E011. Full Transcription - Sensibly Happy Podcast

Hello, everybody! You are listening to the 11th episode of Sensibly Happy podcast. This episode is about how to choose an occupation outside the box.

You have probably asked yourself: “what makes one person more successful than another?” And this is a really valid question. Because if it’s something which we can control, we can use it in our daily life and be more successful as well. I’m convinced that there are some reusable ingredients of success. This episode is about the ways to explore yourself and apply your uniqueness to this world. You’ll learn how to find the most enjoyable occupation by asking yourself a few questions and analyzing the answers.

Explore yourself and apply your uniqueness to this world

Today I’m starting the series of episodes about the ways of how we can explore ourselves and apply our uniqueness to this world. And I’m sure that by listening to those episodes, you will be more self-aware. And you will have more tools to identify your unique characteristics. Why do you need that? I believe that the only way to be truly happy is to know yourself, is to understand yourself, and to understand how you can be useful for this world. But please, do me one favor: while you’re listening to this and following episodes, please, stop the audio to think more about your own experience. And, if you have some doubts, questions, or disagreements, please, write down those thoughts and share it with me via email or Instagram direct message. I understand that every experience is different, and I want to improve my concept with the experience of more people. Let’s start!

We can change our profession

During our day, week, month, or year we do a lot of different activities, we can merge those into groups and we will have our own list of those groups. They will be: sleep, eating, relationships, vacations, and other smaller groups. But one of the biggest groups would be our job. No matter if we are employees or entrepreneurs and, of course, depending on quality of our work, we can be more or less happy.

Any person who is willing to think, sometimes should deal with a question, “Is the profession that i’m occupied in brings me enough joy? Was it a proper choice and shouldn’t I change it?” And, if sometimes you have that idea of changing your current profession, you definitely ask yourself next question, “If I want to change something, what should be my next profession? How to identify myself? How to understand what could I do in this life to make money and how to be happy by doing that?”

You definitely can find a job with bigger salary to set yourself a goal and to start working in that direction, but it’s not about the money. It’s about balance: to do what you like to do, and to have enough resources in return.

In Episode 005, we talked about the idea that you can change your current profession and you don’t need to stick to only one profession, even if you have big experience and authority in that sphere.

We also talked that for most of us the initial decision about our profession from our past wasn’t the best match between professional requirements and our skills or preferences. And that’s why most of us are still searching for that profession or business that we can switch to. Because we need more money, because we don’t like part of our duties and so on. We know that there are a lot of different spheres and professions and some of them could be our best choice. So, we think by ourselves, “Hmm, one day I will find that.” Let’s say, you already understand that the occupation you have right now is not what you want to do for the rest of your life. And you realize that you are strong and smart enough to change something.

What profession should you choose?

What profession should you choose? What criteria to apply? Unfortunately, in most cases, we don’t use too sophisticated approaches. One of most common cases is when our friend or relative tells us that there is an open position, and we have a chance to apply to it and to be chosen. We start asking questions about the position and the next thought which comes to our mind, “Okay, let’s try it. Why not?” Another case of changing occupation is when we have one or several friends or relatives who work in that sphere, and from time to time we hear different stories about that industry. “Hmm, it sounds interesting. I should probably try to switch to that sphere.” And rarely, but it happens, we investigate a lot of different professions thinking about their pros and cons. And only after that we make a decision. There are also other cases of changing occupation, but they are not widespread. But analyzing those major cases, we can definitely say that we don’t spend too much effort when choosing an occupation we’re going to spend time in for years. Do you realize that while deciding where to go on next vacation, we can spend hours and days just to choose the best hotel and to spend there only one or two weeks? But when we choose the profession for a long period of time, we often don’t spend as much effort as for choosing a vacation destination.

Results of choosing a profession using the common approach

After deciding who should we be next, we spent several more years in that sphere. And we are figuring out that there are a lot of different disadvantages which we didn’t know about what was upfront. Of course, we know that the experience that we have obtained in that last position made us stronger, and it will help us in the future. But still, after several years, on a new position, in a new profession, we feel that something is wrong and we should change it because it’s not what we thought it would be.

We think using industry standards

What is wrong with such common approach of changing your profession? I believe that the major issue is that we think using patterns that industry provides us with, we think in a frame of profession, “I need to change something. I need more money. I don’t want to do my current duties anymore. Let’s see, what do we have on the market? What positions are open, what are spheres that I can apply to?” We can easily find a list of professions in general, we can find professions related to ours. And all those are classified things, but it doesn’t cover your uniqueness.

For instance, I’m recording right now an audio for the podcast about happiness. But when I want to register on Pinterest, I can choose only from the generic list of industries. But the closest industries to my topic are fitness and health care, lifestyle, or education. But none of those cover real value of my podcast. The same situation when I want to apply for some advertisement. Better situation is with Instagram because it can choose an influencer option.

But the same situation is with professions. It’s almost impossible to be unique and to have open positions described specifically for you.

Industry standards are often outdated

Are those industrial approaches, rules and patterns effective? To find robots – yes. But to use our unique characteristics, I doubt it. So what is bad about those industrial rules?

First of all, a lot of those are redundant. Here’s an interesting story about one women underwear brand, which is called Spanx {S P A N X}. And what is interesting about that brand, is that the story of creation of that brand showed how outdated was the whole sphere. The founder of the company, Sara Blakely, didn’t have any business experience before that. But one day she realized the need. She needed seamless underwear for her white pants. But there was no such product on the market. So she spent some time investigating how that could be implemented, what technology and materials to use, and, finally, she got the prototype. After that she tried to sell the idea to different manufacturers. But the strange thing was that mostly in those underwear companies, managers were men. And every time she explained her idea, they didn’t get it. Why do you need seamless trunks, but finally she found the company were the owner had three daughters. And once during the dinner manufacturer owner shared the idea of seamless underwear with his daughters. And they agreed that this was a great idea. That’s how the business started. The second interesting thing was that during marketing Sarah realized that all shelves with underwear in clothes stores were filled with boxes with the same design – pastel colors and half-naked bodies. And her innovation was to make red packaging with cartoon images on it. And it worked really well.

How is that story related to changing a profession? This is about old redundant rules in industries. If you feel that the situation right now is different than before, then you are wrong. There is an enormous amount of old boring companies or new companies with old boring managers. Do you want to follow their rules?

Positions’ descriptions are not accurate

And right now a little bit about descriptions of positions. You’ve decided to change your profession. How can you understand what are duties? You go to one of job boards and you see the requirements for a candidate. And you think to yourself, “Oh, no! I don’t know as much as they expect. I still have a lot to learn!” There is a list of knowledge and experience that a person should have. But you know what? In most of cases, it’s a fake! Because in reality company doesn’t need all that knowledge. But at the same time, company gives a lot of duties which are not described in position’s description. And it means that while making a decision about your next occupation, you’re using fake data!

Okay, let’s say, they know what experience a person should have. But when they start describing what knowledge a person should have, they just use a common list that would be nice to have, which is common for the industry. Moreover, they ask those stupid questions during the interview. And if you ask in return, do your employees rate now use that knowledge? The answer is, “You know, right now no. But we want to introduce that in the future.” After being accepted, that person should do the same routines. And that means that this huge list of knowledge which was described in a job board’s position was only for the interview! And it looks like that list of knowledge is only needed for that specific moment, the moment of interview where person fakes or not fakes that she or he has the knowledge by reading part of it before the interview. And company fakes that all this is required. I think this is a stupid game!

Of course, there are spheres that such knowledge is really required, for instance, medicine. And sometimes, in some companies, if something will happen in the company, the person should be prepared to react adequately by having that knowledge, but how often from your experience such cases are happening?

Companies have own processes

There’s one more thing to add about the industry rules. Each company has its own specific scope of work, but still, they use more or less the same list of requirements and look for a diploma and by that they are choosing employees who fit the industry standards. But, at the same time, they decrease their own performance, because of not looking for an ideal candidate who fits their specific work. Matching an employee to the position by industry standards harms both company and employee. I would say this is ok to have some standards in an industry.

We can’t match to a position without knowing ourselves

But the issue for us as employees or entrepreneurs is that we can’t perform proper matching with the exact profession. How to compare ourselves to those standard requirements? And how to make a decision if we fit that position? The answer is, we can’t! We can’t until we explore ourselves better. To compare a position and our personality, we should have our characteristics described in details. We recall those websites where you can compare smartphones, cameras, or cars. There is a big list of specs and you decide for yourself what are most important ones for you, and what brand and model fits your needs. To use those websites you should understand your needs. For instance, you can select a smartphone by camera, by sound quality, or by durability. Yeah, you can select one, which is the best one. But even the best one will not have all the features at once. Let’s say, it does everything but you don’t like the design. Before selecting that, you should understand that one characteristic is the most important and those several others would be really nice to have. The same is with changing your occupation. To make a decision about changing a profession wisely, we should know ourselves better. Collecting information about ourselves is like a homework. We do have enough time to do this. We can do it constantly, and it doesn’t take too much focus or energy from us. Exploring ourselves is a background process which brings joy. But how to do this? That I will share with you in the next episode.

We can be unique and valuable

But again, why to explore ourselves if industries have standards and we should match them? Because it was completely true about those rules and standards before social media, and now you have an amazing chance to be someone unique and valuable. What am I talking about? By being connected to the Internet, you are no more limited with exact standardized profession. When spending my time on Instagram, I like to read bio of others. And there are some amazing examples of how a person can be unique. Here are several interesting accounts.

  • Example 1. Doctor Bethany

Dr. Bethany, intuitive psychologist, author, plus empath, plus guide, helping you find your heart magic. 1000 followers.

  • Example 2. Paper gardener

Another one. Tania Lissova, an artist, paper gardener, makes hand cut paper plants, 146K followers.

  • Example 3. Video games player 

One more account: Away_From_Keyboard: I love video games ever since I was a little kid. I’m 32 years now and I still enjoy them. Glad to have you on my page, drop a like and share my poo. 51,000 followers.

Professions limit our potential

I understand that those are not the best examples. I’ve randomly selected several. The number of followers I’ve mentioned shows that there is an interest from other people for such things, sometimes such weird things. Professions put us in a very limited frames denying our uniqueness. And by finding our niche, by marrying different professions only, we reject part of ourselves. And this is a certain path to be less happy. But there are businesses that are that are interested to have highly motivated workers that know what they are doing and they do it really well. And by distributing tasks between employees in an alternative way could increase overall performance drastically. Of course, that requires wisdom and willingness from the management, but once having that changed, company gets to a completely new level and you can be a part of it by being unique, motivated and self-driven. Do you know that most of inventions and new interesting things come to life because merging different spheres, industries, and interests? You can be the one who provides something new to this world by being a unique combination of different interests and preferences, and not by following profession’s outdated standards.

You can go your unique way in changing a profession

If you know yourself as a real performer, and the only blocker is your duties’ set, you have two options. The first one is to change something in your working place. And the second one is to change working place. Otherwise, you will keep struggling, doubting, and being demotivated. But before all of that you should do your homework to explore yourself in details. I mean it! In details! Answers like “I’m obsessed with cars, or I like working with people” are not detailed enough. That means that you still have a lot to be done!

Your task for the next week

The task for the next week. Remind yourself about the interviews that you have passed, and then try to recall questions that you received during those interviews. How many of those questions and those knowledge requirements were related to real duties on a position? And did they show you real priorities in your working place? And also, how many duties have you received after being approved for a position without the preliminary description, or without a discussion of those duties? Was the description of the position accurate enough in comparison to real positions’ duties? How substantiated is to think of a new profession based on the position description on job boards?

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