Are you guilty of continuously complaining about your job?
Or wishing your job, business or life could be better?
Then you need to stop complaining or sitting around waiting for it to get better, and get busy creating it!
With the help of Dave Evans & Bill Burnett’s Life Design Process, it’s absolutely possible to proactively create a professional and personal life you love.
The Life Design Process
Evans and Burnett define three steps to creating your dream life.
1. Figure out what you actually want.
Do you know what your ideal professional life would look like, in clear detail? What does your ideal day look like? What kind of people are you working with? What kind of projects are you working on? Where are you physically located?
If you’re having trouble defining what your dream career or business looks like, get your FREE copy of my E-Book PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR INSPIRED PATH & PURPOSE.
2. Get busy conducting Life Design Interviews.
You build your way into your dream business or career through relationships and connections. Use what Evans & Burnett call Life Design Interviews to easily and authentically start building these relationships and connections (more on these below).
3. Apply the Life Design Principles to actively create the business or career you love.
I’ll go through these principles in detail below.
In this article I’m discussing how you can use Life Design Principles to:
- Build your dream business, or;
- Find your dream job.
If you’re clear on the dream job you want and you sit around browsing job seeking websites, waiting for the perfect position to show up, you’ll be waiting a long time. That’s because of this interesting fact:
Only one in five jobs are advertised.
Four out of five jobs opportunities are not made available to the public.
If only twenty percent of jobs are advertised, where are the other eighty percent?
Evans & Burnett call it the Hidden Job Market, which they describe as “the job market that’s only open to people who are already connected into the web of professional relationships in which that job resides. This is an insider’s game, and it’s almost impossible to get inside that web as a job seeker.”
So how do you become one of the ‘insiders’ when you’re on the outside?
In a recent LinkedIn study, it was shown that 85% of all jobs are filled via networking.
When you apply Life Design Interviews to networking, it becomes easy, authentic, and fun to build your network.
Life Design Interviews
Life Design Interviews are structured discussions with professionals who are already doing the thing you want to do (or close to it). You invite them to a no-strings-attached, half-hour coffee interview with you (you buy the coffee of course!). These discussions are an opportunity to learn more about the industry/business you want to create and what it takes to get there.
The great thing about these interviews is that most people are more than happy to have a free coffee for half an hour and an opportunity to talk about themselves and their work, especially when they know that the intention is to seek information, not to request or apply for a job or business opportunity.
In the interviews you’re seeking to understand more about what it’s actually like to do that kind of work you desire, and the different pathways to get there.
Life Design Interviews are a fantastic way to do two things:
- Fact-find and learn about the business or profession you want to create for yourself.
By speaking to people who are already doing the work (or similar) to what you desire, you get to know what it’s actually like and how to make it happen.
- Build professional relationships and a strategic network.
You establish a connection with an insider in that field. You’re networking in a completely organic and non-forced manner, bringing you closer to accessing the hidden job market or strategic business relationships.
Evans & Burnett state that you must approach the conversation “as a sincerely interested inquirer – someone looking just for the story (not looking for the job). That’s how this works.”
There’s something magical that happens when you move from a place of desperation and neediness into a place of open-minded curiosity and non-attachment.
When you’re presenting at an interview as an interested inquirer, there’s a shift in your energy and you open up the conversation to an authentic connection and conversation, as opposed to an attempt to coerce the other person into giving you something you need. People are very good at picking up on ‘needy’ energy and it’s repelling.
Curiosity, on the other hand, is inviting and appealing.
The more people you interview, the more information and insight you learn and the more connections and relationships you make.
Evans & Burnett describe how one of their clients, Kurt, started off as a job-seeker. He submitted thirty-eight job applications, along with his impressive resume and thirty-eight individual crafted cover letters. Out of all his applications, he received terse rejection emails from eight companies and never heard back from the other thirty. “No interviews, no offers, no follow-up calls.” Needless to say, he became disheartened and dejected.
After learning of the Life Design Interview process, Kurt then identified people he could talk to and went out and conducted 56 life design interviews in different companies and organisations related to his dream field. During that process, he established a wide web of authentic connections and in the end, was offered seven wonderful job offers and had to spend significant time considering which one was the best fit for him. He turned his situation of desperation into one of being connected and in-demand. This is how the Life Design Process works.
This shift in itself will create several positive benefits you hadn’t anticipated.
Take back your power and rather than wait for the next best thing to come along, get busy deciding what you want and figuring out how to create it!
To proactively build your way into your dream business or career, here are Life Design Principles that will help you.
The Life Design Principles
1. Be curious – adapt a curious mindset.
Endless curiosity is key to a well-designed life. There’s something interesting about everything and if you adapt a curious mindset, you’re going to learn so much that’s going to direct you towards what you want.
Here are some examples of questions to ask yourself to get curious:
Which kinds of people could you talk to to find out more information about your career or business?
What do experts in this field argue about and why?
What are the key issues people in this field deal with?
What are the problems/issues/challenges that keep these people up at night and are these issues you are passionate about too?
“Endless curiosity equals increasing knowledge, options and clarity about your life direction.”
– Evans & Burnett, Design Your Life
2. Try stuff – there’s no failure, only feedback.
When you shift into a mode of being bias-toward-action, you stop being stuck. There’s no more analysing, worrying, pondering, or solving your way through life.
Keep figuring out the next action to take and do it.
Who can you talk to next?
What’s something you could do to find out more about a certain field?
What can you read or learn to find out more about a particular idea you have?
Are there any courses or self-study modules you could follow to learn more and up-skill yourself?
3. Re-frame problems
Re-framing is a change in perspective, viewing something from a different angle and changing the meaning around it. For example, a dysfunctional belief could be “I’m too old and it’s too late to find my dream job”. A re-frame would be “It’s never too late to design a life you love and I have the power to create anything I desire.”
Ask yourself “What perspective do I actually have in this situation?” and is there a way to change it for your own benefit and empowerment? We have the power to re-frame any situation and substitute a limiting belief with a resourceful one.
You get to choose and design your own life!
4. Know That It’s a Process
Knowing that building your dream career or business is a process (and not a linear one!). Try not to get frustrated or lost and don’t ever give up. Keep going, trusting that eventually you will create the life you love.
5. Ask For Help
You’re not meant to walk this path alone. Your success depends on building networks of support and collaboration. Find yourself a mentor (or several) and join groups or networks of like-minded people with similar aspirations.
So get yourself unstuck by brainstorming who you could conduct some Life Design Interviews with and get out there and start actively and intentionally building the career or business you desire. You are in charge of your life and your destiny and only you have the power to build the life you want.
Did you like this article? You might also like:
Pathfinding: How to Find the Work That’s Perfect for You
7 Powerful Strategies to Help You Get Through Those Days When You Just Want to Give Up on Your Dream
How to Find the Vocation You Love So You’ll Never Work Another Day
Why is it So Hard to Find a Career You Love? 5 Powerful Tips for Finding Your Inspired Professional Path
Are You Ready for the Emerging Purpose Economy?
Get your FREE copy of my E-Book PATHFINDING: HOW TO FIND YOUR INSPIRED PATH AND PURPOSE and learn all the tips and strategies you need to build a life you truly love.
In service to your success,
Katie De Jong, Ph.D