How I Think About My Career

A person welding some metal

In a time when so much of what we know is subject to revision or obsolescence, the comfortable expert must go back to being a restless learner.

I plucked that line from A More Beautiful Question, which was one of the best books I read in 2015. The book was centered around using questions as tools to solve problems, generate new ideas, and become better experimenters.

That last item – better experimenters – is a critical point. The author Warren Berger continued with some thoughts on a careers:

…we’ll be expected to quickly adapt to using new and unfamiliar tools, as we try to construct new businesses, new markets, new careers, new life plans – using ever-changing technology, without clear instructions, and with the clock ticking.

In the past, a career was a rigid thing written in ink and followed like a set map to a destination in the future. Now, it’s a fluid idea written in pencil with erase marks all over the page. Careers are no longer a fixed path to follow. They’re constantly evolving as Berger comments.

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“No, because…” – The Benefits of Rehearsing Objections

Picture with the quote "You can rehearse a negative outcome to almost avoid it entirely."

When I first started freelance writing, I received a lot of rejection emails in my inbox. I mean a lot. I was pitching anyone and everyone that had a submission box on their site. I would estimate that 70% were either rejected or ignored.

After a short time, I started to realize the objections started to look similar. Here are a few paraphrased.

“That topic doesn’t fit with our target audience.”

“We recently published a piece just like that.”

“We only work with experienced writers.”

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Help Me Ship in 2016

A boat cruising through the water

Justin Jackson is quite possibly a mad man.

This week, I noticed he made a bold claim – he was going to launch 100 things in 2016.

Justin is no stranger to launching projects. He ran a podcast this year called Build and Launch, which detailed a new project he was working on and launching every week.

The best part about Justin’s new challenge – he invited everyone to join him in launching stuff in the new year. The result, the MegaMaker Challenge, already has over 120 participants.

I am one of those participants.

I’ll be doing a full recap of 2015 in a few days, but I would label it “The Year of Growth.” Specifically, I learned an immense amount about web development, leadership, and the nonprofit sector.

2016 will be my year to ship projects.

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How I Set Goals and Avoid Overwhelm

A girl walking through a maze on a beach

Frustrated.

That’s how I would describe my state of mind three to four months ago. I had some big audacious goals I wanted to achieve, but I felt paralyzed. I couldn’t figure out how to move closer to those goals or make any progress at all.

Sure, I would open my laptop every day and work. I wasn’t a total slug. At the same time though, I wasn’t working efficiently. I couldn’t tell you how the work I was doing would translate into the goals I wanted to achieve.

At the same time, I was overwhelmed. Having a lot to do but no clear plan to the finish line is a sure way to get me nervous.

I knew I had to turn something around.

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