The Next Chapter In My Professional Life

I started this blog a few years ago to explore  the creativity that I’d been afraid to exercise. I’m happy with the results. I didn’t realize how important it was to my psyche to flex these creative muscles. Writing makes me happy in a profound way. Unfortunately, I’ve also realized that NOT writing for a period of time makes me very unhappy. (The Queen has got it figured out. I know that I’m not fun to be around when she asks me if I need to leave the house for an hour and go write.)

The rules I set for myself when I started this were simple. I had to write and, in order to stamp out this fear of failing at something so deeply personal, I had to share my writing. That’s it. I’ve had resounding success in accomplishing both of those goals.

As I’ve developed confidence in my writing, I’ve started to look around. What’s next? To quote Emerson (as Aerosmith did), life’s a journey, not a destination. So where am I headed now? How about this?

Todd Panek

Writer ~ Speaker ~ Coach

I started a new endeavor. Working with a good friend, I co-developed a seminar for the non-traditional students of my alma mater. We conducted our seminar this past Tuesday evening. The session went well and lends itself to more seminars. We titled the kick-off seminar “Jump-Start Your Career: Position yourself for leadership”. I’m happy with the finished product. (And thank you to the staff of Columbia College’s Hancock Field, everyone that came out, and, especially Sue Conklin of Concentric PPG for helping me start this transition!)

Position yourself for leadership

Position yourself for leadership

…but wait, that’s not all!

I’m adapting the story of my youngest son, aka The Goon, into a seminar. More people have read about my observations on his journey than anything else I’ve written. (Really? My insight into how Ultron fits into the Marvel Living Universe didn’t catch your eye?)

My blog’s tagline says that I am my target audience. Truth. I’m honest in my writing by picking up those things that interest me. When other people connect to something I’ve written, I am always happy — and a bit surprised. And I have never been more surprised in my life than I have been to see how The Goon’s story has resonated with people.

Over the last few years, my son has taught me a profound lesson. If you read the 3 main chapters in his story (Dora sneakers, pink backpack, and pink sneakers) I think you may see the same lesson. That is the subject of my next seminar. I’ll be presenting it at a free workshop presented by The Q Center next month. (They are a great organization doing Good. Check them out and support them!) Sneak peak into my presentation: demonstrating inclusive behaviors benefits EVERYONE. I don’t think you need to identify yourself as LGBTQ to agree with this message. Join us if you’re interested!

A review of best practices

A review of best practices

I’m not quitting my day job. I’m grateful to work for a company that allows me to support my family and not compromise my ethics or beliefs while doing so. I don’t know where this new endeavor will lead — any more than I knew where this writing would take me a few years ago. But I’m excited for the next leg of my journey.

That’s it for today. If you’ve been on this journey with me, I thank you. If you’ve got a dream you’ve been afraid to explore, check out my Open Notebook. I hope by sharing my own process, I might encourage you to pick up your dream.

Shameless plug: if you’d like to talk about engaging me as a writer, speaker or coach, please contact me. I’m happy to share my perspective on leadership, diversity and inclusion, geek culture, or just about anything else. You might help me discover the next stop on my journey!



Filed under Open Notebook

8 responses to “The Next Chapter In My Professional Life

  1. Janai Smart

    Great message Todd, and kudos to you for broadening your horizons and sharing your talents with an even larger audience base. I look forward to the book that is eventually coming 🙂

  2. Mariah Burgess

    This is awesome and reminds me a lot of the environment at my alma mater, on striving to find your passion and I think through your writing you’ve been able to do some of that. Love your work, especially the stories on The Goon and I think we can all learn from them!

  3. elusis

    Hey, you’re presenting with my friend and sometime co-author Deb! Nifty – I’ve loved your posts about The Goon. Small world.

  4. Pingback: Are You Going Easy On Yourself? | TMPinSYR

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