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The Secret to Discovering the Best Career Path (Advice from A Psychology Expert)

Art is a professor of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Texas, and is passionate about the way people think. He's the host of the radio show Two Guys on Your Head and author of his latest book "Bring Your Brain to Work"

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Key Takeaways

  1. Keep asking "why" to understand how things work.
  2. Recover faster from your setbacks by admitting you don't understand something.

Podcast Interview Notes:

1. How can you get better at understanding people when interacting with them?

First, familiarize yourself as much as possible with how thinking works.

Then, create a little dissatisfaction about something going on at work. Dissatisfaction leads you to notice pieces of information that’ll help you to achieve new goals. This will help your boss notice what you’re doing because you’ll be consistently achieving goals before they’re asked.

2. What type of mindset does one need to adopt to excel at work?

Realize realize that you’ll never be completely prepared for the new job you want.

You need a growth mindset and to understand you’re going to grow into every position. Learn from your failures and come up with solutions. Your bosses will appreciate this more than always having the right answer.

3. How can you tell it’s time to transition to a new role, despite feeling satisfied?

It’s important to periodically note how your career is matching up against your values.

Everyone has a set of things they value, and this will change over time. Different jobs will provide you with different aspects of your values. That’s why taking time to review how your values align with your current role is key.

Measuring solely against income or stability isn’t enough. Sit down with the people in your workplace who can influence the path of your career and discover if there are better job opportunities aligning with your values. If there aren’t that’s when it’s time for you to move on.

4. What’s the biggest psychological challenge people face while working in their careers—and how can they overcome it?

I beleive it’s the unwillingness to admit you don’t understand something.

You can accomplish anything, if you’re willing to admit what you know and don’t know. Many people suffer from imposter syndrome, believing they somehow got hired into a role they don’t belong in. When you believe this, you go out of your way to hide everything that you don’t know how to do.

You belive not knowing something is proof that you don’t deserve the job you have. The reality is you have to grow into your job and be willing to dig into the topics you don’t know. In the workplace it’s not about never being wrong, it’s about being recovering quickly from your mistakes and learning from them. 

Money Round

If you had to start all over knowing what you know now—how would you start making money in the next 30 days?

Be willing to leverage what you know to make money.

More important, make sure that everything you do to make money fits around your values. Making money isn’t your biggest challenge, it’s doing so in a way you feel proud of in both the short and long term.

What advice would you give to people who are currently struggling with their finances and feeling hopeless?

First, set aside any amount of money you can from your paycheck towards your retirement account.

If this means limiting yourself on the amount you can spend each month, do it. If you slowly form the habit of saving small portions of your money, this will compound into adopting better financial habits that’ll help you achieve your long-term goals.

What does money mean to you?

Money is only a means to an end.

My goal in life was to make enough money so I didn’t have to stress about it. When I had my kids at home, I was trying to make enough money to provide them shelter and food. Today, I support my family in other ways and don’t stress about money.

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About the Author Chris

Chris writes personal finance and productivity articles for software companies. He gets fresh ideas through continuously investing in himself and interviewing successful entrepreneurs.

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