How to find a job you’ll love

My homeschool blog is mentioned in the New York Times. It’s a small mention, but it’s a big deal for me, because lately I’ve been obsessed with how people learn, and what makes a successful adult. It’s appropriate that the Times would link the day I wrote about what my day is like trying to homeschool and work full-time. It’s a colossal mess, really. But it’s a work in progress.

When things got really bad — me trying to do everything, and me having marriage trouble — Melissa said, “You need a vacation.” So the boys and Melissa and I went to Hermosa Beach. We stayed at a hotel called The Beach House. It’s right on the ocean, and it’s in front of volleyball courts I used to play on when I was on the pro circuit and too poor to stay in hotels as nice as this one.

I thought the best part of the vacation would be the hotel. It’s dreamy – with a perfect balcony and a fireplace, and soft thick towels that I never had to wash.

But it turned out that the best part was watching the kids learn. The hotel was the facilitator.

The first thing the kids did was line up their Pokemon everywhere so the place felt like home.

Then we went to the ocean. I taught them about the undertow, and the way the water rises when a wave comes. And I told them that one kid dies every day in the dangers of the ocean. I made up the statistic, but I think it must be true, in some way.

I had this idea that I was not going to go in the water. I had this idea that the kids would be intimidated by the waves. But every time they got knocked over, they loved the waves more. And then I found, so did I.

When people talk about their job, they are really talking about their learning. When we say, “What do you do?” we really mean what do you learn? Because that’s what makes a person interesting – what they are learning. No one wants to answer the question what do you do if they have a job where they are not learning. That’s how you know it’s the learning that matters.

I’ve noticed that when I coach people, they are really looking for a job that will allow them to learn in the area they are most suited to learn. So, for example, an ENTJ (me) learns best while leading people. And an INFP learns best by talking one-on-one to other people. An ISTP (the Farmer) learns best using their hands. (Wondering what your personality type is? Take this free test.)

I’m also fascinated by the impact our surroundings have on our ability to learn. So often people blame their surroundings for the fact that they are not learning, and in this case, I think the calm, peaceful surroundings made us our best learning selves. That night, Melissa edited photos, and I sorted links to research I like, and the boys read themselves to sleep, sand still spilling from their hair.

The next morning, the kids took ownership of the vacation. I thought we should go back to the beach. “We are never at the beach,” I told the kids. But my youngest son noticed the bike rental place next door to the hotel. There is such great research about how if you leave kids alone, they will learn what is best for them to learn right at that moment. And I realized, I was seeing that research in action, right now, so I gave up on my idea of going to the beach.

We moved to the farm at the time in my son’s life when he would have learned to ride a two-wheeler. But we have no roads to ride on at the farm. So he learned on the boardwalk in front of our hotel.

He fell 100 times.

It was amazing to watch him get back up on the bike, over and over again. It was also amazing to watch people watch him. People passing said, “Pedal! Pedal! That’s it!” And when he gathered some speed, people clapped and cheered.

We all love to learn and we love to watch it. We just have to find our best spot to do it. If you don’t know what job you should do next, ask yourself what you’d like to learn next. And if you don’t know that, ask yourself how you feel most comfortable learning.

You were born knowing what you’d like to learn at any given moment. When you get stuck, it’s the shoulds that hold you back — what you should be when you grow up, what you should earn, what potential you should fill — all the shoulds get in the way of you being who you really are.

We are all bike riders falling 100 times in a day.

Posted in Fulfillment, Job hunt
93 comments on “How to find a job you’ll love
  1. Insidethecult99 says:

    OK, so you play at the beach, and you’re some expert on education and homeschooling?  Someone’s gotta say it:  What a god damned joke.  People should really be embarrassed at putting some sort of mental patient up on some expert pedestal.   Really.  You’re 15 minutes of fame are up.  Get a real job, and start being productive.  Making up bullshit statistics and passing that off as “education”?  You’re an incompetent parent, and an incompetent “teacher”.  It’s a DISGRACE your idiot readers take any of this seriously, and we’ve actually got the MSM quoting a lunatic like yourself?  This is just god damned insulting at this point.  People think you’re some sort of guru, when you barely have a handle on your own life.  Sign of the times, folks, Sign of the times.   insidethecult99 AT gmail.com

    • Anonymous says:

      WOW! You’re the one who read this blog… What does that say about you? Besides the fact that your screen name is “inside the cult.” What ever you say is IMMEDIATELY disregarded in my eyes.

      • SmileAtClients&Life says:

        Penelope, rise above the comments. They might have a user name that says cult but that was surprising you pointed that out, my policy is to always take everything as constructive criticism. Learning to empathize with everyone (A nice quote – Be kind to unkind people. They need it most. & Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.) and finding ways to turn it into a positive is the best lessons in life. I was surprised the article was about your kids too but I didn’t get through the full thing because I was waiting for the relation to to this site (first one I haven’t read through), but you have other great articles and I am happy you took a vacation, seems you should be taking more though with all the info on this one vacation ;-). Then create a personal Instagram for the family events, they are memories to cherish in a Medium created for it, you will be surprised the following of other loving mothers (then you can connect them to your blog/site). Best intentions ~ If you have to choose between being kind or being right, choose being kind and you will always be right :-) <3

    • Touristor says:

      Wow. That’s one mad person. I’ve never run across Penelope before so I”m not sure what her “fifteen minutes” are/were, but I think her post is an interesting way to look at employment. I know I’m happiest when I’m learning, and I get antsy and bored when my job doesn’t offer that. I’m in the process of going back to work after being at home with my kids, and I appreciate the way Penelope articulated her theory. Thanks! And InsideCultGuy, relax, there’s a million opinions and philosophies out there, no one’s forcing you to live by them.

    • n_mac says:

      Speaking about learning, I think we just learned something, you are very rude and close minded. The author’s methods of teaching may not fall into your paradigm which is the whole point of this blog, each individual is different and learns differently. Learning is important for the human mind and different methods should be matched up with their minds. Einstein said it best: Everybody is a genius. But, if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it’ll spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.

    • Sarah Q says:

      What’s your problem? This is her blog stating her opinion and feelings about things! How does this hurt you? It’s not like you HAVE to read her blogs and automatically take her advice. Just because it doesn’t work for you does not mean it won’t benefit someone else.

  2. Askusmar says:

    I love this post Penelope. I’ve been trying to figure myself out for a year now (since I started my first job out of college). I truly feel like my learning curve taken a huge nose dive in the past 6 months, and I find myself starved for opportunities to learn and grow. My biggest fear however, is switching jobs and having the same issue again. So I’ve been spending time figuring out what drives me, what it is that I truly want to learn and do. Thank for this article, as I feel like it confirms what I’ve been feeling. One more step in the right direction. Thank you!

  3. tatiana says:

    I really like the images in this post. They’re awesome! Did Melissa take them? :3

    This is pretty fantastic, I love this. I like this because only a few months ago, I was very unhappy and alone in my unsuccessful job hunt and wandering around in uncertainty. I dislike not knowing, and it drove me insane – being unable to even GUESS at what I wanted to learn next. Part of the problem was because I wanted to learn something lucrative so that I could find a high paying job and be in demand professionally. But I don’t have the drive to learn programming, web/graphic design or anything IT-related.

    Now, several long months later, I have a clearer picture of what I want to learn, and what kind of job I’d like to have. It’s not crystal clear, as I still flail, trying to decide what direction I ultimately want to go in. But… it’s much better than it was before.

  4. Moana Evans says:

    Thanks for another freaking awesome post that puts a finger on exactly how I’m feeling! Right now I’m trying hard to figure out where I want to go, and realizing that a huge part of what makes me happy is learning new things. I read Ken Robinson’s book The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything, and it’s all about being unafraid to try and fail. 

    I wrote a blog post about the book and about learning here: http://gettingbetteratthings.com/2011/10/i-am-not-smart/
    Sometimes I feel like all the external motivation that pushed me through school as a kid made it that much harder for me to motivate myself as an adult. I started reading your blog when I was switching fields, and I think you have exactly the right idea about what a great career is; it really helped me to take a leap and switch into a job (online tutoring) where I can travel the world. Even if it means taking a small pay cut, I’m meeting new people and learning so much more! 

  5. Yojans says:

    Thank you, Penelope for this advise.

  6. Bill says:

    Great post. Lovey to see you!

  7. Sadya says:

    what a fantastic post, PT. 

  8. ResuMAYDAY says:

    Something tell me there were quite a few FB posts that day, saying, “Just watched the cutest kid learn to ride a bike today – and he DID IT!”

  9. David Bley says:

    Thank you.  I think that, as a child, I knew this.  As an adult, I have forgotten, unlearned, or deferred to those knowing more than I, what was good for me.

  10. Michele says:

    Love this post. Nice to see Melissa’s photos too.

  11. SVr says:

    Makes a lot of sense…but unfortunately companies dont hire for you to learn. One is hired for expertise, and only few jobs & environment offer further learning.

    • Nessa says:

      I think that is at least an overgeneralization, if not completely untrue. Yes, a company hires a person to do a certain job, and the job will require a certain amount of expertise. That’s a fact. But no company gets any benefit from their employees stagnating in their education. That’s why so many companies have extensive training programs that last for weeks, management-track programs, continuing education, seminars, even tuition reimbursement for higher education in some fields. Hell, even getting a promotion or switching departments is a huge learning experience. Getting a new manager is a learning experience. And if you’re in a job where you’re absolutely not learning anything, I doubt it’s because the company doesn’t want you learning. It’s because you either don’t know what your company has to offer or are simply not taking advantage of it. Or you’re just not being creative or proactive enough in your job. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Logically, this cannot possibly be true. Because so  many people climb up corporate ladders at a single company over, say, a ten-year period. Which means they are learning on the job. And the company is encouraging that.

      I have to say that anyone who thinks a job is not for learning probably is not going to be able to learn on the job. So much of this is mindset — believing in yourself and believing in the intellectual and emotional honesty of the people around you. If you can’t look at the world that way, you need to change that yourself  rather than blame a particular company you are working for.

      Penelope 

      • MBL says:

        Beautiful and profound post. Yet again, I ended up misty-eyed. This time it was the image of strangers cheering your son on.

        Please consider changing the word “mindset” in your reply to a link to Carol Dweck’s book Mindset. It should be required reading across the board. It was crucial in enabling me to quelch my then 4 year old’s budding, crippling perfectionistic tendencies. What I wouldn’t give to have read it decades ago . . .

        Penelope, thank you for sharing your insight. FTR, this INFP definitely learns best one-on-one.

        • AYOUNG says:

          I will be looking for this book ASAP. I have always seen these ‘crippling perfectionistic tendancies’ in myself over the years and how I have allowed them to hold me back so often. Now, I am seeing them developing in my 4 year old son. We have been doing our best to help him overcome them and have seen some good progress, but am excited to see how this book might also help. Thanks!

      • trish says:

        They climb that corporate ladder when times are good.  But in bad times like know, HR uses the excuse that someone only has junior skills that need mentoring and if a larger wage is to be paid, they want to hire people from without the  company that meet that criteria.  I think your data is old.

        • Nessa says:

          Where are you getting *your* data?

          I know this isn’t always true because in my husband’s field–Library and Information Science–he has a Master’s Degree and experience, and is getting passed up for the job by people who already work in libraries and get their degrees paid for by the library. I know this practice isn’t uncommon. 

          I also think that P is talking about learning in a broader sense. Not just technical skills and knowledge but also just being educated in corporate culture and being a good person and just generally being constantly curious. 

          In fact, I think this post is mostly about curiosity. 

      • Lia Hempel says:

        Penelope, you are off in your response to SRv.   One of the first corporations I worked for in my 20s encouraged, trained and promoted people from within.  Those in charge had intellectual and emotional honesty, and that became my expectation of the working world.  Regrettably, the world is a much different place now.  It all changed with the economic boom – where greed and ruthlessness prevailed.  And now, since the economic bust, the greedy and ruthless are still trying to gain whatever they can gain – and the hell with anyone else, which translates to that the only thing anyone is learning nowadays in corporate America is how to protect their jobs.   I love your positive outlook, but the reality is that what you are saying just doesn’t currently exist.   A glimmer of hope exists, though, that people are now starting to realize how out of control things have gotten and are re-thinking ways of being and working.  

    • Kay_M says:

      I don’t know about huge companies, but in my startup we specifically chose people who could, and wanted to, learn what we needed to get done. Not one person had all the expertise required to pull off what we needed to do. But we pick the people that have the drive to learn, and so far, we’ve hit every goal we set, and we’re still going. If you’re not being hired to learn you’re in the wrong job.

    • Kay_M says:

      I don’t know about huge companies, but in my startup we specifically chose people who could, and wanted to, learn what we needed to get done. Not one person had all the expertise required to pull off what we needed to do. But we pick the people that have the drive to learn, and so far, we’ve hit every goal we set, and we’re still going. If you’re not being hired to learn you’re in the wrong job.

  12. Kate says:

    you nailed it.  this is the answer i have been avoiding, but you are 100% correct.  Our favorite/best jobs or careers are those where we learn – we are excited to share before people even ask us what we do!  Now to figure out how to implement that with out freaking out or going broke!

  13. James B says:

    I think this is very accurate Penelope, and it reminds me of Randy Pausch’s “head fake” http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Randy_Pausch

  14. ab says:

    This is pure GENIUS. 

     I’ve been cranky for the past several months, wondering what the heck I should do next summer (my current rotation ends then).  But I’ve been unable to articulate/formulate a plan so I’ve just been stewing in my own funk.

    Now that you’ve laid out the parallels between LEARNING (which truly inspires & motivates me at my workplace) and my learning style, and a job, I think I have some key tools to use to consider my next steps.

    Thanks very much for the clarity.

    P.S.  Oh.  And your kids:  confess I’m not a big fan of rugrats , but watching your boys’ journey — taking control of their vacation & learning to ride a bike — is fascinating and inspiring.  I know you dont want a lot of clutter/junk, but I’d love to send you some stuff for them (like when Boden LandsEnd has good sales!).  I dont have any nephews so I’d love to “adopt” yours….

  15. ab says:

    This is pure GENIUS. 

     I’ve been cranky for the past several months, wondering what the heck I should do next summer (my current rotation ends then).  But I’ve been unable to articulate/formulate a plan so I’ve just been stewing in my own funk.

    Now that you’ve laid out the parallels between LEARNING (which truly inspires & motivates me at my workplace) and my learning style, and a job, I think I have some key tools to use to consider my next steps.

    Thanks very much for the clarity.

    P.S.  Oh.  And your kids:  confess I’m not a big fan of rugrats , but watching your boys’ journey — taking control of their vacation & learning to ride a bike — is fascinating and inspiring.  I know you dont want a lot of clutter/junk, but I’d love to send you some stuff for them (like when Boden LandsEnd has good sales!).  I dont have any nephews so I’d love to “adopt” yours….

  16. Irving Podolsky says:

    I will never, ever, ever forget the moment my body told me I could stay balanced on two wheels and get all the way from the “big highway” to mommy and daddy’s driveway. It was a dirt road, with lots of rocks and holes, but I made it. Stopping was the easy part. I just fell over when my bike slowed down too much. But it didn’t hurt. And if it did, it was worth it. Because at six I already knew what learning to ride a bike meant.

    It meant MOBILITY.
    It meant INDEPENDENCE.
    It meant a BIGGER WORLD waiting for me to explore.

    And to do that, I would have to fall down a lot more before I learned to stop. But that was part of the process, getting up, moving forward, and falling down, just like your son and HIS bike. He gets it.

    Nothing changes after six. To get anywhere in life, we must learn the technology to get there. And that technology changes every day! And the expectations of what we are expected to do, in less time, increases weekly. And the machines that allow us to work faster, and do more, and COMPETE, keep reinventing themselves monthly. And they come with NO manuals!

    No one can afford to get off our “bikes” now, or ever, and stay in the race.

    But ya know, when you do keep learning the new and improved “rides,” you stay young. And for that, I’ll fall off my bike a hundred times more.

    Irv

  17. Anonymous says:

    I like how this post seems so simple yet holds so much content. Well written! The concept of a job as a tool for learning is a great way to look at it, and really makes so much sense.

  18. Miss SJ Albany says:

    I love this!! Your writing is very inspirational

  19. Mary Beth Williams says:

    Thank you so much for this post also, I’m on a learning curve in my current job after three years at a non-profit.  This gives me a lot to think about…..thank you….”being who you really are” is the whole point, you are exactly right.  Thanks again.

  20. ProMarriageCounselor says:

    That is just brilliant, actually finding a job type based on your Myers-Briggs type! I’ve talked to many coaches and consultants who talk about helping people work together based on their type but the idea of looking for job that is optimally compatible to your type and your learning style is new to me. Thought provoking! Thank you. 

  21. Jana Bedley Miller says:

    Beautiful Penelope.
    xo jana

  22. Socorro Galusha Luna says:

    I love it!  I learned that as mothers we observe our children and let them tell us what they want to learn.  There is less stresss because the children WANT to learn.  You are doing a great job.  Melissa’s idea of needing a vacation worked out great for all of you!

    Socorro in Arizona

  23. Lori says:

    beautiful post

  24. Jon says:

    I love how you tied the Myers Briggs into learning styles. Haven’t seen that before. So – how does an INTJ learn?

    • Tommi Gustafsson says:

      Get interested in something, read some on it, think about it, write some on it? 

      Meaning, think about how it actually works or should work. In my understanding INTJ:s love to improve things, to create their own theory and sometimes their own perfection in real life.

      A little bit like ENTJ:s, but less bossy :-)

  25. Kathleen Moore says:

    Thanks, Penelope.  This makes total sense to me.  I recently left my 30-year career in higher ed administration to start my own business in a totally different field.  As an INFP, I love to learn by surfing the web, jumping from one idea to the next related one.  (I think the web was designed just for INFPs!)  I was always learning in academia, but after 30 years I wanted to learn different stuff — about architecture, computer graphics, interior design, 3d rendering, web design, sales, marketing, social media.  I wish I’d made this jump years ago, but I was held back by feelings of shame about leaving behind my PhD and my seniority.  Now when people ask me how the new business is going, my answer is “I love all the new things I’m learning.”  Oh yeah, and being my own boss.  I love that too.  ;-)

    • tz zin says:

      Hi Kathleen,
      I am an INFP and what you did was impressive. Would you mind sharing more about yourself as I do would like to follow your path.

      Also, thanks PT for the post.

  26. Kathryn C says:

    great story. I can’t tell you how much I look forward to your posts. You and James A (you linked to him a while back) are both so inspiring and make me look at things differently. Thank you, as always. 

  27. Amy says:

    I love Penelope Trunk. 

    That’s what I tell people.

    This is why.

    Thank you.

    Amy Parmenter
    The ParmFarm

  28. Creatrix Tiara says:

    I want to get paid to learn! I love research, learning (esp experiential), exploring, trying things out – but traditional structures don’t suit me so will. I do a lot of self-education (especially being an artist/artsworker) but it gets really expensive – any suggestions for jobs/money/funding?

  29. Satya Inayat Khan says:

    I love this post too. Our call was so helpful in directing me away from the wrong question (what should I do with my career?) and towards the right one (how should I be spending my time right now?). And you showed me how I learn best: with Systems! Systems! Systems! (ISTJ)

  30. Yael Sandler says:

    As an educator, doing a job I love, I can’t thank you enough for an excellant post.
    P you are the BEST!

  31. Chandlee Bryan says:

    I don’t always agree with you, Penelope. But I really do here. Fabulous post. One of my favorite all-time quotes: “Curiouser and curiouser” from Alice in Wonderland. I think being open to learning — and looking at jobs for what you will learn and what you can learn from them (even if they aren’t a great fit) is one of the best things you can do for your career success.

     I say this after 8 years of work experience helping Ivy League students find jobs — often the ones who got the jobs weren’t the ones with the best grades or the best connections, but simply the ones who were able to demonstrate their raw curiosity — and their ability to find ways to learn.

    Recently, I interviewed Jenny Blake, author of Life After College and a career development consultant in-house at Google. She says that it’s a better idea to look at your career as a set of apps — not a ladder in which you’ll continually ascend. Seek out the opportunities that will allow you to build skills you don’t have — and supplement with folks who can help you fill in your skills gap. If you aren’t ever going to be an accountant and don’t have a propensity for numbers, find someone who can.

    I think looking at your career like an app is a great success strategy because you’re continually learning and building skill sets. If you show an employer what you’ve learned from a job and how you can put it to work for them, it’s easier for them to hire you.

  32. Mark Wiehenstroer says:

    You’ve got some great photos here. I just wanted to add this recent photo of a 90 ft. wave thanks to ZON North Canyon Project. Surfbang has a post (which also includes video) at http://surfbang.com/surfer-news/2011/11/the-biggest-wave-ever-surfed.html .

  33. Eric Wentworth says:

    Great insight.  One of my favorite posts.

  34. bottoms up says:

    Respectable pair of legs Trunk. Always a pleasure

  35. Ana Tootles says:

    Do you know how an INTP learns best? 

  36. Ana Tootles says:

    Do you know how an INTP learns best? 

  37. Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    IME it can be really hard to know what you would enjoy learning next. Traditional spoonfeeding-style education has most of us adults messed up in the head about that, because it’s an instinct to follow the learning. We tend to make often crappy judgements about what we think we would enjoy, and fail to pay attention to how it actually affects us at the time. Plus we don’t know what to try out that’s new. For instance there is a volunteer helper in my restaurant at the moment with an English degree and a past career in copywriting, who is brilliant and happy doing customer service and having ideas about better in-store marketing. New skills she wouldn’t necessarily have expected to enjoy. That’s adult self-educating, and I think it comes from living great values, especially about work. Whereas if you ask people what they would ideally love to be paid for, what do they say- watching TV, singing pop songs, travelling round the world? 

    Following the learning is a natural instinct kids are born with. That’s a no-brainer, if you’ve ever watched a baby. But on the other hand, we teach even babies how to learn meaningless rubbish instead, by rewarding people-pleasing instead of achievement, and ignoring/dismissing learning that we don’t recognise or respect or just can’t handle. Then there’s unlearning to do as well as learning, later on.

    Just throwing out some thoughts anyway :-)

  38. Sergio Felix says:

    Being an Engineer I’ve always been hired to do a job where I have to prepare even before Day 1 to accomplish the project. Hence, learn how to do it/solve the necessity of the company in advance.

    Funny that I have a lot of proven experience but it seems that this just doesn’t matters anymore.Funny, but that’s how it works.

    Many HR representatives will say: “So you’re an MCP, have dabbled with databases, SAP, web development, yadda, yadda, yadda, have you ever worked with “insert your application/service/solution here” before?Have answered: “No.”And have received answers like this: “No problem, it’d be a walk in the park for you to learn the skill and complete the project”.So yes, you nailed it Penelope.

    Sergio

  39. GingerR says:

    I think learning at work is important but many people are satisfied to skin the surface of what’s available to them, then they grow bored and decide to move on because they aren’t “learning” anything any more.

    Oftentimes  I’m happy to see them go.  Usually there is more left to learn but the person has exausthed the obvious aspects of the task and isn’t interested in delving deeper. 

    It’s the delving deeper that makes you productive. It’s not only knowing how to do something but why it’s done that moves you into an area where you can do it better. 

  40. Pierre says:

    Hi I’m Pierre. I’m new here. ENTP, if we’re throwing labels around. 

    I read a past post of yours about why (and why not) to blog. I came away thinking it’s best to blog about something you want to learn about. It’s funny then to see the first new post in my RSS reader is this one, suggesting it’s best to find a job where you’re learning. I buy it.I wonder if you could boil down learning to something more generic, which is simply presence. Being present in the moment and so on. Not thinking about the “shoulds”, as you termed them. If you’re clued into the present moment I suspect that makes it easier to learn.

  41. Ann-Marie Cain says:

    Love Love Love your blog – all the calm, all the crazy – Just Love!

  42. Meredith Collins says:

    What's interesting to me is to imagine how different the
    employment landscape might be if we made more of a point of supporting young
    people in exploring the areas in which they are already driven to continually
    raise the level of their craft, whatever it may be (like this guy on his bike;
    no one had to tell him to keep trying, or to care about what he was doing). 
    If kids had that freedom, they'd get to figure out which things they
    could throw themselves into entirely, which might be the ones that can hold
    their attention the longest, for which ones they're likely to be able to tolerate
    jumping through necessary hoops, etc.  

    If there were more of us for whom that was the primary early experience – €“
    going after what best suited our curiosities and needs, it seems as though we
    might be less at the mercy of how many jobs there were waiting for us later on and who
    did and didn't do this and that for or against us along the way.  We’d whine and worry less because we’d be at
    the helms of our lives, running the show and determining what would and wouldn't
    work; finding myriad ways to make a living in an unpredictable world.

    • Fgardner says:

      Meredith is being modest here so I’ll step in to say she has written some of the most wonderful posts on her blog on this very topic. Here’s one: http://eachonethrives.wordpress.com/2011/11/07/early-indications/

      She works with children and families who are grappling with these very issues.

      (and I hope she’ll forgive me for shamelessly promoting her — she is my favorite educator blogger out there and I hope you all go over to her blog for a visit)

  43. Marie says:

    Love this post, Penelope. Couldn’t agree more! I love my job because I am always learning in it. Even when it’s learning from mistakes. And thanks for reminding us to stop and think like a kid for a moment!

  44. Midianite Manna says:

    That picture of your younger son on his bike is just beautiful, as is the story of him learning to ride. You’re a lucky mom.

    Oh, and, nice post. (Except of course very few of us know what we want to learn next.)

  45. Helsan01 says:

    LOVE, LOVE this post!    Coaching, supporting, and encouraging all in beautiful phrasing–this is some of your best writing I’ve seen in a while.

  46. fred doe says:

    if everyone got paid the same what would you do? yada,yada…. what you know is important. but what you have the capacity to learn is more important. there are rules, weather you work for the government(now let’s hear a boo, hiss, no!) or corporate sectors. these rules can not be taught theoretically they’re learned by being there. i took the free test. it didn’t give me a score? it just said that they know who i am and where i live and the appropriate authorities have been notified. ps everyone loves the seashore.

  47. Dean says:

    My division in a US company was recently sold off to a large services company from India that wants to increase thier footprint in America. They want us to learn, get up to speed on the latest technologies and stay relevent so they can contract us out to other companies. Playing for another team at first was very unsettling…but slowly I am coming to realize that the opportunity to try new things is exciting. I have a renewed fire to obtain some certifications and blaze some new trails in my chosen field. Penelope – this post hit the nail on the head for me -another great post!

  48. Di says:

    I know why you decided to keep your boys at home for schooling…it’s only a matter of a year or so and your oldest son is going to have chicks his age and older chasing after him like you wouldn’t believe. What a handsome guy!

  49. Anonymous says:

    You are right about learning. I worked my way up from being a police patrol officer to being 2nd in command of the same police department. I retired after 25 years. I recently helped a local charity find a new Executive Director and ended up helping with administrative issues as well. I learned from this that I have skills that most others do not. From this I have embarked on a couple different projects having to do with these skills I have learned. I find that I am always finding new things to learn and sometime things just present themselves while doing so. We just have to open our eyes.

    Great Article!

  50. Anonymous says:

    You are right about learning. I worked my way up from being a police patrol officer to being 2nd in command of the same police department. I retired after 25 years. I recently helped a local charity find a new Executive Director and ended up helping with administrative issues as well. I learned from this that I have skills that most others do not. From this I have embarked on a couple different projects having to do with these skills I have learned. I find that I am always finding new things to learn and sometime things just present themselves while doing so. We just have to open our eyes.

    Great Article!

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