One day maybe, I can attract enough followers to do a live AMA. But, for now, I will settle on using questions friends have asked me over the past couple of months…
What change have you experienced to alter your career path?
It’s 2017 and I’m on a working holiday in Canada, yeww! life is good. Its -30c outside (I take that yeww back) and I am sitting in my bedroom finishing reading a ‘quake book’. ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman was the lightbulb that led to my realisation. Psychology was my new jam. The past 5 books I read before were all psychology based…as if that wasn’t hinted enough that the dryness I was reading interested me.
When these sort of moments happen you have either 2 options, find a new job in that field or go educate yourself and get certified to rep your passion to organisations. I chose the latter and hopped on a plane to Denmark (secretly hoping to fall in love with a Dane) to complete a summer university course at Copenhagen Business School. At CBS, I completed a graduate course on the ‘Psychology of Decision Making’ and this further confirmed I was on the right path.
I now reside back home in Sydney figuring out how to enhance my new skills and begin freelance in the specific field of organisational psychology.
Why are you choosing to freelance?
In the few organisations I have worked for, I have always felt a partial disconnection from the work. This has possibly stemmed from my inability to see a way around this or the organisation treating me like a cog in a machine.
Freelance to me is the ultimate way to be who you want to be and provide a service to those who need who you are. Freelancing encourages and draws out friction as it is an antidote to complacency. It keeps you re-inventing who you are which is highly desirable in a fast-paced world.
In the book Reinventing Organisation, De Maar, leader of Burtzoorg says “When you’re more focused on solving things that you haven’t encountered or done before, then you’re shifting the conversation from cost-savings and efficiency to value creation” This idea of creating value is what excites me. It turns freelancing into a game of chess. You are constantly thinking 20 moves. Trying to blend, bend or break information to design new methodologies for clients.
What are your career goals for the next 0-5 years?
A trait of human behaviour is that we seek social networks. Networks are what created our world today and are what play a pivotal role in your career development. In the next 2 years, I want to build a network focused on sharing skills. Many of us have hidden talents or hobbies such as permaculture design or coaching football teams. These talents are invaluable to others so finding ways to highlight and connect with those who could use that is a key goal. Fostering an environment of openness and showing we don’t need to put on a facade to do business is how it will start.
Beyond that, I want to create a remote working house by the beach that focuses on holistic and spiritual services for large organisations. Offices are not environments we always need. Providing organisations with a special remote office with services such as surfing, relaxing garden retreats, yoga, breath work, body alignment, massages, healthy food services along with the standard remote business operating services can energise and improve employee performance.
What do you hope to achieve by building a personal brand/website?
Resumes are very 2 dimensional and can struggle to demonstrate your personality and perspectives. Building a personal brand allows me to:
- Reinforce what I learn through creating content in my own words
- Become a better communicator
- Connect with like-minded groups and individuals through posting content on various platforms like Medium
- Utilise it as a deep dive into who I am for job applications
Influencers like Tom Bilyeu, Gary Vaynerchuk and Jay Shetty are examples of how a personal brand can turn you into a business. I believe the hype around soft skills becoming the future desirable trait for employers. Having my personal brand trains these soft skills through content creation.
What is your plan B if you struggle to sustain yourself or achieve the career advances you desire?
I have been asked variants on this questions and it always seems to put me in a dark hole of re-evaluation and questioning my life choices. What this tells me is that I have no clue whether this is a sustainable mode of career for me. But not trying is a life failure in my books and I have always enjoyed stepping into the unknown so having belief and focus will get me to the next path.
To make sure I am not blind sighted by my own perspective, having self-accountability measures like weekly questions have helped centre and re-focus my drive. Connecting with a diverse range of friends and work networks to understand their take on my decisions is a tool I underuse but preach.
As an example, below is some weekly questions on accountability:
- What 3 actions have you taken in the last week to move your goal forward?
- What resources have you tapped to meet your current challenge?
- What small thing could you do today to rejuvenate your original goal and rekindle the passion of the past?
- What have you failed at this week?
I’ll finish this AMA with a lesson from Aldous Huxley:
“Our business is to wake up. We have to find ways in which to detect the whole of reality in the one illusory part which our self-centred consciousness permits us to see. We must not live thoughtlessly, taking our illusion for the complete reality, but at the same time, we must not live too thoughtfully in the sense of trying to escape from the dream state. We must be continuously on watch for ways in which we may enlarge our consciousness”