Browse Category: story telling

Lessons on storytelling and campaigning from unlikely places – Dementia Friends

Dem-friendA Guest Blog By Peter Botting staffer Sam Nolan.

It was the first day at Conservative Party conference and there was little to do. The speeches had not yet started and the bar had yet to open. The conference centre had a hushed silence, a feeling of waiting for something to happen. So I found myself marching around the ICC, wasting time and looking for something to do. Flicking through the conference guide developed little inspiration within me – a panel discussion on housing, something titled “Unlocking Community Potential”, a talk about public services in Manchester and a fringe event hosted by the Alzheimer’s Society and Dementia Friends.

I shrugged to myself and went along to the Alzheimer’s Society event. I knew shamefully little about Alzheimer’s or dementia, nor had I every had an inclination to look into it and educate myself. I have been fortunate enough to never had to face such issues in my personal life or among my immediate family. Yet on Sunday afternoon at party conference I found myself in a small room with around twenty other people waiting to hear about Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

The session was framed as an information event. Expecting to hear a volunteer discuss complex ways in which the disease effects people – I was very surprised.

The speech was astonishing. There was a mix of anecdotes and stories. The complex issue of dealing with dementia was explained in terms which everyone could understand. The complicated disease that effects different people in different ways, with different intensity was boiled down to a simple analogy of a bookshelf. With dementia being seen as a force nudging the bookcase forcing the top books to fall out – those representing the most recent memories. The analogies were not condescending or patronizing with a subtle roll of the eyes to anyone who did not understand dementia.  Instead it was clear and concise.

The presentation incorporated stories of people suffering from the disease. These were not anecdotes but real stories. They were not sob-stories but stories of real people being treated and understood. The stories were not used to get people to donate or volunteer or even to feel sorry for the suffers or thankful to the organisations helping them. The stories were used as they should be – to help regular people understand the point you are making.

Not only were the use of stories and anecdotes impressive but the whole campaign is one to take note of. The charity Dementia Friends have a clear campaign. They have five simple points they want people to understand about dementia and Alzheimer’s. They have a clear and achievable aim: to reach a million people by the end of 2015. And they finished the session with a call-to-action, whether it is telling two people about dementia, promoting the scheme on twitter, signup to volunteer or simply being more patient with somebody who may be suffering from dementia.

It is a very rare phenomenon when you go into a presentation expecting to be bored and come out feeling inspired. Dementia Friends is an incredible example of a campaign done well with a clear message, achievable aims and a call-to-action. Any campaign, whether it is political, corporate or charitable, could learn a lot from the Dementia Friends campaign.

You can find more about the Dementia Friends initiative here.

 

Why social media is rubbish for jazz

BluesAlleyIt was Sunday night. My first Sunday in Washington. The excitement and the stresses of the Wedding were over. And “the speech” was behind me. Time to enjoy. John Shosky invited me and Denise Graveline to Blues Alley in Georgetown. I didn’t know what to expect really, but like Buster going for a walk in a new place, I was keen.

Friends have been trying to teach me about music and how to appreciate it since I was at school. Gareth Sherwood started when we were school friends. Meredith Lloyd keeps widening my horizons and opening my eyes and my ears to more and more. I like music – I am just an ignorant music philistine who likes happy music. But I am learning. The music likes on my Facebook page keep growing.

The entrance to Blues Alley is in an alley. The place used to be a garage. It is dark and has naked brick walls that used to watch mechanics fix metal. There is space for 125 guests. No more. John is waiting for us – he had got there early so that we had the best table, literally, in the house. From where we sit we have direct eye contact with all of the band’s positions. And we have food and wine. To start off with anyway. Singapore slings will come later…

In the UK much has been said recently about how people increasingly experience TV and other events while using social media. Twin screens. This enhanced and group social experience of BBC Question Time and other programmes is supposed to be the way forward. While we Ubered to Georgetown, I lazily wondered if Blues Alley had wifi – so may restaurants and bars do these days. I soon found out the answer to that question.

As the place fills and the mode becomes expectant we are told that no photography or audio taping is allowed. Fair enough. Then the house rules are explained further. No texting, tweeting, or talking. Never mind “phones off please” like in the cinema – here it is no phones in the hand. Switch them off and put them away. And no talking. You come to Blues Alley to eat and drink. Then to listen to jazz. Period. So there I am… no phone, microphone or photo equipment allowed. I have to use my eyes and my ears to capture the evening. And the second bottle of wine is already on the table. For over 10 years I have pretty much not gone anywhere without a pen and paper and a camera or phone so that I can capture those special phrases, images or memories. How will I manage? Will I remember anything the next morning apart from the anticipated headache and the fact that I had had an amazing evening. Will I be able to write anything the next day – let alone two days later?

Danny leads the band onto the stage. He picks up his six string electronic bass guitar. He must be in his 50’s or 60’s, bespectacled, with a foot and more long pony tail and a small gray goatee, a small black pot hat dunked on his head, a golden ear-ring in his left ear, a large black short sleeved shirt, very baggy black pants and black shoes. He has an amazing smile, big, chubby fingers and forearms and he hasn’t counted calories for decades.

With slightly different clothes and without the disarming smile, Jeff the phenomenal drummer could have been Jeff the New York banker or an ambitious accessory jerk in Suits. He is in his late 20’s to mid 30’s with short tufty hair and a petulant pretty-baby-face look with a protruding golfballchin when concentrating. He is wearing black too – except his shirt has fold-back burberry-style-check under his cuffs and behind his collar. He is wearing a leather necklet and a light gray waistcoat. He makes the Tama drums dance.

Then Chris Thomas King comes on stage. He has a baby face too with a diamond stud earring in his right ear. He has on a black Ascot-races top hat with a black, white and red two inch feather and another longer, 6 inch feather – black and white at the base and with an orange plume cheekily presiding over the top. He has a black shirt with an orange and white slim-striped cravat, black trousers with a red/orangey pinstripe and light gray braces that match Jeff’s waistcoat. Or vice versa…

All three have their eyes closed. Chris Thomas King comes to the microphone. Sweat is already trickling down his cheek. He drawls out his words and explains a little about Louisiana. He asks us to “soak up the vibe”. I do.

Then they start to play. There are drum solos, bass guitar solos, piano and acoustic guitar gigs. There are cheeky asides (Danny is … words fail me…) and the three of them play us and for us and with each other. It is mega. We stay for the second set. Obviously. It is totally different but the same. Different songs, different jokes and different gags. Different things to delight and rejoice in.

John and Denise revel in favourite songs. I wallow in the experience. Ignorant but blown away. Loving it all. Concentrating with everything I have on it all. My words can’t do them or the experience justice. It is spiritual, sensual, physical. Extreme focus. Social media correctly left at the door. You had to be there.

ChrisThomasKing

 

Despite the Singapore Slings, I managed to switch on my phone at the end of the night to get a picture with Chris Thomas King. #HappyBot

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 4 of 4 – The Deed)

Ok – so this is the 4th and final episode in the series of 40 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you chuck in your job.

You might be unhappy with your job and thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it right, whatever that is, is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

Once you have realised that the problem is the job, the only way to fix it is to quit, and you know where you are heading is the deed; actually quitting. This can be a difficult process especially if you are leaving somewhat reluctantly. But it is the final necessary step to getting a new job.

Here are 10 questions to answer to decide How To Do The Deed before changing jobs:

  1. How would your departure leave your company and the jobs and security of your colleagues?
  2. How are you going to tell them?
  3. Do you need a reference?
  4. What notice are you going to give them? What day will it be – the day after payday?
  5. How and when is the best way to tell them? Blurting it out may get it off your chest but if you are that wound up you will probably screw it up.
  6. Are you going to offer a handover – what should be in the handover?
  7. How likely are you to see your current team and boss in your new role?
  8. How important will they be to your future?
  9. What do you want them saying about you? Do you care?
  10. Will you do this in a way that will make you proud in retrospect and that shows some class?

This is the final part of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Fix)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Decision)

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Attitude wins every time.

Marketing Graduate Tweet
Attitude and effort and sheer up-for-it-ness count. This morning I saw and retweeted a brilliant tweet that symbolises this perfectly.

Graduate jobs are scarce and there are more graduates than ever before. So thousands complain about not being able to find a job and some blame their unemployment on the shortage of jobs. This guy didn’t moan. He dressed up. Wrote a marketing message. Got up early. And stood where employers would flock past in droves.

The person who tweeted the picture said “Saw this guy at Waterloo getting approached by loads of businessmen. Hope he gets a great job.” I do too! He has attitude – the good type.

Rob Halfon MP was born with a moderate version of spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and underwent several major operations as a child, causing osteoarthritis in his early thirties. He isn’t great at walking. Which is pretty rubbish if you are campaigning to become an MP in the UK where door knocking and shaking hands and meeting people is required and expected. So Rob drove every morning to a busy road in his constituency. He stood with his two crutches and held a sign that said Vote Conservative. Every day. In all weathers from 07:00 to 09:00 and again from 16:30 to 19:00.

The first few days he got abuse from cars driving by. Including a van with 3 guys in it who threw a water bomb at him and waved a giant inflatable “Up Yours” sign at him. ‎

After a couple of weeks some people started hooting at him and waving. He kept standing there every day. He was starting to feel a bit more positive. Then, during Week 5, the white water-bomb van with the three guys in it screeched to a halt in front of him and a big burly tattooed guy jumped out and ran over to him. Rob really didn’t know what to expect. The guy shook his hand and confessed to having been one of the guys who had hurled abuse, and a water bomb, at him in the first week that he stood by the side of the road. He said “I am sorry. If you want to be my MP that much and you are willing to stand there every day you must be alright. You have my vote mate – good on you!” Then he shook his hand, jumped back in his van and raced off to work. Rob won the election. He also intends to do exactly the same in the next election. And the one after that. He has the right attitude too.

My mother was incredibly supportive but she pushed me hard. At my studies and in my sport. I wasn’t a natural sportsman. I was a chubby kid at junior school and was bullied a lot. But I lived in a country where rugby was a religion and I lived for rugby at high school. But that wasn’t enough. All the other kids were faster and stronger than me. I had a brilliant coach called Bro Pritchard who pushed and encouraged us all. Like my mother he said “heart matters”. I started to run. I ran every day. I had to – just to be considered for the rugby team. I had to work at it to get fit and to stay fit. Even during the off-season I had to do serious laps and cross country runs while the skinny, fit cool kids were eating ice creams and burgers and mucking about. I did it because I wanted it. By the time I was 18, I was Captain of my Schools First XV and played for the provincial U20’s rugby and had played 3rds for a men’s club at the age of 17. I was part of the rugby world and played and practised with provincial and national players including my Club Captain John Morgan who played for Wales B at the same time as J.P.R. Williams. All that lonely running was worth it.

My father was Managing Partner of Ernest and Young in Zimbabwe. He said that he hired people based on how much they wanted that job with his company. Not any job or any company – his company.

Morals of this blogpost.

  1. If you want to hunt ducks – go where the ducks are.
  2. Be different – do what other people don’t do and can’t be bothered to do.
  3. Show you give a damn and you have a positive, can-do attitude and you will stand out!

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 3 of 4 – The Decision)

The Decision

Are you unhappy with your job? Thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it, whatever that is, right is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

Once you have decided that you need to change job for whatever reason next comes the decision. Quitting the job is a difficult decision to make, deciding where to go next is even harder. Maybe you are looking for a simple job change or maybe you have decided to change career and explore a new industry. Either way you first need to understand where you are going and how you are going to get there.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to find out what decision to make after changing jobs:

  1. If you are thinking of changing your profession – what would you like to do? Why? How will it be different?
  2. Have you spoken to head hunters or specialist agencies in your field or in the proposed new field?
  3. Have you spoken to your family? Have they seen you become unhappy at work?
  4. Have you spoken to your friends? Have you changed recently?
  5. Have you cash in the bank and what are your commitments?
  6. How long could you exist before you start visiting friends at meal times?
  7. Have you assessed the job opportunities in your current profession? Availability of jobs, salaries compared to yours, qualifications and experience of the people in those jobs?
  8. How are you doing compared to others? If you are ahead – what’s the real problem – if you are behind what do you think is the reason? (Be honest here – it’s just between you and the piece of paper.)
  9. What do you need to make the change in terms of training, investment? A lawyer I knew chucked his promised career in with a Magic Circle law firm and bought a pub. Same hours – much more fun. It was a big decision with a big investment and he “threw away” a pristine career CV. But he seems happy.
  10. Could you take a sabbatical and test drive a new career? How could you test whether it works for you?

This is part 3 of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Fix)

Coming up next week:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Deed)

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Robin Williams. Captain, My Captain

When I started out on my first actual salaried full time job I was broke. But I loved my job. I was in South Africa. I worked with a variety of impressive people and I drove shiny new BMWs and I was in my very early 20’s. Being broke didn’t matter – I was in heaven. Then my mother phoned from Bulawayo. My Dad had been rushed to hospital with another heart attack. My mother said not to worry –  she thought he would be ok, he had survived the first heart attack after all and she was a State Registered Nurse and she knew what she was talking about. She just wanted to let me know but no need to worry.

I didn’t believe her. I called the heart doctor on his home phone who was a kind old man and a friend of my Dad’s and lived around the block from us and had nice cars. He sounded very serious. I asked him if my Mum was lying. He said that if he was me, he would come home. I hung up.

I didn’t have the fare to fly home, my company wouldn’t let me take one of their cars into a foreign country and I didn’t own a car and I probably didn’t have the petrol money to drive one home. I was only a month or two into my job – they would give me time off – but no loan. I went to a businessman that I dealt with through work, a guy called Ali who was a car dealer and as sharp as you could get, according to my boss. We had always got on because I had refused his bribes and could handle his chillies – he said I was the first white guy he knew who could do both. We chatted a lot together and ate chillies and drank tea without milk. He was my only hope. He had safes full of cash. Literally. He would be easily able to lend me the money and he liked me. Problem sorted. I went to visit him.

“But Peter, I am a Muslim. I can’t lend you money. It’s against my religion” he said gently when I explained my problem. He offered me another chilli and smiled: “I could buy something of yours though for cash. If you had something I needed. Of course if you wanted it back I could sell it back to you for the same price when you get back after seeing your Dad.”  I mentally took stock of what I owned. It didn’t take long. I had a tennis racket signed by Mats Wilander and an old television and some cruddy furniture. He perked up at the sound of the television – “I have to buy a television this week” he said, “for my daughter”. Strange, I thought – but lucky. I fetched the TV, dubious that he would pay the money I needed for the plane fare. Weirdly he thought it was worth exactly the amount of the airfare. He waved away my teary thanks laughing. “No bother to say thank you – this is a business exchange. Go look after your father, come and buy your TV back when everything is sorted at home.” What a man.

Now I had the airfare – but couldn’t get to the airport. I kept begging. My boss, a man called Charles Pratt who wasn’t one, organised me a lift to the place I had organised to stay the night near the airport. It was in the impressive home of the mother of one of the kids I had coached. She was in her 30’s and married to a successful man who was bringing up her two children whose father had died racing motorbikes. I was desperately in love with her. Had been for years. Massively, uselessly, clumsily in love with her. She was gorgeous. But that night she was very kind. She spoke to me about my father and let me speak about him. Then she spoke about the way I had worked with her kids. She said I reminded her of Robin Williams facially but also from his role in The Dead Poets’ Society. I have tears in my eyes now thinking of her kindness and generosity with her time and those words. Her words lifted me then and have done ever since. Because who else as a teacher or a coach would you aspire to be more than “Captain, My Captain.” Who else?

I grew up giggling at Mork and Mindy. Dead Poets stopped me, shocked me, slapped me in the face and lifted me up. It changed my life and is still a film I have to “be in the right place” to watch. Mrs Doubtfire I rented from the video store and showed my parents in South Africa – they didn’t get it totally but my Mum liked the humour. Robin William’s shouting “Good Morning Vietnam” represents how I feel on those triumphant, defiant days. Good Will Hunting … well what can you say about that film on any day let alone a day like this?

Robin Williams. President Obama got it right when he said people found their voice and their verse from you. Like so many others I got heart and humanity and soul from you too. I salute you and thank you from the bottom of my heart. Captain, My Captain.

Take a few minutes to see and hear the ripping of Mr Pritchard and to remember why words and language are so important!

 

I have added some of the coolest quotes from Dead Poets’ Society! Worth reading. Some are worth living.

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.

Neil: [quoting Henry David Thoreau] “I went to the woods because I wanted to live deliberately. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.”
Dalton: I’ll second that.
Neil: “To put to rout all that was not life; and not, when I had come to die, discover that I had not lived.”

John Keating: There’s a time for daring and there’s a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for.

John Keating: They’re not that different from you, are they? Same haircuts. Full of hormones, just like you. Invincible, just like you feel. The world is their oyster. They believe they’re destined for great things, just like many of you, their eyes are full of hope, just like you. Did they wait until it was too late to make from their lives even one iota of what they were capable? Because, you see gentlemen, these boys are now fertilizing daffodils. But if you listen real close, you can hear them whisper their legacy to you. Go on, lean in. Listen, you hear it? – – Carpe – – hear it? – – Carpe, carpe diem, seize the day boys, make your lives extraordinary.

John Keating: O Captain, my Captain. Who knows where that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue? It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman about Mr. Abraham Lincoln. Now in this class you can either call me Mr. Keating, or if you’re slightly more daring, O Captain my Captain.

Todd Anderson: [standing on his desk] Oh captain, my captain.

[Keating stands on his desk]
John Keating: Why do I stand up here? Anybody?
Dalton: To feel taller!
John Keating: No!
[Dings a bell with his foot]
John Keating: Thank you for playing Mr. Dalton. I stand upon my desk to remind myself that we must constantly look at things in a different way.

John Keating: Boys, you must strive to find your own voice. Because the longer you wait to begin, the less likely you are to find it at all. Thoreau said, “Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.” Don’t be resigned to that. Break out!

John Keating: Language was developed for one endeavor, and that is – Mr. Anderson? Come on, are you a man or an amoeba?
[pause]
John Keating: Mr. Perry?
Neil: To communicate.
John Keating: No! To woo women!

John Keating: Close your eyes, close your eyes! Close ’em! Now, describe what you see.
Todd Anderson: Uh, I-I close my eyes.
John Keating: Yes.
Todd Anderson: Uh, and this image floats beside me.
John Keating: A sweaty-toothed madman.
Todd Anderson: A sweaty-toothed madman with a stare that pounds my brain.
John Keating: Oh, that’s *excellent*! Now, give him action – make him do something!
Todd Anderson: H-His hands reach out and choke me.
John Keating: That’s it! Wonderful, wonderful!
Todd Anderson: And all the time he’s mumbling.
John Keating: What’s he mumbling?
Todd Anderson: Mumbling truth.
John Keating: Yeah, yes.
Todd Anderson: Truth like-like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold.
John Keating: [some of the class start to laugh] Forget them, forget them! Stay with the blanket. Tell me about that blanket!
Todd Anderson: Y-Y-You push it, stretch it, it’ll never be enough. You kick at it, beat it, it’ll never cover any of us. From the moment we enter crying t-to the moment we leave dying, it’ll just cover your face as you wail and cry and scream.
[long pause then class applauds]
John Keating: Don’t you forget this.

John Keating: Now we all have a great need for acceptance, but you must trust that your beliefs are unique, your own, even though others may think them odd or unpopular, even though the herd may go,
[imitating a goat]
John Keating: “that’s baaaaad.” Robert Frost said, “Two roads diverged in the wood and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”

John Keating: I SOUND MY BARBARIC YAWP OVER THE ROOFTOPS OF THE WORLD.
5 of 5 found this interesting | Share this
John Keating: [the class hesitates to rip out the introduction page] It’s not the Bible, you’re not gonna go to Hell for this.
5 of 5 found this interesting | Share this
Dalton: [answering phone] Welton Academy, hello. Yes he is, just a moment. Mr. Nolan, it’s for you. It’s God. He says we should have girls at Welton.

Neil: [Neil finds Todd sitting alone on the roof] Hey!
Todd Anderson: Hey.
Neil: What’s going on?
Todd Anderson: Nothin’. Today’s my birthday.
Neil: Is today your birthday? Happy birthday!
Todd Anderson: Thanks.
Neil: What’d you get?
Todd Anderson: [indicating the desk set lying beside him] My parents gave me this.
Neil: Isn’t this the same desk set…
Todd Anderson: Yeah. Yeah, they gave me the same thing as last year.
Neil: Oh.
Todd Anderson: Oh.
Neil: Maybe they thought you needed another one.
Todd Anderson: Maybe they weren’t thinking about anything at all. The funny thing is about this is, I-I didn’t even like it the first time.
Neil: Todd, I think you’re underestimating the value of this desk set.
[He picks it up]
Neil: I mean, who would want a football or a baseball or…
Todd Anderson: Or a car.
Neil: Or a car, if they could have a desk set as wonderful as this one? I mean, if-if I were ever going to buy a desk set, twice, I would probably buy this one. Both times! In fact, its shape is… it’s rather aerodynamic, isn’t it?
[walks to the edge of the roof]
Neil: You can feel it. This desk set wants to fly!
[hands it to Todd]
Neil: Todd? The world’s first unmanned flying desk set.
[Todd throws it off the roof – papers fly everywhere and things crash and clatter to the ground]
Neil: Oh my! Well, I wouldn’t worry. You’ll get another one next year.

John Keating: Phone call from God. If it had been collect, that would have been daring!

Neil: So what are you going to do? Charlie?
Dalton: Damn it Neil, the name is Nuwanda.

John Keating: This is a battle, a war, and the casualties could be your hearts and souls.

Dalton: I’m exercising the right not to walk.

John Keating: Sucking the marrow out of life doesn’t mean choking on the bone.

Neil: For the first time in my whole life, I know what I wanna do! And for the first time, I’m gonna do it! Whether my father wants me to or not! Carpe diem!

John Keating: We’re not laughing at you – we’re laughing near you.

[last lines]
John Keating: Thank you, boys. Thank you.

Neil Perry: I just talked to my father. He’s making me quit the play at Henley Hall. Acting’s everything to me. I- But he doesn’t know! He- I can see his point; we’re not a rich family, like Charlie’s. We- But he’s planning the rest of my life for me, and I- He’s never asked me what I want!
John Keating: Have you ever told your father what you just told me? About your passion for acting? You ever showed him that?
Neil Perry: I can’t.
John Keating: Why not?
Neil Perry: I can’t talk to him this way.
John Keating: Then you’re acting for him, too. You’re playing the part of the dutiful son. Now, I know this sounds impossible, but you have to talk to him. You have to show him who you are, what your heart is!
Neil Perry: I know what he’ll say! He’ll tell me that acting’s a whim and I should forget it. They’re counting on me; he’ll just tell me to put it out of my mind for my own good.
John Keating: You are not an indentured servant! It’s not a whim for you, you prove it to him by your conviction and your passion! You show that to him, and if he still doesn’t believe you – well, by then, you’ll be out of school and can do anything you want.
Neil Perry: No. What about the play? The show’s tomorrow night!
John Keating: Then you have to talk to him before tomorrow night.
Neil Perry: Isn’t there an easier way?
John Keating: No.
Neil Perry: [laughs] I’m trapped!
John Keating: No you’re not.

[the students are climbing onto Keating’s desk to see a new perspective]
John Keating: Now, don’t just walk off the edge like lemmings! Look around you!

Dalton: Gentlemen, what are the Four Pillars?
Dalton, Meeks, Neil, Knox, Todd Anderson: Travesty. Horror. Decadence. Excrement.

Pitts: Too bad.
Knox: It’s worse than “Too bad,” Pittsie. It’s a tragedy. A girl this beautiful in love with such a jerk.
Pitts: All the good ones go for jerks. You know that.

John Keating: I always thought the idea of education was to learn to think for yourself.
Nolan: At these boys’ age? Not on your life!

Meeks: I’ll try anything once.
Dalton: Except sex.

Nolan: Free thinkers at 17?

John Keating: Excrement! That’s what I think of Mr. J. Evans Pritchard! We’re not laying pipe! We’re talking about poetry. How can you describe poetry like American Bandstand? “I like Byron, I give him a 42 but I can’t dance to it!”

John Keating: Mr. Meeks, time to inherit the earth.

Todd Anderson: Keating said that everybody took turns reading and I don’t wanna do that.
Neil: Gosh, you really have a problem with that don’t you?
Todd Anderson: N-No, I don’t have a problem, Neil. I just – I don’t wanna do it, okay!

Neil Perry: But, that’s ten more years! Father, that’s a *lifetime*!
Mr. Perry: Oh, stop it! Don’t be so dramatic! You make it sound like a prison term! You don’t understand, Neil! You have opportunities that I never even dreamt of, and I am not going to let you waste them!
Neil Perry: I’ve got to tell you what I feel!

Neil: I was good. I was really good.

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (Part 2 of 4 – The Fix)

The Fix

Are you unhappy with your job? Thinking of chucking it all in, sabotaging your colleagues work or throwing something at your boss? Or are you contemplating quietly walking out, leaving the country and going to live a simpler life on an island? Thinking of changing jobs is normal for everyone – you have no monopoly on any of these thoughts – but doing it right, whatever that is, is important.

Career progression means changing jobs by definition – but why and how you do it can improve your life or totally screw it up. Changing jobs at the right time for the right reasons and in the right way may seem obvious – but emotions and feelings and irrational thought get in the way and can seriously mess up your career.

I have changed jobs and made a few career changes in my life and some were cleverer than others!

So before you start booking plane tickets, selling the house, moving to or from the big city, emigrating or physically throwing stuff at the boss, why not balance out the loud emotional voices of your feelings with some sober, boring logical stuff.

After finding out what the problem is the next step is to consider how to fix it. You may come to realise that the problem isn’t the job, but is a different factor causing you problems. However you may come to understand that your job is holding you back.

Here are 10 questions to ask yourself to find out how to FIX the problem before changing jobs:

  1. Is it really your job you are unhappy with or is it possible you are just unhappy in your personal life and this is overflowing into your work life?
  2. Is it something that you can fix? If you answer no – are you really sure? Have you asked other people what they would do to fix it?
  3. If so, have you done anything about it? List these things. What else could you do?
  4. Are you over-tired, over-stressed, over-amped and exhausted? Do you have the bandwidth to handle this? Do you need a weekend away or a holiday?
  5. Are you getting enough exercise and fresh air? If you say yes to this you are probably fibbing.
  6. Are you making sure that you switch off at weekends and in the evenings or do you have your laptop or iPad open all day every day? Do you have phone free days or evenings or even hours? What about family time or movie nights?
  7. What has changed since you started that job? In terms of you, the company, your personal life?
  8. Is it a need for training or a personal issue or your commute or a salary thing or the career prospects?
  9. Is it because of your employers, your boss, your colleagues, the location of the job and the commute or your actual job
  10. Is your employer or line manager aware of the situation and have you spoken to them about it? If not – why not?

 

This is part 2 of a 4 week series. Previously in this  (really exciting) career-based mini-series:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Problem)

Coming up in the following two weeks:

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Decision)

10 questions to ask yourself before changing jobs (The Deed)

 

Image courtesy of Grant Cochrane / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


New: Free downloadable guides to improve speeches, survive telephone interviews, set goals and more.DOWNLOAD NOW
+ +
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On LinkedinVisit Us On Instagram