Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Opportunity Management VI - Persist

Only a handful of encounters are genuine career opportunities.

When everything falls into place, one single opportunity will become your next job and the next step in your career.

Until then, you might finish runner-up a few times, get overlooked or maybe even completely forgotten.

Throughout all the unsatisfactory outcomes - or lack of outcomes in some cases - your career experiences grow, your knowledge builds and your awareness deepens.

And you move one step closer to your goal.

[Pacifca Beach View - see more at Saundra's Flickr Photostream here]

All of your research, your preparation, your hard work, sticking-to-the-task, persistence, early mornings, late nights, wins, losses and everything else besides, count towards the end result when you finally achieve it.

Whether you are job searching, changing careers, facing or dealing with redundancy or layoff, your story, your questions and your opinions are welcome here as always.

All the best,



Follow these links for more posts on Opportunity Management, Research & Persistence:

Managing career opportunities

Why we work

Research not Job Search

When failure defines success


  1. You know Paul, ‘career’ is one of those words I find I rarely use anymore, because it seems so limiting, getting people to think in terms of conventional and traditional job disciplines within old industry, versus actively inventing new ones which suit them better. We seem to enjoy doing “unconventional” so much more, and we learn in a more open-minded way.

    Do understand though, what you mean by “your knowledge builds and your awareness deepens” along the way.

  2. Hi Rosa,

    You make an interesting point about language here. If we choose words with limiting or negative sides, it doesn't help anyone in the mission to resolve issues and make progress together!

    The word 'career' is such a staple (especially here) but that doesn't mean its use shouldn't be challenged. After all, what 'career' attempts to describe has changed beyond recognition in the last 50 years and the changes continue today.

    I do use the word 'career' a lot on this blog and understand what you are getting at because I have found it limiting too. To recognise the wider context you point out, I also use alternatives like 'work/life' and refer to our individual 'relationship with work'.

    Chris Bailey ( talks about work/play, which is a very interesting split indeed and makes us think about our values and what we enjoy doing too :)

    I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on what alternative words could be used in place of 'career'. What words do you and your clients use Rosa?

    A big thanks for your comment and for asking such an important question. On a blog that thinks about little else it will keep us thinking for weeks!

    Best Regards


  3. We use Ho‘ohana Paul: ‘hana’ is the Hawaiian word for work, and the prefix ho‘o turns it into a verb; to ho‘o is very proactive, for it literally means to ‘make something happen.’ It is good ‘language of intention’ for our sense of place here in Hawai‘i, however universally (and in English) I would still choose the word ‘work’ over job or career. Work is a bigger bucket, for within our work we can have a bunch of jobs and more than just one career; we go for an abundance mentality versus one of scarcity.

    However that all said, I wouldn’t be so quick in asking you to dispense of using ‘career’ either: Here at work/life fusion you have the opportunity to reinvent the word with a branding that wipes out our previous conceptions about it! Goodness knows, we can all focus better on the quality of the smaller parts – like one career – which make up the stellar character of the whole, and when I read your posts I think that is exactly what you are doing!

  4. Thank you for this definition Rosa. It is a fantastic insight into how much our approach to work matters. If we look to 'make something happen' it fundamentally changes our mindset towards work and what can be achieved by individuals and people in groups!

    Like you, I agree that 'work' is a more expansive, collective term than 'career'. When work/life fusion started out, I talked a lot about the difference between 'work' and 'work with meaning'. Incidentally, it was researching 'work with meaning' that helped me find the Hawaiian word and value of 'Ho‘ohana', on your website! :)

    You are also correct about the intention behind my use of the word career, although I never set out with the intention of re-defining it!

    I do use the word career here to describe the individual's experience of work in the singular. What I mean by this is that we, as individuals, have only one career, and our 'career' covers the entire working span of our lives. In this sense, a career includes within it all of our work, all our jobs, our experiences, our intentions and so on.

    The benefit of looking at 'one career' for us as individuals is that we can begin to understand it through one conversation. One single perspective that remains true for our career in its entirety. This conversation remains relevant whatever work we are doing now, have done in the past or would like the future to hold for us.

    Our ability to understand and rationalise our choices does not go away even if our work is in crisis (for example, if we are disillusioned, out of work or facing redundancy/lay-off). Whatever we are faced with, our career does go away. The connection between an individual and work can not be lost. Your career can never be lost.

    Thank you again for your comment here Rosa. I hope you enjoy my definition as much as I did yours. Here's to Ho'ohana and careers benefiting as a result! :)

    Best Regards


  5. Mahalo nui for your thoughtful response Paul. This part really resonates with me:

    “The benefit of looking at 'one career' for us as individuals is that we can begin to understand it through one conversation. One single perspective that remains true for our career in its entirety. This conversation remains relevant whatever work we are doing now, have done in the past or would like the future to hold for us.”

  6. Thank you Rosa,

    Thinking some more about this (as I knew I would!), it occurs to me that 'career' in the singular sense and 'Ho'ohana' (work with intention) compliment each other.

    Your 'career' creates the context for your 'Ho'ohana'. With a better understanding of your career (e.g. knowing what is important to you, what you are good at and what keeps you going), you approach work with intent and work becomes more meaningful. The aim is to make things happen and get things done!

    Maybe the upshot of our exchange is that we were both using the right words in the first place but now have a better idea where they fit in the bigger picture (by 'bigger picture' I mean work/life, the world of work and the place within it we occupy as individuals).

    Just a thought!

    Best Regards


    P.S. I also found a typo in my previous comment. It reads, "Whatever we are faced with, our career does go away." where it should read, "Whatever we are faced with, our career does *not* go away." Changes the emphasis slightly! :)