Tag Archives: Paradigm

How Things Change…Sometimes Quickly

Paradigm.  It is something we tend to revisit often.  Know the lens you see things through, appreciate how and why others see things the way they do.  Timeless really.  We think about it with generational communications, in interviewer/interviewee scenarios, client relationships, professional and personal relationships, even in how one frames a picture.  Yet it was a conversation with a recent college graduate that is starting his first “real job” that really drove home the lesson of how things change depending on one’s paradigm.

It has been one of the things I have enjoyed most over the years, working with college students and/or recent graduates as they embark on their professional journey. Fortunately it is something I have gotten the chance to do for close to 20 years now, both formally when teaching, and now on a volunteer and professional basis. We do seminars and one-on-one coaching, resume writing, interview training, and just general professional counseling and guidance for various campus organizations and individuals. Fun stuff really – helps keep us sharp and timely – generations change – we have to keep up.

So what did we learn – well the fact that the “smarter” or “savvier” recent graduates were aware enough to stop smoking pot back in February or March to ensure they were ready for company drug testing was reassuring…relatively speaking.  An eye opener, but at least made us realize that some folks are, well somewhat aware of the “real world”.   Also, it is a theme we have seen for years, and it does not seem to be getting any better, the lack of “financial education” in our society is staggering. Most, not all, but certainly the vast majority of youth have no idea how things like 401(k)’s, IRA’s, interest, dividends, debt, credit, or all of the other myriad of things work in the real world.  We as a society continue to produce woefully unprepared sheep for financial slaughter.  It is amazing anyone survives…financially speaking.

And it was midway through the conversation when he asked what a 401(k) was and how it worked.  While discussing 401(k) enrollment and before tax and after tax earnings that it happened…someone’s entire value system as a voter changed.  They asked, so we went down the political road for a few minutes, nothing ideological, just a very rational chat on a very general level, but the reality dawned on a 22-year-old – he was now a producer and he wanted to hang onto what he will be earning.  It was not the idea that anyone was going to be taking from him, we all get it, there is a degree of reality – taxes serve a purpose.  What struck him was the amount.  The starting salary was not nearly as impressive as it seemed, and that the amount very possibly will be more as his earnings grow, left him a bit perturbed.

I asked him what he did his freshman year, back in November 2008 on election day – “we all voted then got some beer and watched the speech, we thought it was pretty cool”.  I totally agreed – it was one of those where were you when historical moments – pretty cool indeed – really was.  I think I was even having a cocktail that night.  I then asked him how he saw things for this coming November  – “a lot different than I did then”.  I welcomed him to the start of his professional career; he is now a producer.  Paradigm is everything.


Filed under Business, Current affairs, Politics

The Irony of Wildlife…Photos

We had captured the elusive Desert Big Horn Sheep…on film.  Well, a couple of digital images, but “on film” still has a ring to it.  The day was overcast and a touch damp, but regardless of weather, Zion National Park is a beautiful place.  We were quite fortunate to have the park relatively speaking to ourselves.  There are some benefits of being there in February.

And so went that hike .  A few photos, and we and the animal went our separate ways.  I had not thought much more of the moment, but as time passed and the photos randomly appeared as a screen saver, I could not help but notice the animal’s head.  A little zooming, and there it was, the inquisitive tilted head.

It was the animal looking at us with a look of question, wondering what it was we were doing there. Why were we in his domain? It was an interesting moment.  Us thinking we had spotted the elusive Big Horn Sheep, when in reality it was the sheep who had spotted the elusive hiking human.  For it was us who were visiting his home.  It was us who were out-of-place.  It should be odd to an animal to see us in its habitat, not us that should be surprised to see them in their habitat.

Paradigm is an amazing thing.  Seeing things only from one point of view is extremely limiting.  It only took 3 months and the constant subliminal message of a photo appearing on the computer to drive the message home.  In this case it was not what the camera captured, but rather what the subject saw looking at the photographer.  Change the point of view, change the paradigm, and things often look completely different.

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Filed under Coaching, leadership, Photography