invent your job

we are living in a world of accelerating change. technology, careers, and strategies become obsolete at an alarming rate. if you want to be marketable, you have to be creative. the jobs of the future don’t exist yet, and its up to you to figure out what these jobs are.

this week i interviewed moji, a woman who created her own title as a environmental sustainability consultant. she told me that a lot of her job was education – she had to explain to clients what she did and why it was important. its an emerging field and more and more companies will experience pressure to become environmentally conscious, and moji saw that she could help.

for you, i’m sure you’ve noticed gaps in the market. if you see an opportunity to try something that might benefit a friend, a business, or a community, it’s possible you might be inventing a career for yourself. test it out, and see if you’re right.

it’s interview day!

hullo folks! as you may know, i work with videographer jaron nix to produce a weekly video/podcast interview series called the orbit. today, we are interviewing moji of blue daisi consulting, who makes it her business to help companies big and small become more planet-friendly.

this blog, the interview series, and all the other stuff that goes into building this community takes time and money. if you’re a fan of the vision and want to drop $5/mo into my patreon tip jar, it would be greatly appreciated. your contribution allows me to continue to bring you more interviews, along with actionable strategies to prepare yourself for the future of work.

thanks in advance, and even if you can’t pledge, i’m happy to have you in my orbit.

a time for me

“fridays were the days i would set aside for me,” says cordero core in our most recent interview on the orbit. cordero set aside specific times when he wouldn’t do his assigned work, and instead focus on things that interested him. now at 31, he has a ton of stories, skills, and hobbies along with his engineering degree.

i am taking a leaf out of his book today and trying to spend time doing focused play. my peers are so good at working hard and not very good at resting or enjoying themselves, so in a sense i think doing the things you love is a bit rebellious and revolutionary, and will take you to places you may have never found otherwise.

the alligator wrestler

i spoke with coredero core on our podcast the orbit. cordero has tried a little bit of everything, from mma fighting to baking to chemical engineering. because he had such a diverse set of hobbies, i asked him how he got into so may different side projects.

“well, i once heard that when an employer looks through a stack of resumes, everyone more or less does the same thing. they look the same on paper, and when that’s the case you really have to distinguish yourself from the pack. having a hobby helps – everyone wants to know an alligator wrestler.”

he used this as an example (he doesn’t actually wrestle alligators), but it made sense. the thing that makes you shine are your interests beyond work. having hobbies shows that you love to learn and are self motivated and creative. what are the things that would distinguish you from one hundred other applicants?

tired all the time? rest

our world is engineered to keep us engaged as much as possible. our phones, jobs, and friends demand our attention at a relentless pace, and burnout is prevalent. i often find myself exhausted, but still trying to be productive and outgoing even when i am at wit’s end. as a good friend once told me, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

my newsfeed is full of content that encourages me to take care of myself (@tinycarebot and @gumroad on twitter are some of my favorite online cheerleaders). even though i am reminded everywhere that “self care” is important, i still have trouble implementing it sometime. the simple answer? slow your roll. take a breather. don’t overthink it, and recline on the couch for awhile. the internet will be there when you come back refreshed and ready work.

finding time

finding time to do the thing you love is incredibly difficult. a lot of us simply don’t have a lot of time to spare, and we end up buying books, getting gadgets, and asking for advice for ways to get more time.

time, like money, is a resource. and i’ve learned that we can get more time if we pay attention to the time that we already have.

in ramit sethi’s book i will teach you to be rich, he claims that people don’t actually want to be rich. they want to feel rich, which means being able to spend money guilt-free on the things you enjoy. buddhist thich nhat hanh tells a similar story in his book the miracle of mindfulness. he tells a parable of a man who spends time at his job, with his kids, and running errands and doesn’t have any time for himself. but, at one point he learns that all this time is actually his time.

This kind of perspective shift frees us – if you don’t have time, what are you doing with the time you already have? How can you reframe your day so that you can properly use the time that’s already given to you?

i changed my day job

this week, i had my last shift at a day job that required a lot of mental energy. i got another gig, and though i haven’t started yet, i am hoping it will free up some cognitive space for me to hunker down and work on my passion projects.

this was a difficult decision. job X was stable but demanded a lot of time off the clock. job Y is less glamorous, but will pay roughly the same and will have a varied schedule. however, i can say with certainty that i am relieved to close one chapter of my life and open up a new door.

i spent the afternoon after my last shift in seattle’s cal anderson park. i stared at the clouds and closed my eyes, and just enjoyed being in this temporary limbo between gigs. i learned a shitload at job X, including how to sell to a particular client, how to work with manufacturers, and how to maintain a standard of excellence on a day to day basis.

it was an exhausting journey, but i know i will bring everything i learned at job X to each new project i take on.