Ask the experts
April 6, 2016 at 12:01 pm #143Natalie HParticipant
Hey Kristen and Rachel!
I’m really loving this course which came to me at the absolute perfect time. I am really struggling and in such limbo about how to proceed with my job path. I am a definite firestarter and my current job (real estate agent) actually gives me much of what I need in terms of lifestyle and freedom, but I really don’t enjoy the work itself and after three years, I am really starting to resent it. I just switched companies and directions in an effort to see if it might change my feelings towards it, but so far I’ve only been feeling more anxious and confused. What I have envisioned for myself for many years is coaching people one on one. I have concerns as to whether or not I will like it, but it is something I know I have to give a chance. It is the job I feel the most certain and excited about right now. I feel really strongly about just quitting real estate all together. I am fortunate enough to not have money be an immediate concern at the moment. My only concern is that I may feel extremely overwhelmed if I put all my eggs in one basket. That emotionally, it might be too pressing to have coaching be my only thing because it I know like starting any business, it isn’t easy, quick, or consistent in the beginning. There is a lot of room for self-doubt.
I’m wondering if you have any advice on the following:
1) Should I stay in real estate?- Lifestyle works, Passion does not. It also requires a lot of my firestarter fuel as I have to be On and motivated for it to work. But it does make lots of money and can be done more passively.
2) If not, should I find another job to give me some constructive off time from building my business? Any ideas of what that could look like?
3) Do you think I should maybe hold off on starting my own thing now and see how I might like a full-time job (I’ve only done real estate)? Although the idea of outsourcing my time and paycheck amount to someone else makes me cringe.
Thank you SO much ,
NatalieApril 7, 2016 at 7:52 pm #144
Glad the PPSC showed up for you at the perfect time! I love when that happens.
You hit on something really important in your comment — just because a job matches your Firestarter values doesn’t automatically make it a great job for you! You’re right, real estate has a lot of the job qualities and attributes that Firestarters are attracted to (flexibility, no cap on income potential, autonomy, etc.), but that doesn’t make it the right career path for you. If you’re feeling the itch to get into the world of coaching, I would really encourage you to follow that desire. But you don’t need to quit everything and throw yourself into it ASAP. I would start by learning as much as you can about coaching and — most importantly — experience it. If you’ve never worked with a coach before, hire one! See what it feels like on the client side of things, and you’ll get a much better idea of whether it’s something you want to pursue more intensely. (That’s exactly what I did — when I was considering becoming a coach, I decided to hire one, and it was hugely influential in my decision to move forward.) You also might want to do some informational interviews with coaches to find out more about what it’s actually like to pursue that full-time (I’m happy to be one of your guinea pigs!). And you might even start looking into coach training programs, too (I went to an awesome program called IPEC, in case you’re curious).
As for the specific questions you asked:
1) If you’re already resenting real estate, I’m thinking that’s not going to work as a longterm option for you. BUT I do think, since it does (mostly) support the lifestyle you want, it could serve as a great bridge job while you explore other things, like coaching. Think of it as the vehicle that’s taking you toward your next thing — it’s giving you the flexibility and financial support to fund your exploration of other options. Seeing it that way gives it much more of a purpose!
2) This is a really important question, but I think it might be a little too early to ask it. (I’m SO like you, always thinking 10 steps ahead, getting ahead of myself and wanting to know how it’s all going to play out way early on in the game. 🙂 ) The truth is, you MIGHT need to find another job to support you while you’re building your business, or you might not. It depends entirely on how you plan to build and structure your business, and what that business is in the first place. And those are the questions I want you to focus on first, before deciding what to do about your full-time job. Making a decision about your job will become MUCH simpler once you’re clear on what you want to do about your business.
3) If you’re a true Firestarter and just the IDEA of outsourcing your time and paycheck amount to a full-time job makes you cringe, then I’m thinking that’s only going to feel worse if you’re actually living that experience. If everything in you is pushing against something, that’s a pretty good sign that it’s just not right for you — don’t try to force it.
Hope that helps!April 9, 2016 at 3:47 pm #145Shannon BParticipant
Hi Kristen and Rachel!
I have absolutely loved the PPSC and the amount of “eye-opening” it has done for me. It has really caused me to sit back for a second and really think about what I want to do in life. I’m 23 and have lots of work years ahead of me, so I want them to be good ones!
I am a Tribe Member through and through and it was relieving to find something that just gets me and helps me to understand myself and my wants professionally. The only bad news is that it confirmed that I’m kind of picky with where/how I work and I won’t be happy with just any job! (Like maybe a Thriver would be).
To give some background on my current situation, I have a history and public relations degree. As a senior in college, I was looking at PR jobs like I thought I should (more logical career path) without much luck. I think I had a panic moment about “sticking it to everyone and doing what I love”, so I opted for a part-time job at a history museum in my home town. At first I loved it, and thankfully was brought on full-time as a guest experience coordinator. I love talking to guests and planning group/field trips to the museum, however I’m paid basically nothing and therefore I still have to live at home, which I hate. “Adult-limbo” is what I call it. We also restructured and my role is changing into something I don’t like and all the team members I like are either unhappy or leaving. Bad things for a tribe member!
I think what I love most about my job though is that I help bring joy and a fun escape to others’ hectic and stressful lives, AND get them inspired about something that also means a lot to me.
I’ve realized that my sense of personal value is determined by the value I can create for others, and I need a career that lets this happen while also being in a position that deals with knowledge, detail, and accuracy. Question is, what kind of jobs fit this description that also would pay me enough to live on my own?? I was wondering if you could help me at all with this! Thank you!!April 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm #147
Hi Shannon — Sorry for the delay in responding to this! Rachel and I have both been down with the flu this week (ugh, no fun).
I love that the PPSC has been so validating and eye-opening for you already! And it’s clear that you definitely have a strong sense of what you do/don’t want in your career (especially for being only 23 — you’re way ahead of the game!), which is awesome. The fact that you love your job at the history museum is great because it can point you in the right direction for full-time (and better paying) positions that will tie in the aspects of your current job that you love most.
I have a few ideas for how you can start finding jobs that might interest, based off of what you already know about yourself:
— Because you’re a Tribe Member and the mission and environment of the company is so important to you, try first looking into companies that you think are really awesome before searching for specific jobs. You might find that, for the right company, you’d be happy doing any number of jobs! So make a list of companies that you would LOVE to work for, and then browse their open positions.
— Instead of searching for job titles (like most of us do), try searching for key phrases that describe the parts of your current job that you most love. If you love planning events or coordinating guests, search for those kinds of phrases and see what things come up that might surprise you.
— Start taking note of people whose jobs you’re envious of. Do you have a friend, family member, or even just someone you follow on Instagram who you think, “Damn, that’s such a cool job!” whenever you see them? Whenever you feel jealousy, that’s just a sign that there’s something there you want and value, so that’s valuable info! If you’re curious, ask them a few questions about what their job is really like, or do some exploring on your own. It might just spark an idea for you.
Hope that helps!April 19, 2016 at 10:22 am #150
Hi ladies, I have a question that I am sure you have been asked many times.
I’m a fire starter (small dash of side hustler). I am working in stakeholder engagement and communications/media full time. while running my own wedding planning and styling business.
In February, I quit my comms/engagement job of almost 6 years in government to take up a related comms/engagement job at a University. The government job allowed me a lot of autonomy (my boss was always uninterested in what I did and liked me to take charge run the whole show and that kind of suited me), but it was a toxic environment for a number of reasons (very poor leader, poor decision maker and very weak) with no prospects to ever move up or sideways.
At the same time the business was becoming successful and making a little money (not much), but I had realised it wasn’t the right business for me (one on one nature of it and physical hard work wasn’t making enough money for time and I was SAD and had lost all enthusiasm).
So I stopped taking wedding clients and went for an impressive job with a big payrise at a respected institution and got it.
I started in the new job in February and I have been utterly MISERABLE ever since. My new director is very controlling (tells me what to do in my work AND spare time, strongly insinuates I can’t do work outside of the university even though agreed to it before I started, making me drive 3 hours to a different campus once a week (not in my position description) etc.). PLUS the workload is so out of control I can’t work on anything outside of the job anyway. PLUS he is giving me ineffective tasks not in my job description so I can’t get to the strategic bits (including getting mugs for the lunch room printed with our team rules)..etc. etc. etc…. Many other reasons I hate it not listed (you don’t have all year) haha…
I burst into tears in the restroom about ten times in 6 weeks. I started going to a counsellor to help me with the anxiety and sadness I was experiencing and seeing a physio due to the neck and back pain I have had due to stress. I KNEW I had to quit.
THEN I found your course and everything reaffirmed this. I felt enlightened, excitied, free, hopeful, alive….until I heard the bit in the course about firestarters jumping ship too early and taking risks too soon. Now I’m second guessing this decision.
So even though I had tried (gently) to do this already I took the advice given in the course and spoke to my director about what I wanted to achieve for the team, where my skills were best served, the projects I’d like to take on. I talked to him about my workload and that to perform well I needed support etc.. his reaction was only barely supportive. I can tell his way of managing me is not going to shift, and that he is not going to offer me much in the way of change.
SO…I have some options:
1. Quit now. University job will not be on my CV (not there long enough to put it on). I know I can get a little consulting work in communications here and there (not much) and build my NEW business idea of online wedding planning course/virtual coach type experience. My husband and I will be poor (but wouldn’t lose our house, just no luxuries, might be using the credit card a LOT haha).
2. Wait until 6 months into the job and let the university pay for some communications training I want to finish (mid way through a course) and maybe get a reference before leaving. Build up my contacts for consulting and business on side (if can do it inbetween day job committments)
3. Wait until 12months is up and definitely have it as a solid job on my CV. As above with all other things (more time though)
Sorry its sooooo long, I just found this one thing about not jumping too soon stopped me in my tracks. Otherwise I feel pretty good about the kind of environment I need to be in and HOW I need to follow my passion!
Much love… Jane.April 19, 2016 at 10:29 am #151
PS. I’m not 100% sure if the wedding online coach business idea is really aligning with me WHAT yet …I have only just discovered that I’m a firestarter and my How! Have not yet defined my What. But hope to get clearer on this soon! xApril 20, 2016 at 11:24 am #155
Jane — I love your enthusiasm and your Firestarter energy. I can tell you have a ton of ideas and ambition and drive, which is fantastic. I don’t blame you for feeling so stuck and miserable in your current job — it definitely sounds like your boss is making it a place that’s not at all conducive to being a Firestarter.
While I obviously can’t know for sure which option is best for you (since everyone is so incredibly unique, and there are so many factors that go into any decision), I do have a big question for you to consider before you decide.
Since it’s clear that you’re on the path to starting your own business (and that business idea may grow/evolve over time, which is totally normal), my question for you is, what’s the best environment for you to start this business? Any of the options that you listed above will cause stress — if you quit now, you’ll feel financial stress. And if you stick around for 6 months or more, you’ll keep having all of your current stressors that come with your job. Does one of those feel more manageable than the other? Will one of those options kill or fuel your creative spirit more than the other? Is there a way of mitigating the stress for either option, like getting a part-time job or doing some consulting work if you quit, or creating some stricter boundaries around your time with your boss (even if he doesn’t like it)?
Hopefully those questions will get you thinking about your options in a slightly different way and might make your decision clearer!April 22, 2016 at 3:18 am #158
Thanks so much Kristen! By reframing the question I need to be asking it has made things a lot clearer for me . I’m going to stop asking ‘what should I do’ and ask myself ‘what deciduon provides the best environment for me to pursue my ultimate goal? ‘ instead… The decision feels more manageable for me now!April 23, 2016 at 3:53 pm #159
Glad to hear it, Jane! 🙂June 7, 2016 at 3:48 am #176Mariko TParticipant
First of all, thank you both so much for all the great insight you’ve shared with us – I’m already much happier just knowing I’m not alone!
So for background, I am a definite Side Hustler, and also relate to parts of all the other ‘types’ (like we do). I hugely value freedom and autonomy like the Firestarters, love helping people and working with a really passionate team like the Tribe Members, and value money primarily as a means to support my lifestyle like the Thrivers.
The issue is that I was recently diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, so essentially if I become too overwhelmed, I tend to trigger a flare-up of increased pain and fatigue. Some days I struggle to even get out of bed, and it’s been difficult having to learn to limit my activity level when I used to be able to do so much more. As you can probably imagine, this is extremely frustrating for someone who is a Side Hustler at heart, and some days I just feel so angry that my body has betrayed me by being unable to keep up.
Currently, I am working as a physical therapist, and fortunately I can afford to work part-time and enjoy my life outside of work (like a Thriver). But it definitely isn’t an ideal job in general, not just because it’s not a great Passion Profile fit, but also the physicality and stress of it can sometimes trigger a flare-up (and it isn’t as though I have the freedom to work from home on my flared-up days).
Anyway, the essence of my question is: do you have any suggestions for Side Hustlers who CAN’T just keep running like the energizer bunny? How is it possible to reconcile the need for true rest and recuperation with the drive to always be learning, creating, and accomplishing? And how can I find/create a job (or combination of jobs) that supports both of these needs?June 7, 2016 at 10:46 am #177
I’m glad to know you’re feeling better already just knowing you’re not alone! Isn’t there something so validating about reading other people’s stories and knowing you’re not the only one questioning these kinds of things about your career?
It’s totally understandable that you’re feeling frustrated by your recent diagnosis — that’s really challenging. Anyone would feel agitated by the limitations this is creating in your life, but especially a Side Hustler who loves to be active, busy, and meaningfully occupied. No wonder this this feeling so difficult for you!
What I’ve found to be true for most Side Hustlers (and you can let me know if this describes you) is that they love to be stimulated and constantly learning. So to answer your question, I would say that Side Hustlers who can’t run around like the energizer bunny could still meet their Side Hustler needs by keeping their mind challenged, stimulated, and active. Your body may need extra rest and rejuvenation right now, but that doesn’t mean your mind can’t still be learning, creating, and accomplishing things just as much as it always has! I recommend finding ways to learn, stretch your mind, and flex your creative muscle, without pushing your physical limits too far. That could look like taking a class, turning your physical therapy knowledge into a virtual program, or anything else that comes to mind for you!
Hope that helps! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.June 9, 2016 at 12:19 am #178Mariko TParticipant
Thank you so much for your response! Yes, this has been so validating! I have a job in which I help people all day, and to be quite honest I’ve been feeling like I must be a terrible person for not being more fulfilled by that. I already feel better about my current work situation just by getting rid of some of that guilt!
You are definitely right about me loving to be constantly learning – I was already planning my continuing education moves even before I had my PT license in my hands. 😉 Currently I’m thinking about taking some writing classes (I wanted to be a writer as a kid!) with the eventual goal of writing about health/health care, as well as looking into helping out at a local PT school since I was a tutor during school and LOVED it. Your idea about a virtual program would be AWESOME if I could figure out the logistics of it! And of course I have a ton of other vague ideas for the future, but I’m trying not to get distracted by TOO many shiny objects at once…
I imagine that once I find a balance of activities that fit me better, I’ll actually have MORE energy for all the music, dance, and artsy things I love to do on the side (and then I can figure out if I want to try to earn money with any of those, or if doing so would ruin things for my secondary Thriver).
Anyway, those are my current thoughts. There have definitely been ups and downs throughout this whole process, but your course has helped me to at least understand myself better and narrow down my options, which has made everything feel way more manageable. One of the most important things I’ve had to learn is to pace myself and say “no” to some opportunities in order to conserve energy for bigger priorities. Frustrating, sure, but (mostly) doable.
Thank you again for all the wisdom!June 12, 2016 at 5:26 pm #181
I’m so glad you’re starting to let go of the guilt you’ve felt about not being totally fulfilled in your career, despite the fact that you’re helping a lot of people. I’ve come to realize that we ALL want to help others — it’s a big source of our fulfillment — but there are endless ways that you can be helping people, and most of those ways won’t be particularly fulfilling for you. That’s OK! That’s why it’s so great that there are so many different people in this world with so many different passions. There’s a great famous quote that you may have heard that sums this up perfectly: “Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
I love all of the ideas you’ve listed already! There are absolutely ways to monetize any of those ideas (although some of them you may want to do purely for fun!). I’m so glad that you’re learning to narrow down your options in a way that feels authentic, encouraging, and energizing so that you can release some of the overwhelm you’ve been feeling. That’s huge progress! I think it’s amazing how you’ve stuck with this process and really put a lot into this course, and it makes me so happy to hear how much you’re getting out of it in return.
You’re SO on the right track! 🙂 I hope you’ll come back and share more updates after you explore some of these options you’re considering!June 29, 2016 at 11:10 am #187Abby GParticipant
Hi Kristen & Rachel,
I found your site via LevoLeague and instantly took the quiz (I’m constantly taking quizzes trying to understand myself and find something I am passionate about/would excel at- particularly relating to career). My result was the Side Hustler profile, which described me pretty well.
Although after going through the course, I found that I related to different aspects of all the profiles. I crave flexibility like a Firestarter, I crave connection like a Tribe Member, I crave enjoyment outside of work like a Thriver…
Here is my dilemma: I have always been a curious person and have wanted to try everything. Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve had dozens of hobbies, interests, ideas, and jobs. My parents said that I wanted to try everything and pretty much excelled at whatever I tried BUT I could never just stick to one thing. As I’ve gotten older, I still value my sense of adventure and curiosity, but it does not serve me nearly as well in the adult world. In fact, it has been causing me a lot of grief and low self-esteem.
I find that I’m constantly struggling to stick with any plan or career path for long because I become distracted by other “shiny objects” that sound appealing and before long I start wondering what those paths would be like. I start a job and feel excited for about 6 months, then I start questioning if there are better things out there or an opportunity that would be a better fit for me. One day I want to start my own business (a million ideas of what that might be), one day I want to work as a freelancer, one day I want to climb the corporate ladder… you get the idea.
I went to college right after high school and had a terrible time picking a major. I ended up moving home after the first year and eventually went to school to become an esthetician because my sister thought it would be a good fit for me. After working in that field for 3 years, I became miserable and wanted desperately to finish my degree. I went back to school for marketing, and in the past 3 years have job hopped in different marketing roles trying to find one that fit me.
Fast forward to my current situation and things haven’t changed much. I currently work as a copywriter for a digital marketing agency. Some days I love it, others I dream of a different life/career.
I just don’t know if I’ll ever find something that makes me feel truly fulfilled and excited to begin working every day. I know I’m not a lazy person but sometimes I question if I am because I truly hate having to “work” for a living. And I hate having to work on someone else’s schedule. The problem is…even if I didn’t have to worry about money, I don’t know what I would want to do with my time every day. Of course, there are things I enjoy- working out, reading, writing, etc. but I have yet to find a “job” that makes going to work feel worth it.
Do you have any advice for me? I’m currently looking for another job but I’m afraid that even if I do find something else, I’ll end up in the exact same position a year from now :/
AbbyJuly 2, 2016 at 11:43 am #188
It’s totally normal for you to be primarily a Side Hustler who wants to “borrow” a few qualities from other profiles. There’s naturally a bit of overlap across these profiles, so I’m not surprised that you’re attracted to certain aspects of the other 3 — flexibility, connection, and enjoyment outside of work are definitely some of those qualities that overlap with Side Hustlers.
It sounds like you’re feeling a bit frustrated and self-critical of your natural curiosity and “shiny object syndrome” tendencies, which is something I hear really often from Side Hustlers. There seems to be this belief that you can’t excel or be successful in the working world unless you choose one expertise and go after it 100%, and I want to say right now, that’s SO NOT TRUE. Choosing one path or being a “subject matter expert” is not the only way to build a successful career — not by a long shot. In fact, there’s real value in being a Jack-of-all-trades who can step in and help with all kinds of things. You don’t have to change who you are or try to fit into a more traditional-employee mold to have a fulfilling career. Your natural curiosity, energy, excitement, and craving to be challenged are extremely valuable qualities, and they will serve you well in the right environment.
I’m thinking that for you, it’s going to be super important that you pursue one of two paths:
— A single career with built-in novelty & learning: It sounds like the job you have now is pretty specialized, so you’re focused on mainly one expertise (copywriting). That might be interesting to you for a little while, but eventually you’re likely to get bored if you’re doing a lot of the same kind of work day-in and day-out. There are plenty of full-time job options, though, that have built-in training programs, or give lots of focus to their employee’s personal development (conferences, seminars, classes, etc.), or that have you working on different kinds of problems with different kinds of people on any given day. Those kinds of places are far more likely to keep you engaged for much longer because the novelty never really wears off. OR you create this for yourself by starting a business that incorporates several of your various interests. I have several Side Hustler friends who have done this with a lot of success!
— Multiple jobs cobbled together as one career: This option is not conventional, I know, and it can create some fear or uncertainty. But a LOT of Side Hustlers really love the idea of piecing together a career from a few different sources. Maybe you have a part-time job, do some freelance work, and have a side business all at once. Or multiple part-time jobs where you get to explore your various interests without committing to just one indefinitely. I know this isn’t as “normal” as having a singular full-time job, but I’ve seen many Side Hustlers do this extremely successfully. In fact, you have the potential of making even more income this way because you’re not limited to a singular salary determined by one company. I honestly think this could suit you very well!
I KNOW it’s possible for you to feel excited and engaged in your work. You might not have found quite the right fit for you yet, but that absolutely doesn’t mean it’s not possible for you. It just might mean looking a bit outside the box and giving yourself permission to pursue something that other people might not “get.”
Hope that helps! Let me know what you think.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.