Describe in 8 words or less your current career. After writing the short description, say what’s working for you in your current gig and what isn’t.
Finally, a question that needs no intro:
What do you know now that you wish you’d known 10 years ago?
I wish I’d learned 10 years ago that being in discomfort (not panic, but in a stretch beyond my comfort zone) is a sign that I’m heading in a positive direction. If I’m not doing something that scares me just a little bit, I’m stagnant, and like pond water with algae, that starts to stink after a little while. This photo is from the summer of 2011 when I spent 8 weeks as a behavioral coach at a weight loss camp — huge stretch and great growth for me!
Let’s get right to today’s question:
What, if anything, could your parents or caregivers not abide when it came to your intended career? You could have a different answer for each parent.
This question comes from Rick Jarow, a holistic career coach. He created that audio The Ultimate Anti-Career Guide, which is produced by Sounds True (this isn’t an affiliate link – not that’s there anything wrong with affiliate links, but I wanted to be clear that I’m not profiting by any of your click-throughs on this blog – you’ll see why I have this disclaimer later in this post).
Why delving into family history is important with career work
If you want to open to your fullest sense of destiny, you cannot skip over your family history…One of the ways we move into our sense of purpose, not the only way by any means, is by understanding the immediate environment you grew out of, what needs to be finished, what the major influences were, and where you fit in or not.
In his audio, Rick includes a meditation called The Dinner Table Meditation. He asks people to imagine that they’re sitting at their childhood dinner table. Go to the time when you were in elementary school or whatever age occurs to you. Picture in your mind’s eye: you sitting there with all of the people who are usually there, plus those who influenced you even if they didn’t eat at your dinner table very often. People are eating, arguing, whatever they were usually doing, and somehow – by you interrupting, by someone asking you – you express what you want to do as a career when you grow up.
Rick guides listeners through imagining different career titles. For example, you say, “When I grow up, I’m going to be…
- an astronaut
- an artist
- a homemaker
- a firefighter
- President of the United States
- a banker
- a video game programmer
You get the idea. See if you can find something that triggers the people at the table. Look for the jaw dropped in horror.
What’s the big deal, you ask. There are always exceptions, and most people either rebel or comply to family expectations. Are you the rebel or the conformist? Either way, you’re reacting, and once you identify which camp you’re in, you can get busy on discovering your inner cues.
My response to today’s question
I suspect my dad would have been horrified if I said, “I’m going to be an investment banker and make buckets of money!” Hence, my compulsion to make a big, giant point that I’m not getting affiliate kickbacks through my links on this blog. If he’d lived long enough to know what affiliate links were, he’d seriously disapprove of them.
I’m not going to guess about my mom’s answer to today’s question because she’s following along on this blog – we’ll have that conversation offline. My sis is on my mailing list, too. I’m super curious about what both my mom and my sis have to say about this question.
Alice, my grandmother was a schoolteacher, also ultra conservative and pretty rigid in her expectations. She probably would have pursed her lips in disapproval if I said anything besides teacher, nurse, or stay-at-home mother.
We all lie to ourselves.
Sometimes we make ourselves small to soften our impact in the world. We think maybe the world isn’t ready for our full power.
Sometimes, the pendulum swings to the other end of the spectrum, and entitlement makes an appearance. We figure we’ve worked hard and the world owes us. (BTW, it’s almost always true that we’re working hard, our energy is simply misapplied.)
There’s massive territory in between these two ends of the spectrum that I haven’t mentioned yet:
- maybe you lie about what matters most to you
- maybe you tell yourself that you have to play a specific role in your family
- perhaps you have some ideas about your age and how it impacts your career.
Today’s question looks at patterns:
When it comes to your work, how do you lie to yourself and others in your life?
I notice that I’m hesitant to bring up the topic of money.
There are 8 categories for topics that we cover together over the 100 days that we focus on your next career move, and money and underlying beliefs are likely to bring up the most triggers and insight.
So, put on your seat belt. Here we go:
What is your current financial situation and how does it impact your career?
Please answer this question from 2 angles:
- The literal, fact-based approach that any outside observer would endorse as true
- The layer underneath money – ask yourself, “What’s also true about where I am with money and my career? If I viewed money as a lens to what’s really going on in my career right now, what would I see behind it?”
You’re given a chunk of major league media – your own YouTube channel with a massive amount of subscribers, for example – how do you use that platform?
Get specific about titles and format. If you were given cart blanche with a Superbowl commercial, what would you use it for? PSA? About what? Promotion of ….?
Bottomline: you’ve got a captive audience on the platform of your choice, what do you want to do with it?
If I had my own YouTube channel with an instant audience, I’d produce content like Tara Brach’s:
Yes, I’ll admit I have a serious case of hero worship going on here. Don’t get me started on chronicling all of my crushes.