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Success Story : Getting the Dream Job

Lesson 32 from: How to Make Money

Ramit Sethi

Success Story : Getting the Dream Job

Lesson 32 from: How to Make Money

Ramit Sethi

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Lesson Info

32. Success Story : Getting the Dream Job

Lesson Info

Success Story : Getting the Dream Job

I want to introduce one of my students in just a second robert he actually flew in from texas for this? I'm so thrilled to bring him in. Robert actually went through one of my courses dream job elite I've mentioned is twelve thousand dollars course it's no longer available, I brought in a small group of elite students who had to apply and all this stuff go through this rigmarole he came in and he's going to tell you the story of how he found his dream job what he went through, I want you to know it all kinds of stuff about robert, I want you to notice his poise. I want you to notice his story once you noticed things he talks about the way he connects because it's a fascinating story and there's nothing like seeing it in real life, someone who's taking these principles who wasn't even sure they wanted to use it or could use it and then found massive career success so let's all welcome, robert, you don't see it is you two thank you for coming in oh it's my pleasure I'm happy to be here s...

o it'll bring value. So these guys have been learning about a lot of this stuff that we talked about in dream job we've been learning about, you know howto identify what your dream job is they've been learning about how to interview all that stuff stuff that we went through an extensive detail I wonder if we could just rewind and you can talk us through where you were in your career when you started thinking about doing this dream job stuff absolutely so before I heard about dream job elite I was right I was um literally at this point where my entire life I really felt like I was plateau going at a really steady rate and with a lot of significant gains you know I got a full right to berkeley got my masters at columbia I was a over performer in all of my paid positions and then right at that moment it had plateau it was flat what do you mean plateau? I felt that my entire existence was going forward forward and up and up and at the current job that I was at adele I was at that time I felt that I I didn't know I didn't have a north star to follow I didn't have another goal my goals were were big goals there goes that most people had get a degree get a job we're these really simple things and I was finally at a point where I needed to create a new goal off and I've really felt that I was helpless I didn't know what was available to me in houston and I had this sense of helplessness and I had this urgent urgency alehouse suffocating if I didn't try to figure out what my next steps would be that I was gonna go crazy because that's when I got your email, okay? And give us a sense of what kind of organization you were working at a time? Yeah, absolutely. S o a time I was working at a nonprofit. It was a really large organization over a thousand employees, and I had even done really well in this for the littles two years I was there, I was helping families. I did my regular responsibilities. In addition to that I was chosen for a fellowship program where I was able teo help inhouse launch of ah, of a new strategy, and I promoted it to a department of five hundred people. So the day I did that I kind of my name kind of went viral within the organization. I developed close contact with a lot of higher ups in the organization. I was working on a professional development project, and I was working on a data collaboration between departments project. So I was doing all this, but I was at a level. As time went on throughout the time and after the course, I realize that I was hitting a brick wall. I had a lot of ideas, a lot of creativity, but I had really reached a point stopping point, and so it was at that moment when I I felt that I needed to do something else, but as I said, a lot of that happened after in two thousand twelve after I took your course because initially when I first started taking your course, I was at a level where I actually thought that there's a lot of great opportunity on dh there was you were telling me if you were fighting for me, tto be moved two different positions. At one point in the middle of your program, I got an interview for a job that I haven't even applied for, so I always like I felt like a discerning candidate. I really felt that things were going going happen, and one thing led to another funding didn't work out, and so in the end, there was a point where I was ready to kind of I believe that ship and go onto a next one, but at the moment I first applied, I really thought that I was not going to, um I wanted to learn the principles, but I didn't think I was actually going to be using them so readily. Yeah, so that was what interested me about your application. You were very candid about the fact that look, I'm probably going to stay at this organization, I'm not going to use this stuff for the next few years. But I still want it and I grilled you on it if you remember absolutely did I interviewed every single person who wanted to get in the program and I sent most of them way I'm like no you're not right for this program there's a lot of money by the way I just I was like I don't want your money you're not right for the programme some people had psychological issues that I'm like I'm not your therapist other people were in debt I was like you shouldn't have even applied and then other people they had unrealistic expectations right they wanted to make six figures and they were making twenty five k it's just not realistic they would be disappointed and it's just not realistic they need years to get to that level so I grilled you on that and you you had great answers you said look I know that this is a lot to invest in and I know I may not use it but I want to learn it anyway for the future let's fast forward to the results you've got and then we'll take people through the process of how you did it tell us where you are now tell us about your salary tells about how you feel and what you do absolutely so I currently work at a, um same type of setup but totally different and I can explain that a little later I work at a startup nonprofit uh we help empower families to support their children by helping them become informed, engaged and ultimately reform that occassion system and what I love about this job is that it is um very demanding work and there's a sense of urgency because kids graduate every year kids transfer from one level to another every year and we really are at a point where we want to help as many people as we can so that urgency drives and feels a lot of our the work that we do another thing is that it's risky? Like I said it's a story up so there's an initial amount of funding but there's no sustainable model yet do you like that? I actually I'm at a point in my life where I feel thanks thanks to this course I feel comfortable that given my age given where matt if if boys case scenario it goes kaput I'm not gonna be worried about what next dropped to take horrific because I'm creating I have a network in houston and I'm talking to people and I know I'm already thinking of all the different layers of possibilities that could happen keeping afloat not to say that I want to leave my job best case scenario is that with risk you know comes the opportunity for award so best case scenario is that they expand and with that I expand my rolls responsibilities and compensation beautiful let's talk about a couple of the interesting results you got from this new job talk to us about salary feel free to reveal as much as you're comfortable with her and also you mentioned a flexible schedule. You're here on a friday? Yeah, I want to hear about both of those things I think everybody would love to hear about the course. So, like I was saying, so the things that I love that's one that's, one of two things I love most about my new job, the first being that I moved from organization of over a thousand organization of ten and this is an organization that was five in may and was too. And in february and so it's a really tighten and organization everything that I say, all the ideas I produced, their actually heard and only heir they heard which is nice into it, but they allow me to act on it. So I get a do essentially, you know, I get a chart, my own course within the realm of my responsibilities, I get it. Add to my to my own work, and that really increases my moral being able to do, you know, effectively what I want to produce results, as opposed to being told exactly what you needed to do and feeling like you may not beginning the result you want, because it's in such a tight system so that's what I love probably the best on the other thing is the flexible schedule so it's a startup they very much think I could start up there very loose on on how we do our work they just want the work done so as long as we get the work done we're allowed to do it whenever we want however we want you work from home sometimes right? I work from home yeah I like it my home office yes thank you home office about two days a week when I have my new schedule we do a lot of meetings over skype and over voicemail so I work from home those days the other days I work at starbucks I'll go to the university library yes and with that you know I will work nights and weekends when I want to know right now I'm I'm here enjoying myself so I may start a schedule that in awesome people want to know about salary do you take a pay cut? You go up tell us about that? Absolutely. One of the things that I was really loved about this this position was that I was able to negotiate several things when when I was given the offer the first thing that I was able to negotiate that I'm really happy about is the fact that I was able teo write my own responsibilities and and performance matrix what is a measured on. And so that was huge for me to be able to let them know this is I understand this is what I can do, but it is what I also offer and bring, and I'd like to do this as well and let's write it into the program also. So that was that was a big point for me. Another thing was the fact that I was able to get a six month performance of title and salary review. Great. So that will be coming up in february. Maybe you could help me find a title and got it, like, you know, viral architect and along those huh? For february. And I also got six months time off, half of which were paid. Wow. And I was able to get a twenty percent salary increase from my last job to this current job. So I think we gave it a theme thing that most impresses me about. What you negotiate is not the salary increase. That's great and that's. Super impressive. And the numbers you mentioned to me, I mean, incredible. But the first thing you said about you wrote your own responsibilities, and you created your own performance matrix. What kind of person does that? Only one kind, a top performer, a top reformer says, listen. I'm walking in here and I demand to be measured by my performance in fact here's the roll here's what I want to do and here's how I want you to measure me who dares say that by the way would you have walked into g and said that probably not because he's not going to do that but a startup there's so busy that they're craving someone to do this for them and you I knew that you listen to your target market you did your homework you did your natural networking you knew what started founders want you wrote it and that actually helped you solidify the position I think incredible, so we're gonna go to questions in about five minutes but I want you to just take us along that journey right before you joined and as you're starting to think about by the way, I'm not just talking about my dream job course I'm talking about investing in anything yeah right meeting taking people out to coffee because everyone here has kind of fallen along for the last few days were like, ok, rami, did I buy into it in general? But knowing and doing is so different talk to us about that well, as I said when I first started the course, I really thought that I wasn't going to use it, but I knew I knew that I wanted those tools lt's I felt that if I remember thinking if I don't fight for me its course I'm going to regret this decision for the rest of my life why what do you mean? Why just just the fact that I didn't apply you know so so I at the end of that day I read your email during lunch and I kept going back to it all afternoon I was totally unproductive that day and then at the end of the day I made the decision I have to apply I have to at least try to apply see if I get in because if I don't I really I was such a sense of of helplessness on this because I was in a new city I just moved to a brand new place didn't know anyone was trying to figure out what the educational landscape wass and so I really wass you know, starting from from ground, you know, from block one, ground zero just beginning completely new and so that's the point where I was at and along the process interesting enough I threw my natural networking uh in the spring I spoke to a person and that person told me about this program that I had applied for years ago and did not get in and she told me I strongly strongly encourage you to apply tonight okay? Tomorrow a whisper is a scream yes well done ok and I applied that evening um falling thousand friday the following tuesday I was in a group interview um I could tell within the first two minutes of that group interview that I was a golden house just the way that I introduced myself and the way that they that they saw me and their response to me the feedback that I was getting right off the bat and the way that I was interacting with people and this was an interview that I had done two years ago and I felt I did poorly and so here I am two years later during the exact same interview process and I just knew on in those first five minutes that this was going pretty well so I ended up getting getting that so I got that fellowship and that fellowship is what led to this job's so interesting so interesting how you went here here here and ended up where you wanted to be where's most of us we just look at something and we say I wish I could do that but there's no way but you realize that there are all these meandering steps you have to go through in order to get there and I think part of it is definitely being able to you know, just constantly honing in on all the different topics that you talk about the natural networking you know, looking at positions figuring out where you're at, talking to folks, having all those in line like, I may not know exactly where my target destination is, but I have a really good model system set of tools to know that I am being navigated towards where I want to go, totally where I want to be, and the job that I'm doing out is is literally at this moment, it's my dream job, I always wanted to help families. As soon as I got out of college, I spent my whole masters learning about how to help families navigate the educational system and that's exactly what I'm doing. This organization is the first of its kind in the nation that we know of as helping families navigate the education system. Incredible, I especially wanted to bring you on because a couple reasons one you were interested in the nonprofit field, which is traditionally it's not I kind of make jokes about nonprofits a lot, you know that, but but I don't, I don't mean it in a bad way. I'm just saying, you know, you don't wantto necessarily try to sell stuff to them. Even among non profits, you managed to negotiate an enviable raise, you managed to negotiate incredible benefits. The other thing is when, when we first talked, you weren't super confident, right? You didn't walk in with a swagger like with supper meet I've been reading your stuff for ten years. I'll teach you something you were like, I don't know, but that's what I think and when we met in new york, you know, we did these these interview tear downs and things, and you got incredibly improved in, like a matter of minutes. I wonder if you can share one mental barrier you had going through the process or joining or anything, and talk to us about that and how it felt and what you did to get over it. I was really on you mentioned that you spent, we spent half our time figuring out just what we want to do and where before we even discuss anything else. So I was really worried that what I wanted to do, what I was capable of doing and what opportunities there were in the houston area, would not ally, right? So I remember feeling like I was pigeonholing myself into a very specific job title, with little to no organizations that matched it that I knew off, and so it was scary because I was so attached to this idea, and what I learned when I got out of the program was that as long as you follow the system, as long as you use those tools that that you don't have to be so that you can open yourself up, remember one your exercises was look at the job title, and then check how it relates in different sectors, so that really that thought that, oh, I don't on ly have to do education, I can work in the legislative offices I can work in, um, you know, government institutions, I can work in a variety of different things, doing that the same set of responsibilities for the same thing that I thought I wanted to do. I think that really helped ease this sense of helplessness incredible let's, let's, throw it out to questions from folks here in studio are literally sitting dumbfounding. I love the reaction on people space, by the way, and we'll throw it to the web in a few minutes for questions as well. We're going to try to go through these questions relatively quickly, let's, say, one one minute each so that we can get to a bunch of questions from here. If not, we'll go to the web and see what questions people have out there. Questions is, I think, it's hard for me to like you said, you have to see the sometimes it's a meandering path, you know, to get to the ultimate goal, and, um, I kind of concern myself over like well, is this too far off in the wrong direction? Is it going to get me where I want to go eventually I guess how do you discern that? Is there a special way or I think I think is really all about um really having faith in the system really having face that that what remi has package is a process that you go through and that each step of the process has opportunities for you too to fail, in which case you realize that you need a pick yourself up and start over beyond beyond just dream job though let's pretend they don't even join the dream job course how would you recommend someone who's maybe scene a little bit of stuff today in last couple days? How what system do they trust, what they need to do if they haven't gone through dream job I think it's just really about um being mindful of your narrative the way you interact with folks truly engaging with them in a human way not in this technical robot way that was described earlier and a lot of it is about having faith in in yourself I always knew that I was a uh for lack of a better word um not over achiever in the sense that I very hard on myself and I work really hard I feel like I work twice as hard as most people and that has always carried itself well, and all the work that I've done it's always shown that every place I've entered, I've left it over and beyond what was expected of and so knowing that with this, these ideas that that as long as you hone in on on certain criteria and these air criteria that I really do think, go backto, just talking with people being open, wanting to share information, not actually take from them, but give to them, and just really being consciences of what you're trying to say out in the world and what you're trying to do for yourself, um, helps you get closer to that path that you may not know exactly where the past could end up, but you're going to get closer and closer and closer. Take another question from here. I loved what you just said there's so much to be gained from giving, as opposed to taking, and I think so many of us air conditioned, go out there and get what you want, get what you need, get to where you're going, take, take, take, grab, but it's much more rewarding to approach it in the opposite way, and you're an example to other questions from here, ok, let's, go to the web, got the web we have from scott. See for robert. What did you learn in the course that surprised you? Even after reading ra meets blawg knew about a lot of adam already. What about the course surprised me? I mean, I think that, um, nothing about really surprised because I knew his block. Well, I knew him well, so, of course itself. There was a lot of takeaways from there that I was really dumbfounded, like, just, for example, just this going back to these core principles of having a narrative, always knowing yourself well enough that, you know, you have a toolbox of stories, a toolbox of of who you are, what your elders pitch is that you tweak and test those models and that you're always prepared, you know, very much felt like I felt like I was being pulled along, um, without any agency and going through the course really gave me this sense of preparedness on overprepared nous, right? And those over prepares us lead to significant rewards that you may not be able to see right now. So I really feel that those were that was the essence of what I had never thought about prior to joining the course, and that, I think, is part of everything that I do every day, so l from vermont is wondering not necessary. What was most surprising for you? But what do you think was the most important tool that you got, um, that helped you advance the most important tool? I think the home it's a very simple, um, it's just always be prepared with, um, with your with your three topics, and that could mean anything it could be if you're talking to a stranger always have three questions that you want to ask them. Um, if you are at interview, always make sure that you have your three points that are going to stand, make sure that make you unique for everybody else and that you insert those into the interview. Even though you may not be asked that question, you have to find a way to put it in there. In the process of those questions being asked to you, um, in the negotiation, I had three points that I definitely wanted to make clear that what I had done, and I work that into the narrative, and I was really proud of of two of one of those points. And the other one's thie executive was frankly surprised because it was something that he I had not known about. It was an accomplishment that I never told him I had. Achieved but in the course I said yeah I've had a hundred percent success rate so far I've had these types of partnerships and was like wait a minute what's what's this last one and I said, oh yeah it's just this other one that I managed to get uh and so he was really surprised with that so just always being prepared more than anything else it sounds it's like the boy scout model right? I've prepared but but having done the research and knowing exactly what you're going to say is I think he takes one last question for robert okay one last robert this is from darla sutton did your old employer tried to keep you from leaving offer you more money plus more and what if so what was that like uh I wish I could say that they did but unfortunately I fell through the cracks it was a very large bureaucratic place so there wasn't a lot of um I don't think they even noticed that I left for say I think that my my department and my team obviously felt that lost but there wasn't any type of let's when you back let's let's let's have something along those lines and I think that not having another offer was something that could have been a hinderance when I was negotiating but ultimately having this unique opportunity where I basically was able to demonstrate for ten weeks what I was capable of doing and bringing to my current position and then telling them what I was able to do beyond just what they saw I think was key in then feeling that if I were to walk away and if they were not offer me what would I have asked that they would be the ones regretting that decision? Did you guys say it will take one more questions? I want to end on it on a better question uh, but I love that question and answer because it was actually kind of like a first was kind of a negative responses like actually they didn't, but did you see how he ended it? He actually showed the silver lining so that that point, which is like yeah, it would've been nice to have multiple offers, but I was able to blah, blah, blah and they ended up taking my proposal that's incredible, incredibly settled, nuanced ability to take what's a negative answer and actually make it out and be totally authentic. That is masterful communication right there. So let's wrap with one final question here from the web let's see paul g, can you talk about thie not to say with specific numbers, but I'm talking about the improvements in income? Is the income part a big part of your dream job? Was that something you were really looking for? Um yeah I mean I'd be happy to talk about a little bit of numbers so the income itself for better for worse is always secondary I work in a nonprofit space I know that I'm not gonna have six figure salaries anytime soon but what I did juan was this validation that we talked about that we are being paid for our abilities and our work on dso when I first got here I had my first job I was actually pleased because the range for that job I think was thirty six thousand and I was offered forty straight off the bat and I was like oh maybe that's because I had two masters or may I don't know maybe I did particularly well on the interview but I was the highest paid di knew of out of peers who are hired at the same time in that first position and then when the second position came along after I made sure I got an offer from them first before I even discussed anything I um I went ahead and with my prepared information clearly gave them the salaries of jobs that were similar to my description indicated the range I even had a backup or I said you know I want my range is you know, upto sixty grand I understand that that there aren't a lot of funds on that there's there's there's little certainty but I think that my qualifications easily put me at a at a fifty five range but I'd be more than we're willing to settle at fifty and and he literally said robert this is I know you're still you know this is a true bargain and if you stick with us you know and things go well you know we'll see to it that you're taking care so I really feel that it's not so much um the salary upfront because as long as you're doing your job well and moving having I feel like I'm continuing that trajectory I am moving forward and hopefully that will pay off with greater awards in greater salary but right now that sixty six weeks time off dave elated to have my own schedule they billy to do what I love all that trumps the salary the moment robert absolutely incredible thank you so much for sharing your story everybody here wow absolutely amazing um what did we notice about robert as I'm trying to recover my wits what we notice about robert as he was out here totally masterful communicated right super calm you know everything you asked him he answered it but he also gave you his key messages right he answered the question about all they did make me another offer but he also added a couple other messages in there what else do we noticed? I've heard it said a few times by you and by other examples about how salaries not really that important easy to listen to not that easy to believe again. It's that conditioning the north american, we got it beat the top performer. We've gotta show off in bragg that were the highest earner, the way that he just ended that I am so with him, I believe every word salary is not as important. He's in his dream job, he gets six weeks vacation, he gets to do what he loves, he gets to work from everyone. I'm sold. Incredible. Incredible. So what I loved about him was, you know, you don't have to be this bombastic guy to be a top performer. We think of a top reform we think guys been working for fifty years, guys got slicked back hair, he wears this really bright checkered purple shirt every day, you know, you don't, you don't have to. You don't have to be any of that. People my student's joke with me, they take my room, eat isms, and they adapt them for themselves no one's walking in there saying some of the jokes I say it's, just ridiculous it would never go over appropriately. But did you see the words? He used all the words and concepts he used dream job concepts, concepts we talked about, but he truly internalized, so the point is when you think about a top performer, don't think it's someone out there, he became one he already wass one with a little tweak. He was able to let other people know how good he wass, and he was able to reap the rewards now was it easy? No. Did he go through a lot of uncertainty? Yes, but I find it fascinating that he took a nonprofit he's doing exactly what he wanted to for years. He's not cracking people's heads open to get this job, he still negotiated enviable reyes he's actually open enough to reveal his numbers. How much of a top performer do you have to do to be there that incredible. So, with that, I want to kind of start wrapping up today, uh, I wantto share what we've covered in the last few days, because I think there's a lot of insights that we can share together. I want everyone to start thinking about the biggest insight they had.

Class Materials

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Ramit Sethi Interview
3 Negotiation Scripts
5 Negotiation Case Studies
Freelance Email Proposals
Freelance Income Roadmap
List of Freelancing Ideas
5 Resumes That Win
VIP Email Teardown
Updated Resource Link: I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Ratings and Reviews


This course changed my life. After watching Ramit on Creative Live, I bought his book, then signed up for his newsletter, then bought several of his classes. You could say I am officially drinking the Ramit Kool-aid now, but I'll tell you why... His stuff works. You have to trust the system, but I've been able to create a rich life for myself by my definition of rich and I am so happy. It takes work, but I am so grateful I found Ramit in my 20s so I can truly enjoy my 30s over the next decade. Without this course, I would still be complaining that people don't want to hire me because my prices are too high and whining that I am not valued, when in reality, the problem was me. Thanks Ramit for always speaking the hard truths and giving people wake-up calls to get their act together and live the life they want... It's possible!

Adrian Farr

Ramit is a huge inspiration, he is not just a 'been there and made loads of money' kind of guy, he is a 'been there and made loads of money, and here's how I did it' kind of guy! Ramit really gets down to helping you understand not only how to make money but also how to save it too. I am looking forward to reading his book and plan to implement a lot of his systems into my own life.


I have taken a few business classes for creatives online, but this is by far the most comprehensive, most practical course of all. Especially for someone like me who loves Ramit's work but has not made a decision to commit to his full courses, this is a great introduction for what he can offer. He pushes you to think outside the box and see all the possibilities that we can have in a very clear, logical way. If you are unsure which class to take to learn about business, this is all you need.

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