Transcript # 147. Job searching: How to safely step into the unknown - with Janet Sernack.

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Best practice for me has been being able to, help people transition not only the challenges of the pandemic, but across the chasm of, change of transformational change that a lot of organizations are doing.

To actually start to take on the mindsets to enact the mindsets and behaviors of the new world. 

Hello, everyone. Look, Janet CEK is a consultant and a coach, and she helps other coaches like me, also leaders and organizations to innovate, adapt, and grow through disruption. She's an innovation coach. And in our conversation for this episode of the job hunting podcast, we will discuss how job seekers can use innovation concepts to be more comfortable with the discomfort of your job search.

 Janet's expertise is in helping her clients understand what it means to be innovative and adaptive to change because you may aim for innovation all you want, but you . Won't get it. If you don't start acting differently, structuring your business differently and being agile to adopt and adapt to change as opportunities and threats come.

This is also applicable to career advancement, career planning and job hunting, because you may want it. You may want to advance in your career. You may want another job, but to achieve your goal, you will need to adopt and adapt to changes as professional opportunities and threats come along. Can you see the similarities here?

This is why I thought of bringing Janet along for a chat on the podcast. I think listening to her will be very interesting for those who are ambitious for their careers. And Janet works with businesses that are ambitious, they are at the cuspal innovation. So it's great to hear about what she has identified as important trends in the workplace.

so that you can incorporate them in your career plans and your professional development. What is it that you will learn by listening to this episode? One of the biggest challenges for employees and employers, post pandemic is how to reconnect. So we were gonna talk about that. We will talk about the best practices that Janet has observed in the workplaces around the world, where she's coaching.

 I ask her, what is it to connect through values? What is it to lead at a heart level? I read about these things all the time. You, probably do as well. If you're following the conversation about leadership and, employers trying to reconnect with their employees, that discourse, that narrative is being used.

 I wanted Janet to tell her side of the. How can professionals break the inertia of, you know, the daily hustle in order to achieve their bigger career goals. So I ask her that, why is it important to be uncomfortable and be comfortable in being uncomfortable? You know, this is so important as your job search.

And Janet is all about that as an innovation. I also discuss with her the key sources of discomfort. And then of course you will learn how professionals like you can safely step into job search in 2022, being comfortable with the discomfort. This conversation happened. Live. My LinkedIn Facebook page and YouTube channel a few weeks ago, we have then edited this conversation and made it into a podcast episode.

So if you hear some weird noises in the background, or maybe, us interacting with people that are watching, you know, Why sometimes we edit things out. Sometimes we are limiting just for context. If you are one of our new 340 plus new subscribers this month, we welcome you to our newsletter. We welcome you to our community of job hunters and career enthusiasts.

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Ranata benard.com R E. T a, B E R N a R D e.com. Before we head to the interview, remember that the links mentioned are in the episode show notes. So if there's anything that we mention, you can find it there. Hopefully I will add all of them. I always try my best. So apologies if I forget one or another, if you're a subscriber, you can always reply back to the newsletter.

Let me know, and I'll send it to you. Janet's, company, is called imagination. I love that name, imagination compass learning. And I will add in the show notes, a link to her LinkedIn profile so that you can go and check it out and connect with her. If you need innovation coaching or some help with your team department business.

 and so on. 

Let me introduce you to my friend, Janet Cenex. She's a consultant and a coach, and she helps other coaches like me also leaders and organizations adapt and grow through disruption. Her expertise is in helping society understand what it means to be innovative, to be adaptive, to change. Luckily enough for the, job hunting podcast, which I am a host of.

So if you're new to this through LinkedIn, you may not know this. Janet was the first person that I interviewed back in 2020 on the CASTP of our lives changing before the pandemic, just before the pandemic, Janet and I sat down for a chat about VUCA volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Little, did we know how important that, episode was going to be so much so that when it went live was when things were just starting to get out of control for everyone and we recorded then a bonus episode. So there's 22 and then 22 B, if I'm not mistaken, I'm looking sideways to making, sorry.

It's. Three and 23 B those were the baby episodes of this podcast. We're now on number 1 43, but still one of my favorite episodes because of what it meant, what, you know, because I love talking to Janet, you have such a, a lovely way of explaining complex issues to everyone. but also what it meant to the podcast and to the listeners to have you on board, at a time.

We really needed to understand VUCA and who better to talk to than you, Janet. So thank you so much now. I will let you speak soon, Janet, but let me just say that, your company's called imagination, which is a great name. So after listening to this conversation, if anyone here wants to, work with Janet, learn more about her company, please go to her LinkedIn profile and learn more about what she does.

And she has been consulting and coaching leaders. During this pandemic, not just in Australia, but worldwide. So I thought, selfishly, I'm very interested to know what you've been doing. And I thought maybe my listeners could also learn from your, intelligence, the, information that you bring from those workplaces, things that you have identifying important trends that we can all incorporate into our career plans and professional developments in the future.

 now. Tell us, you know, I don't want us to go too deep into your career story because in episode 23, we spent quite a lot of time talking about your wonderful career and all the amazing things you've done.

And I want people to go back and listen to that episode. But since we last spoke here publicly on the podcast, since March, 2020, what have you been up to? Where have you been and tell us all the gossip. 

Oh, gosh, such a big question. Well, the first thing that I noticed that I needed to do as COVID hit. Was to generate some kind of cash flow that would give me some sense of certainty.

Mm-hmm so being an innovator, I joined, two of the coaching platforms, one, which is Berlin based and the other, which is USA based and went through their training and started to be a resource for global companies. As they were democratizing coaching. So on the one hand, the rates were considerably lower than what I'd been earning through my own business.

On the other hand, I didn't have to do business development. Mm. And I had the most awesome. Great clients who really weren't dealing with the uncertainty and the instability, and I could learn to, adapt and coach differently. I call it speed coaching in 30 and 45 minute sessions. And I'm really pleased to say that.

I've just finished two lots of, six month long programs. And all the clients that I've been working with are really flourishing mm-hmm . So that was a way of, learning. And also, benefiting from all of the changes in the coaching industry globally, as it democratizes and coaching becomes available and accessible, not just to senior leaders, but to managers, you know, especially middle managers and people leaders across global.

And local organizations. So that was one thing that I I've been focusing on and I really enjoy it. yeah, that's almost why I was late. I was just helping a manager in India, better balance, his work time and his home time. Family time. Yes. So a, a lot of people are really out of balance and they're being really reactive.

So yes. 

Yes, will talk a lot about that, but I love what you said about democratizing, coaching, because even a small little business like mine, that's all I'm trying to do all the time. I've just launched last week. my cheapest ever, service it's only $97 Australian. So. Close to 70 us. And the goal is really to give as much value as I can for as little investments as possible to allow professionals to step into this new idea for many that you, you know, having this support and having this coaching, can really propel your career and you are right.

There is a better up, you know, there's lots of organizations that are flourishing. In democratizing coaching and counseling and, you know, even small business like mine, are also trying to do that as much as possible. Very interesting. do you have clients, all over the world, so India, where else do you have you coached since 2020?

oh 

gosh, Korea, India USA, certainly all around Australia. Singapore. Mm. Hong Kong so New Zealand, you know, pretty, pretty much. Yeah. 

Isn't an interesting, Janet, how, well you can coach people from all around the world. you know, some people, have asked me, how can you coach somebody from us?

UK or Singapore. And I'm like, why not? It's just, coaching is coaching. how would you answer that question? I get it all the time. 

well, it's really about being able to understand and, flow with cultural differences, dance in the moment. be really curious, be a really good listener, ask really good questions.

be very empathic. can that compassionate? Yeah. And you know, attuned to what it is that. They need, so I don't have a problem coaching, anyone from anywhere. it's quite interesting. 

Yes. It's very rewarding for us. Isn't it? Very, yes. Yes. One of the, questions that I wanted to ask you right off the bat is.

Because of the work that you do. and you work with people that have jobs and like your client you've just mentioned before, need to manage life and work. And the lines have blurred even more since the pandemic, they are already difficult to manage before then. And, we discussed before.

This idea of the need to reconnect with people, you know, how businesses want to reconnect with their workers, the workers being now. So remotely, you know, spaced out, work, employees trying to bring workers back into the office space. What have you seen in your consulting and coaching in terms of.

Practices and examples that you can share when things go well and, and, strategies that are working. 

Okay. That's a really big question. Again. One of the other things that I've done in the last 12 months is developed what we call bespoke learning programs for a global farmer. So it's not just people at the effect of, the pandemic.

It's also people at the effect of the digital transformations that they're going through. Mm-hmm so. The impact we, we need to think more, systemically is that the pandemic has really shocked. A lot of people mm-hmm so it has tended to amplify, feelings of isolation, disconnection, and overwhelm. So one of the first things, and we, we learned this also about innovation is one of the first things is to, attune, to people's painful emotions and actually help them accept and acknowledge them.

So, It is, you know, even with the program that we did with the global farmer, it was, built on very much on connection because they're all facing the challenge of a digital transformation. Yeah. They knew what they needed to do they knew what they needed to say. They knew. They were expected to lead and role model the change, but they weren't doing it.

Mm-hmm so the whole notion of safety, psychological safety is just a toe in the water, but really deep, safe environment where people couldn't be honest and share how it is. Their feelings. So best practice for me has been being able to, help people transition across not only the challenges of the pandemic, but across the chasm of, change of transformational change that a lot of organizations are doing.

To actually start to take on the mindsets to enact the mindsets and behaviors of the new world. So therefore there's, accepting how the painful emotions that people are feeling, giving them some kind of, benchmark of where they're at. So we use the. Leadership indicator. Yes. And then giving them a mix of learning principles that are future oriented, supported by one, on one coaching mm-hmm so that they can deal with whatever is going on for them.

And we dance in the moment with that, but also by using a quantitative assessment. You can actually help people focus on the areas and the skills that they need to develop to be effective in the 21st century context. So, you know, we've known for the 10 years we've been working in innovation is.

What you were doing 10 years ago, isn't what's needed today or in 10 years time, you know, it's a whole different way of being, thinking and acting. So we, we did a dual process of working with their pain, if you wanna call it that their shock and their pain and to help rehabilitate them. So they could be effective in this new world that is emerging.

So, what they had to do, especially the two groups and one was an innovation team and the other, group was responsible for innovation projects was to, enable and empower them to actually deliver the breakthrough projects by creating that safe, collective holding space. Mm-hmm . And even though.

One group was a team, but the other group was just a group through reconnecting them, you know, at a values level, at a heart level, that helped them make sense of what they needed to do and to mobilize and take action. So I think. They were just amazing learning experiences, done virtually, online, hugely impactful, and very successful.

So they will now use this time to innovate, which we all should be doing. 

Yes. Yes. The language that you use, Janet, I've known you for a few years, so I know that that's language that. Probably have always used, but that discourse of connecting with values, empathy, leading with the heart, connecting with the heart, all of a sudden everybody's talking about this as well.

And it has just boomed, you know, doing this pandemic. But now when we look back and we try. To assess and make sense of how to move forward in, the corporate world, how to bring people together. do you see that as well that the discourse is changing? And I wonder if the conversations that we are seeing in writing about values are also being translated.

the workplace, 

I think, certainly in one-on-one coaching, there are a lot more people transitioning out of roles and looking for more meaningful and purposeful ways of life and not just necessarily new jobs. So there's a lot more emphasis on aligning with values, but if I can just share a story, I I'm sure you won't mind.

Cause I just finished this month program today. from a coaching perspective, when you. Confronted with a client. Who's a perfectionist, a mismatch, which means he sorts by difference and very extroverted and very dominant, very willful. It's like, oh, you know, like this is gonna be a real rollercoaster ride.

Yes, it wasn't until I actually partnered with him to connect with. His heart. And he realized that he had been, emotionally neglectful mm-hmm , it's a new term. he invented it that he'd been spending his whole. Career in service of others and not doing anything for himself. So I think yes you are right.

Is there's a lot more attention on values, but there's also a lot more attention on self care. Yes. And self-compassion compassion mm-hmm and self kindness. And he even said to me today was that. It wasn't till he really could feel what he was feeling in his heart that he could move on from a lot of disappointments in his life and start to connect.

with his emotions, you know, feeling his healing, who would've believed that mm-hmm, that really is, true. that he could actually move forwards. 

Yes, that's so interesting. When we spoke and decided to do this, live stream, I wrote down. New language in the corporate world reconnection.

And the way that I was thinking about it was businesses trying to reconnect with their people, trying to bring them back together, again, convincing them to interact more. and now that I'm talking to you and listening to you, I am thinking businesses may really want to do that. Individuals want to reconnect with their 

core exactly.

With 

themselves, with their ambitions, with their, you know, and we stopped the rat race kind of not entirely, but it's almost like we provided this big tipping point and it made people stop and think, and people are, you know, making different decisions than they would. Taken, you know, in 2019 ambition has changed as a definition for many people there.

I don't, I don't think they're less ambitious. I just think that the ambition has changed. Would you agree? It has. 

Yes, I would definitely agree with that. So here's the thing. So we don't wanna forget about connecting with customers. Because the other thing, it's not only people in organizations who've changed, it's customers who've really changed as well.

So we need to be able to do both simultaneously it's paradoxical connect with customers and connect with our people. Yes, but we've always maintained, especially in innovation because we, we teach and coach innovation from emergence mm-hmm is that first you have to connect with self. Then be able to connect with other and then with the group or the team and with the community and with the customer, you know, or we call it connecting with the system or the social field.

So connection is the for, you know, I Key for everything, help connect with other people so they can be heard, connect with people so they can feel appreciated. 

Yes, Janet, on the other hand, as well, as you know, most of the listeners here are keen to advancing their careers and that.

Often comes in the way of, changing jobs. and there is a lot more of that happening sure is. So there's, there's a lot more of people, feeling, discontent, where they are, and, making emotional decisions, I think, especially end of 20, 20, 21. Their jobs and, quitting or taking breaks.

many of those are back in the job market again, because you know, you might do a transition during such a difficult time and land in a place where it's not really what you wanted. So, there is the second wave of job search happening with people that have changed jobs. 20 20, 20, 21, which is really interesting.

And that's happening worldwide. It's not just Australia, it's not just us. So, A lot of other professionals, I speak to feel very much FOMO, the fear of missing out. and they're juggling the FOMO of, you know, should I be doing this? You know, apparently it's a hot market for candidates. I could be out there looking for work, but I don't feel safe doing it.

 I love talking to you about this idea of safety jumping into unknown into a VUCA environment, into an environment that is ambiguous. I feel like people have a fear that's. Way bigger than it should be, you know, paper, tigers type of, yeah. Do you agree? 

Oh, look, one of the programs that we did for the global farmer was actually called face everything and rise it was contracted specifically to deal with fear of failure, risk, adversity, and imposter syndrome, you know, so they're the key things that paralyze people from taking intelligent action. So, yeah, there's a lot of that. So what I've noticed, especially, with coaching clients is that. Some people are feeling paralyzed because they wanna do something meaningful, but they don't know what that is.

and it's almost like they're stuck in their seats. Others wanna do more meaningful work that is more aligned to their values and others just want to do remote work whereby they can have a better, quality of life. So where we usually start with. And I've been doing a lot of this lately. So it's really interesting cuz I'm not typically a career coach is, coaching people through actually something you and I could probably do in an hour, but getting people to hit their pause buttons to.

and reflect on what kind of future they want to have. So I'm being really specific now. So I, I give them a template and I say, well, you know, what kind of work do you wanna do? What kind of relationship do you wanna have? how much money do you wanna make? Where do you wanna be located? What kind of family life do you wanna have?

What do you want for your kids? So to help them, it's like, C's forced us in a lot of ways to go back to basics. Mm-hmm , it's like create a compelling picture of your desired future state. Don't worry yet about what you're gonna do. Yes. Just start to deeply reflect in stillness and in silence and do it with your partner or, you know, with your family, what do you wanna have?

And that helps people pay deep attention to what's important to them and is meaningful and purposeful. And it also helps them focus that attention and be intentional in creating a vivid picture. It's not a. Yes, creating just a vision picture of what they wanna have. And interestingly, most people have said, oh, I've never done that.

Mm-hmm . So I'm saying, you know, do it in pictures, do it in words, do it as a mind map. I started doing this probably 20 years ago, but that's the first step. Yeah. And so I work with them, to. articulate and clarify that in whatever way works for them. It's very non-prescriptive. And then, the next phase is to say, well, who do I need to be to have that?

So then it's what are the emotional states? What are the mind states? it's usually I'm learning from, a new course I'm doing with Dr. Dan Siegel. How much discipline? You know, needs to be in with the creativity. Mm-hmm , that was a really big learning. from one of our, 

that's such a great way of putting it, you know, I love that.

Let me update you on, and everybody else listening on, episodes that are coming up before yours, you know, because yesterday I recorded episode 1 44 and I kid you not it's called, I dunno if I have it here, it's called the six questions you should ask yourself before job searching.

Exactly. And it's really align with what you've just said. I like what the color and movement that you provided with the idea of pictures. I didn't think of that, Janet. So, you know, after listening to 1 44, people should definitely listen to this episode, which will be 1 47. And the other episode that we recorded here, live on LinkedIn a couple of weeks ago, and it's coming up soon is about grit.

So this idea of the perseverance and the passion, because I always tell people, when they're starting to job search or, you know, when they reach out to me after job searching for a long time and not getting any results is motivation alone. Won't get you there. No, you have to, you have to treat this as a job and have the discipline and just do it every day.

Even if it's a couple of hours a day, But really that this is your job now, you know, if, what you want is a new job. Ooh so, 

so interestingly from a coaching perspective, once people have created that vivid picture in whatever modality works for them, we would then start to set some goals. So it's like a pre-work assignment before setting the goals and where grit comes in.

Cuz we use that in with our global pharma program. It's the determination mm-hmm and the perseverance to achieve the goal. So. When you talk about grit, it needs needs are old fashioned words in a way you need to be bold. You need to be brave. You need to be courageous. And you need to be, really willing to knock out any roadblocks.

So that was a very important part of the program that we did for the global farmer is how, yeah. Love it. Yeah. and grit is a really nice. there's actually an Angela Duckworth grip, test assessment that you can do online, online, online. Yes. 

I'll make sure there's a link to it. in the episode show notes, there's a link to it on, the episode I did with James, Brooke as well.

So James Brooke is the founder, and CEO of talent predicts, which is a talent assessment,tool that I'm using for my, my new service. And he's doing a PhD on. Grit amongst something. Great. Yeah. So that's really why I interviewed him a couple of weeks ago and, all these ideas that you're providing and the questions and the way that you explain is so fantastic.

And in what I it helps people with is feeling more comfortable with the uncomfortable, which is another phrase that I'm, Paraphrasing from you because you talk about that a lot, feeling comfortable with the uncomfortable, and there is so much, lack of comfort in job hunting. I don't even know where to begin.

If you're listening in your job, hunting, you know exactly what I'm talking about and that sometimes can be,exacerbated, I mean, people will always think that whatever situation they're in is the worst possible case scenario, but, you know, there will be people that have been without jobs for a big chunk of this pandemic.

There will be people that have, moved countries during this pandemic. So they lost their networks. There will be people that have gone out on mat leave, you know, on maternity leave and are finding it really hard to come back. also, if you are of a certain age, you may find that it's, you know, it's harder for you to, be shortlisted.

So there are all of these extra levels of lack of comfort, Janet. And I know how passionate you are about those specially ageism, right. 

And gender bias and gender balance. gender bias. 

yes. Yeah. Bias. Sorry, that's the word? Oh, wow. it makes it, much harder. I like to give, my clients, a really big understanding of.

How decision making is made and you know how we can't change the world. I can just help them progress through the qualification process for recruitment and selection in the best possible way, using the tools that we know they're going to use to help my clients. So we, we sort of swap things around and address the elephant in the room straight.

But, what are the sources of discomfort that you have found through your work with clients? 

Okay. I'm just gonna quote, I just was speaking to, um, someone in India who was really uncomfortable with the imbalance between working across time zones and family time. Which a lot of us are facing on a daily basis.

What he said at the end of the session. Again, blindingly obvious is, well, the only thing I can control is how I think and feel about a situation. So he, he did realize that he could prioritize and be productive by taking responsibility for setting boundaries and managing. how he does his meetings.

So that's just one example, but the word that I use, and I think I developed this when I was living in the middle east. Is we use the word another one for your, increasing vocabulary is discomfort, resilience. Oh. Which is being comfortable with being uncomfortable. And as OT Sharma says, it's a decade of disruption and transformation.

So where do you wanna play? in the program that we did the face everything and rise program, that was a. Really big part of it. How do you be comfortable with being uncomfortable? Because, you know, resilience is your ability to bounce back from adversity, but how do you dance with discomfort? So mm-hmm, the first level is, something a lot of us used to say at the front of the room in workshops.

Oh, the learning zone is outside of the comfort zone. So. That now is on steroids. Mm. You know, so we now say, well, you know, let go of being perfectionistic a mistake or a failure is an opportunity for learning fast, but also, the growth zone. is outside of the learning zone. Mm-hmm so we are given an incredible opportunity, especially, in this decade to grow.

You know, to be more, through being more adaptive, more flexible at the same time, more disciplined, more methodical, more creative, more courageous, you know, it's a real opportunity. And, you know, you asked me what else I did through COVID was, totally redesigned our curriculum. Redesigned our coach for innovators program.

We used that time to reset, you know, reset, refocus. and it's, hard sometimes to deal with a lot of, the challenges that we are all facing. , but here's the thing we can't learn and we can't grow unless we use them as, you know, 1 0 1 learning experiences. you have to in innovation, especially you have to do things to learn what not to do.

Mm-hmm and therefore failure becomes feedback and it's the breakfast of champions, but that is such a mindset shift. Yes. Cause we tend to beat ourselves up when we. Make mistakes and we fail. So it is a really big shift in how you think. and it doesn't feel nice. You know, it's a visceral, it's in the gap.

it's a visceral experience. And yet we can all break through. You know, it's possible. 

Is there,an element of, I don't know if these are the right words or apologies if I am being too bla about this, but is there an element of not taking yourself too seriously? Oh, sure. So that you can fit into this uncomfortable zone.

When you go through a job search and you are older, or you don't know anyone, or it's a completely different scenario, or even if it isn't, you know, job searching even within your sector for a job that you know how to do is already hard enough, but not. thinking about that as a threat, you know, The mechanisms for you to practice and train your brain, to address as a conversation, not an interview as an opportunity, not a threat yes. And not taking it too seriously. You know, what's the worst thing that can happen if you don't exactly. You don't have. So really sort of trying to calm your mind and, and practice to be mindfully there in the moment.

Sometimes. More important for you to feel comfortable in the moment than to know all the answers, to all the questions and practice even Sensely for days and only to be exhausted by the time you're in front of people. 

There's a yes. And to that. so like when we wrote relocated from the middle east to Melbourne seven years ago, I had lost all my networks here in Australia.

Mm-hmm so. Therefore I had to be a creative and adaptive and I just made the decision to work online. so therefore I had to unlearn. what it was like to do a live consulting project or a live, training or facilitation I had to unlearn what worked in the past, and this is really pivotal.

Yes. Then I had to learn new ways of doing things and relearn how to have impact you know, meaningful impact. On my clients. So therefore, you know, I had to become really technology savvy. And even today, you know, when I was having trouble, here we go. This is not taking yourself too seriously when I was having trouble connecting my camera to my laptop.

Cause I took it away last week, my husband comes in and he says, you didn't have it plugged in. so. Therefore I could have a giggle, you know, that even as, as savvy as we might be, you know, we can still. Yes, mess up and not beat ourselves up, you know? Cause there's so much to learn. There's so much information and, knowledge is power now.

Yes. We have somebody listening on YouTube. Janet, and they're saying interesting show. Renata how to face fear of failure when we are going through so much uncertainty in our careers. I think that that's a good question. and I can completely understand, the, the feeling, how, how would you address it?

Janet. 

Okay. That's another great question. So one of the things I did a couple of years ago was I hit my pause button and I sat down in, retreat and reflection in stillness and science and reframed what success meant to me. and I realized then it was not about making money because had it been, I would've joined one of the big consulting companies years ago.

Mm-hmm so I had a clear picture in my mind of. what success means to me. Mm-hmm in, with fear of failure. I could only go from what we've, how we've helped coaching clients is to actually normalize failure because most of us. are so conditioned to see failure in the school context. Like you do an exam and you fail and therefore there's punishment or there's retribution, or in the corporate context, you make a mistake or you fail and you fall, fall on your sword and there's retribution.

It's just to, you know, see that a mistake or an imperfection. is completely normal. So what we do with our clients is we have group conversations where we actually share stories, of how we've failed in the past. Yes. So that people don't, feel alone and that it's just about them and, and it can end up being quite funny.

Yes. And then you said a really. A really important, question that you can ask yourself to remove the distortions that you have around failure, which is what's the worst thing that could happen. Mm. You know, if I fail. Yeah. So as a startup entrepreneur, holy holy moly. I have had some monumental failures, but they were also amazing opportunities to pivot.

What I was trying to do at the time. Yes. And, and with human centered design thinking, you have to fail to learn what not to do. So the last thing I just wanna say is, what's coming out now, is this whole notion, although the book's been around for 10 years is to take little bets, so do little things. To get, you know, and allow yourself to fail or be imperfect and get the feedback to find out what works and what doesn't work.

So 

what book are you talking about? Janet? 

There's a, a book on my shelf, called little bets, little bets. Okay. Good little bets. Yeah. Uh,

I agree. I agree. You know, I'll tell you a story from my background. When, when I was an entrepreneur back in my home country, I I'm from Brazil. For those who don't know, I really wanted to participate in this program from the United nations called Emper tech.

It's very, popular in south America. And I think in India as well. Anyhow, they wouldn't have me because I was too young and I hadn't failed enough. so I, I said, look, I, I dropped out of uni twice, so I had really dropped out of uni twice and I promised to fail this program. if you, you have me, I know there was a project that you had to do and, the project.

Ranked. And I wanted my project to fail and they, got me in and I was the youngest by two decades. Like I was in my early twenties. Everybody else was in their forties and I loved it. But the freedom that it gave me to just sit there and listen and learn and know that I was there to fail that I would do something really absolutely outrageous as my project, because I could, because that was part of.

The reason that I was there, I was there with that allowance to fail. I loved it, you know, and I, and I think it's such a great thing to just put yourself in a situation where make, make a pact with yourself that you will fail this one time that it's okay. And it's part of the experience and it's actually the reason why you're doing it and see how it makes you feel.

I loved it personally. 

It feels awful. most people feel, I, I share a story on my coach program of how I invested my last $5,000 to fly in and deliver a program. That was probably the biggest failure of, my, my, my startup, imagination. Is that until you have that really visceral yeah. Ex you know, it failure, it feels.

Horrible. 

Yes. In real life. It does. When you're doing it as part of a professional development program, it doesn't doesn't feel awful but in real life it does. Yes. 

So what you've said is right, is you reframe failure as an opportunity for learning, which is what the agile, movement has done, or you normalize it.

you make it. Okay. And you remove the negative consequences and you bring in positive rewards or positive consequences. Mm-hmm and then the other thing is. To just notice, from another, from a coaching client today, I could say, oh, you've become an ACE disruptor. And he said, oh, what does that mean? I said, well, you you're hearing your internal dialogue.

And when it's telling you, you haven't done it. Good enough. You are actually interrupting it and you are arguing with it and you are stopping it from controlling. So therefore you can be free of that relentless self criticism, that relentless, self depreciation, you know, I didn't do it well enough or no one listens to me or, you know, like you can silence those, the, the list.

Useful or resourceful self talk, the self blame. Yeah. It's usually you beat yourself up more than anyone else speaks you up when you fail because you have such high. Many of us do have such high expectations mm-hmm of ourselves. And what he shared with me is, well, I'm just gonna be myself without expectations.

And if I don't have those, then I won't be disappointed. it's really easy. I'm just a normal person. So, there's lots of ways to, to deal with it. Yes, 

we we're. there's a, a sentence now a quote that I'm trying to think about. I, I won't remember the exact wording, but it's basically, you know, we're living in this amazing world of high tech with brains that are designed for.

The cave right. And I think that that acknowledgement of the discrepancy between how we are wired internally and what makes us stick and what makes us anxious and nervous and stressed and fearful, are not designed to. Interact with the things that we're interacting with now they're designed to interact with cyber tooth tigers and things that we're about to kill us.

Yes. So we are overreacting all the time. and you are right. It's visceral. You feel it in your bones, you, you feel your skin in, you know, the hairs on your arms. Prickly. when you find yourself in, in a stressful I worked with a client recently. it was a one-on-one consultation.

She booked on my, my website to, to prep her for an interview. And she wrote to me later to say, I was so prepped and I, and I was feeling fine, you know, as managing my breathing, we did all the things, but her hands were sweat. And she couldn't stop she couldn't stop. You know, her, it, it's how we react. Right.

It's tough. Yeah. Sometimes beyond our control. It's amazing. 

Well, yes, there's a yes. And most of my clients, again, going back to 1 0 1 basics, to Steven coy, it's to acknowledge that you're being reactive. Yes. And to actually intentionally create the space between stimulus and response. Through breathing to get grounded, to be mindful and to be conscious, to start to introduce options and choices, to actually respond instead of react.

And I would say 90% of my coaching clients, that's the core principle that we are working with. and to, you know, we're being reactive, as you said, cause we are wire. you know, to, for survival. Yeah. and we are living in a totally uncontrollable world. So therefore it's more important than ever to be grounded.

To be mindful to be conscious breathing, yoga, meditation, running, walking, time out, lunch breaks, you know, back to basics. Yes. family time, sensible meals, you know, these are, it's just like. Being being the cause of what you wanna have rather than being at the effect of everything that's impacting 

you.

It's much more holistic than we have given credit for, especially. You know, people my age, who were brought up in the eighties and nineties and early nineties, when it was all about the hustle culture and all about how long you could, you know, work and the many hours you could put into a project. I, I don't think we can go back to that anymore.

No, it's going to be different. Yeah. But here's the thing is that you can choose and be intentional about what you wanna have. You know, in this new world that, that is emerging now, which is the new acronym is, brittle ambiguous. No. And what's the word? Barney. oh, I can't remember now. Brittle ambiguous, complex and, irrational.

I saw that the other day. I still prefer VUCA Jenny. Yeah. Yeah. I'm not a big 

Barney fan , but here's the thing, you know, quality, connections, self care, empathy, compassion, courage, and being willing to leave your comfort zone and. Develop some grit and go out there and learn new ways of, being, thinking and acting differently to deliver the kind of results you wanna have, you know, in, in an uncertain and unstable world.

 Yes, All right. My friend thank you so much for yet. Again, a great conversation. I love talking to you. You explained things so well, and I can't wait to have you again, maybe next year for another.

Great. thank you for having me. 

 Okay. So here are my reflections from this lovely chat with my friend, Janet. She is the epitome of lifelong learning. Isn't she? I mean, the way that she quickly pivoted at the beginning of the pandemic, I also had to do it, but I'm always in awe of how people have. Done it. And many of us self-employed small firms, small consultants, really struggled to find new clients and retain old ones.

And, and she did well. She's been very busy. 

 in our careers with,

discomfort, resilience is the ability to be. Comfortable with being uncomfortable. And this is the biggest takeaway. I think for me as a coach in helping my clients build that discomfort, resiliency it's an add. Layer to resiliency, isn't it. And this ability to being comfortable with the discomfort of not only the job search, but of, course the pandemic and all the changes, the subsequent changes in the workplace that we are seeing right now.

And it's important to have Janet's. Lifelong learning attitude as well, because things will keep on changing and we need to be very adaptive, creative, flexible, as she said. and also more disciplined because we are more self reliant now and working remotely, leading remotely. So all of that is. New to a lot of people.

So I, wanted to reflect on this at this tail end of these episode, 

 I mentioned during this conversation with Janet, my new service called find my talents in like all my service. The name says it all. It's about you finding your talents with this amazing report that spits out of the system. Once you spend 20 minutes answering some very good questions about yourself, I'm doing this soft launch at this moment.

I'm not doing a lot of promotion because. Want to sort of test it out and see how people that are doing it first, enjoy it, and how I can best serve you with this new assessment tool I've done about over a hundred, 170 close to 200 now assessments, and I am really enjoying. Comments and the feedback that I am receiving, and I would love for you to learn more, go to my website.

There's a link to this on the episode, show notes, and find out more about how you two can find your talents and utilize them to write your resumes. Write your cover letters. Talk about yourself. It's such a great report. So well designed for professionals like you, who are ambitious for their careers and want to have the.

Narrative the right information to talk about themselves for those important conversations that we usually have doing job search. So find the link in the show notes, go check it out. I am loving it, and I hope that you love it too. Bye for now. And I will see you at the next episode by.

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