Best Jobs and How to Decide

“What do I want to be when I grow up?”

Whether you’re trying to decide that as a high school or college student, during a midlife “there must be more” crisis, or after a layoff, divorce or other life upheaval, this is an important and difficult question.

One source of data for consideration comes from CNN.com:
Best Jobs in America

You’ll also want to ask yourself:
What do I want out of life?

and:
What am I best at?

As you work through all of that, be sure to have conversation partners who can help you with reality check and creative thinking – both are important in the process and are enhanced through dialogue with other perspectives.

Let us know how we can help.

GROW

This is a useful acronym for a basic process of coaching. You can use this with yourself, in a group where you are a member, and in coaching others.

Goal – What is the desired future state toward which you wish to move?

Reality Check – What is currently going on? What are the feelings, thoughts, actions that brought you to this present, and are keeping you here? What strengths and deficits are part of that picture.

Options for steps forward – What can I/You/We do to move from our present reality to our preferred future? What else? And what else? This is the brainstorming session of the process, where there are no silly, dumb or bad ideas. The more we limit ourselves during this phase, the less our prospect of reaching our goal with success and significance.

Will – “What will I do?” This is the place where I choose a path forward, from all the options identified above. Between “Options” and “Will” critical evaluations and discernment will be made. We also recognize that trial and error, failure and trying again are critical to the process of development.

Collaborative work space

How much difference does it make where you work? The environment, space layout, sound, visual cues? The social interactions? The commute? The inspirations or distractions? The tools and resources?

I’ve just joined a new coworking collaborative – The Grove Dallas, a new ad-venture growing from The Grove New Haven. This has been described as the next stage of evolution from the home office and the coffee shop office. A great alternative model is the likes of Union – which is an intentional community formed from the base of a purpose built coffee shop.

What I like about The Grove is it’s intentionality around collaboration. While I may not be working on many “group projects” I do value having creative innovators close by so that I can gather inspiration, input and feedback from them. I enjoy hearing what other people are doing, which may be completely unrelated and yet somehow sparks something in me that does propel my project forward. And there are often synergies that develop – the whole being greater than the sum of its parts – that kind of thing. If I’m not in this kind of environment, then how can I have that experience?

Since I started my business in February I have largely been working from home, squatting in coffee shops like Panera and Starbucks. I attend networking meetings and do my 30 second commercial at the chamber of commerce, Netweavers, etc. I joined Success North Dallas, which is a collection of highly successful and motivated folks. All of these are good places to meet people and make connections for business referrals. I have not experienced them to be great places to develop collaboration. That may say more about me and my work style than anything. Either way, I haven’t been getting what I needed.

I just started reading a book by Bill AuletDisciplined Entrepreneurship. On nearly every page I find something that makes me to a head slap and realize I would have been more productive, efficient or effective if I’d read this book a year ago (or 15…) Among those insights is the critical importance of finding partners for a successful business venture. Aulet argues that the most viable endeavors are not solopreneurs. Partners bring added insights, corrective input, energy and enthusiasm, etc. One of the things that I have had trouble finding since starting this venture is a few good partners. I have had numerous generative conversations, but all have stopped short of full-fledged collaboration. I have already seen that The Grove is a perfect place for generating these very relationships.

I don’t know how long I’ll work here, or where it will lead. What I do know is that the investment of self – to say nothing of time, energy, effort, and money – is already paying dividends. AND I know that wherever my path leads, this community and what it is teaching me will bear fruit for years to come.

Discerning, Choosing and Acting with limited information and limited control

Download Discerning, choosing and acting with limited information and limited control
We often are faced with situations in life where we feel a need to choose and act without all the information and answers, and where various elements are beyond our control. At the same time, we do not want to be reactive or reactionary. We believe faithful and fruitful require us to consider, pray, reflect, discuss, discern, choose and act as best we can, individually and collectively, “trusting God with the rest” whatever that may mean. One way of building our capacity for this discernment work is through the Ignatian Prayer of Imagination. In this prayer method, we hear a biblical story and place ourselves within it, thinking, feeling, sensing, and experiencing it. Most often Ignatius invites us to pray with stories of Jesus acting in the world. At other times we are with Zechariah and Elizabeth, Mary and Joseph, and the disciples, as they respond with a Yes to God’s call on their lives. We can also learn from those in the Hebrew Scriptures who were called to make choices in the world and trust God along the way. Following are some scripture passages with which to practice this form of prayer. You might use them, one each day, Monday through Friday, or take several days to hear, experience and discern the wisdom in a particular text for you. You may also select texts of your own choosing – keeping in mind that this form of prayer is more effective when used with stories than with lessons, teachings, rules or theological discourses. Other resources may be found at: http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/; http://wau.org/resources/article/re_use_your_imagination/; http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Imagination/Intro.html . For more reflection on Choosing and Discernment, see Joseph A. Tetlow, SJ, beginning with this prayer: http://predmore.blogspot.com/2012/07/prayer-joseph-tetlow-choosing-christ-in.html

A Week of Abraham and Sarah
Abram is called to Journey – Genesis 12:1-9
Abram, Sarai and Pharaoh – Genesis 12:10-20
Abram, Sarai and Hagar – Genesis 16
Abraham, Sarah & three visitors – Genesis 18:1-15
Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Hagar & Ismael – Genesis 21: 1-21

A Week of Moses
Birth and childhood of Moses – Exodus 2:1-10
Moses – Prince of Egypt – Exodus 2: 11-15
Moses from prince to shepherd – Exodus 2: 16-25
Call of Moses – Exodus 3:1-14
Moses negotiates with God – Exodus 4

A Week of Exodus
Israelites at the Red Sea – Exodus 14
The Israelites Thirst – Exodus 15:22-27; 17:1-7
The Israelites Hunger – Exodus 16
Israel measures the challenge – Numbers 13
Israel rejects God’s invitation – Numbers 14

A Week of Women
Tamar – Genesis 38
Deborah – Judges 4
Ruth – Ruth 1
Esther – Esther 4
Judith – Judith 8