Monday, November 22, 2010

Unconditional Patience

I am very late in writing this as I have been for most of my blogs.I write this piece in hope many might pass this along to others who might benefit from a first hand account of one who most certainly praises those "unconditional patient" individuals and their perseverance in the face of personal delays.

I recently was forced to take a 30-day medical leave to surgically correct a major physical issue. This required a 3-hour medical procedure followed up with an anticipated 90-day recovery. The first 30 days is mostly bed/house confinement with a significant amount of P/T in just 4 weeks in order to return back to work quickly. I have been privileged with unconditional patience from a caring and cooperative family and friends. It forces me to really be dependent on many to do the most mundane tasks because I cannot, from helping me dress, tying my shoes or to just listening to me whine about my temporary handicap. These tasks leave me feeling helpless but identifies those willing and unconditionally to interrupt their daily activities to ensure I can maintain my sanity. I found myself literally weeping (actually outright crying) a couple of times because of a character flaw, fear of asking for help and what I perceived as weakness.

I believed I can conquer anything. We see how may handicap individuals conquered greater challenges then mine. I can do this too. Many handicap individuals will never complain rather, they just do it. What I never really thought about were all the individuals who contributed to this person's success and recovery without merit. The Contributors didn't need to be the ones who said, ' he/she couldn't do it without me'. They did it so the person can see/believe in the accomplishment at the end.

"Unconditional patience" from all (most importantly my wife Mo) has lead me to observe other aspects of our lives missing this needed character trait. The willingness of others to unconditionally drop what they are doing to help in the success of another individual(s) without recognition/merit.

It is this fear I believe I conquered during this short period. I have experienced the necessity of others (not all) to berate, ridicule or point to weakness/flaws when asked for help. It was not enough for these self-centered people to just cooperate and give unconditionally. It is this self-centered person that has the attitude , WHY CAN'T THIS PERSON BE LIKE ME. I continue to observe this daily or hear from others who have.

It is evident we humble ourselves when asking for help.

It is a shame the receivers for such requests don't see the opportunity to cooperate.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Slow Twitch People Working with Fast Twitch People

I apologize for the long over-due blog update. I can tell you, it certainly wasn't because I didn't want to write but rather, to find my free time from the new position I was offered. Unlike other Baby-Boomers who have succumbed to the economic crisis, I was blessed with an opportunity to get back to work, as I mentioned in earlier blogs, after a long productive career of 36 years with another major company who couldn't figure out how to use my value-add.

Working with *FAST-TWITCH people (FTP) can take its toll physically and spiritually as the Fast-Twitch members are certainly more secure in this business and technical expertise then **SLOW-TWITCH person (STP); primarily because the FTP's are in unfamiliar territory. In many cases the OJT is like someone trying to teach a person how to drive a car over the telephone. Pretty scary.

I see where issues such as this cause anxiety and feelings of in adequacy, yep, even to the extent of ulceration. This can be a hindrance to many FTP as they strive to be recognized for their performance providing quick solution turnaround within an arena of business that can only be considered a high-twitch environment.

All I am saying is, I think the FTP needs to realize there is a place for a STP in this world. Long, slow and steady has always been my philosophy. A cross-country team has a myriad of talent between STP and FTP members. I have let the FTP affect my attitude. I have let "them" control my feelings and behavior. Well, that's my next hurdle.

I am a STP. My previous successes can be attributed to integrity, character, mentoring from LONG, SLOW and STEADY performance. There is a place in every business/department that has, no requires STP people. Look behind you FTP, I am there to support you. We're a team. I am not here to beat anyone but myself.

By the way, I think the STPs say a lot in how they perform as can be attested from a recent publication:

*Comes from the human muscle's ability to rapidly fire or best said determines if runners are suited for sprints. I use the term to represent tenured I/T individuals

** Comes from the human muscle's ability to fire slowly or best said determines if runners are suited for long distances such a marathons. I use this term to represent entry-level or freshman.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

It's Time for an Upgrade

Well, probation period is over and the background check complete with no skeletons in the attic. I'm thankful for the opportunity to be a part of a company that has and does contribute to a completely ignored but successful sustainable energy industry.

I am involved in a current project to aid the company in capturing information/data from which to make more corporate economically sound decisions. This can only be achieved if we "upgrade" our train of thought. Yep, even me.

Upgrade: improvement, progress in development

I can't understand how tenure people get caught up in their own capsulated business world. They have operated a specific way and are "comfortable" with their own existence but fail to see the potential for passing on a legacy to those who could be there long after they choose to leave or retire.

I have chosen to be part of a solution but rather a hindrance. Chose to lead and improve rather then berate. I for one choose to upgrade my train of thought/action. I want to see success in a company with so much strength, breadth, knowledge and skill-set. There is so much potential to help lead others and ask HOW instead of WHY. How can I get THIS done instead of WHY should I get this done? Too, this is a time of collaboration. I time to ask "how can I implement a solution"?

If we, as leaders, also humble ourselves and become followers, at times, then the cascading affect will guide us all to success. The time is NOW for an upgrade. The time is NOW to act as a leader & a follower. Learn from our past and implement for the future leaving a legacy for those that follow.

I, for one, don't care to live in the past but rather share in the success of others by being part of a solution by upgrading myself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Entry Level: Humbling

Even with 3 recruiters, job searching 4-5hrs a day and continuing on-line education 4-5 hours a day, didn't get me anything. I'm not saying that it didn't aid in my overall skill/knowledge set. I'm just saying that it looked pretty scarce. Well, it did came to pass. An ex-customer, working for another major Japanese company, had heard I was becoming desperate, called and offered me an "entry-level position". The statistics were correct. 80% of the jobs acquired come from people you know or are familiar with; the other 20% is from job hunting.
With that said, I must tell all who plan to take an entry-level position, it is a humbling one. My mentor was very patient, as I would expect, in taking me under his wing and showing me the ropes. The main problem was I kept getting tangled in these ropes. Thank goodness for taking good 'how to' notes. It's kinda like Hansel & Gretel, and the cookie crumbs. I was able to retrace and re-edit much of what was shown to create multi how-to guides making specific requests easier to execute.
I celebrate my 90 days in about 10 days, which is the end of my probation. I can comfortably say in those 90 days, everything, including the kitchen sink was thrown at me. I too would confirm, this is the way to learn. This practice had its drawbacks though. In the final 30 days, my mentor left the company, for greener pastures, which left me staring done the double-barrel of the most stress I think I had felt in years. In a week I lost 5lbs and have yet to gain them back. Truthfully, I can't afford that.
I am a little anxious on what waits around the corner since I had that double-barrel staring at me but, it's amazing what you can do if you side-step frequently. Still, it is a humbling period with great expectations and accomplishments. I can do it.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

It Seems It Really Is Who You Know and Being Yourself

I'm just saying, although my career has provided excellent opportunities to be recognized for skills/knowledge, it turns out it REALLY IS WHO YOU KNOW, or so it seems.

Here I am at 437 applications which, averaged 1 interview per 100 applications registered. It seems that interview #5 was the ringer not only because of what I know but, the hiring Director was a previous customer I had known and respected for many years. Yes, too, I believe it was my skills/knowledge levels that got me through the HR interview but the Director recommended me.

The career transition meetings I attended, Bridgebuilders, were correct; prepare yourself for standard interview questions but most importantly be relaxed and yourself. I walked away from the interview confident the crosstalk was comfortable and without pretense. Unless something comes up from the background check, I should be employed by February 8th.

So what did I learn?
  1. Have your resume ironed out before applying (obviously).
  2. Be dressed for success. This too means that you ask the interviewer what the proper dress for the day of the interview should be.
  3. Be relaxed but showing proper business decorum and
  4. BE YOURSELF (unless your interview is for an acting position and then just make sure you're playing the correct character).

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Make Something from the Waiting Game

The beginning of the week brought on challenges again. It was as if the job market had closed its doors on all positions I've been looking for; little to no job alerts and little to no career sites postings. I suppose, I could sit and wait for a reaction to the 400+ applications I've registered since April 2009. What's the old saying? Oh yeah, 'Idle hands (mind) are the devils workshop'.

I started taking on-line (eLearning) courses again (already finished 27) through my recruitment agency which offers a plethora of on-line courses to refresh or provide additional knowledge levels for many industries. It really assists on keeping my mind from wandering and wondering what's happening in the job transition world and aids or enhances my already over-qualification for many positions.

Funny, Marie said that I might be over doing it. She said if previous recruiters said I was over-qualified for several positions then, why keep taking these courses? I said, if potential companies turn me down because of over-qualification then, I probably didn't want to work for such a short sighted organization. To turn me down would be like a general contractor who turns down a carpenter because he happens to be an Architect.

2 more courses completed this week.

You don't understand anything until you learn it more than one way. ~Marvin Minsky