By Adrian J. Hopkins,
Hi, my name is Adrian, and I am an addict.

abrain

My commute to work is 18 minutes long, combining time on foot and on the subway. On January 30, I picked up my phone 12 times in that span, and I don’t even remember what I was looking for. This is a problem!

Luckily, I’m not alone, and there’s help for people like me (and maybe you).

The team behind the podcast New Tech City has launched a project called Bored & Brilliant based on the premise that being so connected to technology may actually be killing our creativity.

No, really: Work by Sandi Mann of the University of Central Lancashire suggests that time for aimless thought could be important for creativity. In a study called “Does Being Bored Make Us More Creative?” she gave research subjects tasks of varying degrees of boringness and then used a standard measure of divergent thinking involving plastic cups. Those given the most boring task—reading the phone book—came up with more interesting uses for the cups. “You come up with really great stuff when you don’t have that easy, lazy, junk food diet of the phone to scroll all the time,” Mann explains.

So, this week, I am joining over 15,000 other smartphone users and taking part in daily activities to put some distance between me and my device, force me to “space out,” and hopefully create some exciting results!

Each day, I’ll receive an email with instructions for a challenge. I’ll keep a journal (on real paper!) of my struggles and successes then give a recap of the entire experience next week. Care to join me?

Visit Bored & Brilliant to sign up and listen to this 16-minute segment to hear experts make the case for boredom:

On the 30th, I was on my phone for a total of 165 minutes. What would I do if I had that time back? We’ll find out.

By Lily Zhang

The thing about making a career change is that, eventually, you have to tell everyone. It might be something you want to put off for a while, but actually, you’re better off telling people sooner rather than later. After all, the sooner your contacts know, the more likely they’ll be able to help you with your transition.

So, incorporating your career change into your elevator pitch makes a lot of sense. The question is: How do you include your upcoming career change and still keep your previous experience in your pitch? Here’s a four-step guide for doing just that.

elevator

1. Describe Yourself in a Few Words

The first part of your elevator pitch should be used to introduce yourself and your personal brand. If you’re not sure what your personal brand is yet, try going through this workbook, or just use your current occupation and add a few things you’re interested in. So, the beginning of your elevator pitch might be:

I’m an English teacher obsessed with clean and precise language.

2. Talk About Your Experience and Skills

Next, move into your previous experience. Don’t sell yourself short in this bit, even if your previous experience isn’t directly relevant. This is the stuff that makes you special. We’ll tie it all together in the next part. For example:

I’ve been teaching for five years now, and every year I push students to read and think and discuss, but more than anything I push them to write. They start with sloppy five paragraph essays in September, but by the time summer rolls around, they leave my classroom with their own beautifully complex short stories.

3. Pick Your Favorite Parts

Here’s the part where you make the connection. Pick out the parts of your previous experience that you love and are hoping to bring with you to your new role. Highlight them as a way to point out the kind of work you hope to be seeking in the near future. It should be structured something like this:

I love working with my students. They’re so creative, especially after they realize there’s no ‘right’ answer in English. In the end though, my favorite part of my job is actually diving deep into the language. For me, polishing text and teasing out meaning are the highlights of my day.

4. Connect to Your Career Change

Finally, bring it all together and spell out that you’re seeking a career change. Don’t dance around the subject. Wrap up your pitch by making it abundantly clear what you want to move on to:

That’s why, after some serious self-reflection, I’ve started looking into becoming an editor. I know it’s a competitive field, but this is the kind of work that’s really exciting to me.

Of course, your elevator pitch is just the beginning of the conversation, but getting this right is an important step in steering the conversation in a direction that might help you learn more about the industry or connect with others.

 

Dan-PallotaBy DSR2 I had the opportunity to spend some time with Dan Pallotta last week during a lecture he gave on the Miseducation of the Non-Profit Organization. It refocused how I will approach our church ministry, my wife’s non-profit www.walkinit.com, and my coaching network.

Here’s Dan sharing a Ted Talk similar to the lecture he gave.

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