BalanceSeptember2016 - 30

L I FE DESI GN Growing up is hard to do... but it should get easier by the time you're 60 most purpose-driven generation in decades, but that they also want a work-life balance from the start. The good news is that purpose actually comes not from a pre-defined passion but from doing the hard work it takes to master your job. And dedication, expanding your skill set and working with a purpose are all things you can control. Third, there is a lot of evidence that today's Millennials will have two or even three completely different careers over their BE FL E XIBL E working lifetime. Most of our students Passion is an think that's great, and it takes some of outcome of a well-designed life, the pressure off picking the right job not its starting place. straight out of school. Prototyping is the As Dr Martin Seligman, the smart way forward godfather of Positive Psychology, says, for most people 'It's not about finding the perfect job, it's about finding the job you can make perfect.' situation that's uncertain, and studies indicating So, it's time to reframe the 'growing up' question that they might be the first generation to have (whichever stage of life you are at), and accept that YO U R N BALA CE Memorise these attitude skills to boost your happiness and make positive career choices on your life journey 30 Designing Your Life: Build a life that works for you (Chatto & Windus, £14.99) is out on 15 September. 1 2 3 Reframes such as 'It's never too late to design a life you love' and 'Go for the offer, not the job', are designed to get you unstuck and moving again. It's all about having a bias towards action, which commits you to more than just thinking. Instead you use prototyping to try out your future - we call it 'building your way forward'. By trying stuff, you test your ideas. You create prototype after prototype, failing often, until you discover what works for you. So, take a problem you have been stuck on and, with some curiosity, build your way to a new solution! Like gravity, these are issues that cannot be solved. In life design, if it's not actionable, then it's just not a useful problem. Like a black hole, it's a trap. Here's a piece of advice that will save you a lot of time: People fight reality, and anytime you are fighting with reality, reality will win. You can't outsmart it. Your only authentic response to one of these 'gravity problems' is acceptance. Be very scrupulous when identifying your 'gravity' issues and working on acceptance. The sooner you are out of the black hole, the better. As in: 'I should have my life figured out by the time I'm 25'. Designers treat these assumptions dressed up as facts carefully, because they are mostly not true and can hold you back from taking action. This generation is living and working longer, and 35 is the new 25, so relax. Another is: 'You should keep all your options open.' The problem with this one is simple; research has shown that humans can only deal with four or five options at a time. So, when you've got too many options, just cross some off your list. Don't worry, if you cross off the wrong ones, you'll soon know. R E FRAM E P ROB L E M S 5 ways to design your life as you develop, you will probably have more than one career, and that's OK. Set out to master the skills you need to create meaningful work, and stay true to your goals, purpose and balance. B E WAR E O F 'GRAVI TY' C H AL L E NGE S LO O K O U T FO R 'S H O U LD S' BALANCE September 2016 4 5 How many of us think there is a single best idea for our life and all we need to do is find it, execute and everything will be OK? Designers know this is a flawed approach. Instead we make up three five-year Odyssey Plans. One is usually the best version of what you're doing now; another is what you'd do if Plan #1 died and wasn't available any more; and the third is what you'd do if money and status were not important. Once people realise they can have three completely different plans for their life, the tension to 'get it right' goes away. A lot of people believe their dream job is out there waiting and all they have to do if find it. The data says that's not going to work. Only 20% of job opportunities are ever posted; up to 50% of the time, jobs get filled from referrals. The best way to crack this insiders' game is simple: go and talk to someone who is doing something you're interested in and hear what the person loves and hates about their job. You can get a lot of this information by just inviting someone out for a coffee. Do seven, and you'll start seeing hidden jobs everywhere! B BE WA R E O F TH E 'O NE BE ST I D EA' STO P LO OK I N G FO R THE 'J O B CH A R MI N G' IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES FIND a lower standard of living than their parents... reframing has never been so important. First, we reframe the years from 22 to 35 and call them the Odyssey Years. They represent a new trend unique to this generation: of experimenting (we call it prototyping) with lots of different jobs, every few years, before picking a career. Second, we acknowledge the data that Millennials are the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BalanceSeptember2016

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