“Skills are Cheap, Passion is Priceless” (Job Transition Part Two)

I owe you a “Part 2″ post on how I got my new position as a Career Development Program Manager at Google. Trust me – I’ve been working on it. But I started writing about all the various networking and interviewing tactics I used in a mile-long list of tasks, and I bored myself to tears. I’ve been wracking my brain, struggling mightily to figure out how to boil down all those steps into something useful for you.

The lightning bolt of inspiration, and an answer to my boring blog post woes
Then Grace Boyle emailed me about participating in her joint “Crush it” contest with Gary Vaynerchuk, of WineTV fame. Sparks flew when I read the prompt: “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless.”

YES. Yes, yes, yes! Deep down, I *know* that passion is what got me my new job. It’s not the handy 9-square one-sheeter that I used for interviews (don’t worry, I still created a template for you).

I’ve got big plans…and they don’t start with self-censorship
The contest prompt is to “write a blog post about how you’re crushing it, your dreams to crush it, and what this phrase means to you.” My natural inclination is to be humble and thank everyone else who made the transition and new job possible (including you, universe). But that’s not helpful right now. This post is about CRUSHING IT. So I’m going to step out of character for a minute and tell you how I’m crushing it and how I plan to crush it even more tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on.

In Part 1 I wrote about the anxiety and unhappiness I developed after getting clear on what I really wanted. I felt sick as I watched from the sidelines as my true path passed by. From the day I started coach training in Dec. 2007, I knew my calling was to help people make their lives easier, one simple, practical step at a time. And in doing that, to give people the confidence and encouragement they were hungry for, to help them live their lives in a big, full way.

From a spark to a brush fire
After attending my first coach training class, I turned that spark of inspiration, that clarity of my purpose (and related activities), into a fire. I took coaching classes on my free weekends. I coached clients at night and in the early morning. I worked on 20% projects related to coaching and development that I tacked onto my existing 100% plate of responsibilities. I developed workshops for people because I had a vision and I wanted to share it. I did not ask for permission to help people. I just did. And by exercising my passion, my skills grew naturally. They had room to breathe.

When I didn’t see an immediate direct link between my passions and my job description at work, I started a blog. I figured if I built it, they would come. If I could add value, in ways big and small, you would come. And honestly, the emails and comments I receive saying I helped or inspired you move me to tears. My “keepers” bucket is so full that I get overwhelmed. And that’s how I know that I’m crushing it.

Because I feel myself crushing it. Next week I start my job – and guess what? They want to pay for my coaching certification and let me spend time on that as part of my role. I’m going to get Myers Briggs certified and facilitate classes, and work on developing other very cool career development programs. Somehow I landed my dream job, and I’m just waiting for someone at the top to find out that they are PAYING ME to do what I love. But the funny thing is, there is a need for me to do what I love at Google. So everybody wins. And that is called crushing it.

Who me? Yeah. YOU.
Just so you know – I don’t walk around floating on clouds all day – yet. That is going to change.
Especially if I want to continue crushing it at bigger and bigger levels. My inner critic says things like “Don’t celebrate, the other shoe is going to drop any minute!” or “Who are you to say things like ‘you’re crushing it’?!”

And then I remind myself – playing small does not serve anyone (thank you, Marianne Williamson). It does not serve me, it does not serve you, and it does not serve the world. At first, saying I’m “crushing it” felt like playing dress-up – trying on a pair of shoes that were too big. Who, me?! Pfft! Part of crushing it is owning it and enjoying it. Whatever that means to you. So let me say it again: don’t just crush it. Own it.

Skills are cheap, passion is priceless
You want to change jobs? Start a blog? Write, dance, exercise, sing or play more? Make wine videos to educate the masses? Skills are cheap…and overrated. You probably have all the skills you need already. So face those obstacles and fears head-on and MAKE room for what you really care about in your life. Know that it won’t always be easy, nor is it supposed to be. Get out there anyway. Step fully into what you want and crush it. We’re waiting for you.

***

Here’s a preview of the Job Interview One-Sheeter template I mentioned above (for those reading via feed-reader, click here). If you like it, do me a favor and give it a rating! As mentioned in a previous post, I am building a Google Templates empire. I’ve also added a tab to my top navigation where you can access all of my templates.

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com/ Grace Boyle

    I want to fist pump and jump up and down. What an inspirational post, Jenny. Really!

    I’m so happy I could be that lightning bolt because this post has been one of your strongest yet. You’re completely assertive, intelligent and powerful so why hide that? I love your balance that you show humility (because it’s one of my favorite characteristics). You’re totally crushing it and it’s good to hear about…thanks for sharing. This is amazing. Keep it up, girl. Can’t wait to hear about the new job!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    I want to fist pump and jump up and down. What an inspirational post, Jenny. Really!

    I’m so happy I could be that lightning bolt because this post has been one of your strongest yet. You’re completely assertive, intelligent and powerful so why hide that? I love your balance that you show humility (because it’s one of my favorite characteristics). You’re totally crushing it and it’s good to hear about…thanks for sharing. This is amazing. Keep it up, girl. Can’t wait to hear about the new job!

  • http://jillbarnett.typepad.com/ Jill

    I start a new job on Monday! It is a brand new position and they’ve never had anyone do this job before, so I *should* have a degree of freedom to create it into something great (and hopefully, that I love!).

    I hope I can develop your same mindset and “crush it” :)

  • http://jillbarnett.typepad.com Jill

    I start a new job on Monday! It is a brand new position and they’ve never had anyone do this job before, so I *should* have a degree of freedom to create it into something great (and hopefully, that I love!).

    I hope I can develop your same mindset and “crush it” :)

  • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org/ Jenny

    Grace – thank you so much! The thanks really go to you for such an inspirational topic. It was so much fun – and a challenge for me – to write about “crushing it.” But really, we should all be loud and proud about what we’re doing! (While balancing that with the right dose of humility, of course :))

    Jill – Congrats on starting a new job! Very cool that it’s never been done before and you get to forge the path – there’s so much potential for creativity and freedom with a role like that. I know you’ll crush it – good luck and have a great first week!

  • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org Jenny

    Grace – thank you so much! The thanks really go to you for such an inspirational topic. It was so much fun – and a challenge for me – to write about “crushing it.” But really, we should all be loud and proud about what we’re doing! (While balancing that with the right dose of humility, of course :))

    Jill – Congrats on starting a new job! Very cool that it’s never been done before and you get to forge the path – there’s so much potential for creativity and freedom with a role like that. I know you’ll crush it – good luck and have a great first week!

  • http://www.danielhoang.com/ Daniel Hoang

    Jenny, very inspirational. Just crush it. I had a banker guest lecture a finance class I was taking his suggest was to “work your ass off.” Whether you call it “crushing it” or “working your ass off,” it seems like just doing more than the guy next to you will take you a long way. When I start a project at work, I don’t just do the work to get the work done, I want to kick it up a notch, most of the time several notches. It’s annoying because it raises the bar and makes more work, but that’s just me. I never want to work a day, I just want to destroy the competition all the time.

    Surprisingly, the things I do “outside of work” is rewarded at work and now I’m paid to do it. **high five**

  • http://www.danielhoang.com Daniel Hoang

    Jenny, very inspirational. Just crush it. I had a banker guest lecture a finance class I was taking his suggest was to “work your ass off.” Whether you call it “crushing it” or “working your ass off,” it seems like just doing more than the guy next to you will take you a long way. When I start a project at work, I don’t just do the work to get the work done, I want to kick it up a notch, most of the time several notches. It’s annoying because it raises the bar and makes more work, but that’s just me. I never want to work a day, I just want to destroy the competition all the time.

    Surprisingly, the things I do “outside of work” is rewarded at work and now I’m paid to do it. **high five**

  • http://backwardsk.wordpress.com/ Rob

    What a powerful message! Well said!

  • http://backwardsk.wordpress.com Rob

    What a powerful message! Well said!

  • http://koda.us/ Tara

    I don’t want to pitch you but from the statement “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless,” I feel my company can really help people with passion find a job. I work for a start-up called KODA, (http://koda.us)which is a GenY social recruiting site. The whole point of the site is “You are more than a resume.” We want to profile talented young people who are searching for jobs on KODA with not only their resume but also their life experiences and passions. Our recommendation engine matches you with relevant companies and opportunities that you have never heard of. We are still in beta but I have been keeping my ear to the pavement to listen for opportunities to get the word out about KODA. Check it out and tell me what you think! http://koda.us that was sort of a pitch and I am sorry but KODA and helping GenY get jobs is my passion!

  • http://koda.us Tara

    I don’t want to pitch you but from the statement “Skills are cheap, passion is priceless,” I feel my company can really help people with passion find a job. I work for a start-up called KODA, (http://koda.us)which is a GenY social recruiting site. The whole point of the site is “You are more than a resume.” We want to profile talented young people who are searching for jobs on KODA with not only their resume but also their life experiences and passions. Our recommendation engine matches you with relevant companies and opportunities that you have never heard of. We are still in beta but I have been keeping my ear to the pavement to listen for opportunities to get the word out about KODA. Check it out and tell me what you think! http://koda.us that was sort of a pitch and I am sorry but KODA and helping GenY get jobs is my passion!

  • http://www.facebook.com/chregan Christopher Regan

    Amen. Own it, eat it for breakfast, taunt it, zing it, love it — yes, and own it by making it yours. Then, share it….

  • http://www.facebook.com/chregan Christopher Regan

    Amen. Own it, eat it for breakfast, taunt it, zing it, love it — yes, and own it by making it yours. Then, share it….

  • http://www.productivecatholic.com/ Dean Soto

    This is awesome. It reminds me of what an instructor at an “Effective Presentations” (who happened to be an aerospace engineering speaker, but also taught this class) class said to me when I asked him if he was ever afraid of companies hiring other (better) engineers to speak on technical topics because they may be more technically experienced. He said that, “there a millions of more knowledgeable engineers out there than myself, but only a handful have the passion that I have to teach others what they know.” He wasn’t the smartest engineer, but his passion about engineering was more appealing to companies than his more knowledgeable competition. Needless to say, he was great – and was a really inspiration for me. Just more proof that passion often outweighs skills. Thanks Jenny.

  • http://www.productivecatholic.com Dean Soto

    This is awesome. It reminds me of what an instructor at an “Effective Presentations” (who happened to be an aerospace engineering speaker, but also taught this class) class said to me when I asked him if he was ever afraid of companies hiring other (better) engineers to speak on technical topics because they may be more technically experienced. He said that, “there a millions of more knowledgeable engineers out there than myself, but only a handful have the passion that I have to teach others what they know.” He wasn’t the smartest engineer, but his passion about engineering was more appealing to companies than his more knowledgeable competition. Needless to say, he was great – and was a really inspiration for me. Just more proof that passion often outweighs skills. Thanks Jenny.

  • http://fiwk.blogspot.com/ Royce

    Hubris is the fatal flaw before the fall Jenny… haha nah just kidding, excellent post. As self-indulgent as the topic is, I like how you were able to step back and take a look at the different decisions you had to make to get where you are.

    I am not sold that skills are cheap in your case, however – after reading this blog I’m impressed by your skills. I think that’s the opposite of skills being cheap. But your passion is certainly admirable as well. When are you going to get to the Gary Vaynerchuk level of devoted followers?

  • http://fiwk.blogspot.com Royce

    Hubris is the fatal flaw before the fall Jenny… haha nah just kidding, excellent post. As self-indulgent as the topic is, I like how you were able to step back and take a look at the different decisions you had to make to get where you are.

    I am not sold that skills are cheap in your case, however – after reading this blog I’m impressed by your skills. I think that’s the opposite of skills being cheap. But your passion is certainly admirable as well. When are you going to get to the Gary Vaynerchuk level of devoted followers?

  • http://www.susanbiali.com/ Dr. Susan Biali

    Jenny!!
    I am so ridiculously, powerfully, over-the-top proud of you. The rate at which you have grown since we first connected – over a year ago, I believe – is absolutely awe-inspiring. “Exploding” might be a better word than “growing”, actually – meant in the best way possible. Very few people have this kind of understanding of life and self-actualization at your age, and the success that you’re now enjoying is nothing less than that which you absolutely deserve.
    I stand and applaud you!! Can’t wait to see what else you will do with your life!! What a voice you have.
    All the best,
    Susan Biali, MD
    Medical Doctor, Coach, Speaker, Flamenco Dancer, and Author of “Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You”

  • http://www.susanbiali.com Dr. Susan Biali

    Jenny!!
    I am so ridiculously, powerfully, over-the-top proud of you. The rate at which you have grown since we first connected – over a year ago, I believe – is absolutely awe-inspiring. “Exploding” might be a better word than “growing”, actually – meant in the best way possible. Very few people have this kind of understanding of life and self-actualization at your age, and the success that you’re now enjoying is nothing less than that which you absolutely deserve.
    I stand and applaud you!! Can’t wait to see what else you will do with your life!! What a voice you have.
    All the best,
    Susan Biali, MD
    Medical Doctor, Coach, Speaker, Flamenco Dancer, and Author of “Live a Life You Love: 7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier, More Passionate You”

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  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com Elisa

    Elle Woods would totally give you snaps for this. :)

    Not just this post (though it does kick a relatively high amount of ass) but the whole concept of what you are doing. You found something you were passionate about and loved and made it your life. You honed your skills, you learned, you challenged yourself, you really DID Crush It girl! I can’t wait to see what new doors open with this opportunity because I feel like this is JUST the beginning for you. Congrats and thanks for being one of the Gen Y-ers inspiring people to chase their dreams!

  • http://www.opheliaswebb.com/ Elisa

    Elle Woods would totally give you snaps for this. :)

    Not just this post (though it does kick a relatively high amount of ass) but the whole concept of what you are doing. You found something you were passionate about and loved and made it your life. You honed your skills, you learned, you challenged yourself, you really DID Crush It girl! I can’t wait to see what new doors open with this opportunity because I feel like this is JUST the beginning for you. Congrats and thanks for being one of the Gen Y-ers inspiring people to chase their dreams!

  • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org/ Jenny

    Hello my dear commenters! Thank you so much for all the kind words and insights. I have to apologize for being late to reply – today is officially Day 3 in the new role, so I’m trying to get off to a solid start and figure out what the heck I’m doing!

    Daniel – I love the mindset of working your ass off and doing what it takes to go above and beyond. High five right back ‘atcha!

    Rob – thank so much! I appreciate you stopping by :D

    Christopher – “taunt it, zing it, love it” – brilliant!

    Dean – That is such a great story, and I loved the post you wrote over at Productive Catholic too. It’s really cool to see how you are mixing your interests and passions to create a blog that is resonant with people. Thanks so much for your comment!

    Royce – Haha – I know, the self-indulgant-ness really had me stop and think for a while. I actually wrote this post two weeks before I posted because I wanted to give it time to sink in and make sure I wasn’t just coming across as an arrogant ass! But hey – I was just following the prompt’s orders ;-). You make a good point about not “cheapening” skills – it is true that I’ve worked hard to develop the ones I have. I just think some are over-rated, and the skills we really need we will learn as we go. As for getting the Gary V level of devoted followers? I don’t know! Gonna need your help with that :D

    Susan – thank you so much for the amazing comment! As I’ve said before, you continue to be an inspiration to me (and many others) about how to live a life filled with passion, purpose and fun. Thank you for being such a shining example of what is possible when we follow our true path.

    Elisa – Hey girl! Thank you so much :D. The fact that I made you and Elle Woods (she’s out there somewhere) proud? Well, that’s all I need in my life. Thanks for being so supportive – you are an amazing friend and we haven’t even met in person yet. But I can’t wait for that day to come…it will be an explosion of greatness!

  • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org Jenny

    Hello my dear commenters! Thank you so much for all the kind words and insights. I have to apologize for being late to reply – today is officially Day 3 in the new role, so I’m trying to get off to a solid start and figure out what the heck I’m doing!

    Daniel – I love the mindset of working your ass off and doing what it takes to go above and beyond. High five right back ‘atcha!

    Rob – thank so much! I appreciate you stopping by :D

    Christopher – “taunt it, zing it, love it” – brilliant!

    Dean – That is such a great story, and I loved the post you wrote over at Productive Catholic too. It’s really cool to see how you are mixing your interests and passions to create a blog that is resonant with people. Thanks so much for your comment!

    Royce – Haha – I know, the self-indulgant-ness really had me stop and think for a while. I actually wrote this post two weeks before I posted because I wanted to give it time to sink in and make sure I wasn’t just coming across as an arrogant ass! But hey – I was just following the prompt’s orders ;-). You make a good point about not “cheapening” skills – it is true that I’ve worked hard to develop the ones I have. I just think some are over-rated, and the skills we really need we will learn as we go. As for getting the Gary V level of devoted followers? I don’t know! Gonna need your help with that :D

    Susan – thank you so much for the amazing comment! As I’ve said before, you continue to be an inspiration to me (and many others) about how to live a life filled with passion, purpose and fun. Thank you for being such a shining example of what is possible when we follow our true path.

    Elisa – Hey girl! Thank you so much :D. The fact that I made you and Elle Woods (she’s out there somewhere) proud? Well, that’s all I need in my life. Thanks for being so supportive – you are an amazing friend and we haven’t even met in person yet. But I can’t wait for that day to come…it will be an explosion of greatness!

  • Anonymous

    Consider me inspired! :-)

    Again, congrats on the new job and all the other exciting things you are working on!

  • http://monicarolevans.com Monicarolevans

    Consider me inspired! :-)

    Again, congrats on the new job and all the other exciting things you are working on!

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  • http://www.classesandcareers.com/colleges/state_california/city_la-mirada-ca/degrees_business/courses_technology-management/programs_multimedia/degree_bachelor-degree marci

    Inspiring post! Love it and love the idea of “crushing it”. I’ve never thought of my job in that light and I want to start now. I feel like my job is directing me and I want to direct my job (if that makes ANY sense). Basically I let my job stress me out rather than learning all I can so I’m prepared for anything it throws me in the future. Thank you for writing this post and congrats on winning the contest!

  • http://www.classesandcareers.com/colleges/state_california/city_la-mirada-ca/degrees_business/courses_technology-management/programs_multimedia/degree_bachelor-degree marci

    Inspiring post! Love it and love the idea of “crushing it”. I’ve never thought of my job in that light and I want to start now. I feel like my job is directing me and I want to direct my job (if that makes ANY sense). Basically I let my job stress me out rather than learning all I can so I’m prepared for anything it throws me in the future. Thank you for writing this post and congrats on winning the contest!

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  • http://loveicegems.blogspot.com/ Icegems

    Thank you so much for posting this! I am new to this blog, I am still at Uni and am going into my final year. This will really, really help me if I have any interview's as I never have a clue how to prepair and now I have this!!! This is an amazing blog and you should be really proud of all your hard work and know that you are helping not only people after college but also at colleg! No wonder you got the job at google! You rock and so does your blog!!!

  • http://twitter.com/jonharules Jonha Revesencio

    I am in loved with the title!!!!! I think anyone can be skilled but not EVERYONE can be passionate about what they do. If I were a HR Manager, I would go for someone who has got more drive and passion than someone who has skills but not as passionate.

  • http://www.ultimate-college-experience.com college life experience

    Apparently I'm a little late to the party… but this was an awesome post. I'm in a little bit of a transition period in my career, so this hit me at a perfect time.

    Side note: I'm brand new to your blog and can't stop reading your posts!

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