Changing Careers

Changing careers is much more common than people may think. In today’s uncertain economic climate, many are going back to the drawing board of life and asking themselves, “What do I want to do now?” There are many reasons someone may want to change careers, including unhappiness in their present position, lack of promotional opportunities, obsolete job skills, or just the need for new midlife challenges.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that by the time a person reaches the age of 44, he or she has had between 11 and 15 careers. I’m personally going through a career change myself, moving from the field of communication to the paralegal profession. So far, it’s quite exciting and new and I look forward to finally getting started in my current career.

Changing careers isn’t easy and it takes a great deal of thought, planning, and determination. But it can be done, and has been since the beginning of time. Vincent Van Gogh, the impressionist painter, was a schoolmaster, student priest missionary and art dealer before he became a painter. You don’t have to go that far back to find successful career changers. Joy Behar, co-host of The View, was a high school English teacher before becoming a comedian, and U.S. Senator Al Franken was a comedy writer and performer before joining Congress.

So, if you’ve been considering changing careers, do some research, follow your heart, and go for it!

Movie: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (opens Aug. 13th)

I have begun working with a group that aims to market mainstream Hollywood movies to the greater U.S. Hispanic/Latino market. The promotional work sounds pretty interesting and I look forward to learning more about, and sharing information on, upcoming films.

The first film I’ll be promoting for HMThinkLatino is entitled “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” an action-comedy based on the graphic novels by Bryan Lee O’Malley. Several trailers for the movie showcase great visuals and a cool and funny cast in their late-teens/early twenties. Overall it looks like an entertaining movie full of lots of fun.

“The emotions and interactions throughout the film are infused with the mass media that this generation has grown up with—not just in music, film and animation, but in over 30 years of video games,” said Bryan Lee O’Malley.

The movie also seems to have a superhero-like tone with a twist of sci-fi fantasy, making it appealing to a broad set of audiences.

Director, producer, and screen writer Edgar Wright has worked on the projects like the U.K. series-turned-international-cult-phenomenon Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, and action-comedy opus Hot Fuzz. In his mid-thirties, Wright has evolved from a young film geek wanting to prove himself to one of the most sought-after geeks working in film today.

Check out Scott Pilgrim vs. the World in theaters Aug. 13, 2010 and feel free to like HMThinkLatino’s Facebook page.

Happy Employees Affect the Bottom Line

A productive staff is the most important asset an organization can possess, notes one of the best business schools in the world. A happy staff is more productive, according to a recent study conducted by the Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom.

“We find that human happiness has large and positive causal effects on productivity,” said Andrew Oswald, a professor of economics at Warwick Business School and a leading authority on the relationship between economics and mental health.

“If happiness in the workplace brings increased returns to productivity, then human resource departments, business managers and the architects of promotion policies will want to consider the implications,” the research concluded.

I was a witness to an act of employee recognition this week when I accompanied the staff of Bogota Latin Bistro on a trip to Great Adventure. The owners of the Park Slope bistro, Farid Ali Lancheros and George Constantinou Fernandes, rewarded their hard working staff with an all-paid, full-day trip to the amusement park on Tuesday.

At a time when companies are scaling back on perks and special events recognizing excellent work, Farid and George decided to close the restaurant’s door for the second year in a row. Employees and their family and friends were treated to exciting trip, complete with food and drink, and thanked publicly for another year of productive work.

Many businesses can take a lead from the owners of Bogota Latin Bistro & Mojito Bar, which has become Brooklyn’s premier Latin restaurant. No matter how tough these economic times may be, having a happy staff that is recognized for its hard work really makes a difference to any organization’s bottom line.

Jump-Starting the Job Search in 2010

I’m jump-starting my job search for 2010. Through a friend I met a human resources consultant who helped revamp my cover letter and résumé. I’m very satisfied with the final product. I’ve also updated my LinkedIn profile and continue to make good contacts. Employment experts suggest job seekers should work their social networks for possible leads, so if I’m one of your LinkedIn connections a recommendation would be greatly appreciated. I also began using Talent Zoo, an online site for advertising and marketing jobs, and JournalismJobs.com. Writing/reporting and communication/public relations positions are of most interest, however I’m also considering customer service-related opportunities. If you come across a position that may be a good fit for me, thanks in advance for passing along the good word.