043 Making the Right Career Choices Regardless of Circumstance

Job satisfaction is a choice. Having an idea of what you want to do can be found by asking really good questions.

Andrew and Scott discuss techniques for being satisfied and finding satisfaction in your work or job search.

Don’t miss these Topics:

  • Understanding what you really want
  • The process of making changes when you are working
  • Discovering how to take control of your career

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0:00 – 05:01

Welcome to job seekers radio. I’m Andrew, and I’m Scott this production is meant to provide. You the listener meaningful support defined great careers faster. Whether you’re working or not today job seekers radio we cover some really sensitive and important topics including this idea of career choices job satisfaction. And the decisions that we make based on our circumstances. I love the idea of how do I get up and out of the circumstances? And I generally start this conversation thinking about the book the power of now by Eckhart Tolle. I have no idea if I’m pronouncing his name correctly. The idea that what’s happening today is only today circumstances. It is not the definition of life or me or whatever. And so as I approach what’s happening today. If I think about the only moment that truly matters his now and the decisions that I make. Now because that’s the only thing I can truly deal with. He he talks about the fact that you can’t do anything about the past because it’s passed. You can’t really do anything about the future. All you can do is what you can do right now today the power of now, and as a result as you think about the circumstances that are happening. They don’t define you. It’s just what’s happening. I can take a dispassionate view of these circumstances and start to look at the decisions that I am making right now extrapolate where they may lead and decide is that what I want that’s a much healthier view than. Oh, well, I’m waiting for my prince to come so to speak, right? Reminds me of quote in Kung Fu panda by Master Oogway who said yesterday, it’s history. Tomorrow’s a mystery today. It’s a gift. Yeah. So think of it that way what we’re talking about. Here really is how to approach this idea of how do. We change the career where in how do we make a good choice. A good decision for us at this time. Right. And how do we generate satisfaction in the job? We had a conversation with someone recently who really didn’t know what he wanted to do. And he grew up in he’s grown up. I totally empathize with that point of view. I’ve had several careers in my life. There are a whole bunch of decisions that I’ve made and they’ve sent me down different paths all of them in the long view of you know, looking back over my life. I realized how one has led to the other. And then that’s helpful even though they’ve been very different. It’s only in that moment of right now. And here he was trying to get an answer for us. Well, what should I do? And we kept coming back to what you want to do. It’s a decision. We have to make individually nobody else can make it for us. So the sooner we can get into that moment of Lau. Why do I want to do that the sooner were actually going to make the progress? We want. See you as a listener maybe in a situation where hey, I’m just using my skills to pay the bills what you’re in. Now. Maybe isn’t what you want. But that’s by choice. Everything is choice. We talk about that. I would suggest if you’re new to our podcast that you subscribe. And maybe go back and listen to some of the prior episodes. So you can get a feel for what we’re talking about. Everybody has a choice if you’re staying in a place that isn’t meeting your needs, professionally fulfilling, whatever that’s before we started recording you and I were talking about this. And I was reminded of a book I read about relationships many years ago called too good to leave too bad to stay. And I’ve thought about how that might apply itself to the job search to to the career in general because there are a lot of times. I got a job I use my skills. I don’t really like the job. It’s meeting my needs right now. I don’t wanna leave it. And there’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’ve talked to many people. Over my career who have been in a job. They had no intention of getting into and didn’t leave that job until they retired. It wasn’t what they wanted to do. But they made a life. What matters as I talked to people for whom that has been their job trajectory, those who actually see the virtue of the job that they’re in are the ones who are happier about their careers. And I think about my friend Fred who worked for albertson’s while he was like in a grocery store in aggressively store doing what bagging groceries stocking. Backing okay bagging groceries for people, and what struck me I he he did it for a couple years. I think but what struck me was as he was talking about it. He would tell me that one of the things that he enjoyed is the people that he got to talk to he likes to talk to people. He doesn’t over talk. He doesn’t over share. He’s not the braised crazy idea for sales guy.

05:02 – 10:04

Right. Exactly. And and he’s a very skilled salesman. But he he just likes to. Connect with people, and it doesn’t have to be deep conversation. So you think about it? How many hundred people does he see a day? It was not a career. He wanted to make bagging groceries. He’s sauve the virtue in it. And then when he got the job that he was looking for. Okay. It’s working in an industry that sees its share of colorful people, shall we say he sees the virtue in it. And he’s happy doing the work that he’s doing these are the kinds of people that you wanna hang out with right that you want to network with if you’re not seeing the virtue in the job that you have. That’s probably the first place. I’d have seek it out. Yeah. Look at the job taking inventory of what is good about the role you’re in now. What do you want to replicate in the next one? If you look for something you’re going to find if you look for what you’re not getting you’re going to find it. Yeah. We’re gonna be talking about that in just a minute. A couple of things immediately come to mind as I think about keeping your. Focused on the things that you do joy. I also remember some of our listeners are going to be out of work right now, the conversation shifts a little bit during my long term unemployment several years ago. I really had a tough time looking at the virtue of not being employed that was tough because I felt unemployable while with that said there were things that I could do that were rewarding. And interestingly enough moderating job finders group. The breakfast club was what I found and I started doing that. And every other week I was there, and I was leading conversation. I was facilitating breakthroughs for other people. I was having my own you don’t yet. I was finding value in what I was doing even if I wasn’t making money doing it that set me up. So that when I did land the job that I was in a better place, mentally spe- yet mental head space. Yes. In a better because I’m telling you when you’re unemployed for three years. After three years of solid activities looking for work. That is tough on the the mind. Let’s dry streak. Right. That’s like a hitter slump. Yeah. Oh my goodness. Was strike outs. That you you have to get before you. There were some people who were helping me by holding up the mirror making sure that I understood that some of this was based on the decisions I was making at the time. And what kind of message was I sending out there. What kind of attitude was I bringing to the table, and I had to have people holding up that mirror and being honest with me about saying, maybe you could approach this differently that brings up idea around that Scott called external validation. A lot of us are seeking in answer outside of ourselves that we want somebody else to tell us what to do or we want somebody else to say, this is the direction you should go. And I think that’s a challenging compromise. I’ve was in a relationship many years ago where I was being asked should I take this job? She was unemployed at the time she needed to work because together we didn’t make enough that was a tough moment because I told her if she felt good about it. She should take it. So she heard from me. She should take it. She took it and was miserable. And it was my fault because it was never an internal choice. It was always relying on what other people were telling her to do. And that’s how I learned my lesson. You don’t give that advice? You turn it back. What do you want to do? And that’s a hard question for a lot of people to answer this. I’m sure that when actually resulted in a lot of therapy and counseling for you. But. Some later there were a whole bunch of other came from that to go there. Right. I mean, I’m the type of person though, I think I also have enough self awareness to know when I have fear and where that comes from. But not everybody is that way. And so the thing I would encourage you to do is break out of that mindset that your identity or your your circumstances your identity, and it’s not the you don’t have to be a victim. You don’t have to play the sympathy card all the time. If you’re frayed to say, I’m afraid with that allow you to do is he’ll a little bit to your point. If I’m looking for sympathy. And I say, I just want sympathy I can get that my friends and family know me well enough if I were to say, I just want some sympathy right now. Thank give it to me that doesn’t mean that gives me an out later. But okay, you know, Scott, I feel for you. I been there, and I yeah. This is your good, right? That that always feels good being told you’re going you’re doing well it helps us. Right. The problem is when you fall into that vicious, circle, and you start to feed off the victimhood, and I’ve known people in my life. I’m still Brenswick some where for them. It’s all about being the victim because they get their validated through that external source again.

10:04 – 15:01

And they choose to do things they can think of one who does not wanna be a manager ever because he wants to live his life outside of work. So he setting up his career as always being something other than what he loves while he enjoys certain aspects of his work. He doesn’t he doesn’t to Dacian. Yeah. Yeah. Instead, he does things that cost money. And so he uses his lack of income as a way to get that sympathy, and it really after a while you start to realize, buddy urinating. Yeah. You’re you’re doing this to yourself. Why should I feel sympathetic towards you? When you keep making these decisions the person thing when I had that conversation with. Him. He’s usually, okay. Yeah. You’re right. Because he he is self-aware on a certain level. Well, you know, Scott if it was a perfect world, then I would have a perfect job. If I had a CPA, then I could be a consultant for a big accounting firm. Yeah. Well, when we start imposing these conditions on ourselves because that’s a choice. That’s decision. We start putting conditions on. Yes. We can or no we can’t because of some condition that may be valid or invalid it’s still a condition than we get what we expect guess in that way, there were seeking validation externally that what I said was true. What’s the the term for that self filling prophecy? Right. We can absolutely do that. The one thing though, that you mentioned that makes the differences the self awareness piece when I talk to people about their job search or about career in general or even something within. The aspects of the job that they’re doing. And they want some coaching on it. I really come back to the idea of talk to people who will hold the mirror up to you talk to people who will be honest with you about your behaviors and be open to what they’re saying. And there are times when I’ve known people who they just can’t get out of that circumstance. They can’t get up and out. I have recommended that they cease a professional some, you know, social worker friend if they’re gonna keep it something if you wanna keep an informal, but can affair oppressed. Their appeals can help you. If you’re looking for an answer. It will not help you with all you’re looking for is validation, it maybe it would help you. I can’t say won’t necessarily everybody’s different. But those that I have been friends with that just keep going to therapy. If they’re not looking for the breakthrough within themselves. They don’t find out if they are truly looking at what is happening inside . Of them. They are more likely to be able to make the change even if somebody else’s telling them what they observe, but they’re just talking about what the syrup. They’re not saying this is what you should do at some point is much like the twelve step. Right. You need to I admit you have a problem. And then that opens the gateway to all the other steps. Yeah. Until you admit that you need help or that you have an issue or that. You’re mildly even mildly depressed, right because of your circumstance or your victim status than all the help in the world isn’t gonna help you. I would recommend if you’re in a job right now. Most companies have an EA P program where you can get access to therapy. And it doesn’t cost you anything. It comes back to that idea. Have somebody else looking at it? And just telling you what they observe of you, not what is your answer. Too often. We talked to certainly in the the work that we do with job seekers we periodically. But fairly regularly have people asking us. Well, what should I? Do. And that is an question. We cannot answer we could try, but well, we can give suggestion all we can do and just ask questions back to say what works for us. But yeah. To your point they have to live with that decision. I don’t wanna live with that decision much like the relationship you talked about earlier you paid for that decision. You have to be able to do this part on your own mainly because nobody else can do it for you. But if you’re not getting where you need to go get help get the kind of help you actually need if you’re on the job. And maybe you’re looking for something better. Let’s take it from that perspective here on the job. I’m using my skills to pay the bills, and I need to make it change. I know I need to make a change. But I just I don’t know where do I start? Well, it starts with an idea and idea it could be something you actually want to do it could be that. I just I’m not happy with what’s going on now. And I want to open my mind, whatever that is starting with the idea if you can then. I think not in concrete terms. What are the things that? I actually enjoy about this. What what are the things that drive me? You can start setting the table a little differently, and you can write this down and reflect on it.

15:01 – 20:03

Yeah. There’s something weird about writing things down on paper like old school analog. If you will there’s a kinesthetic connection between you and the paper and the idea I would highly recommend keeping journal if you feel that hey, I have this idea. But I don’t know what to do with it. Start writing about it every time you get a thought write it down capture that information because what’ll happen is that one idea will lead to a next step. And that next step might be pivotal in you going from the job that you’re kind of interested in to the one you absolutely love. If you keep doing this. You may find connections to the job that you’re about right now to the job you actually want to do the internal barriers are the things that keep us back far more than the external or. Because when you think about once an external barrier is defined you can start figuring out. How do I go around it or over it or through it or under whatever you can start making a plan for resolving that issue because it is an external barrier that you can know something about it can be any kind of bearer is the internal barriers that hold us back the most. And I think about the change management methodology that I’m certified in the idea is internal barriers are the hardest ones to overcome because we don’t see all of the the outside of it. We can’t put it in a box. We can’t define its measurements. We can’t. We’re not. No, sir. Thomas yet? Right. Can’t see the future. We can only deal with that that we perceive right now. And so talking to these the friends that are brutally honest who can tell me exactly what they observe or give me ideas that I hadn’t thought of. And check me when I start. Two conditional is it. Oh, well that would more because. Oh, well, I couldn’t do that. Because when somebody says to me, why are you saying that or this is what I’m observing? Why are you shutting this down? That’s a different question. They can no longer using excuse. And you know, it reminds me of the gentleman that we were talking about before the podcast that had condition after condition after condition and excuse after excuse after excuse, and when we flat asked, what do you want to do he didn’t hear it? He didn’t hear the question at all. So almost had to say it again, we had to rephrase it a different way we had to protect him because he’s internal barriers were so strong that it was hard to get through. Well, and I don’t think anyone had really seriously asked him what he wanted to do. I don’t know that he was acquitted yet to answer that question. I remember the first time I was asked to my career. I was a junior salesperson at a hotel, and we had the. The executives from the management company touring all of the properties in our region. And when the senior vice president of sales top person asked me what you wanna do. I couldn’t answer the question because I’d never been asked. I never put that thought before other than when I was a kid. I wanted to be an actor that question I can answer. But what he wanted to in your career? Now, why hadn’t given it any thought? So I couldn’t answer the question. Here’s the issue. I couldn’t move forward in my career until I knew what I wanted making a decision for what you want is clarity actional. And once you decide what you want is. It’s like a spark and the spark and then turn into a flame, the flame whole gives you the light you need to move forward to hold up that torch and take that next step. Don’t let your conditions your internal barriers get in the way of you being satisfied in the role that you’re seeking ultimately we met. Mentioned this in a prior podcast. But I think about the quote there to quotes on different sides, depending on where you are you can use either one the first one when in doubt, do nothing the clarity will come. But then there’s also believe it was patent. I can’t remember which world or to something. When in doubt, do something either side, and it really depends on what what your style is. Are you the action type where you think are whatever that is consider what is actually going to drive you because you are the one making the decisions about your career? If you abdicate that responsibility. You either take what comes to you or you can be like, my friend who complains about everything not everybody has their crossed hair is and making these career tour choices these decisions are up to you. It’s not up to somebody else or the company or the economy or something external that you can’t control. It’s all inside. And you need to be the promoter. The advocate. The agent of your own career satisfaction. And you need to defend that I think about our friend Klay on his way, he opens up his job, finders group each week telling the participants you already have all the answers within you.

20:03 – 21:31

This is true. You have all of the answers within you which questions are you going to ask? And how are you going to answer them is that the parting quote today? Sure, we’ll leave it with that question. What is it? What questions are you going to ask yourself, and how are you going to answer them? Well, that’s great. Thank you for joining us today on job seekers radio. You can get all the show notes and resources at seekers radio dot com forward slash zero for three by the way, we have a free resource on that website. There’s a pop up that will come up when you go there to get the episodes and subscribe, it’s called the anatomy of networking conversation. It’s an e book that Scott night put together, it’s a free gift from us to you. We. Just appreciate your time and energy and attention to this session. And we want you to pass it on pass it on the wider the audience, the more people we can impact with this message. Thank you for joining us and head over to items and subscribe to future episodes. You’ll also be able to get a view towards the ones from the past. We want you to go in if you can take one more minute get in there and provide us a rate and review, we’d like to be able to take your comments and questions and include them in future episodes because we are listening. We want to incorporate your feedback into future episodes. So that we can make this more beneficial experience for you, Andrew Scott, we’ll see next time. Thanks

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