Episode 21 – Marc advises people in the second half of life to recognize and learn from moments of clarity, to pivot to their next career.
In this episode, Marc shares the chapter, “To Get What You Need You Must Know What You Need” from his upcoming book, Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life, currently available for pre-order in March, and available on Amazon, in April, 2017.
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[2:50] If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there. When you’re tired of wandering, figure out what you want to be. What do you want out of life, and what role does your job play in that? It’s not just about pay, perqs, or a nice boss, but about your underlying needs that you may never recognize. Take an assessment to see.
[3:40] Marc tells how one woman was surprised at her need for status — to be aligned with key decision makers. When she didn’t have that, she felt frustrated. Many need to be in charge of their own schedules. Not getting what you need isn’t always as obvious as having an abusive boss or poor working conditions, but it can frustrate you.
[4:32] Rewards — One of the top reasons we change jobs is because we don’t feel valued. Most people want and need to feel rewarded for doing good work. Marc explores the various forms rewards can take. Marc learned he needs a pat on the back from his customers. When he was a high school math teacher, that was not to be had!
[5:50] Marc had a client who was increasingly depressed, because he praised others often, and he expected his boss to tell him when he was doing well. When he heard nothing, he feared he was in trouble, about to be fired, or not thought of highly. (He was excelling.) Marc suggested he talk to his boss, who was glad to know of his concern.
[6:47] Most managers want to know how to manage better, and they really can’t figure out all their different employees feedback styles. Some clients don’t push for compensation, and this can lead to pay inequity.
[7:10] Marc’s client’s boss gave bonuses, but not raises. Marc’s client wanted an increased paycheck! Some are best rewarded with time off. Others crave challenging projects; the chance to learn new skills. For some in nonprofits, or the military, the best reward is a mission that resonates with them. What kinds of rewards do you need?
[7:47] Freedom — The ability to take a two-hour client lunch without explaining it to anybody, go to a doctor’s appointment, or take a Friday afternoon off, and make it up Saturday morning. Or, freedom to use your imagination in creating products and solutions, or freedom to wear jeans, or work from home, or to speak your mind.
[8:15] Marc categorizes three freedoms: freedom from micromanagement, freedom to be creative and individualistic in your approach, and freedom from structure and rules. Most professionals want the freedom to do their job, and let everyone else get out of the way, as long as their results meet or exceed expectations.
[8:59] Freedom is increasingly important to employees. New, flatter hierarchies make it possible for employees to design their own jobs, as long as the work gets done. If you could create your own job description, in terms of freedom, what would it include?
[9:17] Respect and emotional support — Everybody needs to be respected. Everyone has different expectations and needs for communication with others. How do we select the job with the emotional support that suits us? Strategic networking is one tool to use to experience different work environments.
[10:37] Variety — One of the key happiness factors at work is how much variety you have. Marc tells of a woman who almost took a job with none of the features she wanted, and some she did not want. Marc asked her, did she really want that job? She did not. She changed her focus. Another client always needed chaos to clean up.
[15:47] Do you want a lot of variety? Look at these questions: Are you more or less productive when you have lots of things going on? At what point does multi-tasking become stressful to you? What happens when you are interrupted frequently? Think about the perfect culture for you, based on your positive experiences. Ask for that.
[17:14] Action Steps: Reflect back to the job that made you feel most rewarded. What did you receive that made you feel good? Write down what you need, including intangibles like freedom, respect, physical activity, and variety. Write down the kind of culture you prefer to work in: small or large company, established, or startup.
[17:45] Highlights to consider: Did you see yourself in that chapter? Work through the Action Steps. You will find it worthwhile. Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life, is now available for pre-order on Amazon.
Mentioned in This Episode:
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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for the Second Half of Life, by Marc Miller with Susan Lahey, available in the middle of April, 2017
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