The Truth About Work

I uphold the confidentiality rule when helping people create resumes and conduct career searches.

In a general way though I can tell you that sometimes what you like and want to do isn’t always suitable for a career.

You might want to paint religious figures or sew clothes.

Yet how realistic is that when there’s no demand from an employer for Christ paintings?

What if you like and want to sew yet aren’t quick enough in doing that on a job?

Other options exist. Finding the right job takes a creative and resourceful approach.

This might sound old-school and maybe impractical yet sometimes you just have to do an internship or try out working at a few jobs to be able to figure out what career is not for you and what career you’d like to do.

When it comes to using your individuality to find the right-fit career it does involve sleuthing and taking a hard look and self-assessment at your strengths and weaknesses.

One job I recommend is working in a public library when you’re a quirky soul.

To be a librarian you need a Masters degree. Jobs in libraries also exist for tech-savvy individuals as computer assistants and technicians. These jobs might not require a degree.

At some libraries there are still positions available as clerks helping to process and check out books at the circulation desk.

For those of you who only seek part-time work you can get a paid job shelving books at a library.

In some library systems you can get a job as a library associate. You’ll be doing ibrarian work without a Masters degree as a library associate. The pay will be lower.

Best of all when you work in a public library you don’t have to dress in corporate clothes like you would at an office.

I’ll end here with this: I’ve become wary of using a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to telling every job seeker to do what you love as a career.

The solution is that other careers exist that can be perfectly fine for you.

In the next blog entry I’m going to talk about my own surprising finding about the type of career a person might be suited to.

The results will surprise blog readers.

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Dark Horse

In only five hours I read the book Dark Horse: Achieving Success through the Pursuit of Fulfillment. Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas have written the definitive guide to finding the career that is the right fit.

From the inside book flap:

“This mold-breaking approach doesn’t depend on your SAT scores, who you know, or how much money you have.

The secret is a mindset that can be expressed in plain English:

Harness your individuality in the pursuit of fulfillment to achieve excellence.”

The authors detail the achievements of a high-school dropout who created her own telescope observatory in her backyard. She found and named an asteroid and found a planet. This put her in the ranks of astronomers with PhDs.

This woman and the other people talked about in the book are dark horses because no one could see their success coming.

My memoir Left of the Dial is a full-length book recounting of my own dark horse life.

Those of us who are dark horses got here via a long and winding path.

Todd Rose and Ogi Ogas in their book rail against the “cookie-cutter mold for success that requires us to be the same as everyone else, only better.”

This “standard formula” is the root of inequality. People are competing to get better grades, get into elite colleges and universities, and get coveted jobs.

It really is a treadmill. One woman featured in Dark Horse willingly got on this competitive treadmill thinking this was what she was supposed to do.

She crashed, and had to rethink her whole life. Today she is successful as the operator of an underground supper club.

I say: stop living life on autopilot. Live an authentic life.

We don’t have to trample over each other in our lives like it’s a Black Friday sale every day. We don’t have storm through the doors reaching to achieve things at the expense of everyone else.

The book flap asks:

“As much as we might dislike the standard formula, it seems like there’s no other practical path to financial security and a fulfilling life.

But what if there is?””

I recommend readers of the blog buy Dark Horse.

I for one think the book is the most uplifting and inspiring literature I’ve ever read of any genre.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about having a career linked to your individuality.

Finding the Right Career Fit

I’m going to talk in coming blog entries about topics linked to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

After this I’m going to return to talking about fitness and nutrition.

My contention is that schizophrenia recovery outcomes are rosier than most people think.

It’s hard to peg how many people are doing well because most of us with jobs and careers and other successes are afraid to disclose.

Yet I refused to live in hiding. To remain silent would be complicit in reinforcing the rhetoric that no one can recover.

My motto is: “If you can see it, you can be it.”

Peers need to know that there are people just like them who have succeeded at finding and working at jobs we love, not just jobs that pay the rent or are the means to get off disability.

We shouldn’t be pigeonholed into accepting jobs simply because a vocational counselor thinks someone with our particular disability is suited only to those kinds of job.

What if you don’t want to be a janitor yet you’re told you should do that?

What if you want to do something that you’re told is impossible because you have a certain diagnosis?

Either way I’m here to tell you that a myriad of jobs exist. You can even create a job for yourself that fills a need in society.

Having the job or career you love can reduce the impact of your disability.

I say: if you want to work, you deserve to try to make that happen.

In the end working at the job or career you love is a kind of adjunct treatment.

Disability Employment Awareness Month Podcast

I write in this blog on a spectrum of topics relevant to having a full and robust life.

I mostly write about fitness which has multiple expressions: I advocate for fitness of body, mind, spirit, career, relationships, and finances.

In Bari Tessler’s latest e-mail (she’s the author of The Art of Money) she talks about financial milestones occurring at different times for each of us. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others when we achieve money victories later than other people do.

In this regard recovery is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor either. I’m fairly open in this blog about what happened to me. My true success in life occurred only after I turned 35 and started working as a librarian.

What I write I’m confident can empower people who don’t have mental health issues too.

In the interview I did for the NPO Media podcast I wanted to demonstrate how pursuing a career that’s the right fit with your personality can help you recover. I also offer hope to family members whose loved ones are in recovery.

The podcast is just under 29 minutes.

I talk in my expressive Italian voice. As my friend recorded me speaking I actually started flailing my hands in front of me. My voice gets animated the more passionately I talk about the topic of career fitness.

Here’s the link to the NPO Media podcast.

The Snob Diet

Years ago I remember reading in a magazine–was it Glamour–about the Snob Diet.

The editors claimed this diet works. I’m no fan of diets.

No–I didn’t ever go on a diet when I lost 20 pounds in my twenties.

Though I gained a little in the form of muscle I’ve dropped one pant and one skirt size by lifting weights for over 7 years. In fact I dropped one size only one year after starting to lift weights consistently at the gym.

On the days I’m unable to go to the gym I work out at home. See my blog entry Setting Up a Home Gym for details about the equipment I bought.

OK–so the Snob Diet involves eating quality food–regular food–and not eating junk that is totally crap.

In the Dr. Chatterjee book How to Make Disease Disappear his section on the Eat Pillar disproves the claims that experts and adherents make for diets such as low-carb or keto or paleo. This British MD details the truth about how to eat to fuel your body to function optimally.

I can vouch for being a snob in terms of what I eat: mostly healthful food and a once-a-week indulgence in a chocolate croissant or some other kind of delectable.

Dr. Chatterjee busts the longest-running myth in staying slim: that how you maintain your weight is as simple as calories burned versus calories consumed.

Forget going on kooky and restrictive diets. You could tone up lifting all those diet books on the shelves.

I wrote a number of blog entries about the tenets of How to Make Disease Disappear. Dr. Chatterjee’s approach to health is sane and simple. It’s not difficult to maintain the kind of eating plan he talks about.

In this blog about a year or so ago I wrote about my own sensible eating plan: having a consistent habit of eating 80 percent healthfully and 20 percent anything.

The name Snob Diet has a ring to it.

I don’t advise acting like a snob towards people in your everyday life.

Yet being snobbish in the kind of food you eat might have advantages.

Healthful Snacks

pulse chick peas

This photo has been uploaded in a gigantic way. Apparently there’s a new way of saving photos that your iPhone has sent to your email as an attachment.

The chickpea and olive food products shown here do have salt. The Pulse version I prefer is the lemon-and-oregano chickpeas offering.

Either way these and the Gaea olive container are portable healthful snacks for on-the-go eating. I have on hand plastic-coated wire clips to use to close the Pulse container.

You can order these food items from FreshDirect online in New York City.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about a so-called diet talked about if I remember in Glamour magazine years ago.

While I’m no fan of diets and I’m absolutely against the standard diets books poured out into the marketplace I want to talk about this “diet” because a couple of elements of it make sense to me.

After this I will return to talking about careers. This month–October–is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

5-a-Day the Easy Way

Dr. Chatterjee recommends having 5 servings of vegetables a day.

The MD includes avocados and olives in this “5-a-day” lineup.

You can print up copies of his Rainbow Chart and use them to check off the vegetables you’ve eaten each day.

In tandem with the “5-a-Day” eating plan Dr. Chatterjee recommends not eating food products that contain more than five ingredients.

The longer the ingredient list the more likely it’s processed food.

The government allows food  and drink companies to get away with not listing the actual names of chemicals contained in food and drink products.

Instead they’re listed as “natural flavor.” Food  or drink that companies claim is organic or otherwise good for you often has natural flavors in the ingredient list.

It’s perfectly legal to load up food and drink products with chemicals without having to list the chemicals on the ingredients list.

Any kind of protein bar is most likely high in sugar and has natural flavors.

Kind bar now lists on the package: Made with Real Food. Only when you read the ingredients list it also contains chemicals in the form of natural flavor.

I urge you to read the ingredient lists of food and drink products:

Anything that makes an emotional claim as being good for you most likely has chemicals added to whatever “good” part of the food they’re championing.

In the next blog entry here I’ll talk about some great snacks you can buy that are truly healthful.

You can do away with products that have natural flavors.

With 100 percent confidence I can tell you: stay away from any food or drink that didn’t come out of God’s green earth.

You’ll be healthier and feel better eating real food that isn’t doused in chemicals.

It’s fine every-so-often to have pastry or a cookie or doughnut. That should be an occasional treat. I stand by indulging once-a-week.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about a particular diet that was championed in Glamour magazine years ago.