How Finding Joy Leads to Career Success, with Sally Hubbard

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

Hi, this is Mac from Mac’s List. Before we start the show, I want to let you know about my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. I’ve been helping job seekers find meaningful, well-paying work since 2001, and now I’ve put all my best advice into one easy-to-use guide.

My book shows you how to make your resume stand out in a stack of applications, where you can find the hidden jobs that never get posted, and what you need to do to ace your next job interview. Get the first chapter now for free. Visit MacsList.org/anywhere.

This is Find Your Dream Job; the podcast that helps you get hired, have the career you want, and make a difference in life. I’m Mac Prichard, your host and publisher of Mac’s List. I’m joined by my co-hosts, Ben Forstag, Becky Thomas, and Jessica Black, from the Mac’s List team.

This week we’re talking about how finding your joy can lead to career success.

You might think that joy and work don’t belong in the same sentence. That’s a mistake, says this week’s guest expert, Sally Hubbard. Sally says when we do and find the things that bring us joy, it helps us find and get careers that let us do our best work. Sally and I talk later in the show.

Using action verbs in your resume can make your text compelling and persuasive. Ben has found a list of 139 action verbs suitable for resumes. He tells us more in a moment.

Should you use a photo in your LinkedIn profile if you’re an older worker and worried about age discrimination? That’s our question of the week. It comes from listener Alison Geary in Tucson, Arizona. Becky shares her advice shortly.

First, as always, let’s check in with the Mac’s List team.

Our topic this week, colleagues, is how finding your joy leads to career success. I’d love to hear from each of you, what’s one thing that brings you joy and how has it helped with your career? Who would like to step up first? Jessica, you’re leaning into the microphone.

Jessica Black:

I can go first.

Mac Prichard:

Please.

Jessica Black:

Well yes, I think your note about one thing, not the one thing, is important because there are lots of things.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, sure.

Jessica Black:

Yes, of course. But I love helping other people and so I’ve always worked in service jobs, customer service, nonprofits, those types of things. So my natural empathy and that service-orientated mindset and energy has always driven my careers and my jobs and what I’m interested in doing, putting my energy into.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Jessica Black:

Even my volunteer opportunities, it’s usually about helping others. I want to be clear, I think you can help others in a lot of different ways. But I mean to say that my focus has always been people oriented, of wanting to have those direct relationships and having the direct access to making sure that people’s lives are better in a certain way based on my interaction with them.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, great. I know you have served on many boards over the years and you’re active in a number of organizations here in Portland, but also national groups that are based in Portland as well.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

What about you, Becky? What’s one thing that brings you joy that has made a difference in your career?

Becky Thomas:

This is an interesting question. I feel like there’s so many different ways to think about this. The first thing that came to mind was coffee.

Mac Prichard:

Okay.

Becky Thomas:

Coffee brings me joy and it has helped my career.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Becky Thomas:

Because going on coffee dates, informational interviews. It’s like, “Let’s meet for coffee.” Going on coffee runs everyday with your co workers for team bonding and just banter, going over what’s going on. During the day, doing coffee instead of sitting in a conference room. Getting out of the office, getting new perspective.

Jessica Black:

True, that’s very true.

Becky Thomas:

Brings me joy.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Jessica Black:

That’s great. It’s huge.

Becky Thomas:

There’s so many little things that you can find pleasure in and you can also use to help your career. I think it’s just about being open to that. I don’t know if that’s too woo-woo.

Jessica Black:

No.

Mac Prichard:

No. I like that answer.

Jessica Black:

I love it. I think it’s a really good perspective to bring to this because I think it’s not always as cut and dry, of…. your joy can be something outside of a skill that’s directly related to your jobs. So I think that that’s a really good reminder that it doesn’t just have to be related to the things that you’ve done in your career.

Becky Thomas:

Simple things can make a bigger impact than you think.

Jessica Black:

Yeah. Huge, absolutely.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, small pleasures can add up.

Becky Thomas:

Right. Aw, that sounds like something my mom would say.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, I think that’s kind of what we’re going to be talking about, right? Is that finding your joy, whatever that may be, can lead directly or indirectly to helping your career or even leaving it. So that’s interesting.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, work does not have to be about self abnegation.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, totally. It shouldn’t be.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, sorry. My education is showing there. Ben, what about you?

Ben Forstag:

So a little bit of Jessica, I guess. It feels for me, too woo-woo, (that’s the word of the day, evidently) to say helping people. I always get a kick out of when you find the perfect match between organizations or people. Organizations that are like the perfect…

Jessica Black:

Where it’s synced up.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah. Interests align in the perfect way, and setting up new partnerships and things like that. That’s one of the best moments for me.

Jessica Black:

I like that.

Ben Forstag:

In addition to that, so part of it is not listening to my own inside noise, sometimes, because I am naturally a person, who, my first reaction to almost anything is ‘no.’ Even if my wife says, “We’re going on vacation tomorrow!” my first reaction is, “No, we’re not.” So what I’ve found in my career is the more I can not listen to that voice and embrace new challenges and new things that are coming through…like this podcast for example, my first reaction was, “No, I don’t want to do that.”…but I’ve found that taking on these new challenges is something that I find really rewarding and joyful. A little bit painful at first, but as you do it more and get better at it, it kind of amazes me the things I’ve been able to do in my career because I said yes to them. Against my better judgement sometimes.

Jessica Black:

I love it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, so say yes to the unexpected.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, that’s right.

Mac Prichard:

Very cool. Well, like you, Jessica, service is a very important value to me and I’ve been involved in nonprofit boards, organizations.

Jessica Black:

I think that’s an underlying for all of us. Why we’re here helping people find their jobs and all of that. But yeah, I think that’s huge for you too.

Mac Prichard:

As part of that, as an example of service and something that brings me joy, I love electoral campaigns, political campaigns, and I’ve been involved in probably a dozen different races over the years. When, there have been moments in races where we lost, but it both allowed me to combine my service and career skills in projects that made me feel like I was doing my best work ever. It also opened doors for me because I’ve worked for elected officials and often got my first introductions to them, or the people who hired me in their offices, through my work with political campaigns. Which never felt like work, it was a joy.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, that’s great.

Mac Prichard:

Yes, well I know we’re going to talk more about that with Sally today. But before we do that, thank you all for sharing your stories. Ben, let’s turn to you, because you’re out there every week poking around the internet, looking for resources for our listeners. What have you uncovered this week?

Ben Forstag:

So this week we’ve already established that we’re going to be on somewhat of a woo-woo topic.

Mac Prichard:

Should listeners at home be taking drinks every time we use the word woo-woo?

Jessica Black:

Fun game.

Becky Thomas:

Let’s play.

Ben Forstag:

Of coffee though. Of coffee.

Jessica Black:

Or your drink of choice. It could be soda-water, it could be La Croix.

Ben Forstag:

So I thought I would kind of balance things out today by having a super tactical resource of the week. So I found a list of 139 action verbs that will make your resume stand out. I get this from, of all places, indeed.com. So we all know that you want to avoid weak and passive verbs in your resume and cover letter. You also want to stay away from business jargon and cliches, and watch out for tired words. Words and phrases, things like, “managed”, “supervised”, the usual business jargon.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

Synchronicity… the stuff I think if people put it in their resume, because they think it sounds good, but then when you reread it, you kind of roll your eyes and it sounds tired. So this is just a list of 139 alternative words you can use. They’re all power action verbs, a nice list. I’m not going to read through all of them or any of them for that matter. But I really encourage you to go and check it out.

Jessica Black:

Which one is your favorite on the list?

Ben Forstag:

Oh…

Becky Thomas:

I know; I’m looking right now.

Ben Forstag:

You’ve got it up, Becky, what do you think?

Becky Thomas:

Capitalized.

Ben Forstag:

That’s good, and I think they’ve segmented out this list a little bit, so it depends on what kind of career you have. So if you’re a business manager, it’s a different set of verbs that are going to apply to you than if you’re a doctor. Capitalized, for example, might be a very classic business verb.

Jessica Black:

That’s a good one.

Becky Thomas:

I think this can be overused though, too.

Jessica Black:

Totally.

Becky Thomas:

You don’t want to replace every simple word with an action verb because then it’s going to read like jargony.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

I agree.

Jessica Black:

Use them very strategically.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, for impact.

Ben Forstag:

We talked maybe a couple months ago, I shared a list of words not to include and one of those was ‘annihilate’.

Jessica Black:

Oh yeah.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

There, evidently, were a lot of business guys who were saying they had, “annihilated the competition”, so I think you’re right. Everything needs to be used in moderation, and I wouldn’t make your resume look like you just went through the thesaurus and found new adjectives and verbs to use. But I think this is a good starting point if you’re feeling stuck and you’ve got a lot of ‘managed’ and ‘developed’ or, ‘helped’.

Jessica Black:

For sure.

Ben Forstag:

Words like that in your resume. Check this out.

Jessica Black:

One I see on here though that I feel should be taken out is ‘story boarded’. I feel like that is not.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, is that actually a verb?

Jessica Black:

They’re trying to make it a verb, but I don’t think it is.

Mac Prichard:

I think it is in Hollywood.

Jessica Black:

It’s a stretch.

Ben Forstag:

If you’re a storyteller, it is.

Jessica Black:

Okay, sorry.

Becky Thomas:

Eh, I don’t know.

Jessica Black:

I still say no.

Ben Forstag:

To kind of ground this back, because I think this is a good point. We’re saying that some of these words, if you use them, they kind of sound comical. So one of the points they make is, whenever you’re going to use one of these verbs you should really try to pair it up with some quantifiable measurement of how you ‘annihilated’, or how you ‘storyboarded’ or how you ‘capitalized’. I think that’s a good way to show that you’re not just all jargon, that there’s some actual accomplishment behind the fancy words you’re using. I think that’s like the best one-two punch you can put out there. So again, this is 139 action verbs to make your resume stand out. It’s from indeed.com.

Mac Prichard:

Great, well thank you, Ben. if you’ve got a suggestion for Ben, he would love to hear from you. Please write him, his address is easy to remember. It’s ben@macslist.org. We’d be delighted to feature your idea on the show.

Now let’s turn to you, our listeners, and Becky is here to answer one of your questions. So, Becky, dig deep into the Mac’s List mailbag and tell us, what do we have this week?

Becky Thomas:

Alison Geary emailed us this week from Tucson, Arizona. She says:

“I know I have to have a LinkedIn profile as part of my job search, but I’m hesitant to include a photo with my profile. I’m in my 50’s and I worry about employers not wanting to hire me because of my age. I’m afraid a LinkedIn photo would make it obvious how old I am. Is it okay to not include a photo in my profile?”

The short answer is no.

Jessica Black:

It’s never okay.

Mac Prichard:

Tell us more about that.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, so, a LinkedIn profile without a photo is always going to look incomplete. That’s just the nature of it. Picture somebody searching for your name, and finding a profile, but it has no photo, it’s just that grey icon. It’s never going to look good. You might have thought of having some other image there but anything that is not an accurate headshot, like a landscape or an animal or really anything other than your face, is going to look fake and spammy. It’s not your profile.

Jessica Black:

Or it’s going to raise questions.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah. Right. So, you know, the best thing that you can do is really make sure you’ve got a great headshot. Invest in a professional headshot and really show your enthusiasm. Make sure you’re dressed modern and clean and nice. Your hair, and whatever, makeup, if you do that, is nice. And you’re smiling. You’re looking engaged and enthusiastic.

So, the reason you have a LinkedIn profile is to show that you’re active and engaged in the job search and in online networking. So that photo is a big part of it, but I think the bigger way for you to show hiring managers that you’re engaged and not to think about your age as much is to be as engaged as possible. Really optimize your profile, do all of the things that LinkedIn allows you to do. Highlight your best job experience, share your work samples, give endorsements, get endorsements from other people. Get folks to endorse your  skills that are most crucial for the job that you want. Post content, write blogs, engage with your network, so that when a hiring manager does go to look at your LinkedIn, they see your smiling face and they see your experience. They see how engaged and active you are and they’re going to be impressed.

So yeah, I understand that sort of concern, and it is a real concern. A lot of hiring managers are going to discriminate against your age, but all you can do is put your best foot forward and be as positive and robust in your presence online as you can. If they’re still going to discriminate against you, that’s their loss. That’s their problem. There’s not much you can do about that, but I think that just putting your best foot forward is the best way to go.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, show your personality.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

So I would agree – I think that if the driving consideration you have is you’re afraid that they’re going to see how old you are, the truth of matter is, it’s really easy to find out how old somebody is.

Becky Thomas:

They can find out. I was going to say that too. Yeah.

Ben Forstag:

One of the reasons employers are ambivalent about hiring older folks is because they are afraid, “Oh, this is someone who doesn’t keep up with technology, they don’t keep up with social media.” So not having a complete LinkedIn presence feeds right into that narrative of, “This is someone who is not up to pace with where communication is at these days.”

Becky Thomas:

Yeah. That’s a good point.

Ben Forstag:

So I like your point about make the effort, perhaps spend the money to get a nice, professional headshot, where you look energetic and exciting and approachable. Treat social media, and LinkedIn particularly, as “This is an opportunity to brand yourself however you want” and if you’re an older professional, brand yourself in a way that speaks against some of the stereotypes of what older professionals might look like. Because you’re not going to have that honest one on one conversation with a hiring manager about age, so you need to go out of your way to push that brand out there to the wider world. Show that, “I’m not fitting the stereotype you might have about older workers. I’m someone who’s awesome and energetic, and knowledgeable and excited to work with perhaps younger managers” for example.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah, totally.

Jessica Black:

I think, also, I love what both of you have been saying. The underlying point, I think you both are making is, demonstrate your value and show that you, beyond your age, are very valuable to whatever job you’re applying to. Or the industry that you’re applying within. Yeah, continue to put everything out there: brand yourself well, demonstrate how valuable you are and what you have to contribute. That will show through more than your age.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I like that a lot. Because the picture, as you say, tells just one part of the story, and LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to paint a much bigger picture and tell a much more complete story.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

So good advice. Well thank you for that question, and thank you, Becky, Jessica, and Ben for the great conversation. If you’ve got a question for Becky, please email her. Her address is becky@macslist.org. You can call our listener line; that number is area code, 716-JOB-TALK. Or tweet at us, our twitter account is @macs_list

If we use your question on the show, we’ll send you a free copy of Land Your Dream Job Anywhere,our new book.

We’ll be back in just a moment. When we return, I’ll talk with this week’s guest expert, Sally Hubbard, about how finding your joy can lead to career success.

Most people struggle with job hunting. The reason is simple; most of us learn the nuts and bolts of looking for work by trial and error. That’s why I produce this podcast, to help you master the skills you need to find a great job. It’s also why I wrote my new book, Land Your Dream Job Anywhere. For fifteen years at Mac’s List, I’ve helped people in Portland, Oregon find meaningful, well-paying, and rewarding jobs that they love. Now I’ve put all of my job hunting secrets in one book that can help you no matter where you live.

You’ll learn how to get clear about your career goals, find hidden jobs that never get posted, and ace your next job interview. For more information, and to download the first chapter for free, visit Mac’sList.org/anywhere.

Now let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Sally Hubbard.

Sally Hubbard is an investigative journalist, lawyer, and creator of the weekly podcast, Women Killing It! She talks to women who are killing it in their careers about what has worked for them, how they got to where they are today, and what they wish they knew sooner.

She joins us today from Brooklyn, New York.

Sally, thanks for being on the show.

Sally Hubbard:

Thanks for having me.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah it’s a pleasure.

Now, our topic is how finding joy can lead to career success. Tell us, what kind of joy are we talking about, Sally?

Sally Hubbard:

Just the run of the mill kind of joy. Anything that brings you happiness, pleasure, fulfillment. It was a surprising lesson that I learned from talking to over sixty women on my podcast so far. That it was being in touch with what really bring you happiness that can lead to success.

Mac Prichard:

So these are things that might not seem to relate directly to our job. I know you have material about this and you mention things like riding a bike and dancing. Tell us more about that connection between these things and the difference they can make in our work.

Sally Hubbard:

Right, it does sound kind of remote. But I gave a challenge to my listeners; it was called the Find Your Joy challenge, and I said, “Just try to find one thing that you are doing purely for yourself. Not for anyone else; not for your boss, not for your partner, not for your children or your family. Just purely for yourself, and get in the habit of working that into your schedule.” You wouldn’t believe the number of particularly women who said, “I don’t know where to start. I don’t even know what I enjoy anymore.” If you’re that disconnected from yourself, from your inner self, then how do you even identify what your dream job is? How do you even know what you want to do? What you would thrive at or what you would enjoy?

So it’s kind of a simple step to start getting in touch with yourself and realizing that you deserve to have happiness and joy. Just shifting the focus inwards so that it’s not always about pleasing others, it’s about pleasing yourself as well.

Mac Prichard:

So the people you talked with who said, “I don’t know how to start, how to come up with that.” What did they do, Sally? How did they figure out what brought them joy? What steps did they take?

Sally Hubbard:

Well some of the advice that I give is, think about what brought you joy back when you were a child. A lot of women that I’ve had on my show who are killing it in their careers are killing it because they’re doing something that they’ve always loved to do. I had somebody on my show recently who’s a Grammy nominated archivist. I said, “How did you decide to be an archivist?” She said, “Well I’ve always loved collecting things from the past and putting together stories that no one has known before.” A lot of people would think of that, “Oh it’s just a hobby that I do on the side. I’ve got to find a job that I know will pay the bills.” A lot of us take that approach, we look for a career that we think will create a stable situation. We let go of what our true pleasures are and what we truly enjoy…what would really make us passionate and thrive.

Because we’re so focused on paying bills, and that’s a rational thing to be focused on. But also on what other people expect of us, and that’s particularly true of women who spend our lives pleasing others. We are really socialized to see our value in terms of how we please authority figures, how we please family members. Our relationships to others instead of our achievements. Men tend to be more socialized toward their value is attributed to their ability to provide and their ability to be a leader. So they are less outwardly focused than women are.

So part of this, just getting in touch with what you really enjoy, is also realizing that you deserve to do things for your own good and not just to please others. Also, part of the problem is, when we spend our whole lives trying to please others, we lose track of what we deserve. So if a job promotion comes up, or a new job opportunity comes up, women in particular, and some men,  will ask themselves, “Do I deserve that job? Would it please the employer to give me that job? Would it please the employer to give me that raise?” And we’re looking at in it in terms of what others want of us. Instead of saying, “Hey, I really want that promotion, I really want that job opportunity”, and just going for it.

So it’s just a lot to do with connecting with what you actually want so that you can identify those opportunities. Also realizing that you deserve those opportunities. You deserve to seek out things for your own benefit and not just constantly being focused on pleasing other people around you.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I like that a lot. What I’m getting from your point is, people don’t have to settle. They can aim high, but to do that, they have to know where they want to go.

Sally Hubbard:

Yes, and you hear a lot of people say, “I just don’t know what I want to do.” Right? You hear that a lot. People say, “I know what I don’t want to do, but if I don’t do this job that I don’t like, I don’t know what I’d do.” That’s because people are so disconnected from their inner selves. So just starting with baby steps in terms of finding one joyful activity is a first step. To start reorienting yourself toward fulfilling your own needs and wants. It has been a very surprising lesson to me that the people who are really successful are doing things that are really connected to who they are as a person. You think about a famous chef, do you think they just kind of like to cook? No, they love to cook. Right?

Mac Prichard:

Right.

Sally Hubbard:

The people who are really out there killing it are people who are doing something that really makes them tick. Of course, you can’t be unrealistic, you have to also think about what does the world need? Who am I serving? What good am I bringing to the world? So that step also needs to be taken as well. But if you’re just so focused on your tasks and the drudgery, and what you need to do to have a safe job, you’re really not going to knock it out of the ball park.

Mac Prichard:

Well you mentioned earlier that people can take small steps toward this. Tell us more about the steps people can take both to reconnect with these things that brought them joy early in life and make that part of a job search, or apply it to the workplace where maybe they’re looking for a promotion or new opportunities with the same existing employer.

Sally Hubbard:

Well there’s a few steps in addition to looking at what you used to enjoy when you were a child. Another thing that I recommend people to do is just write out entirely their ideal life. Every little detail. What does their ideal life look like? While they’re doing that, not focusing on what’s possible, because we have these beliefs about what’s possible and what’s not possible that are actually not fact. They’re just beliefs that tend to really circumscribe what we seek as an ideal life because we think it’s not possible. So just write down your ideal life, exactly how you would want it to be, without thinking about what’s possible.

Then that helps you to identify the opportunities that come along that help you get closer to that ideal life.

The other thing that I’ve heard from a lot of my guests is, actually volunteering is a really good way to get in touch with what you really care about, what your passions are. To do that, in addition to doing a job, just to kind of start exploring yourself and your passions, and also to meet a whole new community of people that can give you new opportunities.

One other tactic that I really like is to look at people that you envy. We often think that it’s jealousy to say, “I am just so jealous of this person and the amazing career they have.” Keep track of those people. Whenever you come across someone and you think they are just killing it and you wish you had their career, write them down, keep an electronic file. So that you can start to see, “What is it that they’re doing that I wish I was doing?”

Mac Prichard:

I want to go back to writing out that ideal life. Once you do that, do you recommend showing that to people, or how should people act on that, aside from just putting down on paper or in a computer file that vision?

Sally Hubbard:

Well it is always a good idea to put it out there in the world what it is that you’re seeking. The ideal life that I was talking about was a very detailed life that could include every aspect of your personal life. Maybe you don’t want to be broadcasting that. But if there’s something that you’ve identified that, “You know what, part of my ideal life would be speaking on a podcast,” then whenever you talk to someone say, “Hey I’m really wanting to speak on a podcast. Do you know of anyone that could help me with that?”

Certainly putting out your wants and needs into the universe, into making it something that you bring up regularly into discussions will greatly increase the chances of it happening for you.

Mac Prichard:

Sally, you mentioned making a list of people you admire or envy, because they have terrific careers. What else should you do with that list? Should you try to reach out to those people if they’re within your circle and ask them for advice?

Sally Hubbard:

That’s one idea. I haven’t actually tried that myself because I tend to make my lists very hotshot people but that is certainly something you could do. You could also try to learn about them, learn about their career path. Learn about the decisions they’ve made along the way. Certainly if there’s any way for you to connect with them through the seven degrees of separation we have, that would also be a great move.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Well good. Any other steps that you have recommend for ways people can act on this and make it part of the research or part of career planning?

Sally Hubbard:

Well, another thing that I think is really interesting about when you find your joy is that when you work it into your daily life, you can actually perform better at your job and perform better at achieving your goals and finding your dream job. Because what a lot of us tend to be stuck in is this routine of working all day, doing house work, there’s just so much work in our lives that we feel like when we finish one task all that’s waiting for us is more work. If you have joy actually scheduled into your life, like I love to ride a bike, if I have a bike ride scheduled into my day then I say, “As soon as I finish this work.” Or even, “As soon as I finish my career search, or whatever I’m working on, I can go on that bike ride.” It’s amazing how much more efficient you will be at getting your stuff done when you have a reward at the end of your to do list. So it can help you be more efficient in achieving your goals, whether you’re working and trying to do better at your job, or you’re trying to do a job search.

Mac Prichard:

Now I know this discovery or finding came from your conversations with guests on your podcast about their careers and how they became successful. Any other key lessons from those conversations you’d like to share?

Sally Hubbard:

Yeah, I think one other big part about finding joy in your career is that we know working is hard, no matter what you’re doing. You’re going to have challenges, you’re going to have hard days. You’re going to have good days and bad days. Those women who are just so committed and in touch with their mission and their purpose, and their job is serving their mission and their purpose are much more able to withstand the challenges that come their way. So they are less likely to give up, to burn out, to opt out. It doesn’t mean when you find your joy that everyday on the job is going to be joyful.

Mac Prichard:

Right.

Sally Hubbard:

But if if you identified, “Hey, I’ve always loved storytelling and this job caters to that,” like the archivist I was mentioning. Then when you get those challenges you’re able to say, “Well this is a hard day but I’m going to keep going.” When you’ve taken the job that you thought was the safe path and you get the challenges, you’re much more likely to throw in the towel. Especially because I know as someone who took a career path as a lawyer, and now I’m, like I said, a journalist. But as I took the path as a lawyer, I definitely thought this was a safe path. That was a huge reason to take it, it was a safe path, the steady career of being a lawyer. I can’t even tell you how many of my friends who are lawyers have lost their jobs, ever since 2009, when there was the big shakeup of the markets. The reorganization of the legal profession.

So there’s really not such a thing as a safe job, so going for that safe job that maybe doesn’t excite you but you think is safe, is actually a bit of a trap. Because safe jobs do not exist. What you want to do is fortify yourself so that you are serving your purpose, you’re passionate about what you’re doing, and when those inevitable challenges come, when those hard days come, or those long hours come, you have the fulfillment and the strength and the dedication to see through it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, well it’s been a great conversation. I have to ask, when we talked about the things that bring us joy, and often we discover them early in life, even in childhood. I thought about my interest in politics, when I was in grade school I just loved reading about political campaigns and I went on to work in politics for a long time. I always felt like I was doing my best. What about you, Sally? What was it when you were in grade school, or childhood, that brought you joy that inspired your career later in life?

Sally Hubbard:

Well one thing that I’ve always loved is bringing people together. I had lots of friends and whenever there was a new person added to the friendship group, it was always me that brought that person in. So I just loved connecting, particularly women, my girlfriends, I loved building communities. That’s what I’m doing with the podcast, is building a community of women and connecting women. Then as a journalist, I’m also building a community around the various issues that I cover. A community that comes to me when they have information that they want to get out into the world. That’s how I build my sources is by building community. That’s how I’ve tapped into what I’ve always enjoyed, connecting with people and I can use it in my career in different ways.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Well thanks for the great conversation, Sally. Now tell us, what’s next for you?

Sally Hubbard:

I’m going to keep doing the Women Killing it, podcast, I’ve got some really exciting guests coming up, like Gretchen Rubin, who’s the author of The Happiness Project. I’ve also been building a community of women on Facebook called The Yates Society, which is named after Sally Yates. It’s just striving to get women together to support one another, lift each other up.

Mac Prichard:

Great. Well, I’ve had a chance to listen to three or four episodes of your show. It’s very good and I strongly encourage our listeners to check it out. I know they can find it at your website, that is www.womenkillingit.com.

Sally Hubbard:

Well thank you so much for having me, I really appreciate it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s been a pleasure, Sally. We’ll be sure to include links to your show and your website in the shownotes. Thanks for joining us.

Sally Hubbard:

Thank you.

Mac Prichard:

Alright, we’re back in the Mac’s List studio with Jessica, Becky, and Ben. What were some important points you heard Sally make in my conversation with her? Becky, you look like you’re leaning in.

Becky Thomas:

I mean I thought it was great.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, it was great. I can tell you everything I loved about it.

Becky Thomas:

I know right. I really liked the point that she made a couple times about the fact that women are always catering to other people and don’t necessarily think about “what I like and what brings me joy and what I deserve.”

Jessica Black:

Right.

Becky Thomas:

That hit home for me.

Jessica Black:

That was definitely a big part of it, especially when she said that initially, of women are usually focused outwardly on how to please others.

Becky Thomas:

What do I need to do for others?

Jessica Black:

Yeah, what do I need to do to please others. Making sure that it’s not rocking any boats and all of that stuff. Making sure to satisfy everybody else’s needs before their own. I related to that. I loved how she talked about telling yourself that you deserve it. For women or men, I think, was her zone, of that. You don’t have to sacrifice the things that you want because you think you don’t deserve it, because you do, and allowing yourself to have those bits of joy just because you want it. I think that we are all able to do that and not put ourselves in that box or that corner, because we think that we don’t deserve it.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

Agreed. Ben, what are your thoughts?

Ben Forstag:

I like the point she made about sometimes the joys that you’re incorporating into your work life aren’t actually part of your work life itself. Like, riding her bike is a good example. Where her job has nothing to do with riding her bike but integrating that into her work day as she gets to or back from work, or setting some time after the work day, to do a bike ride. I think that, even though it’s not intrinsic to her job, just bringing that into her life makes the work process even more enjoyable for her.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I like that a lot too. Because when we do things that we enjoy outside of work, it gives us energy that we can bring into the workplace.

For me, the big takeaway was just thinking about things that we enjoyed doing when we were kids. I mentioned in the conversation my interest in politics. When I was a newspaper carrier, I remember going down to get the paper to find out (I was delivering the paper), who won the election in 1968. Even then, at age nine, I was just fascinated.

Jessica Black:

Yeah, that’s great.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, and I think everybody, in my case it was politics, but everybody develops these interests when we’re kids. We don’t have to walk away from them as adults and we can tap into them.

Jessica Black:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

What I heard her say is, that will make us successful at work, but it will also bring us a lot of personal satisfaction.

Jessica Black:

Yes. One more thing if you guys don’t mind. I wanted to say that I really loved at the end, I know she just said it, but, about how the safe path doesn’t exist. That’s a really important takeaway as well of, I think that people think that “Oh I can find my dream job, I can figure out what brings me joy later. I’ll just do this now because it’s the safe way or the way to make money now.” Or, “I’ll just do this even though I hate it”…those types of things. I liked everything that she said about the safe path doesn’t exist and that if you don’t work to find the things that do bring you joy, the hard times are going to be even harder. Or finding the way that your joy comes through will help you get through the hard times a lot easier. Which I thought was great.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah. Beware the dream deferred.

Jessica Black:

Right, exactly.

Becky Thomas:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

Good, well thank you all, and thank you, Sally, for joining us today. Thank you, our listeners, for downloading today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job.

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The first step to finding your dream job is understanding what activities bring you joy. This week’s guest, Sally Hubbard, advises job seekers to pay attention to joy-inducing activities to help guide what you want to do with your career.

This Week’s Guest

Sally HubbardSally Hubbard is an investigative journalist, lawyer, and creator of the weekly podcast, Women Killing It! She talks to women who are killing it in their careers about what has worked for them, how they got where they are today, and what they wish they knew sooner.

Resources from this Episode