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In Search of Meaningful Work

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So many people are in search of work right now that it boggles the mind. Many are in search of full-time work in the field they had worked in before the downsizings. Others are scrambling to take whatever work they can get. Some are struggling to reinvent themselves for the next act of their lives.

If you are in this boat, I'd like to suggest that you add to your list: Search for meaningful work.

What is meaningful work?

Meaningful work is paradoxical: It's work that doesn't seem like work to you. When you do this work, you are in love with it and the time flows by like a river.

If you have ever felt this way while working at something, reflect on it. What was that work? What was it about that work that seems to connect to your heart and soul?

My friend Kenny Moore has written and spoken about this: "All of us are born into this world with an “acorn” that is destined to grow into a mighty oak. This acorn is often referred to as our calling, vocation or destiny."…

Telling Your STORY

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Today at Ft. Dix in southern New Jersey, the Ultimate Warrior Job Fair brought area employers together with returning soldiers who are transitioning back to civilian life. To prepare for the job fair, yesterday the soldiers were offered one-on-one resume and interview coaching with a small army of NJ-area Human Resources experts and career coaches, including me.

One of the soldiers I met with was having a difficult time expressing what he had accomplished in his years of service. He said, "I was just doing my job, sir." His humility and sense of duty were hallmarks of his training as a soldier. But his capabilities and value to potential employers were still hidden. He needed to develop good descriptive stories that he could tell that would convey his tremendous experience.

The following five steps, illustrated with one of the soldier's stories, will help job hunters think through and prepare your PAR (Problem-Action-Result) stories:

Situation: Where were you? When was this…

Becoming Something Very Important

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Today, I was part of a contingent of career coaches that volunteered to help our soldiers at the “Ultimate Warrior Career Workshops” held at the Fort Dix military base. It was a great event.

I met with several soldiers, to review their resumes, and guide them in preparation for their transition from the military life back to the civilian world.

Thinking about them as I drove home, I am convinced that today's job hunters and career changers need to become transitionists:

~ People who are "adept at transitions and more precisely, skilled at managing change." People who expect change; accept change; and see change as opportunity. People who ride change as a surfer rides a wave.

So if you are a transitioning job hunter or career changer, how can you develop yourself as a transitionist? Here are a few thoughts:

Attitude: What is your attitude toward change? Do you resist it? Do you embrace it? Can you imagine yourself initiating change in your own life?

Dissatisfaction: What …

Living the Mission, Vision, and Values

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Dominic Scaffidi is a Toronto-based HR consultant who asked an interesting question recently at LinkedIn:

~ How do you get your employees to live the Mission, Vision, and Values of your company?

As an organization development professional, I've had the good fortune of being an internal in several companies where this question was a major cultural undertaking.

In each case, the key success factors were: Feeling and Believing.

First, let's look at feeling. Do the employees feel (key word) the Mission and Vision? This feeling comes from real engagement where employees are authentically invited into the process of defining and deepening the Mission, Vision, and Values.

In one of the companies where a significant effort was made to embed the MVV in the organization, employees from all levels and all locations were invited into the process. Everyone had an opportunity to say their piece of the wisdom. And the facilitators from OD were carefully listening and conveying employee input.

Se…

Can't We All Get Along?

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This past week at LinkedIn, there have been a couple interesting discussions of the relationship among HR, Training and OD. Which led to my latest posting on HR.Blognotions, and re-published here.

As an HR Thought Leader, I’ve been asked what I think of the relationships among Training, Organization Development, and HR. Having labored in this nexus for over 25 years, I definitely have some thoughts.

Let’s start with Training and OD. For me, both are professional fields of practice, distinct from each other as career paths, but closely related historically as well as functionally.

Historically, the field of OD was originally training-based. The T in T-Group stands for Training. NTL stands for National Training Labs. Much of the early work of the founders of OD involved “interventions” that came to be known as “action learning.”

Functionally, Training and OD are pursuing the same end result, i.e. enhanced performance. Training focuses on individuals, while OD on teams and organizations. So…

Call Your Mother. Save Your Money.

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Consultant Bob Burg, co-author of the bestseller The Go Giver, was asked this question:

~ If you were invited to deliver a commencement address . . . what advice would you give to a class of college graduates?

I asked my wife Joan. I often consult her for her wisdom. She said:

~ "Call your mother. Save your money. Start thinking now about retirement. Go to church."

So, what would your key points be?

Posted by Terrence Seamon, June 2, 2010