We have the pleasure of sitting down with career coach and resume writer Tristan Layfield to discuss what goes into landing the job of your dreams and how to achieve that goal.
Find out more about Tristan here: https://layfieldresume.com/about/
Connect with us: https://linktr.ee/livingcorporate
Ade: Hey, y’all. It’s Ade.
Zach: And it’s Zach.
Ade: And you’re listening to Living Corporate. So Zach…
Zach: What’s up?
Ade: So we have another B-Side, but this is the last full episode before our Wrap Up episode this month.
Zach: Sheesh, already?
Ade: Yeah, man. It’s been such a wild ride. Can you believe it’s only been seven months since we got started? In that very, very short time, we’ve had some dope conversations, some amazing guests, and more than a few funny moments.
Zach: [laughing] For sure, but you know what? We’ll talk all about that in our Season Wrap Up episode in a couple weeks.
Ade: We sure are.
Zach: That’s right, but today, we’re gonna talk about landing the job of your dreams.
Ade: The job of your dreams? That reminds me of that lottery that got over a billion dollars.
Zach: A billion dollars. Oh, yeah. What would you do if you had all that money?
Ade: Who are you kidding? I wouldn’t do just one thing. I would open a restaurant, travel the world, open free clinics and schools all around the world. Pretty much whatever my heart could possibly desire. I think that’s the definition of a dream job, something that you would do if money wasn’t a concern. What’s your dream job?
Zach: So I have to start with my passion, right? So my passion is people and creating platforms that amplify the voices and experiences of underrepresented people, so a lot of really what Living Corporate is doing. So my dream job would have to heavily involve Living Corporate for sure.
Ade: Ayyyy. You know, it would be great if we could talk to someone like a career coach, but not just any career coach. Maybe a public speaker, someone with professional resume writing experience, an educator. Someone who’s been featured in a variety of publications. Let’s throw maybe black enterprise in there, and maybe he focuses his work on underrepresented people, especially millennials worldwide but also around his hometown of Detroit, Michigan.
Zach: Hm. Oh, wait. You mean like our guest Tristan Layfield?
Ade and Zach: Whaaaaat?
Zach: *imitating air horns* Look–Sound Man, look. We are so many episodes in. Go ahead and give me those air horns right HERE.
[Sound Man complies]
Ade: Yeah, shout out to J.J.
Zach: [laughing] Shout out to J.J., hey, A.K.A. Sound Man. We’ll talk about that more too. [laughing] Anyway, so next what we’re gonna do is get into our interview with our guest, Tristan Layfield. Hope you all enjoy. And we’re back. And as we said before the break, we have Tristan Layfield on the show. Tristan, welcome to the show, man. How you doin’?
Tristan: Thank you, thank you for having me. I’m doing well. It’s a little rainy here today, but I’m feeling good.
Zach: Hey, man, I hear you. For those of us who don’t know you though, tell us a little bit about yourself.
Tristan: Yeah. So like you said, my name is Tristan Layfield. I’m based in the Metro Detroit area, and I’m a career coach and resume writer that approaches career development with my clients by combining their personal branding with their career field through strategic coaching, the development of resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles that really help my clients stand out.
Zach: So today we’re talking about landing the job of your dreams. That kind of assumes though that you know what your dreams are. What advice do you have for professionals who really don’t know what they want, and how do they find that out?
Tristan: Yeah, that’s a really good question, and I think this is a problem that plagues a lot of us. And first, I think it’s having an understanding of what you really want to do, and when I say that, I don’t mean the thing that everyone has been telling you that you should do since you were young but the thing that you actually like, right? So I’ve noticed in talking with a lot of my clients and a lot of people I work with that we’ve been forced to pick what we wanted to do or wanted to be since we were young, and then most of us go to college where we’re forced to pick a major well before we even know what we’re interested in. So then we graduate with everybody else’s dreams on us instead of focusing on our own. I always suggest the way to get out of that is to sort of start by doing what I call an interest alignment activity. So essentially, you make four different lists, and the first one is you list things that are high-skill for you and high-interest, meaning those are skills that you’re good at and skills that you like to do. The second list is high-skill and low-interest. So those are skills that you’re good at, but you really just don’t like to do. And these are the things that cause burnout, right? And then the third list is low-skill, low-interest. These are the things you want to work on or develop. You’re very interested in doing those things. And then the last one is low-skill and low-interest, and these are red flag areas. These are things that you don’t enjoy and you’re not good at, right? So once you make those lists, from there you’re able to utilize those skills in that first and third section to build what your ideal job description would be, and you’re also able to identify jobs that are heavy in the things that you listed in the second and fourth sections because you’ll be able to better identify those roles that aren’t a good fit for you because they are, you know, those skills that you’re not interested in or those skills that you just really aren’t good at and have no interest in overall. So, you know, doing that type of exercise gives you a baseline upon which you’re able to assess all of the jobs you’re looking at to understand that the position may be a fit for you and your expertise. So that’s one of the things that I suggest to really try to narrow down the jobs that you’re looking at, is to have something to compare it to, and that’s how I sort of get to it with my clients.
Zach: So does a–let me ask you this. Does a dream job mean a permanent job? Are dreams allowed to change?
Tristan: [laughing] Yeah, that’s a great question. So dream jobs can mean a permanent job for some people, but more often than not that’s not always the case, because typically, as we grow and change as people, what we want, or our dream or our vision of things, typically changes over time. So to simply answer your question, “Are dreams allowed to change,” yes, dreams are allowed to change, and I actually recently was working with a client who grew up knowing that she wanted to be a lawyer. And she went to law school, and she had been practicing law for over 20 years, but recently realized that she wanted to make a pivot into the non-profit sector as she had been working–doing a little bit of that work. So she found out that she loved it, and she came to me to figure out how to pivot her career, right? This woman’s been in her career for well over 20 years, and now her dream has changed, and I see that very often, and I see that as a common thing, simply because, like I said earlier, we typically leave college or leave school with other people’s dreams on us. Typically that’s what we’re trying to fulfill. We’re not trying to fulfill our own dreams, right? So yeah, I definitely think they’re allowed to change. Does it mean a permanent job? It can, and sometimes it runs its course. It was fun. You got the skills you needed, and now you need to move on.
Zach: So, you know, I talk to people, especially, like, millennial professionals, and there’s kind of, like, this divide, right? So there’s a large contingency of us who will say, “Look, man. You’ve got to figure out where you just need to figure out where you stay and you can get locked in so you can get promoted, you can grow, you can climb the ladder,” so and so forth. There’s another group of people–and I probably fall more in this camp–of, like, “Look, man. You’ve got to kind of keep it moving,” right? Like, “You need to figure out,” you know, every three, four, every really 18, 24 months, you need to really be doing a hard assessment of, like, where you’re at and if you need to make some transitions, either internally or externally or whatever the case may be. Where would you draw the line in-between looking for a genuine change and just being fickle or indecisive?
Tristan: You know, I think it really depends on you as a person. Like you just said, there’s sort of two different camps of people, the people who want to get into a company and want to be loyal to that company and move up through that company, and then there’s the people who, unfortunately like many of us millennials, we sort of came out–we came out of school in a recession period, right? There weren’t a lot of jobs, this that and the other, so we really had a foot–we were a foot behind everyone when it came to jobs or pay or whatever the case may be, and that has required us to sort of go on what I call a get rich quick scheme, you know? We’re trying to catch up with everybody, and sometimes that requires us to move every two years to get that 10% raise in pay or whatever the case may be. So I think it is–it really depends on the person, but for me, where I think–excuse me, where I draw the line between genuine change and just being fickle and indecisive is when you’re switching jobs or industries very frequently, like every one to two years, without actually sitting down and conducting a thorough analysis of why you’re doing it, right? Most people who are looking for genuine change take the time to think through where they want to go and what they want to do or why this situation is not working for them, and they also provide enough time for them to get into the new area and learn and apply those things that they learn to practice. And that takes time, and sometimes that period can be difficult simply because you’re learning and adjusting, and that is where people who are fickle or indecisive tend to jump ship, right? Change isn’t easy, and those who are genuinely seeking it tend to understand that this is a process, and those who aren’t genuinely seeking it or just being fickle and indecisive are just moving because of one little thing, you know, rubbed them the wrong way. Most of the time.
Zach: Okay. So let me ask you this. I’m thinking through this as you’re giving me this answer. If you had to give millennials and just working professionals of color advice when it comes to career navigation and finding what’s going on for you–what would you say are some of the main challenges that you see with people that look like us when it comes to career navigation and finding that sweet spot for us?
Tristan: Ooh, that is a loaded question. Right? [laughs] Well, first, I think–I think we all need to sit down and assess what we’re really interested in and what we want to do. We have to make peace with the fact that what we had majored in in college may not be what we actually end up doing in life, and that is okay, and you have to realize that the majority of people are in that place. And then once you get into a place where you do like it, you need to understand sort of what the–what the pathway forward is inside of that company or inside of this industry, right? What are the next steps? How do you get there? What skills do you currently have, and what skills are you missing? And you identify those through a skills gaps analysis, and sometimes you can identify, “Okay, this company is gonna allow me to get this skill set, but they don’t have anything that’s gonna allow me to get this other skill set to get to that ultimate position that I want to be in.” So sometimes that means, you know, switching jobs, switching companies, switching industries to get that other skill set, and I think we have to be open about that and open and honest with ourselves that, you know, it’s gonna be a process. It takes time. It takes dedication and, you know, no one really becomes successful without actually sitting down and putting in the work to figure out where they want to go, and often times what I find is we try to do all of that alone, and unfortunately that’s not always everyone’s zone of genius. So reach out and get help, whether that be me, like, a career coach and resume writer, or whether that be a friend that you see in the field doing the work, you know, talking to them, or whether that be getting informational interviews. You really have to be your biggest advocate in your own career search, and I think that’s one of the biggest things I think people struggle with, is being their own advocate, and it’s typically because they haven’t done the work to figure out what they’re actually interested in and how to actually attain it.
Zach: That’s a great last point too around being your own advocate. We just recently had Deborah Owens, who is the CEO of Corporate Alley Cat, and we had a whole episode around self-advocacy and strategic networking, and that was a main point too. So that was more from the context of navigating internally for the sake of your career, but your point also resonates because regardless if you’re looking–irrespective of if you’re looking for a change internally or you’re looking for a change externally, you have to be your biggest advocate. Like, no one’s gonna care more about you than you.
Tristan: You have to be your own biggest advocate. No one knows your experience better than you, no one knows where your expertise lies better than you, and no one knows what you are able to actually go in and do and learn and put on the table, and so sometimes you just really need to show people that, and you really need to exemplify that, and the only way you’re gonna do it is if you advocate for yourself.
Zach: Absolutely. Well, look, this has been great, Tristan. Before we let you go, where can people learn more about you and your company?
Tristan: Yeah, this has been amazing, and I appreciate it. People can check us out at my website, which is www.layfieldresume.com, and for those of you guys who don’t know how to spell it, it’s L-A-Y-F as in Frank-I-E-L-D-R-E-S-U-M-E dot com, or you can follow me on Instagram @LayfieldResume or connect with me on LinkedIn at TristanLayfield.
Zach: Awesome, man. You know we’ll make sure to have all of that information in our show notes so they can–our audience can check it out. Any parting words or shout outs before we let you go?
Tristan: Yeah. You know, I just want to shout out my tribe. I always like to shout them out. My friends, my best friend, you know, my grandma. Everybody who’s been supporting me along this journey, I just really appreciate them. I just want to thank you so much, Zach, for having me on the show. The conversations you’re having are just so important for us to be discussing, and I’m just glad to be a part of it.
Zach: Man, I’m honored by that. And you know what? Shout out to the word tribe. I gotta start using this word, man. [laughing]
Tristan: [laughing] It takes a village, okay?
Zach: It takes a village, man. Listen, man. I’m noticing–I’m noticing, man, all of my melanated working professionals who are building things are using this language, tribe. I’ve heard that from Deun Ivory. I’ve heard that from–I’ve just heard that from a few different guests. Tye Miles said it. Okay, anyway. Now I’m on a tangent. [laughs] Tristan, it’s been a pleasure. God bless. This has been a great time. Hope to have you back, and appreciate your time, man.
Tristan: I appreciate you having me on, man. Have a great one.
Ade: Yo, we’re back. Bomb interview as always, Zach. Excited that we were able to get Tristan on the show, and listening to that discussion reminds me that your resume is only one part of your journey in landing a dream job and that your dreams sometimes change, and that’s okay too.
Zach: For sure. Now, look, I have some bad news for y’all.
Zach: No Fave Things this week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t check out our Fave Things on our website, right?
Ade: [makes the “womp-womp” sound] I’m really nailing our sound effects today.
Zach: You’re doing a great job with the sound effects actually today. In fact, Sound Man, go ahead and drop, like, a small round of applause for Ade for her sound effects today. She came in very strongly on the “whaaaat?” Actually it wasn’t raspy at all.
[Sound Man complies]
Ade: Ayy. Sir, are you coming for me?
Zach: Then the womp-womp was very full, so it was good.
Ade: Thank you.
Zach: No, it was good. But no, really, our Favorite Things section, we’ve called out–the books, all of the books that we’ve talked about on the show, they’re on that list. DeRay Mckesson’s book, J Prince’s book, Amy Waninger’s book. They’re all on this list of Favorite Things. You can go check out some of our favorite foods. I’ve got the Capital City Mambo Sauce on there. That’s right, Capital City–this is not a paid ad. Capital City Mambo Sauce is fire. I ordered two gallons of the sauce about six months ago.
Ade: [laughing] You are ridiculous.
Zach: [laughing] But anyway, no Favorite Things this week. However, in a couple weeks when we do our Season 1 Wrap Up show, it’s gonna essentially be all of this. It’s gonna be me and Ade just talking, having a good time, and we’ll talk about a variety of Favorite Things, from our favorite episodes to our favorite things on our list, and we’ll actually make one last season update to our Favorite Things list, okay?
Zach: Okay? So there’s that, there’s that. But we will have it back.
Ade: Okay. Well, that is our show. Thank you so much for joining us on the Living Corporate podcast. Please make sure to follow us on Instagram @LivingCorporate, Twitter @LivingCorp_Pod, and subscribe to our newsletter through www.living-corporate.com. If you have a question you’d like us to answer and read on the show, make sure you email us at email@example.com. Also, don’t forget to check out our Patreon at LivingCorporate as well.
Zach: That does it for us on this show. This has been Zach.
Ade: And I’m Ade.
Zach and Ade: Peace.
Kiara: Living Corporate is a podcast by Living Corporate, LLC. Our logo was designed by David Dawkins. Our theme music was produced by Ken Brown. Additional music production by Antoine Franklin from Musical Elevation. Post-production is handled by Jeremy Jackson. Got a topic suggestion? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find us online on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and living-corporate.com. Thanks for listening. Stay tuned.