Interview For NetworkingInVan.com created by Ekaterina Ramirez
At the beginning of September, I met with Alanna Fero at her office to ask her a couple of questions about Conscious Career. I had an interview recorded that day and only now got a chance to publish it as an article for NetworkingInVan.
If you are on the path of discovering how your career can have more meaning and satisfaction without sacrificing income or lifestyle to do it – think of it as your money *and* your life – this article is definitely for you.
Ekaterina: What is your perception of Conscious Career?
Alanna: I think that conscious career has to be mission-based for both the company and the individual. There has to be a company that is seeking to honour a multiple bottom line business model to take care of more than just its own profit. I call it a Spirit Venture – a company that focuses equally People, Planet, Profit, and Presence and is willing to tap into energies that a greater than their own to accomplish great things.
There has to be a lot more going on than just having wellness programs and yoga classes to create work-life balance. Companies that really care ask their people about their individual motivations and goals and then strive to match those aspirations with projects that will allow their employees to develop in that area. It is beneficial for both parties as good employees stay longer within an organization, their growth helping to spark organizational growth.
Conscious companies make sure that missions of organization and individuals are aligned. This way an organization achieves a great reward on all levels: in terms of what they are doing in a marketplace, in terms of salary increase, and more importantly in deep work satisfaction and community connection within a company.
Ekaterina: You mentioned at the beginning 4 P’s of Spirit Venture. I understand People, Planet and Profit. Can you expand on the last component which is Presence?
Alanna: By Presence I mean a connection to something that is greater than yourself. In my own practice that is definitely having a higher self connection. It is also an awareness that you can plug into universal or source energy to find a solution to any problem you have – that presence and tapping involves a mindfulness and a clear understanding that a bigger, powerful energy is always available to empower, guide and restore you.
We know those who rely on coffee and cigarettes to go through their day will burn out in a very short time. What not everyone realizes is that people who rely on drive and even values and mission that are informed only by their mental and physical energy will burn out almost as fast. But those who are connected to their higher self always can tap into unlimited source energy and intuitive knowledge.
Ekaterina: Let’s imagine there is a person who is having right now just a regular job and working just for money, nothing else. This individual wants to transition to something more conscious and meaningful. What would you recommend?
Alanna: First of all, you need to start with consciousness raising. You need to know what is out there. Most people begin this process with a disbelief, with self talk like, “I want to do something greater than this but there is nothing else out there.” As a result, their first attempt ends up as a disappointment and they keep staying with just a regular job.
So what you need first is to become aware that there are people who have meaningful jobs where they can feel a great satisfaction from what they do on daily basis. Begin networking within communities where you can meet these people – that’s part of why I started Copia, to create a space for just those kinds of connections.
The trick here is that you can’t be looking for a job while networking. Your intention should be to expand your awareness and find meaningful connections with good people who share your desire to bring more consciousness to their professional lives.
Ekaterina: Where can people connect with people and companies to build a conscious career?
Alanna: I would start with trade show listings or events that are leaning towards conscious business – sustainability-themed events, wellness events, event the more conscious themes in regular conference programs.
Look for decision-makers of the companies you want to explore and then find out what they are members are of, what events they attend or what they are interested in. Then put yourself on that path.
Ekaterina: What do you suggest to focus on during informational interviews?
Alanna: First of all, don’t use this term. The “information interview” is what you did in high school to pick a vocation. You need to present yourself as a professional who is creating value-exchange relationships.
Of course, do your homework first. Know as much as possible about a company and a person you want to talk to.
When you approach them, let them know that you are doing a research in a specific area. Mention that during your research you read about this company in a such-and-such article and then ask if you can meet them to ask some questions regarding the topic of your research.
Then you prepare for a conversation really well and go there.
Resist asking about jobs – don’t even bring a resume. Focus on nurturing relationships with these people. If they ask for a resume, you can offer to send it later – after you have tailored it to suit their context, which you have conveniently now got the inside scoop on.
You can send them thank-you cards, relevant articles, and ask to connect with other professionals to further your research.
Keep in mind: when you build meaningful relationships with people, you have more chances to be remembered and then invited for a job interview when an opportunity appears.
Be aware of the impression you create. Impatience can kill an opportunity.