Find your dream job without ever looking at your resume | Laura Berman Fortgang | TEDxBocaRaton

Find your dream job without ever looking at your resume | Laura Berman Fortgang | TEDxBocaRaton

Translator: Riaki Poništ
Reviewer: Ellen Maloney Everybody knows somebody
who hates their job. Maybe that somebody is even you. In fact, half of the people
in the United States who work would do something else
for a living if given the chance. That’s an epidemic. Look, I know,
it’s hard to change, it’s easier to stick
with the devil you know. Walking away
from a paycheck and benefits – that doesn’t fit conventional wisdom ,
and doing something more meaningful – I mean, who wants to make less money? But when I think about this subject,
I think of my grandfather, my immigrant grandfather who left Poland,
alone, on a boat, at 17 years old, to go to New York City. I wonder what he would think about us
talking about being happy at work. “Happy?” he would say. “Happy at work? Put food on the table, that’s ‘happy.’ What are you talking about, happy?” My dad, first generation American, he was the first to go to college, the first to have a “good corporate job,” his was the 1960s’ version
of being happy at work. But he really wasn’t. Today, the research shows that to be happy at work,
people want to be engaged. They want to have mastery
over their subject matter. They do want to know that what they do matters more
than the paycheck they get. So, if we know that, why is it that 50 per cent of us can’t figure out
what we want to do with our life? I think it’s because when we are in doubt,
we look to our resume. We look to our credentials,
what we’re qualified to do. What we’re qualified to do
is not necessarily what we’re meant to do. It isn’t necessarily
what’s going to bring us satisfaction. Think of an egg, if you will. From a little hummingbird egg
to an ostrich egg, all of them are roundish shell. For people, that shell
are our credentials, our track record, our accomplishments, and our resume. A lot of us get attached to that shell,
it becomes our identity, and that’s what makes it hard to change. But to get to the good stuff,
you have to crack the egg open. Because inside is the yolk,
the golden center. That’s where the DNA is. That’s what determines
how each egg is unique. For people, I call that yolk
their “life blueprint.” Everything that can be
taken away is the shell. The status, your identity,
what people think of you, the perks, the salary. But what can’t be taken away is the yolk. That’s where the discovery
of career satisfaction can happen. Maybe it’s more important to understand that career satisfaction
doesn’t come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be
while you’re doing that job. Who your job allows you to be, that’s where the happiness comes from. So, the shell is what you do. But the yolk is who; who you get to be. When I was in my 20s, I wanted nothing more
than to be a Broadway star. Well, I did reasonably well;
I got my union card, I worked in reputable theaters,
and I gave myself five years to make it, and at year eight,
I was still waiting on tables. So, I grew despondent, I really did. I was almost suicidal over the fact that I thought that I failed
at the only thing I ever wanted. Why haven’t this dream come true for me? I’d worked so hard, I invested so much. 10 years after I left show business,
I had an epiphany about this. I remembered a scholarship
that I was up for, for an acting program where they asked me: “What would be possible
if you were successful as a performer?” The answer came to me in a flash. I knew it was like the right answer,
the Miss America pageant answer, the eldest child answer, the “I’m going to get
the scholarship” answer. So I went up to the mike and I said, “Well, if I were successful
as a performer, people would see me on stage and be moved
to change something in their life.” That answer got me the scholarship. But it wasn’t until ten years later
when I realized what I really had said; the performer was the shell
causing change from the stage. That was the yolk. That was me. So I hadn’t failed at my dream after all; I just suffered
from a misinterpretation of my dream. I needed to allow
the dream to change form. I think that’s what’s wrong
for a lot of us when we can’t figure it out. No one’s taught us to pull the dream apart and understand
the true significance of it. We’re told we could be anything
we want to be when we grow up. But when we go to pick
that college major, the question changes from, “What
do you want to be when you grow up?” to, “How are you going to make
a living with that?” We haven’t been taught what are dreams and imaginations
really mean to our career trajectory. John was someone who heard me
speak about this concept and he was very skeptical. He said, “Laura, I’ve accomplished
everything I set out to do. I’ve had every dream
for my career come true. So this cannot possibly hold any weight.” But at the time we met,
he wasn’t sure what he wanted to do next. He was struggling with that. I want to tell you a little secret: I don’t believe anyone who tells me
they don’t know what they want to do. I believe they do know;
they’re just too afraid to speak it because then they have to do
something about it. Anyway, back to John. Since he challenged me, I said, “Okay, what are all your career dreams
that you had come true?” He said, “When I was a kid,
I wanted to be a magician. As a young adult,
I wanted to be an architect, then I wanted to change
and be in advertising and marketing and be responsible for huge
billboards in New York City.” He goes, “And now I want to do something
with my love for the outdoors, maybe an adventure
travel guide or something.” But he couldn’t reconcile
how that fit with the rest of his life. But I could see it. So, this is where I need your help. If you go – if you go out and you see
a wonderful magic trick, one that blows your mind,
what’s your reaction? Show me on your face
what your reaction is. Audience: Wow! Laura Berman Fortgang: Wow! So, if you go to a city
that you’ve never been to and you’re looking up at the architecture, what does your face look like? Alright, now if you’ve been to New York
and ever seen a billboard so large that a woman’s navel
is the size of a cruise ship, what does your face look like? Wow. So, you see. Everything that John did
evoked a universal human response. Across culture, language, or age,
“Ooh, aah, wow.” All those jobs were what he did, but who he was
was someone who inspired awe. If you go out in nature,
you will be in awe. So, it was completely in his blueprint
for him to go and become someone who worked in nature and took others
into nature to inspire awe. Today, he owns a company where he designs and manufactures
gear for outdoor enthusiasts. He found his way. So, the formula seems to be: something from the past
whether it has come true or not, re-examine for its true significance, married with your skill set of today, equals a satisfying new chapter. Now, there are people
who have said to me over the years that they’ve never had a dream, that they never had anything
that ever called to them, they don’t have any memory of anything they’d ever wanted to be
when they grew up. Over the years, what I’ve seen
as a common thread among these people is that they all had
a rougher childhood than most. They either grew up
in a dysfunctional home, maybe there was raging,
maybe there was alcoholism, perhaps they were worried that a relative who was sick
or sibling who was sick, they didn’t know
if they were coming or going, any child who has to keep their
guard up all the time, and doesn’t feel safe can’t dream. If that’s any of you, don’t worry,
there is a solution for another time. I’ve also met people who have had
a round of success with their career, but it was based on something
that was a reaction from their past. So, they succeeded, but now they don’t know what to do
because they have no criteria. So, that thing from the past,
if any of you have ever made a vow, anyone who’d ever said,
“I won’t be like my mother,” or “I won’t be like my father,” or “I’ll never be poor,”
or “I’ll show them,” that’s a vow. If you did that, it was a reaction
to circumstances of your life, and it probably served you well. Look, a lot of people
have a lot of ambition based on things
they don’t want in their life. But there may come a point where that motivation
is no longer useful to you because you’ve outgrown it. And then, what do you do? Karen was someone
that I met in this situation. She was a top salesperson,
she won all the cars, all the trips, but she started talking
about how she was feeling really anxious because she felt like
she was losing her mojo. She didn’t know
if she could keep up this pace and she didn’t know
how to discipline herself to be as ambitious as she was before. I suspected that there would be something in her story that would tell us
what was going on. So, there it was; at 17,
she was ready to accept a scholarship to play basketball for college, and she found out she was pregnant. She gave up the scholarship,
she had the baby, and she made a vow. “I will not be a teenage statistic.” She had that baby, she had
another baby with the same guy, then she married him, went to school,
got this great job, succeeded wildly, and now she couldn’t figure out
why she could make it work. Well, she wasn’t a teenager anymore, and she had well proven
that she wasn’t a teenage statistic. So, once she had the awareness that she needed to just
change why she worked, the motivation for why she worked,
she was on to new paths. So you see, your resume
is only part of the equation. All the things that happened
which made that resume, that made your life story,
that’s what reveals your blueprint. That’s what reveals
the themes and the imprint that is your yolk. I want to live in a world where people
stop competing at work, because they realize
that they are so unique that there’s nobody to compete with. Everyone’s unique, we don’t cross over,
we don’t have to compete. I want a world where we don’t torture
our teenagers to figure out what they want to do with the rest
of their life at 17 years old, because we’ve taught them that their dreams have many ways
that they can come to be. I’d like to see a world
where nobody suffers to make a living because they understand
that they are not wedded to the shell, but they can evolve from the yolk. So, before, I told you
that half of the people in the U.S. would do something different
if given the chance. Half! That is an epidemic. But it’s an epidemic that has a cure. The cure is understanding that career satisfaction
doesn’t come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be
while you’re doing it. The beauty is, who you
get to be is the real you. Thank you. (Cheers) (Applause)

100 thoughts on “Find your dream job without ever looking at your resume | Laura Berman Fortgang | TEDxBocaRaton

  1. I'm 51 and S T I L L don't know what I want to do. I've felt lost my whole life. All I really want in this life (and there's not much to go) is to be H A P P Y ! ! ! !

  2. Everyone have to follow his/her hobby or talent , our desire our dream our passion , it is from soul from unlimited power from God , dont take your aim or dream or job from schools or university or famous poeple on career but from Your inside from soul from God , poeple are same dont know too much if right or wrong , suitable or not , follow your soul your heart yourself firstly will succeed someday whatever but continue only.

  3. these are like Toastmasters, I'm starting to think, where the speaker is not necessarily going to say something important so much as just get to practice reiterating other people's dilemmas.

  4. 5:28 Some people genuinely don't know what they want to do, one of the common reasons being that they haven't explored enough, seen or heard of the different things that they can do. Their world is small (at that moment) and they need to seek variation in life.
    I've been there for small periods of time. For me it always passes though, especially if I seek that variation in life that I need.

  5. I have been in such a funk lately because I am graduating college in may and I have no clue what I am doing with my life. This talk was so encouraging!

  6. I can find fulfillment 100 different ways. None of them put food on the table or can make a career without some sort of start-up capital. I'm the Polish uncle: happiness is not worrying about money. I feel like Charlie Brown with the football thinking I can actually make money doing anything I enjoy.

  7. I have got my bachelors degree in business administration because I was out of high school and didn’t wanted to wait to find out what I want to do, because I had no idea.. and I still have no idea what I truly want to do. I have my bachelors degree, and I have pressure from family to choose something, pick something, this or that.. do this do that. I’m just lost now. And it’s depressing, I get anxiety attacks whenever I think about what my “passion is” and what should “I do” I don’t know and I have no idea. I’m so so so lost. Any tips or help from anyone would be greatly appreciated.

  8. I’m currently 16, and I’m fairly sure this talk helps but I’m also very confused. I’m not kidding when I say that I even confused myself writing this comment. Every job I’ve seen myself doing could be summed up in the following:

    -A scientist
    -An engineer
    -A medical professional (minus surgery)
    -A writer (fringe thoughts)
    -A teacher (also fringe thoughts)

    I don’t know what to make of this…

  9. I am 54 and once I counted how many lives I managed to live by now. 9! Or so.
    And I still want a change, another major change! I am insatiable with that. Now, more than ever I want to be a stargazer and a swimmer with dolphins. And I have no idea what kind of career that might be….Who will I be i the course of this career? I will be a better worshiper, I guess.Thank you, Laura, for the reminder to strive to be who you were meant to be.

  10. Ms. Laura thank you so much for your awesome talk !! You are quite a motivator !! Very exciting !! All the high schools and colleges need to hear you speak about this !!! I believe it would be a great game changer for all !! God bless you and yours and your great work !! Sincerely Sheree Caves. 💒💒💒💒🌹🌹🌹🌹😇😇😇😇😇

  11. "I don't believe anyone who tells me they don't know what they want to do. I believe they do know. They are just too afraid to speak it because they they have to do something about it." This resonated with me so much.

  12. Thank you that is very helpful! I appreciate the way you tied those ideas together and synthesized the different jobs and how they connect. Thank you!

  13. I chose to get my master's degree on something that first was a reaction to a previous coworker and second was based on my qualifications on my resume. Thank you for this reminder. It's comforting and makes me more hopeful about where I'm going.

  14. I’m new in a position that I’m only partially committed too. I love connecting with the people. I really enjoy that part, everything else is a drag. I work 12 1/2 hr days, 10 days in a row. The intensity wears me down, plus I have to fly out to the different assignments and leave my pets, home and life behind. And even when I do get to work in town my life is on hold bc of the hrs. Yet I love connecting with the ppl, educating, sharing, giving… that is what I enjoy! What else can I do for decent pay and help ppl? The million dollar question 😊

  15. This was spectacular! The story about Karen hit the nail on the head…. never have I thought about my life and the challenges Im facing today in that perspective. The speech was life-changing, thank you

  16. I don't believe that guy who left Poland 'alone, on a boat, at 17 years old, just to get to NYC'…
    Well, hundret of km, seriously? 😕

  17. This is incredible, thank you! Social and societal restrictions are devastating to both dreams and dreamers and I'm stoked to see your wisdom shine through. Many thanks!

  18. Ms. Laura, it was the 1st time I heard u. You really impressed me with ur speech. Doing a certain type of job and what you're, what ur inner person's talent, capabilities are, are two different things. You put it up in a beautiful way. I really liked the egg and yolk example, though. Impressive!

  19. So many helpful truths spoken here! Thank you!

    Ms. Laura Berman Fortgang, will you please make a part two to address the people you described at 7:34? Again, thank you very much for this talk!

  20. this may sound counterproductive and perhaps someone will shed some insight into this, but I am sincerely repellant to the whole idea of talking about how great I am just to get employment… I get why it has to be done, but I always end up feeling like a bottle of shampoo instead of a person… I am not shampoo… where is the dignity in the job application process? what are some ways to overcome this feeling?

  21. Tears of joy after 9 years of confusion. I always wanted to be a philosopher as professional artist as a child and have my own museum . I went to the university and picked the medical field, then accounting, then I changed my mind a million times… I love to inspire people and teach them wisdoms and lessons that I learned from my life, in my painting. Any comments?

  22. I dont mean to be negative or bring up race, but white people have these choices and opportunities to do this and live for their dreams. I've seen it in the workplace myself.

  23. Love this! Next interview, I'm going to be bold & share, this job position is my Yolk and will allow me to be who I'm meant to be which will grow your business. More profits, satisfied customers or guests, higher team morale… Hire me so I can be who I was created to be… Awesome!

  24. What about people who have a dream but keep changing and theyre over 30’s? So now it’s like you have to choose something.

  25. I’m 50 and want to be a professional ballet dancer. My passion is dancing. Someone tell me how to make it happen 😉

  26. Wow, so many unexpected insights for someone who “knows it all”. I never thought of my vows…among others. Thank you! 🙏🏼🙏🏼✨💫✨👋🏻😊

  27. I'd like to find information that applies to trauma victims … we who didn't have the opportunity to dream – day to day survival was everything.

  28. I’m 14 years old and this honestly brought me to tears… I’ve always been super creative (singing, dancing, drawing, knitting, interested in coding, photography, loved projects and learning, wondered about people and why they do what they do, always loved history and grammar and different languages and culture, always wanted to travel the world) and I love making people feel like they matter, putting smiles of people’s faces and helping people and showing them care and bettering them as a whole… please help me find careers… I’m desperate and I’m watching this late at night because by tomorrow I have to have picked my classes for sophomore year which will basically shape the rest of my high school experience which shapes my college experience which shapes my life… thank you and good night… God bless you all and your situations… seriously though please help me, I’m really desperate and emotionally exhausted…

  29. Thank you Laura, for your fine talk. I could relate to a lot of it, as I have been through that journey too. I too believe that a Resume is just a primer to one's competence and doesn't quite reveal the person in his/her entirety. The "who you get to be" part comes through only over an interview or face-to-face chat. Also, many highly competent people don't bother with a sparkling Resume, hoping they can ace the interview and get the job. As you say, one needs to acquire more skills throughout one's career, even if some of it may not make it to the Resume (after all it's just 2 pages, usually). I wish educational institutions also taught how to prepare a good Resume, which is after all one's personal marketing tool for any job.

  30. The biggest lie in America is that you are "free" and able to make "choices." When an individual must take on some kind of debt — whether for education, healthcare, housing, etc. at various stages of his or her life — that is not a situation of true choice made from a position of freedom.

  31. I do not want to do anything anymore. Isn't 41 years of work enough? How can I do nothing. So many bosses are able to achieve this and even earn money for it. Why can't I?

  32. "Career satisfaction doesn't come from what you do. It comes from who you get to be while you're doing it…"

  33. Great Video! Sorry for chiming in, I would appreciate your initial thoughts. Have you thought about – Chiveard Discovering Potential Framework (Sure I saw it on Google)? It is a smashing one off guide for finding your true calling and achieving success minus the normal expense. Ive heard some incredible things about it and my m8 at very last got astronomical results with it.

  34. I watched this talk months ago, saved it, rewatched it now and I'm still moved by it. It's such a simple concept but forces you to rethink yourself and your career in a much more productive and realistic way. For example as a kid, I wanted to be a human rights lawyer-fashion designer-psychologist LOL, and I now am gearing my career towards fintech consultancy in the fashion industry. It always bothered me that I could never reconcile all my radically different dreams and my radically different actual career trajectory… I was like why am I so random and complicated? 😂 Your talk made me realize my yolk is threading that line between being an advocate, a consultant and an innovator. For so long I struggled because I wanted to be a lawyer but not actually be a lawyer lol. I thought I failed for never following up on my dream to be a human rights lawyer-fashion designer-psycjologist LOL. But now I realize it was never the actual jobs that were the dream. It was just the idea of using my expertise to consult others and bringing about innovative solutions. Now I can stop being so narrow-minded and think less in terms of job names to see whether I'm accomplishing my goals and I can use my newly discovered yolk to guide me in future choices. I have watched a lot of talks about finding purpose but nothing reasonated with me or was as directly applicable as this one. 😊

  35. I had my dream job for over 20 years serving our Nation as a Soldier. I am now trying to find that next job.

  36. Work is a mindfuck. The idea you have to work most of your life to appease debt collectors is nuts. We live to die. Working for others should not be the center of your life

  37. "you do know what you wanna do in life but you're just so afraid to say that so you must do something then"
    that hit me hard ops

  38. why not start a governance company that hires women over 50 W50….for their knowlegde….and focuses on women

  39. Dear, Laura. I really appreciate your wisdom and lecture. Thanks to you, I realized what is the most urgent and important issue that I face.

    During looking for my job, precisely "workplace", I was so confused and shocked by the fact that I don't want to join any company. When I wrote my CV for the company I was going to join, I was not able to explain and appeal why I want to work for that company. It made me desperate. the only purpose for my job searching process was related to making money, more money. so, I wanted to be a member of the conglomerate company.

    After graduating my university, I was that person who tried to experience for getting 1 line to add on my resume. I was rushed and tried not to being far behind compared to my peers. I didn't have time to think "the direction". As looking at other's back, I just chased. During my lifetime. I've never tried to find the most important and original answer for my life; like my own interest, what I want to be. Actually, I know that questions are very important. However, I have been put them off. B.U.T Thanks for this Video. I will start with the original ones, from "why". I will spend my time on finding my own Yolk".

  40. I think being happy at work broadly depends on the content of the stuff that u r working with! And secondly depends on how good u r at your job. If u r brilliant, u will watch the results of your job and will proud of your abilities and skills! Additionaly, if u have a strong crush on a girl from your stuff and if u r rapidly ayecontacting with that girl by-laterally, u won't want to take a single dayoff!😜

  41. Watching this to see if, after 15+ years, at the age of 39, I have any idea of what else to do with my life…

  42. Having food on the table, this is happy! As opposed to, who wants to do a meaninful job, but with less pay. You hit the nail on the head, the answer I've been looking for for decades, thank you for this!

  43. I don’t want a job, I want to be rich, give away money, have organizations and travel 🤷🏽‍♀️. But still got nothing to get there. Great tedTalk though 🖊👍🏾

  44. work a lot is very money the people around the world thats crazy its necessary more love with other people our life is little bit thanks a lot LAURA BERMAN BEAUTIFUL PRESENTATION FROM BRAZIL SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH

  45. I'm 29 and just THIS year I finally got into a stable career (living wage) in Emergency Management. A bunch of life-changing events in the past 10 yrs of my life have led me to this moment, including the untimely death of my mother during my senior year of undergrad.

    I STILL don't know what would fulfill me career-wise and I'm knocking on 30 (5 months away). I love to travel to unique places around the world. I'm happiest and freest when I'm traveling and my passport is my most important possession. I get depressed when I go more than a year without leaving the U.S. I hate the concept of having to build up a measly 13 days of leave (vacation) a year. I covet the idea of having freedom of movement.

    Perhaps this is the key to knowing who I am. I just hope it's not too late when I finally figure it out.

  46. Private music teacher on the side and environmental safety technician. My skills show I'm a patient person and would make a great teacher, but instead I'm 28 years old and in a cubicle at an insurance firm and couldn't be more unhappy here. Luckily, I got a degree in environmental science but I just never went for it with my major. I have started teaching music on the side and have my first free student, I love it but it is definitely tiring work at the end of the day. It'll never be perfect but I know it will be better than this

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