Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Zen Habits - Become a Career Renegade: Interview with Career Expert Jonathan Fields

A cool article from Zen Habits, partially looking at the "scam" of "Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow."

Become a Career Renegade: Interview with Career Expert Jonathan Fields

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter.

Author, blogging friend, and career expert Jonathan Fields has launched his new book today: Career Renegade: How to Make a Great Living Doing What You Love.

I’m happy to have him as a guest on Zen Habits to talk about his new book and how it will help us all pursue the career we’ve always dreamed about.

Disclaimer: Jonathan is a blogging friend of mine, as I mentioned, and I was interviewed for this book and I’m in one of the chapters. But after reading through my review copy, I saw that the book would be useful to many people and thought I’d interview Jonathan to let you know more about it.

Leo: On the book’s web page, you say that “Do What You Love And The Money Will Follow” Is A Scam … can you explain this? It seems to go against what most of us believe.

Jonathan: If your passion happens to lie in some field with a clear path to a great income, like law, plastic surgery or programming, you may be one of the lucky few who can make a great living doing what you love by simply following the mainstream path.

But, what if you love teaching, painting, making music, writing, knitting, playing video games or just plain hanging out and having great conversations? Then what? Will the money really just automatically follow if you try to turn those into your living? Doubtful, no matter how good a gamer, knitter or talker you are.

No doubt, there’s a lot of simplifying you can do to live a lot better on less. Your book does an amazing job of laying out that process. But, what if you do all that…and it’s still not enough? It’s not easy to support a family of four in a major city on a teacher’s salary, no matter how much you streamline your life.

So, if there’s no “mainstream” way to make enough money to live well in the world with your passion, conventional wisdom says either turn it into a hobby or accept that you’ll have to either sacrifice money for passion or passion for money.

Career Renegade is all about breaking the binds of conventional wisdom, doing what you love, then “making” the money follow.

Leo: Tell us how Career Renegade is a game-changer and a life-changer… what will it change for us? And what is a Career Renegade?

Jonathan: Here’s what makes this book really different. It says, even if there’s no clear “conventional” way to generate income around your passion, the next logical step is not sacrifice. Nor is it relegating your passion to wallow in hobby-land.

There is often a “renegade” path to both passion and prosperity, a different way to do what you love that’ll generate enough to live comfortably. And, laying those paths out is what this book is all about.

Career Renegade is one part inspiration and 9 parts action. Its packed with hundreds of strategies, case studies, links and resources. It covers everything from identifying and refining your passion to tapping technology to position yourself as the go-to person in the area of your passion, then leveraging your reputation and community to create the opportunities you need. Leo, you’re actually a perfect example of this (which is why you’re in the book).

It also busts a bunch of myths about careers, entrepreneurship and, to a certain extent, mindset and personal development. For example, when it comes to mindset, I’m a big believer in visualization. But, did you know there are two very different approaches to visualization, and there’s great published research about which one works better?

In fact, the one promoted by the vast majority of people isn’t the one that delivers the best results. I go into both styles in the book, share the research, then show what works best and when.

Okay, last thing—what is a Career Renegade? It’s someone who makes a conscious effort to build their living around the life they want to life, the activities and experiences they love to do and the people they just cannot get enough of, while also earning enough to live well in the world.

Read the whole interview.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Interesting interview, and sounds like a helpful book. Nice to know it cuts through some of the cliche crap.