Lindsay always thought she’d eventually know what she wanted to be when she grew up.
But after changing majors, grad school, getting married, and working in a job for three and a half years, she’s still not quite sure what “grown up” means, or what she wants to be — and the fact that she just got laid off is making that question a little more pressing.
In this conversation, Nate Green and Jason Lengstorf talk with Lindsay about building skills instead of putting in time at a job, creating routines to keep us on track, and whether or not knowing what we want to be when we grow up is actually a good thing. At the end, the three of them devise an experiment for Lindsay to try that will help her keep the good stuff going, even when she starts a new job.
NOTE: The audio on this call is a little janky, with some background noise and lag, since everyone was calling in from different corners of the world. If you can forgive the quality of the recording, we hope the quality of the content makes up for it.
1:37 — “There’s a part of me that wants to believe that all of us really know what we want to be when we grow up.” – Lindsay
2:35 — “I have now muted Jason.” – Nate
3:52 — “How can you get as good as possible at a very specific skill?” – Nate
4:40 — “I found the unmute button.” – Jason
6:41 — “The only way you could ever know exactly what you want would be to stop evolving.” - Jason
8:46 — “With careers it always seems so dire. … Our interests don’t align with our careers.” – Lindsay
13:58 — “The people who seem to be happiest … is it because of an overlap of those skills and interests?” – Jason
15:27 — “What do you feel like you are very, very good at?” – Nate
16:02 — “It feels like I’m gloating, and I feel like I’m going to say something and then suck at it.” – Lindsay
17:21 — “You know when you see those forwards that go around on Facebook that are like, ‘Pick the 5 people who would be on your team during the zombie apocalypse’?” – Jason
19:14 — “Anything that I do — and I don’t know if this is a skill — I’m damn well going to try to make it good.” – Lindsay
22:48 — “When the rug got pulled out from the pipe dream of being a rock star, I woke up to realize, ‘Holy shit, I accidentally built a practical skill set.’” – Jason
24:13 — “As long as it’s in service of a skill that seems really interesting to you … that’s a really, really good place to start.” – Nate
25:12 — “Does this skill serve me? And in what ways does it serve me?” – Lindsay
26:23 — “Someone can take a job away from you. But no one can take a skill away from you.” – Nate
27:58 — “I remember researching, ‘What to do if you hate your job and you can’t leave it.’” – Lindsay
29:11 — “It removes that mental burden of feeling like you’re wasting time.” – Jason
34:41 — “Nobody cares what you’ve done; they care about what you can do.” – Jason
39:41 — “Ostensibly — ob-stensibly? That’s a horrible word to say out loud.” – Nate
40:37 — “They’d feel like they were doing work that matters. … That’s just my hunch.” – Nate
44:27 — “What concerns me? … Not knowing what the fuck I’m doing. … Feeling like an impostor.” – Lindsay
46:32 — “I know I keep bringing up the cat.” – Nate
47:34 — “I definitely like the quiet, and the peace — the stillness of the day.” – Lindsay
49:48 — “Where I started to get it corrected was when I built new routines that I could carry with me.” – Jason
51:42 — “We have a little bit of downtime, and we start rekindling some of these passions … and then we get back into the routine of working and those things just fall away again.” – Nate
53:43 — Jason references this article on staying consistent using rituals.
54:26 — “How can you create a similar type of ritual that will allow you to do that stuff, and would you be willing to let us follow along?” – Jason
56:55 — “Do you feel that you have a certain couple of skills that you’re going to try to use in this role … something that is really interesting to you that you’re looking to get better at?” – Nate