How to design career experiments
Human beings are designed to want reassurance. Consequently most of us aren’t particularly excited about taking career risks.
If we’re going to make a career change we want to know that we don’t have to “start over” or if we’re going to take the time and effort to pursue something new we want to know that at least a guarantee that we’re going to love it at the end of all that effort.
The bad news is that it doesn’t work that way, there’s absolutely no magic pill you can take that’s going to give you the ultimate reassurance that when you spend all the effort you’re going to see nothing but rainbows and unicorns on the other end of all your hard work.
The good news is we know that as humans we want to have some reasonable reassurance that we’re heading the right direction. That’s exactly the reason that over the years we’ve quietly worked to develop ways to help align our clients and students with life and careers they love (before they actually get there) by test driving and experimenting prior to making the switch.
Ironically ever since HTYC Coach, Lisa Lewis, casually mentioned this idea of designing experiments in podcast episode 147, we’ve had constant questions about how to do this . We’ve been teaching people how to design experiments inside our flagship programs Career Change Bootcamp and Signature Coaching but we’ve never dug into it on the podcast.
Until Now! Take a listen here then read the guide below.
We’ve created 6 different examples of ways you can design an experiment to test drive your potential new career, company, industry, sector, or even the people you might work with.
1. THE “SOCIAL GOLDILOCKS”
Laura Morrison worked in sustainability for nearly 8 years for the same company moving up the ranks. When she finally decided she wanted to change careers later on she felt like she wasn’t even sure where to start. On top of that she felt like she wasn’t even totally sure what else was out there.
That’s why she came to us. As a student in CCB she quickly learned that having lots of comparison in a systematic format can help you quickly decide what direction is the best for you AND help you narrow down the list really quickly.
What does that even mean? Well much like trying all the porridge with the 3 bears and learning quickly that this one is too hot, the other was too cold and this one was just right, Laura connected with and had conversations with 2 groups of people.
- Those that were in jobs that she hypothesized that she might like AND/OR
- People in companies she thought were likely to align with her values.
This act of “Talking to all of the people in all of the places” led her to have over 20 different conversations.
More importantly she didn’t just learn that she liked mildly warm porridge, she learned she actually like oatmeal with cherries in it too!
Here’s an email from Laura showing exactly what she was able to take away from these conversations.
If you read carefully you may have also noticed one of her (and our) favorite questions to ask is
What makes you good at what you do?
Because it helps you understand what they perceive as the most important pieces of how to be successful at that job, where if you simply ask what is the most important to be successful about what you do, you often get a whole bunch of bull shit about degrees and things that people are “supposed to say.”
Remember you’re not looking for formality, you’re looking to uncover useful information that helps you decide what temperature of porridge you prefer and exposes you to things you never even thought of! (like almond butter in oatmeal…mmm!)
2. THE “AMPED UP FOLLOWUP”
Think of this approach as “The Social Goldilocks” + a bit of “BAM” – Emeril Lagasse style!
If you’re not an Emeril fan then think about it this way:
Mike Bigelow, another coaching client and CCB student of ours, needed to change cities because his wife’s job was moving. He wanted to take that opportunity to be very selective and take a role with a company that he was really excited about AND would pay him over 6 Figures.
First he used a similar approach to Laura by having many conversations as he could in the industry he thought he wanted to be in as much.
Next comes the “amped up followup”: he would walk away from a meeting with a potential employer, after asking what are you struggling with, what are big vision questions you are wrestling with to make the impact you want to make over the next five years, what would make your life easier? Then Mike went and did those things. Unsolicited, unpaid, just for fun.
How did he do this? During the initial conversations Mike would hear someone say “I have this need” or “I need to solve this” He would then ask followup questions to learn exactly why and what was most important, then Mike would go and create a spreadsheet, a piece of code or equation and follow up. Here’s how that conversation would go
Remember that thing we talked about I’ve thought about it, created this thing and I want to give you it for free, enjoy.
Being a hiring manager and seeing someone so affected by a conversation, that listened so well, and so excited about the work you are doing that they go and do the work and send it to you says a lot of exciting things about the contributions that person can make if you bring them into your team.
THIS WORKED INCREDIBLY WELL FOR 2 REASONS:
- Mike was able to test drive and experience the work first hand and decide if it was something he had further interest in. (the experiment part of the experiment!)
- Almost nobody does this, so it causes you to stand out from nearly everybody else in the minds of his potential future employers.
Through this process Mike ended up building relationships with many people he had interest in working with. It later resulted in both interviews and ultimately several job offers that put him over six figures for the first time in his life.
More importantly than that he learned through the experiments that there were some types of work and companies that he simply didn’t enjoy, saving himself potentially years by helping him narrow down his list (the opposite of taking huge career risks).
3. THE “PAID RESEARCH” APPROACH TO TAKING CAREER RISKS
One of my favorite things to help our students do is to test drive work in paid capacity.
Why? Because it adds a different level of stakes to the experiment. You now are getting an idea of what it’s like to design and deliver an end product or service for someone.
The paid research approach is exactly what it sounds like: You actually do the work or a portion of the work and …[dramatic music inserted here] get paid for it… but typically in a short term format like a project or contract so you’re not locked into it if you find that it’s not for you!
We’ve found that the two easiest ways to start with this approach are:
- Freelance on a small project in the area you’re potentially interested in.
- Take on a project that exposes you to the area you’re interested in within your current company.
Here’s an example of both of these:
Andrew was working with a marketing company and not totally satisfied with his company or his career. He suspected that he wanted to shift to a particular area of Social Media Marketing.
To test drive this, he took the tiny skillsets he had developed around the fringe portions of his job around social media and began doing that for a friends small business on a freelance basis.
This allowed Andrew to try out and get paid. Most importantly it gave him the answer to the question
“Is this something I want to dive further into?”
In his case it was a yes. He learned he needed certain types of creative freedoms and liked getting paid for it on a more regular basis.
You can do that too. Identify the most likely place where you can get a small project to start with. Where is the low hanging fruit? Do you have a friend that needs this, is there a section in one of the vendor companies you currently work with that needs help? It could be taking a portion of your current job that you enjoy and try to do it on a smaller scale project.
To make this even easier, there are entire websites built around this like Fiverr and Upwork. For pretty minimal time you can get set up there and take on small jobs.
In Andrew’s case he determined that he wanted to learn more about the strategy side of social media marketing and then he went back to his company and expressed that to his boss.
This turned into him taking on additional responsibility which led to him getting to further vet this type of work and ultimately earning him a pay increase.
Boom! Additional paid research!
4. THE “FOOT IN THE DOOR” (VOLUNTEERING)
Volunteering, although usually very helpful to the organization you’re helping out, can either be incredibly valuable to your experimentation OR a huge waste of time!
So how do you do volunteering in a way that’s hugely helpful for you AND them?
Use this question as a guide before accepting or proposing volunteer work:
Will the volunteer opportunity expose you to the types of work, people, challenges, or learning that you hypothesize you want to spend more of your time around?
If not, or there’s not a high degree of chance that it will, find other volunteer opportunities instead.
Here’s an example of a volunteer opportunity from our very own Lisa Lewis, a career coach on our team.
She was in a place of deep career dissatisfaction. She loved helping people and wanted to do it more. She had applied to graduate school and taken the GRE, but still had a little fear in her gut pop up saying “are you 100% sure that being a clinical mental health licensed practitioner is right for you?”
She wasn’t sure, so she found opportunity to volunteer, for free in her spare time, above and beyond the 9 -5 to get a sense of if she wanted to take this on as a 40 hour a week commitment.
She found the organization Crisis Text Line that she had followed for years. They were accepting applicants for their crisis volunteer program. I thought that would be a good way to do the work of sitting with people and holding space for them when they are going through intense painful moments and helping them to become calm and resourceful and to take care of themselves when things aren’t okay.
It was fun for me because I loved that opportunity. I had a glorious time doing the work but oh my goodness by the end I knew it affected me so profoundly and intensely in just four hours of work a week that I knew I wasn’t wired to turn it into 40 hours.Lisa Lewis
For yourself when thinking about it what are some of the organizations doing the type of work or the sector you are interested in? Do they have anything you can apply for to test out and run experiments to see if that work feels good for you? I’ve personally even done this with professional organizations and volunteering to organize their events, like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) where I wanted to gain exposure to certain people so I could learn if I wanted to work with them.
5. THE BUDDING EXPERT
I’ve found that one of the quickest ways to become involved with a certain topic, profession, industry or even type of work is to become a member of the media.
I’m not talking about becoming a card carrying member of the Associated Press. Instead I mean by writing, podcasting, creating video, or any other type of media, you can get an inside look at what a particular type of work is like AND if you enjoy it, it can pave the way to future opportunities for you at the same time.
For example, this very blog started as an experimental blog back in 2012. I wasn’t even totally sure what I wanted to do next and suspected that I would have a lot of fun helping people make big life changes and big career changes on a fulltime basis. So I started researching and writing down everything I knew about it. You know what happened from there (or if you don’t here’s the story on episode 100)
Another example is Dustin Hartzler. He started out his experiment by creating a few websites of his own. He found he enjoyed it and his experimentation evolved into paid research by creating websites for friends and small companies who needed them. Through this work he found that he was enjoying WordPress (a popular content management system for websites) he created a podcast and posted it on iTunes to expose himself more to wordpress and further his expertise. (which creating content forces you to acquire) This also brought him even more customers to his freelance operation.
After doing this he had really become a fan of Automattic, the company that created wordpress. This led him to pursue a career working with their company.
What started as an evolving experiment in the podcast, later on became his ticket to get him in the door for an interview when there are thousands of candidates that apply to Automattic regularly.
Dustin did this with podcasts but this can also be done with a blog, essays, articles, videos, a website, and any other types of media.
6. THE LEARNER
This last one is exactly what it sounds like:
Immersing yourself in intentional learning to help you understand whether or not you want to pursue a career direction.
Well the first thing that most people think of college or graduate degrees, it doesn’t have to be this at all.
In fact, I try to talk most people out of doing an advanced degree, not because they aren’t valuable, but instead because spending 30 to 70 thousand dollars and two or more years of your time often isn’t worth it for most people when they still don’t know whether or not that is going to get them to a career that they are excited about.
A bigger reason than the time and money is for most (not all but most) professions and skillsets there are many more less expensive options to get you to the same result. This is especially true now more than ever. Even compared to 10 years ago There are so many more ways and types of education other than just college.
That said, taking a class, course or school can actually save you many years of wasting your life, especially if it helps you avoid a bad career decision. Here’s an example:
Avery was burnt out on her high powered career in finance. She knew she wanted to do something much more creative but didn’t yet fully know what, she decided to pursue something that she had a dream about forever and wanted to explore. She quit and moved to Paris to go to a photography school!
In doing so she quickly realized that photography really wasn’t for her. This might sound like a failure but instead this actually saved her many years of her life as well as not having any kind of regret.
You don’t have to quit everything or move to Paris to learn what’s right and not right for you.
Instead you could start with a single class or by taking a course on Udemy or SkillShare. This can help you understand if you really actually like the subject matter or skillset. Remember to try to apply the learning before you make a decision to dive deeper or not. The appeal of learning something is often different that the application of that same learning because humans are wired to enjoy learning.
DESIGNING YOUR OWN EXPERIMENTS TO AVOID TAKING CAREER RISKS
Now that you’ve seen these 6 examples, you can choose the one that makes the most sense for your personal situation. Or you don’t have to choose just one, you can combine them together. For example doing some freelance work for a company that you met through the social Goldilocks approach.
If you’re not ready to test out an experiment yet, bookmark this page so you can come back to it when you are. Also share this with a friend who might need it!
Lisa Lewis-Miller 00:01
What you're doing is you're creating not only a huge amount of pressure on yourself, but you're also making it such that, the way that you're thinking about and judging the opportunities in front of you is very black or white, yes or no. Whereas, I think what we come to see, especially in people who successfully and happily make transitions is that there's a lot of gray area in the middle, and that it doesn't have to be an extreme one way or another.
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 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. Here's Scott. Here's Scott.
Scott Anthony Barlow 00:54
This is Scott Anthony Barlow and you are listening to you Happen To Your Career. The show that helps you figure out what work fits you by exploring other stories. We get to bring on experts like, my friend Pete Mockaitis, who took his love of public speaking and started a training business that helps people and teams sharpen their problem solving. And the people that have pretty amazing stories like, Lindsay Moroney, who derailed her pre-med class, when she found interest in art history and found that being authentic in herself is what truly makes her and many other people happy. And let her do a thriving career. Now, these are people that are just like you, only they've already gone from where they are to what they really want to be doing. Today’s guest is a returner, it is our very own Lisa Lewis.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 01:43
Thank you. Always such a pleasure. Hello HTYC fam.
Scott Anthony Barlow 01:46
And we're going to get very deep into, how you can try out new career paths with minimal risk in a relatively short period of time. And then when you talk about the six different type of what we call experiments for test driving new careers and then how you can actually choose one and apply them to fit your situation and all of this is so we can help you validate a new career path to move ahead smartly and lead that old baggage behind that we can get going already. And we talked about dead man goals by the way and what they are. Because you don't want them as it turns out. So what they are and instead learn how to make goals that allow you to grow and learn and face uncertainty all at the same time as well as breaking down whether being wrong is actually bad thing or not. And when it is, when it isn't. All right, all that and plenty more in our conversation. Listen for it.
I'm going to be the Operations Coordinator for CASA, which is stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.
Scott Anthony Barlow 02:55
This is Sarah, she has many passions and skills, which actually made it kind of difficult for her.
My whole career type story has been one of sort of bouncing around, because I didn't know what I wanted to do. And I could never figure it out.
Scott Anthony Barlow 03:10
Listen for Sarah’s story later on the episode. To learn how she used career change bootcamp to help her finally figured out what fits her.
I had the opportunity to really just kind of try to figure it out.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 03:25
And I think that since I tap and we have seen more question about, how do you test drive, how do you figure out something is a great fit for you. And one of the things that I really appreciate, because of my background in economics is the idea of, how do I manage the risks? There is a lot of risk in a lot of uncertainty that comes in making a transition and for the people who come to us like the smart ambitious top performer folks, that's a really important question, because I don't want to be making an ill advised decision. So I cannot wait for us to get into all of the things that we have to talk about today to make as clear and a simple as possible if it's not easy.
Scott Anthony Barlow 04:05
So, what we're actually going to do today is we're going to take you through six different ways to designing experiment, six different examples in fact of that we called our 'test drive method' and help you ideally to be able to create and understand how to create and design some experiments for yourself. That is what we want for you out of this deal. But I think in order to do that, we need to talk about why people are so interested in designing an experiment in the first place. And then also, what we really mean when we say designing experiment, as well. So, why do you think this comes out, first of all? I know that we've had a request again and again, but what do you think people have really latched onto this? What are they wanting to get out of the concept of designing experiment? What do you think Lisa? You've heard again and again.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 04:59
Yeah. Well, I think that the people who are in our community are people who are observant and people who are smart and they have seen other people in their network, in their communities try to make career transitions of their own and sometimes that looks like somebody who is burning the bridges as soon as they cross them and they are saying I’ve done with this business, I’ve done with this company, I’ve done with this and had to make something happen that’s very dramatic and they’re very all success to that. Sometimes people are able to make it work and hassle and find a way forward but it feel a little bit more like it is throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if something’s realistic, than something that is so thoughtful and clear and calculated. And so, one of the things that the idea of creating an experiment so interesting and so nice is that it helps you to, I understand what your assumptions are about type of work that might feel really good for without necessarily, you know, betting whole farm on it when you’re making that transition and getting that reassurance and validation is that what you think is going to be really good fit for you, is going to be really good fit for you. So that you don't end up in a situation of moving into a new job or starting of new employer and then realizing that you had your six months into this new position and you’ve accidentally brought all of your old baggage and all of your old complaint and all of your old frustration with you from the old job to the new job. So find a way to move forward that doesn't also bring all your discontent with you and it allows for you to expand and grow and step into something that’s going to be so much more fun for you without having such huge risk and such huge fear around that keeps from making you move forward at all.
Scott Anthony Barlow 06:44
That is incredibly important. I also think that, the subtle peace there about moving forward and not... making sure that you're actually bringing the right things versus bringing baggage over into that new career move is possibly the most important piece because I think so many people are interested in designing experiments at least initially from the perspective of their afraid of making the wrong move. And it's very subtle distinction both. That's something that we have worked really hard to be able to help people reframe that idea of right versus wrong when you are exploring and I'm definitely going to use the word exploring. And trying to decide what could be a great career move for you. So how do you think about that whole right versus wrong thing? Because I know you've got very strong opinions on this and we've had many a discussion on.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 07:46
It's so true. One of the things and I think I talked about this a little bit in episode 147 is that when you're thinking about making a career transition in terms of this kind of binary operating system of right versus wrong. What you're doing is you're creating not only a huge amount of pressure on yourself but you're also making it such that, the way that you're thinking about and judging the opportunities in front of you is very black or white yes or no, whereas I think what we come to see especially in people who successfully and happily make transition is, there's a lot of grey area in the middle and then it doesn't have to be an extreme one way or another. But we are complicated new ones multi-dimensional human beings that have a lot of different needs and a lot of different values and desires and figuring out how the best prioritize those in a way that feels really good for you and works really well for you is something that you can't necessarily do between a right and a wrong framework because the answer is going to be the best fit for you, based on what your values are now, what you are family is living now, what you're wanting to grow and expand into and the types of risk and opportunity that you're looking for has to be more nuanced than that. And I also listening to a new podcast the other day. That Susan David was on. She’s a girl who wrote the book about 'Emotional Agility' that is out right now, which is just phenomenal. And she had this content that I thought was so great called 'Dead Man Goals', where she talks about any time in our lives that we are seeking to, essentially avoid being wrong, avoid pain, avoid at falling down, avoid not getting the right answer on the first try are dead man goals because they are essentially impossible for a living breathing sentient being to have. Because if you are going to be trying something new, if you're going to be allowing yourself to growth and space to expand and learn then you have to expose yourself to a little bit of risk at some level there. So, rather than thinking about things on this binary right or wrong framework, I think that the reframe of creating better goals for ourselves around learning and growing and embracing that there's a little bit of uncertainty that's going to be a part of this process no matter what but you can also set yourself up to test and understand that uncertainty better through some smart structured experiments and test drive, like we're about to talk about, it can be really important and the other thing that I think is important, Scott, I got really curious to hear your thoughts on this too, is the idea of wondering what inside of you is pushing your brain towards a right and a wrong framework? Like what is it that you're afraid of in being wrong? Is being wrong a bad thing? Is guessing and not getting it completely perfect the first time necessarily a bad thing? And if it is, what kind opportunities is that limiting you from having the possibility to expand and explore? You know, when we were kids we used to try things all the time and messed up and not get them perfect and it was totally fine and embraced as part of the process of growth and I know that there's so many of our listeners, growth and having more chances to learn and to become an expert and to try something new and to keep having that novelty and that fun of having something come across your plate every day that challenges you and pushes is you, is part of the fun and being alive. And so wondering what the deeper fear is underneath the fear of making the wrong decision is something that I think grappling with can be really helpful and really healthy for anybody who is on the precipice of making a big transition. Tell me what your thoughts are about the fear side of things, the ideally wrong.
Scott Anthony Barlow 11:48
You know, I was thinking about that, as you’re talking about it and, you know, I think that, at least in the US, and also a number of other countries too. We have, through schools, through how a lot of companies are set up in the number of other areas created or maybe destroyed, I don't know, whichever way you want to look at it that childlike ability that you’re looking at and we have given and put a whole bunch of reward on being right or doing things perfectly or not making mistakes and unfortunately any type of experimentation which is where you learn impossibly if you're looking at, just from a life growth standpoint like your ability to grow as a human being requires that you're making mistakes, if you're not making mistakes, you are not learning at the highest rate, period. Like one is impossible without the other and if we are... for looking at those two juxtapositions a little bit on one side you've got, hey we are rewarding as a society in many different ways that perfection and that lack of mistakes and everything else. But for us to move along as human beings and ultimately feel any level of happiness on a on-going basis, it requires that constant learning which requires actually making mistakes on a regular basis and especially making big leaps and bounds around our career and what's gonna create a really good situation. It requires that imperfection. It requires that... like going into it and essentially having wrong situations happen in order to do that. So I think we look at that way, you can start to understand why designing experiments or creating test drives are so much more effective of a way because you can go through... here’s the thought process behind all of this. When we do it with our clients, when we do it with our career change bootcamp students, then, you can actually go through and essentially speed up the learning process and that is the intent here is to design an experiment so that you get to learn without having to be in a job for like four years or something else and then it goes spend four years of your life. And in fact, it's even better, I believe it's better and of the interested in your opinion on this too Lisa, but I believe it's better if you go through a bunch of them and maybe you've spent a week or two weeks or a month or maybe even three months, and it doesn't work out, because that means that it's saved you potentially years, many years of your life, especially if you have them and if you do two, three, four or five of those that don't work. Wow! guess what? You just saved like 20 years of your life right there that you now don't have to worry about, which I think it's fantastic when you're looking at it that way. But, what's your take on that side of it?
Lisa Lewis-Miller 15:05
Yeah! Oh totally. I think that being willing to put yourself in a position where you might not be as immediately successful as you want but in a much smaller contain capacity like trying an experiment as opposed to making a big transition into a brand new job where you to start, you know, all of this boiling curve and then realizing after you've been there for whether it’s a year, six months, sometimes even within the first week, but it's not the right fit and you completely uprooted your whole life and all of your routines and your patterns and everything. That's lot of risk to me and that seems really scary and if there are ways that you can just bite off a little chunk of that fear and a little bit of that uncertainty and test it out first to help make really strategically important decisions in the future, then that seems like the best thing you can do for yourself. So I'm excited to get into our six different ways to design an experiment like this, but I think there's a... I want to throw in a curveball here of, if you were needing a pre-experiment experiment, meaning you're in a position right now where you're comfortable in your job but you are not happy, you're not joyful, you’re not experiencing that growth and expansion or what not, but the comfort is really nice and the golden handcuffs of a really nice salary. Feel like it's too good to live then you might even need a precursor to this six different ways to test drive which is re-exposing yourself to opportunities to learn and grow and get rejected and a smaller capacity. So maybe that means going to starbucks and intentionally ordering the wrong drink to remind yourself of ‘Oh this is what it feels like when I screwed up and make a mistake and here's how I can rely on myself and test myself to fix it.' Or let me call somebody in my family by the wrong me to feel that momentary guilt and panic of Oh gosh! I didn't do it right. This is, you know, "wrong" but it reminds me that you can survive that and that discomfort is fine. And that everybody makes mistakes and that, with that, you can gain the trust and courage in yourself and start taking on some of these bigger and better and even more helpful test drives.
Scott Anthony Barlow 17:22
I try and make that a part of my everyday life. And I'm curious if you've done things like this too, but even yesterday, I pull the shirt out of my closet, that honestly, I'm not that comfortable in but Alyssa bought it for me and she really likes it on me. So but I kept it around because of that and I put it on in immediately like I felt super uncomfortable but I kept wearing it and did it intentionally because I do not want to get too into my comfort zone because that is where you stop... that's where you stop growing as a human being and if you can devise those small very low-risk things like where in a, I mean what's going to happen if I wear that shirt out of the public. It's not even... like nothing, right? Who knows maybe people will like it. Besides just my wife, right? But whatever that is for you, I think that to your point, there are even lower scale ways to build up to these experiments if that’s something that, that is... if we go through these and if you feel a huge amount of apprehension thinking about any of these, then I would say start smaller with one these even mini experiments.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 18:40
Yeah. Also a quick tale about a many experiment that I did. So I was, as many of our listeners are probably already heard, I was working from Bali for a couple months this year, and one of the things that became an opportunity for me to do things wrong and get rejected was that, in Bali, the traditional way of getting around, their social norms is that almost everybody had one of these sweet little bestfriend like scooters. Everybody. And they use that to go from point A to point B. People barely doesn’t walked there. It’s only the tourists who walked which is sort of funny. But I realize, if I wanted to get the true Bali experience, I just want to have get myself on one of this damn scooter and make it work. And I’ve had a ton of new permitting bullies around myself of, I'm not re-coordinated. I don't have any balance. I'm so afraid of the scooter. It's like a poor sweet ex-boyfriend of mine who like got to hear all of my reasons, but being that a two-wheel powered vehicle, the terrible thing and yet it was something that I needed to go and do to be able to function in this environment. Did how any thing to do with career though? Was it a way that I had to put myself into a high gworth, high learning environment in order to get access to other things that were important to me? Absolutely. And it was a really humbling experience to remember, number one, that I would not actually good at it from the get-go. But number two, I could seek out help. I took lessons. And number three, that I could make it. I could make it at the end of the day and that the things that I believed about myself, we're all just limitations and they were all just stories I was telling myself. I was just as equally capable of driving one of these freakin scooters with just anybody else. And once I started peeling back the layers on my own fear and the resistance and hesitation there and just let my thoughts get in there and cultivated that confident in this other unrelated part of my life. It has spillover effects. And so I hope that for you, who are listening right now, if there is something like that in your life that there's a little thorn in your side of something totally not related to career, but that can help you to remember your own confidence and your trust in your ability to take on something new not be super great at the beginning, find a way forward. Then that's going to set you up a really well for tackling these six items or whichever of these six items resonate most with you.
Scott Anthony Barlow 21:04
That is perfect. And I'm sure that if you've listened to any of our back episodes, we've talked numerous times about, how you can build tolerance to discomfort and what is uncomfortable now as you build that tolerance over time with things like, riding the vespa when you're not a vespa person or you're considering yourself not a vespa person or wearing shirts that you're not super comfortable with or whatever it happens to be for you then as we do that more and more in your practice, you actually build that much like a muscle. And that once you have done that, things that we're going to talk about right now here with these six different examples become so much easier. Okay. Alright. So let's assume at this point, you've already worked up to that. Now, let's talk through the each of these different examples and we'll give you a little bit of a story to go along with each one here. And help you understand how that they work. So this first one we are dubbing what we proudly call the 'Social Goldilocks Approach'. The Social Goldilocks Approach. What is that? How would you describe that, Lisa?
Lisa Lewis-Miller 22:16
So this one is a tactic that is inspired by a fabulous student and client of ours, named Laura. And she was, so when I think about Social Goldilocks, the name comes from the idea of tasting a whole bunch of different bowls of porridge to see, is it too hot? Is it too cold? Or is it just right for you? So, we think about that, as learn going out there and talking to all the people in all the places. Learn it a fantastic job of identifying all kinds of different sectors, and organization that could be really interesting for her to make her next step. She knew she want to make a pivot, she knew what she wanted to be seeking an opportunity to grow and to have new challenges based on some of our old past skills and past experiences that pivoting them in a totally new direction. So she was willing to put herself out there, be brave and vulnerable and bold and call up people in all kinds of different companies and roles that she was intrigued by to have conversations about what was that organizations culture like, what just a day to day, you know, day on the jobs, day in the life of looks like for an employee who works in that type of a capacity. What are some of the things that they love? And she had fabulous question that she was asking everybody, which I believe and Scott remind me if I'm telling the story incorrectly here, but I believe it something to the effects of what types of skills make somebody's really good at this particular role and when they would tell her, like, oh someone who’s really successful in this role if they are innovative and willing to push the envelope and willing to hear couple notes in order to get and thinks like that. And she could validate that with her own knowledge about her own signature strengths to say, "okay, does this sound like me? Does this sound like they're describing somebody just like me and I have a lot of fun in this type of role? Or are they describing someone that maybe I know, or maybe I could be but not the person that I want to step into being in this next phase of my career." And so she did tons of these different conversations and was able to, you know, start honing and getting closer and closer to that perfect bowl of porridge throughout these conversation. And even as of this morning, I think she has some really fabulous news for us to talk about how that was going and that she is sides in an awesome position because she was willing to have those conversations and seek out people candid honest feedback about what life was like in their roles without necessarily having that same sort of like hungriness in her eyes when she was talking to them and some people have when they think about the typical informational interview. The conversation ended up being much more candid, much for real, raw and honest and that helped her to make so much better decisions about what would feel really good for her.
Scott Anthony Barlow 25:15
I think one of the reasons that she did such a phenomenal job at it, is she went into this very curious and looking at it truly as an experiment. She wasn't going into it looking at it as, 'hey how do I get a job at this particular company?' She went into it looking to validate, 'hey do I even like this company? Do I even like this particular role that this person is in?' And really trying to measure that with what she had identified she wants out of life and out of career and then after she got done with the experiment she was able to say, "hey these things line up really well. These other things not so much." And then it was very... the cool thing out of this, is she already done a lot of the work building relationships with all of these companies. So I mean, it was easy for her to be able to go back and say, "Well. Hey there's these two organizations that I'm really excited about. Oh, yeah. I already know people there now miraculously." And then she was able to go through and actually be able to talk to them about roles that weren't even posted yet and you're going to get to hear her full story on a future episode of the Happen To Your Career podcast. So hang tight for that. Lisa's like, Lisa didn't know that so she's like moving her arms up and down. She's excited.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 26:31
Her story is so awesome and it's just so validating to see people that we work with and grabbing the homework by the... like taking the bull by the horns and diving in and then seeing this level of the results. I cannot wait for her to share her story with the HTYC family and community. So get excited over there.
Scott Anthony Barlow 26:52
And if you’re wondering about some of the back context for how she actually had did this and how she called up people in the companies. Well, it was very simple. She would do a bit of research on LinkedIn to identify who might be the person that she has most interested in talking to and that is fairly easily available on LinkedIn and on the other thing she would do too, is any place where she had a, what we call a weak tie connection, and I think that's not something that we made up but I can't recall who did weak tie connection being. I know Lisa and Lisa is... Lisa has... she works for a company necessarily and I get hired at that company. That's not a weak tie and that's what I'm most jobs come from actually. It's not necessarily from your friends or your family or anything else. In fact, what most roles come from especially the roles that are more hidden if you will, are going to be to be I know Lisa and Lisa know somebody else and possibly that other somebody else knows somebody else too and that's usually what we call a weak tie. It's not somebody that I know rather well.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 28:04
Yeah. It’s from the world of mathematical sociology. It was something that was studied and coined in the 70s, but that has started to really gain more momentum. Especially now in this day age and we have tools like LinkedIn where you can actually map out other people's networks to see a little seek preview of what weak ties someone else might have access to so that you can make a really strategic request for introductions and warm connections to other people.
Scott Anthony Barlow 28:31
So think about it, it’s not your first level like connections by your second and third level connections if you're going with LinkedIn terminology. All right, so she did a fantastic job of that because she would identify some of those people that she had weak tie connections with and ask for introductions as well to those people that she actually wanted to talk to. So, that worked out very well for her. Partially because she was building relationship at the same time but the bigger value I think for her was to go through and understand, "Hey, you know what? This porridge is too cold. It's no good. This porridge, it's too hot. Oh, wow. Hey, I've talked to 20 different organizations and it turns out couple of them are really just right. Now, how do I dive deeper there? Now that I'm validated that these organizations, these people, these types of roles are really great for me."
Lisa Lewis-Miller 29:27
And one last thing to jump in and say too there is that part of this process had to be seeing what wasn't great and identifying what the cold bowls of porridge were and that part of this test drive process is again to get the data about what doesn't work for you just as much as what does work for you.
I just really have a thing. You know that I felt like I was really good at. I always called myself a dabbler.
Scott Anthony Barlow 29:55
Not only did Sarah struggle with the array of passion but she also had some other sets.
I couldn't walk anymore and bedridden for at least a year, probably closer to two.
Scott Anthony Barlow 30:06
After she recovered physically, Sarah begin searching for a job again and struggle quite a bit.
So I felt like I keep having all these falls start which made me feel like I wasn't really building much of a resume. I knew it was too vague, but it was because I didn't know what I wanted to do, but I just didn't ever feel like I could reach higher because I didn't have the "experience", you know, kind of a thing and that's why I think this course really helped.
Scott Anthony Barlow 30:31
Sarah’s talking about career change bootcamp, which helped her realize that setbacks could still be positioned to find the perfect job.
You don't necessarily have to have the same job description for 15 years to have it applied to a new position.
Scott Anthony Barlow 30:44
Sarah was finally able to figure out what fit.
I'm going to be the Operations Coordinator for CASA, which is stands for a Court Appointed Special Advocate. And then hopefully in the next year, or so bump up to the Operations Manager.
Scott Anthony Barlow 30:57
Congratulations to Sarah in finding work fit that she loves. If you also want to figure out what work fits you and find that fulfilling career that lights you up and gives you purpose, well, you can find out how career change bootcamp can help you step by step because well, that's what we do. All you have to do is go to happentoyourcareer.com and click on career change bootcamp to apply for next opening and next co-work or you can text MYCOACH to 44222 and will send you over an application and help you figure out if it’s a great fit for you. Paused right now and go ahead and text MYCOACH to 44222.
Being willing to be open to what is your inner self really truly saying to you and not just what you hear everybody else saying, it should be.
Scott Anthony Barlow 31:46
Well, if you think about like a science experiment too, then generally, before you really, I mean you set up your hypothesis and then generally, you're doing a number of experiments in order to get one set of data that you then move forward with and then publish, right? And it's very much the same here, very much the same here. You’re going to go through a number of things that aren't a fit and that's actually okay. That means you're that much closer to validating what is good thing. So you might go through and talk to five companies and realize wow, these are terrible fits, but then you can have learned from that and realize 'hey, here's why they're terrible fits. Here's what I'm looking for or instead. Now, how do I double down in these areas that are more likely to provide, you know, this whatever it is that I want.' Additional flexibility or the creative freedom to be able to take projects and run with it or whatever it happens to be for you. So yeah great point. Now here's the thing, with the Social Goldilocks Approach that we just talked about, there's a way to amped this up even further and that's the next example that we want to go into here. This and we'll share a story about how this works too. But think about this as, now that you have... now that you've talked to all the people in all the places and you've been able to call up companies and talked about some roles and you determine 'hey, I think I have interest in this but I still would be interested in validating this even further.' How do you do that? What does that look like Lisa?
Lisa Lewis-Miller 33:24
Well, if we think about this as being a scientist in your own life and creating hypotheses and creating experiment. Experiment number two, tactic number two is, the amped up follow-up. And what this was, we had a another awesome client Mike who took a similar tactic to Laura in the Social Goldilocks Approach of talking to a bunch of different people in organizations that he was interested in and he had a much more narrow focus for the way he was thinking about what he was interested in. But what Mike did that makes his follow-up so amped up is that he would walk away from a conversation with a potential employer and during that conversation ask them questions, like what are you struggling with? What are some of the big vision questions that you are wrestling with? Or how to make the impact you want to make over the next year or the next five years? What are some things that would make your life easier and then, Mike went and he did those things unsolicited, unpaid, just for fun hearing somebody say, 'I have this need and here's the thing that we're trying to solve, or here's the things that we're better trying to scope.' He would then go create a spreadsheet, create a piece of code and create equation, create something like that. And then follow up with that person. He might have sent a thank you note right after the conversations to say, 'thank you so much for taking the time I really appreciate it.' And then a couple days or a couple weeks later following up again to say, 'hey, remember that thing that we talked about, I actually have been really thinking about that deeply and I created this thing and I want to give it to you for free, enjoy.' And being a hiring manage, sitting on the other side of that and seeing somebody who was so affected by a conversation that you had, who listen to so well and who is so excited about the work you're doing that they go and actually start doing the work for you and then send it to you, says a lot of really positive exciting things about what type of contribution that person could make if you bring them into your team.
Scott Anthony Barlow 35:20
And if you want to hear Mike’s entire story you can go back to episode 174 where we have brought him on but I thought this was so cool. And I've hired, I don't know, six or seven hundred people or something over the last 10 years. And I have very rarely seen people do something like this and it makes some massive difference in both impression. I mean just like you said, think about it if you're the hiring manager, somebody comes to you and like 'hey, you know that thing that you told me was really valuable to you but you just didn't have time to get to or your team doesn't have the bandwidth right now. So I went ahead and did it.' And you already know that in Mike's case, he already knew that it was going to be incredibly valuable because he had taken the time dig deep enough. But here's what... here's where it was even more valuable than creating really positive impressions. I think what was even more valuable is, he told me in multiple times where he did some of that work and realized, "Wow. I don't want to do this. This is not something that I'm interested in" and realized that if he was spending large amounts of time doing that type of work, it wasn't going to be a good thing for him and that happened once or twice throughout the process and that was, I think far more valuable in some cases sparing him years of potential grief in roles where he was stuck doing that on a more regular basis than even the small type of positive things that he learn out of that and he did get some very good reinforcement too and of course built some massive relationships through this too. Because again, nobody does, this very few people do this, even though you know, we're trying to change that.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 37:09
Yeah, and there are so many people who, I think come through our doors and send us emails every day saying, 'I'm not sure if I'm going to like the work' and what an easy way to talk to somebody, hear about what they're really needing and then give yourself the time and the space to, without their knowledge, without their pressure, try it out and see if you enjoy answering the call, answering the need of what they have or what they requested and if the answers yes then boom. The bad takes time of agonizing and tons of number questions off of the table and validates for you that hey this could be a really great for me. And this was fun for me and this one context and I bet it would be fun for me if I get to solve problems like this even more.
Scott Anthony Barlow 37:54
You know, here’s what really interesting too. I have had about out of those six or seven hundred people or whatever that I've hired. I had about three people that have actually done this. And out of those three, two out of the three really did not, they didn't do the project as what I would have expected as paid for. Like if I'm being really honest, like if that project would come in and we were paying them a hundred fifty thousand dollars a year or something like that, then I would have been less excited about it, but I wasn't expecting it. It met sort of the minimum need and what if I was paying a hundred fifty thousand dollars a year for that. What would have been a subpar project potentially in my mind was now like way above expectations and that's the... because of where my expectations were set at the beginning. So it's really interesting and I bring that up only to say that it doesn't even have to be perfect work because I think Mike could have labored on this for really long periods of time and then gone through his head and said, "Oh geez! It's just not good enough yet. I can't turn it in." But instead, the more valuable thing was he got to try it out, he got to understand all the learnings that came from that, decide, hey, is this something I want to dive further into? Yes. No. Great. Fantastic. I've got my learnings. And then, you got to add something that was really valuable because it exceeded expectations from the beginning which were zero.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 39:25
Yeah, absolutely such a cool way to make a lasting impression on your potential future employer. Speaking of ways to make lasting future methods on future employers, shall we go to test-drive experiment number three?
Scott Anthony Barlow 39:41
Let's talk about it. This is called 'freelance experimentation' or we like to think about it as the 'Paid Research Method.' Here's an example. Let's take Andrew and his story. So Andrew was working in different types of social media marketing. Well, he's working at a few different types of marketing period apart of that was social media. He was not totally satisfied with his... not only satisfied with his company, not totally satisfied with his career. So he had determined, "Hey, I know something's wrong here. I don't necessarily know exactly what it is that I want to be doing and where I want to double down." And so one of the things that he did is he actually started taking some of the tiny bits of skills that he had developed in his role around the French portions of his job with social media and began doing that for a friend's company on a freelance basis. So he was helping his friend, he was getting paid what felt like a small amount to him. Although we figured out later. Actually, it was really high dollar per hour value because it didn’t take him a lot of time because in this particular case one of the things that he learned was he really liked having some additional creative freedoms, and he got a couple other learning to, how to doing this. But the really important part for Andrew, more valuable than anything else was that he had another outlet to be able to design an experiment around and this is something that allowed him to be able to try it out and even get paid of it for it and be able to say "hey, is this something I want to dive further into? And based on the learnings that I have, how do I want to dive further into it?" And in his case, it was a yes, I absolutely need the dive further into this because I’ve learned that, I need to have some of these creative freedoms and I have learned that you know what, I actually like getting paid for doing this thing on a more regular basis. So that's something that you can do too and being able to go through, identify a place where you can get a very small project to start with and think about it as a, where are the low hanging fruit? Do I have a friend that needs this? Do I have, you know, is there a section in one of the companies from the vendors that I happen to work within my current company that’s need a little bit of, whatever it might be, whether it's social media, whether it is, you know, some other skill set on its entirety, whether it is taking a portion of what your current job is and that you already think that you’re enjoy and trying to flesh that out on a smaller scale project. Also, there's actually entire websites built around us like Upwork and Fiverr, where for pretty minimal amounts of time, you can get set up on there and begin taking on small jobs.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 42:41
Yeah. I love it. And that something you just sort of touched on that I want to flush out is the idea of this paid research or this freelance experimentation tactic and applying it within your own current employment because if you already have a job and it's, you know, it's like a 7 out of 10 on the scale of what you're looking for, and you wanted to be a 10 out of 10 and you like the culture, you like the organization. They're totally ways to make an internal change, an internal pivot to try out something brand-new, you know, in the government, I think they call it a 'detail' where you get to swap over into a new Department. Try out something that is an expansion where your past background and everything that you know about the organization can be brought in and applied in different way. For then, you're getting paid to do work in your 40 hour-ish a weak position, but you're getting the opportunity to develop new skills, try something out to see if you like it and it can then create the springboard on the platform for you to make a bigger transition if you don’t love doing it inside of your current organization wants to go elsewhere, or can be really easy simple seamless way to solve the question of feeling unfulfilled, itching brand new challenge, itching for something bigger to have an impact on within your current organization with minimal disruption to the rest of your life.
Scott Anthony Barlow 44:05
I think that's incredibly valuable because usually the mindset around people once they get to the point where they know that they don't want to be in their job anymore is I don't want to take on anything else. And when you get to that mindset where you're frustrated by one element or another, it closes you off. Just having that mindset alone has a tendency to close you off from opportunities that are right in front of you like what you’re talking about, Lisa. And when you get close off to that, then you totally miss those opportunities because almost every organization in the world is going to be willing to say 'hey, yeah. You can take on an extra project, sure. You want to do more and it's going to be valuable to the... or yeah. Okay. I think we can make that happen.' There's typically going to be someplace where you can cross over and try something out and it doesn't have to be huge either. What do we have up next? Ooh, this is a good one. So next up we have, getting your foot in the door through volunteering and you have a story that you have done this before as well.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 45:17
Yeah, and if you have listened to 147, this is probably a little bit of a rehash here, but the quick story is for my foot in the door volunteering experience. I was at a place of deep career dissatisfaction and trying to figure out what was next for me and I knew that I loved helping people and that I wanted to get an opportunity to do that deeper and further and I had applied for grad school, I take the degree, I'd apply for grad school to go and become a mental health counselor. But 24 hours before starting grad school, I had this little fear pipe up inside of my gut that said, 'are you are a 100% sure that being a clinical mental health licensed practitioner is the right way for you to do this?' And the answer was, no. I wasn't sure. And so what I did was I found a, you know, straight off the rack opportunity to do some volunteer work for free in my spare time above and beyond the 9-5 to get a sense for, do I really want to take this on as a full 40 hour a week commitment? So I found the organization crisis text line, which is an organization near and dear to my heart that I had been following for years and saw that they were accepting applicants for their crisis counselor volunteer program. And I said, you know that sounds like as good a way as any to actually understand what it would be like to do the work of sitting with people and holding space for them when they're going through really intense painful moments and helping them to become calm, become resourceful, understand how to take care of themselves in moments when things aren't okay. And it was funny for me because I love that volunteer opportunity. I had such a glorious time doing that work. But, oh my goodness, by the end of that what I knew was that it affected me so profoundly and deeply and intensely in 4 hours a week of work that I knew that I just wasn't wired in a way that I could take that and turn that into 40 hours a week of work. But for yourself when you’re thinking about this foot in the door volunteering, what are some of the organizations out there that are doing the type of work or in the sector that you're really curious about. Do they have anything that is also rack that you could apply for to, again, test out and run an experiment, be a scientist in your own life to see if that type of work feels really good for you. I have a fabulous coaching client Angie right now who is working at doing something similar with a couple of organizations that she really admires who are needing people to step into some different communications capacities and she has such a gift for communicating and being really sensitive and thoughtful especially half way to topics, that she's found a couple organizations who need exactly what she has and now it's this process of matching up what she can do with what they need in a free capacity to see if it feels good and then developing those relationships that can then help her to turn that into a more paid capacity.
Scott Anthony Barlow 48:19
That is awesome and I think that one of the, as you're talking about Angie, one of the things that occurs to me is with all of these, one of the commonalities is you can't allow the ambiguity here to stop you from trying. And I think that's what many people will think of, "but how?" well, you know, starting just like with Angie in that particular case, she took a little bit of what she knew and applied that to try and identify some of those organizations and then now it's going to be a case of approaching some of those organization and you know what? Some of them I'm sure are not going to work out and that's totally going to be okay. And that is actually part of this process which leads right into the next example too and this is something that, I think because we have a podcast and we have a website and blog and things like this then we've had a number of people become interested about and email us about, and this is what we've now dubbed officially the body and expert method and you think about this as developing expertise through different types of media. So think about this as well an example, like starting the side project with a podcast. That's what I did. That's how this business came into being a way back when. Now it could be also starting a blog. What's crazy to me is how many doors open up and how many people you get to talk to when you make yourself a member of media in anyway whatsoever? Which means, you get access to information that other people don't get to have necessarily, which means you get learning. You also get you know stuff that potentially doesn't work out too. And it's no small effort out of all of these, I would say that this is possibly the biggest ever or could be potentially one of the biggest efforts. But what it does for you is allows you to essentially trial and error building expertise in a particular field or area and through a blog, through a podcast, through another type of media could be, you know YouTube channel or developing videos. There’s lot of ways to be able do this but establishing yourself as an expert and forcing yourself to learn and forcing yourself to talk about others and putting yourself into the world in that particular way, causes you to evaluate what are the great areas about what you're considering and what are the things that don't jive with what you're considering and even if you are not actually doing the work you're developing expertise in the high degree of knowledge about the work and many times you get enough information to be able to make a good valid decision from there. What do you think about this as you think about this, Lisa? because you’ve been around a lot of people that done this sort of thing.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 51:30
Absolutely. Well, and it's interesting to think about it in terms of you, Scott, because had you not started the podcast then you wouldn't have started to be recognized as this expert in the career change space, you know, you wouldn't have two of the top ranks career change podcast in all what I do. And that might have meant that this business didn't exist. Where does this is a totally different way and it all had to do with you being brave and courageous and doing something without knowing what the turn would like to be from it just because it was going to be fun for you and, you know, what an incredible life, an incredible chapter of your career, what incredible changes you've been able to create on other people's lives because four years ago, you and your friend Mark were being goobers and goofing around on podcast that wanting to record your conversation.
Scott Anthony Barlow 52:23
Oh my goodness. Yes. And you know, what? Here's another and I appreciate that very much. And it may not have worked out and actually even prior to the podcast was started on a blog which truly was set up as an experiment and that way to decide, "Hey, do I like blogging? Is this something that potentially could turn into a business in this particular expertise?" What was the original blog, happentoyourcareer.com was designed as an experiment. It was just a really simple setup and somebody else who's done the same sort of thing as well, if you go back to our archives and let's see Dustin's episode. Dustin... and I'll look up the exact number here, but he actually developed a podcast around helping people with WordPress. Which WordPress if you don't know it's kind of like the back end of most websites that are out there in the world and it's a content management system. Think about it that way, like it stores all the pictures and how the pictures get put together with the words so that when you show up on the website it actually looks with that is supposed to look. So he did this but then as he went through and as he continued to create many different episodes of the podcast, well, he had decided he wanted to make a career change. He was having lots of fun with this and eventually got hired by the company that makes WordPress because he had such a degree of expertise in it, which that company is. It was founded by Matt Mullenweg and it’s called, I can't remember what it's called. Oh it doesn’t matter, anyway, go back and check out Dustin's podcast and he's a great example of that particular method as well. But we have another one coming up too.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 54:06
Yes indeed. So for experiment test drive number six of you keeping score at home. Number 6 is, sort of like intuitive and simple but one that sometimes people don't think about but just taking a class and I think about this as the Avery Roth which is one of the coaches from our team who also have the past podcast episode. And she was really curious about exploring being a professional photographer and learning how to create that level of beauty in the work that she was doing so she enrolled in photography school but going and totally quitting your past job and starting yourself full-time into school doesn't have to be that extreme for a way to run your own experiments. It could be taking a class on udemy or coursera or one of these other platforms that offers books or gives people an opportunity to put a specialized program from a specialized instructor online like skill shares of the world. And it could be taking class in person honest-to-goodness going and putting your butt in a seat at a community college or at a community center around and learning about whatever the thing is that you're really curious about. Maybe you have the secret dreams of starting your own jewelry store. I have a client who watched her own Etsy store at baking handcrafted artisan jewelry and it’s phenomenal. If that's something that's intriguing to you. Well, she took a ceramics class, and she's loving her ceramics class and making all these cool little bits and bobs and then started turning them into beautiful gifts and art pieces. So taking a class in something that you're curious about can be a fabulous way to test drive. Do I like this? Do I enjoy doing the work? Does it resonate with me? Does that feel good with me? Or is this something where, for the cost of whatever my tuition was, one college credit or one month's worth of Thursday afternoons, I've learned that this is fun. But this doesn't really feel like something I'd want to be devoting 40 hours a week of my time in my life too.
Scott Anthony Barlow 56:15
That is amazing. First of all I didn't know about the Etsy store. So that's even better too. As you're hearing all these different examples, all of these different stories. Here's what I would encourage you to do. We have realized after helping, at this point, thousands of people make really big life changes because that's what career changes are, there really big life changes, massive life changes, if you really look at it. And doing so, we've realize that in order to do that, it is much more about the marathon not necessarily the sprint which means that you have to be able to develop momentum. So I would look at this and if you heard one that like yeah, that sounds way easier to me or I like that one, or I can get excited about that other one or I see a way in my mind for how I can make that happen. I would advise you to just go head on into that one, stop considering and what we've also learned is that, when you get stuck in your head when you are trying to evaluate 42 different ways to be able to decide exactly how I do this experiment then that's going to cause you to know experiment at all. And then you're not going to be able to learn anything and that defeat the whole entire purpose. So I want you to be able to begin building that momentum because once you realize like how easy this can be and how much and how valuable the learnings you get from it can make the rest of your life and your career, then you'll want to do this more in different ways and then carry it to other parts of your life too. What advice would you have for people as they're thinking about designing their first experiment and how to go about this, Lisa?
Lisa Lewis-Miller 58:02
My biggest advice is something that we actually wrote about in an article on the news a couple weeks ago, which is that, fear really likes to paralyze you from taking action and one of the coaches that I love and that I have learn from Todd Herman says “fear cannot paralyze a moving target”. So the gauntlet that I would throw down, the challenge I would throw down with you listening all the other side over there is, how can you start to put yourself into motion? You know, just because something is hard does not make it inherently more valuable or inherently better. Sometimes easy first steps are a great way to get that momentum train rolling and really start to help you develop that confidence and trust in yourself to be able to take on bigger and bigger challenges. So we've outlined these six different tactics. The Social Goldilocks, the amped up follow up, a freelance experimentation, foot in the door volunteering, budding media expert and taking a class approach. And so I want throw down the coaching batlet with you listening on the other side, dear wonderful listener to say, "which one of these six feels like the right thing for you right now? It would be easy and what can you do before you move on to whatever the next thing you have for your day before you go into the office for work, before you shut this off to go to sleep tonight?" That’s the one thing single micro babies that you can take right now to move yourself closer towards accomplishing and achieving one of those things. Is it writing one email to somebody to have a coffee conversation? Is it looking of classes that are near you? Is it going to the organizational website of your favorite nonprofit or your favorite company that you've been following and sending them a pitch or sending your application to do a volunteer project. Is it going and putting your account up on Fiverr or Upwork? I want to turn all this great knowledge into action because that is one of the biggest things that we see differentiates this people who successfully, happily make these transitions from the people who are constantly consuming more and more information and using the knowledge seeking as a delay tactic and as a way that their fear is secretly popping up and derailing their progress.
Scott Anthony Barlow 1:00:23
And we don't like derailing progress as it turns out. We like the learning, we less like the you know, derailing progress. That is phenomenal. So here's what I would encourage you to do. Pick one of those out and if you want to be able to get all of those stories that we shared and all of the people that we've talked about and to be able to see it in one nice little PDF download, then go over to happentoyourcareer.com/206 and you'll have everything about this episode and can also download the full thing in sweet little PDF that way you can take it and use it as first to design your own experiment and make it happen as it turns out.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 1:01:08
I love it. And Scott one other thing I want to throw out there is, if you're committed and you want to make a change and make it happen, one of the things we talked about within the article we wrote for The Muse is getting accountability and telling people that you're doing this things. So if I can personally be the accountability buddy through you and you guys want to send me an email at email@example.com and let me know which of these challenges you’re going to take on at what the first step is, I would be so honored and so excited to get to support you, cheer you on, add any other resources or suggest any other things that might help make this faster and easier for you that I possibly can. So I want to offer that up as an opportunity for those of you who are serious about making a change because we would love to be a part of your success story.
Scott Anthony Barlow 1:01:55
You heard it here first. I absolutely love it. firstname.lastname@example.org. Lisa thank you so much for making the time. You are in Hawaii, by the way, we didn't tell that at the beginning but all the birds and everything that you've heard in the background. Yeah. She's just hanging out in Hawaii, you know, normal Tuesday.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 1:02:14
Scott one thing I actually was thinking about with being in Hawaii is that, has been a part on this journey when I took my work and turned it into something that was location-independent. What I thought was I really have to be apologetic. I'm so sorry. I'm in Hawaii but making actions really challenging and you know, I really wanna take care of you, but I'm actually asleep during those hours. And well, I recently realize is that the more that I hide from the accomplishment of the fact that this is the work that I created, the more that I, as a coach, may not be sending up to my own values and my own integrity as having my clients, you know, shouts who they are from rooftop and own it. So thank you for giving me an opportunity to say that I'm actually really proud of all of the ways in which I transition my business from being based in Washington DC to being something that I could take with me and travels that I could honor my values of spending more time with friends and family who have so graciously scattered themselves across the globe. And getting to take it more advantage of the adventurous side of myself and has it been challenging? Oh, yes. I am sure that there are students in CCB who are, you know, have felt a challenge of not being able to get an immediate reply for me and having it come in 12 hours or 24 instead of in 20 minutes, like man to be able to find ways through to live this life and to live it on my own terms and to treat this almost like my own personal career experiment or could I continue on and be location independent? And could I create a coaching practice where I coach from a different continent every couple months and find ways to help bring the minimizing of career dissatisfaction and the optimizing of career happiness to new people, new markets, new environment is so fun and so exciting for me. So imagine you two probably have examples of ways that you're running this little career experiments and being a scientist in your own life to this day and in this moment. So thanks for giving me a moment where I could step into my own integrity and own that it's been real hard work. I've had to get up really early, really crazy hours at points all throughout this journey, but for me to get to serve people and help people in the way that I want, in a way that allowed me to 100% myself has been the most validating awesome cool thing to get to accomplish and now be able to talk about and help other people get to do too.
Scott Anthony Barlow 1:04:51
We've noticed a funny phenomenon. We all have something we'd love to do or accomplish or be that is wildly unrealistic. For some people, that's starting a business for the first time. For us still others, it's making a career change to something that you know you'd love, but really just doesn't seem possible. So if you've ever thought you wanted to do something, but thought, "I don't know, if that's realistic." then I want you to ask yourself this question, what if it was possible? And what if the only thing unrealistic about what you really actually want is that you think it's unrealistic? See here HTYC, we've been helping people do the impossible since we started in 2012. And on January 3rd, we'll be releasing a three part podcast series on the behind the scenes of how we help people, just like you, make wildly unrealistic career changes. And if you're not already subscribed to the podcast, we want to make sure that you do that right now on your podcast player of choice or go to our website so that you can make sure that you're going to get this as soon as it releases on January 3rd. That way, you can stop settling and go after what you really want in this new year. It's going to not be like anything else that we've ever released before. So take a look out and make sure that you're subscribed or subscribed to our email list so that you'll get the series as soon as it drops. That way, you can stop settling and go after what you really want in this new year. And guess what, we've got plenty more coming up next week, right here on Happen To Your Career. So take a listen to what we've got in store for you next week on the Happen To Your Career podcast.
Lisa Lewis-Miller 1:06:36
You know, when you think about getting to be the boss of your own life, and all the different ways that you could fill those needs, within a fairly limited brainstorm of just trying to optimize for those two things, money and flexibility. You can come up with some wild and exciting and really expansive possibilities and ideas for yourself.
Scott Anthony Barlow 1:06:58
That's right, all that and plenty more next week. It's here on Happen To Your Career. I will see you next week when the episode releases on Monday. All right. I am out. Adios.
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