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The career lesson school didn’t teach me

The career lesson school didn't teach me

When I was 15 years old I was pretty clear about one thing. I was never going to be a mathematician.

I did not have a passion for numbers, equations were a struggle and pi was a complete mystery.

I was the kid at the back of the class with their perennial hand in the air every time the teacher asked if anyone had a question.

Maths was the anomaly on my report card. The thorn in an otherwise reasonably rosy garden. So in a bid to close the gap and prepare me for my GCSE my parents got me a maths tutor.

Sensible decision right?

Hour after hour over the course of the next few months I’d spend my extracurricular time trying to calculate the hypotenuse on triangles, condense algebra expressions and wrestle with simplified fractions.

To this day I still don’t know what any of that really means.

At the time my brain just didn’t want to compute it. I always came up with a different kind of logic, which rarely matched the one I was supposed to be using.

Try as I might, I just didn’t get it. This undoubtedly frustrated my tutor and it sure as hell frustrated me.

And the improvement could only be described as slight. The time and energy invested was not at all reflective of the outcome.

I was still a dunderhead when it came to rearranging formulas.

But here’s a question. What if instead of using my after-school hours to gen up on mathematics, I had spent them becoming more of a master at one of my top (and incidentally, favourite) subjects instead?

What would have happened if I’d channelled extra effort into English or Creative Arts?

Oddly, convention focuses training and coaching on the areas where we lack natural ability, so we spend hours trying to fix our weaknesses rather than focusing on our strengths.

It’s an approach that’s often introduced by our education system and continued by our employers.

But it’s damage limitation at best and it’s unrewarding.

If you’re not a natural physicist or playwright, focused attention might mean you reach an average level of aptitude eventually, but you’re never going to be Werner Heisenberg or Arthur Miller.

Conversely, when you focus your energy on developing and applying your natural strengths and talents, you are much more likely to excel and find lasting satisfaction.

It’s a simple premise and one that feels great and pays dividends.

So whatever your own maths nemesis is, rather than over-commit development time and energy to it, try channelling your efforts into the things you’re already good at to develop master abilities.

You might just be amazed at the difference it makes, and your career trajectory will absolutely thank you for it.

P.S. If you’re interested in identifying your specific strengths and using this understanding to help direct your future career path, check out Work Wonderland.

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18 hours to change your life?

18 hours to change your life?

Do you dream of an alternative lifestyle or new career?

One that provides more peace, freedom and personal fulfilment?

Where you love your work, and discover synergy in your work and personal lives?

Where you have time for yourself and the people you love, and are free from the constant demands of others?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding YES followed by a massive BUT, I get it.

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably struggled to pursue and realise the life you aspire to because two obstacles stand in your way:

Obstacle 1: You lack clarity on what you might do instead

Obstacle 2: You are concerned about financial security

Sound familiar?

What most people don’t realise though, is that the life they want is achievable, and its achievement is possible WITHOUT risk.

I’m not joking.

The simple truth is that once you are specific about what you really want and why, it’s purely a matter of pragmatism; a practical action plan to see you on your way, in a time-frame that suits your circumstances. One that doesn’t impact your immediate financial stability.

So, how do you get clarity on what you really want, and then make it happen?

It’s simple. You do what hundreds of others have done and use Work Wonderland.

What is Work Wonderland?

Work Wonderland is an online coaching course and web application that helps you define your ideal career in the context of your ideal life, and develop a clear plan to achieve it.

It’s an interactive “how-to” guide, giving you a proven, step by step formula for identifying your ideal career, and it comes with practical tools that show you how to take action and make the ideal a reality.

Work Wonderland utilises the coaching blueprint I’ve proved and used to help hundreds of people determine their ultimate career path, one that blends their ideal career and lifestyle.

Does it really work?

Ask these guys:

Jeremy left a career in IT after 32 years to run a children’s charity and live in the country, where he cooks and gardens to his heart’s content.

Elijah, after careers in law and communications, landed his dream job at Google, and has written his first book after recognising and indulging his passion for writing.

Tom, after years working for other agencies, has set up his own creative marketing firm that puts his passion for pixel perfect work at the heart of his services.

Now you might be wondering what type of time commitment is required to come to a firm conclusion on your ideal career and life?

Many assume it will take hours and hours over months and even years, but that’s not the case.

In total, the average time it takes to complete the full Work Wonderland course and get your answer is 18 hours over the course of three weeks. That’s it!

So less than one day’s effort could positively and significantly change the rest of your life.

If this is something you’re interested in click here for more information on the course, the web application and the bonus material I provide with it.

If you don’t take action to define your ideal career in the context of your ideal life, you can’t go after it, which means you’ll never have it.

Don’t consign yourself to an unfulfilling treadmill indefinitely.

Choose to do something for yourself today that changes the course of your career, and consequently your life, for a happier, more meaningful and fulfilling future.

Check out Work Wonderland today, and give yourself the life-changing career answer you deserve.

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The best piece of career advice no-one will ever give you

The best piece of career advice no-one will ever give you

It seems there are a lot of rules on the road to career success.

Work harder than everyone else.

Make life sacrifices.

Suit up.

Network like a demon.

Be an extrovert.

Don’t be too wild with your ideas.

Avoid ‘different’ clothing.

Fix your weaknesses.

We are taught that ignoring these rules is a career no no, which will send us straight to the back of the queue when it comes to career progression and promotion.

It’s much safer to fit the mould.

But what if you want work to feel like play and believe in a work/life balance?

What if wearing a corporate uniform of sorts just doesn’t feel like you?

What if networking and being the loudest person in the room makes your introverted self want to vomit?

What if you’re an ideas machine or someone whose wardrobe is an expression of your creative self?

What if you’re much more interested in putting your strengths to work than directing your energy towards the things you aren’t naturally good at?

The truth is that if adhering to rules like these means we compromise who we really are – contorting ourselves to fit someone else’s idea of what’s right – we’re never going to perform to the best of our ability or be at the top of our game.

From my years of coaching, what’s clear is that those who are most successful and happy in their work approach their career on their own terms – whatever that means for them.

They do what feels good, whether that’s wearing a casual jacket and chinos or fuchsia pink in a sea of black suits; challenging the status quo with a leftfield creative idea or finishing at 5.30pm to pursue their passion for ballet, painting or athletics.

When we embrace who we really are at work we exude personal confidence, which studies suggest has more influence on career success than talent, hard work or education. 

It makes us more likely to be admired, listened to and have more sway over group decisions.

So ask yourself, are you are playing to a script for success that is dictated by other people? 

If you are, consider taking off that metaphorical suit to bring your true and best self to work. 

It will feel a lot more like fun and your career trajectory will likely thank you for it.

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