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.
Scott Anthony Barlow 00:02
Being in the 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 and your strengths and your interests. And I can't tell you how many people find HTYC because they're in a job that they thought would be great, but it isn't.
This is the Happen To Your Career podcast, with Scott Anthony Barlow. We help you stop doing work that doesn't fit you, figure out what it does and make it happen. We help you define the work that's unapologetically you, and then go get it. If you're ready to make a change. Keep listening. Here's Scott, Scott. Here's Scott.
Scott Anthony Barlow 00:50
So a little while back, I had a Skype call with a former Google employee, who had wanted to transition into a role that fit their strengths even better. Okay, so I wanted to tell you about this, because you might be thinking right now, "okay, who on earth chooses to leave Google?" That's the holy grail of dream jobs, right. And that's what I think a lot of people feel from the outside when they see people that are leaving NASA, or Facebook, or Google or Stanford, or all of these other companies that we've had had people come to us from. But the big trap that's really easy to fall into when you're searching for jobs is comparing your insides to someone else's outside. For example, being in a job that looks like a dream job on the outside doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be a dream fit for you, for your inner values, what you value most, your strengths, your interest, and what you actually want out of, you know, organization and well, life. And I can't tell you how many people find HTYC because they're in a job, they thought it would be great but it isn't. And it ends up being someone else's dream and not their own. Or we end up getting emails every day from 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 career change, but really not knowing how. Okay, so if this is sounding even remotely familiar to you, and here's what I want to happen. This is an episode where you're going to want to pay attention. I've got a ton of lessons that I've learned from coaching, at this point, you know, we've worked with thousands of people through career transitions. I want to share some of these with you, that way it can save you some time, some headaches, and help you identify what you need to focus on most, when you're making this type of transition.
Scott Anthony Barlow 02:51
I'm Scott Anthony Barlow, I'm the CEO and founder of Happen To Your Career, and the creator of Career Change Bootcamp. And although me and my team now teach how to find and do work that you love, I vividly remember being in a job that wasn't fulfilling at all. And when I was there, I didn't understand how this whole career happiness thing worked at all. And honestly, I thought that if I could just get to a better job situation, or get to a certain job or the right fit job for me, then it would solve my problems. Which means, of course, that many of us are going about this career change somewhat blindly. We're looking at job postings online, or we're trying to network or updating our LinkedIn profiles or spending time going on interviews. But the problem is, we don't even know exactly what a fulfilling career looks like for us yet. Now, here's the tricky part, we as human beings, well, we're pretty terrible at determining what will actually make us happy. And over the last 10 years of many career changes myself and a whole bunch of experimentation, and working with a lot of people making these types of career changes, I've determined that there's actually four traits that we all need and want in our career. And then there's two parts that are incredibly unique to who you are. And in the rest of this video, I want to cover those four key traits that you must add to your career list in order to have career happiness. Turns out, number one, is helping people. And you wouldn't believe how many people email me and say, "If only we're helping people, then I would be happy." "I just think that I should be a counselor because it's helping people. Or I'm just one of those people that really needs to help others." Yes, helping people, I get it. There's also a ton of research out there to corroborate this. It's something you actually need, unless of course, you're a psychopath. And helping people is something that all of us are looking for, and if we don't directly understand how we're helping others, then it's less fulfilling for us. Now, for example, Sarah was one of our students in Career Change Bootcamp. She didn't know anything other than she wanted to help others when she started working with us. We helped her focus on where she could see what she was doing and how it was helping others. And we realized for her, she had to have a cause where she could actively see those people getting help. Otherwise, it didn't fit for her. So we helped her become an operations manager for a nonprofit. But that's not for everyone. The important part is that whatever we're doing, and whatever you're doing, you have to see that direct connection.
Done this before, like, what do you think I could do? Because I know there's like a million jobs out there, right? There's so many different jobs, different industries, different roles that we never hear about, or at least me, you know, average person, you know, you got surgeon, doctor, engineer, you know, those general things, but you, there's tons of times I hear about somebody's job, and I think, "that's kind of cool. I don't know somebody did that." Like, I wouldn't mind doing that. But so I was worried that there was a lot of stuff out there that I probably would be really good at, or that I would really like, I just didn't know what they were. So I couldn't do a search for it. I couldn't tailor my resume for it. Because I didn't know what it was. I just knew there's got to be jobs out there that I haven't heard of that. I would want to do, you know.
Scott Anthony Barlow 06:03
Then number two is basic needs. And if you remember Maslow's Hierarchy from psychology 101, back in college, you know, well, if you don't have your basic needs met, then you never get to the next level, right? Okay. Well, in today's society, your basic needs just above food and shelter are pay that you feel is fair, or a commute that isn't two hours long each way, and going to make a gouge your eyes out by the time you get back. And for example, not working 10 to 14 hour days all the time. These are things that are nearly true of everyone, except for the one crazy who can't get enough of the two hour commutes. You know who you are. Now, another big piece of this puzzle is that we all need work that's engaging to us. Now, this can mean a lot of different things. But the commonalities are having the freedom to decide how to do your work, because well, I've yet to meet somebody who's just like, "I love micromanagement. It's so awesome." Now another one of this is having a really clear understanding of how well you're doing and how well it's going. And that's why your boss is actually so important too. Because if you don't have a leader or co workers who are making these pieces easier, and making sure that they're supporting you, then some of these other pieces might not matter all that much, right? So basic needs, freedom, clarity of work, a boss that doesn't suck, and helping people, right. Okay, add these things to your list, we all must have these for work happiness. None of these will come as a surprise. We all knew those intuitively. But what we find that most of us still accept jobs that don't have these four universal keys, and then wonder why we're unhappy when the honeymoon period wears off. Don't do it, stop doing it now. Okay, let's get into the second piece of this. Here's where it gets complicated. The last two pieces are not as black and white. This is where most people get caught up. It's also where nearly everybody is doing it wrong, or is slightly confused. It's where misguided advice creeps in, like just follow your passion. Instead, here's the method that we teach to people. When my son Grayson was two years old, he was sitting on the floor and he was trying to put together a puzzle. And he was grabbing the nearest piece, and he was trying to jam it together with another piece. And he had both in his hand and it just wasn't fitting, right? He would then give up on one of those pieces and throw it away and grab the next closest piece and then try and mash it together. And it just wasn't working. I got watched him getting frustrated for a few minutes. And then I went and sat next to him to try and help them understand how to put this thing together, and how to put together the puzzle in an efficient way. And if you've ever put together a puzzle, you know that there is an easy way to put it together, and many, many really incredibly difficult ways. Now the first thing that you do is you take the corner pieces, right. You can pretty easily identify them. And there aren't too many of them, usually four on a puzzle if it's square, right. Next, you gather together all of those edge pieces. And you can start to see different colors on the edge pieces. And you can pretty easily assemble them together into a frame. Once you have that frame, you can actually start to see what the picture might be. And then you can begin filling in those pieces. Now in our house, we do a lot of Disney and Paw Patrol puzzles. So you can start to see without even having all the pieces that, guess what, this is Mickey Mouse's here, and this is Donald Duck foot. And even if you don't have all those pieces, you can begin to understand what the picture actually looks like. Now most people are approaching their careers by taking those two random pieces and just trying to mash them together and build the puzzle from the inside out, much like a two year old. And 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, and that you must be an astronaut. Instead, if you do it differently, just like the efficient way to be able to put together a puzzle, it's so much easier. And it's so much more possible to identify a picture of what can be a really great situation for you. Start with the corner pieces, these are your strengths, particularly what you're great at, or have the potential to be great at. Next, those outside pieces, the edge pieces are what you want in your life, these build out the frame. And the interesting thing is, when you're very clear on both your strengths, and what you value the most in your life, then you've now built out this frame, and just like the frame of a puzzle, you can begin to see what the picture in the middle might be. It might not be as easy as Donald Duck foot. But if you know it's incredibly important to you to be able to work out in the middle of the day, then you might have to have a job where they're going to allow you to do that. Or if I just absolutely can't stand details, and I'm a big picture strategy person, then I know that the role I am in can't have most of my time spent picking apart details, because that's going to drive me insane. Now these might seem like really small things. But when you identify all of these, it really helps you to create a picture. And this picture is something that we call your "ideal career profile". This acts as your destination, where you're going. So you can actually do something with this. Once you have that destination, it's kind of like taking a trip, right? Once you know your destination, you can begin figuring out the best path to get there.
Scott Anthony Barlow 11:36
I'm Scott Anthony Barlow, I'm the CEO and founder of Happen To Your Career, and also the creator of Career Change Bootcamp. My team and I, we work with high performers from all over the world, helping them get clarity on what makes them happy. And then after they've identified it, we help them make somewhat seemingly impossible career changes and make those things actually happen. Now, remember, the opportunity here is much, much bigger than knowing how to write a great resume or a great CV. And instead, understanding how you want to spend your time, so that much more of it is in solving incredibly interesting problems, and helping others in ways that are fulfilling to you. I want to show you how identifying and working with them what we call your 'Signature Strengths' can help lead you down a lifelong path to fulfilling job opportunities and not just the next one. I also want to show you what to actually do with that information, and how it can save you time along the way and energy and focus when you use this strategy to make a career change. Okay, let's start with strengths. I mean, if these are so important, then why does half of corporate America want you to focus on improving your weaknesses? I mean, have you ever been to a performance review lately? I'd like to suggest a slightly different perspective. And let's take Maggie, for example. She came to us, she was working in advertising and communications and was so over her job. We worked with her to identify her strengths, and four months later helped her make a career change into a role that really leveraged her love for teaching and training, but paid her a whole bunch more than what she was making in advertising. Now, at this point, this is where she had started to realize that she had a huge advantage because most people, and most companies are not so well aligned with their strengths. And the ones that are considered high performers or incredibly passionate about their work, the type of people that you've seen and want to be around. Anyhow, in less than 12 months into the role, they're already planning a promotion in 16 months, and she gets promoted into another role that's even a better fit for her strengths. Now, there's a whole lot of reasons and research to support why this happens. But I think it's best coming from Maggie.
Place to work where you have to spend so much time away from your family, I want that time to count, you know, and being able to discover what it is that I'm passionate about. And the people here recognize my passion, like some of the... when my promotion, my most recent promotion was announced, so many people who commented on the passion that I have, and then it comes through and that helps people connect to the material that I'm teaching. And to have been able to be guided into that has been huge for myself fulfillment. So just being able to discover that drive and the time that I spend away from my family makes a difference and it's impacting people and it's fulfilling to me, it makes it easier to be, you know, a mom who works out of the home.
Scott Anthony Barlow 14:39
Okay, I think it's fair to say that Maggie is a lot more aligned with her strengths and her work, and much more so than the average person. But this isn't just true for Maggie. We find that tons of people that we've worked with in our Career Change Bootcamp experience the exact same thing. Those people experience promotions, opportunities and growth. So much faster than average when they're working in their areas of the signature strengths. And this is not the only reason though, let's go to the research that Gallup has found. They say that, "you're less stressed by working in your strengths." Wait a minute, what's going on here? Okay, first of all, you probably didn't need 7.8 million data points to figure out that you're less stress working in your strengths. Second of all, this can be pretty confusing, because many of these people are also in incredibly demanding jobs that might often be associated with stress and responsibility. Here's what's happening. Take a look at this graphic. Now, too much stress or distress overflows into anxiety or burnout. And on the other end, boredom, that's not so good for the soul either, what we want you to do is aim for the stretch zone, because that's where it's causing you to grow without outpacing your ability, so much that is continually causing that really, really harmful stress. Now, when you're working actively in your strengths, what is really doing is it expanding that stretch zone and making it much larger so it takes a lot more to move you into that anxiety zone. In fact, think about it this way, you have less capacity to handle stress, if you're working outside your strengths, stress fills up and it overflows into anxiety, and later on burnout. However, if you're spending more of your waking hours and more of your time working in your strengths, then not only does work feel more natural, but you also have a much higher capacity to be able to handle stress that goes along with it. But it doesn't stop there. Because when you have a capacity to experience higher levels of stress, it also gives you an ability to expand your comfort zone much more rapidly than the average person, which means that then you experience growth overall faster as a human being too. Pretty cool, right? But there's even more when you combine your strengths with what you want in your life, like the puzzle method I showed you in the first video, then it creates what we call your 'Ideal Career Profile', which then allows you to create a clear picture of what your ideal career is. So you can get a sense for what your destination looks like. Now, obviously, if you don't know where you're going, it's going to be really, really difficult to get there. Right? It becomes like this really bad road trip that just won't end, you end up in Montana at a gas station. And it's 2am and is negative 24 degrees. And you're like, "how on earth did I even get here in the first place?" And no, of course, that's never happened to me at all.
Scott Anthony Barlow 17:29
Now that you have this destination, you've got all the information that you need to begin pushing aside companies and opportunities that just don't fit you and instead focus only on the ones that do. Most of the time, this comes as a huge relief for the really busy people that we work with. Because it means that you don't have to waste all of this time interviewing or applying or networking with companies that just aren't a great fit. Here's why this strategy is most valuable, though, it means that you already have a competitive advantage when you show up to an interview, actually, even before there's ever an interview. And speaking of competitive advantages, thanks to putting in a tremendous amount of upfront work to identify her signature strengths, a client of ours, that's in Career Change Bootcamp has just started interviewing with their dream company, working from home as a learning science researcher. And guess what, she's gonna knock it out of the park because she's been aligning herself with the right companies and right opportunities to pursue and making it so that they can see clearly how she matches up with both the skills and experiences and values that they really, really want. If you do it this way, this is how you actually get jobs created for you, or even modified during the job offer stage. None of that off the rack or stock job opportunities that are posted online. We've got another student named Mike, and you might have heard his story on the Happen To Your Career podcast recently. He had two different job offers. And they aligned really pretty well with what he wanted in the first place to start out with. But we ended up coaching him to ask one of them to change the job responsibilities, so they lined up even better. Keep in mind that one of them pretty badly because of everything that we taught him through Career Change Bootcamp, about interviewing, and about the interview process, and even how you reached out to these companies in the first place. Now once you start to learn how this works, you can begin to realize that by first developing an incredibly clear understanding of what it is that you want and need and what you're great at, then this can become systematic, you can actually work step by step through this type of process. Now you might be thinking, "thanks, God, I get it. This is super important. But figuring out exactly what fits me is way more complicated than watching a 15 minute video." And you would be right. There's thousands of books written on the subject of understanding yourself. And we know that if a simple framework was really incredibly easy to execute on, then everybody would be making well over six figures, well working from their beach condos or whatever floats your boat, and is important to you. Now, Maggie, and Mike and Sarah had all tried many things before they took these same exact concepts and use them to achieve results. And if you want that too, that's where I'm very sure that we can be of help to you, what I'd love to do is invite you to learn more about Career Change Bootcamp, or start to finish step by step program that uses our tried and true research supported framework that we've used in helping over 1100 people. If you've done struggling with jobs that don't fit or companies that don't appreciate what you value, and what you want to thrive in your career, and want a framework that you can use over and over again to get different and better results in every step of the career path and growth, well, that's where Career Change Bootcamp can absolutely help. It's the first and only bootcamp that pairs a proven step by step framework with intensive one on one support, and guarantees that you'll make your career change in six months or less. It's where we help you cross the bridge from where you're at right now, to where you want to go. We even have a career coach assigned to you in the program on day one to make sure that you have every answer you need an extra support, if you get stuck. We've just opened up enrollment for CCB. And if you finally want to gain clarity on what a fulfilling career means for you, and then have our help in making it happen, that's where you should click over to our Career Change Bootcamp enrollment page, and watch the video to learn more about how it can fit you. I want you to experience work that lights you up and uses your strengths and uses your potential. And if you've never had that before, then that's also where we can help, the answers, they're out there for you. And we can hold you accountable to finding them and help being able to move through the process that everyone has to go through to get to work that they love. Especially, if you don't have the perfect experience. Or you don't know yet what your ideal career actually looks like. And when you come out of this program, by the way, you're going to know your signature strengths and how to use them to get you hired, you're also going to be able to successfully position yourself in an entirely new field or industry. Particularly if you don't have all of the experience or have less than other candidates, you'll also be able to figure out what your ideal career would be that would excite you and test drive it prior to taking the job. We also want you to be able to learn to build relationships with hiring managers to get opportunities that are really normally hard to get at, and companies that you love and even potentially get jobs created for you. Now we teach in an insider program, how to cut to the front of the line with interviews, even if you have less experience than other candidates. We combine our on demand online coursework with one on one support from your coach so that you have the very best of both worlds. When you get stuck, there's always somebody that's just an email or a Skype call away that can absolutely help.
Scott Anthony Barlow 23:17
Hey, if you want to take everything that we just talked about in this episode, and figure out how to make it work for yourself, like many of the other people that you've heard on our podcast, make big transitions in one way or another, I'm not always talking about massive career changes, but figuring out what really works for you. Or even if you know what is making that transition, we can absolutely help you identifying what would be the very best way to do that. Send me an email, pause it right now, send me an email email@example.com, just put 'Conversation' in the subject line. I'll put you in touch with our Director of Student Success. And we can help you discover what would be the very best way that we can help support you. And what do you need to do to take the best path for you to get to where you want to go for a happy and meaningful career. Hey, seriously, pause it right now. Email firstname.lastname@example.org 'Conversation' like put it in the subject line. And then yeah, I'll hook you up. You can have a conversation, we'll figure out how we can help. That's what we do. It's what we love to do, as it turns out. And I gotta tell you that we have even more coming up next week for you on Happen To Your Career. One of our most popular guests on the podcast was Emily Wapnick. She talks about being multipotentialite. You might have heard that episode, I think most recently, she was on Episode 173. And someone who has a wide variety of interests and talents, that's what multipotentialite means. Well, next week, I actually get to talk with an expert that has studied and gotten some data on how multipotentialite actually show up on Gallup's StrengthFinders Assessment and many other assessments across the board. There's some clear patterns.
Melanie Buford 25:06
Literally in the interview, I just remember they were like so you know, what do you think you want to do? And there was like an awkward pause and I just, this just came out I didn't even think about an advance but I just said, "I think maybe education."
Scott Anthony Barlow 25:20
High up, no question mark at the end.
Melanie Buford 25:22
Right. Exactly. I tried to make it sound professional. I was wearing a suit.
Scott Anthony Barlow 25:26
That's Melanie Buford. And you will be hearing a whole lot more next week on the Happen To Your Career podcast. Until then. See you later. Adios. I am out.
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