260: When Legal Meetings with Jay-Z Don’t Bring Fulfillment



My friend Mo claims he’s worked a lot of dream jobs in his lifetime.

In his first role post-college—at Reebok HQ—he spent his time playing company basketball games at lunch and participating in marketing photo shoots with Allen Iverson.

Although these perks made the job pretty special, Mo realized he didn’t love working with a huge company, so he looked for a smaller business to join.

After some self-reflection, Mo decided he was ready to hop on a plane to LAX with a dream and his cardigan. (Ok, maybe not the cardigan part.) He booked a one-way ticket and used some connections to secure a role as an assistant in a major entertainment agency, where he brushed shoulders with screenwriters, A-list actors, and directors. Although he enjoyed getting to know the world behind the scenes, Mo knew he wouldn’t last long. Assistant work in LA can become toxic fairly quickly, so a little over a year after moving to La La Land, he felt ready to spread his wings and fly away.

Mo’s next dream required a new degree. He accepted admission to law school in Boston and set sail on finding a kickass role in the entertainment world. Using his connections, he secured an internship and eventually a legal clerk gig at Def Jam Records, home to celebrities like Jay-Z, Kanye, and Rihanna. With his third dream job secured, Mo spent his days checking clauses on Method Man’s contracts and sitting in conference rooms with Jay-Z. For the average person, this lifestyle is almost unfathomable. But according to Mo, the shine wears off pretty quickly. Before long, boredom and disillusionment set in, and he pivoted for the third time.


Like many of you, Mo found that his success didn’t necessarily equal happiness. He needed fulfillment. So he began considering his true needs, and one day he decided to become a career coach. Today, he works on the Happen To Your Career team. He uses his unique experiences and knowledge about forming connections and finding unparalleled success to help connect career seekers find their own unique happiness.

We talk to people with stories like Mo’s all the time. People run hard after dreams, make the right connections to land in incredible positions (from the outside perspective, at least), and once they arrive, they realize they don’t want this dream anymore.

Worse, they have no idea what they want. High achievers are great at achieving, but the success doesn’t always satisfy. That’s where we come in.

On our latest podcast episode, we chat with Mo about a few common questions we hear from people trying to find work they love. Read on for the highlights!



Mo’s Answer:

Get a sense of what your strengths are, and if you can’t apply them in your current job, then find some projects where you can apply them outside of work.

For example, when I was a practicing attorney making the transition into coaching, I developed my coaching skills outside of work. I took classes and practiced with friends. Anne can start by understanding what her skills and strengths are, including what she enjoys doing, and then create an opportunity to apply those discoveries.

For instance, I talk to a lot of people who are leaving day jobs in one career to get into coding and designing. All of this coding and designing takes place on off hours, nights, and weekends.

Also, many clients find opportunities within their current jobs. Most bosses are not going to say ‘no’ if you’re like, ‘Hey! There’s this thing that I think that would benefit the company tremendously and I’ve wanted to try it for a really long time. Could I take this on as an additional project?’”



Mo’s Answer:

“Linkedin is one of my favorite tools. So you have this idea of job titles and if you have an idea of the company that you would want to work for, then go to the company LinkedIn page. Click on who works there, and then use the filters to identify people with that job title. And then boom. There you go.

When you look to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you want to personalize the note to the connection request, and say something like ‘Hi. My name is Mo. I’m a law student interested in entertainment law. I see that you work in entertainment law. I’d love to ask you a couple questions about your career path. Thanks!’ Leave it at that. The connection request introduces you, lets them know why you’re reaching out, and lets them know you’re interested in their career path. It’s sort of a little bit of flattery. You’re not asking for a job. You’re just asking to learn more about their career path, which I think is sort of an easy thing.”



Mo’s Answer:

“If you already have a busy life with travel and unpredictable schedules, you might want to change your expectations. I think we sort of beat ourselves up for not doing enough, so it’s important to change expectations around how much you can actually get done.

Once you’ve changed expectations, ask yourself, ‘What’s one thing I can focus on?’

if you’re feeling like you’re going in a hundred different directions, you must prioritize. Find the first domino that will impact all the others, and focus on that. Realistically, you can’t do a hundred things in a day. Focus on being effective and not letting yourself feel so overwhelmed by everything you have to do.”

To hear more about Mo’s journey to career happiness and his detailed answers to the most common questions we hear at Happen To Your Career, listen to the full podcast above.

Mo Chanmugham 00:00
I think it's more problem if you're just not paying attention and, you know, 10 years down the wrong path, you finally kind of lift your head up and you're like, "Hey, wait a minute, how do I get here?"

Introduction 00:16
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 00:40
What would cause someone to leave opportunities working with Jay Z, or Allen Iverson or Rihanna?

Mo Chanmugham 00:48
But you know for me there's something that was always missing and that was this piece of fulfillment. So obviously from the outside looking in they were exciting jobs. And when I got there they were still exciting but the shine wears off pretty quickly in jobs like that and then it becomes a job.

Scott Anthony Barlow 01:05
That's Mo Chanmugham. He's a career coach who works here with us at HTYC. And he's left many dream jobs, multiple times over. He's also made many career changes ranging from attorney to career coach and many things in between and many different industries too. And as you might imagine, this means that he has a lot of insight on the subject, which is also part of the reason why we wanted him on our team. But aside from that, today, we get deep into some of the lessons that are in Mo's story. And Mo hangs around to answer some of your questions that have been sent in by listeners over the last couple of months. Enjoy.

Mo Chanmugham 01:46
But first let me say it's definitely been a mutual love fest. So I'm glad I'm finally part of the team here and also for me this is exciting because I'm a longtime listener and now to be a guest and part of the Happen To Your Career team is a pretty exciting for me. So I'm sort of going to be a little fanboy here, I'll let you know that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:07
I appreciate that.

Mo Chanmugham 02:07
Yes, so the question of how I became a career coach is actually really interesting. I like to say I've had several dream jobs in my career. First sort of leaving College of the Marketing major and landed a job working at Reebok, their headquarters in Massachusetts, I was a Marketing Associate there right out of college...

Scott Anthony Barlow 02:25
I'm super curious about that when you started in marketing, what caused you to actually start there? Where going to go all the way around because clearly you haven't always had been a career coach, right? And you've gone through this really interesting set of career decisions along the way and you've had multiple dream jobs as you put it and I totally understand that. I've been there too. So what cause you to get into Marketing in the first place?

Mo Chanmugham 02:48
Yes, so for me, I've kinda always knew what I wanted to do. So back then when I was going through college, I was Business Major and back then it was either you focus on finance or accounting or marketing and I'm definitely not a number guy and I was always attracted to the idea of working in the sports and entertainment industry. I kind of just paid attention to my own interests and I love movies and TV and sports back then and working in that in those industries seem like the right choice for me. And I love the idea of marketing and being creative and things like that. So marketing was a good fit for me, and it was actually my Professor senior at college, I went to Boston University, born and raised in Boston. He was actually the head of online marketing at Reebok at the time and he was sort of a young prophet internet prodigy. He was probably only a few years older than me at the time. But anyway, he was our professor. Him and I had a good relationship and come graduation time, he was hiring and I got hired to work on his team so that was really exciting coming out of college, landing a job at Reebok essentially doing exactly what I wanted to do and it was fun. You know, working at Reebok headquarters at the time. We were partnering up with... I'm dating myself here but you know, we were partnering up with athletes like Allen Iverson and Steve Francis and people like that for the NBA. And it is almost like working at a supercharged summer camp. I mean we play basketball at lunch and you know soccer outside and all kinds of stuff. It was a pretty cool place to work. Yeah, great job coming out of college. And I loved it. It was great time. But I would say for me, the learning curve was pretty fast and a few things started to happen. I would say about a year and a half into it, working for a big company is one of those things where either you love it or you hate it and I've come to learn that I'm more of a small company type of guy. I don't like feeling like a cog in the wheel. I don't like feeling like, you know decisions being made that I have no impact on and that was happening a lot at Reebok, not that I went in expecting to make decisions. But you know you if you're young and your career you want to pay attention to the to the environment and see what you like and what you don't like about it. I just didn't feel like you know, it was fun to work at a big corporation like that and also quite frankly, you know after about a year and a half, I was kind of like not excited about learning how to sell more shoes online. The bottom line of making more money for Reebok just wasn't exciting to me anymore. And I feel like there's something else out there for me. And so I started thinking about what I wanted to do next and law school kind of popped into my head and you know for no other reason just the fact that it felt like a noble career where you can still make a good living. And otherwise I had no contact with attorneys. I didn't know what attorneys did other than you know what I knew from watching way too much law and order. But life actually took me to Los Angeles. So Reebok is going to around the playoffs. I actually got laid off after about a year and a half there and I actually ended up moving to Los Angeles, had a bunch of friends from law school that were out there, had family out there. And booked a one-way ticket to LA and kind of got coffee entertainment industry bug and through my contacts there, I was able to land a job working for one of the big talent agency back there and that was such a cool experienced. You really have to sort of quintessential starting off in the mailroom working your way up to an assistance desk. Then you become a junior agent, then a more senior agent and so on. I was in that world of like hollywood actors and directors and as literary agent, I got to... our clients were the screenwriters of Motion Pictures of major films. And it was cool to be an assistant. You really sort of got to see the insides of how movie deals get put together and go working our counterparts with... we're at this at the major Studios like Warner Brothers and Universal and Sony and things like that. And again, you know, I was following that theme of I love sports entertainment and here I was getting a chance to work in the entertainment industry and you'll also see the theme of every job I've ever landed was because I knew somebody that needs somebody. I’ve never had to rely on my resume no matter where I went to college or what my GPA was so, you know that informed a lot of my coaching now and to me it's all about networking and connections and building good relationships. It makes the job search infinitely easier.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:07
An infinitely more possible too.

Mo Chanmugham 07:08
Yeah, exactly. Like, you know, I really, you know, I can't imagine how hard it would be to get a job at a large talent agency simply by applying online.

Scott Anthony Barlow 07:18
Oh, my goodness those number have to be a infinitesimally small, right?

Mo Chanmugham 07:22
I mean and because what I learned from the inside was, listen, I was someone was a young 20 something working there, but I was working alongside guys to had, you know, we're 10 years older than me and we're all starting in the mailroom pushing a mail cart making like, you know 300, 400, 500 bucks a week back then but these were guys who were older than me, less six-figure careers on Wall Street and from Major law firms in New York and major cities, all coming to chase that dream working in the entertainment industry. And so I can only imagine how competitive it is. I mean can't imagine they even looked at anyone who applied online for those types of jobs. I think everyone got in because they had a connection and they really hustle to stand out.

Mo Chanmugham 08:04
Quite frankly I think sports and marketing and entertainment, those are pretty competitive fields because people really want to work in those fields and they don't pay a lot in the beginning. So you really have to want to be in there. Be there to work in those jobs. And so working as the entertainment industry was awesome. I loved it for as long as I did it. But I also saw there that it wasn't the right fit for me pretty quickly about a year in you know, you kind of see how crazy the personalities are. There's a little bit about toxic work environment that I won't get into some of the shadiness of the entertainment industry, but for people who didn't their can they can attest to how crazy it is and if you're a fan of entourage. You know how poorly assistance get treated in that world. And for me I kind of had a little too much self-respect to put up with that kind of treatment. So, you know, another thing I would point to is that even back then I was able to sort of assess who was above me. So with the agents and senior agents above me. I did tell that there is no one in the leadership of the company that I wanted to be like, they were all kind of jerks and really sort of fell from self-absorbed and narcissistic and you know, that's just not who I wanted to be and if that's who I need to be to sort of climb up the ranks then I knew this wasn't for me as well. Not to say that, that's all of them or the entire industry. Back then, that snapshot of when I was there, that's what I saw and so for me, that's when I started looking again and the idea of law school came back up and I went ahead and applied in the back to these coasts and and went to law school, and there's still was the desire to work in entertainment industry and again through networking and this was through a very random college friend who had no ties in entertainment industry except for one random connection. I use that connection to land a summer internship working for the in-house legal department of Def Jam records in New York City. And from there I went on to graduate and work for Def Jam, you know, as a law clerk there, so my first job out of law school was working in house in Def Jam, legal department, again, I hit another dream job, I couldn't believe I landed it. And once I was on the other side, what I saw was, man, I mean, I was the only person hired that summer to work there. And when I was there, I saw students from, you know, some of the top law schools in the country, we're talking like Harvard, Yale, Stanford, sending my boss like gift baskets, and letters, because then maybe they met him at a conference or something like that, like these kids were doing exactly what they were supposed to do, as far as you know, sending letters and reaching out to the right people. But you better believe that the you know, Senior VP of legal and Business Affairs at Def Jam is not sort of reading your letters or have the time to sort of or cares about your tea or your package. You know, he's just way too busy for that. And those care packages ended up coming to me the other sort of assistance, I got to dig into those things. But to me, again, it was just very telling, like, I noticed that like, you can't just sort of mail stuff in and hope to get someone's attention. Like the only reason I got through the door was because I had a personal contact, made some introductions, but then I took it from there. And I noticed that even you know, another big lesson I got from that experience, when I was an intern at Def Jam was, you know, the day you show up as an intern at a company like that, it's a pretty informal work environment. You know, you're in jeans and sneakers, people have TVs, and couches, and stereos in their offices, you know, it's not a traditional, necessarily professional sort of corporate work, white collar work environment, it wasn't like that, like you would find it a standard law firm or something like that. And there's certainly no sort of formal internship trainee program, like I showed up, all eager to do my best and impress everyone. And it was almost like they didn't even know I was coming. So I had to really like hustle and build relationships with the handful of attorneys in the legal department. So they could trust me with giving me an assignment. You know, it's not like someone was there thinking about, "Oh, we need to make sure Mo has a good experience here and learn something." They were busy doing their work. So for me, I learned a great lesson in building relationships and earning people's trust, so that they would say, "Hey, Mo, would you mind looking up this, you know, this clause in method man's contract? Or, you know, we're working on this deal, could you, you know, draft this letter and use this template to do that." So...

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:04

Scott Anthony Barlow 08:43
Hold on, I just love that you've slipped in there. Yeah. Can you look up this clause and Method Man's contract? That just does my heart good.

Mo Chanmugham 12:42
Well, I mean that was how cool my internship was really. It was like "Oh we're going to this meeting with..." you know, this is when Jay-Z was present at the time. So...

Scott Anthony Barlow 12:52

Mo Chanmugham 12:53
You know the fact that was my work, right, like, oh, I'm going to a meeting with Jay-Z and you know Kanye’s new album is coming out. We just signed Rihanna at that time, and so yeah, like that was my work and that was fun and who wouldn't want that? I felt very fortunate very lucky to be in that position. But now like to finally like sort of wrap up my story here, my career path you know, what I took from all those experiences were I'm so glad I had those experiences. But you know for me there's something that was always missing and that was this piece of fulfillment. So obviously from the outside looking in they were exciting jobs. And when I got there they were still exciting but the shine wears off pretty quickly in jobs like that and then it becomes a job and you know, it's not like I was hanging out with Jay-Z or Kanye West during like that, like I was just sitting in an office looking at contract and paperwork all day. So the work becomes what you do and for me again, I just felt like I wasn't making enough of an impact with my skills. You know, I felt we got so much more to give, there's so much more I wanted to do. That I felt far away from that. So then I was really lost. You know, I'd pretty much work through my 20s and early 30s kind of knowing what I wanted to do and was very fortunate to land in all those positions, but now here I was at the end of that journey still feeling like, "Huh? All right, if those things weren't it, if those things didn't make me happy, like what am I really looking for here?" And that's when things get interesting and I had to really sort of pay attention to some of those like personal desires, but then try and map that onto a career and my job search and the one I sort of help clients with and it's very similar to the Happen To Your Career programming as well. It's very much geared around know yourself better but then testing out these options that you think you might be interested in. And learning from those experiences to understand what is a good fit not just you know, financially or status wise, but personally, like do you find the work fulfilling? And to me that is now like the cornerstone of any decision I would want to make as far as choosing job is concerned. Status and money just you know, don't bring you the happiness that you think it would. And I think a lot of people have to learn that lesson first. So they can then go on and sign up fulfilling job that's going to be a much better fit and much more enjoyable.

Scott Anthony Barlow 13:45
Why do you think that is though? I am super curious about that, I've got plenty of thoughts on that, but I'm really curious about your opinion on, why do you think we've sort of need to learn that individually first?

Mo Chanmugham 15:35
Yes I think that's just the queue we get from society, right? Like, in high school after that early teenage years, you know when you're thinking about career path, I think most people, in your adult life will sort of give you that advice like "Mo, here's a good career path. You'll make good money and you know, it's respectable and what not." So, you know, we also have these preconceived ideas that are fed to us from other people and not that they're necessarily bad or wrong, but, you know, we never question if that's the right advice for us, personally, right? And so I think successful people, we'll take that advice and apply it but then pay attention to whether it's a right fit for them or not. I think you know the people I see struggling with sort of making a career decision or moving forward with in their career are the people who aren't paying attention. You know, it's not so much a problem if you start off on the wrong path, I think it's more problem if you're just not paying attention and you know, 10 years down the wrong path you finally kind of lift your head up in you're like, "Hey, wait a minute. How did I get here?" And have no clue of how to get out of it or what direction you want to go into. So for me, I'm a big believer that, you know, curiosity is sort of the bedrock of anyone sort of successful path forward whether it's starting a business or choosing your career path, if you're not curious about anything, if you're not interested in anything, that's a problem because I don't know how you know, I wouldn't know how to then guide you right? Like if anyone who's like sort of looking for the answer outside of them, it's, you know, they're gonna be looking for a long time if they're waiting for someone else to tell them what to do with their lives. It's a... that's not a winning recipe.

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:27
Well, that's really interesting that you say that on a lot of different levels because it almost feels like the work that we have to do with people when their curiosity has been beat out of them for one reason or another.

Mo Chanmugham 17:44

Scott Anthony Barlow 17:44
It’s like reignite that in some different ways so that they can then leverage that as opposed to perpetually looking for this thing that is external out there as you put it that, like I think you said that, if you're going to be looking for the thing that's always you know, outside of you are outside or external or whatever you said, then you're going to be looking for a long time, and I think that is true on so many different levels.

Mo Chanmugham 18:09
Yeah, and you bring up a good point, because I think so when I work with people. People come to me, because they think they don't know what they want to do, right? That's like the fundamental question. I'm not sure what I want to do next. And through my own experience having coaching of people, I actually know something that they don't know about themselves, which is they do know what they want to do next, they're just scared to follow through on that. And so it's funny, I kind of laugh with clients were like usually by like the third, fourth, or fifth session. It's like "All right. Now that we've kind of like run around in circles because you're scared to admit you actually do know what you want. Like we can show up at this journey for you and just like really focus on the thing that you are scared to admit yourself." So what I mean by that is, you know say someone is interested in going to the entertainment industry for example, so there's that interest but immediately like the same... the other side of that coin is the immediate sort of fear of like that's impossible. So, like people have these desires then they have the limiting beliefs about those desires and then so which are stronger than their desires so that they just stay stuff. And they talk themselves out of what they really want to do and I call this like the cycle of stuff. It's like you have this desire, the next thing that pops up is our all the fears based on, you know, why you can't have anything you want. And we then think it's safer to do something else. So we all want to stay safe, right? We don't to make a fool of ourselves. We're scared of rejection, failure and all that terrible stuff. But what we don't realize is that if we don't make any effort to try, you know, we're just going to stay stuck where we are. That's not good either. So, yes, your point... our jobs are to really help people, one get in touch with what they already know, you know, giving them permission to say that's okay to want that and let's figure out how to get you headed in that direction and so it's like we help them figure out what they want and then we help them sort of clear a path to get there. I think that's sort of the essence of what we do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 20:16
Yeah. Absolutely. I envision like this big bulldozer, like running in front of you, like clearing all out these trees or anything like that`, to be able to move along that path, but absolutely love that. I think one of the things that would be super cool here is if we could take some of the questions that we have gotten really recently that have to do with these exact sort of things as people are making these transitions just like you've done so well for yourself and yes, they're trying to figure out what do they want to be doing and how do they move further down the path to be able to get at what they want and then clear the path along the way, w`ant to answer few of these questions?

Mo Chanmugham 20:56
Yeah, and actually, you know before we jump into that there's one critical point. I want to make that actually came up with a recent client of ours...

Scott Anthony Barlow 21:04
Let's do it.

Mo Chanmugham 21:05
This idea that asking for help is not something that they're doing. So the sort of perspective shift that I made with this client was, you know, imagine you're sort of a first grader learning how to read and feeling like you didn't need help from your teacher to do that. That would be silly. Right? Like of course first grader, you know learning to read would need help from a teacher. And but in the context of getting help around answering these big huge questions of what do you want to do with your life to think that you can answer that question without sort of the help of a guy or someone who's done this already or an expert or mentor would be silly and but yet people think that. People think they're supposed to know exactly what they're supposed to do. And I see that it’s coming up a lot. It's like this sort of myth that you're supposed to know what you want to do at the beginning of this process. It's almost like you know, I'm an adult. I should know how to figure this out, but you don't and that's okay and it would be silly to sort of think that you should know how to do this. You know, you're trying to figure out a problem need never take on before and why not get someone who's done it before to help you with that.

Scott Anthony Barlow 22:11
You know, it's funny like your analogy of learning how to read and I would consider learning how to read a fairly difficult thing overall, right? It's not like you just practice it once and then you're good for the whole rest of your life. It's something that takes a lot of practice and experience and learning and continuously getting better at it and I would say that, in that way, it's pretty similar. But I would also say that, you know, figuring out what you want to be doing and where you want to be spending your time and effort and energy and gifts and everything is in some ways way harder than learning how to read. So when you think about it that way it seems absurd that we wouldn't want help with that if it's an even larger challenge and an even larger problem than learning how to read. And you know, we would considered learning how to read on our own just miraculously making that happen impossible. So, I love that analogy for all those reasons and more.

Mo Chanmugham 23:14
Yeah, and just to put a finer point on this, you know for anyone listening, the point here is get help. You don't have to figure this out on your own and you shouldn't feel like you should have to figure this out on your own.

Scott Anthony Barlow 23:27
Yeah. We talk a lot behind the scenes about building out a team or building out your pit crew in order to help with all of those pieces and help create a support network and environment that is going to allow you to do whatever you want to do and this case, obviously we're spending a lot of time helping people figure out what their path is and how to make that happen. And that's what we see as required to be successful and yet you know as you said, it we all believe that we have to sort of I don't know, it's part of adulting or something like that. I don't even know where it comes from necessarily that we have we have to do it on our own and that’s in reality. Very cool. I appreciate you pointing that out because I think that's really relevant here and also interestingly enough, we're going to read off a few questions here and then we're going to go through these but these are people that I don't think all of them were necessarily super comfortable in asking these questions and trying to get help for themselves in a variety of different ways and they still did it anyways, which is pretty cool to see. This comes from Anne and she says "I want a job that fits my strengths, but I feel like I haven't been working in my strength for a really long period of time. It's been most of my day outside of my strengths and I feel like because of that, I need to almost refined my strengths. So, what should I be doing or what could I be doing that would help me refine my strengths and be able to find new work that actually has to do with those strengths." So this is not a small question, right?

Mo Chanmugham 25:12
Yeah, you know, I'm immediately struck by, one, I think it's great that she knows what she's good at. I love when people have that confidence and can sort of state like these are my strengths, these are these what I'm good at. And so it sounds like she's in an environment where she can apply those strengths. So I guess because it's such a big question of, what will sort of just make up her scenario.

Scott Anthony Barlow 25:36
Oh, I think I'm curious a little bit of the contacts knowing a little bit more about her situation. I think there's also an element here where she feels less confident about what her strengths really are because she's been almost, I don't think the right word is beaten down, I don't think that's accurate but you know, it's she's lost confidence in what who she really is and what her strengths and what she actually brings to the world. And I think that, that's why she's saying she needs to refine it. So I think that's the element that isn't said in that exact question part.

Mo Chanmugham 26:07
Yeah. Okay that makes sense. I mean If you're in the wrong work environment, it certainly can beat you down and you can lose confidence in yourself as well. So that's even more of a sort of critical situation, but I think you know for her, just the idea of knowing you want to sort of identify what those strengths are, right? That's like let's start with that. That's the step one is getting a sense of what your strengths are, and if you can't apply them in your current job, then, you know part of your responsibility, then it's to maybe find some projects where you can apply that and if it's not within work, maybe it's outside of work. I kno, so for example, even when, you know, when I was practicing attorney and I was making the transition into coaching, I was doing my coaching skills outside of work, taking classes and practicing with friends and other people. So I start with the coaching skills. I had to go out there and learn them and practice them and those took place outside of work because I want to do any coaching in my day job. So, I'm wondering if she can get created there around understanding what her skills, strengths are, the things she enjoys doing, the things she's good at and then you know if you can apply them in your day job, then you know creating an opportunity for yourself where you can volunteer, you know, do it for free. Give yourself work, the challenge of a project. I talked to a lot of people who are leaving day jobs in one career to get into coding and design things like that. All that's being done on off hours nights and weekends. So yeah, that think is certainly some areas where she can get creative around. How she can identify those careers and then create opportunities to work on those strengths.

Scott Anthony Barlow 26:38
Well, the couple things that I take from that and what you said and what you shared Mo are number one, this is something where you have to actually go and do it in order to rebuild the confidence. Confidence comes from having the courage to move forward and then going and doing whatever it is and finding some measure of success or some measure of wins. That's where confidence gets rebuilt or built in the first time around. So that implies that you got to go and do it, right? Just like you're talking about and number two, even if she doesn't necessarily, you know to your point, even if she doesn't necessarily know what those are, if she can go and experiment and do some of those things like actually go and do the things that she suspects fall into those strengths realms for her then, she's going to have that feedback to be able to say "Yes this very much feels good. This very much is my strength. I want to double down in this particular area." And if that is the case then just like you pointed out like she's already going to have the skills and that if as she's doing something outside of her normal job. And one thing to be even out or build on what you had mentioned is a lot of times find that within our current jobs if there's an area that we want to explore most employers, most bosses are not going to say no if you're like "Hey, there's this thing that I think that would benefit the company tremendously and I've wanted to try for a really long time. Could I take this on as an additional project? Will still doing my normal work and be able to do this for the company and it's something I have an interest in into and..."

Mo Chanmugham 29:36
Yeah, that’s a great point.

Scott Anthony Barlow 29:36
So, I think there's a variety of different ways and love what you were talking about there. That's amazing.

Mo Chanmugham 29:41
Yeah, I’ll you give an example from one of our recent clients who wanted to take on more public speaking, or get better at public speaking and so offer to do different presentations and workshops within his organization that was initially part of his job description but that was happening within the department and his team was happy to, happen to know more of that. And so I thought that was a great way for him to build a skill set in a sort of safe, easy and harmless.

Scott Anthony Barlow 30:09
That’s super cool. Absolutely love that. So here’s another question then, this one comes from Catherine. And Catherine says, "I've selected some roles to be able to test out." And she refers to the Goldilocks method which by the way, we did an episode a while back on how to design career experiments and one of the methods that we talked about in there is the Goldilocks method. So that's what she's referring to where you go and you identify some of the different roles and people within those roles to be able to go and interact with and learn, you know, what do they love about the role? And you know, what does it actually take to be in that role, was it take to be successful and many other things to try and determine "hey, this roles a great fit" or "this chair is too big, this chair is too small" the social Goldilocks version of that. And she goes on to say "The roles I've chosen to test are; librarian, instructional designer, training and development specialist, and science writer" and she says "Where I'm getting stuck is in knowing where to go to find people to interview that have these roles and I've gathered contact information for people in my network who have these roles such as librarians in my life and people who have colleagues controls and I found names of other contact," but she's wondering, what is the best approach here? She said she's considering researching companies to see if they list out who have this role and trying to continue her research from there. But she wants to find this contact information, she wants to find these people who are there and she's wondering the best way to do that. What do you think?

Mo Chanmugham 30:12
Yeah. Well, so first I think it's great that she know she's already reached out to friends and family and people that she knows, that's brilliant. But Scott, I don't know if you know, if you've heard of this site, it's called LinkedIn.

Scott Anthony Barlow 31:55
Whoa, hold on. No, haven't heard of it.

Mo Chanmugham 32:00
Well, let me tell you about it because it's a job seeker's best friend. But no seriously. Linkedin is one of my favorite tools and I love it and I love helping clients, use it better and more effectively, and that would be sort of my next step for her and okay great. So you have this idea of job titles and if you have an idea of like the company that you would want to work for then there's great way to sort of go on LinkedIn plug in the company name, go to the company page, click on who works there and then use the filters to identify people with that job title. And then boom. There you go. You got a list of x amount of people that you can reach out to. And then as you and I know there's a right and wrong ways to message people and connect people on LinkedIn. So, you know, we could we provide that coaching for her, around how to reach out to people and then you take the from there essentially, you know doing an informational interview with people that have interesting career that you think you might be interested in and to your point the Goldilocks method's perfect, because what you learn is from these informational interviews is "Oh this feels like a good fit or that's not what I thought it was and I now realize that's not that's not right for me." But yeah, that's probably one of my favorite and I feel easiest ways to start to gain some clarity around what you want to do next.

Scott Anthony Barlow 33:20
Very cool. So, how might that look? Let's say somebody does want to go the extra step and they want to message somebody on LinkedIn, you and I both know there’s no perfect script that works for everybody and in some cases you're going to have to modify in a variety of different ways in order to be more effective. Plus some people just don't even look at their LinkedIn. So there's that factor too in terms of like LinkedIn maybe isn't a good contact but if they wanted to do that and they wanted to get started and we’re not gonna be able to cover 100% of all the ways that you can do that here, what's an example of what that reach out might sound like her look like?

Mo Chanmugham 33:57
Sure. So just from like a framework perspective, so when you look to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you want to personalize the note, the connection request, and you would say something like "Hi. My name is Mo. I’m a law student interested in entertainment law. I see that you work in entertainment law. I'd love to ask you a couple questions about your career path and would love reaching out with you, thanks." And leave it at that. So that connection request introduces you. Let them know why you're reaching out and let them know you're interested in their career path. So, you know, it's kind of like a sort of a little bit of flattery there where you're not asking for a job, you're just asking to learn more about their career path, which I think is sort of an easy thing people can say yes to. So that's how I would sort of frame that outreach.

Scott Anthony Barlow 34:43
Love it. Absolutely. And you can't necessarily fake it but that flattery is very very helpful as long as it's true and that you are interested legitimately. And that is, yeah.

Mo Chanmugham 34:50
Right. Exactly, flattery or just showing that you know, you actually look at that person's profile and you sort of pick something specific out of that profile so you can be you know, "I'm interested in what you do. Because I'm interested in working at XYZ company" or "in this industry" or see, you know, "you went to so-and-so college as well. I'm an alumni from that college as well." So, like whatever you want to use as sort of your hook to connect with them, and let them know why you're reaching out to them. Like you said, it could be a number of different things, but you know that example. It was talking about the fact that they work in the industry that they want to work is.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:36
Very cool. Absolutely. Love it. Let's do one more question. I think we got time for one more here.

Mo Chanmugham 35:41
Sure. Yeah.

Scott Anthony Barlow 35:42
So, This actually there's five or six questions here that are very similar. So I'm going to pull from a couple of them here that we've had a really recently about time and energy. We all know that if we're going to make a change like this, especially one to work that we actually want to be doing, it requires no small amount of time or energy and action to be able to make that happen. So a variety of people had asked to something very close to the effect of, "Hey I'm finding that, I only have limited amounts of time and energy to be able to make this transition and furthermore, my schedule has a tendency to change with things like travel and other things that pop up along the way. What can I do in order to make sure that I am being able to make enough time when my schedule bouncing all over the place and also have the energy to be able to make this transition successful?"

Mo Chanmugham 36:43
Yeah, it's great question. So, you know, We're all busy, you know, there's so many projects were all working on. So if you have a full-time job, got families, got children and trying to make a career change and you've got a full plate already. So with that being said, I think there's sort of time management question can be looked at a few different ways, and one way I'm seeing that it is important to look at is managing your expectations. If you already have a busy life, it sounds like this person does with travel and unpredictable schedule like you might have to change your expectations about what sort of a perfect schedule looks like or you necessarily having the energy to do it all every day. So I think that's something to look at, let's change expectations here because I think we sort of beat ourselves up for not doing enough. Meanwhile, you know, you're tired at the end of the day, you know, and I think that's something to consider where a lot of us beat ourselves up where we probably should have to be. So changing expectations around how much you can actually get done, with all that you have to do, I think is important and then I guess the second thing I would say to that is, you know, I love one of the questions from the career change bootcamp program, around the specific topic coming from “The One Thing” book by Gary Keller, right? Keller Williams Realty.

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:00
Yeah and Jay Papasan, who was the co-author was on the podcast a while back as well.

Mo Chanmugham 38:06
Right? Yeah, exactly. And I mean, talk about a question that sort of just cuts through all the noise is, "What's one thing you can focus on that by doing so will make everything else easier?" I mean, that question is so simple and beautiful and powerful. But you know, if you're feeling like you're going in 100, different directions, you've got a lot of things to juggle, part of this is the responsibility of prioritizing. And a great way to prioritize is asking yourself that very important question of what's the one thing, what's that like, lead Domino thing that will impact all the others. And so focus on that, delegate or eliminate, you know, the 100 things on your to do list, because realistically, you can't do 100 things in a day, and really focus on being effective, and not letting yourself feel so overwhelmed by everything you have to do.

Scott Anthony Barlow 38:58
It's kind of miraculous how that works. You know, I think that, there's two sides to it; One, if we're in a situation that is not exciting to us and we want to make a change then a lot of times, we want it done sooner rather than later. On the flip side, you know if we're going after something that really is,3 I guess you could say something that very few other people in the world have where we want to be able to do work on that excites us and feels purposeful and meaningful and we get paid well for it. And all of the other things that we have a tendency to want if you're listening to a show like this and that is less common in the world. So therefore it takes a higher degree of action and sometimes more time along with that action. So then it's this really interesting balance of wanting it now and desiring it now versus doing something that is harder and does take more action and I think exactly what you just said is super important. You know that you're not gonna be able to do everything. So you have to do the most important things and then you have to be okay with doing those most important things. Because otherwise, it's not going to happen but it is. The thing that I always hear from many of our students and if you've listened to the show, you've probably heard this from a few different interviews as well. Is that, it’s surprising looking back how quickly your life can drastically change. When it doesn't feel like that in the moment necessarily, but when you're on the other side of it and you realize, "Yeah, when it's only been four months" or it's only been, you know, five or six months or something like that. It's surprising how quick that can add up when you're focused on the exact two things that you just mentioned most. I so appreciate that on many different levels. And I am repeating it again because it's just really powerful and that in some ways if there was one secret that is a big part of it.

Mo Chanmugham 41:04
Yeah, no, it's your point. I think it's always going to take longer than you want, you know as a job seeker can never go fast enough. So when you're on the other side of it, you kind of see the wisdom in that, you kind of see like all right, like it took the of honor that was supposed to take.

Scott Anthony Barlow 41:20
Yes, yes.

Mo Chanmugham 41:22
So yeah, I think people should sort of give themselves the grace and not beat themselves up about how long things take into sort of focus on, you know, what's in front of them.

Scott Anthony Barlow 41:31
Well, you heard it here first definitely take that advice and Mo I show appreciation you taking the time and making the time this has been a big another, you did not disappoint a yet another super fun conversation. Just every time I get to chat with you, I’m so glad that we have you on the team.

Mo Chanmugham 41:51
Thank you. It was an honor to be on the podcast. I love what you are doing, what you created and I am so looking forward to you know, putting more people through the program and changing some lives here. So if you're thinking about joining, do it. We've got you covered.

Scott Anthony Barlow 42:09
We've noticed a funny phenomenon. We all have something we'd love to do or accomplish or even be that is wildly unrealistic. And for some people that's starting the business for the first time, for others it's making a career change to something that you know you'd love but for some reason doesn't seem quite possible. And if you've ever wanted to do something, but thought, "nah! that's not realistic." then, I want to ask you this question. What if it was possible? What if the only thing unrealistic about what you really want is the fact that you think it's unrealistic? See, here HTYC, we've been helping people do the impossible, and do things that they felt were unrealistic since 2012. And we realized that it doesn't have to be impossible. And on January 3rd, we'll actually be releasing a three part series on the behind the scenes of how we help people just like you make wildly unrealistic career changes. If you're not already subscribed to the podcast, you'll want to make sure that you do that now in your podcast player, because you will want to look out and make sure that you automatically download this entire series. 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. We have much more coming up for you next week, right here on Happen To Your Career. In fact, we have a question that we're trying to answer very specifically, are there better ways to gauge success? And if there are, what are some of those ways? And, does it have anything to do with how we traditionally view success?

Lisa Lewis-Miller 44:06
So finding a way to move forward that doesn't also bring all the old discontent with you and that 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 it keeps you from making a move forward at all.

Scott Anthony Barlow 44:23
We get to dig into all of those questions and answers next time right here on Happen To Your Career. And I just want to say thank you, by the way, because we've had a lot of amazing people go out to iTunes, go out to Stitcher and write ratings and reviews for Happen To Your Career and they help so many other people find the show, which means then that we can get even more people into work that they absolutely love doing and really is meant for them. This one comes from Ross UK, he says, "Happen To Your Career is a podcast I've recommended to so many people I've met going through a career transition or who want to make a change even if they don't know what that change is. I love hearing other career changers stories in the depth of detail that Scott goes into with his guests. It's reassuring to hear about their struggles. Confirming that no one is alone in having a bumpy career. Regularly listening to this podcast has helped with my own career journey. So thank you HTYC from me over in the UK. Please keep more great content coming." Thank you. Hey, and we'll see y'all later. Until next time, I am out. Adios.

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