940: How to Find the Best Job for You that Actually Exists with Lauren McGoodwin

By February 29, 2024Podcasts

Lauren McGoodwin challenges the notion of the “dream job” and makes the case for pursuing the “good-enough” job.

You’ll Learn:

  1. Why the dream job actually doesn’t exist 
  2. The true drivers of happiness at work 
  3. Why to become invaluable–not indispensable 

About Lauren

Lauren founded Career Contessa in 2013 after experiencing a gap in career development resources for women who might be job searching, soul searching, leading and managing, or trying to find new ways to advance within their careers. With women accounting for more than 50% of the workforce and the workforce being less defined than ever before, it seemed crazy (and outdated) that a resource for us didn’t exist.

Fast-forward to today, Career Contessa is now the largest online career site built inclusively for women. Lauren is also author of Power Moves: How Women Can Pivot, Reboot, and Build a Career of Purpose (2020), co-host of The Career Contessa podcast, and an educator/speaker on a variety of career topics. 

Formerly, Lauren was a University Recruiter for Hulu focused on hiring, employer branding, and program management. Lauren has a Bachelors in Education from the University of Oregon and a Masters in Communication Management from the University of Southern California where she wrote her thesis on millennials and career resources. 

When not Contessa-ing, you can find Lauren spending time with her family in Redondo Beach, CA where she lives with her husband and daughter. 

Resources Mentioned

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Lauren McGoodwin Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis

Lauren, welcome to How to be Awesome at Your Job.

Lauren McGoodwin

Hi, Pete. Thanks for having me.

Pete Mockaitis

Well, I am super excited to dig into your wisdom. And could you start us off by sharing, so you’ve been in this Career Contessa game for a while, great brand.

Lauren McGoodwin
Thank you.

Pete Mockaitis

And it even existed before How to be Awesome at Your Job, so kudos on a long run here. Can you share with us a particularly surprising or counterintuitive piece of career advice that you’ve come to learn and adopt and share during your reign as the Career Contessa?

Lauren McGoodwin

Yeah, absolutely. We’ve been around for 10 years, I’ve talked to a lot of successful, very fulfilled people. I think the biggest thing, the biggest misconception I’m sort of very much on brand for that millennial woman who was striving for perfect, was that the dream job does not exist, it’s a myth. It’s a myth that kind of keeps you perpetually stuck. So, that’s probably the biggest one from talking, and basically having the job that I do, which is finding out “What does make a successful career? People who are fulfilled, how do they do it?”

And that’s a big one, I think, because it starts to sort of managing your expectations and actually not expecting to have this dream job that checks every box in your life. It’s similar to trying to find a perfect partner, right? But with jobs, for some reason, we believe not only do dream jobs exist but that, “I should have one. And if I don’t have one, something about me is missing and wrong, and I’ve messed up,” and turn yourself into this personal DIY project to fix that part of your life.

Pete Mockaitis

Oh, that’s good. That’s good. So, the implications of that then is if we’re not in a dream job, that’s okay, nobody is because they don’t exist. That’s your view on the world?

Lauren McGoodwin

Yeah, it is my view on the working world, that there is no such thing as a dream job. And you’ll see it makes a really good saying as a meme on Instagram and TikTok and whatnot of the dream job exists and hustle harder to get that dream job, and a job should check all these multiple boxes but what I find is that, really, what the dream job is made up of is this elusive kind of lifestyle piece of a job, where it doesn’t include hellish commutes or return-to-office mandates that you don’t agree with, it doesn’t include manipulative coworkers or bad bosses who actually don’t know how to manage.

And so, you’re sort of looking for this thing that doesn’t exist, and so your expectations are consistently misaligned with reality. That is equivalent, for me, of someone who has a very fixed mindset versus having a growth mindset, someone who can say, “Hey, my ability to learn and adapt is more important than, okay, my ability to be perfect at this presentation.”

So, I think what happens is dream job isn’t just like your job title and your company. It’s really inclusive more of like a lifestyle, and a mindset, and these realities that, one, don’t exist, as COVID, I think, is such a good reminder of, like, things can change quickly, and being able to be adaptable, and be able to lean into uncertainty, is really kind of the stuff that makes you more invaluable at work versus the person who’s like, “I found the perfect job title, and it looks really good on LinkedIn, and I’m able to share these…” I call it, like, glitter and glue moments, “All these glitter moments in my career but the glue is what holds the career together.”

And so, that’s why I’m actually a big advocate for people who always say, “Well, if I’m not looking for a dream job, what am I looking for?” And I will advocate for a good-enough job. A good-enough is really practical, it’s not perfect, and that’s the problem. But dream jobs is you’re stuck there.

One of the things that people will ask me “If I’m not looking for a dream job, what should I be striving for?” which this is unique for each person, but this is why I’m a huge advocate for the good-enough job. The good-enough job is practical. It’s not perfect. It’s not having you strive for that perfectionist tendency that can keep you stuck. And so, the good-enough job, again, it’s practical. It allows you to still have a life outside of work. It doesn’t ask that work check every box of your life and fulfill every part of you.

And I think COVID was a good reminder of that for people, and I worry that now, in 2024, we’re starting to forget about that and try to go back to those tendencies. So, I would just say, to answer kind of the very first question, the piece of advice I have learned the most that kind of counteracts, actually, building a fulfilling career is trying to go after that dream job.

Pete Mockaitis

Well, so that’s a cool distinction there, a dream job versus a good-enough job, and I like what you had to say with regard to partners in terms of, like, no human being is perfect, and no job is perfect. And so, I would say, I think that my dear bride is a good wife, and she’s not perfect, and I’m not perfect. So, help us orient to things a little bit in terms of good-enough.

Lauren, lay it on us, four levels of job, if I may.

One, unacceptable, you should probably get out of there as soon as you can. Two, good enough, yeah, you should probably hold on to this. All right. Three, about as good as actually exists in real life, so hold on with all your might. And, four, just unrealistic, like, that probably doesn’t exist for anybody, so disabuse yourself from that notion readily. So, I put you on the spot there, Lauren. Give us four levels of job, starting with a rung that’s, “Yeah, I should probably get out of here.”

Lauren McGoodwin
Yeah. So, an example of this is like the person who has their “dream job,” they’re a lawyer, they worked their whole life for this, this is the thing they wanted to do, they’ve got that corner office, but they’re miserable. They’re working nonstop. Maybe they’re paid well but it doesn’t matter because they have no life, they have no friends, they’re not able to have any hobby.

And so, it’s that mix of, like, “But this is what I thought I wanted so I need to continue it.” They’re burnt out, they’re all the negative things. That’s sort of what I would think is the rung of like, “But this was supposed to be my dream job. I worked so hard to get this.” It just never, never goes away.

So, then the good-enough job, again, it’s practical but it’s not perfect. Maybe it’s something that you’re really good, you’re not particularly, like, dying over passion for whatever industry, you work in manufacturing, but you’re really good at your job, and it gives you work-life balance that works for you. Maybe for you that means, “I want a really high salary, and I’m willing to sacrifice having to go into an office and commute every day.” That works for the chapter you’re in right now.

Like, stages of your life are similar to stages of your career. I talked to someone the other day, who she got a new job, and she’s been working at a startup, but she has kids now, and the startup has a lot of it can feel a little unpredictable about what’s going to happen, so she’s like, “I really like that but I kind of made a little bit of a career pivot, and I wanted to go to a bigger company because I was looking for something that was more stable, offered me remote role, was an increase in pay because a lot of times startups will give equity.”

And so, again, that is a good-enough job for her. She’s like, “I like this thing well enough, I don’t have to be a die-hard for it, but also it’s not asking more from me than what I think is reasonable given the exchange of money,” the exchange of the paycheck part for her. That can be a good-enough job. Then you have the person who maybe go even like a step further, where they have this deep passion of being able to reclaim their life from work.

And so, they have a job that allows them to have more PTO, or maybe they do, like I talked to someone the other day, she’s a teacher and she’s doing like a job-share with somebody else. So, for her, that’s a good-enough situation. She doesn’t want to totally leave the workplace but she wants to reimagine how it works for her.

So, there’s all these variations of what the good-enough job can be for you. The teacher is deeply passionate about what she’s working on. She’s just struggling with how to make that work with her life, so a job-share works. Then you have the other person who’s like, “I’m not deeply passionate about it but I’m good at it and I’m paid well for it, and so that works.”

And then the top, or the first rung I said is the person who’s like, “I thought I was passionate about this. This is a dream job, it looks good on paper, I’m working for the right company, I’ve reached all these achievements, and it’s not working for me. And now I have this piece of me where I feel like I failed or, somehow, I have this expectation hangover of this isn’t what I expected to be, on top of the fact that I’m burnt out and all these other things.”

So, I think there’s obviously a lot of variations, careers are super personal, but I think what it comes down to is managing those expectations, understanding that the dream job, this concept of a dream job is more about the lifestyle that goes with it. And so, restudying those expectations and then going out, and kind of I always tell people, like when I was a recruiter, “You don’t get everything.” It’s like, the realtor will ask, “What are the top three most important things to you? Neighborhood? Number of bedrooms?”

I think that’s also important to do in your career, and I think it starts with aligning with your values. So, thinking about, “What do you really value personally? And then, how can you translate your top values into the career that you have?” Those are just all good starting places. There’s obviously a lot of intricacies to this but when you are trying to make the shift from dream job to good-enough job, I think that’s a really good starting place.

Pete Mockaitis

All right. So, I dig it. So, we’ve got a picture of the lowest level of job, bad, and then a picture of good enough. Could you also paint a picture for us for the highest levels, like about as good as it gets in the real world, as well as this is just impossible and unrealistic in the world of reality?

Lauren McGoodwin

Like, this job doesn’t actually exist, but if we could make it exist, this is what it would look like?

Pete Mockaitis

Kind of like a fantasy dream job people have that is harmful because they are comparing it to an unrealistic thing?

Lauren McGoodwin
I think that’s a little bit like lazy girl job, which is this TikTok phenomenon that went off, where it’s like you basically don’t have to do anything, and you don’t have to be involved or engaged in any way, but you’re paid really well. I think of that as almost like this true fantasy. Like, one, it is an exchange for you creating impact and value for the company, the exchanges they’re going to pay you. So, you’re not going to be able to actually gives you or never asks you to take a call that’s inconvenient. The realities of life are sort of that is going to happen.

So, to paint that picture, I almost think the comparison is this lazy-girl job thing that people were talking about. I’m not saying that it doesn’t exist but, for me, I look at a “lazy-girl job” which I hate because you wouldn’t hear a lazy-boy job, but, anyway, that’s a whole other topic. But, for me, it’s like I actually have had a job before. My very first job, I was an admin assistant. My only job was to basically wait for the phone to ring.

Now, I wasn’t well-paid, and I had to show up to an office so I wasn’t able to just do what I want all day long, but, for me, I was, as a human being, part of our wellbeing is we want to be engaged, we want to create something, we want to use our brains. And, for me, that was really mind-numbing work, but if we wanted to paint this picture of this “lazy-girl job” or this ultimate job that really doesn’t ask you to do anything, I think people think that would be fulfilling, but I don’t think it would.

I think us, as human beings, we want to move forward, we want to make an impact, and you wouldn’t get that in that situation, but I could see that being this, like, ultimate dream job for somebody.

Pete Mockaitis

Lauren, I love that so much, that notion of a dream scenario would be that you don’t have to do much but you get tons of money. And what’s interesting is, I think, we can see that in real life in terms of if you’ve been on vacation for a while, it’s like you’re actually kind of bored, “And I want to get to it and start being able, contributing somewhere,” there’s that.

And if you look at folks who, I don’t think you can even call them jobs but they have some sort of a subsidized living situation, like a trust fund or some kinds of funds are just flowing into their life without effort, and often these folks are as susceptible or more so, I think the data show, to depression and other kinds of challenges because there’s something that’s not quite being met there.

So, I think that’s a great thing to call out, that you might imagine this thing exists but it kind of doesn’t from a job perspective. And even if you were subsidized magically, that often has its own perils with regard to mental health and fulfillment. So, give us that level that’s maybe just below that in terms of, “This is about as good as it really gets in terms of, I wouldn’t call it a dream job because it doesn’t exist, but this is as close to optimal as one might hope for in this life.”

Well, now can you paint a picture for, if we’ve got four levels, like terrible job, good-enough job, then as good as is realistically optimally possible in real-life job, and then the fake dream job. I think we covered levels one, two, and four. But paint a picture for number three, the best realistically optimal job we might have in life.

Lauren McGoodwin

I think going back to the example of my friend, she was working in one type of marketing, and she’s transitioning to a different type of marketing. She was working for more of a startup-type company that had a little unpredictability with it, she’s going to go to a manufacturing company. So, on the surface, working for a big brand name, way cooler. The type of marketing she was doing? Flashy, cool, really, again, kind of that glitter and glue metaphor, it’s using that, fits into the glitter side.

But she is moving over to manufacturing, definitely not as flashy and cool, doesn’t look as good as a big brand name on LinkedIn, and she’s going to be doing kind of a more traditional marketing route. Now, for someone who’s looking at this, they’re like, “Wait, she’s going from this really cool job to this really boring job.”

But that, for her, she maybe sees this shift from being like, “I had my dream job and it hasn’t necessarily been a ‘dream.’ I’m really ready to go to a good-enough job, a job that I can close my laptop at 5:00 p.m. because I do have young kids, and I want to be able to spend time with them. I get flexibility. I have remote work status with this one. Instead of getting equity, I’m getting a higher paycheck.”

So, again, thinking about “What are my top priorities? And I’m going to get them at this place. Even though it might not be the ‘dream’ on paper to somebody, for me it’s a good-enough job. It doesn’t ask me to give up my life in exchange for the job.” And that is something that I think is really important. A good-enough job is going to take you out of that tunnel vision you have or that fixed mindset that you have.

It’s maybe going to take the pressure off you that you’re feeling right now. Maybe it’s going to give you clarity because you’re not going to see your workplace as your dream, so maybe you’ll be able to recognize when there’s toxicity happening in a workplace more often, things like that. And so, for me, when I hear someone who saying, “You know, I’m kind of leaving the cool, flashy thing. I’m going to go over here but I’m being paid more. It seems like I’m going to have really good work-life balance. So far, from the people I’ve interviewed with, I really like them.”

It’s like they have this surprise factor, where they’re like, “But I should like this big, cool company, checking the box for me.” And I think that is the dream job versus good-enough job kind of conundrum, is sort of this mindset of, like, “I should want this thing. This thing should kind fulfill me, and why doesn’t it?” And so, I’m really proud of people who can make the shift over to “those good-enough jobs” for them.

And it’s not easy to make those decisions and determine, “What are my values? What are my top priorities? Now I have to find a company that fits.” I’m making this sound like it just landed onto their lap but I think it does take some internal work of getting over these preconceived misconceptions of what you should want.

Pete Mockaitis

That’s really cool. And this conversation about dream jobs is making me think about, I guess, there’s been a recent trend of big personalities on YouTube quitting YouTube, which is funny because I understand that the data reveal that young people now, more than they want to be teachers or firefighters, they want to be YouTubers. So, that’s the job, I guess, everyone wants. They think it’s the coolest. Not an astronaut but a YouTuber.

And so, folks who are YouTubers, who are collecting over half a million dollars of income for creatively making videos, are like, “I can’t take this anymore,” which is fascinating in terms of a picture of the dream job doesn’t exist. And if you dig deeper, you sort of learn that, “Oh, well, behind the surface of just making cool videos, they got to manage a team, and brand deals, and books, and accounting, and everyone wants a piece of them.”

Lauren McGoodwin

And the comments, yeah.

Pete Mockaitis

It’s like, the reality is, “Huh, it’s not just a creative wonderland of nonstop adulation for me being me, but there’s a ton of responsibilities that are sufficient to overwhelm a portion of these people who have what appears to be an ultimate dream job.”

Lauren McGoodwin

Yeah, absolutely. And that’s tough, I’m sure. It’s very hard for them to walk away from that because it’s that feeling of, like, “You’re not just going to get this back if you change your mind,” meaning, like, the person who worked all the way to become the partner of a law firm, and I’m only using that as an example because I feel we hear a lot about lawyers who are, like, “It wasn’t what I thought it’s going to be.”

But anybody who kind of gets in that golden handcuff rut sort of thing in their career, it’s very hard to walk away from that. And that’s why I think it’s important to kind of share the message early on about good-enough job versus dream jobs. Careers are long and windy, and you take U-turns and left turns and right turns, and up and down. It’s not this linear career path.

And the more we can kind of, I think, spread this education about what a career is, or what a career path looks like, I mean, I came from the generation very much of, like, this ladder and the lean in, just lean in to saying yes to things. That just hasn’t been the reality I’ve experienced, and I think many of the women I’ve talked to and interviewed, or experts that I’ve interviewed, that hasn’t been their experience.

And same with our audience at Career Contessa, it’s like your best skillset to building a fulfilling career is a person who is being proactive in the driver’s seat of their career versus the reactive to whatever is coming your way. And then, again, also studying this mindset of, like, “I’m part of that world, too,” just thinking about your values, determining kind of your purpose, thinking about, again, I have this phrase about how to be invaluable at work.

And people are always asking because they’re like, “Oh, I thought you want to be indispensable.” And I always say, “Look, but if you’re indispensable to a role, how can you grow because they can’t afford to lose you?” So, that’s a different mentality when you’re indispensable, the company is saying you’re primed for overwork because they can’t afford to lose you versus the mentality of, “We don’t want to lose you,” so you’re primed for more valuable work, for example.

So, again, these are just like this is the lessons that I think is kind of one can learn early on. It’s actually very helpful throughout your career. A lot of us, to your point about the YouTuber that many of us learn at mid-life or later on, and so that’s why I’m here to spread this information

Pete Mockaitis

That’s lovely. Well, I do want to hear more about your unique vantage point. So, with the Career Contessa podcast and YouTube channel and speaking, you have a fun vantage point. And I know when I dork out and look into all my analytics and things, and emails from listeners and see, “Okay, what’s really the hot stuff in terms of what people really want to know, and what kind of content advice, wisdom, is resonantly transformational for them?”

So, Lauren, if I could put you on the spot to share with us maybe three super nuggets that you’ve collected from your time podcasting and engaging with so many folks, what have been some of your favorite discoveries?

Lauren McGoodwin

I interviewed a woman once on what actually drives happiness at work, and I still love this conversation, and they were relationships, purpose, and autonomy. And I really loved that because I feel like happiness at work sometimes feel like this very elusive thing, and I guess in a way it is, but I thought that was a really fun conversation. Sometimes you have conversations where you learn something, and you’re like, “Wow, that’s certainly a puzzle piece to the career puzzle.”

I think another big piece for me is the difference between, like I said, being invaluable at work versus being indispensable. I really fit this millennial woman stereotype of the, like, work hard until they recognize your work. I very much learned through my own experiences, but also through our audience and talking to people, it’s really important to advocate for yourself.

There are good ways to advocate, bragging, however you want to call it. Some people don’t like it. They’re like, instead of advocating, think of it as self-expression. However you need to see this, it is very important that you are able to talk about your wins, and your accomplishments, and your achievements. So, those have been some big wins for me.

The other thing, I think, that’s been kind of eye-opening in terms of stuff I’d learned is, like, it’s interesting that you can outperform someone and not necessarily be better than them, and I think that’s a hard reality. And part of that comes down to they might be better at telling their story, they’re better at managing that, I guess, “playing the game.” And I think that sometimes, again, like a hard reality to come to terms with, but I also think it’s very true.

And so, again, self-advocating, learning how to tell your story, making sure that you’re aligned with the right stakeholders and getting in front of them, that’s really important. And, also, that confidence is not something you’re born with. It’s built by taking action. So, nothing is going to just come to you. You have to have the confidence and the willingness to try something in order to start getting traction.

So, if I could drop it into three nuggets of wisdom, those are like some three big takeaways I’ve had in the last year of talking. I have the best job because, through the podcast, YouTube channel, what we do at the side, our whole job is basically trying to find out, “How can you build a healthy fulfilling and successful career?” It is not a perfect black and white formula that fits in a box for everybody. But there are certain trends that I hear over and over again, and those are a few of them.

Pete Mockaitis

Cool. Well, could you tell us a cool story of someone that you’ve worked with who saw a real cool transformation in terms of they had one perspective, and then they learned some things, changed some things, and saw a fantastic result on the other side of things?

Lauren McGoodwin

Well, I have a couple. I have a friend who recently was working for a thing company, and their whole career was, like, the Googles, the LinkedIns, the Amazons, the Facebook, very much like you look at her career path, you’d be like, “You’ve got one very linear career path at a certain type of company,” was part of the layoffs that happened, has been searching for a job, and was kind of only searching one way for a job, which was, essentially, using her network, referrals, applying, things like that, introductions to hire, relying on her network.

For a whole year, she’s been looking for a job. She’s incredibly talented. And one of the things that I thought was really interesting is she recently hit the Easy Apply button on LinkedIn to a job that had been reposted a couple of times, had less than 50 people apply for it, it was a very different industry than she had been in before but a similar job, like job function, and ended up going for two interviews, got a job offer, meaning the process was like weeks’ long versus multi-months long.

And I was talking to her, and she was like, “I’m almost afraid to take this because it’s the complete opposite of anything I’ve ever done, and it flips all the logic I’ve thought of on its head.” And so, it was almost like she was uncomfortable with this unknown for herself, of like, “Shouldn’t I just keep sticking with what I’m doing even if it’s not working? Eventually it will work.” And she ultimately decided she’s going to take this new job, couldn’t be happier. It very much fits the description of this “good-enough job.”

She goes into the office once a month. They really value her experience in a certain industry. She was feeling very discouraged from the job search before. And I feel this breathes new life into her, and watching her just have this new motivation. And I thought that was really interesting because so many of us sometimes do have this fear of the unknown, or the fear or doing something different. And there were a couple of takeaways from it.

One, there’s no right way to job search. So, if you’re job searching right now, try a lot of different strategies. Yes, tap your network. Yes, try to get referrals. Also hit Easy Apply to the jobs that you think are really interesting to you, or the companies where you’re like, “I like the company well enough. I need to learn more about them.”

So, I love that story. I love the fact that it reminds you that find a target company, network, absolutely. This job market, absolutely has taught me that there are no rules so you have to try a little bit of everything and test out, and see what strategy works best for you. But ultimately, I think, also, going in with if you can manage your expectations to not be too fixed mindset on it has to go a certain way, if you take some those, I think it’s a really freeing thing as well.

Pete Mockaitis

Cool. Thank you. Well, now I’m curious, anything else you really make sure to mention before we shift gears and hear about some of your favorite things?

Lauren McGoodwin

Well, my book is called Power Moves so if you’re interested in exploring more of these topics related to the dream job and going after the good-enough job, Power Moves is really a framework on how to build a career that is based in a proactive approach versus a reactive approach. And then, of course, my podcast is called Career Contessa. I’ve really made it easy, and that’s where I get to talk to people who share what drives happiness at work. And I love being able to have those interesting conversations. So, if you’re interested in podcast advice, or career advice, check out Career Contessa as well.

Pete Mockaitis

All right. Well, now could you share with us a favorite quote, something you find inspiring?

Lauren McGoodwin

My favorite quote that I learned from someone the other day is, “This or something better.” And I think that is an incredible quote especially for 2024 with this economic climate, this tough job market, it’s “This or something better.” So, remind yourself of that when you feel like, “I’m not making any progress. I’ve got a rejection.” And I always try to remind people, if they don’t look at your resume, they’re not rejecting you. My point being they look at your resume for seven seconds, or not at all, having a fresh mindset of, “That’s not necessarily a rejection that way,” but it’s, “This or something better.”

Pete Mockaitis

And a favorite study or experiment or bit of research?

Lauren McGoodwin

I’m loving people who are doing research on remote work or distributed work. So, there’s a lot of CEOs out there who want to call everyone back to the office because of productivity, collaboration. And what these people who do this research are finding is, like, absolutely not necessary to be in office to collaborate, to be productive. And they’re actually doing a lot of research on what does drive those things.

Pete Mockaitis

Awesome. And a favorite book?

Lauren McGoodwin

A favorite book, Atomic Habits. I love that book. I quote it a lot. That and Essentialism I think they were like books I’ve read at the right time of my life to help me kind of get organized and focus, and gave me that fresh perspective that was really important.

Pete Mockaitis

All right. And a favorite tool, something you use to help you be awesome at your job?

Lauren McGoodwin

Loom video recordings where, basically, you’re able to audio record yourself, or you can be on video, and then a screenshare. So, I’ll use it for trainings. It’s great for asynchronous work where you want to be able to send feedback to someone on something. So, on our team, we’re a fully remote company, so I will use Loom to send feedback on, “Hey, I read this article. Here’s something I would change. I’m going to edit here, edit there.” Sometimes we’ll use it for resume reviews for clients, too. So, I love Loom absolutely.

Pete Mockaitis

All right. And a favorite habit?

Lauren McGoodwin

Favorite habit, probably a to-do list. Definitely a to-do list. And I’m not fancy. I use pen and paper but that’s probably one of my favorite habits. I also am really big on 10,000 steps a day, so I just got a walking pad, and I have a standing desk, so that’s a big part of my personality is I’m a very 10,000 steps a day.

Pete Mockaitis

Okay. And is there a key nugget you share that really seems to connect and resonate with folks; they quote it back to you often?

Lauren McGoodwin

Certainly, just the dream job myth, I think, is something that people are starting to know me by, is that they’ll say, “I know you don’t believe in dream jobs, but I’m looking for a dream job,” or something like that. Or, “I know you don’t believe in dream jobs, but then what do I find instead?” So, I would say the dream job myth is definitely something I’m quoted back and used on myself a lot.

Pete Mockaitis

And if folks want to learn more or get in touch, where would you point them?

Lauren McGoodwin

Everything is on the Career Contessa website, so CareerContessa.com. Podcast is called Career Contessa, and the book is Power Moves. And then you can connect with me on LinkedIn, I’m Lauren McGoodwin on LinkedIn, and I post tips daily on there, and I would love to connect with you.

Pete Mockaitis

And do you have a final challenge or call to action for folks looking to be awesome at their jobs?

Lauren McGoodwin

My final action, I think, going back to one of the nuggets of things I’ve learned is “How can you advocate for yourself this week? Or, how can you make your accomplishments or achievements known this week?” Does that mean you can send a quick email to your boss, of, “Here’s a quick recap of what I’ve been working on”? Can you mention yourself in that Slack channel, like, “Here’s my win for the week”? What can you do to make sure that you are advocating and letting your wins be known?

Pete Mockaitis

All right. Lauren, thank you and good luck.

Lauren McGoodwin

Thank you.

One Comment

  • Ed Nottingham says:

    Happy Friday, 3/1/24! Pete, I don’t know how you do it. So many great podcasts with excellent and informative guests. This is another one that I am sharing on our internal SharePoint site. While the information is so valuable, I had multiple personal “ah has” as I listened. I can see how over the years I was looking for the evasive “dream job” that really never existed. Listening (and going back and reading the transcript … thank you so much for that!) how taking to reflect and recognize all of the “good enough” quality in a job can bring much more contentment and yes, even happiness rather than looking for unicorn, aka dream job.
    At time when many individuals living in a VUCA world are questioning their jobs, careers, it will perhaps serve them will to check this podcast out.
    Thank you for all you and your team do.

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