Careers

What You Are – and What You’re Not

I’m never going to play in the NBA. That’s an unrealistic goal for me, and I knew it to be an unrealistic goal when I was ten years old on the playground. I wasn’t fast enough and didn’t have the natural reflexes of the other ten year olds on the court. It was a painful …

Categories: Careers, Goals

Review: Evil Plans

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. Evil Plans, by Hugh “Gaping Void” MacLeod, focuses on the desire that everyone has to do something that they …

Categories: Books, Careers

Downgrading Your Job Without Downgrading Your Life

In March 2008, I walked away from a great job into a writing career path that, at the time, paid me about 50% of what I was making at my previous job. To a lot of people in my life, this seemed like an amazingly difficult step. That move reduced our monthly household income (at …

Categories: Careers

An Artist on the Side: Coppola on the Future of Artists and Artisans

Earlier this week, I stumbled upon a great interview with Francis Ford Coppola over at the 99 percent. In this interview, Coppola talks about the past and future of people making money from their art, whether it be music, movies, or other things: We have to be very clever about those things. You have to …

Review: Bait and Switch

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. One of my first book reviews on The Simple Dollar was of Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed. In that …

Categories: Books, Careers

Career Moves and Decisions

This week, someone from my past reached into the present and dropped a job offer on my lap. If this job offer had appeared three years ago, I would have taken it in a heartbeat. It allows me to work from home. It allows me to take complete control of an interesting software development project …

Who Is Your Real Boss? Some Perspectives on Career Success

Let’s get this straight right out of the chute: your real boss is you. “Yeah, right,” you might be saying to yourself. “Easy for you to say. You’re self-employed. I’ve got a boss that’s constantly breathing down my neck and a pile of ridiculous demands on my desk.” Here’s the scoop: you’re making the choice …

Categories: Careers

Flipping the Mental Switch for Success

If I have one single piece of career advice to give to anyone, it’s this: figure out how to get in the zone and do it as often as possible. If you can do that, everything else really is secondary. You will find success. What do I mean by “in the zone”? It’s something I’ve …

Categories: Careers

Vocation, Career, and Job

Vocation. Career. Job. Three different things that so often seem to overlap in our minds. However, when we let them overlap, we lose something valuable in the translation. A job is simply any situation where you are paid in exchange for your labor. Nothing more, nothing less. Warren Buffett has a job, as does the …

Categories: Careers

I Can’t Find a Job in This Economy!

I get a lot of emails from people with the above statement, usually followed by some sort of plea for help. I have a lot of sympathy for their situation. I can’t even imagine how painful it would be to not have a steady income, have no luck finding work, and have others depending on …

Categories: Careers

Review: The Other 8 Hours

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. A while back, I reviewed Robert Pagliarini’s The Six-Day Financial Makeover and concluded that there was some very good advice buried inside a lot of marketing gloss. The core of that advice was strong enough that I kept an eye out …

Review: 48 Days to the Work You Love

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. 48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller keeps getting recommended to me over and over again by readers. Initially, I had filed it right next to Margin in my mind as a “great career advice book with …

Categories: Books, Careers

The Cost of Negativity

Several years ago, at my first post-college job, I worked in a small office with three other people. One of them (who I’ll call Campbell) was probably the best co-worker I’ve ever had the opportunity to work with. The other (who I’ll call Kathy) made the office environment so poisonous through her constant negativity that …

The Love and Hate of Work

I recently had a conversation with a 66 year old woman who had retired from a fairly lucrative career, only to take on a completely surprising job as her “retirement job.” She’s a grade school lunch lady. Why did she choose to take on such a job? The reason was simple, she told me. Her …

Categories: Careers

Seven Easy Steps to Your Dream Job

A few days ago, I was reading an article in ESPN Magazine (I started getting a subscription to it a while back after I signed up to play fantasy baseball at ESPN.com) by Vivian Chum that talked about what you would need to do to get a job as an NFL coach (you can read …

Categories: Careers

The Zen State of Slog Work

The people that succeed at any job are the people who get the job done effectively, even if the work happens to be incredibly boring. At one of my (many) college jobs, I would spend hours upon hours sifting dirt. I’d scoop a big pile of dirt onto a box with a screen on the …

Teenagers and Careers: Is Apprenticeship an Answer?

I’m going to go a bit off the beaten path here… Why Nerds Are Unpopular by Paul Graham is one of the most thought-provoking essays I’ve ever read. I’ve re-read the thing several times over the years, each time realizing how much it actually hit upon some of the fundamental truths of my teenage years. …

Categories: Careers

Rebooting Your Life

Henry writes in (I edited a few minor details to help with privacy issues, because I think without edits it might be possible for people to easily figure out who Henry is): Six months ago, I lost my six figure job as a database administrator. A month after that, just before Christmas, my wife left …

Review: Linchpin

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest to Simple Dollar readers. The entire argument of Seth Godin’s book Linchpin is that there are no longer any great jobs where someone tells you what to do. That’s not to say there aren’t great jobs out there – there …

Categories: Books, Careers