Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Hello Career Dovetail Networkers, followers of my blog and potential connections,
Do watch this long overdue video message from me; which can be seen below.
Amid this surreal challenge of Covid-19 induced lock-down I strive to help, equip, strengthen and perhaps even collaborate with each of you in preparation for whatever happens next!

Thank you watching. Please feel free to share my blog if you have anyone in your network you feel may find it useful.
Stay safe *and well*,
Duncan hashtagstrongertogether

Thursday, 8 August 2019

Duncan’s August Digest – thought-food... for those seeking transformation (of any kind):

Introduction: Disrupting the status quo - by design - I'm here to help you while-away August's doldrum with 'thought-food' to inspire harmony, meaning and fulfilment; maybe even challenge your thinking. Bear with me whilst I 'build' my point... stay with me! You know how I like to weave a backdrop...

(To read on, click link below.)

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

The Whynapse© - Most Lives Have A Hole in Them. Does yours?

Why Sparking your Whynapse will be the second most important hole you fill in your whole life!
Most people have a hole in their life where their Whynapse© would sit. If only they knew what and where their Whynapse©was. So, how do I know?
Obviously, I am borrowing the basis of my term from the scientific origins of synapse; which is the minute gap in the brain’s communication system which transmits nerve impulses to achieve thoughts, reactions, movements and memories. The word "synapse" is derived from the Greek words "syn" and "haptein" that mean "together" and "to clasp," respectively.
In my Career Dovetail Formula™, I define the anatomy of ‘The Ahah Moment’ when a person 'clasps' what work they were born to do. This is achieved by bridging that elusive gap between our vocational identity and marrying this to a destination in the World of Work which complements these ingredients. The Career Dovetail process implies a journey of docking the two sides of the career decision together. In the same way, that ‘love at first sight’ is a rare occurrence. This rarely, if ever, happens in an instant. Hence, I use the pieces of a jigsaw to denote self-awareness because the picture is not always revealed until we piece each ingredient together. There is a viscerality to it.

However, the falling in love metaphor works really well in this instance. Before we meet our ‘life-partner’, there is a period of, inevitably, being apart. When we become aware of a person who is receptive and accepts us for who we are, completely. Then we experience the union of the two separate halves. People frequently liken this as, meeting our match, realising my better half, instant attraction, passionate chemistry, to mention a few phrases related to this sparks flying moment. I once heard a helpful definition of this love of a life-partner; which went something along the lines of: a person who makes that significant other person complete by enabling the fulfilment of their potential. And so it is with the notion of finding one’s calling to do a particular occupation.
Before we encounter our better half, we know there is a hole deep-down inside each of us which could be said is a yearning, a longing, a void in our lives which compels so many of us to quest for the answer. With the answer, in the context of love-matching, being a person.
Does the same dynamic exist in the world of work? Unless we inherit a fortune and literally never have to work in our lives, the vast majority of the population will need to construct some form of livelihood / work / employment / vocation. In essence, each of us supplies our ‘talent’ to a market need. In the last twenty years, I have written extensively on this dynamic of supply and demand. Back in 2004 I started to recognise that what folks were questing for was their purpose in life.
The biggest obstacle to finding matches such as these, is their intangibility: Perhaps not quite so portentous as finding our life-partner, discovering our purpose in life is important, nonetheless. Equally so, is appreciating our mission. Our purpose is over overarching guiding star; which, we must accept, will never be held in our hand. Whereas, the skills of learning to navigate towards it forms the palpability of our mission. Thus, we sculpt our mission around our character traits, skills, competencies. Our purpose derives from our values, aspirations, attitudes and dreams.
For example, my favourite architect, American Frank Lloyd Wright’s purpose was designing structures that sit in harmony with humanity and the environment. As such, he pioneered whole architectural movements and schools of thinking, such as ‘The Prairie School’. Although he achieved far more than this in his remarkable lifetime, I love his work because he took an holistic approach. Underpinning his unique purpose, were the ingredients forming his mission. As a game-changing innovator, among his repertoire of skills (verbs), he mastered drawing, designing, harmonising, envisioning, sympathising, researching, synthesising and leading, in accomplishing the widely acknowledged greatness we recognise as his legacy still.
Much like another of my all-time favourite innovators and design pioneers, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, he based much of his inspiration in the organic structures found in nature. In doing so, he built a reputation for blending ingredients in the blurring of architecture’s usual delineation points between structure and situation. His designs typify the bridging of synapse into… as I say in my book“Work Aesthetics©, …the delight-filled fusion of fabric, function, form and ‘flow’.”
The Whynapse© is a phrase I coin to define that space in your life which you yearn to fill with a sense of mission, purpose and one’s ability to contribute. In Maslovian thinking, it is defined as one’s ability to individuate, self-actualise and grow through time in such a way that implies progress. Put simply, to build traction between the Self and the society of which we are all parts.
Ahead of docking the two-sides of the purpose equation together, there is a divide: The chemistry of love and passion has yet to occur. We know this deep-down in our souls because there are forces which instinctually tell us there are things are still to happen. This sense of anticipation fuels our quest. We all have it. I experienced this longing to identify my purpose, to satisfy the longing to maximise my innate potential throughout the course of my teens and twenties. For me, it was not until I had torn through 35 jobs in the first 32 years of my life that I experienced my epiphany. (#Gratitude!)
People have met me after a long gap of 25 years and asked what on earth happened. What happened was, I plugged the hole where once there was the void of my Whynapse©. More via trial and error than good judgement, I fell upon my calling. Beyond blunder, I built belief. My purpose, to help as many people as I could in my lifetime to avoid the toxic pitfalls of not knowing. The holes leading to low self-esteem, confusion, vicious circles, self-doubt, distraction, frustration and reactivity.
Yet, much like the ‘before and after’ version of a person who has found their love-match, so it is for the person who decodes their occupational DNA in the alchemy of epiphany. Tuning-in to their raison d'être. Sparking knowingness. The most interesting reaction to which is always, “Of course! It’s obvious what I am going to do with my life! How come I didn’t realise this before now?!”
It would be unrealistic of me to completely define the notion of Whynapse© here in this short post. Frankly, because it is such a fresh thought and such a subjective topic, I feel it would be insincere of me to even try. My task right now, is to get it out there so that you, the reader, can use it as soon as possible to diagnose that career itch that you have been trying to scratch for such a long time. The trick in life is knowing what the holes are and where they are; if ever we are going to be able to take action. Hence, Whynapse© leapt from deep instinct. Designed as an umbrella-term covering a multitude of malfunctioning working-lives; with so many slaves to the mundane. It is the word which defines a hole that so many people in the population endure day-to-day.
With the result being so utterly enticing, the point of this post is, ultimately, what are you going to do about interpreting your Whynapse©? How big is the gap between you and meaningful work? How in control are you over the direction of travel of your work-day? Do you value your career attributes? Are there better-fitting opportunities in the labour market that match your skill-set, experience, insight, passions, interests, values, qualifications, drive, traits and work-preferences? Have you been inspired to complete the self-inventory? Are you career ‘fit’? Above all else, what is your mission, your how? And what is your purpose – your why? What difference would it make?
Should you need any guidance in deciphering your Whynapse©, please get in touch.
(NB: For a FREE career strategy workshop on: ‘Decoding the Power of Your Occupational DNA’, here in Brighton, click the link. **Usual price £75.00**)
Duncan Bolam ©1997-2019
Career Dovetail® purposeful propulsion - strengthening wellbeing by dovetailing more people into sustainable careers © 1996-2019

Tuesday, 4 December 2018

The above video is aimed at getting your mind ticking on self-inventory and who you truly are. Then, we take a look at the following question: 

Is Your Career Beautiful? 

As we approach the 'turn-of-the-year', why not take a moment to inspire your career planning, objective self-assessment and once-a-year 'look under the hood' of your work/life balance, with a read of my latest Career Dovetail Newsletter. 

'Is Your Career Beautiful?' is an evangelical 'essay' on the ups-and-downs of zeroing-in to that vitality giving sweet-spot that can lead us to discovering a truly meaningful working life. Plus all of the benefits that go with it. 

So with a New Year fast-approaching, why not take a look and please do share with your networks and friend circles if you feel you uncover useful tips. 

[Image credit - © XL Records, album cover 'Bravest Man In The Universe', Womack, Russell, Albarn.]

Click following link for newsletter 'essay':

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

Career Dovetail Autumn 2018 Newsletter: The Power of Your Intention, Prizes & The Mechanics of Love!

This month's newsletter informs readers about the seasonal trends we need to be aware of if we are to manage our careers effectively and be one step ahead of the rush for jobs and work as we spring towards the year's busiest periods in the rush towards Christmas and the New Year. Plus, I talk about thought-provoking ideas on loving your work, recognising patterns when developing career strategy and news that I am offering free workshop places in my new career strategy and self-marketing programme targetting specific groups in the labour market: women-returners, fresh graduates entering the World of Work for the first time and newly-redundant workers facing the ordeal of career transition and reinventing themselves. Career Dovetail Autumn 2018 Newsletter: The Power of Your Intention, Prizes & The Mechanics of Love!

Friday, 25 May 2018

Read about Duncan's Eureka Moment, Recognising Patterns in Your Career Data & The 'GDPR'!

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to ALL of my connections. It gives me great pleasure to provide you with my first Career Dovetail newsletter for more than 3 years. Believe me, it's been one hell of a journey to get here. I have strived to making its reading worth your while. In it there are the highest of highs, lowest of lows and who knows where this journey in words of my life will take us. Why not read and find out, eh? Should my story strike a chord, please do ensure to share it for me, please. Your Career Dovetail Newsletter.

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Importance of Finding Work that You Love and How to Go About Achieving it:

A bit of translation to set the scene:

Firstly, job-hunting and career planning is counterintuitive! Meaning, the processes described in this article may go against your gut-feeling. The process of job-hunting is the opposite of how you might think successful job-hunters end-up in great work. 

How I met the Grandfather of Career Planning & Job-hunters:
I had the remarkably good fortune of crossing paths with Richard Nelson Bolles (who very sadly, recently passed-away)​, when he came to Brighton in UK back in 2000 to be a keynote speaker at the annual conference of the Association of Career Professionals International (at that time called IACMP).

[Dick's life remembered in this wonderful obituary: ]

His speech was a triumph of observation and spoken right from the bottom of a very, very sincere, warm, giving and knowing heart. Something of a rarity in our modern world. Someone deeply experienced on life’s journey, proficient in acts of kindness and truly and utterly authentic. A man tuned-in to his heart, who possessed a compelling sense of purpose in his life.

How I ended-up on a life-changing workshop in Oregon’s high desert:
We struck-up a friendship and Dick invited me to his famous 'Life/Work Planning Workshop' in Bend, Oregon, US of A. It seemed far-fetched that I should go to the high desert of Oregon and spend an intense 2 weeks absorbing startling insightfulness from one of the World's most gifted teachers.

He made it difficult for me not to seize upon such a fabulous opportunity. And a few weeks later, there I was, soaking-up THE most incredible experience at the almost ethereally gorgeous Mount Bachelor Village Resort​; surrounded by serene pine forest and the bluest of skies in the universe.

From 9am to 9pm every day for a fortnight I was treated to a feast of learning, self-directed study and a feast of the senses like nothing I had known before or hitherto. My life was transformed forever and it has to be the richest singular experience along my 'personal development' journey.

Technicolour Masterful Teachings:
With remarkable inventiveness, he wrote on *black* flipchart paper using iridescent chalk which howled to the senses shimmering in a magical ultraviolet light. So striking were the images hovering amid the twilit conference centre, up there in that high desert, that they remain indelibly etched in my consciousness to this day. Each interactive 'lesson' was preceded and punctuated by moving soundtracks, thought-provoking films and a profound camaraderie that enriches me still.

Self-discovery, at this depth of dive, sparked profound shared learning opportunities that possessed a transforming power. Delegates struck-up life-long bonds with fellow participants who bared their innermost reflections in their quest for life missions and meaning-filled occupations.

Dick’s reputation had attracted a team of distinguished co-facilitators from all-over the world. Each one of them watchfully attending to the details, nurturing deftly and enabling as delegates wrestled to comprehend their future. Encouraging us through those inevitable stuck moments when the senses were drowning in the vortex of intense self-enlightenment. The whole event a catalyst with such a profound and lasting legacy. It is hard to believe I can recall the experience with such lucid intensity 15 years on.

Plan to go ‘Proactive’ because ‘Reactive’ drains the soul:
I detail such context because Dick’s methodology is still not recognised as being the definitive job-hunting formula to this day. Finding one’s true calling and best-suited occupation is the greatest investment of time a human can make. The dividend lasting a lifetime. Yet so many people are utterly deadbeat, downtrodden and stuck under the burden of empty, passionless and limiting work.

Read The Job-hunters & Career-changers Bible:
The whole point of my writing is that to the vast majority of citizens still, finding great, rewarding, restorative, joy-filled, purposeful, motivational, stimulating, contributory and uplifting work appears esoteric, untouchable, unattainable and far-fetched.

Furthermore, the vast majority of dissatisfied workers and people out of work, continue to hunt for work in the complete opposite way that hirers hunt for workers. If you are having difficulty visualising this *fact* of the labour market, please take a look at page 8 in the 2015 edition of Dick’s world-famous best-seller, ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ (click on link) and take a few minutes to drink in the wisdom contained in this pivotal page’s diagram.

So many people hunt for jobs in Reactive Mode. They waste their energy on applying to adverts, filling-in application forms, firing-off CVs and résumés, investing hours and hours signing-up to job boards and websites that – statistically – are so unlikely ever to bear fruit. Let alone sate their craving for a job that reflects their talents, gifts, experiences, career attributes, values and aspirations.

Finding Great and Meaningful Work doesn’t just happen:
It takes time, energy, sacrifice and conscientiousness to land yourself a rewarding career. In signing-off this post, all I ask is you take the time required to produce your self-inventory. Cultivate your ‘career language’. Populate your vocabulary with terms that best describe your skill-sets, talents, experiences and achievements to date. Audit your career-related achievement stories.

Gather all your personal information together into one place. Organise it. Extrapolate this data towards your future and pin-point precisely the job in the labour market which generates the brightest spark when dovetailed with your vocational DNA.

Once you have managed to choose your own path – and you are excited by it – radiate, disseminate, proliferate and transmit the process. Let your newfound enthusiasm infect your friends and family in order that they too can thrive, grow and take joy from their personal development.

Take joy from Work. Spread the word. Enhance the world.
Let’s get more people into great work.
It is a cause worth investing in.

Here is a great YouTube film of Dick explaining the concept of self-inventory: click here.