By Julie Jansen
Part III: How Do You Get There?
Chapter 5: Where's the Meaning?
So, now that we have a sense of what we find meaningful, now we get to the downside.
Step 2: Explore Roadblocks and Opportunities
Well, [once again] Jansen wants us to make a blind list before she gives us any practical jumping-off point, so right now we just list any real or perceived obstacles or barriers to finding your meaning. OK, let's delve into my insecurities!
- I am not charming and fear I am not inherent likable. (Hey, I warned you!)
- I have a hard time enumerating my skills, which makes me feel like I don't have any.
- The things I daydream about all seem to involve a lot of invested time, for most likely very little payoff
- The things I daydream about would require a lot of people getting along and working together, which is not something anyone can control.
- Very little I am interested in and/or good at pays well.
- Ugh, maybe the nihilists are right and there isn't any meaning anyway!
Now I'm going to peek ahead at Jansen's "most common barriers":
- Pay decrease -- I'm lucky to be in a situation where that's not a huge concern, although that does overlap somewhat with my #5
- Too old -- not a huge concern
- No specific experience -- A mild concern, sure; I guess that overlaps with my #2
- Don't know how to find a company that would fit -- not a concern; I thought the whole point of this book is to figure out what you want and then find the company?
- Can't make a difference -- Haha, definitely overlaps with my #6
- Don't know how to solve problems in a new industry -- not a concern; that would just be the first problem to solve, right?
- Don't know if I can change my lifestyle -- not a huge concern
- Don't really feel passionate about anything -- Definitely a concern, and one I wish Jansen had mentioned earlier.
- Don't have enough time -- not a concern
- Not very creative -- very mild concern, more wrapped up in my insecurities than reality.
Jansen then goes through some anecdotes and advice for each of those barriers. I'm not going to outline all of them, but here's what jumped out at me:
- A women who was in marketing did a super job of selling herself in her new field, and thus managed to keep her old salary. Well, of course, she knows how to market herself!
- The "I can't make a difference" section basically says, look around for something that's broken and fix it; you're special, you can do it! But... I've never been in a situation where I was empowered to do more than maybe bring it up. It was completely out of my hands as to whether anything could possibly done about it.
- The "I don't really feel passionate about anything" section talks about how to weave your seemingly incompatible passions into your worklife. Which... doesn't really answer the question.
- Overall, this section is more pep-talk than actually, usable advice, and I don't find it helpful; in fact, given my personal list, I worry it might actually do more harm than good! (Does that count as a barrier?)
Next time, we attempt to create an action plan. I have no idea how that's going to go.