Tag Archives: learning

Are you sowing seeds of success in your job?

The first winter in Plymouth Colony killed a third of the Pilgrims. During that winter one of my ancestors was caught eating the seed corn. He knew the whole colony would fail if the seed corn disappeared, but he talked himself into eating it anyway. I’m glad he was caught. I’m glad he learned.

Every job is the seed of your next job, even if you are changing fields entirely. Your future boss will be looking back at your accomplishments, drive, leadership and enthusiasm for your current job.

When you decide to sit back and relax at your job, you eat your seed corn. No one wants to hire an “average” person. They want to hire a superstar, or at least a hard worker.

Figure out how to make a difference. How can YOU make the company more profitable? Is there some way you can prove you are above average? 

When I was doing janitorial work at 4 a.m. every morning, I excelled. I only missed 2 days in a school year and I called in advance for those. I did my entire job no matter how tired I was. That work got me promoted to the afternoon shift. It was a lot nicer. The early morning job was the seed of my next job, and that was the seed of the next.

Don’t relax. Be at least above average. It will be the seed corn for your next job.

Invest some of the money you earn to get training. Use it as seed corn.

Something to do today

Be honest. Are you sliding by? 

List what makes you above average. Put it on your resume.

List what makes you below average. Eliminate it.

Has your brain stopped?

GM and Ford are laying off workers.  The layoffs include production line, engineering and management workers. IBM has layoffs every year, even when they are expanding.  State and federal governments have layoffs. The military has layoffs.

You are only safe if you feed that organ between your ears… your brain.

One of my candidates got tired of having to upgrade his computer skills every 3 or 4 years so he studied massage therapy.  Several candidates are getting their MBA’s.  I push everyone to get certifications in their field.  One of my candidates is a soldier in Iraq, and even he is able to continue his training.

Many people think their brain can stop when they graduate from high school or college.  These people have totally missed the meaning of the “Commencement Ceremony.”  Commencement means the beginning, not the end.  It is the time to really start learning.  It is the opening of broad new vistas of opportunities.

Oprah Winfrey said that the most important decision she ever made was to read two books each week.  She could stop working today and retire with the 100’s of millions of dollars she has earned.  Instead, she keeps on learning.  Because she keeps on learning, she keeps on being interesting to watch on TV.

I know a rodeo cowboy, a pro bull rider, who always impressed me.  She kept learning new skills, and even got into law school.

Are you still feeding your brain or did it stop working as soon as you left school?

Something to do today

Decide on a plan to learn something fun and something useful.  They may be the same thing.  Get started.

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Later:               It’s the manager’s fault

Learn, Unlearn, and Relearn

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.  (Toffler)

I love talk radio, but it doesn’t lift my spirits. It gets me perturbed.  Music on the radio doesn’t engage my mind as I drive.  I listen to books instead.  I love books that teach me and help me get a better attitude every minute.   

The best source of books to listen to may be your public library.  Our main library has hundreds of books and college courses available on audio tape and CD. And all my favorites are available for free through interlibrary loans.

The Amazon Kindle and other digital book pads will read to you and allow you to switch from sight reading to listening as you go through the book. 

MIT has the vast majority of its courses available for free online.  Yes, free.  In most cases the lectures, notes, and everything you need to learn is available online and free.  Currently I am taking a Calculus course from MIT for free.  I plan to take Linear Algebra next.

Audible.com is a great place to get books on MP3 inexpensively. I use my iPod.  You can use any MP3 player.  I like the quality, selection, and prices.  Getting a monthly subscription is the way to go.

The books on my listening list include: Man’s Search For Meaning (Frankl), Theodore Rex (Morris), Love is the Killer App (Sanders), Networking With Millionaires (Stanley), First Things First (Roger), The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Covey), The One Minute Millionaire (Hansen), The Millionaire Mind (Thomas), and The Millionaire Next Door (Thomas).  I didn’t realize I am so fixated on the word “millionaire”.  These books have great “can do” themes.

Some books I love, but can’t get at Audible yet are The Power of Positive Thinking (Peale), How to Stop Worrying and Start Living (Carnegie), and Think and Grow Rich (Hill). And don’t forget to check out your library and interlibrary loans.

Engage your mind. Lift your spirits.  Listen to books that get your spirit soaring while you drive or exercise.  You’ll love it.