Career Development

The Future of Design Work | Yeh & SVA

Recently at New York’s School of Visual Arts (SVA), Angela Yeh sat with Allan Chochinov, their chair and co-founder of MFA Products of Design and Angie Wojak, director of career development to discuss The Future of Design Work. In today’s ever-complex world of business and design, professionals need to understand where design opportunities lie, how to navigate the market and realize the hidden talent brewing right beneath their skin. While this seems obvious, what we have discovered is opposite to this sort of thinking...

Read here for The Future of Design Work in SVA's Hire Edition.

* This article is currently only available in print. To read more issues from SVA's bi-annual Visual Arts Journal, visit here.

 

Angela with You in UX | Global UX Summit

Do you ever wonder what it takes to explore new territory? Do you want to lead the next generation of UX pioneers? If so, join us at You in UX Summit this May to gain invaluable career insight with some of the best UX mentors around the world. Angela of Yeh IDeology will be speaking at You in UX Summit on May 7th at 3pm PST. You in UX is an online, global summit with an extensive three-week lineup that includes speakers from top UX executives, CEOs and presidents from companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo!, BlackBerry, SlideShare and more. You in UX grants you global access to more than 30 customizable sessions. This is your opportunity to ask questions for world-class UX role models and mentors.

For the program lineup, please view the link here.

Be inspired and cultivate your talent. Join us at You in UX.

YouinUX

Personal Development & Career Growth in 2014

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1dkrPMn Here at Yeh ID, we hope you’ve have gotten off to a healthy, happy and productive start to the New Year. In 2014, we look forward to doing what we do best; helping companies grow, become agile, and thrive, while also helping people reach the next stage in their careers.

In an effort to expand our impact, we’ve set a resolution for ourselves. We’re striving to provide valuable insights to our online community through social media and our blog, on both personal development and career growth topics that matter most to you.

So we want to hear from you: What are your professional aspirations for 2014? Are you looking to build a thriving design team? Focus on your own personal development? Identify your next ideal career path? At the bottom of this article you’ll find a submission form that’ll allow you to share with us what matters to you most.

**An added bonus for all those of you who submit, you will be entered into a draw to win a complimentary 60 minute consultation with Yeh ID’s founder Angela Yeh! One winner will be chosen on February 5th, and informed via email**

Through Angela’s extensive years of experience in recruiting and design, she’s developed a refined eye and intuitive expertise about the nature of careers and career paths, building design teams and investing in talent. This 60 minute career consultation can be valuable to hiring managers, business owners, professionals at all stages in their career, even those of you who are not actively job seeking.

Offering this complimentary consultation is just another way we hope to help you bring all of your professional growth aspirations to fruition in 2014. Best Wishes!

A Staffer Learns to Staff

by Angela Yeh | April 29, 2013Huffington Post

It's my second day back at work after six weeks of maternity leave, and it feels like I never left. The day went by fast and I got so much done, and honestly, I really enjoy being back. For a while, I wished I didn't have to return, but when you run a small business you don't always have that option. At first I tried to get a few projects done from home, but I found it wasn't as easy as I thought, and there was my sweet newborn son there to distract me, filling me with a surge of guilt at the thought of leaving him. What mother wouldn't be distracted in that situation?

Thankfully, our nanny started a week ago, and figuring out the breastfeeding thing wasn't hard either, since my office building gave me a key to a private bathroom. The hardest part was leaving my son, knowing that going forward, my nanny will most likely witness many "firsts" without me.

I'm a mompreneur now and excited about my role. YehID, as we affectionately call the company, was my first child and now she's seven years old and we've been preparing her to see if she can walk on her own. Early on in my pregnancy, there was a great deal of trepidation about how Yeh IDeology would fare while I was away. There was no telling exactly when my delivery would happen and how long I'd be gone. How much could I manage while on maternity leave? How would my company fare while I was absent, served as my biggest concern. How would my team perform and would they be able to keep the business running in my absence? I received advice that we needed to bring on board temporary management to run the business. But how could I train someone new to understand everything essential about the business in such a short time.

I shared the concerns about the performance of the business with my staff, vocalizing my pride in the team that we've built. I reminded them that while individually they had their own responsibilities, they had to function collectively, as a unit.

The team I have built today is phenomenal, and I knew I could trust them to take on this challenge, but it wasn't always this way. Learning how to hire staff is a very personal and unique lesson each small business owner and manager has to learn. You would think that since I've garnered 15 years of experience as a recruiter, that I would understand how to hire and manage my company's own talent. While I could do this for others, sometimes it's hard to apply your expertise to your own business. A plumber's house is always leaky, right?

Nothing taught me about building a team more than my own trial and error in hiring for Yeh IDeology. Most of the people who I brought on board were great, in fact we still keep in touch with many of them. With each hire I made, I learned more about myself and I grew as a business owner and manager.

When I first started Yeh Ideology at my dining table in 2006, I hired people to be my friends -- to keep me company. Then at one point, I over-compensated people, having been swept up by their spin, only to find I was paying them to carry out the critical decisions I was making. When I hired people who were unqualified for the job, it was hard to reprimand and critique them. Over time, I learned how. Sometimes as a new employer, it took me longer than 90 days sometimes before I understood the employee wasn't the right fit. When I lost good talent, I realized what I needed to do next time to keep them.

Over time I found confidants and mentors to help remind me what to watch out for. I've had great advisors in my bookkeeper and accountant who have seen many small businesses succeed and fail, and I found other small business owners and managers I admired to bounce ideas off of. Participating in professional development programs such as the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, gave me invaluable continual education on how to enhance my business, it brought me access to a network of educators, mentors and fellow successful small business owners whom I can turn to for advice and support.

As a new mother learning to juggle the complexities of parenthood, I find that the art of balance extends itself to my role as a small business owner. I am still learning, but thankfully, we're at the point now where Yeh Ideology has an amazing team and a sustainable business model we firmly believe in.

(This article can be found on the Huffington Post Website)

Yeh ID Pairs Up With IDSA & 3DEA For 3rd Annual Design Summit

Join Yeh IDeologyThe Industrial Designers Society of America and OPENHOUSE as we present our annual Design Summit panel discussion, reflecting on the design industry in 2012 and forecasting into 2013 and beyond. This year’s summit will gather unique insight from design and business leaders. We’ll particularly discuss how companies are investing in and building design teams and how to master hiring creative talent to generate business success.

The evening will begin with a panel discussing the key factors impacting the current state of design industries. Then, we'll guide designers through the process of greatly increasing their value in the New Economy marketplace.

Networking, food and drink from 6:30-7pm. Discussion starts promptly at 7 pm.

Register Today! Space is filling up quickly!

Panelists Ted Booth, Managing Director, Method Laura Brumit, Human Resources & Recruitment, IDEO Arthur Young-Spivey, Fabrication Specialist, 3DEA Janet Villano, Director of Product Development, Skip*Hop

Moderator Angela Yeh, Founder, Yeh IDeology

Where: 3DEA Pop Up Store - 835 6th Ave. (At the corner of 6th and 29th St)

Admission: $7

RSVP: Space is limited! Register here!

YehID: Doing Our Part

By Angela Yeh | November 21, 2012 Volunteers prepare food for those in the Rockaways [Image courtesy of Todd Seelie]

It's 4:30am and I can't sleep. So many thoughts are racing through my head. I keep waking to put notes in my iPhone hoping that once they are safely recorded, they won’t keep needling me and I can go back to sleep. There's still so much destruction from Hurricane Sandy surrounding me and I'm so fortunate that those in my immediate circle are safe and out of harm’s way. I'm six months pregnant now and my husband, friends, and family insist I stay safe and not overdo it despite all my desire to get in there, roll up my sleeves, and offer whatever disaster relief I can. I care so much about this country. All of us at Yeh IDeology want to help in some way as New Yorkers and others on the East Coast struggle to recover and rebuild from nature’s fury. With Thanksgiving less than a few days away, the most prominent thoughts in our minds are those of thankfulness for all that we have, for all those who were kept safe throughout all of this turmoil, and for all those who have supported and helped those affected. The storm was and still is bad enough, but unfortunately, its not the only obstacle we Americans are facing now. The economy looks like it’s getting stronger, but it the fact is, there are many Americans who are still out of work, unable to find the opportunities that they want and need. At Yeh IDeology, we want to assist in the effort to put lives, homes, communities, and the economy back together, and helping people understand the job market is where we can have the most impact.

Having been in the recruiting business for 15 years now and establishing Yeh IDeology 6 years ago, we know the job market because we sit in the middle of the hiring process. I have heard so many of the same questions from job seekers and so many of the same questions from employers. The fortunate truth about Yeh Ideology’s team is that we are all designers: we specialized in the design world because that's the world we love, and we’re fortunate to help companies hire the best of the best of any category in which we specialize. As I teach about career strategies to students at Parsons New School and as we at Yeh IDeology advise our employer clients on issues about recruitment specific to design, it becomes clear that many of the lessons and topics we share span across all industries and professions and are relevant for people at all career stages, from the top-tier, seasoned professionals to the aspiring young beginners.

Prior to going into recruiting and starting Yeh IDeology, I experienced firsthand how lost a job seeker can feel not knowing what jobs out there were right for me and what jobs existed for me. Now that my team and I have a front row seat in the job market, we witness over and over how a career defines a person and gives them pride. We also see how crippling it can feel when someone can't find the job of their dreams, and how it can affect their composure.

As both a recruiter and a small business owner of a boutique recruitment firm, I experience firsthand the struggles business owners and businesses go through to build a thriving business. There are so many components to running a business and so many aspects of the business that need attention, time, and funding. We've seen companies find incredible solutions that balance those needs and succeed. And, conversely, we've seen businesses constrained by the many details to be juggled and tackled, and frustrated in their journey to succeed. We've witnessed some businesses struggle to find their way and then, for internal or external reasons, fail.

From our seat here at Yeh IDeology in New York, we care to share with you much of the knowledge and experience we have amassed. If in some small way we can help the job market and economy come together from both the job seeker's and the employer's perspectives, then we will all sleep better, assured we have done our part.

Let's all start sharing what we know and help each other succeed.

We hope that you all have a wonderful and safe holiday!

-Angela Yeh

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandbergs Fantastic Commencement Address

Recently, Facebook has been in the news for its highly anticipated, if poorly executed IPO, and to a lesser extent, the stealth marriage of its young CEO Mark Zuckerberg to his college sweetheart. Flying under the radar is COO Sheryl Sandberg’s commencement speech to Harvard Business School’s class of 2012.I finally took some time out today to listen to Sheryl Sandberg's address and I was so impressed that she gave such a great speech illustrating the science of Career Strategies in this new world economy.

Among other topics, she ruminated on the breakdown of traditional methods in career pursuit, insightful views on being a truly successfully leader/manager, and the continuing gender inequality in the workplace.

Below are some slightly paraphrased quotes that I thought really hit hard, and what I thought about them. If you have some free time, I definitely suggest taking a look at the video or transcript.

On Career Strategies Sheryl gave some great advice on how to how careers work in today's society. Much of this is what I lecture about in my Careers Strategies Course and Workshops.

    “Careers are not a ladder they are a jungle gym.” “Look for opportunities, for growth, for impact and for mission.” “Move sideways, move down, move on, move off.” “Build your skills not your resume.” “Evaluate what you can do not the title they're going to give you.” “Do real work. Take a sales quota, a line role, an ops job.” “Don't plan too much and don't expect a direct climb.”


On Leadership

    As traditional structures are breaking down, leadership has to evolve as well. From hierarchy to shared responsibility. From command and control to listening and guiding.

    Your strength will not come from some place on some org chart, Your strength will come from building trust and earning respect. You're going to need talent and skill and imagination and vision. More than anything else you're going to need to communicate more authentically, to speak so you inspire people around you, and to listen so you continue to learn each and everyday on the job.

Hierarchical, rigid business structures are making way to flatter and more collaborative models, with clear, authentic communication and an open mind as must-have tools to succeed. We look for these attributes in all of the candidates we work with at all levels. Our more progressive clients know this as well and seek these attributes for their businesses.
On Speaking Honestly

    The work place is an especially difficult place for anyone to tell the truth. Because no matter how flat we want our organizations to be, all organizations have some form of hierarchy. And what that means is that one person's performance is assessed by someone else's perception. This is not a set up for honesty. Think about how people speak in a typical workforce.

    Truth is better used by using simple language... People rarely speak this clearly in the workforce or in life and as you get more senior, not only will people speak less clearly to you but they will overreact to the small things you say. Next time you hear something that’s really stupid, don’t adhere to it, fight it or ignore it, even if it’s coming from me or Mark [Mark Zuckerberg that is].

Individuals and businesses need to understand the structural barriers that inhibit proper communication, realize how it affects their interactions and adjust accordingly. When they realize this and put it into practice, not only do they garner respect, but they also lay the foundation for a successful future.
On Being A Good Leader

    A good leader recognizes that most people won’t feel comfortable challenging authority, so it falls upon authority to encourage them to question. It’s easy to say that you’re going to encourage feedback but it’s hard to do, because unfortunately it doesn’t always come in a format we want to hear.

    When you’re the leader, it is really hard to get good and honest feedback, no many how many times you ask for it. One trick I’ve discovered is that I try to speak really openly about the things I’m bad at, because that gives people permission to agree with me, which is a lot easier than pointing it out in the first place. To take one of many possible examples, when things are unresolved I can get a tad anxious... Ask yourself, how will you lead? Will you use simple and clear language? Will you seek out honesty? When you get honesty back, will you react with anger or with gratitude? As we strive to be more authentic in our communication, we should also strive to be more authentic in a broader sense. I talk a lot about bringing your whole self to work— something I believe in deeply.

Creating a clear map of how you want to lead and what you want from those you lead helps set a standard by which you can be held. Moreover, learning how to foster and accept constructive criticism will make you a better leader (and person :) ). It's not often an easy thing to uphold but it's incredibly rewarding when you accomplish this. I practice this as well with my team running my business.
On Company Culture

    Motivation comes from working on things we care about but it also comes from working with people we care about, and in order to care about someone, you have to know them. You have to know what they love and hate, what they feel, not just what they think. If you want to win hearts and minds, you have to lead with your heart as well as your mind. I don’t believe we have a professional self from Mondays through Fridays and a real self for the rest of the time. That kind of division probably never worked, but in today’s world, with a real voice, an authentic voice, it makes even less sense.

    I talk about my hopes and fears and ask people about theirs. I try to be myself. Honest about my strengths and weaknesses and I encourage others to do the same. It is all professional and it is all personal, all at the very same time.

One major distinguishing characteristic of successful modern business from those in the past is the bridging of professional and personal lives. Learn what fundamentally drives the people your company and speak to those motivations then the company will drive itself.
On Women In The Workforce

    We need to start talking about how women underestimate their abilities compared to men. Success and likeability are negatively correlated. That means that as a woman is more successful in your workplaces, she will be less liked. This means that women need a different form of management and mentorship, a different form of sponsorship and encouragement, and some protection, in some ways more than men. When they hear a woman is really great at her job but not liked, take a deep breath and ask why. We need to start talking openly about the flexibility all of us need to have both a job and a life.

I’ve spent 20 years in the creative industry and observed that women in the field are not immune from the challenges their peers face in other industries. Keeping a level head in the face of adversity and openness in addressing the issue are small, but necessary steps in the direction.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

The professional world is in the midst of a revolution. The most successful job seekers adapt to the new environment. They focus primarily on skills and value they can add rather than superficial titles. They take risks joining companies that are challenging norms, pushing innovation and are less concerned with location and prestige. We all need to continue this revolution.

How to Help Your Employees Move On, Gracefully

Today, I was referred to a fascinating question on Focus.com, a great business resource, by Caty Kobe, the Community Manager at Focus. The question, as posed by Alicia Jones, is as follows:

"How would you handle an employee who is eager for growth, but there are no opportunities in the Co.? You have expanded their role as much as possible, given them special projects, etc., but they want more. What do you do when they have simply outgrown the company?"

My answer:

Today, more and more employees are increasingly conscious of their growth and development needs, and they are more likely to move once there are no longer any growth opportunities to explore at their current place of employment.

Realistically, employers have to realize that talent will come and go, but you hope that the ones that fit your company stay longer. Partnerships come in all durations and not all are made to last. Some are meant to be lessons to learn from; others are meant to help the company evolve.

Do your best to be mindful of your employees’ growth objectives within your company, while reminding them that they are responsible for the tasks that your company requires of them. Once you have mutually realized that it's time for them to move on, acknowledge that they need to start to look elsewhere, and do what you can to support them as they explore their next options. Meanwhile, ask the employee to help you find their replacement before they move on, and have them train the replacement or other staff so that there is as little legacy lost as possible.

Talent talks. Employees who leave in a mutually respectful way and others that witness it will tell others of this experience. Your openness to their leaving, which is a natural course of events, will be one of the best ways to build a strong reputation for your company.

Most of our ex-employees still reach out to us to keep in touch. They have become stewards of our company within our industry, and they refer talent and business to us still. This is the best brand recognition you can develop.

________________________________

To learn more about Focus, you can visit their website here. To see the original post, click here.

A Night to Connect: The IDSA.NYC/ Yeh IDeology 5 Year Celebration

Whew, what a great night Yeh IDeology's 5 Year Celebration turned out to be. In all the years meeting the best of the best in every industry category we've heard some of the best business practices and advice on running businesses, building and investing in design and strategizing career paths. Wanting to do more than just celebrating, we brought together some great friends and colleagues to share their insights with everyone and inspire us as we enter the new year.

Our Speakers Yasemin Bernardete of Springs Global reminds us you have to identify and respect what makes each brand unique and hold true to that element. Brand strategy and brand management is becoming more critical than ever.

Brad Lacey of Converse reminds us in this new day and age to never rest on your laurels and always have a healthy does of paranoia, always learning something new to stay current. Brand strategy is key here as well and Brad shares how critical it is to work with other divisions and collaborate.

Joe Moya of MindsInSync talks about having been on both corporate side and consultancy side that knowing your core values is key as you represent yourselves to your clients and customers. Even firms need to stay true to their value proposition and know how to best represent their brand image.

Cliff Kuang, the Founder of Co Design, tells us that with the uprising of technology and new crowd sourcing organizations now is the time to invest in that amazing idea that you had. Cliff cites how too many creatives are panicking and diluting their identity by accepting and taking on everything not standing firm to what they excel at.

The panel discussion inspired us to venturing into 2011 with a new outlook, as we all reflected about representing ourselves and our true value propositions, we turned to the networking portion of the night. We were 150+ of the most talented individuals in the creative industries gathered in one room and here was a perfect opportunity to connect, learn about each others goals and initiatives and help each other in our mutual endeavors.

As a fun exercise to spur the merriment, we gave out YehID magnets and an award was given to the first guest that successfully swapped magnets to meet 3 people, the individuals that the winner met also won prizes as well, rewarding the connections made. Meryem Tangoren was the first one to come up to us having successfully swapped and collected 4 of her 5 magnets and in the process she reconnected with old friends and met new ones. Meryem reconnected with old classmate Janet Villano of SkipHop, and met Dina Romanko as well.

We then put a shout out to all of our friends and thanked everyone for coming out that night to celebrate and we broke into our delicious beautiful cake by Heather Barranco-Machado who has just opened DreamCakes. Think of Ace of Cakes and incredibly delicious in the tri-state area. Another great connection through her husband Jason Machado whom I've know in the industry for years.

Right after the prize giving and cake cutting we couldn't stop the crowd going back to their feverish networking and merriment. It was amazing. So many friends and clients from past and present, as well as new came to congratulate us bringing along their friends they insisted that we just had to meet as well.

I've planned parties and events all of my life. It's an incredible feeling when you've successfully created just the right moment, energy and vibe, and when you scan the room everyone is having a blast. That was this night.

It's the bonds that you make that help you make things happen. And this night would not have been an absolute success without the great partnership and friendship of Stephan Clambaneva and his dedicated IDSA.NYC team (Courtney Hewitt, Jerry Mejia, Anthony Puleo, Daghan Perker) and their introduction to the Knoll team and the gorgeous expansive showroom.

Let me say too that planning a party at the last minute on the fly, not everything goes right and my deepest apologies to all of our friends that were not able to make the guest list as we had a limit we had to keep to. I suppose we'll have to plan to get a bigger place next year. ;-)

And take a look at the articles about our celebration, brought to you by the good folks at Core77 and IDSA!

Core77: Yeh IDeology 5-Year Celebration

IDSA: Yeh IDeology Celebration Followup

Podcast: An interview with Angela Yeh by Peter Clayton

Attending Bill Taylor's book signing party last month lead to my meeting Peter Clayton ofTotal Picture Radio and Jobs In Pods. I do believe in serendipity, that things happen for a reason and that you do have to be at the right place at the right time. We got to talking and we found that our circles overlapped as we’re both are about promoting careers and leadership. The best unexpected thing that came out of this was Peter Clayton’s invitation to interview me for his podcast for Total Picture Radio.

Peter interviews everyone and anyone relevant to careers and leadership, from the CEO of The Ladders Marc Cenedella to Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh. I was delighted when Peter asked me to speak to him to share our perspective of what it's like for companies to invest in design talent. In this podcast with Peter we get to touch on a bit of what companies have to consider when they look to invest in design talent and where they can invest in design talent in their business model.

Yeh IDeology is fortunate that we have the opportunity to work with so many leading corporations and top design firms that have a high knowledge and respect for what design can do for business and already have a strong understanding how to invest in design. It's a pleasure and an honor working with clients that have a high education of design talent investment and thus our projects there are compelling and exciting.

But we love working with the businesses and brands that are just at the nascent stage of learning about the many various specialties of design and the many ways design can impact and improve business (product development, strategy, marketing/branding, operations to name a few...). When we're able to help teach a company new to design, how to aptly build-in design strategy by either building an in-house design team, introducing key partnerships with design firms and/or design consultants, it's an incredible feeling when later on we see this company produce successful results through either launching great new products, new services, improved operations and/or a new brand positioning.

Podcast with the founder of Yeh IDeology, Angela Yeh

We hope you enjoy the podcast!

A Network of Friends

This December, while teaching my Careers Strategy students about networking as an adjunct professor at Parsons New School, I asked them, “What Makes Work Fun?” In my lecture, I told them that most people view networking as a business task and a necessary evil. But in reality, if you approach and treat people properly, your business world can become your world of friends as well. It’s a simple matter of taking the time to recognize the people with whom you work as unique and important individuals. It’s human nature to choose people you know and trust, and in fact research shows that people do this when hiring, choosing vendors, partners, services etc…. So in business, networking is essential. But beyond that when you make it a point to get to know those with whom you interact, you can transform your business world as well and work becomes fun when those with whom you work become your friends.

As I reflect on 2010, I realize how over time I have found great friends in the clients and candidates we know, regardless of whether we're working together or not. On the client side, I have such an appreciation for all the people with whom I engage in companies, from the HR and hiring managers, to the secretaries, bookkeepers, and assistants. As a business owner, I value the vendors and people with whom we work to keep our business running: our web and branding consultant, our tech guru, our bookkeeper and accountant, to name a few.

Finances are not my forte, but finding an accountant and bookkeeper I trust unequivocally AND enjoy working with has made handling these tasks practically enjoyable. When you find great people appropriately skilled for your business needs, whose values and work styles resonate with your own, work becomes almost effortless and enjoyable.

People want to matter, but the world at large feels so impersonal. People don't expect to be recognized or acknowledged as individuals. I make it a point to notice people as much as I can when I interact with them, no matter how brief or incidental our time together may seem. I greet my bus driver, dry cleaner attendant, deli cashier, mail carrier, and bank teller by name if possible, and inquire about their day, and I don't forget the people who support the people with whom I work, including my doctor's secretary and my client's assistant. I love the startled looks and smiles I get when people realize I really see them. It's a great feeling to make someone’s day by acknowledging them unexpectedly, and it can make my day.

When you respect and acknowledge people, they become more than just acquaintances. They truly become your network of friends, which improves your quality of life and makes the world and your experience in it more enjoyable

Dr. Woody Blog- Career Resolution

I just came across Dr. Woody's blog giving some great advice on "New Year, New Attitude: 10 Career Resolutions YOU Need to Make in 2011". He offers us some excellent suggestions on new proactive ways to look at your future. I actually do practice many of these points in my life in some manner but I love how he's put these points together in a pithy and organized manner and there are new ones I've not considered before. Tips I do 1: Look in the Mirror- I always reflect on what I bring to the world and how to keep improving, 3: Face Three Negatives- I always try to reflect on my mistakes to try to understand my habits better and hope to never repeat them, 4: ah the books and there are so many great books out there. One fun book I'm reading is "Maotai, Mooncakes and Monks" about an expat American in China. 5: Join One Group- Just joined Service Design Network for the first time last year and I'm going to be attending IxDA's conference in Boulder CO this Feb. The most passionate and self driven individuals in any industry often are found at industry groups. 7: Make 12 New Friends- I love finding like minded people who are just as passionate about life and learning. The best friendships are the ones where you teach each other. 8: Take One Risk- last year was a doozy with lots of risk taking, but it was all good for growth and progression of YehID and myself. Change is good. 9: 9: Set Lofty Goals- We’re doing what we can to field all of the needs of our clients but we could be even better at it and one day we’ll find a way to be able to help match more talent to culture 10 times more nimbly while never losing the attention to detail and the quality of our services & matches. 10: Make a YOU Plan: Got it. And reading this blog I'll now revise and enhance mine.

New Tips I'm Going to Try 2: Reminisce on Five Positives. I love this one and I've never tried this. To up my game I'll reflect on the things I've achieved and think about how much they mean to me and how I might even better my approach next time.

6: There are so many things to keep track of. Will definitely look at all of mine and YehID's social profiles and see if anything needs to be revised to reflect me and YehID in 2011.

Dr Woody's blog really does such a great job of defining the topic of Career Resolution that I just ordered his book "The YOU Plan: A 5-Step Guide to Taking Charge of Your Career in the New Economy" and will recommend it for my students I'll be teaching in Careers Strategy next semester at Parsons New School.

If you catch this in time Dr. Woody's going to appear on LIVE! w/ Regis & Kelly tomorrow morning to talk about Career Do's and Don't's for 2011!!! Check local listing.

Like Dr. Woody says "Career success starts with YOU! Take charge! Get out of the hot seat! Make it happen!"

Tell us your thoughts on Dr. Woody's 10 Tips, and take a look at our previous blog entry on 2011 New Year's Career Resolutions while you're at it!

What is your 2011 New Year's Career Resolution?

How many times have you found that if you have one thing to do one day, you get nothing much done, but if you have 10 things to do in a day, you get half and maybe most of the tasks done? Goal setting is an essential part of progress, being productive, and successful. It helps keep us from milling about aimlessly and helps us direct our energy towards a singular goal. So why don’t most of us do this for our careers as well? Maybe because the timeline feels so long until that next career move or career evolution. Oftentimes once someone is in a job, they focus their energies towards doing their job and hopefully doing it well.

But you can’t forget the bigger picture, which is your career. People come to us at all stages in their careers. Some are young graduates ready to strike out in an industry for the first time, some are mid- to senior-level talent at a mid-point in their career path, transitioning to their next job, and some are very seasoned professionals at the pinnacle of their career path who wonder about their next career step.

No matter when we meet people in their career, we often meet them at a juncture where they don’t know what career direction they should be going in next. Most don’t have a clue and haven’t thought about it. Some individuals who come to us though, have been planning out their future and keeping an eye on the horizon, knowing what they want to reach for next. Those who do are often the individuals who reach their goals and evolve their careers at a much faster pace. Chances are they are enjoying their jobs more and consider their careers to be fun.

You can let fate take you where it will, but you may not like where you end up. Or you can choose a direction to follow. I find it’s much more exciting to choose a direction and follow your passion. Life is so much more fun when you gain some sort of intrinsic gratification from your work, because then the work isn’t work. It’s something you love to do, and chances are that you’re being creative about it.

So wherever you are in your career path and life, remember to stop and look at the bigger picture. Set a calendar reminder from once to four times a year or even more, where you look at the horizon and think about where you want to be in 5 years, 10 years and 20 years. What skills or knowledge do you think you’ll need to get there? What would you like to start working on next? No matter how big or small the goals are, writing down your goals helps you plot out your dream career future.

We would love to hear from you about what your career resolution might be. Let’s start that dialogue and hear your thoughts about your career path.

What is your career Resolution for 2011?

Productive Procrastination

I think I've perfected Productive Procrastination, or am certainly crafting my methodology for it. Everyone's pushing to learn and grow and we all have our own Achilles heels, those tasks that we most hate to do, that hold us back and signify our next level of personal growth and development. Call it personal mental block, plain old disdain for the task, or it's in our Myers and Briggs that our unique set of genes are just not programmed for it. There are some tasks that are best given to someone else to do, whether you pay or barter with others to do them. But then there are some tasks I know I just have to do myself. Perhaps I know that only I can deliver the quality that I expect or maybe I just need to know that I can master the assignment. Blog writing is my my current biggest mental block. What will you think of what I write, and how well will I express myself? Will I be eloquent and insightful enough or too pedestrian and redundant? I know I have so many ideas and concepts that would be valuable to share with you, but I have such a mental block with it. Is it because I want it so much? I've heard before if you fear something, it's because you want it so dearly. If anyone can find that quote for me, I'd love it.

So I've been torturing Mel Lim, my amazing website designer, and I hand in task after task, but not the blog. I have too many thoughts and topics in my head. Really, there are bazillions of them. I know that once I master this, I'll be so relieved and will probably relish blogging. For the moment, I wish to surpass this mental block, learn to blog, and to love it.

Yes I know I can pay someone to write the blogs for me, just as we do with other types of content. But this is something I care about dearly and I want to share things with you directly. That said, I will admit that there is an angel sitting on my shoulder overlooking this project I've set for myself, and I thank her dearly.

So I "Productively Procrastinate". Being (and I consider myself still) a young entrepreneur, there are numerous tasks and projects that need my attention. Most of these tasks are relatively important and impact all different aspects of building a budding young company. But there are a few key top tasks I'm avoiding, possibly because I can't wrap my head around them just yet (or at least in one sitting), or I’m not mentally ready to tackle them., or I’m not into doing them right now. Maybe I’m a bit of a perfectionist, because there are things I feel utterly compelled to do myself.

I also believe in doing things right. No matter how inundated I am, most tasks I feel are not worth doing unless they are worth doing right. I say this because too many times I've found myself spending exponentially more time to rework something done wrong.

And so I fill my days with all of the tasks I need to do. Where I avoid one task, I work on another that I have to do and may also dread doing. But I at least address the task I dread less than the task I dread the most. And I get a lot of work done. I make progress and feel better about myself and my day. The mountains of "to do"s diminish.

Early on I found that if I avoided a task I dreaded by doing absolutely nothing, I would end up feeling sorry for myself. As I found random tasks I needed to do and could be productive while avoiding the one task that plagued me most, I felt better about my day. Heck, I was accomplishing something.

Sometimes if I had a complicated project to avoid, I would focus on a menial task and get it done in record time while mulling over my approach to the complicated project. The opposite was also true.

You know the adage that if you have one thing to do all day, you get nothing done. But if you have 50 things to do, you get 25 things done. I completely understand it now, and it's true. I keep a list of various tasks I have to do, and I plow through one after another while avoiding something else. Some tasks demand heavy thinking, some require creative insight, and some involve number crunching. Then there are menial tasks that just simply take time.

Don't get me wrong. I also believe in those moments when it's healthy to do nothing and you need to take a break and unplug. I can't wait for that moment to come. But for now, I just don't have that luxury. There are times when everything converges at once and nothing can wait. Like right now at the end of the year. These overwhelming moments call for Productive Procrastination.

As mountains of tasks pile up, I feel like a samurai, wielding my attention, slaying task upon task. And the list of "to do"'s gradually dwindles. As I take a breather and look back, I'm impressed that I've accomplished so much in what feels like such a short amount of time. I take a moment to relish the zen moment, to breath and relax and do nothing but reflect. I may even start planning a reward moment to look forward to. And then I place my fingers on my keyboard and slay some more tasks, like this one – my first blog entry, where I’m writing to you.