I Used to Be Somebody: (Un)Retirement Lessons Learned

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What Was Your Worst Job Ever?

Carl Landau | July 13, 2021

My opening question for every episode of I Used to be Somebody is an "ice breaker" question for the guest. Ice breaker questions are a great lead-in, whenever you meet someone new. It's often a question I ask that's a little off beat and it often reveals a lot about that person. And the answer will give you a bird's eye view of who that person is, as well as their outlook on life.
I've asked this question a lot to people over the years, people who have had very successful careers. For most part, they have had some truly crappy jobs in the beginning of their work lives. But it seems everyone I've talked with has learned something from those experiences. (Like what not to do!)
When guests start talking about their first jobs or their worst job, they become very animated and you also learn what kind of storyteller they are. That time brings them back, and they tell their story, which helps make the interview for my show better. For the audience, the last thing you want to listen to is stock answers and corporate speak. (I know I don't!) Right from the get go, the guests become more personable and more real--which is the goal. 
So there is some thought in my craziness.
Sure enough, after reading the podcast results so far, it ends up that the most commented part of the podcast interviews from listeners is often the "ice breaker" questions. So I thought, "Why not put together an episode of just my ice breaker questions (and always interesting answers)?" This bonus episode is really entertaining and will give you some instant insight as to where this guest came from and who they are. Enjoy!
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Carl Landau is the Creative Genius here at Pickleball Media. He is the former Grand Poobah at Niche Media. 
Tags:    blog   worst jobs   unretirement   working   job   interview   bonus episode  

Mr. High Tech, High Touch

Carl Landau | August 18, 2020

I used to jokingly refer to myself as Mr. High Tech, High Touch. (There was a trending book in the '90's called High Tech, High Touch. Those who know me know how profoundly funny it is to think of me as a computer whiz.  


In 1982 (after being fired by Don Pazour at Miller Freeman Publications) I was the Advertising Director at one of the first computer magazines called Dr. Dobb's “Journal of Computer Calisthenics and Orthodontia: Running Light Without Overbyte”. It was written for people that didn't buy computers--- they made them. 


I had no idea what any of the editorial content meant. But I knew how to pick up a phone and sell advertising for a magazine. I went on to start my own magazines for computer programmers with a dirty little secret — I never once during those days ever even used a computer.


Luckily for most of my career I always had an assistant that did all the more complicated computer stuff and I focused on selling. This reliance may not have been sound thinking, as I left myself a bit behind on the tech curve.


So up to current day —I have no assistant. Any tech issues come up and I've got to figure it out. And you know? I do. (You really can "Google anything"!) I've also gained a certain sense of satisfaction in figuring it all out on my own. Most importantly, I am not ashamed to ask for help when I need it. But I try to do it on my own first.


What I have learned is this simple, real world truth:  If you want to stay relevant, you need to keep up with technology. If I can embrace it, you can too!

Tags:    the carl diary   google   retirement   jobs   computer hacks