have sunk but how magnificently we have risen. 

We will be known among the stars not by our corpses, but by our poems."

Friday, 11 February 2011

What to Look for In Your Career Coach

Firstly, I'd argue don't look for a coach look for a coach and psychologist.  I just think anyone purporting to work with people must have some idea of how the human mind works and what the evidence suggests is a reliable intervention.  Call me old fashioned.

But after that, I agree with every word in this article, published in Psychology Today.  Highlights below.

Here are 10 tips for finding and using a career coach:

1. Find out if they are they a member of a coaching organization, such as the International Coach Federation. While this membership is attained by simply paying a fee, the association does have professional standards which they agree to abide by. You can learn more about coaching standards here.

2. Obtain a copy of their resume and/or their biography which states their education and experience related to coaching. Ask if they possess any certificates or licenses. Currently, there are no licenses in coaching, so the most accreditation a coach can get is a certificate from a coaching training program. Ask for the name of the training program and look it up online. Notice what the coach had to do to complete the certificate, and what qualifications they had to have to enroll in the program. For instance, some coaching certificate programs require that their students already possess a license in a mental health field. You will be able to quickly ascertain if the program is legitimate. (Please note: I cannot recommend private practitioners or coaching training programs.)

3. Make sure you get a full disclosure of all costs or fees connected with the service. As a client, you have a right to receive an "informed consent" document. This document should list the credentials of the service provider (including any licenses or certifications), the procedures and/or treatments they will use, other sources where you could receive assistance, their fees for services, and a statement of the confidentiality level they can provide. (Note: in most states there is no assumption of confidentiality between a coach and client; if you are part of a legal proceeding, the coach can be called to testify about your meetings). You should review this form and it should be signed by both you and the coach.

4. Even if your coach also has a counseling or psychology license, they will likely refer you to another mental health practitioner if you require services for a mental health issue. Coaching is not therapy, and practitioners need to distinguish their clients and their practices. Coaching can be particularly powerful when offered in tandem with psychological services, for instance, in the case of someone being treated for an anxiety disorder related to their job search by a mental health practitioner while at the same time receiving concrete job-search techniques from their coach.

5. Ask for client references. Not just testimonials posted on a website-- ask to speak with a client or two. Because this is career coaching and not therapy, the coach should have a few clients who are willing to speak about the value of their services without concerns for confidentiality. Ask them to tell you about specific success experiences of their clients.

6. Ask what their coaching philosophy is. What knowledge base, theories or approaches do they use? If they state a particular theory, ask what training or education they have received in that approach. A good coach will be able to tell you their coaching philosophy and how they have developed it through their training and experience.

7. Ask about their scope of practice-- do they generally work with individuals with your particular situation? Although many career issues are common to all job-seekers, different groups will experience different challenges. A coach who mostly serves college students, for example, may not be the best coach for someone trying to plan their retirement.

8. As with any other business or service, check the name of the coach or their business name with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed and the outcome of those complaints.

9. Ask if you can have one appointment (maybe at a reduced rate?) before signing up for services. Determine if you enjoy speaking with this person and if they have services you would find helpful. Some coaches offer package deals, such as "5 sessions for $___ ." Find out what will take place in those sessions-- is there a standard method of service provision? Determine for yourself if you need that many sessions, or if one or two sessions are enough. Find out the fees for additional sessions if you go beyond the package price.

10. Once you've found a great career coach take full advantage of their knowledge and services. Make a commitment to be an active participant in the process-- not just a passive recipient of their information. Show up for your appointments with questions, issues, ideas, etc. If you're given homework assignments, do them. Bottom line: career coaching can provide valuable assistance to your job search, but in the end it will be YOU who gets the job.

Saturday, 29 January 2011

That's Un Oeuf! The Revolutionary Time Management Technique

I have written previously about the Pomodoro technique.

After a lot of research and some earnest experimentation myself, I can now offer a more scientifically validated time management technique which anyone can easily implement.

I have named this revolutionary system 'That's Un Oeuf!' (TM). 

The 'That's Un Oeuf!' system is guaranteed to boost your productivity and increase your wellbeing through the simple expedient of a kitchen timer shaped like an egg.

Here's how it works:

1. Buy your Oeuf-shaped kitchen timer.  It MUST be shaped like an egg to have any effect. 
2. Have a clear objective for this particular Un Oeuf.  Be clear what you want to achieve.
3. Set the timer for precisely 22 minutes.  Start working through your Un Oeuf.
4. If you become distracted, simply notice that distraction and bring your attention self back to the present moment and to your objective.
5. Once the timer sounds, GET UP AND WALK AWAY.   It is critical to move at this point.  Get a cup of tea, do 2-3 minutes of cleaning, tidy something, do 10 press ups, walk to the printer.  Whatever.
6. Repeat in blocks of up to 4 Un Oeufs.

After this, take a more extended break, moving around, doing e-mail etc.  I often do household chores in this period if I'm working from home or I go and have a chat with someone if I'm in the office.

I recommend doing 12 Un Ooeufs a day, and the rest of the time should be doing e-mail or calls, meetings and more relaxed or creative tasks.

The science behind this approach is overwhelming, but if you want some primary sources here goes:
Please let me know how you get on with the revolutionary 'That's Un Oeuf!' Time Management System, I would love to hear your experiences.

But for now, That really is Un Oeuf.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Mindsight

Mindfulness is more than a passing fad.  It is at the cutting edge of scientific research into anxiety, stress, depression, OCD, pain management, work performance and resilience.

Dan Siegel is at the forefront of this research and if you don't have time to read his excellent Mindsight, this is a useful alternative.  

I think this is absolutely relevant to career changers, but then I think it's relevant to all of us.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

The Desert and the Dune

I've just been in the UAE doing some leadership training right in the middle of the Liwa Desert.  

Here are some photos.  The final photo shows one of the enormous dunes outside the hotel.... (cont'd below).


 




At sunset, people would climb up the dune and sit and watch the sun set from the top (there are people doing just that in the photo - but they are tiny!).  The dunes were so large that it was hard to make out whether the people were moving when you watched them.  You had to look away and look back to discern any progress.

That to me is redolent of career change work.  It can be a long and arduous business.  Sometimes, it's hard to know if you are moving forward.  So much work seems to be involved, and at times so little seems to be being achieved that it can feel like a whole lot of work for nothing. 
 
Yet as with the dune walkers, consistent, regular action, does make progress.  Each action, each moment spent in reflection, adds up to another step, and the steps add up to progress.  I have clients who right now are working on their career chenge project and feeling overwhelmed or discouraged.

Yet for the most part they are still chipping away, being willing to feel uncomfortable.  It can be hard to discern their progress at first glance.  But from where I am, I can see it.  And I know that very soon, when I check back on them, they will be enjoying the view from the top.


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Thursday, 13 January 2011

Hemingway - The Sun Always Rises

"We stare at our computer screens cataloguing our lives unaware that every important decisions has been taken by one goal: the avoidance of pain. We look out of the airplane window reviewing our belief system and realise that it’s an anti-belief system, a rejection of our values. 

How did I get here?
 
We don’t see the consequences of one bad decision – I’ll eat this, I won’t go for a run tonight, I’ll take this job and pay off my loans, this job will give me confidence.  But each decision makes it less likely we’ll do the ideal, and the effect mounts".

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Career Change 2011 - Step 2: Who Are You?

The question of who 'you' are is a tricky one.  After all, there is no stable 'you', only a collection of relatively stable skills, traits, preferences abilities and experiences which are interpreted by our minds to be 'me' or 'I'.

Run that by me again... There is no 'me'?
 If you doubt that the idea of a self is a fiction, then consider the case of extraversion.  Imagine you have a strong preference for extraversion in social situations.  Is there any situation where you are the opposite?  For most the answer is yes.  Or, consider the idea that you are loyal.  Is there ever a case where you have been disloyal? Intelligence and personality are important and are fairly stable, but they do not override choice.

As career changers, it's important to accept this caveat, because otherwise we risk boxing ourselves in, and not thinking anew about our lives and careers.  (As an aside, if you are seeking career change, by definition you are seeking to think anew).

I prefer to have clients consider which aspects of their personality do they choose to hold stable, in the context of work.  Given this as the introduction, I enthusiastically endorse exploring 'self' using psychometric tests.  The key with psychometric tests is to find those which have what psychologists call good external validity.  Validity refers to the idea that if you know one thing about your personality, does that allow you to predict anything else out there in the real world?

Myers Briggs, Insights and other Jungian type personality tests often have very limited validity.  You are far better off choosing one which measures the 'big 5' personality measures, such as the NEO-PI.

If you want to start this for free, one of the best free resources can be found here.  
What To Do:
  • Take the test
  • Read the report
  • Think about which parts of the report feel true or valid to you, or which you 'choose' to make true in future
  • Think about what this says about the kind of job you want, and the criteria you want to apply to your career decision
  • Note down any significant criteria that come from the exercise and keep in a safe place - we'll be adding to those criteria
  • Sit down and have a biscuit a pint a refreshing piece of fruit, in line with your New year's resolutions.
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Sunday, 9 January 2011

Hodgson - A Failure Not Of Management But Of Meaning

A friend of mine asked me what I thought of Liverpool's sacking of Roy Hodgson.  My first instinct was feeling for sorry for a patently decent man who no doubt tried hard to give the club what it really needs: direction and leadership.

The exact question was whether Hodgson was a victim of the "grass is always greener" mentality?  Possibly, but just as likely is that Hodgson was simply doing what most of us feel compelled to do: make the most of our opportunities, test oursleves in new and exciting situations and, to climb Maslow's hierachy.  Hodgson was self actualising, but was not given enough time (in my view) to take others with him.

I am arguing that Hodgson should have been given more time and I am arguing that it was natural for Hodgson to take the job.  However, I also believe that Hodgson was always the wrong man for the job.  And the reason for this is to do with meaning.

Like any great institution, Liverpool Football Club is defined by its values.  It stands for community and passion, uncompromising defiance and above all a sense of anti-establishment.  It is the opposite of modern football in so many ways.  Sky culture is anathema, as is awarding huge contracts to players who have no sense of the history and values of the club.  

Put simply, Roy Hodgson was too establishment for Liverpool.  He was too southern, too reasonable, too  unconfrontational.  'Hodgson for England' was far more than a witty protest, it was a damning indictment.  Hodgson is not one of us.  He is good enough for England, but not us.  This is why when I went to see the Reds on New Years day, only 35,000 were there. 

His appointment was therefore a failure not of ability and skill but of values and meaning.  Rafa was loved because he was an outsider.  Stubborn, proud and acutely aware of the values of the club. Spanish, but one of us.  In contrast, Roy disconnected the fans from the club, just like the owners before him. 

Liverpool is are crisis for two reasons.  The first is they have been chronically underfunded in comparison to their competitors.  But the second is they have been run by people who do not understand its soul.  

Of the two, it is the second which is more damaging, but far easier to overlook.  Dalglish is a step back in the right direction.  But his job is as much about what happens off the pitch as on it.
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Thursday, 6 January 2011

Your Career Change in 2011 - Step 1: Facing the Present

January is my busiest month for career change clients.  So many of us reappraise where we are heading in life at the turnb of the year.  And frequently, we don't like the answer.

So where to start?  At the risk of wearing out an already tired cliche, career change is a journey.  And any journey begins by understanding where exactly we are in the first place.

So what exactly is the issue with your current career?  For example, my clients present to me with different problems.  Most often they:
  • Can't move into the area they really want to get into
  • Hate their job but don't know what else they could do
  • Fear change even more than they hate their job
  • 'Just wonder' what else might be out there (read: are screaming at the meaninglessness of their current jobs)
  • Feel overwhelmed by the choices that seem to be out there and unsure of how to choose between them
  • Have lost confidence in themselves / are struggling with anxiety, works stress, even depression
  • Just simply feel stuck and like they're going round and round in circles. 

Some people also feel more than one of these, some may even have the full house.  But identifying where you are is an essential first step.  Facing up to the reality of the present moment is one of the fundamental principles of psychological flexibility

I am asking you to find a place which is quiet and still.  Think about your current situation in all its nuanced complexity.  Then, some of the key questions you may wish to consider at this stage include:

  • What precisely is wrong with your current job (list the reasons)?
  • In each case, what would be better or preferable?
  • When have you experienced better or ideal working conditions?  What were you doing?
  • What would happen if nothing changed?  How would you feel, both in the short term and long term.
  • What are the emotions and thoughts you are feeling about your career?  List them.

I think it's also a good idea to do a number of psychological tests, to establish a baseline of how you're feeling.

My tests measure levels of engagement, wellbeing and psychological flexibility.  If you provide an e-mail address then you can re-take the tests as many times as you wish and compare the results over time.

In addition, Martin Seligman's tests are also excellent.  Log in and complete the PANAS, Authentic Happiness Inventory and Approaches to Happiness Questionnaire at a minimum.

The final, and most important suggestion I have is to write a 3 pages autobiography of your life so far.  But to get that, you have to e-mail me!

So step 1.  Facing up to the reality of the present moment, as it is.  If you can do it, you are on your way.

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Monday, 3 January 2011

Your Career Change in 2011

Imagine you were tired of your current house so you decide that 2011 should be the year where you move.  The first thing you might do is work out a budget - a price which you feel you can afford.  The second thing you might do is draw up a list of criteria which would guide the decision of which house you want to buy.  

These criteria would likely be influenced by your current living arrangements.  For example, you hate your commute, so you decide that something nearer the station would be better, and so on.  But the criteria would also (presumably) be influenced by the kind of life you want to lead in future.  For example, you might envisage having children and prefer a bigger kitchen or garden.  Your criteria therefore reflect the values you wish to hold important in future.

Your budget dictates the nature and extent of the compromises you must make in relation to these values, but you will always retain control over the most important ones.

To help with the complexity of the decision, you may spend a lot of time researching possible options, or you may employ an estate agent.  Either way, you will likely brace yourself for a lot of time and money spent making the right choice.

Now imagine you are changing careers in 2011.  A career is, according to nearly all research, absolutely critical to our wellbeing.  Using our strengths more frequently at work predicts greater happiness, resilience and creativity.  Having more control over our working lives predicts lower rates of stress, coronary disease and better productivity. Yet despite this, the way most of us go about our career change involves very different processes to buying a house.

We rarely draw up a list of criteria, for example.  We rarely get clear on what is essential to us and what we could compromise on, and we rarely seek professional help.  Instead we scan the classifieds.  We brush up  our CV.  We become a bit passive.  We drift.  The only external advice we ever seek is with people who try to 'match' our 'personality' using expensive tests which tell introverts to become librarians and engineers and extroverts to go into sales or politics.

Meanwhile, we feel the pain of rejection far more than when buying a house, so we allow our doubts to inhibit our thinking.  And that's why most career changers in 2011 will end up back where they were, and career paralysis will set in.

Of course, arguing that people should use professional help to make better career decisions may sound self interested.  And at some level, it is.  IT'S MY BLOODY BLOG.  But I believe in what I do and I know I can help most people make better career decisions.  As a psychologist, I know the many cognitive traps and biases we make when we try to do this alone and I can help prevent these. And as a human, I really give a shit about this stuff too.

That's why I want to outline some very simple steps that can be taken to dramatically improve the chances that your 2011 career change will work.  My career decision making has been designed to counteract the automatic thought processes and cognitive  biases we are all prone to.  What it offers is not the ideal job, but  a conscious decision which brings meaning and purpose and a sense of control.  

Too many people drift into a career and then stay becalmed in those safer waters.  Time ticks on, and eventually the question must be: is this what you want for your life? 

If your job isn't meaningful to you then I think you should read this blog in 2011.  Life is too short to be spent drifting when you couold be choosing.  You wouldn't do it if you were moving house, you would act with purpose to change.  Why should it be any different with your career?


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More Advice on Behaviour Change

This is good and complements my previous post very well: