74 episodes

Claim your power, regain your freedom, and become invincible in your work and life! I share professional advice, challenges, and tips to help you create your Invincible Career®.

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Invincible Career - Claim your power and regain your freedom Larry Cornett, Ph.D.

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Claim your power, regain your freedom, and become invincible in your work and life! I share professional advice, challenges, and tips to help you create your Invincible Career®.

newsletter.invinciblecareer.com

    Q&A from the Community (Issue #379)

    Q&A from the Community (Issue #379)

    The past two weeks have been interesting and challenging. I was selected for jury duty service here in California, and I have a few weeks left in the trial. The process has been taking up most of the time I usually spend writing, recording my podcast, and working with my clients and community.

    As a result, I’m not entirely happy with my progress on the latest chapter of the book I’m writing. It’s about 80% of the way there, so I need more time to wrap it up before sharing the draft with you.

    So, instead, I will try something new this week! I’m frequently asked career-related questions across various platforms. Instead of answering there, I will share the questions and my answers with you here.

    By the way, if you would like to ask me a question about anything related to work, careers, interviews, etc., there are many ways you can do that:

    Reply to the weekly newsletter email and send me your question.

    Post your question in the comments section of an article.

    Send me an anonymous written question.

    Record an audio question, and you can have your voice included in an upcoming podcast episode!

    Note: Please let me know if you’d like to have your name included or if you prefer to remain anonymous. For example, I can disguise your voice in the podcast.

    Now, without further ado, let’s dive into the six questions below!

    Question 1

    “Has working remotely part-time or full-time enhanced your well-being?”

    Absolutely! I have been working primarily remote for more than 12 years now and full-time remote for more than six years.

    I used to commute 2–3 hours every day for my last corporate job. I was overweight, unhealthy, and unhappy. I didn't see my family much during the workweek.

    Once I went remote running my own business, I started working out more often and eating healthier — after I recovered and repurposed those 2–3 hours every day. I lost 40 lbs! If you check out my Instagram, you'll see that I'm still working out every day.

    I was also able to spend more time with my children and eat dinner with my family every night. I go for a walk and run with my wife almost every day. My mental and emotional health are so much better now.

    Anyone who has read the advice in my newsletter knows that I'm a huge fan of remote work. I coach clients to take control of their working lives so they can work where they want and when they want. It's a life-changing experience!

    Question 2

    “What job or profession is a lot less fun than people imagine?”

    I think many professions look more fun from the outside than they do on the inside. For example, I was a software/web/app designer for much of my career. My friends and family (who don’t work in tech) would frequently comment that my job must be “fun” because I just had to sit around and design stuff all day.

    I think they confused “design” with creating art, which I actually do enjoy quite a lot. But, I can tell you that the actual profession of software design isn’t all fun and laughs. It’s a ton of long hours, arguments over requirements and design decisions, endless revisions, tedious documentation, etc. Sure, there are some fun moments, but probably no more than other professions.

    Likewise, I think television shows have misled us into believing that the lives of doctors, police officers, and lawyers are a lot more exciting than they really are. My brother is a surgeon, so I know he isn’t having “fun” very often on the job. I used to be a police dispatcher, so I know that most of the job is boring and full of process and paperwork (briefly interrupted by rare moments of terror).

    I’m sure that many of us look at the lives of professional athletes, music artists, and actors and think, “That must be nice! I sure do wish I could get paid to play like that.” But, there’s a reason that many of them struggle with substance abuse, depression, and failed relationships. The professions aren’t as glamorous as they look from the outside.

    • 30 min
    Your Future is Unpredictable (Issue #377)

    Your Future is Unpredictable (Issue #377)

    NOTE: I apologize for the chainsaw sounds in the background. The crew picked an amazing time to endlessly cut trees outside. 😫

    I recently read Reid Hoffmann's article, Why 10 Year Plans are Wrong. In it, he states:

    ”You will change. The environment around you will change. And your allies and competitors will change.”

    I agree with what he is saying about planning. Of course, career plans will need to change. A 10-year plan is a bit silly because the world does change so much in a decade.

    Who could have predicted the impact of the pandemic?

    Who could have foreseen the massive disruption smartphones would have on our personal and professional lives?

    Who envisioned all of the novel opportunities enabled and created by online platforms? 

    Strategies and plans will always need to adapt to the changing times. But, if you created your long-term vision the right way, it shouldn’t keep changing. It should endure and stand the test of time.

    So, don't get distracted by the shiny objects screaming for your attention today. Surface-level trends come and go. If you try to predict the ripples on the surface, you will fail. 

    That hot new profession today may be gone tomorrow. The booming new industry everyone is talking about may go cold next year. The startup darling that all of the investors are pumping may fizzle soon (e.g., Clubhouse).

    Focus on the core truths of the human condition, if you want to choose a professional path that will endure. Dive deeper and deeper still. What have people always wanted and will always need (until we evolve beyond carbon-based lifeforms)?

    Let’s use the entertainment industry as an example. What evolution have we witnessed?

    Stories told around a fire at night. 

    Live plays enjoyed in the village square. 

    Theater performances on stage. 

    Films projected on screens in movie theaters. 

    VHS tapes, Laserdiscs, and DVDs watched in the comfort of your home. 

    Cable television pay-per-view. 

    Netflix delivered DVDs to your home. 

    And now, an explosion of streaming video, gaming, and other entertainment experiences is consumed on tiny computers in the palm of your hand. 

    If you try to predict what's coming next, you might be correct, but you might be so very wrong. If you try to plan a 10-year career and place a bet on where it's all heading, you might win or lose. 

    That's why Reid is correct about the fallacy of concrete 10-year plans. You can't predict the future with enough accuracy for planning that far into the distant years ahead. 

    However, you can return to the core truth that human beings enjoy being entertained. Our brains are large enough (and our modern world is safe enough) that we can frequently focus our minds and senses on fun instead of survival. In some way, shape, or form, people will still want to be entertained — and distracted from reality — ten years from now, 100 years from now, and probably for the rest of your professional career. 

    So, if you tell me that your long-term career goal is to be an executive at Netflix, I will caution you against that decision. For all we know, Netflix could implode in the next five years (e.g., a competitor might kill them just like they killed Blockbuster). 

    Heck, I will say that you're making a mistake even if you tell me that your long-term goal is to be a leader in streaming video. Sure, it seems like it's not going anywhere. But, we said the same thing about many technologies that have gone to the high-tech graveyard in the past 20 years. 

    However, if you want to create a long-term goal of climbing to a leadership role or founding a startup in the business of entertainment, I say go for it! People will always want to be entertained. Just be ready to adapt to the changing “how” of how entertainment will be provided.

    Invincible Career® is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    The future is unpredictable 

    Comp

    • 28 min
    Book Chapter - Creating Your Winning Strategies (Issue #375)

    Book Chapter - Creating Your Winning Strategies (Issue #375)

    A flawlessly executed plan will fail if the overarching strategy is flawed.

    Let me use a hypothetical situation with a cafe named “Beanville” as an example. Beanville’s strategy to win in a competitive marketplace was to offer the lowest price option to customers. So, Beanville created a plan to acquire, create, and sell the lowest-priced coffee products in town. That plan included all the details required to keep costs down:

    Low-cost commercial real estate

    Sourcing the cheapest coffee beans

    Aggressively negotiating with suppliers

    Low production costs

    Minimum wage employees

    Low-cost packaging

    Pricing and sales strategies

    Unfortunately, Beanville’s core strategy was flawed. They discovered that customers in town weren’t so cost-conscious that they were willing to sacrifice the quality of their coffee drinks to save a little money. So, Beanville lost to its competitors, who delivered a better product. Even though they flawlessly executed the plans to support their lowest-price strategy, they still failed. This is why choosing the right strategy matters so much and why it must happen before you go into planning mode.

    So, let’s take the time to create a winning strategy that will help you achieve your goals. Developing the right strategy must come before making the appropriate plans to support it.

    Invincible Career® is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    Strategy vs. Plan

    People often confuse creating a strategy with making a plan. As Chris Kolenda succinctly points out, here are three critical differences between strategies and plans:

    A strategy faces outward, while a plan faces inward.

    A strategy orients on factors you don’t control, while a plan focuses on what you do control.

    A strategy measures success, while a plan measures performance.

    However, It’s easy to slip right past strategic thinking and into planning mode because the steps feel tangible and clear. “We’ll do x, then y, and then finish with z.” Unfortunately, intense and detailed planning does not ensure success.

    A perfect plan won’t save you if the underlying strategy is the wrong choice. Looking back to your vision and mission in chapter 4, think of your vision as an inspirational flag planted on the horizon. That point — shrouded in misty clouds —is your ideal destination. That’s where you want to be.

    Your mission is what you will do to make that vision become a reality. You know you need to move from where you are standing to that point on the horizon. In chapter 7, you identified the goals you need to achieve to get there. You can think of those as waypoints along the path you choose. But, you also know the journey will be complex, bumpy, and full of obstacles that will try to stop you.

    That’s where your strategy comes into play. Your strategy is how you hypothesize you can navigate that mysterious landscape to follow your mission, achieve your goals, and reach that vision. Let’s play around with this metaphor for a second to make the distinctions clear.

    If your vision is to reach a specific mountain peak in the far distance, you could choose one of the following strategies to get there and overcome the obstacles in your path:

    Float over the landscape in a hot air balloon and land on the mountain.

    Fly in a small plane and parachute down to the mountain.

    Take a boat down the river that leads to the mountain's base and climb to the peak.

    Ride a horse through the countryside to reach and ascend the mountain.

    Hike the entire way to the mountain on foot and climb to the peak.

    Those are all valid strategies, but each one has pros and cons. Eventually, you will choose the strategy you are best able to employ, hope will take you past all obstacles, and has the greatest chance of success.

    Once you have selected a strategy, only then would you start creating a plan to set that strategy in motion. For example:

    Acquire fund

    • 34 min
    How to Build Good Relationships in a New Job (Issue #373)

    How to Build Good Relationships in a New Job (Issue #373)

    One of the happiest moments when I coach people is the day they accept a great job offer. They're so relieved to put the stress of the job search and endless interviews behind them. They're looking forward to starting something new.

    However, that relief is soon replaced with a little bit of anxiety. They know they need to hit the ground running with their new employer. They want to make a good impression in that critical first 90 days.

    One of the essential tasks in those first few weeks is meeting people and starting to build relationships. No one works alone. I don't care how great you are at what you do — if you work in a company with a team, your success depends on those relationships.

    Some of your goals should be:

    Starting things off on the right foot with colleagues.

    Learning the organizational structure.

    Discovering the underlying team dynamics and power structure (which is often quite different from the formal org structure).

    Understanding how things get done at the company.

    Identifying the pitfalls and gotchas that can sabotage a new employee's career at the company.

    Finding out what has been working well and what's not working so well in the organization.

    Getting to know people, who they are, what they do, what they want to accomplish, and what makes them tick.

    Finding out how you can add value and improve things.

    There really is no better way to tackle these goals than to meet with people one-on-one, whether in person or over Zoom. It’s more difficult — and it will take longer — to build good relationships in group meetings, via Slack chats, or during your everyday project work.

    I’m a hardcore introvert, so I understand if some of you are reluctant to schedule many one-on-one meetings. But, it really is the best way to establish a connection and build rapport with people quickly.

    Invincible Career® is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    Don't worry about being an imposition

    Yes, I know that accomplishing those goals does sound like a lot of meetings. Some folks get a bit stressed about this and feel like they're imposing on people. They know that everyone is busy with their work, and they're concerned they’ll annoy colleagues with meeting requests.

    But, don't worry about it!

    People know that a new employee is in "learning mode" and trying to absorb as much institutional knowledge as possible. They expect to hear from you. In fact, if someone doesn't hear from you, they worry they are somehow not seen as possessing useful knowledge and information (e.g., "Why doesn't the new person/leader want to meet me?").

    The secret to making these meetings valuable is to ensure they aren't a one-way street. You aren't just meeting people for your personal benefit. You should also ask questions and find out what your colleagues need most.

    How can you help? How can you make their lives better?

    New leaders, in particular, can authentically reach out and meet with people across the organization with a genuine interest in learning and getting input on how to improve things moving forward. There are always issues and problems. Always.

    Sometimes people feel like the previous leader didn't listen to them (or care). Sometimes they feel like the current leadership doesn't understand them and their needs.

    You can change all of that.

    Of course, being a force for good change isn't just a leader's job. No matter your role with your new employer, you can become a champion for positive transformation in the organization.

    Some questions to ask

    Here are some questions that can help guide your conversations:

    How do our teams currently work together?

    What is the process here for doing XYZ?

    What has been working well? 

    What are you most proud of accomplishing here?

    What does success look like here?

    What is not going so well? 

    What needs to change?

    How do you think we could improve things?

    How do you think we cou

    • 29 min
    Book Chapter - Identifying Your Audacious Goals (Issue #371)

    Book Chapter - Identifying Your Audacious Goals (Issue #371)

    She hadn’t felt motivated at work in a very long time. The initial spark was gone. The honeymoon period was over. 

    Now, work was just work. She needed the money, so she kept showing up, of course. But, every day left her feeling empty and drained. 

    She struggled to get out of bed in the morning. What was the point? She asked herself, “Is this all there is to life?”

    Some people are lucky enough to find meaning in their jobs. Some have intentionally created an “Invincible Career” to shape their path to only work for companies with a mission that inspires them. So, they feel like their role has purpose.

    But, most people have jobs that are a means to an end. It pays the bills. But, that doesn’t mean that you have no choice but to live an uninspired life. 

    You can take control and create meaning that inspires and motivates you every day, even if your 9-5 job does not. When you design an invincible life, you get to inspire yourself. 

    It’s too risky to leave the inspiration and motivation to chase your wildest dreams in someone else’s hands. Sooner or later, they will let you down. No one cares about your life and career as much as you do (ok, your mother probably cares a lot too).

    You will always be with you on this life journey. You can always count on yourself. So, don’t sit back and wait for someone else to inspire you with their big goals. Create your own audacious goals, motivate yourself, and keep building the Invincible You! 

    “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life… Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”
    — Steve Jobs

    No matter what you want to accomplish — and before you can make a plan to go after it — you have to know where you are going. Before creating a strategy to get there, you have to know what you want and why. 

    Invincible Career® is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    What is your why?

    “There are two ways to build a career or a business. We can go through life hunting and pecking, looking for opportunities or customers, hoping that something connects. Or we can go through life with intention, knowing what our piece looks like, knowing our WHY, and going straight to the places we fit.”
    ― Simon Sinek, Find Your Why: A Practical Guide for Discovering Purpose for You and Your Team (my affiliate link)

    You created your vision of the future in chapter 4. You also created what your mission is that will make that vision come true. This led to a definition of your purpose in life — how you will follow your mission to make your vision of the world come true. 

    Your purpose is larger and more significant than any temporary project. It’s also more meaningful and personal than the work most of us perform in our 9-5 jobs. More importantly, your purpose belongs to you and gives your life meaning that you own and control. It is your “why.”

    That larger sense of purpose is what will inspire you every day. Inspiration occurs when you feel compelled to act because you’re drawn to that vision you want to make come true. Inspiration transcends the self and will make you feel more positive about life. Research has found that inspired people have greater optimism, well-being, creativity, and energy.

    “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking and don’t settle.”
    — Steve Jobs

    Inspiration also creates feelings of enthusiasm, excitement, and hope. And, don’t we all need hope? Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a better world. Hope that our lives matter. 

    Whatever you’ve defined as your purpose, make sure it is large and meaningful. Your “why” should be significant enough to inspire you for the rest of your life.

    “Happiness comes from what we do. Fulfillment comes from why

    • 34 min
    5 Things You Should Do Every Night  (Issue #369)

    5 Things You Should Do Every Night  (Issue #369)

    “I can’t stop my mind from racing. A million thoughts run through my head when I try to go to bed. I think of all the tasks I need to complete and all the problems I want to solve. I worry about the people I love and, before I know it, it’s 2 AM and I’m still wide awake.”
    — Anonymous friend

    If that sounds like you, you know you can’t keep burning the candle at both ends for too long. Lack of sleep is so crushing. You can’t think straight at work, you drowse off during your commute, and your health suffers. 

    Now that many of us are working from home, you may have heard of people who need a specific ritual that signals it’s time to “go to work.” They may only have to walk a few steps to their home office or workspace, but they need that psychological boundary and mental shift to switch modes from life to work. 

    Here are a few rituals that I’ve read about: 

    One person wraps up their morning rituals and fills their special “work mug” with coffee. That’s the cue that it’s time to “go to work.”

    Another person showers, gets dressed for work, finishes breakfast, walks out the front door of their home, and re-enters through a different entrance to step into their home office. 

    A friend of mine built a home office shed in the backyard so they can literally separate work from their personal life in their home. 

    Believe it or not, another person gets in their car, drives around the block, and returns home to start the workday. 

    Yes, morning rituals are essential, and many of us rely on them to start our day and go to work. But, we kind of drop the ball on the other end of the work-life equation. We don’t create or follow a consistent evening ritual. Instead, we let our work bleed into our nights, and then we wonder why we can’t sleep and our mornings become so unpleasant.

    Invincible Career® is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.

    The Problem

    Since the release of the first iPhone almost 15 years ago, too many of us have gotten into a bad habit of endlessly scrolling our email, messages, socials, etc., in bed. How many of us? 90% of Americans have reported using a technological device in the hour before bed.

    My friends, this does not make for an evening of restful slumber. It also sets us up for a rough start the next day. 

    Why is it so bad? For one thing, our devices emit “blue light,” which suppresses our body’s release of melatonin (a hormone that makes us feel drowsy). Blue light may be helpful during the day, but it becomes a problem at night when we’re trying to fall asleep.

    Also, when we keep reading work emails and messages, we stress about things that we can’t deal with right now. I’ve learned this, and I think you know it, too: You could literally work 24x7 and never be “caught up.”

    When we keep scrolling on Twitter, Facebook, and the news, it gives us incredible anxiety about world events that are out of our control. For example, I was up late the other evening and read the breaking news about a mass shooting in Sacramento, California. It was a tragedy, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it that night.

    Finally, when we try to work right up to the last minute before falling asleep, it doesn’t provide closure to our day. We don’t give ourselves enough time to wrap things up, decompress a little, and shift our minds into relaxation mode. And, you do need time for rest and relaxation to be your most creative, productive, and balanced.

    Cal Newport talks about the need for a “shutdown ritual” at the end of the day, so you don’t leave your mind spinning with that feeling of unfinished work.

    “…this ritual should ensure that every incomplete task, goal, or project has been reviewed and that for each you have confirmed that either (1) you have a plan you trust for its completion, or (2) it’s captured in a place where it will be revisi

    • 27 min

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This podcast does an incredible job helping you challenge yourself and find your career path! Love how Larry interviews a variety of people with interesting stories of getting to where they are now. Each episode offers a fresh perspective and new ideas to consider. Highly recommend if you’re feeling stuck and thinking about what’s next in your career path!

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