Career Sustainability - Inspiration for Questions In: Purpose, Careers, Motivation & Leadership.
Welcome to DuncanBolam.com.
The 'Go-To' blog for anyone seeking coaching sparks for questions regarding their: Purpose | Careers | Life/Work Balance | Personal Growth |
I’ll help you nourish your #work-life over the long haul...
Plus help you discover meaningful work that you will love!
My aim is to help you answer:
* What is my purpose?
* Why life needs meaning?
* What are we here to do?
* How do I tell my story so people believe in me?
* How to turn negativity into opportunity.
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.)
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,"
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.
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!)
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?!”
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!
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.
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
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: www.nytimes.com/2017/04/01/business/richard-bolles-dead-what-color-is-your-parachute.html?_r=0 ]
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:
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
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
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
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
Finding Great and Meaningful Work doesn’t
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
Here is a great YouTube
film of Dick explaining the concept of self-inventory: click here.