How to Seize a World of Possibility

I remember when my littlest sister was very young, we asked her, “What do you want to do when you grow up?”

“I’d like to be a Skipping Girl” she beamed confidently.

You might well laugh at that, as we did then.

My Dad no doubt saved the memory for a future speech.

In fairness, she decided on a different direction. She’s currently a Makeup Artist and TV Presenter, and I’m sure won’t mind me telling the story.

But scoff as we did, I’m not entirely sure it was justified.

Take Robbie Csontos for example.

A professional rope skipper, who’s both an Instructor and Performance Artist with Cirque Du Soleil.

He’s now doing for a living, what my sister wanted to do when she was 4 years old.

Boxer Skipping Hunted

I’ve certainly been guilty in the past of mocking those with strange job titles on LinkedIn. I mean… imagine having a chat with your war-weary Grandfather and telling him you’re now a Chief Happiness Officer.

The sort of job a bedraggled crowd of bitter adults would cackle at, as they hid the pain from their cripplingly boring jobs.

“I’m the new C.H.O. Gramps”

Fairly obviously, there’s more to a Chief Happiness Officer’s role than floating ’round the office, handing out puppies. After a bit of research it’s also apparent you rarely replace the water tank with gin.

It’s about wellness.

About mental wellbeing.

About not being as emotionally beaten up, as most employees are.

Sure, it’s easy to scoff.

But isn’t it a step in the right direction?

Also, imagine having this chat with a four year old now. Some of you might have done so recently.

What job could the boundless mind of a 4 year old dream up now?

I mean, take my fairly common job of ‘Content Manager’.

Basically I write and oversee creative output from Hunted. Not that long ago, my job didn’t exist. It definitely didn’t when I started school.

So who are we to chortle at boundless ambition?

Life After Recruitment Hunted

Life after recruitment

Some time after making the switch from recruitment, I wrote this article.

I got quite a lot of messages from people who felt stuck. And this isn’t a unique problem for recruiters. In reality, if you’ve been doing one job for a long time, it’s tempting to look further afield.

Could you be happier?

Have more purpose?

Enjoy getting up in the morning again?

Well, yeah. You could.

But you could also do that in the same industry you’re in now.

The shortcut to the top

Some people will tell you there’s no shortcut to the top. You have to work your arse off, and like a river through a canyon, after years of working away in the same spot, you’ll carve your place.

That’s true.

But that’s really just the prerequisite.

There’s something a lot of people won’t mention on this subject. If you’re not working smart, you’ll waste years. You could even go back in your career.

To propel my example with rocket fuel, look to the skies.

Specifically at Space X and our old pal Elon.

When NASA made their research publicly available, Musk picked it up. Almost overnight he learnt what it took NASA decades of hard work and billions of dollars to establish.

Just like that, he started a space exploration company. And was on an even footing with the best.

If that doesn’t prove my point, look at the history of presidential candidates in America. Very few of them have been Senators. Despite the classic trajectory of US Politicians taking that route.

There’s been plenty of ex-Military personnel.

Even more Lawyers.

An actor.

Ronald Reagan President Actor

And yes, a few politicians. But strangely there’s been five who’d never even served in public office before becoming the Numero Uno.

And interestingly, the average age of the President is 10 years younger than the average Senator.

Which proves, yes hard work will take you far.

But smart work will take you further, quicker.

Is your passion worthy of a career?

I’d love to get paid to play music. I’m your classic bedroom musician. Someone who’s very confident on my own. But I haven’t played a gig in years.

But let’s imagine I wanted to pursue music more seriously…

I might look at famous musicians and envy their lifestyle. Without acknowledging they’re in the 0.0001% of those who try, how much do you think the most famous bands in the world enjoy playing their most famous hit?

Every single gig, every week, of every year they tour?

OK, there’s probably thousands of screaming fans. And the money might help.

But I’d almost guarantee there are times they wish they didn’t have to play it.

Now imagine they weren’t the most famous band, but a steady indie band, whose career involved relentless touring, riding out on the same album for the next ten years.

Reckon that’s more enjoyable than your job right now?

Earning virtually nothing. Constantly on the road. At the beck and call to younger A&R execs who treat you like products.

If your passion’s music, you’ll have run through this scenario a few times. But music’s just one example. It could be art. It could be sport. Anything.

To be the best, you have to be 100% there. Living it day in day out. And lucky.

Think about how many artists have died poor, then been posthumously revered, adding to the poignancy of their legacy.

So, can you be infamous without the risk?

Well, no. You can’t.

But you don’t have to sell your belongings and move to a squat in Berlin either. Life’s rarely ‘all or nothing’.

When I changed career working hard wasn’t an issue. The lack of commission was. And in truth I wasn’t very smart about my spending.

What I was smart about, was how quickly I learnt. Basically because I didn’t have a choice.

Your choices will be obvious. If you can continue with your passion outside of work and push for a chance in your chosen dream, do that. Record deals do happen.

If you can get someone to give you a chance, you’ve got nothing to lose.

But there are jobs out there where overlaps exist. And they’re getting more frequent as the job market evolves at record pace.

If you’re a recruiter and you want to be a writer, start writing now in your job.

If it’s art, start incorporating a heavier marketing angle in your job. Frankly, whatever your interest, there’s very likely a way to incorporate it in to your job.

And soon enough you’ll be in a position to make that part of your career more prevalent.

But there are so many more examples of how jobs are shifting. In fact, despite the amount of jobs tech eradicates, there are more jobs now because of tech, as this research stretching 140 years shows.

It’s not just technology though.

Deloitte economists have realised rising incomes allow a higher spend on personal services, like hairdressing. Which in turn drives higher employment in these markets.

So while in 1871, one hairdresser existed for every 1,793 people, today there’s one for every 287 of us.

Agricultural Labourers Decline Chart

The advice Oxford Grads don’t want you to know

Naturally as students veer towards working age, their Professors press them for plans on their career.

The one bit of advice Oxford Grads receive, that many others don’t is this…

“As a Graduate from this school, you’ll have the ability to create your own job”

Don’t look for opportunities being advertised.

Make your own.

Find a gap in the market, and fill it.

Exploit it.

Make it yours.

There’s never been a better time in all of human existence to do this. There’s an entire world of opportunity available. And in five years, there’ll be even more.

So let’s say, you want to be a Chief Happiness Officer…

Would you look at a business with an existing ‘Happiness function’ and apply for a role in the team?

Or would you start doing elements of the role alongside your own? Then after 12 months, bend the ear of a business owner you know, and ram home the benefits of hiring you for this position.

Working hard will get you to a business in a team of 7. Working hard and smart will see you start a team of your own making, at the top of the tree.

Get experience any way you can. Then… own it.

Grow something from the ground up.

Even if your thing is skipping. There’s nothing stopping you.

And you know what sis? I apologise.

If you’re a recruiter and wondering what options you have…

Read this.