I just got off a Skype call with a former Google employee who just made a transition into a role that fits his strengths even better. He is totally thrilled!
I wanted to tell you about it because you might be thinking “who on earth chooses to leave Google? That’s the holy grail of dream jobs!” And that’s what most people think from the outside, right?
But a big trap that it’s easy to fall into when you’re searching for jobs is comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides.
For example, being in a job that looks like a dream job on the outside doesn’t mean it’s going to be the dream fit for YOUR inner values, strengths and interests.
I can’t tell you how many people find HTYC because they’re in a job they thought would be great, but isn’t — it ends up being someone else’s dream and not their own. Or, we get emails every day about people who feel like they can’t get clarity on what their next career move looks like, so they’re stuck in a mental pressure cooker wanting to make a change forward but not knowing how.
Does that sound like you? If so, grab a pen and paper because I have a ton of lessons I’ve learned from personally coaching 1,100 people through career transitions that I want to share with you to save you time, headaches, and help you make the transition you’re dreaming of happen.
Although me and my team now teach people how to find and do work they love, I vividly remember being in a job that wasn’t fulfilling at all. When I was there, I didn’t understand how this whole career happiness thing worked and honestly thought that if I could just get to a better job situation then it would solve all my problems.
Which means that many of us are going about the job change somewhat blindly, we’re looking at job postings online or trying to network or updating our LinkedIn profiles even spending time going on interviews but the problem is that we don’t even know exactly what a fulfilling career looks like for us.
Now here’s the tricky part. We, as human beings, are pretty terrible at determining what will actually make us happy.
Over the last 10 years of many career changes and a lot of experimentation and working personally with over 1100+ people making career changes is that there are 4 traits that we all need and want in our career AND then there are 2 parts that are incredibly unique to who you are. In the rest of this video I want to cover those 4 key traits that you must add to your career list in order to have career happiness.
1. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE WHO WANTS TO “HELP PEOPLE”!
You wouldn’t believe how many people email me and say “if only I were helping people then I would be happy” or “I just think I should be a counselor because it’s helping people” or “I’m just one of those people that really need to help others” Yes yes, helping people, I get it. There’s also research to corroborate that, it’s not just you. If you’re not a psychopath, then helping people is something that all of us are looking for and if we don’t directly understand how we are helping others then it is less fulfilling.
2. YOUR MOST BASIC NEEDS
Additionally, if you remember Maslow’s hierarchy from psychology 101 in college, if you don’t have your basic needs met then you never get to the next level. Well, in today’s society, your basic needs just above food and shelter are pay that you feel is fair, a commute that isn’t long enough to make you gouge your eyes out, and not working 10-14 hour days all the time! These things are true of nearly everyone, except for that one crazy that just can’t get enough of the two and half hour commute. You know who you are!
3. WORK WITH POTENTIAL… TO BE ENGAGING
Another big piece of the puzzle that we all need is work that is engaging to us. This can mean a lot of things but the commonalities are having the freedom to decide how to do your work, because I’ve yet to meet someone who is just like “I love micromanagement. It’s so awesome!”
Another is having a clear understanding of how well you’re doing and how well it’s going.
4. A BOSS THAT DOESN’T SUCK (AND SUPPORTIVE COWORKERS TOO!)
That’s why your boss is so important too. If you don’t have a leader who’s making these pieces easier or supportive coworkers, then some of the other pieces might not matter.
Basic needs, freedom and clarity of work, a boss that doesn’t suck, and helping people. Add these to your list, these are things we all must have for work happiness.
None of these will come as a surprise to you, we all knew those intuitively.
Here’s where it gets complicated though. The last two pieces aren’t as black and white.
This is where most people get caught up. It’s also where nearly everybody is doing it wrong or slightly confused. It’s also where misguided advice creeps in like “just follow your passion!”
INSTEAD HERE’S THE METHOD WE TEACH.
When my son, Grayson, was 2 years old, he was sitting on the floor trying to put together a puzzle. He was grabbing the nearest piece and trying to jam it together with another piece that he had in his hand. He would then give up on one of the pieces and throw it away and grab the next closest piece and try to mash it together with another. I watched him get frustrated for a few minutes and then sat next to him to try and show him how to put together this puzzle. And if you’ve ever put together a puzzle you know that there is an easy way to put together a puzzle and many many incredibly difficult ways.
The first thing that you do is take the corner pieces, you can easily identify them and there aren’t too many of them.
Next you gather together all of the edge pieces, you can then start to see different colors on the edge pieces and you can pretty easily assemble them together into a frame.
Once you have the frame you can actually start to see what the picture might be and you can begin filling in the pieces. We do have a lot of Disney and Paw Patrol puzzles at our house so when you get to this point you can see that Mickey Mouse’s ear or Donald Ducks foot and start to fill in what the picture might look like, even if you don’t yet have all the pieces.
Most people are approaching their careers by taking two random pieces and simply trying to jam them together or to put the puzzle together from the inside out. Much like a 2 year old. I’ve done it this way too, it’s frustrating, it leaves you looking at online job postings depressed and wondering why all these jobs don’t look all that interesting or why the ones that do look interesting require 27 years of experience?
Instead if you do it differently, just like the efficient way to put together a puzzle, it’s so much easier to identify a picture of what can be a great situation for you.
Start with the corner pieces, these are your strengths (what you’re great at or have the potential to be great at). Next, the outside pieces are what you want in your life.
The really interesting thing is that when you are very clear on both your strengths and what you value the most, then you’ve now built out a frame and just like the frame on the puzzle, you can now begin to see what the picture in the middle might be. It might not be as easy as Donald Ducks foot, but if I know that it’s incredibly important to me to be able to work out in the middle of the day, then I have to work in a job that’s going to allow me to do that, or if I know that I can’t stand details and I’m a big picture strategy person then I know that the role I’m in can’t have most of my time spent picking apart details because that will drive me insane.
These seem like small things, but when you identify all of these it helps you create a picture that we call your Ideal Career Profile. This acts as your destination.
You can now actually do something with this, much like taking a trip, once you know your destination, you can begin figuring out the best path to take to get there. If you want even more help getting started figuring out the ideal career for you, join our free 8 Day Mini-Course to help you figure out the life and work you love or talk to our team about our coaching programs.
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April 17, 2017
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