Contrary to popular belief that trolling for a new job or client is the drag of all drags, a process that should be hurried through as quickly as possible, Dev Ajula believes our careers can be avenues for inquiry. His book, 50 Ways to Get a Job has a hidden curriculum that stretches so far beyond the job-search, and is relevant to everyone, including entrepreneurs. “Our careers and the questions they answer are lifelong pursuits,” Dev says.
I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation and learning more about Dev's incredible long-term passion project: building a non-traditional Sorted Library based on the power of inquiry in DUMBO, New York (the Instagram account alone is a must-peruse!).
Check out full show notes from this episode with links to resources mentioned at PivotMethod.com/podcast/dev-aujla. Enjoying the show? Make my week by donating just $1 and episode at Patreon.com/pivot.
More About Dev Aujla
Dev Aujla is the CEO of Catalog, a recruiting and advisory firm that has provided talent and high-level strategy to some of the world’s most innovative companies including BMW, Change.org, GOOD Magazine, and Planned Parenthood. For ten years, Dev ran DreamNow, a nonprofit design studio that builds products and programs that change the world. DreamNow has reached more than 500,000 people and raised millions of dollars for projects that do good. In his spare time, Dev runs an incredible passion project called Sorted Library, a small independent reading space in DUMBO, New York. He is the coauthor of Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money, and Community in a Changing World and his latest book, 50 Ways to Get a Job.
Topics We Cover
- How a bookstore closing led to fulfilling his childhood dream
- “It might take me 20 years to build, and I hope it does."
- Finding a “just ahead mentor.” After seeing what his friend Andrew was up to, “All of my hesitations and insecurities vanished and I knew what I was doing was both real and valuable”
- Dealing with jealousy (which is often magnified during times of transition) - what he learned from touring artist Donald Judd’s SoHo industrial building (four separate floors for eating, entertaining, working and sleeping)
- In that moment of what’s next, you actually have the chance to re-think everything: relationship to time, money, space, how we live and work
- The advice we get on how to find jobs is static…leads to an emotional nosedive, demoralizing. “From that emotional bottom you are in your worst position to be searching, negotiating a salary, or building the skills and confidence you need to know you are worthy of a job with purpose.”
- The act of finding a job should feel the same as the job itself—an engaging experience that has purpose and direction. It should be filed with wonder, possibility, and the conviction that there is a path forward.”
- You are already in the middle of your career. A beginning can often feel like a cold start with zero momentum
- Three great reset activities for in-between moves: schedule a vacation buffer, a research trip, and a solo trip
- Go on a solo trip: “I guarantee you’ll be two or three days closer to getting a job because you’ll be clearheaded, grounded, and ready to make important decisions about your career.”
- How Buddhist practices are woven throughout the book
- Spirituality and religion has always been answering the question of how should a person be; there are so many great lessons to draw on from all kinds of different religions on how to do that
- Rise of religious “nones”
- Spirituality is a practice: it’s what we do every day, how we think and show up and relate to others.
- Subway: finding interest in the details, practice deep listening
- How to find your center of gravity, the thing that skews what you’re seeing (+ gravity log exercise): “Mine revolves around being liked or loved, and it affects everything in my life. My career had actually been built to benefit from my center of gravity.”
- Decide when to work for free, benefits of volunteering
- Make a learn list
- Class privilege and how that shows up in a job search; allows you to step into the world in a way that’s a little gentler - to use what you have to do good
Tools for Transitions with Dev Aujla
- Dev on the web, Twitter, Instagram
- Dev’s Books: 50 Ways to Get a Job: An Unconventional Guide to Finding Work on Your Terms and Making Good: Finding Meaning, Money, and Community in a Changing World
- Reanimation Library
- Donald Judd’s SoHo Workspace
- Silent Book Club
- Books mentioned: Classified: How to Stop Hiding Your Privilege and Use It for Social Change! by Karen Pittelman and Resource Generation, and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo
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