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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 15-Jan-10


Friday 15-January-10

Working for tomorrow, luckily

These days, it's all about networking, sustaining social connection, doing favours and generally working to be a good egg on the general principle that (a) it's nice to help people, and (b) when you're in need someone out there will help you. It's always been this way, but the web has intensified the opportunity just as employment instability has intensified the need.

I've always worked like this and have been fortunate enough to stay employed in doing things I quite like doing.
There is a cost, however, and last weekend was typical: whilst going for a walk or two with my family and watching an occasional TV show, I spent most of the time on informal work (= not paid) that will hopefully help keep me in pocket at a later date. So what did this unremarkable weekend's work look like:

  • Wrote an article on stakeholder management for an auditing institute magazine and sent it off.
  • Wrote an article on communities of practice for a quality institute magazine and sent it off.
  • Finished a review of a book on leadership and sent it off.
  • Did some article summaries for a group of friends and sent them off.
  • Updated the website with ten new pages (some already written).
  • Did some link exchanges with other sites.
  • Read a part of a book manuscript for a friend.
  • Twittered for a bit.
  • Added some comments to LinkedIn discussion groups and joined some others.
  • Did assorted research in preparation for more pages in
  • Ordered new security software (and a few more books, of course) from Amazon.
  • Wrote a white paper for discussion at work tomorrow.
  • Packed and labelled a bunch of orders for the Changing Minds book.
  • Read a computer rag and assorted web pages (just keeping up with things).

Oh yes, and wrote this blog in preparation for later publication. I've also ignored an open book on a web development system I'm investigating (Drupal), avoided chopping down part of a hedge that collapsed in the recent snows, agreed with my wife that there's a bit of a kitchen cabinet that needs screwing back, and not written anything on the next book I'm planning (Changing Minds: In Practice).

Phew. I'm not moaning here, by the way. It's all voluntary and I enjoy much of it (though sometimes it does get a tad tiring). What it does say, though, is that life is non-stop and success isn't free. It's been said that 'the harder you work, the luckier you get' and, by and large, I feel reasonably lucky.

Your comments

I know what you mean! I've been spending this weekend, also unremarkably, doing volunteer work for an organisation I'm responsible for (we supply computer software to charities, at-cost): but aside from the warm fuzzy feeling that altruism brings, there's a closer-to-home benefit in here, too: my work on this project for the last seven years or so has opened a number of doors for me in my vocational, voluntary, and social life that I might not otherwise have had (as well as giving me a huge network of contacts, and we all know how valuable networking can be).

-- Dan Q

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