- “If I think that I'm supposed to love what I do all the time, we’re setting ourselves up for failure. Because none of us, even if we're doing something we truly enjoy, get to wake up 365 days per year to fully loving our jobs.”
- True fulfillment does not come from what you're doing, but it comes from more how you're driving internally with what you're doing.
- “Define how you're going to engage your career. More important than WHAT you do for a job, is HOW you're going to do it.”
- If you’re looking for tips about how to create a vision for your career and how to feel great about the career you’re driving inside of, then this episode is for you.
- Watch the video to get the full training.
[The following is the full transcript of this episode of Joey’s Performance Tune Up With Joey Klein. Please note that this episode, like all episodes, features Joey speaking unscripted and unedited. This video is captured in one take.]
Hey, Joey here, we're going to jump in and talk about career. How do you create a vision for your career? How do you evolve your career from where it is today? Maybe you're starting out and you're looking at, well, how do I pick the right career for me? And so we're going to take a little minute here and talk about how most people go about thinking about their career and why it tends to fall short. And then we're going to give you some recommendations on how to change this process up so that you not only feel great in the career that you're driving inside of, but you can confidently create the career that contributes to the life that you want to live.
And so if we look at how most people relate to their career, they tend to look at the career and they ask the question, and they go, hey, what am I going to love doing? Right? Because people sort of, this advice is out there that says something to the effect of, like, pick what you love and you'll never work a day in your life which actually doesn't work out that way, right? So it's like, I should love what I do. There's this whole idea out there. So people go, well, what do I like doing? And they think about the career inside of I'm supposed to love or like what I'm doing all the time. And that tends to fall short, which we'll talk about here, why here in a minute.
And then a lot of times people look at career and they're going to go, well, what's my purpose? What am I meant to do as a purpose driven life? And they're trying to name the career that's going to sort of make sure they fulfill their life purpose. And so the amount of pressure that that creates on a person to have to name the right career that fulfills their purpose for life and they're 20, right? Or if you're like 50 and you've not yet found the career that was supposed to fulfill your life, well, you're clearly screwed because your life is now gone. And so it doesn't set up a good relationship for nailing career and truly playing it out in a vibrant way where it leads to success and inner vibrancy, right?
And same thing as I was saying, if I think that I'm supposed to love what I do all the time, that's a big expectation because none of us, even if we're doing something we enjoy, like, I get to wake up and do something that I find true fulfillment in and something I love doing. And I get to do that every day of my life. And there are plenty of days where I just don't want to do it, right? There's plenty of days I don't feel like doing it. Life happens and you're like, oh man, I got to perform today. And it's the last thing that you feel like doing ,but yet you've got to call yourself to it somehow.
But if I have the expectation that I'm always supposed to like it, those are the individuals that tend to work a job for a little bit, six years or six months to two years, and then they quit, and then they're off to the next thing because they're searching for this fun, or I'm supposed to enjoy my job all the time. I'm supposed to like what I do all the time. And they don't create the right inner emotional resilience, and they haven't found out how to approach or engage what they do in a way that they create joy and fulfillment regardless of what they're doing. Right?
True fulfillment does not come from what you're doing, but it comes from more how you're driving with what you're doing. Something that I learned some time ago is you can truly be fulfilled doing something as menial as cleaning or mopping up toilets or paperwork or something like this, as you can be fulfilled running a big company or speaking on stage in front of a bunch of people, or as a pro athlete. Fulfillment is not determined by what you do, but how you bring yourself to what you do. And you might be like, in the back of your mind being like, what are you talking about? Of course you're not going to be fulfilled cleaning up after people. I've done that before, right? I was fulfilled inside of cleaning up after people because I had a focus of contribution.
I remember when I used to train at the Dojang, I'm a martial artist, and one of my duties was to clean up after all of the classes. And so we'd be cleaning up sweat and blood and dead skin and not great stuff. Sometimes people would throw up and things like this. It was rather disgusting. But there was a fulfillment there because when I was cleaning the Dojang, it was a sense of like, I'm preparing the space for students to come and learn, and this is a place where people are going to transform their lives. And this is a small way I get to give back to my instructor and my teacher and my mentor who's given so much to me. And so even though I was doing a task that seemed sort of menial or maybe even not fun, there was a sense of pride and joy and fulfillment in the execution of the task because of how I was doing it.
And so career starts with how you're going to engage the process, not what you're doing. Career really starts with how are you going to engage the process, not what you're doing. If I look at career and I think I'msupposed to find my life purpose, that's a big setup because again, there's this big expectation. And then when you're not certain that you're living out your life purpose, you feel like you're wasting your life, then we're going to suffer. We feel like we're missing the mark. If there's a big expectation that I'm supposed to love what I do and I'm supposed to find what I like, and I'm supposed to like it all the time, again, that's a big expectation, and it doesn't bring a lot of practicality to the situation. And so we're not going to engage with that career very well.
And then if we look at the third way a lot of people engage career is they really just kind of do what's in front of them, right? They're at school and a friend got a job and they're like, hey, you want to come work over here? I can get you a job at such and such place. And so they go get a job there because it was what was in front of them, it's what was available, right? Or a college professor or somebody said, hey, a mentor said, you'd be really good at engineering, or you'd be a great teacher, or you'd be a great this. And you go, oh, yeah, I think I would be. And they kind of create an opportunity for you andpoint you in a direction of influence where you kind of take on somebody else's vision for your life without realizing that you did it and there you go.
Or you inherit your career like the family business, or your mom or your dad want you to be an X, right? A lawyer, a doctor, or whatever it might be. And so it's like you take on the vision of your life that somebody else created for you. And so if we look at how a lot of people fall into career or go about looking for or creating a career, it tends to fall into one of those spaces. I do what's available, or I do what somebody thought I should do. I took on somebody else's idea of career.
For me, I'm looking for the career that's going to make me happy and kind of always searching for the thing that I want to do and that I'm supposed to love every day of my life. Or I'm looking to a career to fulfill my purpose, and I'm trying to find that purpose through what I do. And that's a set up, right? Because the inherent outcome of that is going to be disappointment and feeling lost and frustrated with the process. And so instead of that, what I always recommend is, number one, define how you're going to engage your career. More important than what you do, in my opinion, is how you're going to do it.
And so no matter what I've done in my life, from when I used to manage a car wash as one of my first jobs, to selling retail at, like, Sears and JCPenney and working in retail stores, to today, I run and I oversee, I'm the CEO and founder of a multimilliondollar company that operates in many countries.The way I went about my career has always been the same. Like, I always showed up and wanted to learn. I was always in the anticipation of learning and understanding how things worked and wanted to motivate people and wanted to do a great job. Those qualities that I engaged in at the car wash of wanting to do the best job possible, wanting to learn everything I could about the business, wanting to learn how to wash a car perfectly to how do I sell, how do I make the customer really happy, how do I grow through this process? How do I learn everything I can, how do I support the people around me?
Like, the way I went about my career, regardless of what I was doing, is what positioned me to find value in it and grow and find a sense of fulfillment and inspiration and so on and so forth. And ultimately it drove me to significant success in the external means in terms of like financial abundance and impact and notoriety and all that kind of stuff. But it wasn't necessarily the career I picked. It was how I went about engaging my career, my job in the first place.
And so the creation of an amazing career actually doesn't start with the picking of the career, right? Most people think that an amazing career starts with the picking of what they're going to do. Like, I'm going to be an X, and that's where it all begins. I disagree. I think that the foundation of a thriving career, one you're going to find fulfillment in, and that's ultimately going to hit all the marks, really begins with you committing to how you engage the process. Who are you going to be as you engage your role with your company, with your colleagues, with people, with the world, et cetera? Because if you get clear on what your principles are going to be that you're going to drive inside of career with, you can be fulfilled no matter what you're doing.
And so if you can show up at your job tomorrow, no matter what it is, and you can find a sense of fulfillment and purpose in what you're already doing, then you're free. And then that creates a space for you to now start imagining the different possibilities that you might want to go out and create. And so those principles could be things like I just named, hey, I'm going to do the best job I can. I'm going to learn everything I can. I'm going to focus on contribution and service to the people who are around me, the people that I work for, the people I work with, the people I'm serving, like my customer. I'm going to focus on how can I contribute, how can I serve and do the best of my ability to make those things happen. I'm going to constantly see how I can grow within my space, things like that.
And when that becomes your way of being. Now the world's going to start to take notice, and I guarantee that an unlimited number of opportunities, an unlimited number of opportunities are going to come your way and you get to pick which one you're going to engage in, right? And then the second is once you're clear on how you're going to engage with career, second is start asking the question, what am I inspired by? Right? What am I inspired by? Just what are your interests? You don't have to pick the perfect career that fulfills your life purpose, but just look at yourself and go, man, what are the things that I find interesting? What lights me up? And start to explore those interests and choose a career that not only gives you the ability to explore your interest, but will give you the access to the lifestyle you want to live.
And those are the two things that you want to make sure come together in your career is, it's interesting to you, right? It's something that lights you up. Again, you're not looking to the career to light you up because there's going to be that day when you don't want to do it, when you don't feel like doing it, when you hate what you're doing for that period of time, no matter what it is you choose. But at the same point, if you don't have some genuine interest in something or you're not going to create some genuine interest in something, it's going to be a tough ride to wake up and engage with something that you just fundamentally aren't interested in.
So number one is I have an interest in it. But then number two is, how can I engage this interest in a way that it's going to fulfill the lifestyle that I want to live? It's going to give me the ability to live the way I want to live. It's going to give me the ability to raise the family I want to raise and provide my children the opportunities that I want to provide them and essentially live the life that I aspire to. And so to choose a career that you enjoy doing, that you're inspired by, but it doesn't have the financial leg, so to speak, or means to provide you the lifestyle you want to live, that's going to be a struggle that you don't need to take on. That's not necessary, especially in today's reality where there's so many opportunities available.
And so check in, am I interested in it, number one? And then number two, how can I engage this career interest in a way that fulfills the lifestyle that I want to live? So, like, as an example, some people are inspired to teach and make a difference and, well, we could be a teacher. There's nothing wrong with that. But if that financial compensation of a typical teacher doesn't give you access to the lifestyle you want to live, maybe there's another way you could teach, right? I'm a teacher today, and there's people who have found a way to teach and make a difference, and they make seven figures a year, right? And so what is it that you're interested in and will it produce and give you access to the lifestyle you want to live?
Because people thrive in their career when a few things line up. Number one is they know that it's giving them access to the lifestyle they want to live. Number two, they get to pursue their interests. It's something that's meaningful to them. And number three, they've nailed how they're going to engage their career. They know what their principles are for how they're engaging career. When those three things come together, you're going to have not only fulfillment, but a vibrant career where you're going to be extremely successful.
And usually when people are struggling in their career, right? Sometimes people struggle in their career because they're creating a lot of success and they have a lot of financial abundance in their career, but it's not something that's interesting to them and they're not engaging in a way that creates vibrancy and fulfillment for themselves .And so they have a lot of money, but man, they're spending a lot of their life doing something that they hate doing. So that's a big miss, right? That's a big miss if we have financial reality, access to financial abundance, but we don't have these other elements on the other side.
I know people who really are inspired by what they do. They find a lot of meaning in what they do. But man, do they struggle when it comes to lifestyle. And they're not able to afford the things that they want to have or the opportunities they want to give their kids, and sometimes even living in poverty to do that which they're interested in. And it doesn't have to be that way either. Like, in my opinion, that's a big miss as well. Sometimes people engage something they're interested in and they make pretty good money at it. But the way they're engaging the career is constantly creating frustration and anger and disappointment and these painful experiences of life where we're blaming people for our lot in life or we're thinking that we can never get ahead, or the system's rigged against us and all this kind of thinking. And so it's like sometimes the way we're engaging the career, even when it's something that we like, something we're interested in, something that we're inspired by, and it provides decent money, can still miss the mark and cause us to really suffer.
And so my framework, or what I encourage in terms of constructing a vision for a career for yourself and really hitting the mark today and for the rest of your life, is to get clear, how am I going to engage in career number one, so that I position myself to be fulfilled? Number two, what are the inspirations and interests that I want to explore? And then, number three, how can I engage this in a way, and does it have the potential to give me access to the lifestyle that I want to live? That's important to me? And when those three components line up, man, you're going to hit the mark. And remember, just because you pick something today and you live that out and you try it on for 2, 3, 5, 7 years, doesn't mean you can't reinvent yourself and try something else if it doesn't quite check all your boxes.
And so give yourself permission to think about career through your lifestyle. How do I want to live? Who do I want to be? How do I want to support the people around me? Then what contribution do I want to make? What do I want to do? What do I want to be up to? And make sure that your career is in support to your lifestyle, that those things are in balance with each other, they're supporting each other, they're aligned with each other, as opposed to counter to one another. And if you can put those things together, you're going to be awesome. And remember, it doesn't have to occur in your first try or your second try or your third try. I mean, I can't tell you how many people I've trained where they reinvent themselves in their late 20s or their 40s or I've known people who reinvent themselves when they're 70 and 75.It's just never too late to create the life that you truly aspire to.