Everything you were taught about work is wrong. If the future’s predictable, we can make a plan. We can define a path. We can work tirelessly to earn our degrees and achieve success. The future is anything but. Grandma and Aunt Amy’s little chat about choosing a career (lawyer or doctor) and studying hard is the imaginary TV vision of the global economy.
When others say it, it sounds like, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” When you speak, it may sound more like “If only I could find the perfect job that…” We’re conditioned to forge an identity around a career or vision of a career, regardless of the reality staring us in the face today: Two-thirds of students in middle school will end up working jobs that haven’t even been invented yet! That $200,000 degree you earned barely guarantees you’ll be debt free before you have grandkids. We can’t plan our way to happiness and career success anymore. If we can’t plan, we can not keep asking ourselves the same old question, what do I want to be when I grow up?
What do I want to be when I grow up?
I had no idea how to answer that question when I was 16 and I am not much better answering it today. I’ve searched. I moved to several different countries. I’ve been a strategy consultant, a teacher, and an entrepreneur. But as soon as I completed each stop, the same questions reemerged: what do I want to do with my life?
Each time I asked myself, I felt stumped, scared and frustrated. That’s when I finally recognized a pattern…I wasn’t answering the what, I was making the choice of who I wanted to be in the world. I have let my personal development lead my career decisions ever since. And there have been gaps between roles - long moments of fear and uncertainty. Whispers in my head about stability vs. fulfillment.
So how then do we build for the success and happiness we want if we can’t imagine the perfect job? We need a new approach. It begins by asking a different question: Who do I want to be when I grow up?
Who do I want to be when I grow up?
In pursuit of this discovery, we are going to approach our learning very differently. We will identify experiences and values that are meaningful to us and critical to the world. We will experiment in small steps, analyze and redirect when necessary.
Your Project X grows out of my experiences with hundreds of individuals struggling with these questions, and the equally large community of inspirational friends and colleagues leading by example, with diverse career paths and their own personal definitions of success.
Our company exists to help those stuck in old definitions of career, meaning and success. We have helped dozens of folks transform themselves to look at success and achievement differently. They’ve left jobs and journeyed into entrepreneurship. They’ve gone and traveled the world. They’ve found their voice. We do this through after-work programs that meet one night a week for ten weeks.
These programs focus on career change and entrepreneurship. The roots of our approach are threefold:
Micro-experiments: We help you experiment your way into the life you want. At the core of both of these programs is the focus on taking action first, seeing how the world responds, adjusting and taking another small step.
Personal Development: This volatile, unpredictable, complex and ambiguous world necessitates a growth mindset. It requires resilience. It demands being fully present, being accountable to yourself and others, and getting comfortable in the ‘gap’ between what we want to put out into the world and what are early iterations actually are. We help people build these capabilities in the context of changing careers and launching new businesses. We create a safe space for participants to be vulnerable and stretch outside their comfort zones.
Community & Inspiration: No one survives these tectonic shifts without a community of support and guidance. We build that into all our programs - at a peer level and with dozens of mentors who want nothing more then to support you in thriving in this new world.
If you are feeling “stuck” in your career, your business idea isn’t moving forward as quickly as you want, or your fears of moving in a new direction are overwhelming, please send me an email. I’d be happy to connect with you. And for information on our upcoming programs - in NYC and Boston - please visit us at www.yourprojectx.com.