Podcasts I Listen to – Career-Related

Having covered Apple or Mac-Related podcasts in my previous post, I’m going to write a bit about my “Career” playlist in this post.  At least two of these podcasts aren’t explicitly about careers, but I group them together because many of the topics discussed on them have helped me either at work or as I think about my next career move.

Geek Whisperers

gwGeek Whisperers is hosted by John Mark Troyer, Matthew Brender, and Amy Lewis and focuses on Social Media and Community in Enterprise IT.  Geek Whisperers is one of my favorite podcasts, and that was true even before they had me on as a guest on Episode 57. The hosts bring a wealth of experience in both startup and large vendors, and each of them has created thriving influencer programs like the vExperts, EMC Elect, and Cisco Champions. Regular topics include the impact blogging and getting involved in communities and social media has on one’s career, good and bad ways to market to IT Professionals, community building, and just what the Hell is a Unicorn.  The most recent two episodes as of this post (62 and 63) resonate especially with me because, like Matt Simmons, I’m in IT in higher education, and like Whitney Carnes, I’ve run my own IT consulting/service practice for small businesses.  I’ve recommended the Geek Whisperers podcasts to everyone from my wife, a vice chancellor in marketing, and fellow geeks/unicorns.  I consider this one of my two must-listen podcasts, and if I had to pick a single podcast to recommend with the highest chance of being approachable from any random episode without prior knowledge of inside jokes and jargon, it would be Geek Whisperers.

Back to Work

b2wSpeaking of inside jokes, the next podcast I want to cover in this post is Back to Work on the 5by5 network. Hosted by Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin, Back to Work is difficult to describe, and almost nothing I could say in a couple of paragraphs here could adequately prepare you for the majesty that is Merlin Mann on a riff about virtually any topic.  The shows description states it covers “productivity, communication, work, barriers, constraints, tools, and more.”

I began listening to Back to Work for the productivity and work discussions, but I’ve stayed for the “more” – which includes parenting, comic books, movies, hygeine while traveling, and a never-ending stream of references to Glengarry Glen Ross.  Back to Work is the sole exception to my growing dissatisfaction with long podcasts. I could listen to Merlin and Dan talk about whatever pops into their heads because I know that, chances are very good that somewhere along the way they will often make me laugh, sometimes make me cry, and more often than not, help me learn something important about myself.  My recommendation – give Back to Work three episodes.  If it hasn’t clicked for you in that time, it probably won’t.

Grit (formerly Quit)

gritGrit is another of my favorite podcasts on the 5by5 network, and hosted by Dan Benjamin. It used to be called Quit, and I personally preferred that name, but I understand why Dan felt he had to change the name.  Evidently a lot of people assumed without listening to the show that it was about quitting smoking.  Others who may have listened but not really paid attention to the show thought it was all about Dan encouraging people to quit their jobs – something he actually did very rarely, and never without cautioning them to save money, make sure they had something else lined up income-wise, etc.  One of the best pieces of advice Dan gives out to folks who may be thinking of “kicking their corporate stooge job to the curb” and starting their own business is to do whatever that business may be on the side on nights and weekends, with his point being that if you aren’t willing to give up your free time outside your full-time job to do [insert new business here], you likely don’t have the tenacity to do it more than full-time on your own.

With the name change to Grit, Dan makes it more clear the show is about improving your career, even if that means staying at your current job, and starting something awesome – be it on your own or at your job.  He takes calls from folks looking for advice, answers the occasional email, and frequently has guests on to offer their perspective on building their own businesses.  I keep coming back to the idea of reviving my own IT consulting business, and virtually every episode of Quit/Grit has given me insights into doing it that I wish I’d had the last time I started, and am definitely glad I have now.

Career Tools

ctThe last podcast in my Career playlist is Career Tools, a podcast hosted by Mark Horstman and Wendii Lord.  I discovered Career Tools after a former manager mentioned he liked the Manager Tools podcast – a show that’s goal is to make “every manager effective.”  The Career Tools goal is to make “every employee productive.”  When I discovered the podcast I was preparing for a career change, and I found the Resume Workbook produced by the same folks who host the podcasts to be very helpful.  These people have been recruiters and they give excellent advice not only about what your resume should look like, but how you should keep it up to date on a regular basis by maintaining a Career Management Document.  They have episodes dating back over eight years and have produced series of casts on interviewing, maintaining effective work relationships, and much more.  You might find some of the other podcasts on this list more fun or enjoyable that podcasts, but I’m pretty sure Career Tools could be the most broadly useful to you in advancing and managing your career.

One funny story about conflicting advice I’ve received from people about my resume, which I produced following the Career Tools method – which is to stick to one page, period.  I’ve had a couple of people tell me flat out that there’s no way my resume could possibly work as well as a longer, more flowery resume like theirs.  At least a couple of these people don’t seem to grasp the irony that my resume landed me numerous interviews and (those interviews resulted in) several job offers, across multiple industries.  I’m not a resume expert, but I’ve reviewed dozens of them on various hiring committees, and I tend to side with the people who have been recruiters in the past and who give advice that I see has worked – keep it short and to the point, and highlight accomplishments in your previous roles.

This is post 5 in the #NaBloWriMo #vDM30in30 30 Day Blog Challenge

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