Ideal job: Doing what you love to do


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Do you want to learn how to figure out what you love to do ("your ideal job"), pinpoint what's blocking you from do it, and start doing it?
This presentation is like a recipe, a working manual for finding out and doing your ideal job, often without risking it all.

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Ideal job: Doing what you love to do

  1. 1. A recipe for discovering what you really want to do and doing it Vishy Poosala 1
  2. 2. Is this for you?• Are you unclear about what you love to do? – You can use this to discover your ideal job• Do you know what you love to do, but feel stuck in your current job for some reason? – You can use this to find out what is blocking you and resolve it• Are you already in a job that you love? – You can still use this to see if you can do better.. And give us feedback to help others! 2
  3. 3. How to use this manual?3 Simple Steps1. Design the ideal job2. Discover what’s blocking you from doing it3. Remove the resistanceBonus: A flowchart of the exercises (Charts A & B)What you need1. Blank sheets of paper, a pen, an open mind, and a calm place2. A buddy to discuss it with 3
  4. 4. What this is and What this is notIt helps you start doing what you really love to do – It may not help you decide on a “specific job” like IBM vs. GE – It will help you decide if you should continue to be an employed programmer or become an entrepreneur or blogger or all ☺It’s a working manual for moving towards doing your ideal work in a way that is suitable for you – It’s not a “Quit Everything and Just Do It” fixIt’s a presentation of stuff I’ve read and heard from others – It’s not original work by me – Much of it from “I could do anything (If I only knew what it was) (”, by Barbara SherUse this along with other sources and your best judgment. Wish you good luck! 4
  6. 6. What is an ideal job for you?• It’s what you love to do – “I forget the clock” – “Can’t wait to get up and go to work” – “It fills me up and uses everything I’ve got”• It’s not necessarily what you are trained to do – The skills will come if you do what you love to do We won’t get stuck on “job vs. work vs. mission”. If you love what you do, that’s what matters. 6
  7. 7. Ex 1: What are you supposed to be doing?• Write down everything others expected you to become, e.g., • Dad: CEO of a company • Mom: Perfect home maker • Teacher: Einstein • Spouse: Rich & Retired in Florida ☺ – See how impossible it is to do all of it• Result – Realize that you may be in a job chosen because of others’ expectations! What you’re really supposed to be doing is whatever makes your heart sing. Let’s find it. 7
  8. 8. If you are a parent..Tell your children this*We know you’re unique, we know you want to find out what you’re supposed to do in this life.Go out and get what you need.We’ll be here to support you.* Like many things in this manual, this quote is also from Sher’s book listed in thecredits 8
  9. 9. Ex 2. Design the job from heaven• Write down answers to: 1. What would you be doing all day? 2. Where would you be doing it? 3. Who would you do it with? A trick: Remember some high points of the past few years of your work life and analyze why they felt so good 9
  10. 10. Ex 3. Copycat a great job• Pick from known real jobs – “Design Engineer at Apple Inc.” – “Guide at the Louvre museum” – It may be somewhat wishful • “Chef on a space mission”• Think of whose job you would love to have – “My friend Joe who is now a sports coach at a school” – “Bill Gates”• Feed this back into the What/Where/Who format 10
  11. 11. Ex 3 (optional) A shortcut through hell• Design the job from hell and flip the negatives• Dig into any past bad experiences • “Overbearing boss” becomes “want hands-off boss or none” • “Sitting all day in a cubicle” “out-doors or own office” • “Commuting 2 hrs every day” “home office” 11
  12. 12. Ideal job exercise – samples• What would you be doing all day? What would you be doing all – Creating new things that help day? others. Brainstorming. Reading and painting. Writing short stories. Blogging.• Where would you be doing it? – In an office in a city with easy access to a park and coffee shop Where would you be doing it? – Not too hot or crowded city Working at home, or better next to a beach in a Caribbean island! Traveling to exotic places around• Who would you do it with? the world. – Tiger Teams. Really smart and energetic people. Positive attitude, not cynical. They discuss Who would you do it with? everything openly, argue, and Mostly by myself and family. No execute. boss! 12
  13. 13. Ex 3. Tune your dream job1. Go over your ideal job description with a friend2. Friend reads out the job description3. You listen and help improve the story – “ok, not exactly no boss, I just want a light- touch boss”4. Back and forth, until you yell out - – “Yes! That’s it! And That’s quite realistic and that’s what I love to do” Congrats! Now you know what love to do. Let’s figure out how to start doing it! 13
  14. 14. Ex 3. Finishing Touches - ExampleWhat would you be doing all day? Reading and painting. Writing short stories. Blogging. Ok, I need to earn money too and I like teaching. May be I will also do some lectures and conduct workshops based on the books I read and blog. Painting was just a whim, I can drop it for now.Where would you be doing it? Working at home, or better next to a beach in a Caribbean island! Traveling to exotic places around the world. Well I do want to reduce travel time to airport and want to take kids to some activities in the city. May be a wooded suburban town that’s around 30mi from the city. Oh, with a beach or at least a nice pool nearby.Who would you do it with? Mostly by myself and family. No boss! Well, I do want someone to bring in the assignments, publisher deals, handle the logistics & finances. 14
  15. 15. 2. FIND & FIX THE RESISTANCE 15
  16. 16. B1. I want the sure thing. What if it fails?B5. What I really want is B2. I don’t want to be selfish & unworthy short-change my family! B4. I’m doing so well. How can I B3. I want to do so many walk from success? things, I can’t pick one If you can’t pinpoint the blocks, try the next exercise to wake them up 16
  17. 17. Ex 4 (optional). Start on it and see what happens• Experience what it is like to be committed to your ideal job – (Temporarily) make a commitment to the ideal job – Do it. Starting this minute. FOR ONLY AN HOUR. E.g., Make those calls. Install the software. Call the local training institute.• You felt pure joy and enthusiasm? – Congrats! Keep going for as long as you can• You see doubts in mind? – “this isn’t for you” “stupid idea” “going to fail” – “what about the family” “you’re supposed to be a lawyer!” Now you know that something is blocking you. Good. Let’s fix it next. 17
  18. 18. B1. I want the sure thing! What if my new work fails?Answer these questions. If you tick any of them, check the next slide for how to get over this block. Always taking training courses, but not putting them to use? Often daydream about changing life, but not act on it? Don’t like being pushed too much ahead of the deadline? Complain that there is no time, but spend in front of TV? When you play it too safe, you’re taking the biggest risk! 18
  19. 19. B1. Sure thing - Remedy• Worried about quitting the current job? – Don’t quit it yet! Just quit blaming it.• Is there a silent NO voice in your head (may be an overcautious parent, a cynical friend)? – Just realizing it may get rid of the block• Start doing what you LOVE to do NOW – Do it today, now, for 20min. Write. Paint. Whatever. – Confirmed that you Love it? Do it every day for 20min or longer• Result – You may be able to both hold your “safe job” and fulfill your dream job in installments every day – Or, you build confidence through action and one day you do it full time! Start taking small steps, right now. 19
  20. 20. B2. Doesn’t that make me a selfish person?I love to write. But if I start taking writingcourses, who will cook and do the dishes?Am I not being selfish to place my dreamsbefore my family?Everyone expects me to be around at home!I can’t let them down! 20
  21. 21. B2. Selfish person - Remedy• Replace one thing you do for others (e.g., dishes) for one day of the week with what you love to do• Tell them why you are doing it and what this means to you• Most of them will understand and pick up the work When you are not happy, no one around you is happy! 21
  22. 22. B3. I want too many things all over the map!You can’t make up your mind onwhich of many things to do?You get bored with one thing andmove on to others?Can’t decide on what to dobecause if you choose one thingyou’ll miss out on the others? You may be • a born scanner (“a jack of all trades, a renaissance man”) or • a deep diver (“master of one, goes to the depth of every topic”) that is currently scanning. Let’s figure out which one you are.. 22
  23. 23. B3. Are you a diver that’s afraid of diving?“I can never stick to anything. I hate to keeping dropping myprojects but I just can’t stay with them.”“I’ve lost touch with whatever it is I’m supposed to be doing. I’mjust fooling around”“I’ve never done what I wanted because I was afraid of committingand then finding out it was the wrong thing” If you mostly answered Yes, you are a deep diver that is just scanning at this juncture 23
  24. 24. B3. A real scanner? - No problem• Find work that allows you to scan (E.g., blogger, reporter, teacher) OR,• Do it sequentially as follows• Write down the multi-avatar list – If you were many people, what would each of you do? – Poet, pilot, journalist, guitarist, etc.• Quickly answer these questions with one of the above – Which life can you devote to this year? – Which life can you do when the 1st one is completed? – Which activities can you do for 20 min or less each day? – Which ones can you do on a weekend? – Which ones can you do once in a while?• Make a 3-year plan and start on it Being a scanner is just fine! You just need to plan a bit more than others so you can do many of these things. 24
  25. 25. B3. A hesitating diver? - Remedy• Get into the habit of commitment – Spend 30min every day learning something for a month – Need not be about your ideal job. E.g., juggling, salsa, painting• Make it easy to stick to the ideal job commitment – Write down your commitment in some place visible – Announce to your friends – Take one step after another – just because you made that commitment Diving, but one step at a time. 25
  26. 26. B4. On the wrong track and moving fast“I’m in a great job, everyone respects andpays me well. But I feel I’m going the wrongdirection and can’t turn around!”“I’ve got it made. But I’m not enjoying it.The work is dreadful and leaves no time forfamily” WINNER: anyone who does what they love. LOSER: someone losing time doing something they don’t like. 26
  27. 27. B4. Wrong track - Remedy• Start saving money – Why? Fast track & Unhappy Buying stuff to make up for it. An unending trap.• Learn something new you like – Nothing to do with job skills (you already have too much of it!) – E.g., Photography lessons, writing workshop• Figure out your lost dream – Read autobiographies – Write a journal of your past – to remember who you were!• See if you can stick to the current track but make some course corrections• Or, strike out on a new path, and take the best of your current job with you 27
  28. 28. B5. What I want is unworthy (in others’ eyes)“I want to be a singer. But my parents aredoctors. My siblings are professors. Singingfeels so trivial and unworthy!”“I want to be a school teacher. But I have aPhD. What will my colleagues think?” Rejecting the values of the tribe is not easy. But we have to start listening to ourselves. 28
  29. 29. B5. Unworthy job? - Remedy• First, confirm that others indeed think that it is trivial!• Write down an imaginary debate – Me vs. The Tribe (family, colleagues, classmates, ..) – Jill: “I want to be a singer” – Parents: “Trivial job, when people are starving” – Jill: “Singing can make people happy and motivate them too”• Step out and meet people in that field – Take a singing class, join a Facebook page for aspiring school teachers• Write down why someone with your background is a perfect fit for that ideal (“trivial”) job – “PhD helped me think deep into problems. That means I can also solve some really sticky problems with teaching inner city kids” Most people will come around when they see you persist with your vision. 29
  31. 31. Chart A: Roadmap START No, May be Love what you do now?Design Ideal Job Yes Congrats! Do Remove the blocks more of it!Start doing it for 1 hr No Yes Figure out what’s Getting worried? Feeling resistance? blocking you (Chart B) 31
  32. 32. Chart B. The full list of blocking factors in Sher’s book B1. I want the sure thing. B2. I don’t want to be selfish & What if it fails? short-change my family! B3. I want to do so many B4. I’m doing so well. How can I things, I can’t pick one walk from success?I’m afraid to choose. I might get B5. What I really want is trapped unworthy Why do it? Nothing will ever Every time I go after what I match what I had and lost want, I drop the ballI’m trying to go after it, but my It’s not my fault! The world heart’s not really in it won’t give me a break I’ve tried so many things and Been through a big change. nothing does it for me Don’t know what to do now 32
  33. 33. Credits• I could do anything (If I only knew what it was), by Barbara Sher – Consider buying the book (• Mentors and personal experiences• Online reviewers of an early draft• Sources of images in this manual 33
  34. 34. Thank you for reading and good luck!• Liked it? Have any suggestions? – Please leave me a note on my blog• Share this presentation with others who may find it useful 34