On mojo, mental virtues, and other work and career tips

Whether you work as part of a team in a corporate setting or solo as an independent contractor in a home or virtual office, our key Web picks this period turn some commonly held work notions upside down. For instance, if you think that the company that hired you is responsible for your career, you’re wrong. “Your career is YOUR responsibility. That’s right, YOUR responsibility.”  You must not turn in mediocre work and you just have to keep on proving that you are an asset to the company.

Also, if you think that your company’s work culture — its mojo — could be improved but you’re stumped because you think everything is pretty much set by management and nothing can be done, think again. There are ways for employees to make an impact on a company’s mission, passion, and vibe.  One of them is by owning up to one’s role. There are at least six other ways to make things better.

Are you turned off by the “suckiness” of meetings?  Perhaps it’s “groupthink” that’s taking the life out of your discussions. Take a cue from the Google Ventures design team and their seven-step “Note and Vote” strategy which encourages thinking that can generate the best ideas from groups.

But perhaps all these work and career hacks all boil down to one thing — building personal character.  Even a solo worker, like the “information jockey” who sits in front of a computer all day, can work at building character by being mindful of and practicing some “mental virtues” — among them love of learning, courage, humility, and generosity.

Check out our other reading finds:

  • Do you know who shapes the news you read in your favorite apps? Read about the “liminal press” — the designers of apps who, alongside news organizations, get to create the conditions for mobile news to circulate.
  • Is editing an “extravagance” that media organizations can afford to do without?  Besides improving reader engagement and contributing to their perception of “professional journalism,” here’s why media bosses should probably wait and not “hang all the editors.”
  • Heard any new words or expressions lately? Here’s a sampling from American Scholar:  “midlife girth enhancement” (putting on weight in middle age), “novators” (those who stay seated during a standing ovation), and “eglow” (the glow produced by multiple electronic devices in dark).

Image: “Transition Technologist meet” by Ed Mitchell (Flickr). Used under a Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) license.

Ditto is a fortnightly selection of stories on publishing, media, communications, and topics that concern editorial professionals from the most credible sources on the Web. We hope to educate young professional writers and editors about industry standards, breakthroughs, and trends, among other things. Usually, you’ll find news and commentaries in here, but from time to time, we also feature tweets, visuals, games, freebies, and other fun but useful stuff that caught our eye.
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