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Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanner?

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 11:13 am
by JohnJohn
Seems like there are two options:

1. Find a job that suits you
2. Create your own job

Number 1 is hard, because being a scanner means (at least for me) that no matter how interesting the job is in the beginning, I get bored after 3 months.

Number 2 is just as hard, because creating an own business is a lot of hard work and will take a long time. Now, I'm not interested in business in the first place, but even if I were I would probably tire of it after 3 months. So creating my own work seems to be an even bigger hassle then just staying in a job I don't particularly like. My suspicion is that the scanners that successfully create their own businesses aren't scanners to the degree I feel I am.

In my dream world, I could apply for an interesting job every 3 months and then get a totally new one.

I have read a bunch of advice for scanners, but they all just make me feel even worse, because I do not find the advice helpful at all. They all seem to say "quit being a scanner and focus" (or just "focus", but to me that means the same thing). I hate being a scanner, and I wish I could settle on a few things I really liked for a long time.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:26 pm
by yonuh
Have you read any of Barbara Sher's books? "Refuse to Choose" would be a good start.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:16 am
by JohnJohn
Yes, and unfortunately I didn't really find any advice that I thought could help me with my problem. For example, getting a "good enough" job is not good enough, because any thing that is "good enough" in the beginning turns to a living hell after some time.

This advice is about equivalent to saying: "Just get a job and stay with it", which is the exact thing I have a problem with. I have plenty of hobbies besides work, but I am not satisfied with this lifestyle.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2012 10:11 am
by SquarePeg
1. Why do you think you have to stay at a job? Nothing is permanent. In industry, there are no contracts involved unless, perhaps, you consult.

2. You do not have to own your own business to create your own job. You can convince an employer to create a new position in the organization that they need but didn't realize. I first came across this advice in "What Color is Your Parachute?" back in 1982, and it's even more valid today. Forty years ago, there were no IT departments. Today nearly every company either maintains its own IT department or contracts it out. Did that happen suddenly? No. At first some bright individuals who understood computers met with some business people with a specific need and they worked it out.

With the pace of technology accelerating (and the ethical / security issues surrounding that), new positions (new job descriptions) should be exploding. Android Developer. Cyber Crime Fighter. Wireless Signal Mapping Specialist. If you use your imagination, you can find a solution to suit yourself and a needy employer.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:15 am
by JohnJohn
1. The more short-term jobs you have on your resumé, the less chance do you have of getting a good job. People won't take chances on hiring a person that might leave in 6 months.

2. You have to be really lucky to be in an organization where they can just create a new position for you when you feel like doing something else. Getting to have a job like that is equally hard to just starting on your own.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:51 am
by Annalena
I'm kinda dealing with the same issue.

I have come to a couple of conclusions or thought processes...

1- Not only full time paid work counts. Think about what you have done in your life. I bet you have done more than one thing. Think about part time jobs, volunteering, projects....haven't you already done a lot of different things?

2- It WILL be hard. I am lazy by nature. Nothing wrong with it, but makes it harder to get what you want sometimes. I will cost a lot of hard work. Nothing worth having comes easy. I am more and more coming to the conclusion that I NEED to be entrepreneurial in order to get what I want. I want to do 5 -10 different things, no one is gonna hire me for that. I need to create it myself. It will be hard and there is no way around it. Think Richard Branson. Self-made billionaire. Entrepreneur. Scanner. He started out selling CDs out of his trunk, founded a record label, Virgin. Today he owns I don't know how many companies, and is focussing on tourism to the mars. Even he needs to stick with things for a certain while. Then, he can move on.

3-To get what you want you temporarily will have to do what you maybe don't want to do.
This one is tough for me since I grew up within a very hedonistic mindset. Don't want to do it? Why bother! Turns out, not all roads are straight. Personal example: I tried creating businesses before but always stopped after the exciting creative part. So I figured, I am not ready to do that yet. I got an employee job and while I think I can learn a lot in that job, particularly sticking with things and not only picking the nice parts, I do not like all the 9-to-5 attitude and the fact I have to behave a certain way. But it's the best alternative. For now. I had to give up all my beloved part time jobs like promo, modelling, tutoring (although maybe I'll continue that). FOR NOW. Maybe I needed that though in order to get to the next step. I have a list with 30 business ideas here. Most of them I really see a market for. If I didnt have to stop my part time jobs, I'd probably never take the next step! It's way too simple to stick to the way I'm doing it. Problem is, it will not get me anywhere. I've been doing these jobs for 10 years and there's really not much potential in them. Now I am getting myself in the "work mode" and am using my time way more efficiently. My master plan: Finish my book 1. Found a tutoring school. Work on book 2. Maybe do some fitness modeling/hosting/acting. I can work on all these things besides my job.

4- Read my thread about personal balance. I found it very interesting. What do you need that could make you actually like a job?

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 10:18 am
by JohnJohn
1. Yes I have done a lot of things, and that is the problem. People don't want to hire others who have done lots of stuff for a short time. It's expensive to hire someone, so you better be sure that they will stay at least a few years. I haven't stayed a few years with anything :/ Right now I hate my job, but I am too afraid to quit because next time it is going to be even harder finding a job with a resume like mine.

2. I am also coming to that conclusion, but I think I might not be good enough to make a living out of anything I do. And especially me hating business and sales will be a hindrance, to say the least.

3. Problem is I don't know what to do. If life has shown me anything it is that what I want to do changes all the time. So to do stuff I don't want to do is pretty risky, since I might (probably) be working for something I don't really want to do in the end.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2012 9:05 am
by Annalena
JohnJohn wrote:1. Yes I have done a lot of things, and that is the problem. People don't want to hire others who have done lots of stuff for a short time. It's expensive to hire someone, so you better be sure that they will stay at least a few years. I haven't stayed a few years with anything :/ Right now I hate my job, but I am too afraid to quit because next time it is going to be even harder finding a job with a resume like mine.

The fact that you have done a lot of things doesn't mean you have to mention them all. I have always adapted my resume to the job. After I learned that I won't find a job with a scattered resume, that is. Try to create a red line somehow. Not for you, just for other to trick them into thinking you are average. Which you are not.
JohnJohn wrote:2. I am also coming to that conclusion, but I think I might not be good enough to make a living out of anything I do. And especially me hating business and sales will be a hindrance, to say the least.

Maybe, not necessarily. The production manager in the company where I work is 27, very young for the job, does not have a degree, and very successful.
What about IT, for exmaple? I think only very few people in that area like to do sales.
JohnJohn wrote:3. Problem is I don't know what to do. If life has shown me anything it is that what I want to do changes all the time. So to do stuff I don't want to do is pretty risky, since I might (probably) be working for something I don't really want to do in the end.

Welcome to the club. You sound very demotivated right now. Have you ever thought about what your values are? I read a good quote on that recently.

"Think about your life. What things would you repeat, have done you good, are you still proud of today? These are your values."

Life is full of risks. Life is a risk itself. Especially anyhing worth having never ever comes without risks. There is no safe way to financial freedom, inner balance and happiness. Otherwise, everyone would do it.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:35 am
by emspace
JohnJohn wrote:Problem is I don't know what to do. If life has shown me anything it is that what I want to do changes all the time. So to do stuff I don't want to do is pretty risky, since I might (probably) be working for something I don't really want to do in the end.


That's really the big obstacle for you, it seems. Being a Scanner doesn't mean all your interests are random. There's a thread that takes you through everything you're interested in doing.

This is tough, though. If I listed everything I've ever done, everything I've ever been interested in doing, all the things I'm still interested in doing -- as job titles -- it would appear random and unconnected to most people, me included. But if I asked myself what it was that got my blood pumping when I was doing something that interested me, there are definite commonalities. These include getting better results faster than someone else (I'm competitive), using my accumulated knowledge or skill to be able to step in to any vacant role that needs to be filled, and simplifying complex ideas for other people. This is where my real mojo lies. It's not in web design, video editing, coaching rowing, teaching therapeutic yoga, or writing articles. Those are all ways for me to get out what drives me, but those job descriptions are ultimately not what I'm fundamentally interested in, and certainly not enough for me to do them exclusively for the rest of my life. I really love them, and part of me wants to get better at them -- but then there are so many other things to pursue or discover too, and life is so short. Hence the Scanneritis and the jumping from one interest to the next.

I believe the problem most people have is in thinking that the job title is the activity that's suppose to motivate them, when actually, it's far more specific than that. What's The Thing you take with you from one job to the next that gets you excited about the next job?

If you look at all the things you've done, ask yourself what those jobs have allowed you to do that really motivates you.

***

Last point re: the Good Enough job. Perhaps I'm reading you wrong, but it sounds like you're misunderstanding what a Good Enough job is. It's not a job that provides an outlet or cure for your Scanneritis. It's a job that provides income that is necessary for taking care of your real world problems (food and lodging), and also gives you the freedom to pursue those Scanner activities/goals that you really *need* to do -- on the side.

A Good Enough job is one that doesn't suck the life out of you so that you can go home and pursue your real interests. If you're super lucky (like me), your Good Enough job not only provides steady and sufficient income, it also allows you some Scanner outlet; usually never enough, and certainly never enough freedom, but Good Enough that I don't feel constantly dissatisfied in it.

Sometimes you need a Good Enough job just long enough to get a Scanner pursuit off the ground. Sometimes you stay until you retire because you have responsibilities and dependants and you're able to balance everything you want in life and still have significant Scanner satisfaction.

A Scanner job may be what you want, instead. Something like documentary journalism that allows you to constantly switch subjects, but keep one operating mode. Or consulting, where you can keep changing clients and what areas you focus on. Barbara had an example in Refuse To Choose about a man who went into a company, fixed its processes, then left, in cycles of 6 months to a year. But he discovered that his drive was improving systems, whatever the system was. But as a Scanner, once he figured out the system, it was time to move on to the next job.

So first, I would suggest that you uncover what your drive is, then work on what kind of work that could become as a Serial Scanner.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 12:17 am
by Annalena
Just a heads up, JohnJohn, if you still read here:

I started my first real-life job about 1.5 months ago. I was SO scared. Now it entails so many things that I usually don't know where to start. Officially, I am a sales manager. I am also a project manager and product manager. I am also responsible for buying, accounting (MUCH more exciting than I thought), marketing, PR, trade shows, technical questions.

All this is because the product is a "special product" in my copany and I am the only one in charge of it , it doesnt belong in the normal product portfolio.

Because I needed to proof to myself that the job doesn't define me ( and because I am a greedy person;)), I still tutor "on the side" (didn't ask my employer's permission cause he will never know & doesn't need to, this is not "official" work anyway). And it works. I never would have thought I have this much energy, but it works. I now have 4 students.

I now want to do training to become a life coach. Training first, I can do that on the weekends, next things then.

It IS possible to do multiple things. You just might have to work a little more than the average person, and figure out a way how to.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:22 am
by RayofLight2
I can identify with JohnJohn. I have done many things and have come up short in competing for jobs that I would want to do because of lack of experience or because I don't have every skill the employer wants. I was at my previous FT job for two years and wanted to be there longer to have more of a record to advance. My husband, who has been teaching in the same school for 39 years, keeps saying that "I probably have to start over" and that seems to be how employers are seeing things because I have had a hard time getting the jobs that are a step higher than entry level (in nonprofit development). Many nonprofits don't have FT grant writers (or even PT ones) and if they have an opening, they want 5 years of experience. A professor of mine thought that I could do many of the jobs for which I applied, but employers are stuck on an idea and have all the power in this job market because people are desperate.

Re: Is it really possible to make a happy living as a scanne

PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2013 5:35 am
by PartTimeTed
John,

You are right about employers not wanting to hire people who bounce around a lot. That was one of the things I looked for to sort out potentially bad employees from good ones. The job bouncer resumes got tossed almost immediately.

And it makes sense that they do that. Right? It is a major investment for an employer to invest in hiring and training a new employee. That employee develops into a more valuable asset every month he/she stays on as an employee. So naturally, that employer wants that asset to continue improving in value pretty much forever or for as long as reasonably possible.

This is one area in life where a scanner is going to have trouble. You should be actively trying to design your lifestyle so that you can bounce around as much as you want to. But, until you can get to that point, you are going to have to sacrifice your own personal freedom by actually sticking with something long term.

Here in the USA we are lucky to be so free that we can pursue anything we want to. But that doesn't change the fact that there are things we have to do in life that we aren't going to enjoy very much.

When I was a kid I had several jobs as I worked through college. I didn't enjoy every one of them, but I had to do it because I needed the money. Then when I got out of college and took my first career oriented job, I didn't care for that gig either. But, I stuck with it for years because I needed the money. One day I had the chance to jump at starting a new career that I was truly excited about. I enjoyed taking that leap, but there were sacrifices there also. In fact there were times that I felt I completely regretted doing it. Eventually it all worked out though.

I think you need to accept the fact that you are going to have to force yourself to stick with something as you actively pursue creating your ideal lifestyle. I don't see how anyone could jump into the perfect lifestyle overnight, especially when they are in a position like you are or were in.