Is Matching Personality to Money Earning Approach the Key to Long Term Career Happiness?

Is Matching Personality to Money Earning Approach the Key to Long Term Career Happiness?

Understanding your personality could be the key to finding a career that makes you happy in the long term. It seems so obvious, but here I am at 37 just figuring it out.

On the face of it, I’ve had a very successful career. I have received a very good and growing paycheque and I’ve progressed in title from one job to another. When I became unhappy at one steady paying job, I’ve been able to find a different one with a bigger title and large paycheque. So why do I constantly find myself unfulfilled, unhappy and asking myself “what do I want to be when I grow up?”

I recently stumbled upon a realization – that I’ve been asking the wrong question!

Rather than asking what I want to be or do, perhaps I should have been asking how I want to earn a paycheque. The answer to this question, one has to look at their personality and their values.

What I value more than anything in the world is individual freedom. Based on my favorite personality indicator test, the enneagram, I am a seven, which is often called an enthusiast. The seven personality can be described as spontaneous and versatile, preferring a wide range of experiences and variety. We get bored easily, are quick learners and move seamlessly from one activity to the next.

Based on the characteristics above, is it any wonder why my safe, steady paying jobs have resulted in me being unhappy? New experiences and constant variety are my jam, yet I’ve chased the safe and steady paycheque – the alluring money trap, which sucks you in and forces you to settle and the fear that stops you from taking the risks necessary to find your true calling.

The reason I say that I’ve stumbled upon this realization recently is because I’ve been helping my wife with her business – she has been busy being pregnant and bringing our twin boys into the world. She (with my help) has a Public Relations and Digital Communications company, CIPR Communications. As opposed to earning a stable paycheque month in, month out, she has to constantly find new clients and earn her living one contract and one satisfied customer at a time.

Working with her has opened my eyes to the fact that I’ve been going about earning a living in a way that is inconsistent with my personality and the things I value most.

In the past few days, I’ve changed the relationship with the company I’ve been engaged with on a “full time basis”. They are now a client of CIPR Communications, which gives me the freedom to work on other projects with other clients – this small but important change makes me feel so liberated and happy I can hardly contain myself!

I’m excited to find other clients to keep me engaged and to give me the variety I seek as a seven-personality type. While I will no doubt make less money in the short term since my engagement with my current company will not be full time, I am confident that the money will come in the long run and I know that the thrill of the chase for new clients will keep me excited and motivated.

Because I like a variety of experiences and people, I have also started working towards a real estate license. This will bring together my ongoing and long term passion for real estate (I’ve owed, renovated, flipped and rented several houses in my short adult life) with my need for constant variety and change (many clients, many houses, many interesting twists and turns around each deal). Between helping my wife with her communications clients (I also like to write, be strategic and creative) and helping my own future clients buy and sell their homes, I’m confident that I will finally get to a place where my method of earning a living matches my personality!

Are you happy in your career? Does your method of earning a paycheque match your personality? If not, I encourage you to find the courage to try something completely different – you might be surprised by the result!

Peter

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On Self Doubt: Blogging again – because I want to!

On Self Doubt: Blogging again – because I want to!

The human brain has an incredible capacity for innovation, inspiration and greatness; It can also cripple those who appear strong on the outside with intense feelings of self doubt and a shattered confidence on the inside. For the last year, I have been struggling with the latter. I have talked myself out of acting on so many ideas its embarrassing for me to admit. Blogging is just one of those ideas.

Christina and I stopped writing our blog a few years ago mostly because of me. We were writing a lot about politics at the time and I was becoming negative. I didn’t like that – I am usually very positive and I wanted to get back to my true self.

We totally stepped away from politics for a while. I finally took and completed my Executive MBA, an achievement I’m proud of. I quit a high paying and relatively easy job as Vice President with Merit Contractors Association; I was getting negative in that job as well because I was lobbying government for changes I believe strongly in and I was fighting with a lot of people. I wanted to stop fighting.

Christina and I recently welcomed beautiful twin boys into the world and we are now trying to make a living though our company, CIPR Communications – its been going fairly well, but I’ve doubted myself a lot in the transition from employee to entrepreneur. Its been difficult

My life is completely different now than it was then. In many ways, its so much better but in some ways, its worse. That damned self doubt and lack of confidence seems to have crept into my life and it has stopped me from acting on many of the things I dream about achieving and want in my life.

So strange the human mind – the internal battles we have with ourselves. We watch people we admire and want to be more like them. We tell ourselves that tomorrow we will do this and that toward our goals and then we do nothing. We feel crippled. Stuck. Weak. Defeated. WTF?

I post this blog today as a first step away from self doubt and diminished confidence. Its my way to turn my ideas into action. I’m blogging again because I like to write. I find it therapeutic – I learned this when I wrote my late mother’s eulogy. I am blogging again because I want to.

Maybe this blog is a confession. Maybe it’s a declaration. Maybe its an internal call to action. I don’t know and I don’t think it matters.

I am reviving PCinYYC with a renewed focus. Much less about politics and much more about life. Life as an entrepreneur trying desperately and shamelessly to build a business around the lifestyle I want. Life as a dad to twin boys who wants to be a positive inspiration for those little bundles of amazingness. Life as a human being going through the constant ups and downs that define the human experience.

These are the things I will write about and I hope that you will join me in this journey. I hope that you will comment and share your thoughts, wisdom, struggles and achievements. I hope that together we can overcome and we can celebrate all of the greatness that has yet to be discovered.

Peter

Bill Stewart: Freedom Fighter

Yesterday, we said goodbye to our friend, Bill Stewart.  Stephen Kushner delivered his eulogy, which i’ve posted below for the people who were not able to make it to his memorial service.

But before you read the eulogy, I encourage you to read his own message written 40 years ago as High School Student’s Union President – Bill’s values and beliefs have clearly never changed – he trully was a Freedom Fighter who believed in personal responsibility and we will carry his legacy on!

Bill Stewart

Goodbye friend – you will be missed!

Stephen’s words begin here:

Where do I begin, Bill? Where should I start? And how can I do this without your wise counsel, your editing, your way with words? Listen, you do the first draft, I’ll do the second, we will let it age for a few days and we will go from there. These were my thoughts when Bill’s family honored me with the request to capture Bill’s life, his joys, his sorrows, his accomplishments, his loves. Well, Bill, let’s start at the beginning.

Bill was born to Ruth Hanna and Robert Stewart on December 31, 1956, some almost 57 years ago. They were a family of five with brother Doug and sister Fran. Fran and Bill were both strong minded individuals enjoying the frequent tussle of political debates and discussions. Doug was the out doorsie type and Bill, Doug, and their father enjoyed many a fall outing in duck season. Bill’s mother, Ruth, instilled in Bill a love for history and perhaps had a hand in Bill pursuing a history major in order to ensure his mother’s discussions were not of a revisionist nature. Summers were easy times at the cottage in Lac La Non, fishing, and enjoying carefree summer days.

Around the family table, discussions of politics were frequent and enthusiastic, but Sundays were more refined with afternoons of bridge. Family was number one for Bill’s parents and these values were deeply instilled in Bill and values that he passed on to his own three children. And what beautiful children they are: Leah, Sheena, and Kristen. For Bill, nothing was more important than his girls. Raising his children to be caring, generous, compassionate, and self-reliant was so important to Bill and boy did Bill and his first wife, Joanne Blackstock, ever hit a home run in raising these three gorgeous daughters.

Leah, the most like her father, remembers the small things. Like walks to the park and hot chocolate after tobogganing or going to the candy store with a dollar and seeing how much candy she could buy. Bill instilled values in Leah that she holds precious to this day and Bill was so proud of her choice in her husband, Jeff Yanew, and first grandson, Nathan.

And Sheena loved her travels with her dad. A highlight was their trip together to Vegas to see Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young and that special moment when they bumped into Graham Nash and Bill was able to get a picture with one of his music idols. The trip to Thailand and Cambodia was truly special and Bill regaled the office with stories about how much fun he had getting drunk with his daughter, going to the Tiger farm, and that 150 km multi-bus 9 hour trip in Cambodia. Sheena, your dad was so happy when you fulfilled your childhood dream to get an education degree and he would often talk of your wonderful marriage to Grant and the business conquests and how excited he was about the youngest addition, Oliver, to the Stewart-Sanderson clan.

Kristen, you know you were the most challenging for your dad. You knew how to get your dad going, push his buttons, and for some period he wasn’t really sure how you would turn out. But I can tell you, because I know, how so very happy your dad was about your marriage to Josh Durwood and how sensational a mother you have turned into for both Anthony and Rayleigh.

And here is a little tidbit about Bill. He would find time to call his girls every day and have a chat because his daughters were always on his mind and in his heart. But enough said about the girls, husbands, and grandchildren.

It is time to talk about another of Bill’s abiding passions, Saturday morning grocery shopping. Grocery shopping for Bill and his girls was a Saturday routine executed with the efficiency of a well run political campaign. First you did the data analysis of the constituency (read the flyers for the best bargains). Then you plotted out the route where you could get the most votes (figured out which stores you were going to visit). He gathered the volunteers (rounded up the girls). Once the door knocking (shopping) was completed, back to the campaign office (home) to close up shop until the next campaign (unload the groceries). And then start all over again when the next election is called (go shopping when the food runs out). Yes, for Bill, shopping and politics were strategic activities: not for the faint of heart and completed knowing full well that the state of the nation (ensuring two well stocked freezers) was at stake.

Weekends at the Stewarts were special times and Sunday evenings were everyone’s favorite. Bill would do the cooking and on Monday mornings I would hear about his gastronomical successes. Sunday dinners were compulsory family time together where laughter and easy conversations were the norm. And political discussions were strictly forbidden. For any of the other six nights, political discussions were fair game, but not Sunday family dinners.

I mentioned, Joanne, Bill’s first wife and I must tell you more about Joanne and Bill, family, and values. Joanne and Bill were married for some 11  years. And while the marriage did not last, the friendship did. Joanne and Bill held family dinners together on Sundays long after their marriage ended and Bill said to me that they remained best of friends. Bill was the rock for the family and he continued to be a rock for Joanne. Joanne cared deeply for Bill and when Bill had a brief illness Joanne could be called on at any hour of the day and night to help her friend Bill. And Bill was so compassionate to Joanne when she was diagnosed with lung cancer and Bill was there. Joanne’s last months were spent initially with Leah and then with Bill at his home where he comforted, cared for and supported her to her last day. You see, Joanne was Bill’s friend and for Bill, friends take care for each other.

Bill, it’s time to get serious and talk about how you got to play in your sandbox every day for the past 23 years. So, my turn to talk about our beginning. I met Bill through student politics in grade 10. Bill was the President of his high school and I was the grade 10 representative. Bill was already a political pro, having been a VP in junior high in grade 7 and president of his student council by grade 9.

Yes, his political skills and successes started early and he loved people, ideas, social causes, righting wrongs and injustices. Bill loved politics. That was his passion.

Our friendship got deeper in University. Bill rushed with Phi Delta Theta fraternity and I followed two years later.

Bill was a Political Science and History major, pursuing an Arts degree and we decided to join forces and run on a slate as 2 Arts representatives on Students’ Council. We were told we were the under dogs with no chance of winning. But what do pundits really know? One year after winning that election, we combined forces once more to run for the Executive of the U of Alberta Students’ Council; Bill as president, I ran as a VP, and a person Bill suggested run with us as another VP joined our team – my future wife, Kaysi. After Students’ Council, Bill went west to pursue a Masters in Public Administration at the U of Victoria.

We kep t in touch. Bill moved north with the Territorial government in Yellowknife and later Rankin Inlet, then left to the big city of Toronto working for the Ministry of Housing for the Ontario government. Bill loved his work and worked long, hard hours.

We continued to keep in touch over the years. And in 1989 Bill visited Edmonton and I told Bill about a new position that opened up, Executive Director for the Merit Contractors’ Association in Saskatchewan. I remember Bill saying, “What do I know about labor relations?” I said, “No problem, you will learn” and wow, did he ever.  In 1998, Bill joined Merit Contractors’ Association of Alberta as its General Manage and later became Vice President Government Relations. As VP, Bill got to play in his sandbox every day, from early morning and often until late in the evening and on weekends.

You see, politics was Bill’s passion. His driving force in life was to make a difference, to make the world a better place. The Merit philosophy of self-reliance, of reward for hard work, of taking care of your people with fair wages, benefits, pensions, and opportunities resonated deeply with Bill’s core values.  Bill found a place where values, beliefs, passion, and work melded together.

Bill immersed himself in politics and in work, contributing to public policy development in construction, authoring over 30 articles for Merit’s Open Mind magazine as Bill was an exceptional writer. At the same time, he sat on Conservative Association boards provincially and federally, served as President of the Calder PC Association, and was active in too many political campaigns to mention. Yes, Bill has knocked on more doors supporting candidates than many sitting MLAs.

And Bill contributed to many many successful elections, sat on numerous committees, was always up for a discussion be it internal party reform or the big issues relating to debt, health care, or education. He touched the lives of hundreds of politicians, aides, bureaucrats, and campaign volunteers. He could just as easily engage the premier or future prime minister in a political discussion as he could Merit’s custodian, Nicolas, or any of the administrative staff at Merit. Bill was a people person with no pretensions and he had time for anyone. He was genuine, sincere, and loved a good discussion or debate. He also gave his time generously to The Hope Mission, The Mustard Seed and Women Building Futures.

Michael Cooper, who is running for the federal Conservative nomination in St. Albert was Bill’s most recent rising star and he was already working hard to help this bright young Conservative lawyer begin a political career.

Bill was no stranger to achieving success. And what was success for Bill? You see, Bill was a Free Enterprise Freedom Fighter. In his Twitter account, he also claims to be an aspiring food and wine connoisseur of the gluten free persuasion. Our Bill was no aspiring freedom fighter, he was the real McCoy.

Bill believed in worker choice legislation, union transparency, workers’ controlling how their dues could be spent, and secret ballot votes, and respect for democracy in the workplace.

He was thrilled to see the Federal Conservatives embrace these policies, the provincial PCs adopt some of these in their last election platform, and Wild Rose Party endorse some of these policies just a few weeks ago at their convention.

As a freedom fighter, Bill was a man of ideas, a persion of deep belief and conviction. And his way of changing the world was through political activism. Ideas are powerful and Bill was a freedom fighter extraordinaire.

Bill was respectful of those who gave their lives in battle and November 11th Remembrance Days were always very important for Bill. He would wear a poppy and attend one or more ceremonies honoring our fallen soldiers. Bill’s life was devoted to fighting injustice, and for me, November 11th, the day Bill passed on, will always be a more meaningful memorial day. I will think fondly of a very special freedom fighter. Enough of political battles and wars and fallen heroes.

It is time to get on with the really good stuff: Bill the romantic.  My good friend had fallen deeply in love with his new wife, Vera Leanovitch. So, now I get to tell you about a love story. While on a European October Fest vacation, 5 years ago, Bill was visiting a museum in Prague and was distracted by a beautiful woman who spoke English with an exotic accent. His itinerary was quickly changed to include a visit to Belorussia. I remember him returning from that trip and speaking about Belorussia and I was quite confused as to why a person doing an October Fest trip would end up in Bellerose.

This began a beautiful love story with some eight rendezvous to Bellerusse and other trips to Budapest, Vienna, Krakow, Barcelona, Banff, Jasper, Vancouver, Victoria, and Calgary.

When separated, Bill and Vera would talk daily on skype. On a romantic trip to the beautiful city of Budapest, on one knee Bill proposed, holding out a wedding ring. And once Vera figured out what he had just mumbled, she said “of course!”

And so began a wonderful transformation. Bill and Vera were married for a little over two years and were together in Canada for fourteen months. And those fourteen months were the longest honeymoon I have ever observed.

Bill and Vera were deeply in love and the logical, political activist was also a passionate, considerate, gentle, kind loving husband.

Vera talks of how sweet Bill made sure that there were fresh flowers on the table every day for her, how they found joy in each other’s company. Simply, these two were deeply in love.

And, oh, how we saw changes in Bill at the office. Bill had an extra bounce in his step. He went from being an OK dresser to a sharp dresser. Even Premier Redford once complimented Bill on one of the new sweaters that Vera had picked out.

Bill would often go home for lunch to spend that extra hour with Vera. He could even be seen leaving the office as early as 5 pm.

The Merit family saw a person who had always been upbeat, now  glow, excited about life and all its possibilities, talking about his new love, Vera, and planning for their future together.

Planning meant dancing lessons for old twinkle toes every Tuesday night, and Russian language classes so that Bill could better engage with Vera’s family.

And speaking of Vera’s family, I must tell you the story of when Bill stole Vera from her family, he wrote the kindest, warmest letter to the family promising that he would take care of their Vera and that they should not worry as she was precious and would find happiness in her new home. That was the kind of person Bill was.

Hey, Bill, I have probably talked long enough and said some things I shouldn’t have. I know from now on any help from you will be of the inspirational type. So, we ALL will have to manage with one less freedom fighter on the ground, but with one more angel on our shoulders. Good bye my dear friend.

Canada’s Building Trade Unions Support is Suspicious

Canada’s Building Trades Unions (BTU) came out publically the other day supporting the Government of Canada’s decision to allow the reversal of Enbridge Line 9 between Hamilton and Sarnia.  In their release, Director of Canadian Affairs, Robert Blakely, says that they work with energy producers on a daily basis to ensure that Canada’s energy projects “achieve all of their potential” and that “it’s refreshing to have a federal government that also grasps this economic reality.”  Blakley goes on to say that “with measures like an improved regulatory process, their commitment to apprenticeship and now this – the Harper Government is demonstrating its knowledge of, and commitment to, our industry.”

Taken at face value, such strong support of Prime Minister Harper’s Government and policies are no doubt helpful to the Prime Minister and to the energy industry as a whole.  Had the BTU sent this news release and focused only on the great nation building work of Prime Minister Harper, the BTU would have come across genuinely.

Instead they went on to express their concern about the “unintended, negative consequences of Bill C-377, which endangers the ability of Canadian workers to participate in large scale nation building energy and resource projects”

WHAT???  How??? Huh???

Bill C-377 is a federal Private Members Bill that would require unions to make public their finances, including assets, liabilities, expenses, and salaries of officials.  It’s a necessary piece of legislation in a world that is becoming increasingly open and transparent.

In his news release, Blakely goes as far as threatening that if Harper’s government moves forward with Bill C-377 it will “add considerable costs to the bottom line of large-scale energy projects” while at the same time stating the legislation would actually “duplicate processes that are already in place to provide accountability and transparency”.

If unions already have systems in place to provide accountability and transparency then they will be able to comply with Bill C-377 with little or no additional cost.  You can’t say on the one hand that you already provide full financial disclosure to members and on the other that it would cost you a fortune to provide public financial disclosure.  There is no logic to that argument.  It simply doesn’t make sense.  We know, for example, that when the US brought in union disclosure legislation the cost of compliance to unions was nominal.

Blakely also states that building trade unions are private sector unions and that “unlike charities and political parties, they (we) receive no public sector subsidies”.  The fact of the matter is, however, that unions enjoy special status under our tax laws and receive approximately $400 million worth of tax benefits every year.  Furthermore, union dues are mandatory which means that unions effectively have the ability to tax their members without any requirements to be transparent or accountable.

When Bill C-377 was first introduced, Blakely and friends complained that the Harper Government was unfairly targeting unions with this legislation.  Given that the government has required charities and first nations governments to be more transparent, these arguments have fallen on deaf ears.  Their new argument that they receive no public subsidies is also full of holes given their unique tax status and the mandatory nature of union dues collection.

Canada is far behind many other developed countries when it comes to both union financial disclosure and the ability of workers to opt out of all of some of their union dues.  Australia, New Zealand, Germany, France, Ireland, the U.K. and the U.S. all have some form of union financial disclosure.  Furthermore, in Canada MPs, Senators, Minister’s offices, provincial politicians and their staff, federal and provincial departments, First Nations Governments, charities and foundations, crown corporations and publically traded companies are all subject to some form of financial disclosure and transparency requirements.

So why are the building trade unions essentially threatening large scale industrial project cost escalation and an endangerment of the “ability of Canadian workers to participate in large-scale nation building energy and resource projects”?

What do big union bosses REALLY have to hide??

Until unions are subject to financial disclosure legislation, we will never really know.

What we do know is that the USA has had union financial disclosure legislation in place since 1959 and it has led to thousands of fraud convictions.  In fact, from 2001-2008, the US labor department secured more than 1,000 union fraud-related indictments and 929 convictions.

We also know that several unions provide funding and support to oil sands opponents, such as the Sierra Club (CAW, Nova Scotia Nurses Union), Environmental Defence (United Steelworkers), Parkland Institute (Canadian Union of Public Employees), the Rideau Institute (CUPE), the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CUPE, CEP), the David Suzuki Foundation (B.C. Teacher’s Federation) and the Council of Canadians (CUPE, Canadian Union of Postal Workers, Hospital Employees’ Union, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, Confederation of Canadian Unions, Canadian Federation of Nurses Unions, CAW, Pulp and Paper and Woodworkers of Canada, COPE, B.C. Teachers’ Federation, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers).  But we often only know about this funding because the recipients, not the unions, report it.

Over the summer, one Federal MP told me that she has never been lobbied as much as she is being lobbied by organized labour against Bill C-377.  Clearly, organized labour has chosen union financial disclosure as their preverbal hill to die on.

One has to wonder why …

It’s great that the Building Trade Unions support Prime Minister Harper’s direction on energy development and its great they believe he is moving forward with great nation building policies.  I support Prime Minister Harper’s approach as well and so does the open shop construction community, which actually represents the vast majority of construction workers in Canada.

But to tie the issues of energy development and union financial disclosure together in the same media release is dishonest and, quite frankly, embarrassing.

Canadian unions should embrace financial disclosure requirements.  And they shouldn’t tie their support for energy development to the desire of Canadians to have greater union financial transparency.

Oh ya …. I forgot to mention that Canadians support Bill C-377 – in fact, more union members want increase union financial disclosure than non-members ….

But I thought that unions already disclosed all of their finances to their members?

Right … they really don’t.

PP

Energy in Action … Spread the Word

There is a stigma that the energy industry avoids educating the public. That stigma is played up by the media, the environmental NGOs and unfortunately by the average Albertan. That’s why I’m excited about my new gig at CAPP. Yes, my faithful followers, I have made the leap from government to the industry association world. Perhaps following in the footsteps of @ppilarski … but not really.

It’s been a whirlwind month as I find myself on the other side of the coin. I like this side. I like knowing that as I sit at a desk, meet with members or go to a CAPP event I am advocating in my own way for the energy industry.

Within my first few days I discovered an excellent program run by CAPP yearly. The program clearly breaks the stigma the energy industry is often painted with … it educates students and communities about the oil and gas industry; not just in Alberta but in Canada.

Energy in Action is an incredible energy literacy program sponsored by the member companies of CAPP. CAPP delivers this program to schools in rural oil and gas operating communities across western Canada. Energy in Action provides those member companies with a hands-on approach to community relations. The program brings industry and communities together to demonstrate their commitment to environmental stewardship – after all they do interact everyday; they might as well get to know each other!

Each May, students partner with local volunteers from the energy industry and their communities to participate in education sessions and environmental renewal projects. Since 2004, 59 companies and close to 2,000 company volunteers have participated in events in 55 communities across Canada. They planted almost 6,400 trees and shrubs, and taught almost 6,000 students, teachers and community residents about the petroleum industry and the benefits of careful resource development. 2011 is no exception … the Energy in Action team has been travelling already and will visit 10 communities across three provinces by May 31. They even encourage us to follow along through their Facebook and Twitter profiles.

So next time your wondering what your energy industry is up to … think of Energy in Action. Tell your friends, your colleagues, and if you’re in the industry, a rural teacher, or even an engaged student ask your community to get involved. May 2012 will come sooner than you realize. We need to be proactive – it’s our job to educate the average Albertan (each other) about all the great things going on in the energy industry. Especially in Alberta… after all Alberta is Energy.

Getting educated and spreading the word,

CR xo