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Topic: Self-Awareness

Become A Better Person

[11 Nov 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | One Comment | ]
The Time Traveler’s Wife Delivers Self-Improvement Insight

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Before seeing the Time Travelers Wife at the theater, I got me a copy of the book. I wanted to read it before seeing the movie. It was just for fun reading, but this one scene left me with a revelation I just had to share on Career Jockey.
For the scene to make sense, I have to explain the main character’s predicament. (I promise not to ruin it for you.) Henri’s a time traveler – no technology needed. He gets plucked out of the …

Get A Job

[7 Nov 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | No Comment | ]
Three Gotta Read Books for the Serious Job Hunter

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For this article, I went through the dozens of books I’ve reviewed in Career Jockey’s Book Review topic and forced myself to pick only three books.  I had to make some tough calls, but these are the ones that together contain the meat of what every job seeker needs to know.
Book #1 – What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles
I wrote my What Color Is Your Parachute book review within three weeks of launching CareerJockey.org. I’ve recommended it to almost …

Become A Better Person

[4 Nov 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 3 Comments | ]

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Saturday night, this guy jumps out of the car at a stop light, points at the badge displayed prominently on his jacket, walks up to my car window and says, “You gotta problem!!!” Note: His words came with a sort of threatening tone.
Not even in Miami did I expect this.
Rewind just 3 minutes and my 13-year-old daughter and I are casually leaving the mall parking lot. Right in front us I see an old Toyota driving off with a red tie, scarf or something dragging along the ground. …

Become A Better Person

[29 Sep 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 9 Comments | ]
“Devil Wears Prada” Lesson: You’ve Got to Develop Career Self-Awareness

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No one purposely makes a bogus move hoping it will lead to a major screw up. It doesn’t happen that way. I have, however, seen myself make a string of seemingly benign choices that over time led me to a very painful destination. In the movie “The Devil Wears Prada,” Anne Hathaway’s character Andy Sach gives us a big screen lesson on how little decisions over a period time can take us to a place we would have rather not gone.
DWP begins with Andy turning down Stanford …

Become A Better Person

[28 Sep 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 2 Comments | ]

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If I sit back and consider where I’ve made career mistakes, I’m drawn more to the chances I passed up for being too risky than any one of my major screw ups. It’s not haven’t had any good screw ups. (We can sit down for a beer sometime and have some fun reviewing those.) It’s that the times when I took the easier route or opted against taking a risk probably cost me more and led to bigger regrets than the other ones. I have spoken to …

Become A Better Person

[14 Sep 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 3 Comments | ]

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When I was out of work, clutter camped out in my head. I worried about how I would pay my bills. I fretted over what I could have done to avoid the lay off. I rehearsed the worse case scenarios (that would likely never happen) repeatedly over and over again. This unhealthy, obsessive mental regurgitation drove me crazy. Worse yet, it added confusion when what I needed was clarity so I could be at my best for my job search.

Eckhart Tolle’s book “The Power of …

Become A Better Person

[1 Sep 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 2 Comments | ]

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I met today with the facilitators of the Back on Track Network (BOT) group I run. It’s the support group for out of work people that helped me out tremendously and inspired me to launch this blog. Rainer Zinn, one of my fellow BOT volunteers, and I were talking. Career Jockey came up and he told me that he blogged too. “What do you know?” I thought. “A fellow blogger that I actually know in the flesh.”
On a weekly basis, Rainer posts an article sharing …

Become A Better Person

[27 Aug 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | No Comment | ]

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I started using Facebook recently. Interestingly enough, it was my 13 year old daughter that was my top advisor. She had been using Facebook for a while and knew the ins and out of it very well.

Sylivia Ann Hewlett published a reverse mentoring article earlier this summer in a Harvard Business Review blog recommending us older folks get ourselves a mentor. She touts what Time Warner did by formalizing a reverse mentoring program where Gen Y kids (the 70 million-strong demographic born between 1979 and 1994) are …

Become A Better Person

[3 Aug 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 5 Comments | ]

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I’m not a Terminator movie fan, but I caught the end of Terminator 3 on cable the other day. I’ve heard #3 is not a favorite of the fans, but it did highlight to me how a person’s response to a challenge can determine their future as a leader. The right response can launch you into leadership stardom. A mediocre response can leave you well … just plain mediocre. (Warning: If you haven’t seen the movie, I give away the ending.)
In this Terminator installment, yet another robot …

Change Careers

[12 Jun 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | No Comment | ]

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In a previous article I described how when preparing for a speaking engagement, I completed exercises from the book “What Color Is Your Parachute?” leading me to some personal discoveries. I was a software engineer, project manager and technical architect realizing I had stronger people skills than I had realized and I enjoyed using. My technical skills had been driving a successful career to date, but could this be a sign pulling me in another direction. I started thinking, “How should I respond? What should I do …

Become A Better Person

[18 May 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | One Comment | ]

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I read “Five Dysfunctions of a Team” the first time a few years back when I was researching leadership and team dynamics. I’ve always enjoyed building teams and understanding why some work and others fail miserably.  This book explores the topic and describes a simple formula for identifying what works, what doesn’t and what you can do about it.
The book is a written as a corporate fable with two hundred or so pages written in large print.  You can finish it in a few hours, but don’t let …

Become A Better Person

[2 May 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 6 Comments | ]

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In Lewis Carrol’s classic, Alice wanders around Wonderland aimlessly. When she bumps into Cheshire Cat she asks him for directions. The cat responds:
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.” Alice says, “I don’t much care where.” The cat then comments, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk.”
Many of us have a similar problem and if you think Wonderland is confusing, try the current job market. Having your vision defined clearly is critical on any project and a job search is nothing …

Become A Better Person

[26 Apr 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 13 Comments | ]
Fender Bender Clear Sign I Need to Slow Down

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I collect quotations. And the one I’ve needed recently is:
You are in one of two places. You are either in the current moment or you are nowhere since the past and the future do not exist. Baron Baptiste
Baptiste is the author of a yoga book called “Journey into Power.” In his yoga lessons, he sprinkles tidbits of wisdom like the one above. Many of them encourage you to appreciate the moment and to live in it. (The book Silence on Fire, which I review in another article …

Become A Better Person

[19 Apr 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 5 Comments | ]

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Change hits a small business like sudden, summer, storm cloud. It frustrates employees, leads to customer complaints and often causes us to miss a pleasant warm meal at home with the family. Small business owners deal with change all the time. They put up with it, tolerate it and do what it takes to stay afloat amidst fast and constant change.
But what if we saw change as an energy source. What if we could learn to adapt to change, thrive on it and transform change into opportunities? Our view of …

Become A Better Person

[7 Apr 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | One Comment | ]

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My brother buried his father-in-law today. My wife and I witnessed his wife of 50 years saying her last goodbyes. While hugging her youngest granddaughter with tears rolling down her face, she left him behind. You could see how much more she was leaving behind – things she painfully hoped she could take with her.
Cecilin, as most called him, never said much. He had lost an eye in an accident years ago which left him disabled. He was a low-profile, solitary man and, as a result, I never got to …

Prepare for my First Job

[2 Apr 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 2 Comments | ]

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The book first What Color is Your Parachute1580089305 is a resource I recommend for job hunt advice and finding what career is best for you. Check out my blog entry on it. Richard Nelson Bolles, the writer co-authored another book, What Color is Your Parachute for Teens, that’s just as valuable for teens and college students. It provides career discernment advice so students starting off can decide what they want to do with their lives.
The book takes a similar approach to the first book, with adjustments made for the younger …

Become A Better Person

[14 Mar 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | One Comment | ]

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Before he saw me coming around the separator for a face to face confession, Fr. Eddy started aloud with his prayers. When he saw it was me he stopped, “Jorge, how are you? How are you and your family?” He wore his usual smile and, as always, slowly articulated his words. We had known each other for years— so long he had baptized two of my daughters who were now 18 and 12.
“How is your new position?” He recited – slowly.
“It’s going really well,” I replied. “Times are tough, but …

Become A Better Person

[24 Feb 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | No Comment | ]

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Spring Hill College President Fr. Gregory Lucey S.J. recommended the book to me when I visited my daughter who attends the school. The book describes four tenets of Jesuit leadership. Those are:

• self-awareness,
• embracing change,
• striving to serve others, and
• heroic ambition.

The author Chris Lowney is a former Jesuit who after having left the Jesuits became an investment banker at J.P.Morgan. He describes the formula used since the time of St. Ignatius to train and sustain the men of that order. And it was critical to the order and their mission of …

Become A Better Person

[23 Feb 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 4 Comments | ]

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In the summer of 2006, I took a director-level IT position. It was a return to management after six years of serving in software development and other technical roles. Up until then, I had depended heavily upon my technical skills and kept myself current through a lot of reading and research which had led me to several well respected certifications.
Since that approach had worked for me before, I committed myself to a reading and research project aimed at enhancing my leadership skills. My goal was to become as knowledgeable …

Become A Better Person

[23 Feb 2009 | Written by: Jorge Lazaro Diaz | 3 Comments | ]

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In the summer of 2006, I took a director-level IT position.  I was returning to management after six years in software development and other technical roles.  For a while, I there I depended on my technical skills.  I kept myself current through a lot of reading and research which had led me to several well respected certifications.
Since that approach had worked before, I figured why not do the same for my new role.  So I committed myself to a research project aimed at becoming the best leader.  I could become …