alcramer [Alfredo Cramerotti]

Other motivations

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on November 18, 2008

That’s another snap at Mark McGuiness’s blog, which you can find here.
Extrinsic factors may have limited value as motivators but you can’t afford to ignore them — because they make excellent demotivators. Below some of these factors, which you – as a creative person – need to bear in mind, and possibly to implement in your profession.

Money: it is a clearly defined way of ‘keeping score’, measuring how highly regarded you are by your employer or your audience. Violinist Nigel Kennedy writes in his autobiography ‘I think if you’re playing music or doing art you can in some way measure the amount of communication you are achieving by how much money it is bringing in for you and for those around you’.

Recognition: the term ‘egoboo’ is used within the open source programming community, referring to the ‘ego boost’ you receive from being publicly credited for good work. So even though there’s no money involved, it’s not strictly true to say that open source programmers work ‘for nothing’. Poetry, or literature, is another creative medium with very little cash on offer, but which operates on a kind of ‘reputation economy’ — the higher your reputation, the more prestigious your publisher will be, the more magazines will want to take your work, the higher up the bill you will be on readings, etc.

Deadlines: as soon as you make a promise to someone else, you have an obligation to fulfil. Sometimes this can be just the push you need to get you through the wall of resistance that would otherwise lead to procrastination. ‘I know exactly what I need to do, but I’m more likely to do it if I’ve promised you do it by a certain date’. To get you going in the first place place, you sometimes need the extrinsic motivation of ‘deadline magic’.

There are probably other external motivations that come into the picture, but I believe the three above are the most essential ones. Also, very often they are those we encouter first, and only along the path other types of motivation may reveal to ourselves. (Such as those intrinsic, described in the previous post.)

Coaching your career

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on April 22, 2008

Excerpt of article appeared on the Guardian, written by Lynsey Mellows:

If you are contemplating a change in career or feeling stagnant in your job, employing a professional career coach maybe just what you need to help you make an informed decision about your future.

Career coaching has experienced an explosive growth in recent years. Not to be mistaken for life coaching, which concentrates on personal development, career coaching is all about equipping individuals with practical guidance on how to move up, across or into a completely new field altogether.

Traditionally an employee’s career path has been left in the hands of a human resources department, but with more and more individuals taking control of their careers the role of the coach is becoming paramount […]
“Some clients want to move on from where they are now, but are unclear about what is the right move for them. Others know exactly what they want, but need help in convincing employers to hire them and some clients want help in managing a challenging situation at work,” said Corinne [Mills, managing director of Personal Career Management]

“We aim to help people understand what we call their ‘career capital’ – in other words, their transferable skills, knowledge, abilities and personal strengths. People massively underestimate their abilities. We use this knowledge to help them explore and decide on their options and then market themselves effectively to employers.”

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How to change career

Posted in Tools.Coaching by alcramer on April 17, 2008

This article appeared on Times Online:

Most of us gaze in wonder at those bold souls who leap from career to career, but it’s not as difficult as it appears

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Wealthy Family

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by alcramer on November 26, 2007

During coaching sessions, or informal chatting, it happens quite often to discuss the importance of coming from a wealthy family, which is seen as an absolute advantage for pursuing the creative career one wants. It seems that a wealthy family is all one needs to have in order to start a successful profession in the arts. I would like to question this assumption.

Being wealthy helps to get into the best schools, master courses and it might even allow the person to finance his or her own projects: if you have the money to fund your own production, say a book, an exhibition, a film, what else can you ask for? Family wealthy also provides you with the social links that one needs in order to become a well-spoken, networked, high-status cultural producer: in short, if you belong to a rich family, you will have access to powerful people, which can go a long way, as everybody knows.

It will give you not just more means, but also good habits, psychological finesse, travelling, and also traditions: well-established roots, family identity, a sort of model ‘how to stay and move in the world’. If you come from a rich family, you’ll become someone quickly at ease within the environments where decisions are made. Unfair, but true.

Now, what possible advantage could one get from NOT belonging to this category of people?

First, one has more motivations to get out of a disadvantaged situation, and more drive to achieve his/her goals: if you come from a poor environment, you don’t already have what you need, and you are more willing to commit to get results. Basically, you have more of that ‘primary energy’, which you cannot get anywhere if not in real need of something. The disadvantaged person knows very well that nothing will happen if s/he doesn’t make it happening. No fear, no scary about anything. Do not underestimate this strength.

Secondly, paradoxically, the poorer enjoy also more freedom to make his/her own choice, because no tradition to follow exists. You can easily see that if a family has a long and important tradition of lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, etc., the pressure put on financial value and social status is so high that will be a problem if someone wants to become, say, a photographer, or a graphic designer. The demands to keep up that ‘family value’ will override any natural inclination of the subject. There is too much to loose, from a risky choice that departs from the tradition.

A third, fundamental aspect: the disadvantaged person might not be attached to any particular location in which his/her family lives, precisely because s/he has nothing to loose: having anything specific which anchor him/her to the family place, will provide the flexibility to search the locations offering the best possibilities. It will be easier to head for the places where the natural inclination might get fulfilled, either through study or work.

So, back to our coaching sessions for artists and creative people: take the assumption that a wealthy family is important in career-succeding with a grain of salt: to start advantaged, is not always better.

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