Feb. 11, 2020

Eric Termuende takes bold approach to career planning

Global thought leader and UCalgary alum offers insights on the future of work at alumni career conference
Eric Termuende group shot
Eric Termuende with students from the Future Alumni Network (FAN). Louie Villanueva

“The future of work: it’s not something that happens to us, it’s something we build,” says global thought leader and UCalgary alum Eric Termuende, BComm’14.

“Research shows that we make about 35,000 decisions a day most of them unconsciously. If we can slow down, get out of autopilot and into the driver's seat, and look to reduce friction more frequently, I believe that we don't end up somewhere we think 'we're supposed' to be, rather that we end up somewhere 'we're able to' be,” he says.

Termuende kicked off the third annual Grow Your Career Conference Feb. 1 with a thought-provoking and engaging keynote presentation on how we can all make microdecisions that can enable us to build an intentional future. The one-day career symposium presented by the UCalgary Alumni Association featured a full docket of UCalgary alumni speakers as well as a fireside chat with senior leaders from conference keynote sponsor TD.  

  • Photo above: Eric Termuende, centre, with students from the Future Alumni Network. Photo by Louie Villanueva

In an Oprah-inspired giveaway, all 179 conference attendees alumni, students, staff and friends of the university were informed that they will receive a free copy of Termuende’s soon-to-be-released book One Degree Shift: The Power of Microdecisions and Building an Intentional Future when it is released this fall.

By taking one-degree shifts, explains Termuende, we can be more prepared for the future. “In my research I've learned that we're really good at setting five- to 10-year goals and not as good at being agile within them.

“Instead of looking at a fixed goal in the distance, I instead look at removing friction and making small shifts along the way to where I'm going, knowing that the destination may change as a result of what I learn.

“Five questions I ask myself as often as possible are:

  1. Where am I experiencing friction?
  2. What am I supposed to do about it?
  3. Where is it going wrong?
  4. Where is it really going wrong?
  5. What is the Smallest Viable Change I can make to reduce friction?”

Variety of services for UCalgary alumni

UCalgary Alumni offers a full suite of career development resources, programs and services for alumni, including an UCalgary Mentor Link and an open access webinar series. Find more information on Alumni Career Development.