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Sunday, January 29, 2012


Dory: "Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills...When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?"
Marlin: "I don't wanna know what you gotta do."
Dory: "Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming."

Forgetful Dory! This newest addition to the list of my favorite movie characters just made the cut the other day, as it was just that day that I finally had the chance to watch the movie Finding Nemo in full. It's a bit embarrassing I know, considering that my much younger cousins already knew its story by heart long before they have entered school.

Brave, well-meaning and very funny even without trying to be, that's Dory. How I wish I was like her: always willing to let go of her apprehensions and trust in The Process, that whatever happens she will come out just fine. Well, I think I just need to pat myself on the back and say, "Keep swimming, dude. Just keep swimming."clap
Saturday, January 28, 2012


Unless you don't give two hoots about profound things in life, you probably have heard of so-called "dangers of complacency." Experts define it as "excessive comfort coupled with a lack of urgency to address issues or areas that need improvement and growth." We, however, need not be experts to know that they lurk in almost every aspect of our lives: interpersonal relationships, academic performance, workplace standing, inborn talents, and acquired skills, just to cite a few. To acknowledge this "threat" then is but imperative to keep ourselves from lagging behind.

A few months after getting off the track, here I am getting into the groove of things again. Up to this day, I still can't quite believe that I opted out of the competition that had pitted me against myself, and instead chose to hibernate. It was never my intention to make it this long (imagine, five months!) though, but I guess the idea is not to dwell much on the bad side. This break has nonetheless afforded me the time to know myself better and be stronger in the process.

As I see a new beginning in the offing, I believe it is high time for me to step up and move forward. Yet I thank that moment when I felt my complacency about my work taper off, for I would never realize what it is that I really wanted had I not. Indeed, I am the one responsible for my own professional maturity.

In light of this, I am posting this article from US News that enumerates several ways on how one will be able to take control of his professional growth, necessitating only a considerable amount of time and effort of course.

Take Charge of Your Professional Development
by Alexis Grant, US News

It's easy to get complacent about professional development when you're employed. If you already have a job, why should you go above and beyond to improve your skills, especially if it's not required by your company?

But making an effort to help yourself grow professionally will help you succeed, both in the short term and in the long term. And if you don't learn new skills and acquire new knowledge and experience, you're likely to fall behind your peers, which could be detrimental when you look to change positions.

"If you don't [focus on professional development], you won't be marketable in your field in five years," Alexandra Levit, author of New Job, New You: A Guide to Reinventing Yourself in a Bright New Career, wrote in an email. "In this [employment] climate, you always have to be looking ahead to what is going to be required in your potential next role."

Levit recommends focusing on transferable skills that are relevant across a variety of industries and positions. That way, even if you can't use them now, they'll likely come in handy later.

Taking charge of your professional development has become even more important since the recession, because some companies no longer have the funds to help employees grow beyond their basic duties. And since employees tend to have shorter stays with companies than they did years ago, companies may not see the value in training an employee they could lose. Of course, employee-retention experts say that's exactly why companies should offer professional development: because it helps them keep and cultivate their best talent.

"Companies have less resources to do professional development because as they've cut back, everybody's down to muscle and bone," says Rusty Rueff, career and workplace expert at, a website that offers insight into careers and companies. "You have to take control of your own development ... and find ways to make it happen."

Here are 10 ways to help yourself grow professionally even without the support of your company:

1. Take a class. Just because you're no longer in school doesn't mean the classroom is off-limits. Plenty of universities offer classes for adults, often in the evening so you can attend around your job schedule. Online classes are another convenient option. Take a class on a topic that's relevant for your job, or learn about something that's totally unrelated for a change of pace. Either way, you're growing, which is the over-arching goal.

2. Teach yourself a skill. You don't always need structure or a class to learn something new. Pinpoint skills that are desirable in your line of work, and start practicing. Website-building or social-media skills are a perfect example, and they're desirable across the board. Jump into a project, and learn the ropes as you go.

3. Volunteer. "Because [nonprofit] organizations are so hungry for hands," Levit says, "you'll get the opportunity to master leadership skills you might not have the chance to practice otherwise." And, she adds, "you'll be doing it in a real-world environment, which makes the experience better than if you, for example, took coursework or training seminars."

4. Master an online tool. Even those of us who organize our lives via digital tools don't always make the most of them. The Web is full of free video tutorials on how to use networks like LinkedIn and Google+, as well as tips on organizing your Gmail life. Think about how you can increase your efficiency, and scour the Internet for resources to help you accomplish that.

5. Seek out people who are on the career path you aspire to. Ask them how they got to where they are. With a little effort on social media, Rueff says, you can easily find out who holds a certain position--or who used to hold it--and reach out to them. Especially if you stroke their ego a bit, people are often happy to talk about the path they took in their career, as well as what worked and what didn't. Learn from their successes and mistakes.

6. Shadow a colleague. Find workers within your company who do something you want to learn, and stop by their office occasionally to ask questions, Rueff suggests. You don't need an official shadowing program to accomplish this, just your own initiative. "You will learn a lot by listening and watching, and a little bit by osmosis," he says.

7. Find a mentor. Take that find-a-successful-person goal one step further and identify someone who's willing to give you guidance and advice. Even if you don't feel comfortable calling that person a mentor, having someone to run ideas by who has more experience than you can go a long way toward helping you make the right decisions. The key here is that they have to have an interest in helping you.

8. Read. Devour books and articles and blogs within your niche, but also pick reads that are outside of your normal professional box, Rueff says. "Read things that are outside of your own industry and experience, and then stop and think about, how can I relate that and apply it to my business?" he says.

9. Attend a conference. Figure out which conference is most worthwhile for people who work in your target industry and go, even if it means using vacation time. Not only will you learn new skills, you'll also make new contacts. Emily Bennington, who helps new college graduates transition from the classroom to the workplace, advises researching who's going and connecting with those people on social media before the event, so you can arrange an in-person meeting and facilitate a stronger connection.

10. Don't neglect your "soft skills." Most of us know our weaknesses, whether we need to be more organized or do a better job of meeting deadlines or simply prioritizing in a smarter way. Putting effort into improving those skills will make you more marketable no matter what field you're in, says Joseph Grenny, an organizational-development expert and co-author of Change Anything: The New Science of Personal Success.

"Don't do it for your boss," Grenny says. "You're doing this for you."

Friday, January 13, 2012


Dream pushers are the kind of people you should surround yourself with.

They are like the correctly numbered dots in connect-the-dots drawings, properly guiding a child in his early attempt to draw basic things.

They are like the shady trees that provide a person shield from the stifling heat of the sun while walking outdoors, giving him a brief but much-needed comfort to be able to go where he wants to go.

They are like brochures that detail the specifications of a popular, newly released smartphone, priming a prospective buyer before he actually spends his hard-earned money to purchase it.

And they are like the gunshot that signals the start of a race, letting the runners know that they have to begin going forward and aim for the win. That with their sincere words of encouragement you gain faith in yourself and in your goals, and the will to succeed supersedes the fear of not making it.

Dream stealers, on the other hand, are the kind of people you should never get near to.

They are like your umbrella peppered with numerous small holes, that instead of being protected from the pouring rain, you get soaked up.

They are like the user manual of your spanking new, top-of-the-line DSLR camera that turns out to be written in a language you barely understand, rendering you disappointment with buying the gadget and confusion as to how to operate it.

And they are like quicksand you accidentally step into and swallows you up, and the more you struggle to get out, the deeper you dig yourself into it. That with their conscious effort to make you feel bad about yourself and your aspirations, you lose sight of the track you must get into, and the fear of not making it obscures the will to succeed.

It is not always easy to spot dream pushers from dream stealers. But you have to realize that in your hands lies what will become of yourself; you can't blame other people if you fail albeit you should be grateful to those who inspire you to continue treading the path to success.

(Image from here)
Wednesday, January 11, 2012


(Image from here)
Tuesday, January 03, 2012


Ushering in the new year always brings about a feeling of looking forward to better things to come. For this year, save for a much better me (same as my resolve almost every year), there's another thing I have put my high hopes on -- the Hunger Games movie slated for March.

I think it is personally favorable that the film will be shown a week after my birthday, and so I can treat it as a belated birthday gift. Ha ha. This is not to mention that I've been kind of on Hunger Games kick since the start of the (new) year a few days ago -- rereading the book, visiting HG-focused blogs, taking HG-inspired personality quizzes, and feasting my eyes on gifs created by the fans of the trilogy -- just to, you know, prepare myself.yes

For the record, I'm not actually a fan of movies created based on novels as I often get disappointed with how the events are played out on the big screen. It's like the emotions I feel while reading the book don't cross over to what I experience when I see the film version. I dunno. It's not the case with some filmed novels I've seen though and I do hope it's going to be like that with this movie.yes

(Gifs from here)