here’s the question I’ve been thinking about the last 6 months

alternative title: a working framework for how to design the life you want

WHAT AM I GOING

TO DO WITH MY LIFE???

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/Ui8KQ0ahXBM

you can't connect the dots looking forward — you can only connect them looking backwards.

STEVE JOBS

WHAT IS EVEN THE COMMON THREAD HERE?!

LAUNCH MEMBERSHIP

design x marketing

PRODUCE A WEEKLY PODCAST

foreign affairs x multimedia

RELAUNCH A JOURNALISM THINK TANK

editorial strategy x branding

LAUNCH A NEWS APP &

BUILD A GLOBAL TEAM

news, product, mobile, management, international

BUILDING THINGS, PRODUCTS, AND TEAMS

INVENT MY JOB AT A BIG, GLOBAL NEWS ORG

Audience growth, combining an obsessive focus on both journalism and data

POPPY MACDONALD

JEREMY SHERLICK

& JEANNE PARK

TOM ROSENSTIEL

STACY-MARIE ISHMAEL

…BUT IT’S REALLY ABOUT THE PEOPLE!

JODI RUDOREN & CYNTHIA COLLINS

(super secret life advice: find really smart people and figure out how to work with them!!!)

— what skills do I want to learn?

— what do I enjoy?

— what do I want to do more of?

— what do I care about?

— what’s just interesting to me?

less hard

harder

higher impact

lower impact

TALK TO MORE PEOPLE INTERNALLY ABOUT WHAT’S NEEDED NEXT

FIND PEOPLE WHO HAVE SIMILARLY “WEIRD” PATHS AND TALK TO THEM

CONTINUE TO MENTOR AND RECRUIT MORE WOMEN

KEEP GOING AND RAISING MY HAND, GIVE MYSELF THE OPTION TO SAY “NO”

~BREATHE~

TRUST MY

INSTINCTS

COLLECT

EXPERIENCES and be generous!

VIVIAN SCHILLER

Image credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/w6OniVDCfn0

HOW TO THINK ABOUT YOUR CAREER

CAREER GROWTH

IS NOT LINEAR

Your career is defined by your skills and how you’ve used them, not by any external measure of your progress.

https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass/how-to-think-about-your-career-abf5300eba08

If you find it hard to wake up excited about going to work in the mornings, ask yourself why.

If you look back on your last six months and you can’t point to anything that’s been hard for you, question whether you are challenging yourself enough.

If you find yourself constantly looking for other people to tell you how awesome you’re doing, consider if you’re shortchanging your own growth and development.

If your manager is not giving you the support or coaching you’d like, tell her how you’d like to be supported or coached.

If working at your current company is not aligned with your long-term goals or values, consider making a move.

If you’ve never thought about where you’d like to be in three years, sit down and think about it.

https://medium.com/the-year-of-the-looking-glass/how-to-think-about-your-career-abf5300eba08

How to build a meaningful career: Know what “meaningful” means to you

Am I respected by my colleagues? Am I being challenged? Am I growing? Do I believe in the mission? “Meaningful” means something different for each individual. Don’t just look to obvious things, like salary, title, or prestige of the company.

https://hbr.org/2015/02/how-to-build-a-meaningful-career

Legacy: This is about the concrete outcomes of your work. What do you want to achieve?

Mastery: These are the strengths that you want to improve.

Freedom: This is about the salary, benefits, and flexibility you need to live the life you want.

Alignment: This last category covers the culture and values of the place you work. This is not the same as mission, but is about whether you feel like you belong.

https://hbr.org/2015/02/how-to-build-a-meaningful-career

What’s your competitive advantage?

Your competitive advantage is the intersection of three different, ever-changing forces: your assets, your aspirations/values, and the market realities.

https://medium.com/career-and-motivation/how-to-think-about-your-career-e3595add4186

Your assets are what you have right now: your education, your work experience, your analytical and problem-solving skills, your interpersonal and leadership skills, your network, your reputation, etc.

Your aspirations include your goals, interests, passions, and vision. This is all about what’s important to you, and what motivates you.

Market realities include the demand for your talent and services relative to the competition in the labor market.

https://medium.com/career-and-motivation/how-to-think-about-your-career-e3595add4186

High potential women are over-mentored, and under-sponsored

https://hbr.org/2010/08/women-are-over-mentored-but-un

Mentoring is somebody who shows people the ropes, helps them get acclimated, and provides benevolent advice. Somebody who cares about them, with whom they can bat around strategies, get some counsel.

https://hbr.org/2010/08/women-are-over-mentored-but-un

Sponsoring really is a very targeted thing. It has to do with fighting to get somebody a promotion, mentioning their name in an appointments meeting, and making sure that the person that you’re sponsoring gets the next assignment, and gets visible and developmental assignments.

https://hbr.org/2010/08/women-are-over-mentored-but-un

A mentor could be your direct boss. It could be somebody anywhere in the hierarchy. A sponsor has to be highly placed. Otherwise, they can’t actually pull the person up through. And that’s also an important distinction.

https://hbr.org/2010/08/women-are-over-mentored-but-un

What sponsorship looks like, in practice

To sponsor someone is to feel on the hook to help get someone promoted. It is raising up the name of someone to help them get more opportunities to do visible, valuable work. It is not just giving advice and mentorship. Often, you can sponsor someone without them even knowing it.

  • Learn the opportunities you have to raise people’s names each week.
  • Find a person to sponsor.
  • Listen to their experiences, learn about their skills and how they want to grow.
  • Raise your sponsee’s name in those opportunities.

http://larahogan.me/blog/what-sponsorship-looks-like/

THINGS TO DO RIGHT NOW

Calibrate constantly with your manager: Your manager should not have to work hard to understand the value that you add.

It is your job to make sure they see you as a superstar – both by doing work that adds real value and by helping them to see it. Not all work is created equal. If you want to have influence, you need to be seen as someone who makes things important things happen.

So how does your amazing work get seen without you bragging to everyone about how great you are?

Sending a concise status report once a week highlighting your most impactful successes (plus good questions about how to keep making progress) achieves two things at once: it shows your boss in a clear way how much value you are adding, and it keeps you on their mind.

https://us9.campaign-archive.com/?u=781be0d8ba90ae22d15e349df&id=f213a7283d&e=aecb2c7119

https://mailchi.mp/inkandvolt/the-busier-you-are-the-more-of-this-you-need-1402013?e=aecb2c7119

Form a personal board of directors

Don’t go it alone. Work with others to kick the tires on your hypotheses and share the results of your experiments. Invite four or five people to serve as your informal board of directors.

Buckle down on your finances

One of the main reasons people give for staying in a job or career they don’t love is money. “Take steps to give yourself a financial cushion and a little psychological freedom,” says Dillon. Having a financial buffer will make it more likely that when you find something meaningful, you’ll be able to act on it. (Also recommend: A Story of a Fuck Off Fund, this Twitter thread on negotiation)

https://hbr.org/2015/02/how-to-build-a-meaningful-career

Play the long game

This work shouldn’t just be in service of getting your next job. Career design is different than a job-search strategy. The question you should be asking yourself is not “What job do I want?” but “What life do I want?” Think about where you want to be in five, ten, 20 years. Of course, you have to answer more immediate questions about what you want in your current job or your next, but do so only in the context of your longer, larger career goals.

Make the time

Schedule a time in your calendar to reflect on your career. Even if it’s just an hour every other week, you’re going to make some progress.

https://hbr.org/2015/02/how-to-build-a-meaningful-career

Create a ‘Favorite’ label, make it a pleasing color, and start labeling some nice emails — things that readers/viewers/your boss or your mom/friends have sent you.

Read them when you’re having a bad day.

Read them when you’re having a good day and you want to have an extra good day.

WHAT IF I’M GETTING THIS

exactly right?

https://tinyletter.com/VeronicaWrites/letters/what-if-you-re-doing-it-right

What if what you’re doing is exactly the right thing for this moment? For the journey that is uniquely yours?

I gave the caveat that I wasn’t talking about being self-destructive or being harmful to others. I wasn’t trying to sunshine speak away the kind of bad things that happen in life when grief just literally rips you apart.

But I was making a case for optimism. For leaving the door open for luck and chance. We get more in life when we’re comfortable in our own skin. We’re more attractive to others. We make friends more easily. We do better in interviews.

The pressures and disappointments of life can speak so much louder than the tiny triumphs that give us joy and propel us to bigger and bigger wins.

—Veronica Chambers

https://tinyletter.com/VeronicaWrites/letters/what-if-you-re-doing-it-right

@millie

millie@fittingly.net

millietran.com

P.S. Please feel free to share freely and widely <3

WHAT AM I GOING TO DO WITH MY LIFE??? - Google Slides