All posts by Clim Pacheco

About Clim Pacheco

Business management consultant with an aim to create brighter futures for individuals, companies and countries through transfer of expertise, life skills and insights gained from executive management careers in financial services (insurance and finance), transport, education (management and leadership) and engineering (power and transport).

When is the right time to change careers or life direction?

It is not easy to decide when to change careers or life direction.

A system I have adopted over 38 years of my working life was to do a “where am I” audit (“career or life balance sheet”) on the annual anniversary of the day I joined the company. I would ask myself the following questions:
1. Am I an asset or a liability to the company?
2. Is the company an asset or a liability to me?
If the liabilities exceeded the assets or was fast approaching it, I would review what I really loved to do next, and do it.
This has led to wonderful vastly different careers in various countries in engineering (transport and power), executive management (transport and insurance and finance), education (management and leadership, insurance and finance) and now consulting and social work.

The changes require effort but the rewards are phenomenal.

Is it time to do your “career or life balance sheet”?

Will the internet lead to the demise of education as we know it?

Access to information in the internet age is so easy that no longer does one have to go to libraries, refer to journals or encyclopedias, or undertake research in the conventional sense.

The answers are there at the touch of a screen.

MOOCS, and the fascination with on-line education is as a result of the pervasiveness of the internet and its influence on our life- a convenience that we no longer can reverse, nor would we wish to do so.

But what does this mean for education as we know it?

Conventional education meant going to school, then college and thereafter university or TAFE if one so desired and learning through classes where the font of knowledge was in the teacher, the professor or other learned person.

Studies and education involved attending classes and being examined to determine ones comprehension of the subject as also the awarding of a qualification to show to the outside world, that one has mastered the particular art or science as the case may be.

The internet has now taken the place (or is systematically taking the place) of these learned persons and one can only ponder the ramifications of this with respect to education.

The crux of the issue is accessing information as against assimilation and comprehension of information. Is access to information the basis of education or is the assimilation and testing of comprehension a fundamental aspect of education?

Is the ability to discern the authenticity of the information and its appropriateness a new requirement in the internet age?

Traditionally, the learned person reviewed the performance and assimilation of knowledge, and peer reviewed articles brought credence to publications and research papers.

In the internet age, will the discussion groups and special topic groups be the new peer review system?

Where learning is via the internet, who will be the new assessor and award the qualification? Is there a need for qualifications in the internet era?

The answers to these questions will progressively emerge over the next decade as industry too will have to decide how it will assess abilities and capabilities of “students in the internet age”.

Will we see the demise of qualifications and a new empowered self taught individual?

I reckon we will.

Reconciliation- a suggested approach

The first settlers in Australia, the indigenous people, were experts in land management. They preserved the land for generations and roamed the continent freely. Their life was peaceful and arguably without worries.

With the coming of the next generation of settlers, came a different lifestyle, the tilling of land, the ownership of property and the beginning of modernism.

Land use for agriculture, the felling of trees for building of homes and homesteads, mining and all the needs of modern civilization brought with it the change in the Australian landscape, as well as the inevitable use of land in a way that would never have been contemplated by the original inhabitants of Australia.

With the development of Australia, came the inevitable migration of people from many lands afar, seeking a better life.

Would there have been migration if we did not have the development through the toils of second generation of settlers? Most probably not. Many migrated to Australia precisely because was it was a developed nation and there has to be an acknowledgement that the second generation of settlers played an important and significant role in modern Australia.

I believe, though, that we now have to look at the effects of change in Australia in the context of climate change, rampant industrialization, denuding of the forests, etc.

Is it time to now look for a new paradigm for Australia, a new balance in how we use the knowledge of the indigenous people in helping us to see how to combat the effects of climate change and come up with new ideas on land management?

Could there be a role for government to set up a peak body comprising a cross section of indigenous people and other notable personalities to look at a new Australia for the generations of tomorrow?

We have a unique opportunity in Australia to show the way, a new way, to combine the past with the present, to use the intrinsic knowledge of the indigenous people with the scientific minds of later settlers to come up with solutions for the world of tomorrow.

It is time, but will we be bold enough to do something about it?

Are Millennials and Baby Boomers fundamentally different? Probably not…

It is often said that Millennials are very different from the Baby Boomers.

The former are supposedly for instant gratification, are not loyal to firms, will move jobs constantly, will prefer to rent rather than buy homes, love to travel in preference to working in a 9 to 5 job, and care a lot more about social and environmental issues.

This could translate to Baby Boomers seeking long-term gains and are comfortable with delayed gratification, are loyal to firms and have long tenures with organisations, prefer to buy rather than rent, will travel only when there is enough money in the kitty to do so, and do not really care about social and environmental issues.

This may not really be the case.

Both Millenials and Baby Boomers are products of their environments and economic and social contexts.

Everyone wishes to gain early outcomes for the time or effort invested whether it be from studies or in the work environment or otherwise.

Loyalty to any firm is based on a two-way traffic model – both parties have to invest equally in the raising of the standards of the individual and the firm. There cannot be loyalty if there is no trust between the firm and the individual.

A majority of people would love to travel and experience new cultures, environments and social contexts.

Some of the greatest social and environmental movements have been initiated by rock bands, industrialists, actors and individuals of the Baby Boomer generation.

Baby Boomers moved often in their careers and ventured into lands of plenty in order to make a living or experience new cultures and countries. The Arabian Gulf was the hot bed of work for the baby boomers in the 80’s just as China or the mines of Western Australia have been the places to be for Millennials in recent years.

Baby Boomers sought education in the US, Germany or the UK and so moved from various countries early in their lives to attain the best education of their times in foreign lands so that they could get a head start in the employment game. Their intention was no different from the current Millennials who want a return on their investment in education early and will seek the roles and positions to get a quick return on their investment of time and effort. If they have to move firms or careers to do so, that is what they ought to do.

Baby Boomers were the offspring of families that were just emerging from the horror effects of the Second World War and saw their families affected by the war. Some also saw the effects of the Vietnam war, the Iraq-Iran war, the oil crisis and so attempted to get some stability in their lives by purchasing homes, so that there was something tangible for them to have. That was their coping mechanism and so if they stayed in roles longer to pay off the mortgage, that was a wise choice that they made.

Millennials see the effects of high unemployment, high home prices, and recent wars and global events such as 9/11, etc and realise that their lives are and will be influenced by such events. Their way of coping will be very different to the tried and tested ways of Baby Boomers, and rightly so.

Each generation will be influenced by the social and environmental issues that confront them and how they try to solve those issues for themselves and their society is really up to them.

Let us not judge Millennials as they have a totally different set of circumstances to contend with and they are certainly tackling the issues head on. And for those Baby Boomers who are told that they were not really adventurous in their lives, just reflect back on those eventful moments and the turning points in careers, roles or otherwise and maybe you will see a bit of the Millennial streak in you.

3+1+1=10 Work, Life and Persona integration model

The 9 to 5, five-day week is a thing of the past.

Technology has ensured that work has encroached into life, beyond the office, at weekends, during holidays and permeates every facet of our life.

What if we could change the paradigm so that we could have it all – work, life and being true to our very self – our persona.

Why can we not turn technology to better use and modify our days, at a certain point in life, to embrace life, work and our persona?

3+1+1 is an attempt to do just that.

It is about taking the best of work, and that could be different things to different people, and earning enough in 3 days of the traditional working week, to thrive and grow by undertaking challenges that inspire and results in financial returns to continue having the best of work and also keep relevant in the ever-changing world. One could embark on corporate consulting based on previous expertise as an example.

It is about focusing and dedicating 1 day of the traditional working week on continual learning and self-development, and undertaking activities that assist others in developing to their full potential. One could embark on mentoring others, or public speaking as motivational experiences for others whilst pursuing hobbies, attending professional development sessions, etc.

And finally it is about dedicating 1 day of the traditional working week doing work, voluntarily for organisations that would welcome this effort in making the world a better place.

This could be a 3+1+1 Work, Life and Persona model with a focus on integrating all aspects that are required for a balanced life, and one that acknowledges the great benefits of work as necessary for generating an income, but also as a means of expression of one’s talents and ambitions.

It also acknowledges that unless one has breathing space for doing the things that make us who we are, and often this is through life experiences beyond work, there could be regrets in the later years.

Finally, it allows for individuality to be expressed in whatever form one chooses. Work and life do not define the persona. The individual, in realising their true ambitions and talents, express their persona – the essence of self. Often, this is what people identify with and relate to when they meet someone.

3+1+1 results in a multiplier satisfaction effect and hence 3+1+1=10.

This may be a model for those who are seeking new career transitions, have some capital as back up, and an entrepreneurial streak. But fundamentally, it is about seeking and attaining more out of life.

There is a certain point, where one needs to assess if this is for them. It certainly is not for all.

30:45:60- Are we there yet? Not on your life…

How often in your life and career have you been judged over the hill?

And how have landmark years like 30 or 45 or 60 seemed like hurdles rather than milestones that enable you to reassess and review how your life and career are going?

It is often said that some people are lucky in life, careers, choices, etc. but one has only to look at how those people invested time, effort and sacrificed short term gains for long term success. They have created new destinies that suit their personas and not lived the norm.

Indeed, their journey would have had challenges, but they would be the first to say that they had no regrets.

The process of ageing has a profound purpose. In youth, one aspires for different things, and dynamic adventures, thrill seeking travel, and all things fast appeal. As one fulfills those desires, often career fulfillment and achievements along with material possessions takes precedence.

As one approaches the later years, reflective practices and choice travels take the foreground and a sense of fulfillment borne out of taking the “road not often trodden” allows one to be adventurous again- in whatever way one chooses.

Some pursue social and community work, others opt to support those in need beyond their family circles, and yet others take to hobbies that they always wanted to pursue but arguably did not have the time for.

Whatever one chooses, there needs to be a plan, a goal, and a new sense of purpose as the new journey is yet another career choice- albeit in the unconventional work sense.

Keep abreast of technology, embrace the changes in the world, capitalise on your strengths to support new ventures, get involved in making the world a better place and provide the wisdom for others to succeed.

Are we there yet? Not on your life…………….

Modelling new work patterns and embracing community engagement

The challenges of outsourcing of activities coupled with technological advances diminishing the need for manual and white collar staff, will inadvertently create a society that wonders what will be the role that they can play in the post manufacturing and post service world.

Offering their expertise, experience and knowledge to industry via consultancy services may be an option for some.

Complementing this with undertaking voluntary work and engaging with the community through provision of services that they are very capable of offering offers a sense of community purpose, engagement and fulfilment.

Councils should work closely with small business incubator entrepreneurs to enable networking opportunities to bring together those who need the services (small to medium size enterprises, not for profit organisations, etc) and the entrepreneurs with the appropriate expertise.

Small business incubator entrepreneurs will have to learn to embrace social media and new marketing methodologies to complement the face to face and word of mouth promotion efforts.

Social media allows for small enterprises to gain a wider audience than was ever possible under hitherto marketing, advertising and promotions and publicity campaigns.

The costs of marketing via social media are a fraction of marketing budgets that were needed previously.

It is a brave new world, but an exciting one.