Joy is a choice. Wise words from a friend.

State of mind influences how you make decisions, how you interact with people, and how you view the world. Why not have joy be the foundation of how you control each of those events? I had a great conversation with a coworker of mine while out in San Francisco. He was telling me about how he learned about the fact that joy is a choice. It really clicked in my brain because a very similar statement fundamentally changed the relationship with my wife. The statement we read in a book together before our marriage was Love is a verb. Its not something you feel its something you do.

This statement about joy stuck to me like a magnet because I had seen such a success with the similar statement about love. I can’t wait to apply this new technique with joy. I want people to feel the joy emanating from me with every interaction. I want it to positively impact my life and the people around me. With this new state of mind I might be able to stay motivated and content at the same time. That is the ultimate goal for me. Currently My motivation stems from a constant pressure of unhappiness with my current situation. It is exhausting and I am excited to share it with you all in another post. Perhaps I am not the only person experiencing this tiresome but effective motivation.

Despite that, I think choosing joy is going to shape my life and I can’t wait to check back in and let you know how it all goes!

Help yourself by helping others!

Help yourself by helping others!

You don’t know what you are missing! Giving back is the most rewarding thing any human can do. I was given this opportunity through a professor, named Debby, that I had back in my community college days. Her and her husband started a company that provides challenging environments to promising kids. They do this to help unlock their potential and give them a perspective outside the cookie cutter public school system. 

She asked me to give a talk through either video chat or I could stop by if I happen to be in California. After thinking it over and talking with my wife, I obtained plane tickets and started planning. Then, briefly after getting the plane tickets, I confirmed with Debby that it would be ok if I actually stopped by. A little out of order but that’s how I operate.

I knew if I really wanted to influence these kids the best way would be in person. Video chat just doesn’t cut it! I wanted to actually try to make an impact and I sure as hell wasn’t going to half fast it. 

Fly in Saturday morning fly out Sunday morning. That was the plan! Without any more details than that, I got on a plane. I landed in LAX and had to decide how I was going to get to the air bnb which they were hosting this event. I got an uber to pick me up and the 30 mile trip did not take long. 

I was given new directions half way on the car ride and I redirected my uber driver to a shopping center in garden grove. There, with luggage in hand, I had him drop me off at a less than prestine Carl’s Jr. That’s when Steve, Debby’s husband, walked in and greeted me. He gave me the scoop on a crafty plan to hide my identity this weekend until the end, when I gave my talk. After a small scavenger hunt for some supplies for the day, we headed to the air bnb

I was able to participate in one of the tasks given to the kids. It was the process of quickly interviewing people to try to gain a small snapshot of who they were. It was basically speed interviewing. 

Then we headed to Laguna beach where I got to spend a lot of time taking in the ocean. Flew my drone around for awhile and then took a swim. There was some sort of crab migration going on but despite being surrounded by hundreds of crabs, they didn’t bother me to much. Caught some great waves and footage. 

The kids were assigned to play a card game that involves silly tasks that force you to interact with strangers. They spent most of their time at the beach attempting these tasks. They found great success and it was a pleasure watching them get out of their comfort zone. 

When we got back to the air bnb they had a project that involved meal prep. Watching them do this, I realized that even ordinary tasks can build team work, creativity, and challenge the problem solving skills of these kids.

Later that evening, I was able to give my talk. I told them about my story and some of the attributes that lead me to succes in my career. It was great sharing with them and I would love to do it again. 

I slept on the couch woke up and flew out at 7am. 

Moral of the story, giving back leads to great opportunities. It can enhance the moral fiber in your life and give you a great feeling of self worth. Take the leap and give it try, you won’t regret it!

I Would Do Anything to Be Rich if Someone Just Told Me How

When I was younger the title of this post ran through my head frequently. Now I don’t consider myself rich, but at my age I’m killing it. You should be, too. The way you think is the most influential factor to you becoming successful.

If you are thinking something similar to the title, then just like I did when I was younger, you’re probably making excuses. What your really thinking is, “I have great work ethic but still need to comfort myself with the excuse that I don’t know what to do.”

What you should be thinking is, “What can I do every single moment from this point on to become successful?” Since doing that can be a struggle itself, let me help you out. 

1. Be positive. Don’t just think you can become successful –  you have to feel it deep, to your core. 

2. Write down the top three things you enjoy doing the most. You will be your best when doing things you enjoy. Either find out how to profit doing the things you enjoy, or motivate yourself to profit so you can do them more! 

3. Stop making excuses. I did not want to write this post at this moment but I couldn’t stand the fact that I wasn’t being productive. Never get comfortable with being unproductive.

4. Never leave a job half complete. You don’t have to sleep every damn night. Stay up, finish it, and then you can move on to the next project. 

5. Make your own path. All the advice in the world is not going to match your situation. You need to build a portfolio of successes and failures! These experiences are going to be your true playbook going forward. 

Don’t forget that you can be successful. Work your ass off, be relentless, and get out of your damn comfort zone. 

Don’t Be You At Work and Join the Winners Team

There seems to always be that golden child at work that gets the great projects or can’t do anything wrong. That guy should be you. Let me tell you how.

The greatest and worst thing about humans is that we are emotionally driven. Most people make decisions heavily influenced by emotion. The control that emotion has over people is a powerful force.

You will lose at life if you can’t manipulate other people’s emotions. This is what people call building a relationship. Being personable is not a trait that all people are born with. It is a skill that needs to be excercised, tuned, and developed. 

You can do this by being less interested in yourself and be more interested in the people around you. Take extensive mental notes on personal interests, management styles, and emotional cues. Use this information to transform yourself into a friend or at least a well-informed equal. People are drawn to others with similar goals, hobbies, and temperament. They gravitate towards people that bring social engagement to them and provide a stress-free environment. Be generous and helpful to them outside of work, as well.

These are just a few examples but learn as you go and befriend as many people as possible. Be nice to every single person no matter what their position. When you become the well liked person in the office, you, too, can harness the benefits of being  “the golden child”.

Ps: Don’t be that guy that tries too hard

Tml time money life Alex Huthmacher career advice. 

Don’t forget to check out time money life’s YouTube channel in the menu bar.

Interviews Are Easier Than You Think

I love interviews, but when I first started they were very intimidating. Even now if I have an interview for a high profile position I get nervous. So how do I conquer these nerves and nail almost every interview? Let me tell you a few of the techniques that work for me.

1. Try to be personal.
Your personality can help you make the cut, but more importantly the wrong personality will get you cut in a heartbeat. Try not to come off as anti-social or awkward. Most job roles require confident, capable, and personable workers, simple being qualified is not enough. Being prepared and comfortable in the interview will take you a long way.

 2. Preparation is key.
I research extensively for every role that I apply for. I look for the people interviewing me on LinkedIn and try to discover their level of technical knowledge. You can often find personal information that can help you connect with the people interviewing you. Things like hobbies, family and location can all play into how well liked you are as a candidate. Always read and research everything on the job req, which you will find many people don’t take the time to actually do. I study all the common questions asked for network engineers. In most careers you can do a google search on interview questions. Try to find every question list you can and become familiar with the questions. You wouldn’t believe how many places just use a common list of questions to vet the technical skills of an applicant.

3. Interview experience.
This means do as many interviews as possible, especially when you are early in your career. When I first started, I did dozens of interviews. Now when I go into an important interview I have hundreds of interviews to pull experience from. This allows me to stay calm and almost never get caught off guard by certain questions or interview techniques.

4. Everything else!
There are common things to be aware of as well. Dress appropriately, arrive early, bring your resume, follow up after the interview, ask relevant questions and show interest in the company.

Remember, being a bad-ass in your field will usually get you most of the way. Then again, if you are a bad-ass in your field you should already know the advice above.

Keep an eye out for more career advice!



How Job-Hopping Launched Me Into the Six Figures Before Age 25

Is job-hopping killer for your career, or is it the fastest way to six figures? I am going to share my experience and let you decide for yourself.

First, a little background in my career path. I do not have a degree. I went to a community college for a few semesters but quickly stopped when I discovered I didn’t need a degree to be successful in the IT field. I achieved several industry specific certifications in IT that have helped me along my journey.

I have held 9 different jobs in the last 7 years, all of which contributed to my success. I was always told to stay at a job for at least two years before moving to a new job, otherwise employers won’t want to hire you. That may have held true back when people got pensions and companies were looking at keeping employees until retirement, but in my experience job hopping was the fastest way to a six figure salary.

Did this ever prevent an employer from hiring me? I doubt it! Not when, in a ocean of under qualified candidates, a well-rounded and highly experienced person like myself was presented to them. I only know this because I have participated in the hiring process at most of my jobs. The amount of under-qualified IT candidates is staggering, but that will be for another blog post.

There are many factors that gave me the opportunity to explore this path, all of which boiled down to hard work: getting certifications, volunteering for the hard assignments just for the experience, never being afraid to leave a job, and always pushing myself to be better than those around me.

I started when I was 18 as a systems administrator working for a small medical office. I was not a good worker at the time, decided to leave the position, and ended up ignoring my college classes even more. However, my boss at the medical office inspired me to give a technology certification a try and I was studying every day for about 3 months for my CCNA. Once I achieved this certification he got me a job at his new employer, a small government contractor in my home town. I eventually left that $16 per hour job for a different contract company to make about $25 per hour.

Two years later I met my future wife but she lived in Denver, CO. I was motivated to leave my home town in California and venture to Colorado. I applied for many jobs and had a large number of phone interviews. I finally landed a position at a small company supporting a nonprofit that helped build banks in third world countries. I negotiated a nice raise of $70k per year.

I became restless there due to the mundane work and decided to start my own contracting company. I found one medium sized manufacturing company that supported me for a few months, but I ultimately couldn’t make it work.
I applied for a job with Comcast and was making about $75k per year.  I lost my interest in Denver and we decided to move back to California.

I had two job offers in San Diego, one with AT&T and one with SAIC. I ended up taking the SAIC job for a cool $95k per year. I was stoked. Of course, when I got there and started working I noticed that most of the job was working on deprecated hardware and I was not learning anything! I had to get out.

I landed a job with Xerox working for the City of San Diego. This is where I took my first ever pay cut down to $82k per year. Although this was a hard decision for me, that job gave me a diverse amount of experience. The job required a huge number of hours. This is when I found out my wife was pregnant with our first kid. I needed a change of pace to accommodate my growing family.

I got a call from a government contractor near the bay area. After interviewing and receiving my offer, I was sold and moved north. It helped that I negotiated my largest jump in pay to date, and I was now in the 6 figures at the ripe old age of 24.

I have had two other jobs since then, each with a good increase. There were several factors that led me to my success, but if you don’t let fear drive your life and you are willing to be flexible in your circumstances you can really achieve the same results. Work hard, be honest, and kick everyone’s ass.