Testdrive Your Dreamjob in Paris (5)

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Testdrive Your Dreamjob in Paris (5)

  1. 1. Testdrive  Your  Dreamjob  in  Paris  (5)  By  Peter  de  Kuster    Overcoming  Your  Fears.  Julia  Child  at  Le  Cordon  Bleu    This  travel  guide  of  Paris  will  tell  you  how  to  make  a  Testdrive  in  Your  Dream  Job.  When  I  read  about  people  who  made  their  money  doing  what  they  love  ten  years  ago  I  would  think  like  ‘that’s  great  but  how  do  I  make  this  happen  for  me?”        I  was  impassioned  by  my  idea  –  but  too  scared  to  do  anything  about  it.      Perhaps  that’s  how  you’re  feeling  now:  I  know  that  what  I  needed  more  than  anything  then  was  help  getting  past  my  fear.  I  needed  someone  to  tell  me  that;       1. Going  after  my  dream  job  didn’t  require  the  daredevil  leap  that  I   thought  it  did;   2. What  it  did  require  was  a  series  of  small,  incremental  steps;  and   3. Those  steps  could  be  fun  rather  than  scary      If  someone  had  told  me  these  things  back  then  I  might  have  been  skeptical  –  but  I  also  might  have  been  willing  to  give  it  a  try.  I  might  have  started  my  Testdrive  my  Dreamjob  years  sooner.    
  2. 2. You  are  probably  skeptical  too.  The  idea  of  giving  up  the  security  of  a  “real”  job  –  with  a  real  paycheck  and  real  benefits  –  is  pretty  scary  no  matter  how  you  cut  it,  and  imagining  even  the  most  exciting  dream  job  doesn’t  do  much  to  mitigate  that  fear.  The  only  way  to  do  that  is  to  address  those  fears  head  –  on.  So  let’s  do  that  right  now  –  because  the  sooner  you  get  mobilized,  step  by  incremental  step,  the  sooner  you’ll    make  that  dream  job  real.                            In  the  years  since  I  started  with  The  Hero’s  Journey  (my  dream  job)  I’ve  talked  to  many  people  who  gave  up  “security”  to  start  their  dream  jobs,  and  I’ve  discover  that  most  people  had  an  experience  similar  to  mine.  They  spent  years  thinking  about  making  the  switch  before  finally  taking  action.  Like  me,  they  had  found  their  fear  insurmountable.      They  had  a  million  reasons  for  not  doing  it:  kids  in  school,  mortgages  and  tuitions  to  pay,  an  impending  promotion,  not  the  right  time…  Every  reason  was  completely  legitimate,  but  somehow,  at  a  certain  point,  those  reasons  ceased  to  matter.  Sometimes  the  reasons  actually  went  away  (the  kids  graduated,  the  mortgage  got  paid  off),  but  just  as  often  the  underlying  situations  didn’t  change.  What  changed  was  something  inside  the  people.  They  had  crossed  a  line.  They  had  moved  from  a  place  where  they  were  making  rational  arguments  for  not  pursuing  their  dream  to  making  an  emotional  choice  to  do  so.  And  once  that  line  was  crossed,  there  was  no  turning  back.  So  what  gets  us  to  that  line?    
  3. 3.                                If  you,  too,  are  wishing  for  your  dream  job  but  are  immobilized  with  fear;  how  can  you  get  to  that  line  yourself?  Let’s  take  a  moment  to  look  at  your  nemesis,  fear.      When  it  comes  to  fear,  we  are  little  better  than  rats.  Brain  research  shows  that  we  are  wired  to  instant  gratification  over  long  –  term  gain.  Much  as  we  want  our  dream  jobs,  our  brain’s  circuitry  pushes  us  to  stay  with  the  secure  jobs  and  situations  we  already  have.  In  other  words,  now  we  want  our  steady  paycheck  and  benefits;  in  the  future  we’ll  risk  pursuing  the  job  of  our  dreams.      And  as  if  our  own  physiology  weren’t  obstacle  enough,  there  are  plenty  of  other  factors  that  encourage  us  to  stay  where  we  are.  Money,  family,  loss  of  identity,  fear  of  exposing  the  “real  you”,    the  “fraud  factor”  (that  voice  in  our  heads  that  says  “you  mean  you  really  think  you  can  succeed  at  that”?)  are  all  steely  –  gripped  forces  that  work  to  keep  us  where  we  are.          
  4. 4. But  they  don’t  always  keep  us  where  we  are.  Despite  the  fact  that  everyone  faces  those  hurdles,  some  people  manage  to  surmount  them  and  move  forward  toward  their  dreams.  People  with  nothing  in  the  bank  quit  their  jobs  and  open  successful  businesses.          Sole  earners  with  families  to  support  move  cross  country  to  work  at  starting  wages  to  their  career  of  choice.  People  who  have  spent  years  building  respect  and  credentials  in  their  profession  leave  it  all  and  go  back  to  square  one  in  another.      And  people  who  are  terrified  to  expose  the  dream  they’ve  sheltered  inside  for  decades  manage  to  give  up  the  career  that  was  “expected”  and  take  up  a  very  different  kind  of  work  they  love.  How  do  they  do  it?      What  enables  them  to  put  aside  their  fear  and  take  the  risk?      
  5. 5.    Behavioral  economists,  who  look  at  how  people  make  choices  are  well  aware  of  the  fact  that  we  tend  to  choose  the  thing  that  feels  most  desirable  in  the  present,  and  postpone  a  harder  or  riskier  choice  until  the  future.    Fortunately,  they’ve  also  noted  ways  that  people  work  around  that.      One  solution  is  to  precommit  ,  that  is,  to  take  an  action  that  requires  you  to  make  that  more  difficult  choice  now.      Precommitment  is  also  an  excellent  strategy  for  circumventing  fear.  Book  directly  a  Testdrive  Your  Dream  Job  before  you  can  talk  yourself  out  of  it.  A  precommitment  to  something  that  feels  scary.  That  way,  when  the  time  comes,  when  your  brain’s  limbic  system  urges  you  to  put  off  the  Testdrive  your  Dream  Job,  you  would  no  longer  have  the  option.      Throughout  the  dream  job  process  there  are  many  ways  you  can  precommit  to  circumvent  your  fear:    schedule  a  Testdrive  your  Dream  Job  three  months  in  the  future  because  that  far  away  it  won’t  seem  so  scary:  register  now  even  though  it  won’t  start  until  the  fall  (same  reason);  commit  to  a  bank  loan  or  a  lease  or  a  business  partner  even  if  those  actions  scare  you  silly.      Don’t  commit  if  on  every  level  you  question  the  decision  but  do  commit  if  in  your  heart  you  know  your  course  is  right  and  I’t  only  fear  that  is  making  you  hesitate.      
  6. 6.    Often  when  I  describe  the  process  of  dream  job  seeking,  people  will  say  “Well,  I  couldn’t  do  that  because  I’m  not  the  right  kind  of  entrepreneurial  person”  as  if  there  were  a  certain  personality  type  that  is  capable  of  making  the  switch.    I  know  what  they  mean.  They  have  the  idea  that  the  type  of  person  who  can  successfully  pursue  a  dream  job  is  someone  who  is  exceptionally  gutsy  (or  perhaps  foolhardy);  is  very  decisive  and  assertive;  has  a  high  tolerance  for  risk  and  ambiguity;  and  has  a  history  of  creating  opportunities  and  trying  new  things.      I  suppose  if  I  hadn’t  seen  so  many  different  types  of  people  successfully  create  their  dream  jobs,  I  would  assume  the  same  thing,  but  I’ve  known  many  heroes  and  heroines  in  the  past  and  present  to  know  that  isn’t  so.      People  who  create  their  dream  job  seem  to  come  in  all  personality  configurations;  some  are  so  assertive  that  they  resemble  bulldogs,  while  others  seem  very  timid.  Some  have  a  history  of  starting  new  ventures  and  others  have  worked  entire  careers  in  the  same  job.  Some  rattle  off  decisions  with  heroic  force;  others  deliberate  until  the  last  possible  moment  –  and  then  change  their  minds!  Whatever  you  imagine  the  right  personality  type  to  be,  I  am  sure  I  can  find  you  a  successful  hero  and  heroine  who  turns  your  stereotype  on  its  head.      
  7. 7.                      But  that’s  not  to  say  that  successful  dream  job  seekers  don’t  have  anything  in  common.  They  do.  The  more  people  I  talk  to,  the  more  I  see  certain  stories  that  most  of  them  share.  Regardless  of  their  proclivity  toward  risk  or  their  life  of  assertiveness  they  have  similar  stories  about  life  and  themselves  that  make  it  easier  for  them  to  proceed.      1. A  Clear  Story.  Successful  heroes  and  heroines  in  a  dream  job  have  a   clear  story  of  what  they  want  to  do.  It  may  be  a  particular  job,  it  may  be  a   life  style  and  a  location  (I  want  to  work  in  Italy).    Though  the  level  of   specificity  varies  for  every  person;  they  share  a  clear  mental  story  of   themselves  doing  that  work.  The  clarity  of  their  story  acts  like  a  magnet   pulling  them  forward.  When  they  meet  obstacles  along  the  way  that   magnetic  story  tallies  them  and  keeps  them  moving  toward  it.       2. Optimism  .  In  addition  to  having  a  clear  story,  successful  heroes  and   heroines  believe  that  their  story  will  pan  out.  Otherwise,  they   wouldn’t  do  it!  Some  have  a  general  confidence  in  their  own  abilities   based  on  a  history  of  success;  others  believe  that  this  particular   venture  is  primed  to  success.  They  know  that  failure  is  possible  (and   occasionally  can  ‘t  stop  that  fear  from  creeping  in)  but  most  of  the   time  they  anticipate  success  as  if  that  were  the  far  more  likely  option.      
  8. 8.  3.      Comfort  with  failure.  When  they  do  consider  failure  they  don’t  become  terrified.  Their  story  is  “What’s  the  worse  that  can  happen?  Whatever  it  is,  we’ll  deal  with  it”.  They  imagine  a  period  of  difficulty  and  adjustment  after  the  failure,  and  then  life  moving  forward  positively  once  again.           3. Heroism.  Over  and  over,  in  different  words  successful  heroes  and   heroines  express  the  same  story.  I  would  rather  try  and  fail  than   know  I  didn’t  try.”.  “I  would  be  so  disappointed  in  myself  later  if  I   hadn’t  given  it  a  try”.  It  is  a  recurring  story:  what  pushes  them  past   the  fear  is  the  knowledge  that  by  not  trying  they  will  be  letting   themselves  down.      Not  everyone  who  makes  the  switch  has  every  one  of  these  stories,  but  the  people  who  successfully  undertake  dream  careers  seem  to  have  most  of  them.  Together,  these  stories  make  a  legendary  package  that  seems  to  make  it  easier  for  people  to  move  out  of  their  comfort  zone  and  try  something  new.    
  9. 9.    But  even  these  attributes  don’t  fully  explain  why  some  people  switch  and  others  don’t.  Something  is  still  missing  from  the  equation.  And  that  missing  something,  I  believe,  is  queesting.  People  who  make  the  switch  have  reached  a  point  in  their  lives  at  which  they  simply  have  no  choice.    The  call  for  a  quest  is  reached.  It  is  no  longer  a  matter  of  wanting  to  make  a  change.  They  have  to.      
  10. 10.    I’m  the  perfect  example.  How  many  years  did  I  stay  with  a  job  for  which  I  really  had  no  passion?  How  many  exit  opportunities  did  I  pass  up  before  a  nearly  death  experience  was  the  push  I  needed?      It  took  me  so  long  because  all  those  years,  unhappy  as  I  was  my  fear  was  greater  than  my  unhappiness.    But  then  suddenly  something  switched  when  I  divorced  one  day  and  nearly  died  three  days  later  due  to  a  almost  anyeurism.  That  constellation  of  events  pushed  me  over  the  line  to  a  point  where  the  unhappiness  fear  equation  inverted;  to  a  place  where  my  unhappiness  became  greater  than  my  fear.  And  in  that  moment  my  desire  –  no,  my  need  –  to  pursue  my  dream  became  unshakable.  Even  the  financial  crises  could  deter  me.      This  is  exactly  what  I’ve  learned  in  the  stories  of  heroes  and  heroines  from  the  past  and  present  in  Paris.    Eventually  the  pain  of  not  acting  outweighs  our  fear  of  making  a  change.  It  simply  becomes  too  uncomfortable  to  stay.  That  is  the  point  at  which  we  accept  the  risk  of  change.        
  11. 11.    And  that  is  a  magic  moment  –  because  the  moment  we  cross  that  line,  things  that  previously  felt  like  insurmountable  fears  begin  to  look  more  like  manageable  hurdles.    Now,  on  your  way  to  work  you  find  yourself  dreaming  up  ways  to  overcome  them.  Instead  of  wishing  there  were  a  way  that  you  could  move  forward  with  the  dream,  you  find  yourself  thinking  about  how  you’re  going  to  do  it.  Instead  of  imagining  some  vague,  open  –  ended  timeline  you  start  fixing  your  actions  to  concrete  dates  when  you  know  you  will  be  able  to  act.  An  enormous  internal  shift  has  taken  place,  and  now  even  major  fears  as  money,  family,  identity;  and  exposing  the  ‘real  you’  begin  to  lose  their  insurmountable  quality.  As  if  a  Jaguar  has  begun  rolling  inside  you,  from  that  moment  on,  you  steadily  gather  momentum.        

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