My home base is Philadelphia, the place where I’ve worked and put down roots since my years as a student.
My thoughts about work—in particular, how your worklife is transformed when your most basic commitments are engaged—come from trying to make a difference in many kinds of jobs, including caregiver, corporate attorney, teacher at a ground-breaking school for autistic children, company executive, commercial arbitrator, and entrepreneur.
My views on how these basic commitments play a role in your work also evolved during a course I taught on entrepreneurship to international high school students at Princeton at the beginning of the Great Recession. In that class, everyone was eager for a rich and fulfilling worklife but no one seemed to know whether they could get any job, let alone a job that fit them, when they graduated into the workforce. The course was called “Business Models for a Better World,” and each of us left it with more questions than we answered. But by the end, we had also tested the power of work that is true to who you are because you’re adding value for yourself and others.
Finding the right job requires a deeper and more thoughtful dive into our preferences than identifying the tasks we enjoy and the compensation we want for doing them. In my speaking and teaching, my aim is helping others to take that dive.
In workshops, we look at the communities that raised us and at key choices that we made there. We identify people and ideas that influenced us as well as occasions when we applied their lessons to declare ourselves. We clarify our current priorities and the best ways to realize them in cycles of preparation and action. Then, we build our commitments into our plans for finding jobs that can mobilize us.
That is the heart of my work.
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Your presentation was poignant, informative and fun. What a story. Great job!
– Executive Coach & Human Resources Professional
I enjoyed your presentation very much. And yes, I would like to carry on a dialog with you about this values work that I am championing for my 500 person scientific group.
– Division Executive Fortune 100 Company
Thank you David! Our meeting was so helpful, inspiring and pragmatic.
– Founder Arts Organization
I feel very lucky to get to talk to you! Thanks again for offering to brainstorm with me.
– Government Ethics Officer
Really enjoyed and gained additional insight into self-realization reflecting on your talk over the weekend. Got plenty of great feedback on the meeting as well. Well done.
– Human Resources Director
You listened in-depth to not just the content of my words but the tonality and the hesitations… When someone is feeling their most muddy and full-of-down your clear sight and warm nature is the exact balm to find resolution again.
– London Designer
[And delightfully, from a contributor to the conversation on social media and a newsletter subscriber:]
I have been really enjoying all of your tweets/articles and the newsletter of last weekend, which I read while seated in the waiting room of the local emergency vet with my eldest dog Miles. He was waiting to go into surgery to amputate a toe that was causing him a lot of pain. I recommended you to several others waiting with their pets (a dog who’d been bitten by a rattlesnake—a common problem here, esp. this time of year–and a cat who’d been dyed purple by a neighbor kid).