Career Management

Top Reasons Why Your Resume Says “Career stalled”

New York-to-Paris automobile race: [Automobile stuck in snow]

Have you ever considered that your career path is a lot like a movie? Film scholar Chris Simmons, a colleague of mine, lectured once on the massive blockbuster, Titanic. He showed how everything in its visual language spoonfed what the director wanted you to see, know and feel. The director made deliberate choices to make it easy for us as the audience to come along with his storytelling.

How Having Closed Sector vs. Open Sector Career Affects Your Success

Marine Sgt. at New Orleans, La. By Howard R.Hollem. Library of Congress collection via Flickr.

Guy Benveniste had a great thought in article from 1977 about “Survival inside bureaucracy” that are even more relevant in today’s New Economy / Creative Class work-world.

Benveniste postulated that there were three different types of careers:
Closed sector
Open sector

Closed sector careers are what my father generation expected. Your entire career is within a…

Getting that low-level job as a Hidden High Potential

Young worker at the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad 40th street shops, 1942.

Sometimes when you’ve been the Hidden part of “Hidden High Potential” for way too long, you just want to find something that pays the bills. You look for a job, any job.

This is hard to do, even when times are good. When times are hard, it seems impossible.

Just ask Julie Neidlinger. She knows all about how hard it is to get a job when you’re grossly overqualified. The story she tells is an excellent example, because it’s such a common one to so many of you Hidden High Potentials. She went looking for an office job in the state with the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, lower than my region had during the good times.

I was looking for something Monday through Friday, normal business hours, regular paycheck, nothing retail or selling — I just want to be able to put aside money and rebuild my savings.

For some reason, in this type of work, I am not hireable. I do not know why.

So I’m going to tell her, and give some hints as to how she might be able to pull this off, and close with the core truths that are more useful.

Anchoring Means Your Low Starting Salary Gets Your Stuck In Low Paying Work

New York-to-Paris automobile race: [Automobile stuck in snow]

A tweet from @JaneHadfield mentioned a recent post by Cynicus Economicus, who asks “So what exactly is this optimism [about the economy] all about?” His answers are interesting, and reminded me about something I wanted to talk about here regarding jobs and the idea of anchoring. He notes that there is very little to really be happy about. Yet people are talking as if things are turning around and the risk is behind us. What’s going on?

Hard Work Is A Necessary But Not Sufficient Cause of Success

Black man working large electric phosphate smelting furnace make elemental phosphorus, TVA chemical plant Muscle Shoals, AL). 1942 by Alfred T. Palmer (via LOC)

A friend of mine made up her mind in college that she was going to be a professional singer. She worked hard at it, did the various groups, choirs and solo performances. She even went pro in a little jazz quartet with some others.

After college, she decided to continue her studies and went to a prestigious conservatory in New York City. She worked hard there, too, and was dedicated to t…

Thems That Got Jobs Will Get More; Thems That Don’t Will Lose

colorful graph from CalculatedRisk

People with jobs are actually earning more. They are also much less likely to get fired than they were before. However, those without jobs are likely to be without for a very long time. No jobs are being created, and the usual pipelines are clogged with people all trying to use them to find jobs that just aren’t there. READ MORE….

International vs. National matters more for you than raw company size

Candies. Licensed through

Why was I a big success consulting with an international investment bank but considered an idiot when consulting for a national insurance company doing the same type of work? If you are a hidden high potential, the fact that the company is international vs. national matters more than raw company size because of issues of complexity.

Is It Time To Move?

Time to move. Creative Class cities as better places to be. Courage in leaving during a bad time. Can moving from the dead-end place you are to somewhere better work?

Transitions To Higher Levels Mean Having To Build New Habits, And That’s Hard

Frank Coffyn's auto wrecked in Central Park, March 21,1912. Bain News Service, via Library of Congress.

When you transition from one work level to another, you have to learn new ways of being. These will be enshrined in habit but letting go of old ways hurts.

Transitions mean starting over again (P.G. Wodehouse)

Détail sur un tramway à impériale découverte et traction hippomobile, sans doute exploité par la Compagnie générale des Omnibus. Public domain image.

Yesterday we looked at an ancient story. Here’s a more modern discussion from humorist P. G. Wodehouse’s first “Blandings” novel, Something Fresh [Something New] [1915]:

“…I think I have it now. My life has been such a series of jerks. I dash along–then something happens which stops that bit of my life with a jerk; and then I have to start over again–a new bit. I think I’m getting…

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