We see all the time that people don’t know what jobs are out there. If they don’t know what kind of jobs are out there, then how can they prepare to get those jobs?
Here's where our topic for today, vocational creativity comes in!
In this episode, we talked about:
• What is vocational creativity and how it can help you find your next job
• An exercise you can do to stretch your vocational creativity muscles especially if you don't have a starting point
• How you can combine vocational creativity and finding a job backward to land your next, high-paying job
Ryan and Hannah also talk about why it's important to be careful when choosing your career because it might be something you don't want if you don't experience it first.
Enjoy the episode!
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Ryan: Aloha folks. And welcome back to Degree Free. We are your hosts, Ryan and Hannah Maruyama.
On this podcast, we share fundamentals we've discovered and the mistakes we've made while self-educating getting work, building businesses and making money. We'll tell you how to make it happen. No degree needed.
Hannah: Welcome back. Welcome back everybody to the podcast. We're happy to have you as always. And if you wanna get more degree free, because why would you not wanna get more of Ryan, and I? Please. Go on over to degreefree.co/newsletter and sign up because once a week we send out a newsletter with jobs, resources, news, and stuff that Ryan and I think is cool that you are gonna wanna see. So don't miss that sign up.
And let's get into today's episode today. We are gonna be talking about vocational creativity.
Ryan: The superpower that'll find you your next. This is, I guess, before we start, this is
Hannah: near and dear kids.
Ryan: Yeah. This is something that we think is extremely important. A lot of the problems that we see all the time are people. They don't know what jobs they want. And a lot of it stems .From them, not knowing what jobs are out there and what jobs even exist.
Hannah: Then downstream from that, if they don't know what kind of jobs are out there, how are you supposed to prepare for jobs that you don't know exist?
Hannah: How can you teach yourself skills? You need to know for jobs that you don't know exist.
And so this is something that honestly I'd made it up.
Hannah: Yeah. Ryan invented this.
Ryan: Yeah. This is my brain child, really and so I feel really passionate about it, but I know that it works in expanding your view of
Hannah: what you can do.
Ryan: What you can do and the different jobs that are out there, because as just identifying those jobs, that is half the battle, or, I mean, as the cliche .It's half the battle.
It's probably not quite half, but you know, how were you supposed to prepare for it as you just said, if you don't know what jobs are already out there,
Hannah: it's kinda like going on a trip, you know, if you don't know a place exists, how can you even want to go to it?
Ryan: Yeah. How are you supposed to know that you wanna see the Great wall of China. If you don't know the Great Wall of China exists?
Ryan: That's a perfect example and so It's easiest to depict this with kids. If you ask a child.
Hannah: An American child.
Ryan: Yeah. Sub 10 years old child, what they wanna do for a living. You're going to get the same 10 ish answers. It's always gonna be I want to be an astronaut. I wanna be a cop. I wanna be a fireman. You know, I wanna be a YouTuber now.
Hannah: Thanks Mr. Beast.
Ryan: I wanna be a cowboy. Did I say that? Veterinarian. lawyer, dentist, doctor. Those are pretty much the jobs that they even have in their minds.
Hannah: And how, how, how, where do they get these from and what do these all have in common?
They can see them.
Ryan: Exactly. Kids don't know that there are almost infinite amount of jobs out there and, you know, to bring it back to us. It, a lot of adults don't know that there are almost an infinite amount of jobs out there. And it goes back to what you just said, because most of us haven't been exposed to those jobs.
If you are working retail, or if you're working in a restaurant. How, when is the last time that you've interfaced with, you know, some really esoteric job, you probably know that you could be like a line cook if you wanted to, or you could be a shift supervisor at your retail store, or you could be the store manager, or you could be the regional manager.
Right. Regional director. You could be the CEO because you all know that happens in your company, but anything outside of that, how are you to know if you don't think about it. Or at least if you don't even know.
Hannah: It makes me think of that movie, October sky about the coal miners in West Virginia, and they're from that real small town.
And so for those kids, probably a lot of them, you know, the only jobs that they would know about would be the ones that they could physically see around them. So they're all gonna have to do with the coal mine and that's very similar to the ones we've just listed. You know, they're all gonna have to do.
They're all gonna have to their only jobs that they can see and that's it. Oh, teacher should be on that list too.
Ryan: Go back to the example of the kids. Since you just went back there too, when it's time for them to kind of prepare for the job they want, they're gonna start preparing for those jobs like those same set of 10 jobs.
Hannah: And if eight out of 10 of them require college degrees, guess what they're gonna do.
Ryan: Even though that we know that's a really, those 10 jobs are really small subset of the people, even all of those 10 jobs combined is still
Hannah: very small percentage,
Ryan: very small percentage of jobs out there in the wide world, but here they are walking that path because they don't know what else is out there. Mm-hmm . And so moving along the goal, the goal of vocational creativity is pretty much exactly what it sounds like, which is to be creative about vocations or jobs.
Hannah: And it's not gonna get you.
It's not gonna get you a job, vocational creativity, doesn't get you a job, but it can help you figure out what job you want to do.
Ryan: It's basically the. Yeah, to the fire, there's tinder on the ground and you just need to light it and it'll progress from there.
Hannah: And it's just a starting point.
Ryan: It's just a starting point.
That's all it is, but very important because if you start from the right position, it can help you get to your end goal. Faster, but it could also delay you if you start from the wrong position.
Hannah: I think a lot of people are experiencing the negative effects of a limited range of vocational creativity, where they only offered a few options too, because it's, it's almost intergenerational at this point, too.
You have in schools, you have multiple generations of teachers that don't have a very wide range of what you can do as far as work goes and then that just gets passed down and passed down and passed down and the range stays the same or gets smaller even.
Ryan: From this starting point, you can then do more research and studying to see what you need to learn in order to get that work.
So, as we talked about, this comes in handy when you don't know what you wanna do. There are simple exercises that you can do to expand your vocational creativity and we're gonna talk a little bit about it to kind of highlight it before we get into like different example. And we go through a walkthrough to kinda highlight it.
Let's just do. Pretty easy example, something that we're all pretty familiar with is which is why I use this example whenever I'm explaining it, let's say that you wanna work with airplanes or in the airline industry. I'm using this because most of us have ridden on an airplane before,
Hannah: or at least seen one
Ryan: or at least seen one.
And they kind of know the different jobs in that industry. And so most people when you ask, Hey, what kind of jobs deal with airplanes or are in the airline industry?
Hannah: I think most people would say pilot right off the bat flight attendant. You might get somebody that knows, you know, like gate agents,
Hannah: That's probably, as far as most people would get, that's pretty much, you pretty much hit the nail in the head. That's pretty much where people stop. People usually get into bag throwers. Some people get to air traffic control,
by the way, they just roll back the degree requirement on that.
Hannah: Anyone who's interested.
Ryan: That's pretty much it, I mean, pretty much instead if we kind of try to exercise our vocational creativity muscle, try to broaden our view. There are many more threads that we can pull out here and there are many more jobs that are in that industry and have to do with planes and so let's talk about the airplane interior.
They're the crews that clean the planes after each flight, they're the catering companies. There are the sewage people that take all the crap out of the plane. They're even the people. If you wanna even go further back than that, they're even the people that made the interior to the plane. Like they just, they installed it.
There are the people that change the configuration of the interior of the plane.
Hannah: There's people that fix the monitors, if they're in the back of the headsets of the plane,
Ryan: right, exactly
Hannah: the back of the seats.
Ryan: Those are all different specific jobs that are working around or near airplanes in the airline industry.
Hannah: Oh. And mechanics.
Hannah: There's mechanics and maintenance too.
Ryan: Sure yeah. Of interior stuff.
Ryan: Yeah, sure.
Yeah. Um, maintenance crews
Ryan: Yeah, definitely
Hannah: plumbing of the-
Ryan: definitely and then, okay. See, but like, I don't wanna work on interiors or planes. I wanna work in tech. Okay.
That's something we get all the time. Sure. There's the people that created the POS. For the in flight entertainment or the catering, there's the people that upkeep all the data from the POS, right? There's the people that actually make the aviation, the avionics. Right. And there's the people that upkeep that software.
There's the people that make an upkeep to CRM for you, the customer relations manager for the entire airline. So when you buy a ticket from New York to LA, they know that, okay. John Doe took a flight from New York to LA and he usually does that. Twice a year and it seems to be Christmas and Thanksgiving.
Hannah: Yeah. And there's people that do there's people that make the social media graphics. There's people that do the marketing campaigns. There's people that, buy the ad spots for the airlines.
Ryan: Yeah and this just goes on and on and there are so many more.
Hannah: Yeah, you can see how this could go. You could do this forever.
Ryan: Right? You can just do this forever.
Hannah: It's a really good exercise to do with children. By the way, if you have kids that you wanna start teaching about this, this is how you do it. You just start saying, oh, well, what do you, you know, what do you think?
Ryan: Not only that though, two, one of the simpler things that you can do and sorry, this is a little bit of a tangent, but for children, one of the things, when they ask, what is that person doing?
Like you can explicitly say
Hannah: their job.
Ryan: That's their job. That man is working, that woman is working they are doing X. They are doing Y. You can do that in order to support your family in the future. You can do that to pay your bills later on. That is a job that is available to you.
Hannah: Like if you see if you're, if you guys are driving on the side of the road and you see somebody putting out cones, Like explain, you know, and the kids notice, explain that's work that they can do. And if
Ryan: they seem interested in it, you can pull on that thread. And you can say, so for the cones, you say, well, why, you know, why is he pull, pulling out cones?
Well, because there's potholes in the road, potholes are created by truckers and just a heavy vehicles on the road. And then there's people that have to make the concrete there's people that have to mix it. There's people that actually have to manufacture it and you can just pull those threads and just keep going down those rabbit holes
And for these exercises, we suggest doing it by hand for people that don't know what they wanna do, or just trying to stretch that vocational creativity, muscle sitting down, doing it with a paper and a pen is the best way to do this. Usually the best way to do it is to pull on one thread at a time, kind of similar to exactly what we just did, which is.
Kind of take one thing you're interested in and head in one direction. So if it's the interior of the plane, start with the interior of the plane. If it's the tech, start with the tech and just kind of go that way, you can branch it off into different sections, too. What I find the three sections to be most helpful is gonna be like software.
What software are we? Are we using what software can be created? Like software needs to be updated, whatever hardware. So what kind of tools are they using? What kind of tools need to be manufactured? Who is using the hardware? Right? Those are pretty simple. So I think I said three, but those are two.
The goal is to just get as many down as possible and see if there's anything that strikes your fancy
Hannah: and you're gonna wanna start with something broad that you're interested in or that you may wanna do. Just because if you're already stretching a creative muscle start somewhere familiar ish or somewhere, at least you wanna go.
Because it'll make doing the exercise a little more fun.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely. I mean, that's a whole, that's a whole point of this exercise is to kind of figure out what you could possibly do in the future for work. So start with, not that you have to be super interested in, in what you do. I mean, it it's helpful.
Hannah: Yeah. We don't believe that that's the case.
Ryan: But it's not necessary.
But if you want to, that is one of the easiest places to start is be like, or a good example is the common one is like, I wanna be a doctor or I wanna work in the medical field. That's super common. And then, and so a lot of people think they wanna work in the medical field.
Okay. Perfect. But. The only way that they can work in the medical field is by being a doctor or a nurse. Right.
Hannah: And there's, the medical field is huge. , it's very broad. And the majority of people that do work in it actually do not have college degrees as is the case for most, for most fields. Right. Cuz when you boil it down at the end of the day. Most people working in. Industries are people who are doing labor. Right. And they're not always highly credentialed people. So you're gonna have CNAs, techs, who do have credentials, but , are not college graduates.
Ryan: Yeah. And so taking this example further, I guess, just to like talk about the doctor, one doctor is a risky profession to pursue for most people, because most people pursue it right outta high school
Hannah: and takes you over. That is a lot of school, man. that's all I'm saying.
Ryan: Right. And so what I mean by that is that it's a lot of school, so it's obviously time , but it's also a lot of money because. You've never, if you're pursuing it right outta high school, you've probably never worked in the medical field.
Never even volunteered in it, probably
Hannah: because you're a kid.
Ryan: Cause you're a kid. Right? Exactly. And you're gonna go spend $30,000 a year for four years at the minimum, then you're gonna have to go to med school and then residency, all that stuff all the while you probably don't have a job because you're trying to be a doctor and.
Hannah: And then if you specialize suits you even more time.
Ryan: Yeah, exactly. And so now you're coming up with all this debt. On top of 10 years in school and residency and specialization, it's like super risky. You'll think that you'll like it and stick with it. You're not sure because you've never done it before.
Hannah: Yeah. By the time you get to residency, that's the first time you've really had a taste of the actual work if you weren't volunteering and you know, the rest I've heard, that can be pretty brutal, but by then, you're too deep.
Ryan: And so you can do the vocational creativity exercise. For the field that you're interested in.
So let's say the medical field, you can, there's so many other things that you can do just off the top of our head. Like you be a paramedic, you can be an EMT, you could be a, ,
Hannah: lab, researcher, sonographer. You can work as a CNA or as a tech, if you wanna start somewhere.
Ryan: And then if you didn't wanna do. Like customer facing things, but you still wanted to work in the medical field. You could work for the company that makes the software just exactly what we talked about before.
Hannah: Yeah. You can work in building, you can work in coding. You can work with yeah the software.
Ryan: You can do something that is having to do with the hardware of it in the medical field.
And then there's always, sales, there's always insurance, all, all of that. That's all related. Might not be what you want, but write all these ideas down.
Hannah: You can't rule things out until you've thought of them.
Ryan: Now that you've done that for the medical field. Now you have a starting point. Now you can use.
All of these as a starting point for your research on what you'd like to do and how you can get those jobs. A lot of people at this point. So now that we've kind of explained what vocational creativity is and kind of explain the exercise. It's pretty simple. It does take some work the first time you do it, especially if you don't have a background in business or in, in the industry that you are thinking about being in.
Hannah: Yeah. You might have to stretch a little bit.
Ryan: Yeah. it's a muscle. It really is, you have to come up with it out of thin air.
Hannah: If you get stuck, you can always go to Google. Right? That's another thing too.
You don't have to sit there and rack your brain because if you don't know, you don't know. So you can always go looking if you're like, oh, I think that there might be something here, but I don't know what it's called or not. Sure. Go look it up. Go find out and then come back to the drawing board.
Ryan: Definitely. My only thing with the Google. Is that with Googling is just be aware of what you're searching because, and be aware of the people that are pushing the information back to you. So if you say like what jobs are in the medical field, it might come up with the same lists over over and over and over again.
And then by that echo chamber, you've
Hannah: you're back in the box.
Ryan: Yeah. Right now you're forced into their thinking.
Ryan: And the whole point of this is to be forced out of their thinking, right. Is to force yourself out of their thinking and to be creative and to, because maybe what they consider the medical field you don't consider the medical field. Maybe after this exercise, you realize that, you know what, I've always wanted to be a doctor, but I don't really wanna be a doctor. I would rather do this. I would rather be a paramedic. I would rather be an EMT. I would rather be on the road. Doctors, that's that's a lame job.
You sit around and what, okay. So the most thrilling of it, you is an emergency room doctor. Like, okay. That's cool. Right? Most thrilling is a surgeon. All right, that's cool but you're still. In a box. You're still underneath the roof. And then you're like, oh wow, EMT, you get to ride around, you get to ride around and you get to see how people live and you get to see all these different things.
Maybe that's what's for you.
Hannah: Yeah. Or midwives is another good one that's in there too, right?
Ryan: Yeah. Sure.
Hannah: Like you wanna actually physically do patient care and actually physically deliver the patient.
Ryan: Yeah, sure.
Hannah: That's a good one. That's good one too. Cuz technically some places may or may not consider that medical work.
Right. But you'd have to look. You'd have to think about that.
Ryan: And so that would be my only thing with Googling and just make sure that you're aware of what you're typing in and then the results that you're getting back from it. I would say to keep the Googling to a minimum. Okay. Yeah. What a lot of people say at this point now that we've got the exercise done, Is that they still don't know what they want to do.
And that's super normal. I mean, not much has changed from you doing this exercise. And now an hour later, two hours later, when you're finally done, it's complete.
Hannah: You just have a list of a lot of things.
Ryan: Yeah. Now you've just wasted some ink and there's some writing on the paper. So there are two options at this point, if you still don't know.
Which is normal. Like I said, the first and I suggest doing both of these the first, if nothing's jumping out at the page for you to like, pull on that, I keep using that analogy or whatever.
Hannah: just to follow that, follow that trail.
Ryan: Yeah. If nothing jumps out at you, like you don't wanna be like, oh yeah, I wanna be a midwife.
Or like, let's go see that. If you still don't know, then do this exercise again for the job that you're most interested. On this list. Yep. So like for example, beauty of this exercise is at its endless. So you're like, well, I'm not really interested in any of them, but midwife being a midwife and midwifery is kind of cool.
Mm-hmm and so. But I kind of wanna work in an industry, maybe adjacent to that. And so now you start listing all the things that are adjacent to, to midwifery. Oh, that's easy. So sonographer, you can be, you could work at the people that you could work at the place that makes the birthing pools. You can. Uh, work for, like I said, some sort of software that helps midwives book, clients,
midwives, book clients, or hold records.
You could be a doula, which is a birth coach. It's different. You can work in lactation consulting, which is helping people breastfeed their babies. Yeah.
You, you can help a midwife. You can work in marketing for a midwife mm-hmm or you can open a marketing or work for, uh, marketing, uh, midwife. Midwifery agency.
Yeah. That's true. Something, you know? And so just do the exercise again. Yeah. That's the whole point of this long way to say, just do the exercise again for one of the most interesting topics that you find
that you come across. Yeah. Mm-hmm in that category.
And then the second one, it's just. It's gonna be starting, just trying stuff
Yeah. Guys at the end of it, you gotta just do stuff sometimes. yeah. You just gotta try stuff. So
for example, if you think that you might wanna work in nursing homes doing direct patient care, well, instead of just guessing at it, why don't you, and before you go and get whatever search that you need in whatever local areas that you're in, why don't you just ask.
A local nursing home. If you could do a volunteer shift and maybe it's not. Changing the bed pans, or may, you know, maybe in your local jurisdiction, you can't like do any hands on stuff with the patients, but maybe they have a, a time where like once a week they have like visit with the elderly visit with their residents basically.
And you go and you. Read stories to them, or you just go and you talk story and you just go and you play bridge or
whatever. Yeah. Just be involved. Same thing with, if you wanna be a teacher, go put yourself in a classroom. first. Yeah, go do that.
The, the goal is to try as many things as possible in as least risky of a way.
And so. Like, for example, going to college and then med school without ever trying, it is super duper risky. Mm-hmm super duper risky.
Oh, get yourself around that type of work first and see if you, even, if it even suits you at all right before you get stuck in it.
Exactly. Yeah. Whereas like the opposite I know of, I know some paramedics and former, like, so former paramedics, EMTs that went on to be doctors mm-hmm and okay.
It took them longer. And they didn't become doctors till later in
life, but they're probably much more, their expectations were more accurate. They understood, they were more suited to the work cause they were in it first.
I would, yeah, I was mainly just saying that the risk is lower. That's all
that well that too.
But I even mean like, you're much more likely to like that work and you're not gonna get to the end of that experience and, and never have never been exposed to any sort of medical. Anything,
right. The risk is lower. Yeah. And so they, they, they know that they want to work in that field because. Their job was doctor adjacent mm-hmm and they used to interface, diagnoses patient care.
They used to interface with doctors when they would hand over the patient. Yeah. And be like, oh, I can do that job charts, communication. I, I know how to do that. Or drugs interactions do that. Yeah. All right. Perfect. That's a, that's a super, not as risky way to do it. Mm-hmm it just takes a little bit more time.
Right. And so the last part of this is now that you've found, a job that you think is interesting now that you've found a job that you think that you'd like to pursue, how are we gonna go about getting that job? The way that we're we're gonna do that is we're gonna combine it with another thing that we've made up basically, which is combining this with finding a job backwards.
And that's a whole nother episode to talk about, but we'll kind of just briefly go over it here.
Yeah. Basically what you're gonna do is you're gonna take the job title or similar job titles, and you're going to look up those jobs and then see what is actually required by the job descriptions. And then you're going to pick your skills from there that you're gonna learn in order to apply for these jobs.
Yeah, sure. Real simple. Real sweet.
Yep. Simple. And so for example, say you've identified all this and not you've, you've arrived at, you want to be like an accountant or a bookkeeper and. All right. You, you would go and look at all of these and say specifically, you want it to be an aviation bookkeeper, whatever, like just to make it more difficult, quote unquote.
Sure. Um, you would go and look at all the different aviation bookkeeper titles, all those jobs, read all of the descriptions and pull out. All of the different lines that they say all these different skills. So that's gonna say like experience with QuickBooks online experience, advanced, uh, Excel skills, right?
Uh, advanced experience with tracking fuel costs in and out. Right?
Exactly. Whatever fuel costs,
maintenance, ordering oversight or
something. Sure. Those, those types of things, uh, payroll, if, if you're gonna have to run payroll, those, those types. Of things. Okay. Now, you know, you've gotta go and get these four or five skills in order to get this job, but that's just a quick overview of it and we'll do a much more in depth episode, kind of just like this at a future time, make sure that you subscribe.
To hear that podcast and get notified when it comes out. And that's pretty much it for the vocational creativity. It seems super simple. And it is, yeah. We're not reinventing the wheel here. Nope. Our, the goal is to just become more creative about the different jobs that are out there. Yeah. It's to open more doors.
Exactly. And once again, how can we hit our target? If we don't even know what our target is, nevermind where it is. We don't even know what it
is and that's impossible. And if, and when you set people up like that, they're going to follow a defined path because that's the only thing they
can see. Yeah. And so, if this was helpful, please share this episode with anyone that is having a hard time figuring out what they want to do.
I think that this is something that is super valuable and we've seen a lot of people. Benefit from this. Yeah,
definitely. Definitely. If you wanna get more from degree free, because why would you not make sure you run on over to degree free co slash newsletter and grab our newsletter, job resources, job ideas, different job openings companies that are going degree free and other cool stuff.
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