If You Could Do Almost Anything, What Would You Do?


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What is your ideal career – what would you do if you could do just about anything? Do you try to follow your passion or look for something on more obscure lines?

There was a really interesting op-ed article. The Wall Street Gazette about a new class called “Being You” at NYU’s Stern School of Business the other day. Suzy Welch, the woman behind the class, is a long-time CNBC contributor and writer on topics such as leadership and strategy, and also teaches at Stern. After the 2020 hit, he proposed the class to the dean: the class he wished existed.

In fact, I was hoping to teach a class on understanding what to do with your career even though you can do just about anything thanks to your education and good luck in life – grade I. wish It was when I was at Harvard Business School. I desperately needed that lesson, and I knew I wasn’t alone.

He spends a lot of time writing, noting that most business graduates eventually enter the consulting, finance, or technology fields. Yes, he states that the financial security of these businesses is a huge advantage – but there’s also a “rooted group instinct” driving the decision.

Many very smart, very talented people, usually in their late 30s and early 40s, wake up miserable one day. During my years as a journalist specializing in the workplace, I’ve seen this phenomenon so often that I’ve come to call it the “Velvet Coffin” – a state of relaxed creature comforts covered in emotional or intellectual dissatisfaction.

“Being Yourself” as I envisioned it would help prevent that fate by encouraging MBA students to think of their careers in another way – a journey into the “spaces of destiny” that exist at the intersection of their own unique values, the world of opportunity. , their strongest skills and talents, and the kind of jobs that engage and excite them intellectually and emotionally.

(Basically, he concludes the article by stating that the industry needs to recruit more MBA students than it currently does. Here another article on the course Poets and Quantitiesand THANKS, yes, I’m obsessed with his sweater.)

But the course fascinated me – and the fundamental question! If you could do almost anything for work, what would you do?

For my $0.02, I think the idea of ​​a “destiny space” might be flawed – I may have thought in my youth that First Amendment or copyright issues might be that fateful space for me, but in practice I’ve found it to be really boring, at least on the lower levels.

(This brings me back to the recruiter who gave me some information. worst career advice I heard that I have to follow my passions. The example he gives is that if I loved baseball, I would be a lawyer on a baseball team! What did you say? I really enjoy reading romance novels, but I’m not sure if I want to write one, let alone 15… and I really doubt I’ll be satisfied with being a lawyer, agent, or editor involved.)

But Suzy Welch is up to something important, with the idea that there might be a job “at the crossroads of the world.” [your] authentic values, [your] the strongest skills and abilities, and the types of jobs that arouse interest and excitement [you] intellectually and emotionally.”

So – let’s look at our current careers through these lenses. Are you happy? If so, are all domains satisfied?

For me yes, I am happy with my current career.

Does it appeal to my true values? I think I like helping people find things; I have always thought of “Corporette Voice” as an older sister voice and I have always been very close with my younger brother. The promotion of feminism and other women is important to me.

Am I using my strongest skills and abilities? If I say it myself, I have always been a great customer and have a good memory. I also think one of my skills is to be curious and enjoy learning – the amount of changing knowledge for blogging best practices, SEO and technology can be overwhelming at times, but I enjoy learning. I think I’m probably a better writer than most, but my main skill is that I can come up with (mostly) readable stuff pretty quickly and painlessly.

Is it the kind of work that interests and excites me intellectually and emotionally? Yes, I guess I always knew I didn’t want to do anything emotionally “heavy” for a career, no matter how emotionally satisfying light things like fashion and self-help can be. I enjoy finding new content ideas and reviewing old content ideas. It’s particularly interesting to me how much everything has changed since the website started – it really feels like a lot of societal change has happened, mostly forward-looking for women.

I think a large part of your “destiny space” should also go back to daily tasks, as in our discussion of Carter Cast’s book and how to know it. whether your job is right for you. For example, I hated being a lawyer because most of it is basically a customer service position – the whole “If they want you to jump in, how high do you ask” idea. I didn’t mind my days as a journalist, but I laugh when I think about all the time I’ve spent on the phone. Not even interviewing people, but doing mundane things like verifying, requesting reviews of books or products, accepting lunch on behalf of my more senior editors.

I don’t know guys, what are your thoughts – if you could do almost anything (for work) what would you do? Do you try to follow your passion or look for something on more obscure lines? If you look at your current job/career, do you think you are at the intersection of your values, skills, and jobs that interest and excite you intellectually and emotionally? (How much do you love or hate all the daily tasks on your plate right now?)

(After doing the exercise, if you find that your current job/career is missing in one of these areas, do you have a clear path forward as to where to go next?)


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