How to Get a Job You Love, with Scott Barlow

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Transcript

Mac Prichard:

This is Find Your Dream Job, the podcast that helps you get hired at 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-host, Ben Forstag, managing director of Mac’s List, and Jenna Forstrom, our community manager. This week we’re talking about how to get a job you love. Our show is brought to you by our book, “Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond.” You can learn more about the new 2016 edition by visiting macslist.org/book.

  This Monday morning did you jump out of bed eager to go to the office? Chances are the answer is no. A recent Deloitte survey for example found that 80% of workers don’t like their jobs. In an ideal world your work and your life purpose would be the same. Many of us struggle however to find the work we love. One of the biggest obstacles we have to accomplishing this, is that we often don’t know what we like to do best. Instead we take a job because someone offers to hire us, or we chose an occupation because people tell us it’s a sensible choice.

  Today we’re talking to Scott Barlow. He’s a career expert who helps people understand what they want to do. He encourages people to play to their strengths. Scott also says no matter where you may be in your career, it’s not too late to make a change. Speaking of mid-career changes, Ben Forstag has found a LinkedIn group for women professionals. It’s aimed at women returning to the workplace after a break. And Jenna Forstrom answers listeners’ questions.

  Before we do that however, let’s turn to the Mac’s List team, to Jenna and Ben. I have a question for you too. What was the first job you all loved, and how did you find it?

Jenna Forstrom:

My first job that I really loved was my first job ever, which was being a lifeguard. I think I loved it. Oh, I know I loved it, was because a) it was really convenient for me. I was already on swim team and on water polo, so I was living at the pool pretty much before and after the class. So this just gave me the opportunity to stick around a little bit longer and make some money. It paid way more than minimum wage back in the day, and we got the perk of otter pops, which is a good selling point to 16-year-old people that are dealing with drama, get some otter pops.

Mac Prichard:

Cool. I’ve got a 16-year-old nephew who just started as a lifeguard.

Jenna Forstrom:

Awesome.

Mac Prichard:

He’s enjoying it very much.

Jenna Forstrom:

It’s a great summer job.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, that’s what he says. Ben, how about you?

Ben Forstag:

So anyone who’s listening to this podcast, probably knows that I started my career working at a summer camp, but I was there year-round. I was like the guy who hung around after summer camp ended. It was hard work but I loved it. Unlike Jenna, I got paid way less than minimum wage because they were giving me like housing, so they got to deduct that from my paycheck, but it was great and I loved it. I was there with a bunch of my friends, and it felt like we were at summer camp all the time, and it was great. Unfortunately, I just kind of aged out of that job.

Jenna Forstrom:

Same with lifeguarding. You age out pretty quickly.

Mac Prichard:

My first job that I loved was as a college intern for a human rights group in Washington DC. It was the first time I’d been east of Chicago. I grew up in Iowa and I was a political science major. I just loved DC from the moment I stepped off the train. It just felt like a good fit, the work I was doing was in public relations. While I was a college intern I got a lot of great opportunities to do things, and it opened up a whole new world for me and really was a foundational experience for the career that I had afterwards in politics and communications.

  Okay, well, let’s turn to our team. Ben, I know you’re out there every week, looking through the internet for websites, podcasts, blogs, and other tools that people can use in their job search. What have you found for us this week?

Ben Forstag:

So this week I want to talk about a website I found. Typically, I don’t pass along resources that I haven’t personally tried out first, but I’m going to make an exception this week and the reason why should become clear in just a moment. I want to talk about this website that one of our friends, Jen Barth recently shared with me. The site is called Apres, like the French word apres. I don’t speak French. If I’m pronouncing that wrong, please correct me.

Jenna Forstrom:

Apres.

Ben Forstag:

Apres is what Jenna is telling me. The site is called Apres Group. It’s not a LinkedIn group, so I’m going to correct you there Mac. It’s actually a site like LinkedIn but it’s just, for women professionals who have taken a career break. 3 million women are looking to reenter the workforce at any one time, and often these women have real big difficulties transitioning back into the professional world. This website is dedicated to helping women make that transition back.

  It was founded by Jennifer Gefsky and Nicole Kroll. It’s a community for women looking to reenter the workforce with advice and inspirational stories, coaching, and other resources. It’s also a marketplace for finding work with full and part time positions, consulting projects, maternity filling positions, and pro bono opportunities across a wide range of industries.

  According to the founders Apres typical member is a female aged 35 or older, most of the members hold graduate degrees and are looking for alternative types of works. The way this works is companies that are looking to tap into this talent pool pay the website to post their jobs on the site, but it is free for the job seeker, for the women who want to be members. It’s free to register and search for jobs. You can also pay for more features like having your profile viewable by recruiters.

  Now, this is probably not a shock to anyone in this room. I am not a female aged 35 or older, so I’ve not actually registered for the site. But Jenna, I understand that you actually have gone in and registered for Apres and you perhaps give our listeners a little sense of what it’s like.

Jenna Forstrom:

And for the record I am not 35. But yeah, I did sign up because Jen mentioned it. I was like, “Well, I’m a lady. I’ll check it out.” It seems really cool. It’s very beautifully laid out, very editorial which attracts I think a more feminine community, and they’ve got some really great jobs. I don’t remember if it’s Jennifer or Nicole, but one of them came from the MLB so they had a- I know that they signed-

Ben Forstag:

That’s the major league baseball.

Jenna Forstrom:

Yes, major league baseball. So they sign a whole bunch of professional teams to be on there. I totally checked out the Boston Red Socks posting.

Mac Prichard:

Are there openings?

Jenna Forstrom:

There is one opening. I’m not going to apply for it. I’m also not 35.

Mac Prichard:

Can you tell us what the job is?

Jenna Forstrom:

I don’t remember, but it was like come work for the Red Socks, and I was like, “Oh my gosh, this will be the best thing ever,” after working for Mac’s List of course. But yeah, I mean, it just seems like a really great site and definitely skews heavily feminine, but lots of solid job opportunities. The great thing is it’s companies are paying because they want that talent. It’s not like going to Monster where they’ll take anyone and everyone and everybody’s application. They’re actually actively going after female workforce.

Ben Forstag:

Yeah, like I said earlier, women who are looking to reenter the workforce, especially older women, face a lot of barriers. One of them is that a lot of employers either explicitly or implicitly don’t want that kind of demographic in the workplace for whatever reason. The nice thing about this site is these are companies that are explicitly saying we want this kind of talent and this kind of person in our organization. So you’re not going to be fighting that fight for any job you find on their site. Again, it’s called Apres Group, and that’s spelled A-P-R-E-S-G-R-O-U-P.com. Of course we will have the link in the show notes.

Mac Prichard:

Thanks Ben. If you have a suggestion for Ben, please write him and we may share your idea on the show. Ben’s email address is really easy to remember. It’s ben@macslist.org. Now let’s turn to you, our listeners. Jenna is here, our community manager, to answer one of your questions. What do you have from our listeners this week Jenna?

Jenna Forstrom:

Today’s question comes from Letta. She asks, “What is the general career path for a person who wants to become an executive director at a non-profit?” That’s a great question. I only know one executive director, and he started in non-profit. If you are super passionate about something and want to start in non-profit, that’s a great way to build yourself an executive director role. I know that at Mac’s List we have a lot of other executive director positions out there, and I think that’s for nonprofits that are a little bit older and maybe their founder or their leader is moving onto another role.

  So having a skillset in leadership with some management and leadership skills is very, very key when applying for executive director roles. But I would just strongly encourage people like Letta who are interested in executive positions, to do what we talk about all the time, take people out for informationals, ask people about their career path and how they ended up as an executive director. Those people are either very, very open to meetings I guess if they’re extroverted, or very close off if they’re introverted, but just asking. I don’t know. Mac and Ben, have you guys had any experience with executive directors?

Ben Forstag:

So my background was in nonprofit management. I think there’s 2 career pathways that I know about to become an ED. One is you essentially become like a career employee of the organization where you started off as the membership manager, and then wound up to communications management, and then became director of programs, vice executive director, and then you get named the ED path or the ED position. I think that pathway is becoming a bit more rare, as organizations are being … as turnover is more of a thing at non-profit organizations and organizations are more dynamic in their hiring.

  The other pathway is I think there’s this professionalism going on in the nonprofit sector, where organizations recognize that it takes a unique skillset to be an executive director. It’s not just about the mission of the organization. You also have to be really good with financials and really good with personnel and really good with planning and all these other things. One of the routes to getting those high executive positions in non-profits is literally go out and get the training. There’s a lot of MBA programs out there that have a specialty track on nonprofit management, where you go in and you learn a lot of the nuts and bolts of literally how you run a non-profit organization. I don’t think you graduate and go right into the ED position at a non-profit, but this provides you that background or that training or that competency to go in and do that.

Mac Prichard:

Another way I’ve seen people do it is develop an expertise, and relationships, and a standing in a particular field. I’ve seen people move from middle management to leadership roles say in the environment or human services or particular kind of social service, and they become recognized for their expertise and often will move from organization to organization within that sector. They’re able to do that because they’ve got a record of accomplishment that can point to a set of contacts and particular knowledge. Those 3 qualities can be very powerful in persuading a non-profit to hire you as executive director.

Ben Forstag:

I think the other way to fast track yourself in the nonprofit community is start a career in development, which is basically fundraising, because a lot of the ED’s responsibilities in almost any non-profit organization is fundraising, so if you come in with a strong skillset in that as a development professional, that’s always a good thing to have in your back pocket.

Jenna Forstrom:

Awesome. Thanks guys.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, you’re welcome. Well, thank you Jenna and if you have a question for Jenna, please email her. Her address is jenna@macslist.org.

  These segments are sponsored by the 2016 edition of “Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond.” We made the new edition of our book even better. We added new content and now we offer it to you in formats that you want. For the first time ever you can read “Land Your Dream Job in Portland and Beyond” as a paperback, or you can download it onto your Kindle, your Nook, or your iPad. Whatever the format our book gives you the tools and tips you need to get meaningful work, work that you can love, work that makes a difference. For more information, visit macslist.org/book.

  Now, let’s turn to this week’s guest expert, Scott Barlow. Scott Barlow is the founder of Happen to Your Career, a company that helps you stop doing work that doesn’t fit, figuring out what does, and then teaching you to make it happen. He’s been helping people develop their careers and businesses for more than 10 years. Scott also hosts the Happen to Your Career podcast. Well, Scott, thanks for joining us.

Scott Barlow:

Hey, thanks for having me on mate. I really appreciate it.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you join us via Skype. Now Scott, why do people struggle with finding work they love?

Scott Barlow:

Oh man. I don’t know if we have enough time to go into all the answers, but I think one of the big reasons, the biggest reason maybe is that they don’t realize that it’s possible. I mean, for example, one of the first jobs that I took out of college, my first professional job, I’m doing air quotes, I took it because it seems like a good job. I had all of my family and friends that are telling me, “Hey, this pay is decent. It seems like it’s going to be a great job for you and you should just take it because you have it.” I knew right away that it wasn’t a great fit, but it was only 2, 3, 4, and 5 months into it before I’m having sweats and anxiety attacks and all kinds of other thing on my commute, on the way to work, when I realized that, “Look, this can’t be all there is.”

  I think most people go into work thinking the exact same thing that I did, which is look, this is what it’s supposed to be like, and work is work, like you got to work at work. I think there’s this kind of societal expectation that work can be enjoyable for significant lengths of time, or work can feel like play. So I think most people that I’ve encountered just simply don’t realize is possible and don’t have the exposure as I did to people that really do love their work. I think that’s the biggest thing.

Mac Prichard:

So it doesn’t have to be a dose of cod liver oil going to work?

Scott Barlow:

Yeah.

Mac Prichard:

But how do you get exposed to people who do enjoy their work if you’re just starting out in your career, or you’re mid-career and you’re having those Sunday night blues, just dreading the idea of going into the office?

Scott Barlow:

That’s a great question. I don’t know that I always would’ve had a great answer for that, but I think that even what you’re doing, Mac, in putting the word out there with people that … You’ve had a number of people on your show that really have enjoyed their work, enjoyed their jobs, enjoyed their company. Some of them are company owners. Being able to get access to that via the media or via podcast is one way to start exposing yourself to that sort of thing.

  Then, I mean, I think that some other ways too are being able to interact with lots of different people in lots of different walks of life. I mean that sounds so simple, but I’m from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, which is a little tiny, tiny town, and it’s 2,000 people. Where I grew up everybody there worked at the mill, or at the casino, or at one of 3 other employers. We just didn’t have those sorts of things, and it didn’t occur to me that I should go and talk to lots of other people to find out what do they like about their job, what do they not enjoy about their jobs, what are all of the other opportunities out there in the first place. I would say intentionally exposing yourself in whatever realm you see possible.

Mac Prichard:

Okay, so look for role models. For people who are ready to make a change, maybe they found those role models, they found examples and they’re either starting their career or they’re mid-career and they want to get on a dodge, they want to get out of a job that doesn’t satisfy them or maybe they dislike. What’s the first step they should take Scott?

Scott Barlow:

This is a great question. I hear myself saying, saying that. I hate when people say it’s a great question. I’m not just buying myself time here Mac, but I think that is the question, like what should you be doing. The way that we look at this is we really don’t want you just moving from one job that you’re not really all that excited about, into another role that doesn’t line up with what you want, what you’re good at, the types of things that you enjoy. Otherwise you’ll just find yourself eventually after the honeymoon period wears off, in the exact same sort of place.

  Instead I would propose a totally different solution. Rather than running away from something that’s not good, actually moving towards something that’s going to be great for you and much better aligned with what fits you. We’ve got a little bit different, a little bit different way to look at it than I think what I’ve seen out there. We just focus on 2 different things, and this is what I would propose that you do, is go after the things that you’re great at and also the things that you place the most value on in your life, because we think it’s a different question of not what should you do for work, but instead, how do you want to actually spend your time, what are the ways that you actually want to spend your time? When you spend your time doing things that you enjoy and that you place value on, then guess what, it’s a little bit easier to lead a happier life for most people.

Mac Prichard:

Scott, when you work with clients or you … How do you see people figure that out? What steps do they take to identify what they love and how they can get paid to do that?

Scott Barlow:

Here’s the system that we use. I’ll tell you a quick story. This has been several years ago. I had my son, my youngest son, his name is Grayson. He was trying to put together a puzzle, and he was really struggling with it. Like I’m sitting across the other side of the room and I’m looking at him. He’s like taking all these pieces, trying to cram them together, and it’s not really working for him. So I get up out of the chair and I go and sit down next to him, and it’s like, “Hey, Grayson, you know, why don’t you try this instead.”

  Anybody who’s put together a puzzle can identify this. If you just take random pieces, it’s probably going to be really difficult to put it together. But instead if you start with the corner pieces, which there’s 4 of them, if it’s a square puzzle, e rectangular puzzle, you can pull those things out, they’re easily identifiable, and you know exactly where they’re going to go.

  Then after you get to the corner pieces you can pull out all the edge pieces, all those pieces that got this flat spot on one side. Once you’ve got those edge pieces separated out you can really build out a frame, you can start to see that, hey, this has got these colors are similar and this goes together, and all of a sudden you’ve got a frame put together.

  Now the interesting thing about the frame is even if you don’t know what the picture is, you can start to see pieces of it. We’ve got little kids, we’ve got Disney puzzles and pop patrol puzzles, and all kinds of stuff like that, so you can see that, hey, this is Donald Duck’s foot down here, or Donald Duck’s beak, or Mickey Mouse’s ear, or whatever it happens to be, and then you’d start to guess that here’s what the picture actually looks like, even if you’ve lost the original box because you’ve got 3 little kids that don’t ever keep the boxes.

  We found that careers actually work very, very much the same way. Those corner pieces are very much like your strengths, what we specifically call your signature strengths which are those things that you are … all the predispositions, experiences that you have, things that you’re skilled at. We kind of lump all of that stuff into what we call your signature strengths. They’re those things that give you this natural unfair advantage when compared to other people.

  Those are those corner pieces. We look at those as the foundation. Because those don’t really change all that much. They get developed over time but you sort of get this set of strengths that you begin with.

Mac Prichard:

Scott, I can imagine our listeners thinking, “Okay, that makes sense to me. I want to figure out what those fundamental … those foundation pieces are.” Tell me Scott, I can imagine them asking, how do I do that? What can I do at home so I can get clear about my strengths and build that, and fill out that puzzle?

Scott Barlow:

Let me give you 2 hacks. These will get you started. They won’t be the end all. Some people go through their entire lives really identifying what their strengths are, and some people never really get that far down the road. 2 hacks that we found. One you’ve talked about on your show before, Strength Finders 2.0, I think there’s a couple people that have recommended that, right?

Mac Prichard:

It’s a great resource.

Scott Barlow:

Yeah, great resource, phenomenal. Well, here’s what that will do, is it’ll start to give you verbage. That way you can begin to say, “Okay, now I know kind of what it is,” and you can start to recognize those. You can say, “Okay, I’m futuristic. Oh, that’s why I’m looking at that in this way.” Then you can intentionally develop those strengths, and that’s where it really becomes unfair advantage. So great resource. It’s like $15 or $20 or something along those lines, and it’ll save you hours upon hours upon hours of getting the verbage.

  What it won’t do is it won’t help you apply it. That’s a different part, and we can talk about that in just a second here. The other hack that I would give you is this is going to sound so easy but nobody does it. So well worth talking to the time to do it. One of the things that I’ve observed is that we’re really good at identifying other people’s strengths, and really, really bad at identifying our own. That’s primarily because we’ve got blind spots to what is valuable for us, and we undermine that or undervalue what are those things that we’re good at.

  But we can say, “Hey, here’s my friend Jem,” or, “Here’s Mac, and Mac’s phenomenal at this,” or, “My friend Sheila, she tells the best stories.” Or, “You might have meet Jody Mayberry, they’re at Podcast Movement. He’s a good friend and he can tell just phenomenal stories. Everything that he answers is in the form of a story. He says things like, ‘Hey, have I told you the one about,’ and that’s how he answers a question.” We can identify those things for other people, really, really difficult for our self.

  So what I would suggest is giving feedback from a few other people that know you well and maybe even care about you enough in order to hurt your feelings. This doesn’t sound like that big of a thing, but every time I’ve ever done this with people, and you go and you can either do it in person, you can call them up on the phone, you can send them an email, and ask them a couple of questions, really simple questions like, “Hey, what seems to come easy to me that is really, really difficult for other people?”

Mac Prichard:

Those are great hacks Scott. Once you get that information, you go the bookstore, you find strength finders, you figure out what your core strengths are, and you talk to mentors or colleagues or family or friends and get feedback from them. How do you apply that out? You mentioned that a moment ago. Give us your best tips about how to play to our strengths and turn that into tactics and tools you can use so that when you’re assessing a job posting for example you know that you’re making an informed choice.

Scott Barlow:

Okay. So that’s where we go to the rest of the puzzle. The rest of that puzzle. The second piece after the strengths, which are your corner pieces, those edge pieces are really what is your ideal career environment and what do you actually want in your life and career. That’s what do you place more value on.

  Here’s one of the things that I’ve realized, is once you have those 2 pieces of information, once you’ve got your signature strengths and then once you understand what it is that you want in different areas of your life, and also what your ideal career environment looks like, then you can start to go and say, “Okay, what companies actually line up with these things,” and actually look at it backwards from where most people are, because most people will go looking at what are the job openings that are out there. There’s a lot of amazing resources. You guys have an amazing resource for companies that are already in existence and already hiring and everything like that too, right?

Mac Prichard:

Absolutely. There are 10s of thousands of jobs in any state online in a typical month, so there are many, many choices.

Scott Barlow:

Oh yeah. But what I would propose is say before you even really start looking there, start to identify, okay, what does my ideal career environment look like, and what else do I want, and what companies really are out there that I would want to work for that may allow me to use this or provide that type of environment or whatever else. Then I would make a list of 15 to 20 companies.

  Again, this sounds totally backwards because you’re like, “Oh, well, what if those companies aren’t hiring,” or whatever else. But the funny thing is, and I’ve heard you guys talk about this on the show and talk about the hidden job market. Those companies are probably going to be hiring at some point along the lines, and if you’re one of the first people in line to be able to actually be there and be available and already have built a relationship, and they already understand you and what you bring to the table i.e. those strengths, then very often people are going to hire based upon people they already know and like and trust.

  Then you’re often one of the first people who get inserted into the interview process. I’ve seen this happen again and again and again and again and again and everybody probably can think of somebody that’s gotten hired this way. This is one way that you can do that. Go ahead.

Mac Prichard:

No, go ahead Scott.

Scott Barlow:

I was just going to say, if you already understand what it is that I’m strong at. For me, I worked in HR for years and years in. One of the things that I was pretty strong at was being able to go in and assess what problems were in existence and clear away all the clutter, and basically ignore stuff, this sounds really bad, but ignore stuff that wasn’t as important to focus on the really important pieces. If I have …

  Actually I did this several different times. I went and talked to that company called ConAgra Foods. We talked about my experiences doing this. They didn’t have a position open at that particular time. But what we did is I maintained contact with them for several different months and then I got a call seemingly out of the blue where they said, “Hey, we’d love to talk to you about a role that we think is a great fit for you,” and without even having a job application in and without even submitting additional resume or anything like that, ended up getting the job offer. That was never offered to anybody else. It eventually went live and was publicized, but really I was already, I had already been made the job offer and everything like that.

  That’s something that I’ve done with my clients again and again and again. We just had a guy got hired and move to California, totally different state, totally different place. He identified the companies that he’s really, really interested in working for, got to know about probably about 20 something different CEOs of those different organizations, and now he’s got those phone numbers in his iPhone for any time he wants to make a crew change later on down the road by the way. He pre-identified those, and when an opening came open just a couple short months later he was the first person that they thought of to be able to hire, based upon what he was great at and how he had built that relationship.

Mac Prichard:

To bring it back to that picture you painted for us at the start of our conversation, if you think about it, it is a jigsaw puzzle. Figure out those 4 corners. Those are your foundational strengths. That helps you understand what you have to offer. Then figure out where you want to be and start building relationships with those companies and the people who hire at those company now before the jobs are posted so that they think of you and what you have to offer when opportunities become available.

Scott Barlow:

Absolutely. Absolutely.

Mac Prichard:

That’s terrific advice Scott. Anything else you’d like to add about how to find a job you can love?

Scott Barlow:

I think that there’s a couple of different ways to think about this. The biggest thing I would say is it’s worthwhile to spend a little bit of time upfront identifying what’s going to be good for you, so that you don’t make a career change and have grass is greener syndrome again, and then make another career change and have grass is greener syndrome again and again and again. I’ve seen people make those types of changes throughout their entire career, and that doesn’t seem like a good way to spend 40 or 50 years.

  Instead I would absolutely offer the suggestion of spend a little bit of time upfront, figure out what you’re phenomenal at, what you enjoy, and what you really want out of your life. Now that second piece it really is a changing target, like if you have kids or kids leave the nest or something else significant happens in your life, that second piece is dynamic and it will change. But if you spend the time upfront then it really becomes the case of you’re moving towards something that’s going to be good for you rather than perpetually running away.

Mac Prichard:

Well terrific. Why I think that’s a great spot to close at Scott. Now tell us what’s coming up

next for you?

Scott Barlow:

Oh my goodness, we’ve got a lot of things coming up that are … We’ve really started focusing on running career change classes and helping people get the things that we probably should’ve or could’ve been tied in college, but colleges typically don’t offer and neither do high schools. Learning how to be able to go through and get solid job offers in areas that you actually want. We’re having a lot of fun with that in our program called Figure Out What Fits, but otherwise we’re just having a lot of fun being able to help people with this sort of thing.

  I’m so glad that you invited me on. I would say that if you want more of this, we could absolutely offer up … We have an 8-day video series that we could give to your audience completely free, and make that available that guides them through this process and through the puzzle math that we talked about.

Mac Prichard:

Well, that’s a very generous offer. We’ll be sure to include that content in the show notes that we publish for this episode. If you’d like to learn more about Scott and his ideas and services, please visit his website, it’s HappenToYourCareer.com. We’ll also include that link in the show notes too. Scott, thanks so much for joining us today.

Scott Barlow:

Hey, thanks for having me. Really appreciate it.

Mac Prichard:

You’re welcome.

  We’re back in the studio with Jenna and Ben and that was a good conversation. I’m curious Jenna, what did you think of the point Scott made?

Jenna Forstrom:

I really like Scott’s analogy about building a puzzle is like is your job search, and how you’ve got these core identifiers about yourself and those are your corner pieces and the strengths connected and that’s the framework. Then based off of those 2 things, which isn’t even getting into a job yet, you can see how the puzzle is coming together and you can find groups, an outline or a color or a scene and you can start building it up. We were talking about this and I was thinking about the movie “Inside Out,” and how when the characters, the emotions are in Riley’s head, how she’s got these personality islands and they’re like …

Mac Prichard:

Jenna, for the benefit of our listeners who might not have seen the movie, tell us just a capsule summary.

Jenna Forstrom:

Yes, this doesn’t give anything away, so you can totally watch the movie. Inside Out is these characters, so there’s like joy and sadness and anger and fear. They help keep Riley the human 11-year-old girl alive. It’s just their interactions is the whole movie, but then different parts of her brain interact and that’s her identity. She’s got a family island which gets strengthened when she hangs out with her dad, and then she’s got goofball island when she’s goofing off with her friends.

  So just thinking back to those, what Scott was saying about the core pieces, so it’s like, “Okay, well what’s really important to you and what do you stand for as person,” and then find companies and jobs that align to that, and don’t make you question your core pieces or your core islands of your identity. I thought that was really key.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I think anytime you can play to those strengths you’re going to unleash energy that is going to make you not only a better employee, but it’s going to make you happier and it’s going to make that connection with work and what you love. That’s going to make you have a much more satisfying career.

Jenna Forstrom:

Definitely.

Mac Prichard:

Ben, what are your thoughts?

Ben Forstag:

What I thought was really cool was Scott’s story about how he got that job at ConAgra. That’s like the model story for when we talk about the hidden job market or the value of networking which is you don’t go into a conversation with someone expecting they’re going to have a job for you right now, because typically they don’t. But the more you give of yourself, the more you let people know your skills and what you’re good at and what you’re interested in, those kind of opportunities do pop up. It might take 3 months, 6 months, whatever. Frankly, you just never know when that opportunity is going to show up, but they do. I really liked Scott’s story and how that all played out for him.

Mac Prichard:

Yeah, I think the key there was the person focused on what they could do for those companies. Again, it came back to the strengths. So when that employer had a problem, they needed somebody to do a specific job, they thought of that person and what they had to offer, and I think that made all the difference.

  Well, thank you both, and thank you, our listeners, for joining us for today’s episode of Find Your Dream Job. If you like what you hear, please sign up for our free weekly newsletter. In each issue we give you the key points of that week’s show. We also include links to all the resources mentioned, and you get a transcript of the full episode. If you subscribe to the newsletter now we’ll send you our Job Secret Checklist. It’s one easy to use file that shows you all the steps you need to follow to find a great job.

  Get your free newsletter and checklist today. Go to macslist.org/podcast and join us next Wednesday for more tools and tips you can use to get the job you want. Our special guest next week is Melissa Mathews. She’ll tell you how to get a virtual job that’ll let you work at home or anywhere in the world. Until the next time, thanks for letting us help you find your dream job.

Do you know how to get a job you love? It’s okay if you don’t. Most people do not believe it is even possible.

A traditional job search includes scouring job postings and identifying with skills an employer is looking for. Today’s conversation turns the table on tradition and encourages job seekers to first identify interests and then look for the jobs that line up with your desires.

This week’s guest, Scott Barlow compares a successful job search to putting together a puzzle. The following pieces all have to fit together:

  • Your strengths
  • Your passions
  • Your ideal work environment
  • Your values

Your mission should be to clarify what each one of these puzzle pieces look like.

Then  pre-identify the work opportunities which closely match your ideal. Even if those organizations aren’t currently hiring, you can place yourself first in line when a position becomes available.

This Week’s Guest

Scott Barlow is the founder of Happen to Your Career, a company that helps you stop doing work that doesn’t fit, figuring out what does fit and then teaching you to make it happen. Scott has been helping people develop their careers and businesses for more than 10 years. Scott is also the host of the Happen to Your Career podcast.

Check out Scott’s free 8-day video series, Figure Out What Fits.

Resources from this Episode