portland bloggers

flash mobs, score boards, modern romance and job hunting

I'm reading a new book about modern romance. Yup, that is seriously what it is about. I'm not afraid to admit it. Admittedly, I did not know it was about that when I started reading it, but by the time my Kindle told me I was 15% into the book I was hooked. It got me thinking about how weird the concept of romance has gotten and how that same weird concept has infiltrated our work life as well and if it was a good thing or not.

 


I'd like to meet the first person that asked their significant other to marry them on an arena score board or the first person to YouTube a flash mob wedding proposal. I'd like to meet them and punch them in the face. (It may sound mean but it is what it is.

This happens SO much, there is even an infographic on the set costs of doing such a thing. So much for original

This happens SO much, there is even an infographic on the set costs of doing such a thing. So much for original


When those people did that, they changed everything because they made proposals this massive event that now has no originality, no meaning and forces people to think bigger and bigger is their only option. (If you asked someone to marry you in this form, I'm not talking about you, you didn't have a choice, it was expected so I understand. I'm mad at the 1st person who did it, they are on my list.) Now we live in a world of awkward white guys dancing to impress their wife and relatives at the reception and millions of judging spectators on YouTube. 

You are probably now wondering, what in the world I am talking about. Modern romance has turned us into braggadocious show boating competitive weirdo's. It isn't just with potential lifemates either. All of the sudden we are trying to do the same thing at work. 

We apply for jobs online with a thousand other yahoo's for the same role. A computer picks up if we chose the right generic words to win the interview lottery. Then we chat with an HR person that often times hasn't been provided any real information on the role. If you pass this step you then get to meet with 1 to 20 other people on the team to determine if you are a fit for the role. There is no timeline provided, call backs are never when they say they will be, nobody responds to your thank you email, voicemail or thank you card, even though it is an expected practice. So basically we do all of these things just to play the game. What this means, is that the idea of "modern romance" or technology has quite literally turned getting a new job into winning the employment lottery.

I sound bitter, I know but maybe I am. I have been helping a lot of people lately to find jobs and the responses and experiences I hear about are appalling. These are seriously qualified people with good resumes, good personalities and everything else you would expect from someone you wanted to hire. Now being qualified isn't enough. You need your own career flash mob. Full disclosure, you probably shouldn't do a flash mob for an HR department. 

So I guess the question is, what would be the equivalent to a wedding proposal flash mob for our careers? How do we let people know who we are and what we have to offer in a compelling "man I gotta hire this kid right away" kind of way?

Some people do have some pretty interesting ideas from sandwich boards saying "hire me", taking out ads, video resume's etc. In some small cases, that works, but it isn't a guarantee. I am not sure I know the answer but...I will say this. Maybe this type of crazy idea job hunting will lose its luster. Maybe we are in the down slide of schemes and tactics to get a job and we are moving up towards good old fashioned hard word, dedication and drive...I said MAYBE, which probably reinforces the fact that I have no clue what the answer is. That reinforces the fact that maybe this post doesn't have its plot wrapped up in a nice bow.

Let's bring it back to the beginning and the idea of a flash mob wedding proposal. How many stories that start that way end with a 50th wedding anniversary? This is not meant as a judgement more of a hypothesis. When you start something as life altering as a marriage or a job it is special. You are learning new things every day, you get butterflies, there is always something new and exciting to talk about and share. All of that means that there isn't a need for any flashy addition to make it better, it's already awesome.


As time goes by, in a marriage or a job things start to settle, they become a little more routine, the quirks we used to love now make the hair on our neck raise up. THIS is when we need a scoreboard proclamation of love. This is when we need to be reminded why we are there. This may be easy to imagine in relation to a marriage or love, a tad harder maybe for a job. I see i like this, fancy resume's and big bold gestures may in fact get someone's attention at a place of employment, they may even get you in to a job but getting in is only the first step. Once you're in is when the hard work really begins and unless you are always at score board level or above, the expectation you created isn't being met. You have to do more and more to be seen and recognized for your work and it is usually at this point when people start to not like the job they so publicly fought to get.


I think it is time to bring some real romance back to our lives. It is time for us to do the work that gets us scene, recognized and adored. Modern romance? I'll take good old fashioned "till death do us part" kind of romance and get a career instead of a job. 

no flash mob or scoreboard required.

sometimes facebook just knows that if you had a cat you'd name him maurice

I can't have cats. They make me sneeze. But I would like to think that if I DID in fact have a cat, I would be cool enough to name it "Maurice" I mean let's be honest, that is the coolest cat name ever.

I can't have cats. They make me sneeze. But I would like to think that if I DID in fact have a cat, I would be cool enough to name it "Maurice" I mean let's be honest, that is the coolest cat name ever.

I saw this video online yesterday in between videos of babies laughing and cats doing weird cat things. Yes, suddenly I am a cat video watcher and yes, I'm not really sure how I feel about it.

Anyway...


This video showed up in the "you might also like" section and so I though, hmm maybe Facebook DOES really know me and clicked on the play button.

This video asks the question "what would you tell your younger self?" But that question is asked all the time, so what makes this video any better?

You'll see...


Amazing, right?

this is basically advice you should take at all times, if you ask me....this 8 year old already has life figured out with just those two words..

this is basically advice you should take at all times, if you ask me....this 8 year old already has life figured out with just those two words..

After watching I couldn't help but think, "Why do we wait so long to speak the lesson out loud?" Do you think any of these people had thought about giving their selves permission to follow this sage advice before they were asked to be part of this video? I'm guessing not. Mainly because when I tried to think about what advice I would give to "last year's me", it too me a minute. But again, WHY?

How many of us need to hear this time and time again?

How many of us need to hear this time and time again?

We are learning all of the time but we go so fast, it takes us WAY to long to get what we were supposed to get out of things. We are all guilty of concentrating too hard on giving everyone ELSE advice and not working out the advice we should give to ourselves. I can wholeheartedly cop up to that. I'm not proud of it but I do know I am not alone.

So I wanted to make some sort of commitment to myself that would allow me to start talking to myself, forgiving myself and reminding myself of what I can let go of and what I should hold on tighter to. To myself and to you I say, let's slow down and take a minute, just one little tiny minute to think about what our life taught us in the last year (shoot, last week or even yesterday) and figure out how we can use it moving forward. Here is my first attempt...

to my 38 year old self I say this:

screw the people who tear you down and underestimate you. It can only mean one thing...

they clearly don’t know you very well!
— Signed a 39 Year Old

I wonder if the makers of this video realized that by doing this I have now displayed my age for all the world to see. Great, guess I'm gonna have to pull out my Aliyah CD's next year and tell my 39 year old self that "Age Ain't Nothing But a Number"


so thank you Facebook, for telling me what you think I would like today. Not only did I like this video but it was the perfect video at the perfect time. I love when that happens.

It's KISMET. oh and since you are so cool and read this I'll give you a tip...Come back Wednesday to hear a little more about Kismet. I think you'll like it and don't be selfish, share the wealth and tell your friends. We are trying to start a movement here. Sharing positive content and building people up. Now, that is something to get behind.

OH and don't forget to play along...tell me in the comments what you would tell your "last year's self"

be creative this morning and take action

Bonus Day!

Short and sweet too. Recently I shared my experience at a Creative Mornings Event with Kevin Carroll as the key note speaker. Many of you reached out asking where you could find a video of the session. Look no further. The video is now up and available. Check it out and be inspired.

Happy Tuesday.

The importance of turning ideas into action Kevin Carroll at CreativeMornings Portland, August 2015. Free events like this one are hosted every month in dozens of cities. Discover hundreds of talks from the world's creative community at http://creativemornings.com/talks Don't miss a video. Subscribe! http://bit.ly/1jeJwut Follow CreativeMornings: http://twitter.com/creativemorning http://facebook.com/creativemornings

To learn more about the great stuff Creative Mornings is doing, check out their site by clicking on the logo below and choose the city nearest you. You won't be disappointed and you will probably be inspired.

eww...verbal diarrhea is so not cool (seriously dude, it's not a good look)

I should start this post by coming clean. I am so guilty of this that my picture should probably be next to the definition in Webster's Dictionary. 

It is because of the fact that I am basically an expert in this that I can give advice on why it is just not cool. First, let me explain. Verbal diarrhea sounds pretty gross. It is supposed to. You have experienced it before I'm sure. It is when someone feels they have to speak about everything and they just keep talking and adding so much information that it causes a mental overload in the people who are listening. Once they are done talking, you actually feel like they just threw up (their words) all over you and now you want to take a shower because you just feel gross.

One of my motto's has always been to stand up, speak up; stand out, speak out. so you can imagine why this one might be a struggle for me. In the workplace there are generally three types of people in a conference room.

  • the person who diligently takes notes and nods their head from time to time but says very little

  • the person who participates sparingly and calculated, waiting first for what the boss and everyone is going to say

  • then there are the people that have to speak so bad that they sometimes have to sit on their hands to stop themselves from jumping in

that's me

yes I like to talk and yes I have a perspective and opinion and I suppose I just feel like if I don't say anything nobody will know that. This by the way is perfectly normal and acceptable. When it gets to be too much is when it starts to backfire against you. I am also very fond of the saying

You don't have to tell everyone, everything.

I am fond of it because it is something I need to be reminded of constantly. When you tell everyone everything some interesting stuff starts to come to the surface

  • you start to become the white noise in the room

  • they stop thinking what you have to say is important or valuable to the discussion because you couldn't possibly have an opinion on everything and be right

  • people start to get antagonistic just to see if they can get you rattled

  • it doesn't create a collaborative environment

  • other group members will back up, not wanting to delve in to the discussion that you may be so passionate about for fear of getting cut off

  • you may go one step too far in what you say and kill your whole case

How does a serial verbal up-chucker move past their tendencies? 

Like most things in life, this has a simple solve. Let me explain.  Most people enter a meeting room with some sort of agenda. You want the other people in the room to buy into your idea, appreciate the work you put into something or help you get something off the ground. When you have verbal diarrhea, you come in hot, guns blazing for battle. This is before you even know if a battle is necessary, it puts people on edge.

If you prepare for the battle, however, things go differently. Understand what your goals are going to be before you head in to your next meeting, ask yourself one or more of the following questions:

have i eaten yet?

I know you're laughing at this but it's like the Snickers commercial says; "you're not yourself when you're hungry". If you're going to get people to collaborate with you then you need to be on your A game, so get something in your belly. Besides, food is amazing so why wouldn't you want to be eating all the time? 

It is also good to be well hydrated and have used the restroom, this might take a while.


who do i expect will be in the room & who do i expect will object to what i am bringing to the table?

This is sort of a "know your allies", "know your enemies" kind of approach. There is nothing worse than going to battle in the boardroom and watching someone switch sides in the middle. It throws you off you game and is often difficult to recover from so know who you are going up against. Know their arguments, position and where they are vulnerable or open to suggestion.


what is your point? what is your ultimate takeaway?

the things that almost always accompanies verbal diarrhea is panic, fear, a bad feeling in your stomach that you aren't being heard or not being understood. What if that is your own fault? What if you didn't come in with a clear idea and path to explain your position? You think that you are prepared but are you really? I will admit, I am an extremely passionate person. I will fight to the death for what I believe in with high emotions and vigor. That being said I have been in situations where someone came back with some good counterpoints and I was there with my mouth open and nothing coming out because they stumped me. I under estimated the objections to what I was bringing to the table and then wasn't prepared to argue against them. Rookie Mistake.

I guess what I am really trying to say here in WAY TOO MANY WORDS...(hard habit to break), is be aware and keep the following in mind...

  • be aware of your surroundings

  • know who you are going after

  • know what you really want to happen

  • know when you have lost your audience

  • know that sometimes silence is best

I realize I am trying to blog for the masses, but I will readily admit that this one is for me. Everyone has a journey and if you're lucky it takes a long time to get to the end. Make sure you are enjoying the view and course correcting along the way.