I’m writing a special edition of my blog today because I have some major news. I’m absolutely thrilled to announce that I have accepted a position as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Harvard Medical School and Kripalu’s Institute for Extraordinary Living!
I’m over the moon because this is truly my dream job. I’m going to be managing a project called Yoga In The Schools, in which I’ll be studying the effects of implementing yoga in high school (and elementary school) physical education classes. In a nutshell, the project is a perfect combination of my love for research and my passion for wellness.
Here I am right before my interview at Harvard (I was so nervous!):
The most amazing aspect of this opportunity is that it didn’t happen by accident. I manifested this job using several techniques that I outline below.
I’m embarking on the next phase of my journey, and I’m taking you with me. Together, we’re going to learn what it means to break through fear and follow our hearts. Keep reading to find out what I’ve already learned so far.
How to Manifest Your Dream Job
When I quit my corporate job, I was determined to get paid to do what I love. I wasn’t exactly sure what I loved or how I was going to get paid to do it, but I did know that I couldn’t spend one more minute trapped in a cubicle. Deep down inside, I felt that I was on this earth to help people, but my vision was blurry. What did I have to offer? Who could I help? Would anyone want what I had to give?
I spent my first few post-corporate months getting very clear about what I love to do. After some intense brainstorming sessions, I narrowed it down to four things: Writing, Speaking, Research, and Yoga. I wasn’t sure if people would pay me to do these things, but I was willing to try.
Now, over two years later, I’ve manifested a job that combines all four of my passions. Here’s how I did it:
One of the first things I did after leaving the corporate world was to get clear about what I loved to do. I didn’t worry about creating a four-year business plan, complete with pricing and sales goals. I simply got very honest with myself about what I wanted to be doing with my time—regardless of whether other people would think that these things were a socially acceptable “job.” Eventually, I started focusing on how much to charge for my services, but at first, I gave myself the freedom to choose how I wanted to design my workdays.
I’ve been turned down on many occasions over the past two years. There have been people who didn’t want to work with me, who thought what I was doing was crazy, who flat out rejected my ideas. I’ve been asked to remove PowerPoint slides about my book (The Antidepressant Antidote) from my presentations because companies were afraid of the topic. I’ve had people leave nasty comments for me on Facebook. I’ve failed. Hard.
Throughout all of this, I put my head down and kept going. It wasn’t easy. Sometimes, I wondered if the naysayers were right. Maybe I was crazy. Maybe I had nothing of value to offer. But then my True Self would encourage me to take the next step. Even when I wasn’t completely sure what I was doing or how it was all going to turn out, I kept listening to my gut instead of listening to everyone else.
Right before I quit my corporate job, I came across an article in Yoga Journal Magazine about research that was being done at Harvard Medical School. The article profiled a professor named Dr. Sat Bir Khalsa, who was studying the effects of yoga on well-being. Reading the article gave me goose bumps and caused a light bulb to go off in my head. I knew in that moment that this was what I was supposed to be doing.
At around the same time, I became aware of a postdoctoral research position at Harvard Medical School that was being offered by one of Dr. Khalsa’s colleagues who studied the neuroscience of yoga. I applied but was rejected because I didn’t have a strong enough background in brain imaging.
I was disappointed, but I kept going. I sent an email to Dr. Khalsa asking if I could help with his research from afar (for free). He agreed, and for the past two years, I’ve been helping his team publish an article about yoga as an intervention for performance anxiety in adolescent musicians. We bumped up against several obstacles when trying to publish the article, but I’m happy to say that it has now been accepted for publication in Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine.
Two months ago, when Dr. Khalsa advertised a position for a postdoctoral research fellow in his lab, I jumped at the opportunity. And I beat out twenty-six other applicants to get it.
My point? Throughout this entire process, I have had to be patient and trust in divine timing. I’m very achievement-oriented and usually want things done yesterday, but the universe doesn’t work that way.
As Reid Tracy, President and CEO of Hay House publishing, said at a conference that I attended: “It takes ten years to create an overnight success.” In other words, all of the people you see on TV and Facebook who look like they “made it” overnight usually put at least ten years (or 10,000 hours according to the book Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell) into their passion. They were going after what they wanted, but they were also patient and trusted in the process.
One of my dear friends once said to me, “Bethany, you are so brave to be doing what you’re doing. You have major balls!” I laughed at the time, but have since realized that one of the main things that helped me manifest this opportunity at Harvard has been my willingness to feel the fear and do it anyway. It took guts for me to:
- Quit my job.
- Put my products and services out there (which involves marketing and sharing my truth and vulnerability).
- Contact a Harvard professor (who had no idea who I was) to ask if I could work with him.
- Work for that professor for free for two years in the hope that eventually a paid opportunity would come up.
It’s also going to take balls for me to move to Boston. The cost of living is astronomical. My husband and I will have to trade in our house for a two-bedroom apartment, two cars for no car, small city for big city. We’re leaving our friends and family behind.
To be honest, I’m absolutely terrified.
But I’m going. Why? Because I trust my gut, which is telling me that this job is the direction I’m supposed to take. Maybe the job will last one year. Maybe I’ll end up moving to Boston permanently. Who knows? What I’ve learned throughout this process is that I don’t have to have it all figured out; I just have to be willing to try.
I didn’t do this alone. I’ve hired business coaches who were invaluable in helping me clarify my vision and break through obstacles (thanks Rich German and Gabrielle Bernstein!). I’ve read countless books, taken online courses, attended teleseminars and conferences, and talked to supportive friends.
No person is an island. It’s much easier to face a difficult journey when you have support!
The Bottom Line
If you’re unsatisfied with your current line of work, do something about it. You might not be able to leave your job right away, but you could start saving up money to leave when you’re ready. Or you might take a night course to beef up your skills. Whatever it is, have the courage to do it. With a little clarity, tenacity, patience, guts, and help, there’s no way you can lose.
What do you think of my big announcement? Share your thoughts with me below!
If you live in the Boston area, I’d love to hear from you! Where are the good spots to live, shop, do yoga, ride my bike?
Until next time, keep following your heart. I will too.
Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.
If you’d like more tips on this topic of manifesting your dream job, plus some personal instruction from Bethany, check out her online course, Creating A Life You Love: Find Your Passion, Live Your Purpose and Create Financial Freedom.
*Photo by Charlotte’s WebSeptember 23, 2012