Tag Archives: job

Intent of the Day: Look at Work Differently


Everybody’s working for the weekend, right? Popular culture reminds us on every corner that going to work means answering to “the man” and we might not know who “the man” is but we know he probably doesn’t want us to have any fun. But does that have to be the case? Is a job that fulfills and grows you something reserved only for the lucky few? We don’t think so. Our intent is to notice what opportunities are available to us. Our intent is to look forward to our Monday. Our intent is to look at work differently.

How so? Here are 3 things to consider: Continue reading

DearJames: Changing My Life


I’m hoping to get a job with more hours, or should I just stay where I am? Also,
will love ever find me?

Think not about more hours: or the lack thereof: instead, focus your attention and intentions on manifesting your dream job.

All too often: one finds themselves settling for any job: let alone one that they actually love.

Time is a vastly misunderstood commodity.

It is as limitless as it is priceless: however: it is not guaranteed.

To waste or squander it: is to be selfish and “un” timely: meaning, to not be limitless or priceless.

Begin each day by stating your intentions.

I intend to find the very best job for ME.

I intend to be open and aware to the signs and signals the Universe sends me.

I intend to follow through with each lead or opportunity with guided enthusiasm or restraint.

Continue to hone and revise your intentions: addressing matters of daily living: health: happiness: and specifically your dream job income, location, hours, boss(es), clients and co-workers: to name a few.

Incorporate the power of intentions throughout your day: so as to sustain a higher vibration: one that mirrors your new level of expectation.

Soon enough: by stating and re-stating your intentions: coupled with conscious awareness of the signs and signals the Universe sends you: you will have manifested your desired outcome.

Dreams jobs really do exist.

They are a match made in heaven: by a benevolent, gracious abundant Universe: and the expressive, faithful soul willing to dream and reach for the stars.

Love will find its way to you in the same manner.

Be willing to be: that which your heart longs for: by mirroring your actions with your intentions.

The power of your intentions will dramatically alter the trajectory of your life experiences.

And so should they: for they are a mirror: of your deepest held desires.


DearJames™ provides intuitive insight, answers and advice…to your life questions. DearJames™ is an Intuitive Advice Columnist, Radio Host and Consultant.  DearJames™ is available for private intuitive consultations and you may also listen and call in live every Wednesday at 9:00AM Pacific on the Contact Talk Radio Network during DearJames Live – EXPRESS YOURSELF: an all live call in show where you Tell It Like It Is…And Then Hear What DearJames™ Has To Say. ASK DearJames a question or find an abundance of Inspiration, Advice, Wellness Resources & Tools and Charitable Giving opportunities at www.dearjames.com.

5 Steps to Make a Great First Impression

HandshakeSeven seconds.

According to researchers at New York University and Harvard, that’s how long we get when we’re making a first impression. Think about that for a second (or seven): with every prospective client we want to make, every job interview we have, and every personal relationship we start, we’re only allowed a brief moment to make a positive connection.

Perhaps that’s indicative of life as we know it in 2013. Attention spans are shorter and the need for immediacy is higher.

Stranger still, the crucial moments have more to do with non-verbal cues than verbal ones. Albert Mehrabian, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at UCLA, says that non-verbal communication is four times more powerful than verbal. 

Seeing as how we don’t all have the intuition required for every interaction in life, I’m going to give you a few basic guidelines on how to get started.

  1. Eye contact says it all! Your first interaction should involve direct eye contact. Looking directly into the eyes of another person builds an unspoken respect and trust, and indicates your interest and openness to that relationship. Don’t forget to raise those eyebrows slightly now and again: it’s the universal sign of recognition.
  2. Flash that smile. A good smile (don’t forget to brush those teeth) says a lot about you. The right amount of cheek raising grin can show that you’re friendly and approachable. Keep it simple —nobody wants to see your molars.
  3. Stop slouching, Quasimodo. No matter how tall you might be, standing straight with your shoulders back exudes confidence and personal power. The more you slouch the less empowering you become.
  4. Wipe off those sweaty palms; it’s time for a handshake. A single, firm handshake can do more to build rapport than anything else. Find a safe place in-between the “dead fish” and “I can squeeze water from a rock” and use that. Keep it concise and short. Nothing says weirdo like a 30 second sweaty hand grip. Oh, and don’t even think of adding your off hand to this party.
  5. No need to shout. Keep a safe speaking distance, approximately two feet away, while making conversation. Leaning forward from this position shows that you’re interested in what’s being said. Remember personal space! If you can taste what they had for lunch by smelling their breath, you’re too close.

With all of that being said, there are still a few additions that can be done to reinforce your five steps. First, be on time; especially if you’ve planned this interaction. There’s nothing worse than running late when it’s the very first time you’re meeting someone. Remember to bet on traffic delays, having to clean cat hair off the clothes you just laid out or even the occasional lost taxi driver. For those parents out there, have a back-up plan when your keys go missing in the toilet. Presentation is everything and being early is the first step in creating a lasting impression.

Next, people know exactly who you are by the first few words that come out of your mouth. A positive greeting that exudes excitement might show how passionate you are about the outcome of the interaction, whereas nervousness or complaining about your surroundings might indicate you aren’t confident or at ease with the situation.

And finally, be on the same level. If you’re using words that people need a dictionary or thesaurus for, while you may sound intelligent, they’re going to lose interest. Being well read and articulate is important, but if others don’t understand what you’re saying it’s wasted effort.

For example: While I hope my sentences in this story carry a certain breviloquence, and I don’t mean to bloviate, I believe my words sound quite mellisonant. Obnoxious, right?

Above all, be honest about who you are and what you expect. Every single interaction could be life changing, so give it your best shot by starting off on the right foot.

Or was it the left? Those seven seconds sure went quickly.


Photo courtesy of baggyjumper.

4 Laws of Success Any Ambitious Person Should Know

Screen Shot 2013-07-15 at 2.26.57 PMBy Kaihan Krippendorff

You’ve felt it before: you create an intention – you want to leave your job, start a strategic project at work, write a book, start a new venture – but instead of truly living that intention, you are waiting, like a shy high-schooler at your first school dance, for a reason to jump in.

I felt this myself last week. I was burning to get into the game, to finish my PhD and launch a consulting firm. But the usual mental blocks emerged: can I do it when I’ve failed before? Is this really my calling? Will I see it to the end without getting discouraged or bored? Why start today when there is always tomorrow?

And as I sat there on the edge, contemplating these questions, the game was underway without me.

How do you get out of the stands and get in the game?

To answer this, I studied three books – The Four Disciplines of Execution by Chris McChesney, Sean Covey and Jim Huling, Ownership Thinking by Brad Adams, and Strategy Maps by Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton – and put myself into the Fortune Magazine Gazelles Leadership Conference where I heard from a powerful line-up of business thinkers including Daniel H. Pink (To Sell is Human), Jim Loehr (The Power of Full Engagement), and Jack Stack (The Great Game of Business). Along the way, I also interviewed two CEOs and a naval captain who oversees a big chunk of strategic execution for the Southern Command.

There were four key themes that these books and speakers repeatedly touched on. They are the closest hints we have to universal laws of success:

  1. Create a game: Remove the seriousness from your decision by conceiving it as a game. You play to win, but if you lose, there is another game coming. This frames the game in a series of sprints and provides a healthy dose of detachment, which will have you playing with more energy. I realized my ambition to start a consulting firm seemed daunting because I viewed my new firm as a permanent extension of me, like the only painting I would ever paint. Instead now I think of it as a game called “launch and build in five years the world’s first true strategic innovation firm … something that will live on without me.” Knowing that this game is not the last you will ever play will liberate you.

  2. Name the game: To win the game, you need to always remember you are playing it. This helps if you have a memorable name. Pick a name that is short, fits a metaphor, rhymes and/or evokes a story. Game names I have seen work include “Win the Lighthouse,” “5 by 5,” and “The 180.” We haven’t named our game yet, but I am going to propose “tent pole” – we need four to five core clients to be the poles to our tent.

  3. Pick one score: My 3-year old son just started playing soccer. Now, he doesn’t know off-sides from out-of-bounds, but he does know one thing – the goal is to make a goal – and that drives him around like a bee in search of honey … “Get the ball in the net!” Similarly, your game should have one score. Sure you will have other KPIs (key performance indicators) to track, but in any given year, in any given quarter, focus yourself and your team on just one goal. The most important goal for my consulting firm is pipeline value. Later on we may switch our score to “client satisfaction” or “intellectual property,” but if we don’t win enough clients now, we’ll never get a chance to play those games.

  4. Monitor the board: Nearly every source I read or heard touched on the need to keep the score top of mind for you and your team by reviewing it in a rapid rhythm. I missed a flight once because I was on the phone and didn’t see the boarding notice. My client was visibly stressed out when an hour before I was set to take the stage, they had 500 people seated, but I still hadn’t walked through the door. Everything worked out. The following flight got me in just in time. But now in airports I check the board every three minutes and I haven’t missed a plane since. My team and I have set up a daily “huddle” and weekly “opportunity call” to track our board.

This all it takes to jump into action: create a game, name the game, pick one score, and monitor the board. Do it now. It will take 20 minutes and the results could pay off for a life time.

Elephant in the Room: Choosing Between Passion and Security After College

graduateDear Cora,

I will graduate from college soon and like many of my classmates I am worried about finding a job after I graduate. I interned for a few places as an undergrad, including an artist management company that I really clicked with. They even said that they’d never bothered with interns before but after hiring me they didn’t know how the office would run without me there. It’s been six months since then, and I still keep in contact with the guys from the office, hoping it will turn into a full-time gig after I graduate. They recently told me they aren’t sure they have the funds to hire me as a full-time employee, but that I could come work for them part-time and sign the bands I really love – they’ll teach me the ropes and I’ll get commission once those bands start making money. However, I’d need another full-time job to be able to pay my bills and survive.

I know I’m lucky I at least have one offer when many of my peers are struggling to get interviews – and it really is my dream job, but should I take it if I know I won’t be getting paid? Yesterday I attended a graduation ceremony for my major where we were told it’s not the best time to be entering this market and that we should “cast a wide net” in hopes we can at least get jobs in a related field. Would it be smarter to apply for more a more practical position, where I’ll go in at entry level but at least have a steady pay check or the less stable dream job? I’m torn between following my passion and making the more economical decision.

Practically Passionate


Dear Practically Passionate,

Oh, college graduation! While you may not feel it right now, especially with the stress you’re under, this is one of the greatest times in your life – it just takes a little perspective to see it. It is exactly what your letter describes, a time of choice and discovery and taking risks.

I understand the two factions you are torn between rather well. I grew up with a strict and logical father. Over two decades in the military has a way of training someone to think in very efficient means, and my father advised his children in the same way. Imagine his surprise when his youngest decided she wanted to forgo law school (and following in his footsteps) to try more artistic pursuits in Hollywood. I was optimistic and naïve, thinking it’d be no problem for me to roll into town knowing no one and just get a job as someone’s assistant or just show up in the writer’s room of “General Hospital” (you may laugh, but I’ll have you know soap operas have jump-started the careers several successful actors and writers alike) and get to work.

Of course it didn’t work out like that. I spent months trying to find a job – over qualified for retail or restaurants and not enough experience to land a position at a
full-time company. It didn’t take too long for the depression to set in, which wasn’t helped by the constant emails from my father saying there was still time to apply to graduate school or better yet, “You were always good at math. Can’t you get a job in insurance? There’s always jobs in insurance.” But I was selfish, in a way that only privileged 20-somethings can be, and kept applying. I managed to grab a temporary position at fruit bouquet design store, which bought me some more time before I’d have to return home and forsake my dreams for something more practical, as you put it. I got lucky and landed a job at a new company that allowed me to use the marketing skills I had picked up in school and had flexible hours so I could take writing classes to continue on towards my dream. It wasn’t the glamorous situation, or paycheck, I had imagined when first leaving school but it set me in the right direction so I was only too eager to take it. And it was the first step on the path that lead me to writing this to you.

“I know I’m lucky” – do you, Practically? Do you really? It’s about more than you having a tentative job offer; you’re lucky to have this problem at all. You are in a unique position where you have to decide what will make you happy when so many in this world wake up every day deciding what they have to do to survive. I don’t say that to belittle you, but to remind you exactly of the privileged position you are in and make sure you don’t forget it. Many would kill to be in your shoes, so don’t waste the opportunity you’ve been given.

I’m advising you to be selfish. This is one of the few times in life where that’s an acceptable trait to have because as you get further into adulthood the happy choices
will more and more frequently be replaced by the survival ones. I feel like in your gut you already know that you want the “less stable” dream job but just are afraid of the risk. That’s not weird – every time you turn on the news you see a bleaker and bleaker picture of college graduate job prospects. However, what I’ve learned is that dream jobs hardly ever come for free or in the shiny packages we imagine they should come in. They require work and sacrifice to actually pay off into the dream we’ve imagined. So you may have to get an extra job waiting tables or making coffee at Starbucks but that’s such a small price to pay for the chance you’ve been given, deary. People have had to do far worse for much less.

I think you owe it to yourself, and for all of those who aren’t as lucky as you, to take the risk, to follow your heart, to follow your dreams because you don’t know if you’ll have the chance to be this lucky again.

Best wishes,

* * *

avatar-NO-BKCGRNDSubmit your questions, troubles, and predicaments to Cora via editor [at] intent [dot] com or in the comments section below. The Elephant in the Room advice column will be published every Friday – a blend of humor, compassion, and wisdom specially tailored for our Intent audience.

Saving Whales and Surviving Cancer: Five Stories to Start the Week with Inspiration

Here are five honest, humble, and endearing stories. It’s not about being exceptional or perfect. The key is to make the most of what we have, to spin the modest straw of our lives into gold. And when that doesn’t work, we can at least have a good laugh at our muddled attempts and move on. (And then go save a whale… Just kidding.)

But actually…

Would you jump into the ocean to save a 40-foot whale from a shark net? This extraordinary man did.

Man Single-Handedly Saves Whale Trapped in Net (Care2)

This woman is truly fierce and such an inspiration. She writes about losing her leg at age 15 and finding strength in developing a yoga practice.

Cancer Took my Leg, Not my Spirit (Positively Positive)

Not a helicopter mom, not a ‘free range’ mom – this woman describes herself as the “Trying-Not-To-Lose-It Mom.” Sounds like something many can relate to…

What Maggie’s Crayon Reminded Me About Parenting (Huff Post)

From marketing to grave digging – some fun first job stories.

‘My Parents Got Me My First Job’: 8 True Stories (The Grindstone)

And here’s an alternative look at what a ‘yogi’ can be – no mat, no downward-facing dog, no quinoa burgers. Just an open mind and a compassionate heart.

The Flyest Yogi Without a Mat (MindBodyGreen)

Why You Gotta Follow Passion In A Flat World

In The World Is Flat, best-selling author Thomas Friedman explains that the world is flattening because globalization and lightning swift advances in technology and communications connect people from all across the globe as never before – creating a global market place for labor, services, products and employees. In this flat world people from all socio-economic backgrounds are competing for jobs with other people from all over the globe. For example even professions such as accountants, attorneys and radiologists are now losing their jobs because people from other countries can do those same jobs more efficiently and at a lower cost. In order to be successful and thrive in this new flat world, a person has gotta follow their passion!

The only people who are not in danger of losing their jobs in a flat world are the untouchables. Friedman defines the untouchables as employees who cannot be replaced because they bring an intangible quality to the market that cannot be replicated or outsourced by someone else who can do the same job better or for a lower wage. When we are following our passions we are doing what we love and expressing that intangible and untouchable part of ourselves. This unique expression of the sacred part of ourself can never be outsourced to someone else who can do the same job at a lower wage or automated by some machine or a computer.

This is why following your passion is absolutely essential and even a financial necessity at times in todays global market place. Freidman recognizes this when he writes, “When the world is flat, curiosity and passion for a job, for success, for a subject area or even a hobby are so much more important. . . . That innocent passion for a certain job, without knowing the salary or the working hours or the preparation required, is what you need to get back in touch with. It’s that childlike feeling of, ‘I want to do that because I want to do that-and I don’t have to explain why,’ that we all need to rediscover.”

We can learn how to turn ours passions into our career by cultivating and developing our right-brain capabilities. For example, Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age, explains:

“The left hemisphere handles sequence, literalness, and analysis. The right hemisphere, meanwhile, takes care of context, emotional expression,
and synthesis. . . . Until recently, the abilities that led to success in school, work, and business were characteristic of the left hemisphere. They were the sorts of linear, logical, analytical talents measured by SATs and deployed by CPA’s. Today, those capabilities are still necessary. But they’re no longer sufficient. In a world upended by outsourcing, deluged with data, and choked with choices, the abilities that matter most are now closer in spirit to the specialties of the right hemisphere-artistry, empathy, seeing the big picture, and pursuing the Transcendent… ”

Pink concludes, “When you hear your parents or your college graduation speaker telling you to “do what you love,” they are not giving you some syrupy pabulum. They are giving you a survival strategy.”

Of course, Friedman and Pink’s contention that following your passion is a necessity in today’s new flat world may be incorrect. However, the
alternative is to not follow your passions and to live a life wondering how things might have been. It seems at the very least, the intrinsic motivation and joy of the journey that following your passion provides one with makes it well worth the risk.

Can We Change our Destiny?

This is a question that is really haunting me,especially when I go to bed,during that mysterious black space between awareness and sleep.I recall past actions and non-actions and often think if things were different if I had acted differently in the specific period of my life.And then I think again that if I were to act in a different way ,then why I acted in the specific way?

Advisors of self improvent ,teachers and Gurus teach ways ,teqniques,methods of evolution of the positive traits and attributes ,positive thinking,boldness and so on.I wonder how all these can help someone change his innate characteristics and transform himself to something quite different.Because as one transforms it means that he changes some abilities inherited from the moment of his birth.It sounds to me as though one was able to change his DNA.

I quite often had an argument with siblings teachers,friends beleiving that we can not change our Destiny.Our Destiny is programmed in our DNA from the moment of our Birth.

I would like you to share your thoughts .I would like to know what other people think about that



I can’t think of anything to do!

First off, thank you for coming here. I’ll keep this short and simple that way you won’t run away!

I realized the other day that I have transformed immensely, implemented dozens of postive changes, rediscovered and reinvented myself. I have succeeded in shaping myself up to radiate and express and most importantly embody the qualities I value. I have accomplished all these things and more and I have to the conclusion that all of these changes were internal. I have succeeded in affecting myself internally with beautiful result. That brings me to todays question.

What do I do now? I feel like all things people do or partake in, externally, are inspired by other thoughts and motivations. You choose to involve yourself in something because of so and so. Well I don’t have any reason to do anything, I can’t think of any reason to do anything. All those "dreams" I had or have in a distant part of my mind are dreams derived from other thoughts, inspirations or motivations. They all have an attachment to an outcome that implies an attaintment of some sort. I find that I have already found the greatest thing in life, already experienced it and I honestly can’t think of anything comparable to it. By it I am referring to this spiritual journey I have been on.


I have found joy, bliss, serenity, love, truth, wonder, greatness, infinity and beaut and so forth. Now I can’t think of anything left to find , pursue, or do. What do i now? What do i do with this life? With my every day? With my years, months, weeks and decades; minutes , hours. Just what do i do? I ask myself this question and get no answer. Nothing feels worht pursuin in comparison to what I have already pursue so now i really don’t know what to do! And I am not saying it in a dilleme voice, I am saying it in irony and humour. All this time I have looked, and pursued and tried and now I feel like I am done doing that and no longer have anything to do. I am 21 and most my age pursue their careers and future. I don’t see how the future is relevant to this very moment and it’s just such a strange feeling. I have absolute nothing to do!


So what do i do?!


Please respond.



5 Steps to Job Retraining on the Cheap

With unemployment rates still in double digits in many parts of the country, you might be thinking about a career change. Going back to school for a degree might be beyond your means, but there are low-cost or free job training opportunities out there. Unemployment offices can be a goldmine of information, but with overloaded caseworkers, getting an appointment or call back is tough. Brian Roccapriore, the Executive Director of Strive-New Haven, a non-profit that provides job training in the Northeast and is one of our Pepsi Refresh grantees, has some creative tips for finding out about job training opportunities… 

1) Call 211. It depends on your region, but in most places the United Way helps operate a 211 information line. Anybody can call up and say, “Hey, I’m a 50 year-old female who worked for 30 years in manufacturing and I need some job training.” Most 211 lines are also staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

2) Get thee to a library. Librarians don’t just recommend books these days. Your local librarian is an excellent resource for the unemployed worker in search of new skill-building opportunities. “Librarians are used to referring people to nonprofits, so if someone comes in and talks to them, they’re usually able to refer them where they need to go and tell them who to call,” says Brian. Many libraries even host job training workshops onsite.


3) Call non-profits. Brian says most non-profits network with each other, so if you reach out to one that does job training for a specific population- like Strive – the staff there may know of another organization that may be a better fit for your needs. “You need to do a little research,” he says. “But pick up the phone and call them.”

4) Go to college. You don’t have to enroll in a class, but your local community college is another great hub of information. “Check the community services office or just call the operator and ask if there are any job training workshops going on,” says Brian.

5) Don’t sell yourself short. Above all, when looking for job training opportunities, Brian suggests you do your homework so you know what kind of job you want and what skills you already have. You might not need as much training as you think. “If you’re switching industries, come up with a list of skills that are transferable. Ten years of assembly line work isn’t just working with machinery. You also had to work with other people and quality control,” he says. “We run into people saying they have no skills because they were incarcerated or they’ve been stay-at-home moms. You’ve got skills. You just may not know how to bring them out. Write down all the things you know how to do. Then head out and look for training. 

Photo (cc) by Flickr user  Office of Governor Patrick 

This post originally appeared on www.refresheverything.com, as part of the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today.

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