CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Set Out on an Heroic Quest

Monday, April 11th, 2011

The Hero’s Journey is a literary concept that rings true because it parallel’s parts of life’s journey in a simplified and focused way. Originally described by Joseph Campbell more than half a century ago, it’s a plot model that’s been intentionally and unintentionally used throughout the ages of storytelling.

Besides giving rollicking adventure tales, it also gives you the opportunity to consider events from a different perspective. The Hero’s Journey offers a different lens to see life and the trials and tribulations. In addition, there’s the suggestion of the rewards to be earned along the way as well.

There are three main phases to the journey, each deserving of future posts. In summary however they are:

  1. The Departure – Whence our hero (that’s you if you haven’t caught on) is invited to leave the ordinary world and embark on an epic quest! The hero contemplates, possibly rejecting the initial invitation, and ultimately follows the path set before him.
  2. The Separation – The trials and tribulations of the journey itself. After facing perils and obstacles, (both internal and external) the heroine reaches her goal and attains the gift of great value.
  3. The Return – After succeeding in retrieval of the gift, the hero returns (possibly with help) to bestow the blessings of the gift and their new found wisdom on the ordinary world.

Each phase has particular stages within it representing encounters or situations that a character, or person, might see at that point in their journey. While life may not entice you off to a magical quest, you are regularly invited off to an adventure of your own. Sometimes it’s useful to think of an opportunity as an invitation to an adventure. I find it easier to look at the challenges if I can think of the way-points on the journey.

Ultimately, the hero in the stories brings back a reward that benefits not only themselves but also allows them to share the benefits with others. At the very least your experience in everything you attempt allows you to help others avoid the pitfalls and traps while sharing visions of a better future.

What does the Hero’s Journey illustrate for you about yourself?

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

Check in and Pre-View of Upcoming Articles

Thursday, October 28th, 2010

Peter Fitzgerald is chronicling his process of navigating from losing his job to a new and brighter tomorrow. To read other posts from the series, see “Job Transition: A CareerSherpas’ Odyssey”.

As I regroup from a very active few weeks, I wanted to share an update and give a bit of a preview of some articles I have in the works.

Unfortunately my absence doesn’t mean that I landed a position and was whisked away to intensively draw in the needs, expectations and environment of a new role. There have been ups, downs, an unexpected trip to Australia for a wedding in which I gauged the job market in Sydney and Melbourne (the trip was unexpected, the wedding was not) and lots of rushing around to get out submissions for positions. There have been some phone screens, a lot of positions taken off the table by internal candidates and a number of promising opportunities that haven’t provided feedback but that I have to assume aren’t in play anymore.

All that being said, the flow of opportunities hasn’t slowed much and there have been a number of roles popping out of the woodwork. I’m seeing a lot of available positions and I’m seeing a pretty good response for phone screening. I’m still hopeful, but I am concerned about the holiday season being just around the corner which presents its own issues to landing a new position.

More to come on the experiences and I’ve been working up some articles along the way. So over the next week you can expect to read more thoughts on the job search including:

  • Recruiters: What they can and can’t do for you
  • Things to consider in using social media
  • Disappointments and staying positive

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, looking for a new day job, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

Just Show Up – And Follow Up!

Friday, September 11th, 2009

A common saying in productivity and success writing circles is “Just show up”. This wonderfully uplifting concept presses the point that by arriving, engaging and being where an action happens, the action will happen.

There is plenty of support for this assertion, but sometimes we need to grapple with the idea that someone else might also need to show up for something to happen. So what then?

The answer for me is an easy one: Follow up!

Any time you make a connection with someone you need to follow up. This simple act strengthens your connection, reinforcing that the meeting (and the other person’s time) was valuable to you. Whether it be thanking the person for their time, giving promised information or sharing a thought that occurred to you after you left, your consideration shows that you’re still engaged and ready to reconnect or work together whatever the future holds.

Similarly if you have a missed connection where the other person did not show up, it is important to reinforce that the meeting was important to you and that you value their time. If a meeting happened without someone, following up gives you a chance to re-engage the person and build a rapport. You can also share teasers to build up expectations for the next opportunity to meet. If you were going to be presenting information or offerings it’s easy to send the bulleted high points covered and either the information on the next presentation or the option of asking questions.

The art of the follow up takes a bit of getting used to to make it a natural step, but it’s worth the effort and lets you make a case or build a stronger relationship.

So get out there! Show up – and follow up!

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, conducting high-level business analysis, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

Focus on Someone Else

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

“There are two types of people–those who come into a room and say, ‘Well, here I am!’ and those who come in and say, ‘Ah, there you are.'” – Frederick L. Collins

After staring at this quote for two days, I realized that this is an attitude that we’re all called to share in order to be successful.

Think about it. If you are going to be successful personally, where do you need to focus? Is it a worthwhile exercise to push yourself forward or does it make more sense to see the other person’s needs as more important than your ego?

Any negotiation breaks down when either participant forgets to look at what the other side really wants. Any service offering fails when it doesn’t meet the needs of a client or market. And for someone interested in their career? Recognise that your success is all about making someone else look good or showing that you can provide what they need.

Focus on someone else today and see what happens!

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, conducting high-level business analysis, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.

All the Best Wishes of the Season!

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

Maybe I’m getting a little late start on the season, but to celebrate I’m launching a new and improved look for CareerSherpas.com and getting ready to start the year with a fresh perspective. Sure the economy is still grim right now, but in the season of hope we can all look at next year and plan for the recovery that comes after downturns.

New opportunities and possibilities will open up and many people will have the chance to grow further or even change directions to pursue what makes them truly happy. Even if you’re on a downward swing now, look for where you want to be, plan for it and set your plans in motion!

Have a restful and safe holiday, and I’ll be back next week with ideas for New Year’s Career Resolutions!

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, conducting high-level business analysis, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.