Walter Sawatzky on Jobs, Careers and Callings

New Year's Note: upgrading toward fulfillment and well-being

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

Millions of people have received inspiration and guidance from God through the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr.  This iconic prayer invites a peaceful acceptance of what I cannot change, seeking courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference! Let me suggest that engaging even one of those will give your life a serious upgrade toward fulfillment and well-being.

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Topics: executive coaching, Design Group International, Executive Development, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions

Dealing with job-related fear in 2015

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

You may find it difficult to start a job search or to trust your new employer… because of fears related to your former boss’s abusive supervision or to the irrational process that led to your firing from your last job.

No matter what has happened to you, no matter what fears seem to be holding you hostage, remember that your fears only want to serve you, if you let them.  In fact, the gift of fear is safety. Quite often, fear’s message to you is simply: “Be careful!”  Listen to this ancient Chinese wisdom story (author unknown).

A young boy is sleeping in the room next to his father.

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Topics: Organizational Leadership, Design Group International, Executive Development, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, jobs careers and callings,, job-related fear,

Navigating from college to calling (Part 2)

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

I understand the confusion and frustration of men and women in their twenties who are struggling to find a life direction and calling…and haven’t yet grasped what their natural talents and strengths might be, let alone how they translate into the workplace. After a successful conclusion to my high school experience, I entered a period of five years in which I had no sense of direction.  

As a student athlete, I was good at eye-hand coordination and comfortable in the academic world of ideas and concepts.  I knew I would go to college eventually, but from the age of 18 until my 23rd year I felt completely lost.  Having few or no clues about what I was good at, I took a door-to-door sales job and then a counter position at a sandwich shop. Both were completely mis-matched to my personality and temperament.  But, hey, if I had try every job in my world in this bitter process of elimination, I was initially willing to pay the price through repeated experiences of failure. My brother got me a construction job, but I quickly discovered that my fear of heights rendered me useless when I was more than three feet off the ground. Humiliated, I quit before they could fire me after just five days on the job.  I retreated to living with my parents and playing hockey for the rest of the year.

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Topics: organizational knowledge, executive coaching, Design Group International, personal leadership, Human resources, walter sawatzky,, personal vocation, vocation vs career, jobs careers and callings,

Navigating from College to Calling....

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

A study by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University shows that only 56% of recent college graduates found any job, let alone one in their chosen field of work. Of those who landed a job, many were not using their specific vocational interests and half said the job didn’t even require a college degree at all.

Yes, there are fewer jobs out there for young workers coming out of school. However, a fundamental reality is that most college-age students have very limited access “vocation and calling” courses or resources. They have barely begun the journey to understand their unique set of talents and dreams which should inform their vocational choices and life direction.

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Topics: Design Group International, walter sawatzky,, personal vocation, vocation vs career, career vs vocation, jobs careers and callings,, personal clarity

Do you know what your most energized entrepreneurial strengths might be?

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

According to Gallup, entrepreneurship is the art of turning an idea into a customer. But that definition is not limited to the traditional sense of starting a company. An enterprising person can create value in situations. That’s true in a school setting, when recruiting new customers for a business, or through designing new products or processes as an employee in an existing organization.

Gallup’s “Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder” assessment tool (ESF) is designed to identify your unique entrepreneurial talents. Following a decade-long study of successful entrepreneurs, Gallup defined the 10 talents of entrepreneurship. After completing the assessment, your customized report explains each of the 10 entrepreneurial talents and your individual intensity level for each talent.

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Topics: process consulting, entrepreneurial risk-taking, organizational development firm, executive coaching, entrepreneurship, Design Group International, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, entrepreneurial focus

How can you find your entrepreneurial focus?

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

Before I learned about what I now call “strengths-oriented living”.  I believed I was supposed to be all things to all people. I thought that if I wasn’t good at everything, the solution was to study more and work harder in the areas of my deficiencies. I tried very hard to be a more well-rounded person in life and a more well-rounded leader at work.

When I learned about another approach—namely, the strengths or asset-based philosophy—I felt dramatically empowered! The strengths philosophy itself told me I could apply my talents/gifts/strengths to dozens, maybe hundreds, of careers. But it didn’t really help me narrow things down. Knowing my natural talents was a crucial piece of information, but it just wasn’t as actionable as I wanted it to be.

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Topics: process consulting, executive leadership, Design Group International, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, jobs careers and callings,, entrepreneurial focus

What does being entrepreneurial about your career look like?

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

Knowing what lies at the intersection of what you are good at and what gives you energy is a very important consideration to deepen this discussion.  So next time I’ll focus that issue for those who are stuck at the starting gate…or see multiple options and find it hard to focus…and after that I will also share the ten key strengths Gallup’s research has identified as crucial to entrepreneurial success and how to determine yours.

Today, with thanks to Kriti Kapoor at Hewlet Packard (http://www.slideshare.net/kriti_kapoor/your-career-entrepreneurship-inspired-by-the-startup-of-you-39079464 ) for the outline of the following ideas, here’s an action plan for becoming entrepreneurial with your career:

1. Develop Your Own Voice.   The possibilities are endless, to establish yourself as an expert in your craft, globally. Investing 2-3 hours a day you can become an expert in your field within five years! Start early, find and develop your personal voice.  When you are living and working out of your true, authentic self, what process do you offer the world again and again?  You’ll find your voice there. I’ll say more about that in the weeks to come.

Most importantly, schedule time in your calendar to establish yourself as an expert in your field.

2. Showcase Your Body of Work.   Imagine the body of work you will build over the next ten, twenty, thirty or more years.

Share your unique perspectives on what you learn from the projects you undertake, the presentations you deliver, the people you work with, the markets you serve, the customers you advise, the businesses you create. Participate in conversations on LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, Forums and more.

Learn from others who are using Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, LinkedIn, Blogs, are publishing books and have successfully established themselves as thought leaders in this new world. 

Schedule time in your calendar to showcase your body of work.

6 Steps to Finding the Work You Love. Read more from Walter Sawatzky

3. Learn to Leverage LinkedIn

With over 300 million professionals on LinkedIn and growing, it has never been easier to find and connect with people across any profession, industry, geography and company on the planet.

Invest time to create and update your LinkedIn profile; look at profiles of people who inspire you, see how they describe themselves and their work. Tap into your existing networks (classmates, teachers, professors, friends, family), Invite people to connect with you, offer something of value in return as appropriate. Engage in and contribute to the group discussions. Introduce people to each other, a simple connection may cause a profound shift in someone's life. Keep your friends close, and your new social network closer!

Schedule time in your calendar to leverage your connections on LinkedIn.

-Walter Sawatazky

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Topics: process consulting, organizational development consulting, executive coaching, entrepreneurship, Design Group International, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions

WHAT DOES BEING “ENTREPRENEURIAL” LOOK LIKE?

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF “PERSONAL LEADERSHIP”?  WHAT DOES BEING “ENTREPRENEURIAL” LOOK LIKE?

Do you find yourself saying “I don’t know” to questions about your life direction or current job situation?

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Topics: entrepreneurship, Design Group International, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, jobs careers and callings,

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF “PERSONAL LEADERSHIP?"

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

WHAT ARE THE ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF "PERSONAL LEADERSHIP?" WHAT DOES BEING “ENTREPRENEURIAL” LOOK LIKE?

A few weeks ago I provided a brief definition of personal leadership as “the ability and desire to focus your thinking and to establish a clear direction for your own life. It includes the courage, choice, and commitment to move in that direction by taking intentional action."

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Topics: process consulting, Design Group International, personal leadership, Executive Development, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, jobs careers and callings,

Your inevitable next transition

Posted by Walter Sawatzky

With the increased autonomy of workers featuring a lifetime of occupational direction changes, how should we handle our own inevitable next transition? 

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Topics: process consulting, executive coaching, Design Group International, Executive Development, walter sawatzky,, executive transitions, jobs careers and callings,, personal clarity, job transitions