Episode #74: (BONUS) Change Your Career with Ramit Sethi

I am really excited to share this bonus episode with you! It’s a quick interview with one of our heroes, Ramit Sethi, and we talk about changing your career and your life this year! If you’ve got 20 minutes to listen, you won’t be disappointed.

You can stream the episode here on the blog or on iTunesSpotifyGoogle PlayTuneInPocket Casts, and Stitcher. You can find the podcast posts archive here.

Show Notes:

-If you haven’t heard Elsie’s first interview with Ramit, it’s on Episode 35.

-We LOVE Ramit’s book, I Will Teach You to Be Rich. I’ve given this book to multiple friends and recommend it often.

-He has a new course out, Find Your Dream Job, which we talk a lot about in the episode.

-You should definitely follow Ramit on Instagram and sign up for his newsletter. Both rule. Seriously.

-You can also hear a little bit about our new course on blogging, Blog Essentials.

Miss an episode? Get caught up!

Episode 74 Transcript

Emma: You’re listening to the A Beautiful Mess podcast, and today I’m very excited to share with you my interview with Ramit Sethi. You might remember him from episode 35, Elsie interviewed him. We are huge fans of his book, “I Will Teach You to Be Rich”, and he has a new course out, Find your Dream Job. So we chat a little bit about that. We chat about a big move he made this past year. We chat about negotiating raises and perks in your job and just finding the job that’s for you and just finding hope this time in history. So I love this interview. I was super jazzed after it. And I think you will be, too. So have a listen.

Alright. So last time we chatted, you got to chat with my sister, Elsie, and you already know that we are huge fans of your book and your brand, I Will Teach You to Be Rich, and you have a new course out this month, Find your Dream Job, which I am really excited about. And I feel like it’s a topic that our listeners are going to love. I also just think this year everyone’s looking for a way to take this current time in history and find something positive for ourselves, find some more hope. So I love the topic. And one thing I love about the way you teach is that it’s full of practical advice. So you’ll literally tell us what bank accounts to look for and what credit cards. But also it’s a lot about mindset and psychology. So with that in mind, I wanted to know what mindsets you see people have right now that are self-defeating when it comes to changing career or big life changes. And what can we do to get past those?

Ramit: Well, there’s two of them. And the first one is “I should just be lucky to have a job”. And this is super common. What’s interesting is that people have told themselves this when the economy was great and people have also told themselves this when the economy was poor. So maybe if you just feel lucky enough to have any job at all during good and bad economies, maybe it’s actually not about the economy and maybe it’s about the beliefs that you grew up with. And a lot of us grew up with parents telling us, oh, don’t try to do that. You should just be happy that you have a job at all. And I don’t believe that. I don’t think I want to go somewhere for eight or nine hours a day and just be happy that it is a job. Who wants ‘a job’ or ‘a relationship’? I want to have a great job. I want to have one that pays me well, challenges me. If I don’t want to commute, I don’t want to have to have a commute. So that’s number one. That’s the first mindset change that I want to encourage all of us. It’s not enough to settle for a job. I deserve a dream job. OK, that’s number one. And the second one, once people acknowledge this and they say, OK, all right, fine, fine, I need to get a job, you ask people, OK, what is your next step? And they go like this, “uh, I need to figure it out”. When they say figure it out, what they really mean is I think I need to update my resume. I’m probably going to go to some random job search website, type in the exact job title I have today, the one that makes me unhappy. And then I’m just going to wait passively for companies to find my resume and send it to me. The key thing I would teach everyone here is that. Top performers find dream jobs in a completely different way than average applicants, average applicants are passive. They put their resume online and wait. Top performers take a totally different approach and finding a dream job is a skill. You learn the skill, you’ll land the job.

Emma: I love it, yeah, because I definitely struggle with the first one that you mentioned, just like because you want to be a grateful person, you want to — you want to be thankful for what you have. But I also think there can be a barrier there with kind of settling and with saying, well, I’m not going to try for the dream because I’m just going to I’m just grateful I have something and I’m just going to play small and stay with that. So I love that. I love that you’re addressing that.

Ramit: You know, I am happy, but I’m not satisfied. And you can be both you can be happy and grateful, but not satisfied. And we have people that work at my company. They are employees. They’ve been here for years and they’re happy. They’re paid well, but they’re not satisfied in certain areas of their life, nor am I. So there might be an area where I’m like, you know what, I really want to get better at photography. Or, you know what? I’m actually good with this right now. I’m really happy and satisfied with how this area of life is working out for me. I’m good. So it’s not that we always need to be climbing some invisible ladder. There are areas of life. But if you’re listening to this, my guess is that you might not be satisfied with your job. You might be happy, maybe not, but you might want to get paid more. So, for example, we teach people how to get substantial raises, ten thousand to eighty thousand dollars raises. We teach people who used to have to commute an hour, hour and a half every day how to get a zero commute job working remotely. These are the kind of things where you start to imagine in your life. And if you’re playing small, you will instantly talk yourself out of it. “Well, I don’t deserve that. That might work. Well, if I went to that college, I don’t know, because if I got that pay, then I’d have a lot more responsibility”…trust yourself. If you got paid ten thousand dollars more like we can show you in the dream job program or twenty-five thousand dollars more trust in yourself that you would be smart enough to know how to handle those responsibilities. I trust myself, and I think you could trust yourself as well.

Emma: I love it, so as I mentioned, we’re huge fans, so I happen to know which if everyone listening doesn’t already follow @ramit on Instagram, you need to my favorite, other than just learning all the practical tips and all the mindset things is when you troll your trolls. That’s my favorite. I feel like I always learn something too, and it’s just empowering. But anyway, we’re not talking about trolls today. Since I’m a fan, I happen to know that you and your partner moved from New York to L.A. this last year, which isn’t necessarily a career change, although oftentimes moving can have to do with that. But it’s more of a life change. I just wondered if you would share with us a little bit about how you guys came to that decision and maybe if there were any barriers along the way or any self-doubting moments or difficulties with that, because it’s just such a big change and a lot of people are facing stuff like that this year.

Ramit: Yeah, we’re all facing change in one way or another, and my wife and I had lived in New York for over 10 years, that’s actually where we met. And when COVID happened, I have a general life rule in times like traumatic times, which is that panic is bad, but overreaction is good. And this all happened because I took classes on trauma and how certain people survive when others do not in things like fires, etc.. And I remember back in college reading all these stories about people who, they saw something bad happening and they were like, we got to get out of here. And they moved fast. And that was a big determinate. So when COVID happened, I turn to my wife and I said, we got to go. And maybe it’s because I watched too many Batman movies. I saw the bridges getting lifted up. And I was like, we got to get out of here. Yeah. And I remember texting my friends on WhatsApp and they were like, what are you talking about? It was that early that people were not really leaving or thinking about leaving. So we did. And we were fortunate to be able to move fast and we had saved money. So we were not — money was not the primary limiter for us. It was how fast can we move? And we moved outside the city for a few months. And I have to tell you, you know, I don’t really love change. I like my routines, you know? And so being there was, you know, we’re not going to complain. We were fortunate to be safe, but we were not in our routine. And then finally, my wife suggested, you know, hey, we’re both from California. We’ve thought about moving to California. Why don’t we give it a shot? Let’s just see how it is. And if we like it, we can stay. And if not, we can come back to New York and our families are also in California. So it made it very appealing to us. And if it wasn’t for her, I probably would not have done it, because, like I said, I don’t love change, but she’s pushed me to be a little bit more adventurous. And I said, all right, let’s try it. And so we made the move. And we love, we love L.A. There’s so many things we love. I’m still getting used to needing a car, but we do. I wake up every day and open the door and expect it to be frigid or humid. And it’s not it’s always the same. I love it. And I think one lesson I learned, which I think maybe all of us can apply at some point in our life, is that whether it’s a life decision or a negotiation, 80 percent of the work is really done before you ever walk in the room, you know, you walk into a room and if you’re negotiating your salary, that work has already been done with the way you approach the job, the way you filled out your cover letter, how you talk to them in your interview. Same thing with us moving. We did not have to worry about savings because we’d been saving ahead of time. That stuff, having those foundational fundamentals done ahead of time allows us all to make nimble moves when it calls for it. And just want to add one last thing. We don’t have kids, so that definitely makes things simpler. There are lots of parents who can’t just pick up and pack up and move across the country instantly. So we’re all dealing with different things. But, you know, I guess the lesson I learned back all the way back in college, you know, don’t panic, but overreaction is good in times like this. That’s what eventually brought us across the country.

Emma: I love too, I think there’s a lot of wisdom, and I guess it was your wife’s way. She brought it about that. This doesn’t have to be forever. We don’t have to say completely goodbye to this life that we had. We’re just going to try something new. And I think that that’s a really good when you are making a change in your life, because sometimes it’s just the the loss of the thing you’re used to that makes change so scary. You kind of give yourself that. I can come back to this. I could come back to this job that I maybe I’m OK with. But it’s not a dream job. But I’m going to try this new thing. I think there’s great wisdom there.

Ramit: So it’s scary. I mean, that’s what — she knew me and she knew that I needed to internalize that because it’s easy to start spinning and saying, well, OK, so now this is going to be forever. We’re never going to be able to live here again. And of course, like you said, that’s just not true. We can try things. And if we don’t like it, most things in life are reversible or recoverable, not everything. We need to be careful about those things. But for a lot of things, if you make a move to a different industry and you don’t love it or even a different company, a lot of times you can go back and that knowing that and feeling that allowed me to really say, OK, let’s take the next step and see where it leads us.

Emma: Ok, we’re going to take a short break and then we’ll be right back.

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All right. So I know you are covering a lot of topics in your new course Find your Dream Job. It looks like it’s about potentially finding a new job, maybe crafting your own career that you love instead of seeking a job. Also, things on negotiating raises or negotiating perks, more flexibility, things of that nature. So one thing I wanted to ask you about is I think a lot of companies have had to go remote and many of them are probably going to stay remote, which I think is awesome. I think it opens things up for employers and opens things up for job seekers. But the drawback for job seekers is there’s going to be more competition. So do you have any — a few tips for our listeners about how to stand out among this new competition?

Ramit: Yeah, so I want to introduce this concept of what we call career seasons, just like there are different seasons in life and we all know it, we kind of look forward to it. It is predictable. We have the same seasons in our career. And I’ll just give you an example of my career. When I was in my twenties, I was in the growth season. I was working sixty hours a week and happy to do it. I wanted to learn more. I wanted to make more. And I wanted to just I was not worried about how much time it took. Growth. That’s what I wanted. So for some people listening, you’re like, yes, that’s me. Like, I want it, growth at all costs. I don’t care about cutting back. I want more. Perfect. That’s where I was in my 20s. Then I think for some people, whether they have children or maybe an elderly parent, maybe they just want to focus more time on their hobby as well. They might switch into a season we call lifestyle. And this is a different season for me, which is, hey, I have I’m married. I want to be able to travel more. I still am very, very interested in my work and I want to do an awesome job. But there are other things outside of that. Balance, lifestyle. And then for some people, they’re like, you know what? I’ve done this for 15, 20 years. I’m a lawyer. I think I want to be a beekeeper. And they just completely switch and we call it reinvention. And for a lot of people listening, that’s you. You’re like, I’ve done this. I want to switch to a totally different industry. Well, each of these seasons is totally natural. You might encounter it at some point in your life. And so if you think about remote work and you realize I actually love being able to wake up, make my coffee and start working and not have to struggle through an hour long commute each way, that to me seems very much like a lifestyle season. And so the first step that we teach in the dream job program is to show you a method to really understand your one lifestyle season. Everybody wants to say, well, I’m growth, but also lifestyle. No, we show you how to pick one. You’ve got to pick one in order to find a dream job. And then we show you how to find that dream job within that season. For example, if you do not want to commute, we show you how to find companies that are remote, but we also show you how to go to companies that are not necessarily remote and convince them to allow you to work remotely. So we have scripts. We show you how to do it in the interview, in the negotiation, even on your cover letter. So for everyone listening, if you have this feeling, this pit in the bottom of your stomach thinking, oh, I don’t want have to get back in a car, fill up my gas two times a week and have to struggle and go through traffic every day, there is a way in the dream job program. And if you decide, you know what, I’m ready for growth. I want to get a ten, twenty thousand dollar raise and I’m willing to put the work in. We can show you how to do that as well.

Emma: Love it, I love it. And on that note, so with negotiating for a raise or a perk, like less commute time or just more flexibility, can you give us one tip or maybe one pitfall that you see a lot of people do when they are negotiating? Because every time I’ve given one of our team members your book, I Will Teach You to be Rich. I’m waiting for the day that they used the negotiate tips on me. And I just am like, if they really read it one day, the next evaluation I’ll be hearing…

Ramit: I know, but they got to get to work. They have to get to the end because it’s in Chapter nine. So you’re going to know that they made it OK. So I’ll tell you, the biggest pitfall is people simply not doing it OK. And just again, like most mistakes in life, they are mistakes of omission. Most of us are passive in our lives and we just don’t do it. And if you learn the skills of negotiating, you can completely transform your life. A single five thousand dollar raise can be completely life changing because people who get raises once tend to get them again and again and again. So here’s how you do it. I’ll give you a quick one tip, which is split your negotiation ask into three parts. Most people believe you just walk in and say, can I have more money? That’s going to get you kicked out of the office really fast. A better way is to split into three parts. Part one, go to your manager, get clarity on what it takes to exceed expectations. In other words, to be the best at your role, get clarity on that. Number two, deliver on exactly what you and your boss agreed upon. And that can usually take three to six months. Three, walk in the room and negotiate. And remember how I told you that 80 percent of the work is done before you ever walk in the room. This is how it’s done. You spend most of your time getting clarity and delivering. By the time you walk in the room, it’s a foregone conclusion that you deserve the raise that you’re negotiating for.

Emma: Yep, yep. And that’s always the thing I’m like just waiting for, I can see they’re doing all the steps. So the next time they come in it’ll be a — it is! Because you’ve done all the things.

Ramit: Can I just say for everyone listening I hope you caught — I hope you caught what just happened here. We have a manager saying I wish my employees negotiated properly. I hope everyone’s listening to this. Managers want to pay their best performers more. In other words, you have money that’s sitting there waiting to be taken. You have to learn the skills of how to ask for it and how to earn it. That is exactly what we teach in dream job. But you just heard it here and a hiring manager and a manager saying, I wish my employees would negotiate with me. Well, a lot of you have managers right now who would love to pay you more. We teach you how to get that and earn that in the Dream Job Program.

Emma: I love it, I love it, and we’re going to put lots of links to all of this in our show notes so you can check out the course, check out his site, check out his book. We also love his newsletter. We recommend you sign up for that. Even if you don’t want a new job, just sign up for his stuff because you will learn so much about marketing at the very least. So Ramit, Thank you so much for coming on again. I always love chatting with you. Always love hearing your advice. I feel jazzed now to change my career! No, just kidding.

Ramit: (laughs)

Emma: But I really do love the idea of not settling, not playing small and changing our mindset. So thank you.

Ramit: Thank you so much.

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