Let me introduce you to the concept of the Career Seasons – which will help you find a job that suits you perfectly this season of your life.
At different times in our life we want different types of jobs:
- Growth: When we learn and earn more – and we are ready to invest time
- Lifestyle: When we want to prioritize our time outside of work, e.g. B. when we take care of the family
- Reinvention: If we want to completely reinvent ourselves, including the role and even the industry we work in
How can you find a job that suits you perfectly without knowing your career season?
That’s how we discovered this concept.
Whenever I ask people what they want from a dream job, one of the most striking things about their answers is how DIFFERENT they are.
Some examples I received:
- “I worked part time for a couple of years while my family needed me. now I’m going back to do my Masters and climb back up the career ladder full-time. “
- “My children are toddlers and I want to be there for them during this period of growth. Just having time to spend with them is my priority. “
- “I’ve been looking for a new job for a while, but this one would involve a career change. The older I get the more I want to do the job I’ve always dreamed of.”
Notice how different all of these answers are!
Return to work full-time after a break. Spend more time with young children. Doing meaningful work in another industry. All dream jobs. Everything completely different!
But when these people ask for help in achieving their dream job, the general answers are all the same:
“Just follow your passion!”
“Just be grateful that you have a job!”
“Just do a good job and you will be rewarded at some point.”
(Have you noticed how much bad advice starts with that? “only”?)
Our career goals are not universal or uniform. So why is all career counseling general and uniform? Why are they tactics we use – like surfing on job boards and sorting out résumés – so generally?
I think it is time to change that.
Hence the concept of the Career Seasons.
For example, the person who wants to spend more time with their kids may want to consider a job that is 100% remote in order to have a flexible schedule.
What if someone wanted to change jobs? They should do their homework – such as speaking to experts who have switched a similar industry – to find out what skills are transferable and how to communicate this on their résumé and in job interviews. (It is possible.)
Or what about the person who really wants to break the 6-digit mark? You should look for roles with plenty of room to grow and demonstrated promotions. And you should be ready to schedule the lessons.
That makes sense – and yet very few do it. Who teaches us how to tailor our job search to our individual needs?
Introduction to “Career Times”
We all go through different phases in each of our careers. Some of us are just beginning our careers, wanting to grow and soak up knowledge. Sometimes we want to downshift or give family priority. And sometimes we want to reinvent ourselves from scratch.
I call these different phases “career seasons”.
Just like the seasons all year round, they are natural. They change over time. And you can go through it multiple times.
Your season has a profound impact on the jobs you are looking for and even the way you look for your job.
I want to spend some time here helping you determine your season – and showing you other people like you – so you can narrow your focus. This will save you hours and hours in the process.
Let’s go through each season with real examples.
Most of us started early in our careers this season. Some of us are still there! In the growth season, we are motivated to climb the corporate ladder and make more money. We are ready to invest the time and we don’t mind working hard.
I was in my 20s. I worked really hard and wanted to soak up everything I could. Recognition, growth and learning motivated me. And I didn’t care how long I had to work.
Here is a real quote from someone who immediately tells me that they are in the growing season.
“I feel like I’ve fallen behind compared to my colleagues. You switch to senior management titles, director titles. I see everyone else have updated titles, so I say, ‘I want it too.’ “
That sounds terrible to some of you. For others, this is EXACTLY where you are.
That is the point! The right career season sounds just right to you … and wrong to everyone else.
People in the growing season want more experience, more money … and they are willing to work for it.
People in the lifestyle season still value their work and careers, but they also have other equally important goals. Here’s a classic quote describing the lifestyle season:
“I want to spend as much time as possible with my children. I don’t want to work 60 hours a week anymore. “
Take note of these phrases that instantly point us to the lifestyle season: “flexibility” (or “flexible schedule”), “downshift” or “family”. You can think about work-life balance as you go into a lifestyle season.
Season of reinvention
Reinvention Season describes people who want to completely rethink and change their career, usually by switching to a different industry. Imagine a lawyer who wants to leave her office and join a start-up. I love these stories.
Here’s a real quote from someone in the Reinvention Season:
“I have 12 years of experience in financial sales, but I feel like I’m stuck in a sales channel and don’t enjoy my work. I’ve always wanted to switch to a computer science department, but I have no formal experience. “
You will hear typical phrases like “restart” to describe this season.
Now a few notes about the seasons:
1. No season is better than the other. No judgment against a season – it’s YOUR season. You decide now what is right for you.
2. As we get older, of course, we switch to and from the career seasons. Just like the actual seasons. While it makes sense to do all of these things at the same time, some things are just more appropriate for certain times of the year. One of the things I’ll show you is how to pick the right time of year for you – but you can only choose one.
For example, it’s very difficult to embrace the growing season and the lifestyle season at the same time. You can try, yes … but that makes it difficult to make SENSIBLE progress in either case.
Think about it – could you ski in the summer? No, there is a season for that. The same here. There is a season to accelerate our careers and a season for more free time. It just depends on what we want and what season we are in.
I knew very early in my career, before starting I Will Teach You To Be Rich, that I was in the growing season and focused on accelerating my career. I worked hard on a startup that I co-founded and wrote that I will teach you to be rich Book at night and on weekends.
I still work hard these days, but I also prioritize travel for many weeks (at least before the COVID outbreak, and I look forward to doing it again soon). So I’m in the lifestyle season. That can change later.
3. Finally, EVEN if you feel like you are in multiple seasons, you need to pick ONE. It’s difficult, especially for top performers who like to go beyond that. But you will find that trying to do more than one at a time means not doing your best either. (I repeat this because it’s so important.)
What season do you think you are in? let me know on twitter.