I’ve been thinking about it in the context of how I spend my time, what I do with my career, who I invest in, where I am…every assumption, habit, and choice is coming back to “why” for me.
It’s a really important re-evaluation point — as another new friend says, “questions of purpose are not to be treated lightly.” And yet, it is one that I haven’t put enough time towards. Yet. (Hence the new blog mission statement!)
Who do I want to be?
How do I want to impact the world?
So I’m feeling a bit vulnerable — which is a great thing — by putting my flag in the sand and saying “these are the things I value, regardless of how you feel about them.” (That’s a pretty big degree of non-compromise for me! I’m an excellent people pleaser under duress, and I want to find a better way to compromise when it doesn’t matter, and stick to my guns when it truly does.)
I used the Jenny Blake Wheel of Life model to split my goals into broad categories (that overlap a bit, I know) so I could feel less like I had an insurmountable list of things and more like I could make real progress in each category incrementally. Light teal means it’s done already.
What do you think? Do you have a system for how you categorize (or document) your goals?
One of the thinkers whose work helped the ReWork crew think though fulfillment is Dan Pink. In honor of LBL’s inaugural TED Talk Thursday, here’s Dan Pink telling us about how “what science knows” is not “what business does”, and the importance of intrinsic motivation.
He points to these 3 elements of a meaningful work career:
- Autonomy - the urge to direct our own lives
- Mastery - the desire to get better and better at something that matters
- Purpose - the yearning to do what we do in service of something larger than ourselves
With this operating framework, Pink says we can maybe — maybe — maybe…change the world.
A beautiful comment on purpose.
Changing the world doesn’t mean shaking up the whole thing at once.
We want to hear from women: What’s your note to self – a piece of advice that’s helped you at work? Share your advice at http://she-works.tumblr.com
This. Just this.
Principle to live by every day.
Nat Koloc, the founder of ReWork, a company that matches people with careers that align with their values, spoke about figuring out a career that matches your values with your skills.
He started by talking about the process of identifying what you need, and identifying what companies need. Here’s the next step: you need to convince an organization that they should hire you.
This part is all about creating a narrative: who are you, and how has your past experience shaped your skills so that this job is a perfect fit for you? For 90% of jobs, you won’t be able to answer this by using linear thinking. You’ve got to distill your job functions and tasks into their purpose, and write the narrative of what you can do based on the purpose of the work you’ve done before.
From Koloc’s talk, the top qualities all companies should look for in you and on your resume are:
He recommends add these to your resume, and back them up with evidence. (Using concrete numbers, even if small, is important!)
Dropping these concepts into your resume is important, but isn’t enough. You need to connect the dots of your story for the hiring manager so there’s no doubt that you’re the ideal fit.
One way is, instead of a task-based resume like we’ve been trained to create through our lives, you could create a competencies-based resume!
Here’s the competencies concept. Change a task-based line item like:
- Manage messaging and tone for trade association by coordinating collateral across digital, traditional, offline and grassroots teams.
into a task that gives context to a competency:
- Run integrated issue advocacy campaigns: manage messaging and tone for trade association by coordinating collateral across digital, traditional, offline and grassroots teams.
Some other cool ideas on the resume front are to try a tool like Visualize.me, which is an innovative way to turn your LinkedIn profile into an infographic — a beautifully refreshing break from typical black and white ink-on-paper resumes — but years of experience visually equates to level of expertise, which could skew your resume to tell a story you don’t want it to tell.
The bottom line from Koloc is it’s not a job search anymore: people are seeking support for career and identity goals.
For knowledge workers, jobs have transcended defining our 9-5. They define us — so we’re making sure we like what they say.
What do you think? Do you like what your career says about you so far?
His business model and career philosophy (below) is based on an all-star reading list: Drive (want to read - here’s a great Brainpickings review), So Good They Can’t Ignore You (want to read, have been reading Cal Newport’s blog for YEARS) and Delivering Happiness:
There are 2 general paths for careers: reactive and path-dependency based, or strategically designed.
One tactic differentiates between the two paths: figuring out what organizations are actually hiring for. What’s the sweet spot between what you want to do, and what people are paying for?
On the “figuring out what you want to do” side, there are 3 elements to a fulfilling job:
Purpose - alignment with your values, desired impact, framed by tastes, desires and preferences. picking which passion(s) is worth suffering for (passion: a concept that’s etymologically tied to suffering).
Mastery - confidence, continual growth and improvement
Control - autonomy, getting to choose how you spend your time
You can use these three aspects to your advantage: start by making your big career decisions based on purpose. Then, use the mastery you develop to gain more control. (Your career will be the process of exchanging mastery for control.)
Your competitive advantage in the employee marketplace is the interplay of your career assets: hard and soft:
- Soft = degrees, networks, skills
- Hard = cash, computer, rings, furniture, etc.
You are constantly trading hard assets for soft and back based on market needs (what people are hiring for) and purpose. That’s how you make a play for a job in any market.
After Koloc covered the “you” aspect, he said that on the “figuring out what companies are hiring for” side of the coin, it’s a skill to be good at the cost-benefits analysis of a market or opportunity.
Evaluating opportunities is something you can accomplish by acting like a journalist and defining/testing assumptions about all levels of an hiring market: defining the market for you and/or competitors; identifying organizational culture; defining the roles and the value add they’re seeking.
Tactics to becoming a smart career investigator: use LinkedIn to look at what an organization’s competitors are hiring for and see how your skills match up (or what you need to learn/gain competencies in); get coffee with people who work at different (but similar) companies and ask them about the challenges and joys of their work. Break down this learning/discovery process into smaller and smaller tasks. [This reminds me of the meta-learning concept I discovered via Tim Ferris/Mike Malloy.]
Making a career move is scary — so if you have a choice, you owe it to yourself to be hyper-prepared and seek an opportunity in service of your values/purpose.
I’m rebranding this bad boy (I think) to be about how to change the world. Because, well, isn’t that why we’re all here? (Not to say, of course, that I’ve already done it, but rather that all of us on a mission to do it oughta band together and share resources.)
So, in the spirit of this new focus, here are some places I want to make sure to dine in DC in the AM to help fuel the fire:
1. Life is easier if you embrace hardship instead of trying to avoid it.
2. Focus on being interesting and then hurdles are predictable.
3. If you admit you’re a cliche, you can use tried and true methods to help yourself.
4. Be clear on what you hate about yourself. You have to see it to move past it.
5. You are not special. You are like other people. So find people who are like you.
Once again, Penelope is inside my head.
The first paragraph of the full article deals with how a blog needs a topic — it needs a FOCUS. Goodness knows that’s been plaguing LBL recently. Is this my repository for musings on the universe? Dating debacles? Sharing digital strategy articles? Chronicling my online shopping?
(In short: I’m listening. Are you there Penelope? It’s me, Lisa.)