Thursday, December 5, 2013

Penelope Trunk: Find the right career by doing the wrong career

Whew, it's been a while since I've done one of these, and longer still since I've done one as a one-off. It's kind of nice to get back to it, actually.

So, way back in October 2010, Penelope Trunk, founder of the Brazen Careerist, wrote this post. She begins by reassuring us, in her not-particularly-reassuring way:
[E]ven though trial and error looks very similar to aimless flailing, it’s what everyone has to do.
Hmm, that's another one for the Rotating Quotes in the banner, isn't it?

She then gives her tips for productive flailing:

  1. Let yourself try things that are widely seen as lazy and indulgent.
  2. Figure out what makes you special. 
  3. Get other opinions. All top-performers have lots of coaching.
  4. Recognize the difference between a career and a hobby.
  5. Take suspiciously awful opportunities. They might lead somewhere good.
  6. Forget conventional ideas of a good job. A good job feels good to you.
These tips seem the typical combination of easier-said-than-done (if I knew what made me special, I wouldn't run a blog about trying to figure that out, would I?!) and typically Millennial (oh, of course a good job feels good to me.  That's why the good jobs don't pay. So good job=bad job?). 

But 3 and 6 look promising to me, for whatever that's worth. Having some proper coaching or a mentor? Would love it. Take opportunities? Sure!

Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Updated 8/25/15 to fix typos and broken links.

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