We all have that dream. The dream to have enough money so that we could live out our lives in the manner of our choosing.
Money is always the obstacle.
We either don’t make enough, or we spend too much trying to make ourselves happy, or at least happy enough to continue on wishing we had more.
No matter the circumstance, there has always been a time (usually when sitting in traffic on the way to work) when we’ve wanted to chuck it all and quit our drudge of a desk job. It’s a nice daydream isn’t it? Just imagine: Wouldn’t it be nice to do what you really want to do instead of what you’re supposed to do, or what you have to dFo?
These questions are the topic of a video narrated by the late author Alan Watts. Watts, a native of London, became fascinated with Far Eastern life at a young age. After a short stint as an Episcopal priest in Chicago, he left the church to focus on Asian studies. His studies led him to Zen Buddhism, which he wrote and spoke extensively about.
Watts’ worldview changed radically with his immersion in Zen philosophy. The video “What If Money Was No Object” is one in a series of audio lectures he recorded before his passing in 1973.
One of the main points of this talk is the futility of earning a college degree simply as a way to earn money, just like you would get some personal $10000 loans 24/7 application processing or some long term installment loans approved. Watts speaks of a situation involving graduating students who come to him for career advice, during a time when he worked as a vocational counselor.
Watts’ first question to the students is, “What would you like to do if money were no object?” The reply was usually, “Well, I’d like to be an artist/painter/writer/….” Watts then turns the conversation back to the point, “You can’t earn any money that way.” What Watts is looking for is an admission from the student that they are only looking for a way to earn money.
The most important point of Watts’ talk is to “do what you really want to do, and money be damned.” His scathing indictment of “working solely for money” is that the chase for riches will cause one to end up working in a job that they don’t like, for their entire life. In his words, “It’s stupid!”
Ultimately, Watts does come back around to earning money. But his advice for earning a living is a much more creative, and satisfying way of doing it. The basic premise is, “Do something you love doing, become extremely good at doing it, then charge a fee for doing it.” Earn money while you do something you love to do.
The importance of Watts interpretation of Zen philosophy, as it relates to our goal-oriented, get ahead world, is refreshing. Yes, money is an object and we all need to take practicalities and realities into account. However, it is worth thinking about and exploring if there may be ways to earn a living that won’t destroy your soul, or your spirit.
It may come as a surprise, but men may have better opportunities if they stay unemployed rather if they accept part-time work.
David Pedulla, a sociologist with the University of Texas at Austin, sent out several thousand fake resumes to see how work history and gender would affect the number of callbacks. The results he found showed that women currently working part-time jobs were twice as likely to receive a callback as men.
“There seem to be penalties for men who choose to work part time that are just as significant as being unemployed, while women appeared to not face any such penalty,” reported Prof. Pedulla.
During the 2007-2009 recession, an estimated one out of every six U.S. workers lost their job at least once. The unemployment rate continued at a higher-than-average rate in the years that the economy was recovering. Research shows that the psychological and financial damage created through unemployment can be long-lasting.
The research completed by Prof. Pedulla involved over 2,400 applications, submitted for 1,210 open positions. The study was completed throughout five cities in the U.S. between November of 2012 and June of 2013. The fake resumes belonged to both female and male candidates who were graduates of large public universities throughout the Midwest.
The candidates were given similar work histories until the prior 12 months. For the most recent 12-month period, each candidate was put into one of five categories. The applicants were either unemployed, working at a job below their skill level (a retail store sales associate), were working at a position provided by a temporary employment agency, working a part-time position, or working full time.
Of the male and female applicants who currently already had full-time employment, over 10 percent received a call back from the potential employer.
The men and women who were working a job well below their skill level received much lower numbers. Of the women, 5.2 percent received a call back compared to 4.7 percent of male workers.
The candidates employed through a temporary agency received similar results. Men received a call back rate of 7.1 percent. This category came in second, only behind those who already had a full time job. The women employed through temporary services received a call back of 8.3 percent.
When it came to hiring female applicants, the employers didn’t penalize them for being in a part-time job. They received a call back rate of 10.9 percent. However, male applicants who were currently working part-time positions only received a 4.8 percent call back rate. This was just slightly better than the 4.2 percent of unemployed men who received a call back. The rate of unemployed women who were called back was 7.5 percent.
According to a separate survey, which was given to managers in charge of the hiring process, men are penalized for taking a part-time position because it creates the perception of a lack of commitment.
While this does not explain why managers don’t perceive women that way, maybe managers assume that women working part-time may have done so for childcare reasons (and are now more available to work full-time) whereas men (whom managers may assume have never had to cut back on work hours for childcare reasons) in a part-time role might be signaling something negative about their competency.
Damon Phillips, a professor at Columbia Business School, recently corroborated with Jennifer Merluzzi, an assistant professor at the University of Tulane. They began studying and researching records of around 400 business students who had graduated in 2008 and 2009 from some of the nation’s top MBA programs. The two created detailed profiles of each of the graduates, which included their work histories before, during, and after college and the grades they had received while in school. The results of their studies showed the individuals who specialized in the area of investment banking during college had been less likely to receive more than a couple of job offers, versus the students who had a wider range of experiences and backgrounds.
Merluzzi and Phillips set out to determine whether generalists truly are favored over specialists throughout the labor market. Does a jack of all trades have better odds of a more rewarding career?
Professor Merluzzi reported that specialists had certainty been penalized by the market. They not only had fewer job offers to choose from, they were also given lower signing bonuses for the positions that were made available to them. There were even cases of specialists in the field receiving over $45,000 less than their generalist counterparts.
When asked what differentiated specialists from generalists, professor Merluzzi said they took into consideration both the experiences and activities focused on the most before and during the students MBA program and throughout their internship periods. A student who had been employed by an investment bank before they began school, focused their attention on finance throughout school, and then completed an internship through an investment bank, would be considered a specialist.
A student who had worked in a field other than investment banking before starting the MBA, such as marketing or advertising, while focusing on finance, completed an internship through a consulting firm, and then began a career in the investment banking field after they had completed their internship would be considered a generalist. Once Phillips and Merluzzi had put each student in one of these two categories, they were then able to compare job offers along with compensation and benefits. The generalist had more opportunities than the specialist.
When asked why she believed being in the specialist category would be a disadvantage, Merluzzi suggested that given the strong institutional mechanisms of screening throughout labor markets, specialization would not hold as much value. For starters, employers may not be satisfied with experiences which incrementally extend previous efforts. Also, without having other information, while specializations show a high level of skill, graduation on its own accord from a leading MBA program is a strong enough signal that an individual is qualified. Therefore, it is no longer an advantage to demonstrate that level of expertise in the individual field.
It has always been sound advice to pick a particular career field, and to become an expert. When asked why this advice seems to differ so much from the result of the study, Professor Merluzzi said that among the top MBAs, there is now a strong leaning toward achieving a consistent profile either as a marketing person or a finance person. The result is many similar people within the market. Specialization becomes a commodity, which delivers less of an opportunity and even smaller chances of advancement once a position has been obtained. It also becomes a factor once a firm or financial institute begins hiring several similar candidates in a particular area of specialty, and they are given the opportunity to compare these specialist candidates against a generalist individual with more diverse accomplishments.
Merluzzi explains that a push for specialization amongst MBAs only started between 5-10 years ago. There are many factors that could have played a part in this spark, beginning with the shock created by the recession. She believes that specialization creates a feeling of understanding among students of the value they receive from a program. The proliferation of one year master’s degrees may also play a contributing role. These programs give students the opportunity to receive a master’s degree of finance for less money and they require less time to complete compared to an MBA. The problem, she mentioned, with these master’s degree programs, is that the core value of a MBA is the business training, and that is still recognized and valued by the market.
According to the research completed by the two professors, experienced hiring managers revealed that they prefer employees who have a more diverse range of attributes and skills. “Someone who has accomplished many things is better than a one trick pony who continues to do the same thing without taking full advantage of everything an MBA has to offer,” was a common response from managers in charge of the hiring process.
The word “purpose” comes from the Old French word purpos and the combination of the Anglo-French words purpos and proposer.
Purpose is defined as “the reason for which something is done, or created, or for which something exists.” In its verb form it means “to have as one’s intention or objective.” As a noun, it proposes a state of being.
Dan Pontefract, the writer of The Purpose Effect, describes a three-way relationship between one’s own sense of purpose, your employer’s intentions, and your role in your job. When these three pieces are defined, aligned, and work harmoniously with each other, then all three parties—the employee, the organization, and the society—will benefit. However, if this is not the case, there is the possibility that it can be harmful to the society, the enterprise and the individual.
When a company’s mission/purpose is congruent with that of an employee, then an individual has a higher possibility of achieving fulfillment in his or her life. This is especially so, if the organisation has a social purpose. Everyone wants to contribute something great to their world.
On the other hand, if a person enters into a business whose objective is in direct conflict with his or her own purpose, he or she can develop a negative association with their place of employment. This can mean less engagement and a worsening work ethic. When an individual’s purpose is not being met, he or she can become lethargic, isolated, and apathetic.
Pontefract describes the trifecta as a three-legged bar stool. When one leg is uneven or broken, things start to crumble, whether it is at the level of the individual, company, or society. People who are in such scenarios, simply go through the motions, waiting until their voice matters. Just an inch off of one leg of the barstool can lead to a poor outcome.
When you witness someone working hard to fulfill their discovered purpose, you can see them grow, and discover joy and self-confidence. Pontefract states that “when organizational, personal, and role purpose become symbiotic, the pro’s outweigh the con’s time and time again.”
Take Lindsay Hemric for example. In 2010, Hemric founded and chose to work for Teeki, an eco-friendly clothing company that uses the fibers from recycled water bottles to make clothing, over other manufacturers who made their products in sweatshops, using environmentally devastating practices. Teeki is committed to helping everyone involved, which helps Lindsay thrive and fulfill her personal purpose.
Purpose comes when you want to give “more” to the world.
Uncharted Play is yet another example of a firm with a higher purpose. Founded by Jessica O. Matthews and Julia Silverman in 2011, UP was built to deliver “motion-based, off-grid renewable energy,” also known as MORE, into “’everything that moves.’” Some of their inventions include the Soccket and the Pulse, a soccer ball (the former) and a jump rope (the latter) that produce energy after a few hours of use. UP wants to use “play” to prove the following:
Doing something positive for the environment doesn’t need to be a snore fest.
Anybody can be a social innovator.
If people all over the world can come together and try to fix the issues that need our attention, then the possibilities are endless.
Both aforementioned companies are trying to serve all of the stakeholders and achieve alignment of personal, organizational, and role purpose. This symbiotic relationship will provide all parties with happiness.
There are several cautionary tales when it comes to defining and maintaining purpose, both for the person and the business. Some believe that purpose miraculously appears or is divine intervention at work. Others argue that they are entitled to be given a purpose by their employers, but some higher ups disagree, especially if they value their profit margin more than their employees.
However, nothing could be further from the truth. Purpose does not just appear. It doesn’t grow on trees. You will never win a purpose at a poker table. It will not harm your career or the collective. Purpose does not mean the end of the profit. It is for the benefit of everyone.
Purpose can be synonymous with “bliss” if you let it. Purpose needs to be considered personally, for the good of society, and for the organization. So, start searching for your own purpose, find an employer that aligns with your purpose, and define your role in that company, and start searching for your bliss.
Let the wild schadenfreude (pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others) rumpus begin!
Professor Johannes Haushofer, who teaches psychology and public affairs at Princeton, recently published a CV documenting every failure in his career to date. He listed the jobs he failed to land. The papers that never got published. The fellowships that went to someone else. The university programs he did not get into. This “CV of failures” was a Twitter sensation and was picked up by newspapers globally. It was so popular that the good professor complained that it was a “meta failure” as it attracted far more attention than his entire academic achievements combined! You will see his failures listed below this article.
He confesses he’s not the first academic to publish his failures; he cites a few others who have. And credits Professor Melanie Stefan of the University of Edinburgh for the idea, first published in the journal Nature in 2010. “As scientists, we construct a narrative of success that renders our setbacks invisible both to ourselves and to others,” she writes. “Often, other scientists’ careers seem to be a constant, streamlined series of triumphs. Therefore, whenever we experience an individual failure, we feel alone and dejected.”
She recommends we keep a CV of failures, to remind ourselves that failure is an essential part of what it means to be successful, and possibly inspire a disheartened colleague or friend along the way. Prof. Stefan also mentions that academic fellowships have a success rate of about 15 percent – meaning that for every hour spent writing a successful application, she probably spent six hours for nothing.
And as you will see below, a rejection can save your life.
How can this help me?
Self-awareness. We are not saying failures are are important as successes! However, self-awareness is an important component of Emotional Intelligence (EI). We have been looking at CVs of our accomplishments for years, that ignores the bulk of our efforts. Having a better awareness of our past successes and failures could improve our self-awareness, EI, future success and performance.
Taking Enough Risk. Also, noting the frequency of our failures has something to do with whether we are taking enough risks. While you can expect that frequency to go down after age 35, as you change jobs less frequently, it is important to see how often you’re putting yourself out there. If you’re not taking a chance to fail, you’re not taking a chance to succeed.
True Grit. You will marvel at how resilient you have been and can inspire others on how to weather setbacks.
New Opportunities. As you look at all the organizations that rejected you, you might reconnect with a recruiter who now, impressed with what you have done since then, has something better in store for you.
Blessings in Disguise. If nothing else, it will be an interesting trip down memory lane, and you can feel thankful for all those paths you did not go down, and are now blessed with the friends and family you have! One of my first rejections after college was in 1998, at Sandler O’Neill, a financial services company. It was on the 104th floor of the World Trade Center in Manhattan; the view from its conference room was spectacular, with all of Manhattan at your feet. Sixty-six of its employees perished on September 11. It’s hard to even call that serendipitous rejection a failure. The long view matters, and failure is very subjective.
At the top of the motivational list for seeking a new place of employment is often an increase in income.
Additional reasons include wanting to face more of a challenge in a job, a lack of room for improvement or promotion in a current position and discrepancies with management practices.
Although theses are valid reasons for making a job change, one question that often comes to mind, is whether or not job hopping will be beneficial or harmful.
Job Change Impact
In the salary department, job hopping can be beneficial.
An ECA International Survey indicates that employees who remain in their current position will only see a four percent increase in their income, over the course of one year.
On the other hand, employees who make a switch in jobs, see anywhere from a 10 to 20 percent increase in their paycheck. This can add up to a decent amount after a few hops.
According to Ahu Yildirmaz, lead economist at ADP Research Institute, the wage increase from full-time-job switching was most pronounced for workers aged 25 to 34.
“In general, younger job holders saw their wages rise much higher than the 35 [and above] workers. This is the time of life when workers acquire skills rapidly and enjoy frequent promotions. This dynamic slows considerably for mid-life workers, aged 35 to 54, and for 55 and above, it’s even slower.”
Employees who frequently engage in job change activity are often high performers and work hard to make a productive first impression, for the time that they will remain at a particular company.
These employees are likely to be the first to volunteer for new projects and have impressive problem-solving skills as well.
Job Stability Impact
However, there are benefits to remaining with one company over time as well.
At the top of the list is the opportunity to receive promotions at a faster rate than those employees who frequently make job changes. Many companies follow a policy of promoting from within the organization before seeking to fill a vacant job position with an outside employee.
Employees who remain at one company also learn valuable skills that make them more attractive to their current employer. They often become experts at what they do, develop good internal/external networks and understand the workings of their company inside and out.
Recruiters and hiring managers are often wary of frequent job switchers and prefer candidates who have stayed in their previous role for at least 3 years.
These insights come from a study by Professor Monika Hamori at IE Business School, who says that overall job hoppers do not prosper.
So What Should You Do?
While there will always be specific cases and exceptions, in general all this information suggests that to maximize earnings and promotions:
You can change jobs more often till you hit 35.
However, ideally, you should stay with a company for around 2-3 years.
After 35, it makes more sense to stay with the same company for a longer period of time.
All around us people are discontent with their jobs and, as a result, their lives.
As children we are told that we can be whatever we want to be. Then, life happens and it proves to be much harder than that.
You wake up one day, and your life mainly consists of going to a job you despise and praying for it to be six o’clock already.
Most people are dumbfounded when it comes to figuring out how to find a job they love and still make money.
Scott Dinsmore founded a platform called Live Your Legend. It inspired people to find their passion and connect them to career possibilities.
Mr. Dinsmore gave a Ted talk about this exact thing: How to find work you love. Have a look at his talk below, or read on for the highlights.
According to Scott, A majority of the population is not happy with what they’re doing. That’s because people are not choosing what to do; they get told what to do.
Everyone believes that it’s standard to be miserable in your job. You do what you have to do, to bring home a paycheck.
There is this epidemic of complacency.
Dinsmore recounts that, when starting out in the workforce, he was told it didn’t matter if he liked his job. It was all about building his resume. He quotes Warren Buffett saying, “Taking jobs to build up your resume is the same as saving up sex for old age.” It was then that Dinsmore embarked on the adventure of making Living Your Legend.
This platform took more than four years to become successful, but he made it. It is on this platform that he shares his advice on how to achieve finding work you love.
First, you must figure out what your passion is. No one is going to tell you what your passion is. You have to look within yourself and think about something that you would love doing every day of your life. What is something that would bring you joy no matter what the salary is?
A considerable issue with society is that we are all made to believe that success is the same across the board. A huge step in finding your passion and a job you love is defining what success is to you. Scott Dinsmore provides three tips that help you to do this:
What are your unique strengths? – A person must be honest with himself and determine what he is great at and what he does terribly. What is unique to him as an individual?
What are your values? – What is important to you? Do you care about friends, health, personal time or success, and achievement?
Finally, what are your experiences? – Think about your everyday life experiences and apply it to figuring out what you want and what’s right for you. Use that life experience to determine what your passion is, what you’re exceptional at doing and what you’re awful at doing.
Once you have discovered your passion, you must work towards turning it into a career. People end up on this cookie-cutter path in life because of the fear of failing. We convince ourselves, or people around us say, that things are impossible. Through the journey of life, things discourage us from believing that we could have what we want in life.
Everything that is, was once thought to be impossible until someone did it. Dinsmore talks about how everyone thought that surpassing the four-minute mile was impossible until Roger Bannister broke it. Then, two months later 16 more people did it too. Impossibility is a state of mind. You have to be confident and tell yourself you can do it; otherwise, you’ll give up before you’ve even started.
To achieve your definition of success, you have to be motivated.Surround yourself with people who inspire you. That inspiration will light a fire under you and encourage you to achieve what may be deemed impossible.
Dinsmore tells a story about how he swam in the San Francisco Bay across the Golden Gate Bridge. He has a fear of dark blue murky water. It was especially dark that day due to inclement weather. After receiving encouraging words from his friend Jonathan, who was 13, he jumped out of the tugboat and into the water.
Dinsmore’s point is that if we all had a belief in ourselves and what we could achieve, there would be nothing stopping us.
At this point in his talk, Dinsmore discusses how Living Your Legend had not grown at all in four years, and he was almost ready to shut it down when he went to San Francisco.
There he met inspiring people who had these unique lifestyles that consisted of blogs, websites, and businesses that inspired people and allowed them to do what made them happy.
He continued expanding Living Your Legend and, after a year and a half, his platform became a success having over 30,000 users.
Dinsmore quotes Jim Rohn saying, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” Don’t give up on your goals. You shouldn’t compromise what you want because it’s not working out. Change your surroundings, not your goals.
We live in a society that encourages complacency. Some people remind others of what they can’t do instead of what they’re capable of. People push you to take positions you hate because it’s what society has deemed a necessary evil to survive.
The world will blame your lack of “success” on not working hard enough, but the standard of working hard has become warped. People expect you to work in a job you loathe and are over-qualified for, getting minimal pay and working overtime for no compensation. Get away from people trying to push you into something that makes you unhappy. Define your personal view of success and strive for that instead.
There are a lot of things in this world that are beyond our control. We can’t control the recession or getting let go from a job, but we can control ourselves. Everything that Dinsmore discusses is 100% in our hands.
Some people may think that there’s no opportunity in their passion. We live in a new world where you can do whatever you want. Dinsmore explains that the only thing that limits possibility is imagination. You can write about your favorite thing in a blog. You can have a Youtube channel. You can even create your own business of selling wood-burning designs if that’s your passion. Anything that you love, there is some application for it that can be successful – you just have to get creative.
Ultimately, if people in this world do what they love, they will inspire others to do the same. It has become the status quo to hate your job. Memes are plastered all over social media sharing this consensus. Eighty percent of people are unhappy with their jobs. We spend a majority of our lives at work. As trite as it may sound, the old saying is that if you love what you do, then you’ll never work a single day in your life.
Scott Dinsmore’s movement is attempting to facilitate this notion. Be inspired and inspire others. Tell people they can do anything because it’s true. Stop encouraging people to waste their lives at professions they hate just because it’s steady money and they’re building their resume. They’re building a resume that will only allow them to continue working in a career that makes them unhappy.
Think about how the world would evolve if people did what inspired them and encouraged others to do the same. Dinsmore reiterates his creed and finishes with one final question: What is the work you can’t not do?
There are always going to be decisions you make and things that you do, which you regret later on.
Learning from past mistakes is just one way that we grow, but learning from what others believe to be their biggest career regrets, can allow you to hopefully skip some of the trouble.
Daniel Gulati, an author and venture investor, interviewed a diverse mix of people, in order to learn about their top career regrets. He spoke with people from various age groups and occupations, such CEOs, photographers, rich entrepreneurs and an investment banking MD.
Here’s the regrets that appeared most often.
Not Quitting Earlier
Most of the people that are dissatisfied with their career/employer/industry wait a very long time before they finally quit, to pursue something they are more passionate about.
In many cases, it boils down to the person staying in a job that they don’t like, and not quitting at all.
Many people have the career regret of choosing their job based solely on monetary reasons, and later find out that this was not enough to motivate them to want to do their jobs day in and day out.
They wish they considered other factors as well, and/or made compromises somewhere along the road, so that they could take lower paying but more satisfying jobs.
Not Having More Confidence To Start Out Independently
People can often regret not having more confidence in themselves to start their own venture.
Many want to own their own business and be their own boss, but do not have the confidence to take that first big step.
So, they remain with their employer and regret not trying to have a go at starting their own company.
Not Maximizing Schooling
Another common regret involves not maximizing time at school and merely getting a degree.
Some may have rushed getting through school to land that first job. They may find that they want to go back to school to either learn something new or get more familiar with something they glossed over the first time around.
Not Following Gut Feelings
The final regret that many people face is not following their own intuitions – that “gut feeling” that tells them that they should jump into an opportunity, or take some risk.
This could for example, come in the form of being offered a position in a new/untapped/unfamiliar market.
These moments of change may make a person hesitate when deciding whether or not the reward is going to be worth the risk, and some may underestimate the reward or overestimate the risk, due to which they decide not to go ahead.
As they say, “Hindsight is 20/20.” Therefore, it can be hard to be sure if any decision that is made today will lead to a regret tomorrow, but learning from others may help you to prevent some regrets in your own career.
So often we separate our professional lives from our personal lives and gain no satisfaction in either.
We may be unfilled in our professional lives and use the time in our personal lives as simply a respite from the daily grind. That is not a path to happiness.
It might be useful instead to think of your career as a stock portfolio.
We are always told to diversify our assets. So, why wouldn’t we extend that idea our career to find true happiness?
Managing your professional life as an investment can lead to less vulnerability professionally and more fulfillment personally.
Expand Your Career
If you are unhappy with your current position, you could look for a new job. But, there is no guarantee that you would gain long-term fulfillment from moving somewhere else. Often, after the honeymoon period of a new job/company, it’s just more of the same.
A second option is to leave your job and pursue your real passion. However, this might have an impact on your financial situation and while you may be fulfilled in ways your traditional career did not provide; other areas may be lacking.
Big and drastic moves might not achieve what you are looking for and are risky as well.
A better option is to diversify your career and take small steps, in order to develop expertise in multiple areas and maximise money-happiness, while keeping risks low.
Barbell Career Plan
This is where the barbell career strategy comes into play.
You know a barbell has weight on either side with a bar in the middle. Think of one weight as the ‘safe side’ and the other as the ‘speculative side.’
Indicatively, you could keep around 80-90% of your career investment on the safe side and around 10-20% on the speculative side.
Obviously, your current full-time job is on the safe side.
The speculative side could involve taking on two jobs, charity work, auditing a course, or part-time employment, without overhauling your life.
Safe investments provide financial cushioning. If your speculative extreme fails, the impact is not significant. You can be proud that you took the risk and then identify what you would like to try next. At the very least, it helps you feel that you are not stuck in a rut.
Benefits of the barbell strategy
Implementing the barbell strategy has a number of benefits, such as:
Introducing new opportunities for you to increase your fulfillment and happiness.
Allowing you to engage in trial and error, and make small mistakes.
Attaining a broader set of skills and experiences, which might be useful for future roles and career paths.
Providing a better understanding of what you want from your life and career.
Many of us want to have a great career. To reach for the stars. To love what we do. To live the life we really want.
But, as Larry Smith notes in his TED Talk – “Why You Will Fail to have a Great Career”, we are all going to do just that: fail.
As Smith notes, you won’t have a good career, because good jobs are disappearing and are being replaced with high-stress, high-anxiety, work-obsessed careers – the kind of soul-sucking jobs that leave little to no room for pursuing your greatest interests and passions.
Unfortunately, these types of jobs are taking over, and there is no happy medium.
What about those of you who want to have a great (and not just good) career.
According to Smith, you will fail as well.
Because you’ll make up some excuse or the other, for not doing what it takes to have a great career. Here are some examples of typical excuses.
Excuse 1: Great jobs and careers, for the greater majority, are happened upon by luck. So there’s no need to really try.
Excuse 2: I’m not a quirky genius, like Steve Jobs. You need to be quirky and also a genius, to have a great career.
Excuse 3: Mommy and Daddy told me that if I work hard enough, I will succeed in having a great career. So all I need to do is work hard at whatever I’m currently doing and I’ll have a great career.
To have a great career, you need to have many interests. And you need to go after the 1 or 2 interests, that you’re extremely passionate about.
Passion, as Smith notes, is your greatest love. The love that surpasses all others. The one that engages you and inspires you to actually, finally, stop making excuses.
However, even for those of you that are crystal clear about your passion and the kind of life/career you want to have, you will still fail to have a great career. Unless………..
The list contains information about league members’ ages, countries of origin, courses of study, levels of education and choices of school, if any.
They have compiled this data by poring over the last 20 issues of the Forbes 100.
One factor the list examines is choice of school for higher education among billionaires. Standout schools included Harvard University, with 20 billionaires, Moscow State Institute, with 11, Pennsylvania University, with six, and The London School of Economics, with two. Clearly, the school you choose for your higher education is an important factor in becoming rich.
The next thing to consider after you have chosen your school is which course of study to pursue. Which majors offer you a better chance of becoming a billionaire? According to the list, the following are the number of billionaires for each academic major:
Engineering – 48
Business – 38
Economics – 36
Law – 15
Physics and Chemistry – 8
History – 7
Computer Engineering and Science – 6
Commerce – 5
Mathematics – 5
Philosophy – 4
From this data, engineering, business, and economics are the best courses of study to major in, if you plan on making billions.
Another factor to consider is what level of education is “required” to become rich. The following are percentages of billionaires according to level of higher education:
Bachelor’s Degree – 47%
Dropped out of College – 25%
Master’s Degree – 23%
Doctorate – 6%
The Bachelor’s degree is the most common form of higher education for the world’s billionaires, with nearly half. What might be surprising is the high percentage of billionaires with no college degree at all. It is often thought that higher education is a requirement to be successful in life, but this data shows that among billionaires this is not necessarily true.
The data also shows that a Doctorate degree is generally a waste of time and money if your goal is to be super rich.
Using the data provided by the Gocompare team, you now know what to do to greatly increase your chances of becoming a billionaire. ‘Simply’ attend Harvard, achieve a Bachelor’s degree and major in Engineering.
As a child you were probably asked this question many many times – “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Well-meaning adults often ask the question, in order to get a funny answer, or to provide some inspiration.
“Dream big!” they might say.
However, what they are, in fact, asking you to do is choose one career to dream about, rather than embracing myriad interests and passions.
In her TED Talk “Why Some of Us Don’t Have One True Calling,” Emilie Wapnick illustrates the importance of embracing your interests wholeheartedly and acknowledging that there is nothing wrong with NOT having to do one “thing,” one career, for the rest of your life.
Wapnick discusses what led her to this revelation, highlighting a few points to disregard when it comes to attaining self-fulfillment in today’s ever-evolving world.
Let yourself develop your multiple interests – and if you become bored, it’s okay to move on to the next one.
When you are tied down to focusing on one subject you might be limiting your personal growth . You may devote a lot of time and energy to one passion project, and then it might lose its sense of challenge and become boring.
This is not a bad thing!
Without a sense of challenge, there is little room for development. If you are not satisfied with one thing, stagnancy can take place, and you may become counter-productive.
Choosing a singular path can lead to anxiety for this reason, among others.
The cycle of boredom from jumping from one interest to the next, may result in the thought that none of those interests will turn into a career.
The idea of having to choose one thing and eventually deny all other passions may lead to fear of endless boredom. But, by moving through interests, further knowledge is gained and can be applied to anything you take on.
Worry about fear of commitment is also often a culprit of anxiety. You may feel that something is wrong with you for not wanting to stick to one thing.
In such a fast-paced society, people are constantly bouncing from job to job, and there is nothing wrong with gaining experience in multiple realms of whatever interests you may have. You don’t necessarily need to relegate these interests to hobbies. Embrace your full potential and explore!
The idea of having to choose one interest to focus on is instilled in us from the get-go because of our culture/society.
Wapnick poses the question of why we assign the words wrong and abnormal to doing many things. The answer: culture.
When posed with the age-old question of what we want our destiny to be, there is the assumption that we are all wired for “the one” career that will suit us, and that all of our other passions and interests must be pushed aside to follow that path.
The good news is that culture is constantly changing and growing to accommodate those multiple interests. Not only that, but the term “career” is slowly becoming an outdated notion. You no longer have to choose one – you can apply all the skills and understanding gained from those interests as you so choose.
Forget the Word “Career”
You’re not wired to have one specialty for the rest of your life? No problem.
The more subjects you’re curious about, the better.
Because, according to Wapnick, what you are is a multipotentialite, and there is nothing wrong with you.
You are a complex person with many interests and a strong creative drive – someone who can pursue these interests and unlock their potential on many levels.
Now, here are a few ideas to take into account and remember for unlocking your multipotentialite powers.
As a multipotentialite, you have expertise (or at least experience) in many fields. Therefore, you can combine your various disciplines to create something new at the intersection where they meet. Innovation is born from unique ideas and individual backgrounds.
In the same vein as idea synthesis, your myriad of skills can be transferred across disciplines to bring all the knowledge you’ve gained to whatever field you may pursue next.
Having such a broad range of abilities and talents gives you the capacity to adapt to whatever any particular situation requires. Your well-rounded experience lends you an open book of opportunities.