As entrepreneurs, we're facing unprecedented uncertainty and challenges. The good news? We don't have to go it alone. Now more than ever, togetherness and collaboration are essential. Amber Gray, Founder, and CEO of Trusty Oak is collaborating with Stephanie Loayza, Founder of Exec Wranglers for The Better Together Series: Virtual Coffee Chats for Entrepreneurs.
Our final Better Together Series guest, Dr. Lynn Chang, P.h.D, of Career Zen, lead participants through a wonderful presentation, including breathing exercises and even a yoga pose or two. Lynn reminded participants that getting centered first is an important part of career planning.
Dr. Lynn Chang teaches career guidance from a holistic ‘East Meets West’ approach. She uses Eastern spiritual philosophies such as yoga and meditation to understand your true nature, mind-body-spirit. Dr. Chang also incorporates career tests and Western psychology so you can navigate to your dream job. Life is too short to be miserable. Make an impact in the world and do what you love! Read on for some of Dr. Chang's excellent advice.
Following Your Heart to Find the Right Career
Career talk can be stressful, so I like to get grounded first. You are meant to be happy, you are meant to be fulfilled, you are meant to thrive in your life. The minute you don’t feel that way, it’s time to make a change. It could be a two-degree change or a 180-degree pivot. Your heart and your gut will serve as your internal GPS system. If you don’t feel fascinated and engaged by what you’re doing on a daily basis and feeling like what you do matters, then that’s the time to take a step back and objectively look at things.
What do I want to do? What kind of legacy do I want to leave? It has very little to do with your skills or your experience or your degrees. Those are oftentimes the things that stop us from pursuing what we really want to do. I give you full permission: go explore, be brave, be bold, and do what feels right to you.
When I was an undergraduate at university, I changed my major so many times. And then I went to see a career counselor, and she asked me questions like “Who do you admire?” And I thought, “Oh, I really admire Mother Teresa.” I realized there was a disconnect between who I admired and the majors I was considering.
Other questions she asked:
“On your deathbed, what do you want people to remember you for?”
“What did you want to do as a kid?”
“What puts you into a state of flow where you lose track of time and you feel one with the universe?”
This pandemic is truly a good time to be honest with yourself about what you really want. We’re not running around with a busy life in the same way, there’s a lot of quietness.
I’ve been doing this kind of work for almost 20 years. And at the end, people are always surprised by how much I know about them. And it’s because I ask the right questions. But truly you already know what you want: I just need to confirm for you what path is the right one. If we’re talking and it feels right in your heart, that’s how you know it’s right for you.
I finally chose psychology as my major because I had been taking psychology classes without telling my advisors or my parents. I was hanging on every word of my professor and it’s what I truly loved.
Many things that can motivate you, but the first time I felt fire in my body was when I took psychology. Even when I was doing well in class and academically, I felt like I was dragging myself around campus until I started taking psychology classes. And even though my parents called me every other day to tell me that there was nothing I could do with a psychology degree, I felt it in my heart--it was right for me. When you feel in your heart that it’s right, you have no choice, you have to proceed.
I work with people who tell me, “I just fell into this career, and 20 years later, I’m not happy.” When I look closely at these clients, I see the story in their body: they’re slouched over, they’re lifeless, they’re suffering from disease or anxiety. I’ve had clients who had anxiety attacks on the way to work, or are on antidepressants just to get out of bed. Your body is trying to tell you something.
My question for these clients is, “When did you stop listening to your body?” If we ignore our bodies, they will eventually start screaming at us.
You already have all the answers to find fulfillment. I can help you clarify and help you make a choice. At the end of the day, you have to listen to your body.
Finding Your Career “What” and “Where”
What you want to do and where you want to work are equally important.
- What is what kind of tasks light you up, what you find enjoyable.
- The where, though, is equally important. What kind of culture is important to you? What kind of schedule do you want? What do you value in a workplace?
Using the 16 Career Clusters can help you determine the what and where of your career choices and help you make big decisions.
This is the formula for career fulfillment and success. And if you’re not able to get one half of the formula right away—for instance, you can’t get the “what” just yet—focus on the “where” and work for a company you care about or in an industry you’re passionate about. The next part will often follow. Now, let’s get into how we can achieve our dream job.
How Do I Get That Dream Job?
1. The Money Piece - I am a big believer of multiple streams of income. I want you to think about how you talk to yourself about money. For example: saying you “have” to have 70K limits yourself with the universe. This restricts the possibilities the universe might have in store for you. Instead of the word “have,” say I would “love” to make at least 70k. The universe might offer you a job that pays 65k, and then you can find a few side hustles to reach your goal of 70k. See, this opens up the possibilities around money and increases your chances of finding your dream job.
2. Networking - Life is not logical or linear, it can be super confusing and messy. Finding your dream job is more about the strategy and your approach and is a lot like dating. Be willing to talk to people, ask a lot of questions, request informational interviews and plants seeds within your network of friends. Utilize the power of relationships and connections.
Tell Your Story with LinkedIn
It is so important to have a good LinkedIn profile and online presence. LinkedIn is your first impression online. You have 100% control of your online presence. Photos (a picture is worth a 1,000 words), phrases, and the words that you use are really important. You want people to feel your essence and understand your story. LinkedIn is a nice way to see yourself both professionally and personally.
I found out in my life that what you put out into the world is exactly what you will get back. If you are looking for more clarity, more confidence, peace, happiness, and joy, you start to cultivate that and plant those seeds from within and then the universe matches you. It is not the other way around: you start today and you own your happiness and own your joy and that is what comes back to you!
“Do What You Love. Love What You Do.”
Career Zen Resources:
- Career Zen: Work directly with Lynn and get your career questions answered
- Resume Workshop: Have your resume reviewed by Career Zen and friends. Donation-based workshop on 6/27 benefiting Black Lives Matter
- Zen University: E-learning on common career mistakes, staying centered in the midst of chaos, and effective job search strategies
- The 10 Day Career Cleanse: Wellness book with 21 techniques to cultivate inner zen and joy.
- LinkedIn: Let’s connect and share networks
- YouTube: Learn the Waterfall pose and lots of career tips
- Instagram: For career inspiration, meditation, and more
- Facebook: Learn career resources and hear about special events and classes