From time to time, allow some unknown unknowns into your life.
What the heck am I talking about? Let me explain.
People tell me they’re looking for a job, or a better job. They have some idea about the kinds of jobs they like and the kinds of jobs they don’t like. So they filter out any job opportunities that do not conform closely to their “dream job”.
The thinking goes that the farther away any opportunity is from their ideal job, the less likely they’ll want the job.
Problem is, this assumes that they can accurately identify their dream job.
And this is absolutely not the case! We lack so much information. There are gazillions of jobs out there and we only know about a fraction of them. We also have limited knowledge about ourselves; we only know what we (dis)liked in the past, under certain circumstances. How can we know what (type of job) we would like in the future, under different circumstances?
We have imperfect information.
And that’s why it is important to allow unknown unknowns into your life sometimes.
Talk to a recruiter about a job that, at first glance, doesn’t interest you. Accept that coffee meeting with someone who you initially think you might not have much in common with. Ask random people (the barista, the person at the gym check-in counter, your yoga teacher) for advice on jobs. They’ll give you different answers and ideas than the people you’re used to talking with.
Maybe they’ll tell you about a friend of theirs who’s doing a certain thing that you had never heard of before, but that sounds AWESOME and like a perfect fit for you.
Introduce some randomness into your life.
Not all the time, but sometimes. Open yourself up to possibilities and ideas that you did not know existed—invite the unknown unknowns.