Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Café Culture Careers

Work Coach Cafe is one of my favourite career blogs but a big reason I like it so much only struck me the other day.

It's like Central Perk from 'Friends' or the diner from Seinfeld, if such a place could ever exist online for your career.

A place to pull up a (virtual) chair and talk about what's on your mind. You don't need an agenda; You don't have to worry about being preached at; No one will tell you what's best for you or pretend to know your situation.

Sit down, share a story. That's all there is to it.

Work Coach Cafe stands out from its peers because it's more than just a waiting place.

Bus stations, doctors' reception rooms and airport lounges are waiting places. We only visit them to get somewhere else. They're a means to an end. We're not there by choice. We're only there because we have to be.

A waiting place is no place to talk about your career.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing fundamentally wrong with waiting places. OK, some of them aren't well loved. The carpet might give you electric shocks, the seats can be uncomfortable and there's chewing gum stuck where you're trying to stand up or sit down. But they're just about OK in general because they serve a purpose.

Only because without them we wouldn't get to all those places we want to go.

A hastily assembled montage of 'just-passing-through' places

What I'm saying is this: Your career deserves more than a waiting place.

And you need more than a rushed, 'get-me-somewhere-else' conversation to do your career justice.

Work Coach Cafe is proof there are places where your work/life can be visited and re-visited, and the experience is a pleasant, refreshing one.

We can feel comfortable. We're not being hurried along. We don't have to wish we were somewhere else.

Our careers deserve all this and more.

New places to talk about our careers are appearing and - better still - they're starting to multiply too.


So what's your opinion?

Where do you like to talk about work - online or offline?

Have you ever been to a good waiting place?

What place does work/life fusion make you think of?

I'm keen to hear your thoughts!

All the best for now



  1. I'm humbled beyond words. (Rare for me to be almost speechless.) Thank you Paul for all the kind things you said about my blog. Coming from you it means a lot! You know what a big fan I am. And I so agree that career change is best when not rushed. Investing in ourselves and our careers is time and effort well spent. Central Perk huh? So cool. Hope Joey stops by. ;-)

    Peace out and in!

  2. Thank You and You're Welcome Ronnie Ann!

    Not being rushed is one thing but finding somewhere with a good host and an easy atmosphere is something else.
    Our careers are destinations not waiting places and it's exciting to see this shift starting to happen, with people like you showing the way.
    You might have guessed that I'm in whether Joey stops by or not ;)

    All the best for now,


  3. I tend to talk about work with the most energy when meeting professionals and finding opportunities for biz dev. I do a bit online on LinkedIn as well, in addition to reading your blog and watching a few others which I rarely respond to...

    I've spent a lot of time in holding patterns, 'hurry up and wait' is the mantra of an infantry unit being deployed. I've always used the time in a holding pattern to explore my thoughts about where I am in my life and where I'm going next - soft of an opportunity to formulate my strategy for what I'm facing or about to face.

    I guess work / life fusion is my place to go and take time out of my day to force myself into a holding pattern so I ensure I remain mindful of what I'm working towards instead of just becoming a victim of an endless list of tasks which may not be leading me in a direction my life really wants!

  4. Thanks for your insight Kyle. You give a good reminder how important it is to visit and revisit where you are going and in what ways 'the day job' keeps you on the right path. You also give a great example of how to use those 'in-between' parts of the day - you even force yourself to find and use that space in between all the meetings, tasks and everything else, a great career habit to get into in my opinion too.

    Reading your comment also reminded me that without insight like yours into the kind of place work/life fusion is (what you use it for, why you come back, etc.) i would only ever know how this place felt to one person (me). Thank you for sharing this and broadening my perspective.