What do you want to be when you grow up?
In this week’s episode, Anna looks at how to design your dream job, and it starts with having clarity on what you want. Knowing what you want is the key to earning more money, doing a better job, and making a bigger contribution.
Have a listen to learn how you can make sure that your career matches your purpose and your values, and brings you the fulfilment that you’re after.
*Resources mentioned during the episode*
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How to design your dream job
Hi there, welcome back, as we look at how you can design your dream job, and it sounds very frivolous, it’s the kind of thing we ask children, what do you want to be when you grow up and want to be a fireman or a vet, or a superhero, astronaut, and actress, whatever it is. But the thing is, and I say this, again, again, you have to know what you want, before you can go out and find it, or probably more likely create it. I think we get lost in the day to day even after in my case, I’ve started my business, I do a lot of this work in terms of envisioning and designing and so on at the beginning, before I know it, I’m hustling away, you know, doing what I was doing in my previous corporate job, which no, it was a long time ago. So don’t even remember what I was doing 10 years ago, I quit. Or you just go down a path, which perhaps wasn’t the one that you wanted isn’t isn’t the right one for you. But it just kind of is the thing that you feel you should do.
And so before you know it, you’re creating something that doesn’t look anything like what you wanted it to, sometimes, you know, it can be fortuitous that can go off in an unexpected, exciting direction.
But you know, you you need to be clear on what you want, so that you can actually go about finding it, building it, creating it, and it’s not frivolous. You know, I speak to you, as someone who’s very privileged, I think, as a listener, you are too, in terms of the situation we’re in that we have the skills, the experience, the qualifications, the education, the the relative economic security, and so on, to go out and create something pretty amazing. And I also have the belief that we will earn more money, do a better job, make a bigger contribution, if we love what we’re doing, if we’re good at what we’re doing, rather than being somewhere we don’t want to be. So that’s a little bit of my philosophy. So a few things to think about. We’ve been dancing around this for the last few weeks, the episodes we talked about, you know, how can you be your own best boss, last week, we talked about what flexibility looks like for you, and so on, right? So, so this is kind of bringing all that together really thinking about what your dream job is. And there are a few different angles you can come at this from right. And of course, this is something I spent basically the last 10 years doing. So I have a lot of material on this. And I’ll try to be succinct today. And but do let me know if you want any more resources. The first one I’ve talked about many times, is what some people call your iki guy, certainly your purpose, which is that famous Venn diagram that you may have come across, certainly, if you’ve been part of my community, whether you call it your iki guy or not, as you know, doesn’t really matter that it’s a really powerful concept, I think, and a really good way to think about it when it comes to designing your dream job or business. And those four circles are number one, work that you really love doing. Number two work that you’re really good at, I think I usually do those in a different order, but it doesn’t matter. Number three, work that you really believe in, that makes a difference in the world, it’s a cause that you strongly resonate with that, that has an impact. It’s something the world needs. And number four, you can monetize it, right? It pays you because this is a job, it’s not a charity. You know, it’s, it’s something that’s actually going to bring you money. So that’s the best place to start. I think, you know, I just had a call with someone the other day, and that was the exercise I gave them, I think already gives you pretty much all you need, to some extent, certainly from the big picture of the type of work you want to be doing.
The type of business you want to be building, finding the patterns between Oh, right, well, I’m a really good writer, I love writing. I’m really good with people. You know, I’ve always been really patient and good at teaching complex concepts in a simple way.
And I also really believe in this. And, you know, actually, there’s definitely a need for that. And people will pay for such right, if you can find that pattern. That’s magic. That guarantees I think that you will have a successful business in terms both of financial success and something that you’ll love doing that you’ll be good at, and it’ll be rewarding. So that’s the first one, you could stop there if you want. A few other ideas, though, values is a big thing I talk about a lot. And it was one of the first exercises I was ever given. If not the first when I was doing my coach training, I come back to it again, again. It’s not something I had ever done before. And maybe if you’re new to this as well, you haven’t thought about it before. It’s something that’s important to revisit. Although I think your values don’t change drastically over time, it might change with different, you know, life stages, different ages, different family situations and so on. But certainly, you know, understanding that you really value autonomy. So to be your own boss can be quite valuable. Certainly having that freedom within the work that you do with the flexibility and of course what does flexibility mean, maybe control of your work is really important. Family First could be really important value, collaboration.
So many different possibilities right by understanding your values, gives you kind of a guide a framework through which you can assess it different decisions, different job opportunities, different projects, clients, and so on.
Ideally, you’re choosing clients and projects and, and jobs and so on employers that fit with those values. The environment, I think that’s something we don’t talk about enough. But you know, simply put simply, indoors outdoors, setting a desk, or being out and about traveling, you know, high performance, high energy, high pressure environment, and you prefer something a bit more relaxed and laid back. Do you want really sort of purpose driven values based organization? Or is it much more about the financial metrics for you? And it’s the performance and so on? Quiet, as I said, or really buzzing? Do you want to sit by yourself? Do you want to always be with people, probably a mixture of those things, but really thinking about the environment in which you thrive? That’s so important, do you like processes and knowing that you’re sort of a cog in the machine, not in a bad way, but that you know, that if I do this, that will happen. You’ve got the support around you things will work efficiently.
There’s a lot to be said about that, as I discovered, since I left that that big corporate machine? Or do you want to work in something, perhaps rather a small startup and really love that agility, flexibility, wearing lots of hats, creating things on the spot, being innovative, taking risks, and so on, really thinking about that environment as a creative space, or very professional. You know, what kind of a very diverse environment, my goodness, that’s hopefully something that we all aspire to, but it can also cause difficulties if it’s not set up in the right way and so on. What kind of culture are you after? What kind of boss and we talked about that? Right? How can you be your best boss? But what kind of boss would you want to be to yourself? Or have working with right? Working with both have? What skills and qualifications will you need to have in order to be best positioned for this kind of role? Right? So that’s something to think about?
We talked about that when we looked at career christening a few weeks ago, in terms of how can you upskill. How can you invest in your own training, learning and development to make sure that you’re staying competitive, you’ve got that edge, you’re on top of things, and you’re staying relevant.
And you’re really well positioned for this dream job that you’ve identified or the business, right, if you don’t yet have those qualifications. And it doesn’t have to be formal qualifications, that’s often I go to, but in fact, in formal training, you know, on the job experience, reading, listening to podcasts, there’s so much free content as well, which is not necessarily focused, but certainly it’s a good place to start. How can you position yourself so that you are seen as an expert, you’re credible for those types of roles and positions? And of course, we’ve talked about a lot the last few weeks, what about flexibility? What does that flexible working look like for you vacation days, working from home, working from anywhere, and the hours, the term time, and so on travel, no travel. So an exercise I do in my clients that one of the first things is to translate your big vision, all those creative ideas, that big vision into criteria. I shout out to my one of my first ever bosses, Vicenzo, I had back at Procter and Gamble, who told me something along these lines, I probably bastardize it along the way. But certainly he said, When we were looking at the next role, you know, what are your criteria, what’s really important, because you can’t you could be probably won’t get, you can’t say, I want to go to New York, and I want to have a promotion. And I want to work on this brand, because that puts a very limited. And in fact, if you added also a particular timeframe, and that that would not be possible, right?
If you’re happy to wait around for five years for that promotion, maybe that’s possible.
But more importantly, there are scenarios where people had their boyfriends back in England. So their top criteria on was to have a role in the UK, and then they may have had to compromise on the type of brand they were on. Or if you were desperate for the promotion, then that was important thing. And again, you’d be flexible on what kind of product or brand you’d work on. In my case, I’d be working in a design greater, I wanted to have more commercial experience into delivery role, as we called it, I had been working on what we call the lifestyle brand, which was the lower end of the market, I wanted to work in luxury. So that was what I went for in that role in that particular transition. But if people offered me things, what Nintendo said to me was that I needed to be able to say, you know, thanks so much. I love that. However, my top criterion is this. And so to have some kind of justification for saying no. Now, when it comes to designing your own dream job or business, it’s not so much about having an excuse to give to somebody who’s offering you something, but it really does help you to assess those different opportunities to understand okay, well my non negotiable is that I’m not going to work more than four days a week or that I have to go to work three days from home or whatever it is. And I have a friend who has recently started a job where she’s being Boston, you can only park at the office, if you’ve been working there. 10 years he kept Boston, like back at school as sort of a factory worker being shipped into the First, that sounds very bleak, but I’m sure the job will be fantastic for her. But you know, if that’s a non negotiable for you to be able to work from home, and she will be able to once she’s been there for a while, then that’s really important, and what’s non negotiable for you? What’s important. So it’s, it’s a big one, but not absolutely critical. And then what’s nice to have, you know, and it’s easy to say they’re all really important, yes, but we need to be a little bit discerning.
Now, it’s not to say we can’t have everything we dream up, because that’s the whole point here, we design this beautiful vision, I can’t necessarily from day one, you know, earn six figures in three days a week, perhaps, because at the beginning, you have no clients and so on, you have to put in a lot of work to become known in your new industry to build that credibility, create content, develop experience, guests, get the testimonials, have the confidence so that you can then raise your prices, etc, etc.
But at least you have that you’re working towards. And you know that that’s the goal. So again, you can use those criteria to assess any job postings, you can actually tell your network what you’re after, you know, if you’re looking for something, and of course, ultimately, it allows you to design your own expert consultancy business, exactly as you want it. And again, yes, it’ll take time. But certainly, you can work towards having the office environment that you want values, I would always put first. And again, the best business I think comes from that purpose Venn Diagram of work that you love doing, that you’re really good at, that you care about. And that brings in the money. And it may be that you have certain priorities, you know, when I was in my corporate role, many of you will have the same, I would say that I was more in the end of the diagram where I was good at what I did, and I earn the money. I didn’t love it. And I didn’t feel like it was sort of a worthy cause as such, if you’re lucky enough to be in a very purpose driven organization, but you’re not earning so much money, then maybe on another part of the diagram. So depending on where you are today, he might value and prioritize certain other things. Maybe you need more money right now, or you want more purpose, or you want more enjoyment. So really reflecting on that as well as a next step. What’s the priority for you right now, this next role has to bring in X amount of income, that’s usually a given for most of us. And it has to allow this kind of flexibility. I need to feel excited about it, I need to share the values of the organization and so on. Right. So designing your dream job, it sounds very sort of naive. And yeah, you know, just sort of on paper exercise, but really, I do encourage you to do it. Whether you’ve been in business for a while now. Or you think you’re in a pretty good place, or maybe you’re feeling stagnant and you’re considering leaving, you want to pivot to do something different. Really take the time to map out what that dream scenario could look like. And then you can right away compare that to where you are today and see what changes need to happen in order to get them. That’s it for today. I’m still hearing my voice is quite core. Sorry about that. I have batched quite a few episodes now on a day when I have a bit of a cold so apologies hope it doesn’t get too much in the way of your listening experience. And but thanks for listening, and I’ll see you back here next week. Bye for now
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If you’re looking for one-to-one support to help you achieve your specific life and business goals, Anna has a limited number of spots for individual coaching and mentoring.