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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Does Indy Work for Me Anymore?

So here I sit in the empty rear of a well-lit coffee shop, reviewing my state of affairs. I desperately need a new job, a new car, a new apartment, a new regimen.

And I start thinking. Do I need a new city? Have I exhausted the capabilities of Indianapolis to function effectively as a career professional?

There’s a cool blog called I Choose Indy! that’s a great PR tool for how much the Circle City has to offer. But I’m starting to think that staying in my beloved hometown city might not be a simple matter of choice anymore.

I mean, I have an outstanding network of friends: movers and shakers, business owners, civic leaders, folks who make coffeeshops and restaurants and nonprofits hum.

So what’s my damn problem?

I never want to make too big a deal about interviewing Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., but it comes up occasionally. And my one big regret about the interview is that I never reached the opportunity to ask him the question:

“Do you feel that you had to leave Indianapolis to be successful as a writer?”

It nags me that my loyalty to this town might have somehow stunted my success as a writer. But I’m never quick to blame others or conditions for what’s up to me to decide, determine, and act upon.

So, I’m going out to Washington D.C. next week for a fortnight to see my family and meet my new niece. While I’m out there, I’m going to network and see what opportunities abound.

I’ve not given up on Indy just yet. But I’m definitely looking at options elsewhere.

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Posted by on August 15, 2011 in Hire me Already!, My Town Indy Redux

 

Opportunities Seized

Over the past decade or so, the various positions I have held have provided me with outstanding opportunities to do some engaging and meaningful work:

Somebody actually paid me to do all of those things.

Through my volunteer work, I’ve also achieved some amazing accomplishments:

  • Helping raise $2,056,664 in contributions from half the solicitable role of 361 Phi Delt donors to build a new $4.2 million fraternity house at Wabash College for a chapter that has existed for more than 160 years.
  • Helping as a volunteer assistant varsity swim coach for four coaches at Wabash.
  • As a class agent, setting up a blog to keep classmates informed of class and campus happenings.
  • Managing the Facebook group and website for the Indianapolis Association of Wabash Men, a regional alumni association representing over 2,000 alumni.

Nobody paid me to do any of those things.

But they all add up to some solid experience, and I had a damn good time doing all of it when I look back.

I can’t wait to see what other things I can accomplish.

 
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Posted by on August 8, 2011 in Hire me Already!

 

The One Thing

When I advise Wabash students, lately I emphasize the simple principle of discovering your passion and figuring out how someone can pay you to do it.

It’s that one finger that Jack Palance’s character holds up in City Slickers.

 

I should be so lucky to follow my own advice.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Hire me Already!

 

Discovering My Strengths

Awhile ago, I read this business book recommended by a friend. Now, I’m not quick to pick up the hottest management huckster book detailing—in 16 pt. type, mind you—the latest corporatethought or bizspeak fresh from the MBA schools. But I perused Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton, and darn it if they didn’t have a good point (and a great gimmick). (They’re actually on a new edition, StrengthsFinder 2.0 by Tom Rath.)

Their main gist is that we all spend way too much time working on our weaknesses rather than focusing on our strengths. For our strengths—they posit—help us determine what careers will suit us best and how we will establish success in our chosen field.

The gimmick is that you can go online and take a test that will provide you with five of your key strengths from a field of 34 identified positive personality attributes. So, I took the test, and here are my strengths:

  • Ideation: People strong in the Ideation theme are fascinated by ideas. They are able to find connections between seemingly disparate phenomena.
  • Strategic: People strong in the Strategic theme create alternative ways to proceed. Faced with any given scenario, they can quickly spot the relevant patterns and issues.
  • Woo: People strong in the Woo theme love the challenge of meeting new people and winning them over. They derive satisfaction from breaking the ice and making a connection with another person.
  • Maximizer: People strong in the Maximizer theme focus on strengths as a way to stimulate personal and group excellence. They seek to transform something strong into something superb.
  • Adaptability: People strong in the Adaptability theme prefer to “go with the flow.” They tend to be “now” people who take things as they come and discover the future one day at a time.

I think they would fit beautifully with any organization seeking a personable, creative, think-on-his-feet type of guy. Don’t you?

 
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Posted by on August 1, 2011 in Hire me Already!