other day I attended a half day program where seven presenters - all with
high level positions in the IT (Information Technology) field - gave us
their "take" on career opportunities. Even though each focused
on their own area of expertise and how they had reached their positions,
each of the seven stressed that the two most important qualities considered
when hiring and promoting were interpersonal skills and continual learning.
course, you say, with technology moving and changing so quickly,
keeping up with learning is a given. But I say to you, that to succeed
in any endeavor and/or career, we must be learning constantly. And there
are so many ways to learn on a daily basis. Let me count the ways!
read, and read some more! It is amazing to me
the number of people who haven't read a book since they earned a degree
and graduated from college. They read the paper and an occasional magazine,
but who has time to read? Not only should we keep ahead in our own field
of expertise - are you up-to-date in your field? If not, I can guarantee
that one of your clients will be - we should also read about other fields
and choose completely different kinds of books. For example, one of my
favorite speakers, Lou Heckler, was recently extolling the virtues of
Stephen King's book On
Writing : A Memoir of the Craft and suggesting that if we substitute
the word "freelancer" for "writer" and "freelancing"
for "writing" we would learn a plethora of ways to become a
more effective freelancer.
books, there are so many enlightening articles on the Internet.
I know that I use a lot of paper, but when I find an article loaded with
excellent information, I will print it out and slip it into my briefcase.
Then when I'm waiting in line at the bank or post office or for appointment,
I pull out one of those articles and learn something rather than fuming
about waiting so long. I suggest that you set aside at least an hour a
day just for reading and a goal to read at least one book a week. Before
you know it, you will be reading two or three a week.
informational meetings, programs, seminars, and workshops. Again,
you may explain that you don't have the time and/or the money to spend.
I say you can't afford not to. Oftentimes, when I attend a seminar or
workshop, I hear a lot of information that I'm already familiar with,
but I still attend with the belief that I will gain something - some new
idea or possibly an old idea with a new twist, a new perspective. And,
I can honestly say, I always come away with something learned.
may even be some interactive technique to embrace or avoid. I
have read that when the senior Bill Marriott of Marriott Hotel fame attended
programs he would have a pen in each hand. With his right hand he would
take notes. And with his left hand he would write the ideas that were
popping into his head because of some point that was being made by the
speaker. He was always in the learning mode. I also suggest broadening
your base by attending programs outside of your primary field of interest.
an audio tape fanatic. If I had to pick the single most compelling
influence on my career path and learning, I would have to thank the hundreds
and hundreds of tapes I have listened to - in the car, while doing chores,
and in preparation for a client meeting or other important activity. Yes,
I have spent quite a bit of money on tapes, because I like to hear them
over and over again, but libraries usually have a great selection on just
about any self-improvement topic, how tos in practically every area imaginable,
and informational on trends, politics, finances - you name it.
like the articles fill the time when I am waiting, the tapes
fill driving time, especially if the traffic is heavy, or I have a long
trip to take. And I do suggest listening to a tape more than once, because
you will be amazed at the amount of information that you will miss during
the first, second, and even third listening.
up to take a class. Every community and school system offer some sort
of continuing education in the evenings and/or on weekends. These can
be well worth the small amount they usually cost, both from a stimulating
and networking aspect. I have also discovered on-line classes in just
about any topic you can imagine. I have been taking many technology classes
for the past two years, and especially enjoy the interaction with students
from all over the world who are at different skill levels. I recently
took a fiction writing course, which was a welcome change from the intensity
of computer classes, and finished a story that I had been playing around
with for ages. At http://www.worldwidelearn.com
you will find a directory of on-line courses in almost any subject
you can think of.
down daily what you have learned. I remember hearing the late Leo
Buscaglia say that every night at dinner his father would ask all of the
children in the family to tell about what they had learned that day. If
we know we are planning to write down something we've learned, we will
make sure that we are learning daily. What have you learned today?
that learning is not only good for you, it is also FUN! Let
me know how you are learning. I love getting your FEEDBACK!
A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Career Success Planning, is on the way. I will be contacting former sbscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test to subscribe to the new FREE e-newsletter. Use the form below to sign up!
When I started doing the research for this book, I knew that my own experience as a Portfolio Careerist (having more than one career at the same time) wasn’t going to be enough.
After all, those of us who love and maintain Portfolio Careers also love the variety and thrive on doing things our own way. So, I put out a call to those I knew have or have had Portfolio Careers and would be willing to answer a series of questions.
Thirteen Portfolio Careerists answered my call, so you will get the full story
site we hope you are not only learning how
to live a successful and rewarding freelance
life, but also having fun while here.
to be SHARP and
By developing your
own personal and professional STYLE,
you will live your life
on purpose - with
class, pleasure and success in every area. We have created a
Special Report, 125 Ways to Develop
Your Personal and Professional STYLE.
101 Best Freelance Careers
Make your own hours, make your own decisions, and make money
doing it ... with this cutting edge guide to trends, options,
and opportunities for freelancers.
Freelancing: The Complete Guide
In this up to the minute guide, writers, consultants, artists,
and all other types of freelancers will find the essential
information they need to set up and run a profitable, successful