Changing Careers–Career Metamorphosis | No BS Job Search Advice Radio

EP 2041  This interview is an action plan for demystifying your future and creating a career of passion and purpose. My guest is Benjamin Preston, the author of “Harness Your Butterflies: The Young Professional’s Metamorphosis to an Exciting Career” https://amzn.to/37goleR   What I like about this interview is the advice is applicable to people who are NOT young AND Benjamin’s incredible energy.

Today’s show is brought to you by GreenGeeks. If you use this link, you can receive web hosting for less than $90 for 3 years if you act by 1/10/21. This is the host I use. They do a terrific job . . . better than the big-budget big ad budget hosts I used before.

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Jeff Altman
So my guest today is Benjamin Preston, a marketer and business strategist with extensive experience in working with businesses of various different sizes and industries. He's the author of harness your butterflies, the unprofessional metamorphosis to an exciting career. Benjamin also works with young professionals to help them create purposeful careers. Lord Preston, welcome. Thanks for making the time.

Benjamin Preston
Thank you. Yeah, it's great to be here.

Jeff Altman
So as you and I were talking before, you know, most of us get put on a conveyor belt, and we're moved along. It's kind of like the making sausage. And we get moved along from the time we're in kindergarten, until we get into . . . and they still keep moving us along. When and why did you start looking at getting off this thing? Because it works with so many people so they think?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, it's it's funny, because so I have heard and this is something that like when I was in college I heard of like the infamous like quarterlife crisis, midlife crisis. And people just being like, like almost hitting a breaking point and not knowing why. And it's just like overwhelming anxiety. I have heard about that when I was in college, I was like, Oh, my God, this is, you know, people being like this quarterlife crisis that's going to happen. And I was like, looking for it. When I actually had it, that was my breaking point of being like, Alright, this is the script that I was given as a kid or like kind of the roles in the roadmap that you have for your life wasn't going to work for me. And I, I unfortunately, discovered that having a panic attack in my New York City apartment. And that's when I decided to get off. But yeah, so then I from there, I kind of made a lot of like, drastic career changes, and ended up like writing a book kind of to summarize what I learned from that experience, and kind of the skills and stuff that young professionals need to know that they're not taught to get off that sort of that track, or that, that roadmap that sometimes doesn't work for everybody.

Jeff Altman
I love it that it's about the metamorphosis of the butterfly because, for so many people, it really is that sort of a process because we live in a mechanized society in so many different ways, where we've been trained for factory work, even when it's information factories. It's all about . . . school prepares us . . . There's a time we give come to work in the morning. There's a time we leave. We do what we do, we go home, repeat, rinse all over again.

Benjamin Preston
It's interesting, it's interesting, because I feel like the metaphor for me of butterflies . . . there's something very grand. I've always not really been a fan of butterflies. So as I was writing this book, I thought, this is going to be the perfect example. Because a lot of people when they go through their career, it's almost like a staggered progression of you know, from first grade to second grade, second grade to third grade, third grade, fourth grade, you go all the way through college . . . I mean, if you're assuming that you do go to college, but even that's a choice for some people. it's like you're in high school, and then you go to college, and then you go to college, and then what happens after that? You get a job, and then you get married. And then you have a house. And there's, it's like you follow this direction. And for a lot of people, it's this like, physical indicator that things are changing. And it's like this, you know, going from this stage to this stage to this stage. And what I've found in what I work with a lot of clients, I've had this situation to where it's like once you're in the working world, you don't have that. Like you don't have the definitive moment where things are changing. You look like even if you look at yourself a year ago, and you say, when did I change? Like, when did I become who I am right now. And I feel like for a lot of people they don't, it's more of a default change. Like people aren't thinking consciously like I want to change to do this, or I want to change to do this. And you kind of default into the career that you're handed or the career that your parents want you to do or things like that. And so your career development becomes very default. And so for me, the idea of the butterfly is like there are stages to how you do things. And while that change is subtle and nuanced, it's happening and it's constantly happening, but it's happening with intention, and that's thing I think that a lot of career people. Like, especially for me, like, I love this idea of thinking, I'm always in a growth stage, I'm always becoming like Michelle Obama's book. Like her idea of I'm always becoming, to me is really impactful. But then you have to acknowledge once you've gotten to that point, that Okay, I'm here. And now my next stage is here. So I yeah, this idea of like, shaping your own career, making, kind of, creating the thing that you want to be is I'm a huge fan of that idea.

Jeff Altman
And thus in talking about finding your purpose, finding the meaning in your life, when you've been . . . I'm going to use the example of the factory again, where you've been on the factory floor or school, in the factory floor of early career, like, how do you start pausing for a second and thinking it through when all that has been happening is you can run faster and faster in place all these years?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, I think I think a lot of people until they get to a point where they actually acknowledge that the satisfaction that they are told is supposed to be satisfying, like, getting a paycheck is supposed to be satisfying. Going to work and punching the time clock is supposed to be satisfying. . . . Like that's like the old school way of thinking about it. But now people are getting into this point where like, they have to have satisfaction in other ways. And I think that's why purpose and passion has become such a big topic for a lot of people. Because the things that used to be satisfying in the 1930s, or like the 1800s, even where it's like, having a job is satisfying, being able to quit my job, or my family is satisfying. It's like, okay, that's kind of a default now. And so people are moving into the next stage where it's like, there are millions and millions of jobs out there, and you can find the one that is exciting to you, that brings purpose, that brings passion, but then you have to you have to ask the question, what is my passion? What's my purpose? For me, I don't ever really tell my clients and me personally, I don't identify purpose and passion as something that you need to articulate. If you can articulate it, great. But I view it more as an emotion as more of a like, a sensation that you have. And you can either have it in one moment or have it not in another. And that's the feeling of excitement. So one of the other keywords in my book is excitement. Creating an exciting career. Because if you're not feeling excited in what you're doing right now, you're probably not moving towards your passion. You're probably not moving toward your purpose. So for me, when I'm when I'm thinking kind of talking about purpose and passion, it's, am I moving toward the thing that makes me excited today. If I am, if I'm being purposeful in this moment, that means that I'm being excited. If I'm not hurt . . . and it's okay to be off and on. But like, you want to be 90% excited for your job and what you're doing and that'll kind of indicate whether or not you're moving in the direction of your purpose and passion, and kind of help you find that fulfillment and satisfaction. But like finding the emotion first, and then kind of pulling on it like a thread as opposed to, to articulating like, money or job title . . . like those are important. But that's not the thing at the end of the day, that's going to make you satisfied and make you want to go to work every day.

Jeff Altman
So true. And now, let's start looking at the steps. How does someone figure it out?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah.

Jeff Altman
Where do they start?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, so, for me, I always have people start, . . . there's, there was some really cool research that was done. And I don't have the the name of the psychological report but it was done from a psychology bulletin. And there was a group of researchers who studied people's career, purpose and passion, like kind of how they find fulfillment in their roles. And what they found is that there's two different types of people. There's one group of people that are, they can be happy anywhere. So I'm kind of calling that group, career strategists. Like they can, they can go anywhere, do anything and kind of be okay, where they are. And then there's another group of people that believe that they have one passion, one purpose, and their job is to find it or uncover it. So those are the people . . . if you see if you have like your friends, or your whoever you kind of know, who bounced from job to job to job, and they said, I want to find this job that's fulfilling those. . . . So it's kind of identifying which camp that you fall into. And from that space, you can kind of get into the next stage, which for me is finding your strengths. I always . . .

Jeff Altman
I'm gonna pause you there, because the first two are great. So, the first one, . . . at that first stage, there tend to be two alternative personality types. The one is, "I have to find my one true love." And the other one is, I'm not exactly sure. So I'm going to dabble a little bit. And I'm going to figure it out by my experiences as to what works and what doesn't. So did I get that one, right?

Benjamin Preston
Yes. And the thing that's important, thank you for stopping me because I get so excited talking about this stuff. I'm like, I can just go and go and go. The thing that's important to recognize with that is there's inherently what the researchers found is there's no wrong way to do it. It's just two different approaches, two different mindsets based on your history, based on your psychology, based on just kind of the nature part of you. Like how you approach work, that sort of thing. But both groups of people are equally successful in their career long term. So what you might see is one person might just jump job to job to job to job. And they might feel like they're in a hamster wheel not going anywhere. But in the long run, if you look 10, 20 years in their career, they find their traction. They find their purpose, and then they're successful. If you look at the other side, it's people that stay with jobs for a long time. They're kind of like hoping that they get a promotion, not really sure what they want to do,Thinking that they can kind of be happy anywhere. Those people get their traction as well, and they find their purpose. But in the long run, both groups of people are successful. It shows you have to put in the work to understand where you are, and then be able to say, "I'm going to make this decision to move forward and be satisfied in my career, even if I'm not where I'm exactly where I want to be right now, in this moment.

Jeff Altman
It's so funny, I tell Job Hunters, because I often coach people, purely about the transition from one job to another, I say everything works, just never works as frequently as we want it to work. So it sounds like you're saying both approaches are fine. You have to find the one that fits your personality type. If you're the "one true love kind of person, you know, there are lots of ways that you can explore that. If you're the "I want to experiment a little bit," that's okay, too. But I'm going to back up even one step before that. So for both of them, they both have to have an idea of what they're thinking of, right? And how do you suggest that they research that or figure it out as to where they're gonna dive into the pool for the first one of these two steps.

Benjamin Preston
So the best way that I can explain that is have . . . so for people that have been to a buffet, I'm from Nebraska originally, and there are tons of buffets, like a lot of buffets. So the thing, the thing that, the best way to kind of describe this is if you go to a buffet, you have 50 different options. You can get spaghetti and ice cream, you can get, you know, buffet or steak and salad like you can get whatever you want. The only way that you really know what you want to eat is if you try everything. I mean, you don't theoretically need to try everything but like in your career functions the same way. You're presented with a million different experiences that you can have and before you actually get in there and start testing things out, you don't have to get really invested. You don't have to get an entire plate of spaghetti to know that you like spaghetti. But you can try it and sample it. And so you know, internships is a great way that a lot of young professionals do this is, take an internship. Find out, let's say you have 10 things in your in your role that you need to do. Maybe you find five of those things, and they point you into a different direction. Or you like, you really hate all 10 items, and you try something completely different. That's like, that's totally doable. That's how I got started in my career. I started out in communications, realized that I like the messaging part of it, but I don't like the unpaid the non monetary part of communication. So I moved into marketing because all of the aspects of communication that I loved, were also in marketing. But it also had extra elements of things that I really wanted to sort of tie into. So, that's like for a lot of young professionals, it's getting in there and sampling what is on the buffet and figuring out what you're craving and what you like. And one day it might be different than another but for the most part, you're going to find the section of the buffet that you want to kind of eat, stay at, spend more time and if that makes sense.

Jeff Altman
Makes perfect sense. And I just want to check this. So far. It sounds like a methodology that's really age independent. And it's easier in some respects for a less experienced person to sample at the buffet because there's less cost risk, there's less compensation, sacrifice, things like that. So I'm just curious, if you work with more experienced people who go, "Jeez, I made $150,000 a year, $200000. And you want me to do a free internship?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah. So yeah, so they're, it's interesting, because there's, there's the things that people value. And to me, as you get more attached, like the thing that's nice about young professionals is they they don't have any attachments for the most part. Like you have maybe student debt you have, you know, you have your obligations to your debtors and the people that you need to kind of work with and pay back. So it's a lot easier to kind of be free range and do what you want. I think the thing that's really fascinating with professionals that have been around for a while, and I kind of fall into that category now, too, like where I've been working for a little bit and I have, you know, I have to pay for my apartment and I have to pay for my car and I have to pay for my student debt and all this other stuff. The the creativity, I think that people that are more exposed to the experiences, they know what they want, you can get more creative with the solutions for that. So the more constraints, and I think about this, just from a marketing standpoint, the more constraints that you have or the more limitations you have, the more creative you need to be in your creative problem solving. But in the end, it becomes a lot more satisfying because it's something that you're sculpting and you're creating. So if it's something where you're making 150 K a year, let's say doing finance, there's, I could probably think of 10 different things right now where you don't have to work for someone else in order for that to be successful. I still work for a full time company, in addition to doing my other businesses, as well. So, like, am I making a lot of money at my company? Yes. And I'm also doing these other things to build that up, as well. So, I think that I mean, there's, there's, to me, it's if you know, where you want to go and you, let's say you need to take that pivot and that turn in your in your, in your, when you are in your career, sorry, got a little tongue tied. When you're in your career, if you need to make that pivot, it's really doable. You just kind of have to think more creatively as opposed to just thinking linear linearly. Instead of saying, "I'm at point A, and I need to go to point B, it's like, I'm at point A, but I can also start working at point B and start into introducing point C, and kind of create a hybrid model of satisfaction and fulfillment in my career today. I think a lot of people put full time pressure on their jobs, to make them satisfied, to make them fulfilled, to do all these other things. But you can still create hobbies. You can create side projects. You can do other . . . you can volunteer. Like there's other ways to feel satisfied and fulfilled without giving up the luxuries that you have accumulated over a lifetime.

Jeff Altman
And you mentioned, linear, that's the language of the school system. It's the factory language that we've been trained to do, versus the language of creativity, which is, "Hey, look, you do a side hustle experiment on the side, see if it's something that you're good at, you can make some money, whether you really enjoy it. It's kind of like, you know, when people move into coaching, they may be excellent coaches, but no one teaches them about the business of coaching, and how to make money at coaching. So there's lots of things that you'll learn by experimenting. And, folks, it's okay to experiment. And now we're gonna finally advance because I pull this back into the first stage insistently. Yeah. So we've gone from me, I want to get married, or I want to play the field to the next step.

Benjamin Preston
Yeah. So, the next step, once you understand where what your approach is to work, the next step I always advocate is finding your strength. And the reason that I do . . . the reason that I say do a lot of strength inventories and a lot of Strength Finders, and I'll dive into kind of how to do that in a second.Umm, the reason that I say that strengths is the way to go is because whenever and if you kind of reflect on your own experiences, the things that you like doing, or the things that you do naturally are things that you're good at. No, except for the exception of karaoke, maybe a lot of people don't gravitate toward the things that they don't like, they usually gravitate towards the things that they're good at, or the things that they like. If you think about a little kid playing a sport, if you have the option of skating, or let's say hockey, football, baseball, basketball, you usually will pick or you'll stay with the sport that works out better for you. And that's kind of what we do professionally, as well. You don't you won't stay if you're not very good at strategic thinking, you're probably not going to try to get into a role that involves a lot of strategy, just as an example. So that's kind of . . . finding your strength, in my opinion, is the next thing because that's usually . . . people get the most fulfillment out of the things that they're good at. And if you spend more time doing the things that you are good at, the things that you're are your strengths, you get more excited, you get more passionate, and that's where you move up and excel. If you look at like a lot of famous, famous business people, that they're not known for their weaknesses, they're known for the things that they're really good at. So Steve Jobs, he's like, if you, if I worked for him, I did not do well with micromanagers. He was an infamous micromanager. But if you see the people that worked for him, they loved that they were, like, that's what he was known for was getting everything perfectly right and getting everything to the detail extremely correct. And that's what we appreciate. I'm using a MacBook right now. Like that's what people appreciate about what Steve Jobs created. So that's a just an example of using your strengths. So getting to the actual process of doing that, there's three, I advocate three different ways to actually do that. The first one is to take a self inventory to just literally get out a piece of paper, jot down 50, 60 things. Go through like literally things that might not even be considered business-y. See, like I love gardening. I love, I have tons of indoor houseplants. You can't see any right now. But that's one of those things like I can write that down as a thing and be like, I love having creating an environment for myself. Like that might be something that I can do or I love being in nature. I like nurturing. I like growing things. I like doing like all of that stuff can apply to business. I love nurturing my team members. I like being able to help my team grow and evolve and become different from what they were before. Like that's all kind of the thing. So take out a piece of paper, write down 50 things. Highlight. Go through and highlight maybe the 10 things that are most exciting to you. When you read through them. It gives you that sense of butterflies in your stomach, that excitement of this is what I would like to do full time. So that's stage one. Stage Two is doing some sort of psychology, sort of proven methodology for strengths. So I usually advocate Clifton Strength Finders, which will give you your top five strengths. And those are usually business oriented. Another one is like Disc is another good one. So go through fill out those, and they'll ask you more behavior based questions. And that'll give you a set of strengths that you can go off of. And then the last way, which I think is really impactful is going around and texting or calling your, your teachers, your professors, your people that you have worked with your co workers or your family or friends and say, What am I good at? Like, Jeff, what do I do really, really well. And you would say, you know, you do this, this, this, this, this, and it might be something that you wouldn't have even thought of. It might be just as an example, for me, like, I, one of my Clifton strengths was strategic. And one of my friends said, you know, you're really good at facilitating groups, group conversations, like you get real people really engaged, and you help people understand the concepts. And I'm like, Oh, so I could do strategic facilitation. And I'm like, thinking back, I'm like, actually, I really like doing that. I like having, translating what people say, from an objective standpoint, or from a business standpoint, and having it so that everyone can weigh in on the conversation, everyone's heard, and then incorporate and create this product that people are really satisfied with. So that's like, just an example of kind of how that works. But that's the second the second stage.

Jeff Altman
And folks, I'm going to make the suggestion that you opt for the conversations first, before you take the tests. Because I don't think I'm unique in this regard. When we hear certain things that are from tests, our mind kind of locks into those. And then when you ask other people, it's hard to be open to the other possibilities. So start with that, and then look for confirmation from the test or surprises from the tests. I know for me, there was a test I took some years ago called core bap, CR, e ma p that most people have never heard of before. But I'm like Myers Briggs, which operates with I think it's 16 options, this one goes to 64. And it just had a lot more detail to her. And I've already had the conversations about what my compromise capabilities were. And it was amazing to see the standardized test, come back and confirm, yeah, you'd be really good at coaching. So that's the way I would approach it

Unknown Speaker
that way, too. Yeah. Cuz I feel like a lot of people like this is this is sometimes a bias that we have if we if we aren't used to rejection or we aren't used to, to other people telling us something that we're not familiar with is there's like, this idea that we have to act a certain way or be a certain way, like we get our validation from other people. And so I think having, like if you take your test, and then you have this random organization, say, this is what you are, and then you have another conversation with someone else that doesn't match a lot of times you kind of like you put yourself into a spiral, or you'll be like, what the results are wrong. It's like an identity crisis. I think the way that you outlined it is really, really

Jeff Altman
helpful. Yeah. And I'll also go in the example of core map, the facilitator who administered it said, your test results are confusing, you know, you go in almost polar opposite directions. And then as we talk to you said, Oh, you've developed these other skills to compensate, because of the nature of the work that you're doing. But your natural inclination is toward, and just came out very clearly. So, to me, you start with human beings who've actually lived with you, and you explore from that perspective, and then look for confirmation from the test. Or surprises, yes, sometimes you get surprises that will affirm or cause you to go, Ah, ah, that's interesting. So, we're, it's what stage two here are finding it out, we've gone through a couple of things, began the exploration. What's next? Okay, so

Unknown Speaker
once you get your strengths, you have a very, very good list of the things that you should be looking for, either in the job description, job title, industry, or function. So if let's say, you're creative, like let's say someone says, You're always really creative, you really know how to do that. So your options are really open still, with what you want to do from a job standpoint, or from a career path standpoint. But you know, okay, I'm going to be looking in the creative space with these sort of sprinkled items layered in the next thing is kind of identifying what opportunities or what direction that you want to go in. So a lot of people get stressed out because they, you know, they'll say, Oh, I want to do this thing that's maybe totally unattainable from where they are at this moment. But the nice thing is once you kind of find the direction that you want to move in, or the very vague direction that you want to move in on, you can start researching that industry, that function, that job title, whatever that is, let's say I'm just gonna take marketing as an example. Marketing. That's kind of what I that's how I started my career. I moved from communications to marketing. So let's say I want to stay with marketing now that I know that that's what I want to do, then I can start researching what is the future of marketing look like? Either I can say, what is marketing going to be in five years, I can say, what is my next move look like? Get the things that are part of that job description, and start figuring out what are the soft skills that you need for that position? What are the technical skills that you need for that position, and develop almost an action plan for yourself to start creating moving toward that direction. And the reason I say that you want to create an action plan is because a lot of people will look at the opportunities that they want to move in. So let's say, right now, I'm a marketing director, I want to move to a CMO level that might be three or four levels from where I am right now. But I don't, I don't want to look at that and say, Oh, I'm never going to get there. Because eventually you will. But you need to create that roadmap for yourself. Because a lot of organizations won't do it for you, you kind of need to say, here's where I want to go. And the nice thing and the cool thing with it, too, is like you don't have to pigeonhole yourself into one particular thing. So let's say I'm interested in marketing, and it, I can look at both of those options as career paths for myself and kind of create a hybrid action plan that takes into account what does the CTO what do they need to do in their job, and what does the CMO need to do in their job, because what happens and this is something that I think is really awesome with organizations is if you prove yourself to have the strength of multiple different positions, or people, a lot of organizations will actually merge those together. And like the future of marketing, 10 years from now might be a hybrid role between a CTO and a CMO, depending on what organization you work for. So it's like the the jobs that will exist five years from now, or 10 years from now might not exist, but you can kind of create and job scope what you want that position to be. And then when you get to that point of actually being ready to handle that cmo CTO position, you'll have all of the cables, capabilities and competencies that that organization is looking for, or industry or function or whatever your kind of your goal is, but you'll have done the work to actually get yourself prepared for that position. So the last step in summary, is soft skills, technical skills, build an action plan to get yourself to where you want to go and just start pulling that thread to get yourself there.

Jeff Altman
Beautiful. And it's so funny, you spoke in terms of marketing, and it trends, the product manager. Now, that's the most important product management definition.

Unknown Speaker
Yeah, and if you would have even said like in the year 2002, that IT and marketing would be the same thing, it'd be like "No way,." Like, and I even think now to the point where marketing and communications were at 1 time considered almost identical functions. Now, they're very, very different. Like, and it depends too on what organization. Like some organizations, depending on what you do, will still view things in sort of the old school way. But the future of business in general will be moving toward that direction. And there's going to be a ton of shifts and changes. But it's like, instead of instead of kind of hoping for the best, you can say, you know, "I'm really passionate about doing x, y and z. I'm going to move myself in that position. And then, once you're, once you're there, you're going to find the opportunities. It's not like things won't exist. It'll just be one of those things where it's like you, you have to actually do the work and create the action plan for yourself to say, "Six months from now, I'm going to be here. One year from now, I'm going to be here. And a lot of times, that will move faster than that timeline that you set up. But just putting out the intention and putting out the goals and saying this is what I'm moving myself toward is really, really helpful. And it puts a lot of that anxiety at ease, because you feel like you're moving towards something that's purposeful, unsatisfying, especially if you're feeling like your career isn't exciting. Actually setting up a plan and saying "This is the direction that I want to move in is . . . it gives you a lot more . . . like the anticipation of it is actually really fulfilling if you feel like you're moving in a direction that's purposeful and meaningful.

Jeff Altman
Folks, the habits that we all have, is to think of career progression. You know, the classic, "I'm going to move up the ladder." It isn't a ladder anymore. It's a jungle gym. You have to think about adaptive behaviors, varying approaches to things as new information comes in. So you might be starting off in this direction and the world changes. And suddenly you have to adapt and go in this direction, or straight up instead of on an angle. You have to remain alert opportunity and potential of disasters as you move along in order to ensure that you get to a goal that's going to please you. So we're really talking to you about the launch point. Yeah. And once you're on the launch point, you've got to have friends, allies, coaches, a whole host of people who can be of assistance to you to sort things out. Mentors. Colleagues. I tend to go for the professionals because the mentors and colleagues-- Colleagues, and peers, and managers often know as little as you do. So be cautious.

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, that's a really good point, too. Because, like from that starting point, it's almost like if you see, I always have this image of like, you know, an old guy on the beach with a metal detector trying to find gold or trying to find, you know, a nickel or something. Our careers are kind of the same way. So once you know, you know, this is what I want to do, you kind of are just scanning and searching for the thing that lights you up. And then you do that. So it might not be . . . you might spend all this time being like, "I'm gonna be a CMO one day," and then you get five years down the road. And you say, "Actually, that doesn't seem fulfilling. What I thought it was, isn't fulfilling. It's no longer giving me that metal detector buzz. But this thing over here is. So you pivot, and you move toward that. And I think, understanding, you know, having the skills that are necessary to say, "This is what I like to do. This is the stuff that I'm excited to do." There's no loss there. As opposed to if you move, and I feel like this is potentially why this is the way that it is now is people will move down this rabbit hole of saying this is the linear progression that I need to follow. But they're not applying their strengths. They're not finding fulfillment, because the they told themselves along the way, "this is what it takes to get to that position." And it's like, there's a million different ways to be successful. And your definition of success shouldn't just be limited to that job title. You should be liking what you're doing. You should be good at what you're doing. You should be finding those opportunities, even if it takes you, you know, a couple scans around the beach to find the things that light you up inside and move toward those. As opposed to just pointing to a linear, you know, ladder on an org chart and saying, "I'm going to be that one day. " Because realistically, if you're in an organization and you say, "I'm going to be a CMO," there are chances are like . . . statistically speaking, you probably won't be working at that organization longer than five years. Like, you'll probably be somewhere else where they'll have different values, they'll have different competencies, that you know that you like doing the stuff that you're doing, and you move. . . . You make the decisions based on what is satisfying to you, or what is . . . what you're getting fulfillment out of. There's no time wasted. And you don't feel like you know, if you look back 10 years in your career, or 20 years in your career, you said, "Wow, I wasted all that time, and what do I have to show for it?"

Jeff Altman
I think and, as a reminder, folks, do not, I repeat, do not outsource your career to your employer, because their interests and yours are very different. So you are the CEO of your own organization. And as such, you have to be the one, in conjunction with your board of directors--your wife, husband, partner, the kids, the extended family, all those people who are important to you who sit on the board with you-- you have to think in terms of being in charge of that enterprise. And if you outsource it, your career to an employer. . . They don't care about what happens to you, like you care about what happens to you. So don't make that mistake. And, Benjamin, we're rocking and rolling. There's just so much we've covered already. What haven't I asked you about that we should cover in today's interview?

Benjamin Preston
Um, I think I mean, I think we covered a lot.

Jeff Altman
We have.

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, I think the biggest message that that I have just kind of bringing everything to a summary, because it seems like even the process that we're talking about seems very linear. Like it's very like step one, step two, step three. The thing that I would kind of leave the audience with is this idea that at our careers are organic, and they're constantly changing, like, you will go from that metamorphosis of a butterfly. And you will go through that cycle four or five times. If you . . . and it's not something that's wrong with you. It's just, you're ready for a change. And if you go through this process of step, 1-2-3, step 1-2-3. Step 1-2-3. It's it's not something where you look at it, and you say, "I'm spinning my wheels, I'm going, you know, I'm not getting anywhere." It's just the constant evolution of your development of your career. And if you are constantly excited in your development of your career, you're going to find that fulfillment no matter what your job title is, no matter where you find yourself 10 years from now. But just know it's a constant, organic, growing process, and you're never, you're never done doing it. It's always something that's going to be . . . it's going to be fun to do. And you . . . it's the journey that really matters. I guess that kind of sounds cliche, but the process is ongoing, and it's never really done. So that's kind of what I just wanted to leave . . . because the process seems linear, but it's going to be something that you go through time and time again,

Jeff Altman
Just like it was when you were little and they said, "Okay, Benjamin, what do you want to be when you grow up?" And you said, whatever you said, and the statistical probability is, you didn't say, "You know, I think I want to grow up to be a director of strategy for a firm."

Benjamin Preston
Right. I would have said marine biologist, and I am one of the farthest things away from being a marine biologist. So . . .

Jeff Altman
And that's the point folks, we have to be adaptive. This is a launch point. And this is where we're going to progress from. How can people find out about you, the book, everything. I know I'm gonna put a link to the book in the show notes, but where do you want them directed to?

Benjamin Preston
Yeah, so my website is BenjaminPreston.com. You can find my book on Amazon or my website. My book, the full title of the book is "Harness Your Butterflies: The Young Professional's Guide to an Exciting Career." That's on Amazon. And I'm always a fan of people adding me on LinkedIn--Benjamin J. Preston, I should be up on there somewhere. But yeah, I'm pretty I'm pretty out there everywhere. So hopefully people can find me.

Jeff Altman
Amen. Folks, we'll be back soon with more. I'm Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter. Visit my website, TheBigGameH;unter.us. I've got a ton in the blog that can help you. I also want to remind you, I have a great course on interviewing on Udemy. It's called the , "The Ultimate Job Interview Framework." Udemy discounts the course. So I list it at $24.99 they'll often sell it for significantly less. Purchase the class that will help you with interviewing. Or, if you like reading, you can purchase it in book form or for Kindle on Amazon. Again, "The Ultimate Job Interview Framework." Connect with me on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/TheBigGameHunter. Mention that just saw the interview. I like knowing I've been helping some folks. And last thing I'll mention to you is if you're interested in one on one coaching, at my website, TheBigGameHunter.us you can schedule time for a free discovery call or schedule time for coaching. I'd love to help you. I hope you have a terrific day and, most importantly, be great! Take care!

ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER

JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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