A couple of things about professional development…

Through the magic of LinkedIn, I saw that former co-worker Mike Hatz did a blog post. I worked with him back in the olden days (early 90’s). He’s one of those people that just always had something pretty smart to say. Anyhow, he has a pretty interesting blog post about career advice:

Career Advice
http://mikehatz.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/career-advice/

Next, (unrelated) I ran across this interesting quote this week:

“You are the generation about to come into control and must prepare for this responsibility. Do not fill up your leisure with meaningless activity or with causes. Have the courage to stand aside and watch for a little while. It is more important to know where we are going than to get there quickly. Do not mistake activity for achievement.” –Mabel Newcomer (1892-1983)

Wow, that one really hit me like a 2-ton heavy thing!! And then through happenstance, I ran across this blog post today too:

What you think… you ARE!
http://drinkinlife.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/what-you-think-you-are/

This is a pretty interesting post. What’s interesting though is that he/she says somewhat the same thing about “filling your time”. In particular from that post though, this really spoke to me too:

“What is the primary difference between the 5 percent of people who are wealthy and those who are not? The 95 percent focus their attention and extra time on entertainment, while the wealthy 5 percent invest their extra time in education. Evaluate yourself: How much time do you spend on entertainment and how much on education? The imbalance of this equation could be the reason your life isn’t where you want it to be.

Unsuccessful people think about what they don’t want most of the time. They talk about problems, listen to news and gossip, and spend their time blaming circumstances, situations and others.

Successful people think about what they want and how they will get it. They are intensely focused on their goals and the information needed to help obtain them.”

Now, I might argue that you should fill SOME of your time with entertainment (I currently recommend Battlefield: Bad Company 2) – but I do agree that maybe most people default to entertainment. If they have a Saturday to themselves, they look to fill it will entertainment, it’s not often looked at as an opportunity where one might learn or educate ones’ self.

My own feeling on this is that it all depends on a few factors. Assuming you like what you do for a living, how important is your income? How motivated are you to make more money? How resilient and resistant do you want to be to layoffs? Aside from technology being my hobby, most of my professional development motivation comes from my desire to live comfortably and not have to worry about work, getting fired, etc.

I guess that’s why I found the quotes above motivational, because I do try to “invest” a majority of my free time into trying to better myself if I can. If it’s not programming or technology related, it’s with learning some new skill or language (I can now order lunch in Catonese, for example!). Anyhow, for whatever it’s worth, I thought these were interesting…

Posted in Professional Development, Uncategorized

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