The Experience
Teach at Jolt

Fuel your curiosity to drive your career forward | Vitamin J #3

Nina Gordon
May 5, 2020

As young children, we asked around 300 questions a day. Those WFH with children can verify this. But how many questions do you ask now? “Curiosity is the engine of achievement” — Ken Robinson. Curious people excel through asking questions, learning from others, and looking for ways to do things better. When they fail, they look at the reasons why to increase the chances of success the next time round. Their minds are actively looking for ways to improve and grow. They’re able to see new possibilities, become better listeners, and ask more relevant questions to facilitate deeper connections.  

Curiosity is the driving force behind lifelong learning. But it’s more than that. When we feel frustrated or blocked (especially by situations out of our control) it’s hard to think beyond that. Unlocking a curious mindset helps us move forward towards a purpose. In times of uncertainty, a curious mind asks “how am I feeling”, “why am I feeling that”, “where do I go from here”, “what do I really want”, and “what if…” to create new opportunities. Curiosity feels open, expansive, it provides openings and new pathways. It opens doors.

Feedly your curiosity

Feedly is a news aggregator. Follow unlimited news sources, organise them into collections and never miss out on a topic of interest again. Feed your curiosity with news that's relevant to you.

Harness curiosity to build better products — snippets from class
Here are some best bits from our syllabus:

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Find your career sweet spot — Community Murmurs

Are you giving more than you get at work? Being able to identify what you're looking for out of your career allows you to make better decisions when choosing how to advance. Career orientations is a concept developed by Dr. Brooke Derr, global business and careers scholar. It identifies five distinct career orientations, each bearing different motivational needs, potential problems and strategies for success.

Our community got together with Worksome and Jon Younger this week to discuss how to use career orientations as a freelancer.

The Library
What we've been reading this week:

Keep it inquisitive folks ask questions: seek out new knowledge and exercise your mind muscle.

Let us know which section of Vitamin J's your favourite by sending an email to nina.gordon@jolt.io, we'd love to know. Or, tell us if you think we're missing something you think would be pretty neat to include.

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So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

Because almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes. Including you.

Charles Darwin took long walks around London. Kurt Vonnegut made listening to jazz a daily priority. Fiona Apple disappeared for 6 years after the release of her third album.

So why do so few of us have creative breaks?

I ask because I can often be found agonising over the "more". If only I posted on Instagram more, I'll think in the bath. I'd have more followers if I pitched to more publications. I need to post 2 more times a week, minimum. I could go on...

Between you and me, I've got frustrated with myself for browsing Facebook or watching too much TV more times than I can remember.

And I'm not alone. So many of us are terrified of taking a break, creatively speaking. We won't let a moment pass without listening to a podcast, consuming an article or sharing something.

The cognitive load is real, y'all.

But like Vitamin D, sleep and good food, it's not only ok to take a break, it's essential.

Living a successful life is also about knowing when not to work. For your best output, you need to focus on your input, too.

The world won't end if you disappear from the internet for a week or so. Your creativity won't suddenly stop. Your time is now, but your time was also then and it will be again.

Your dreams don't have an expiration date.

Many of us confuse being "busy" with being constructive. But you can only do your best work by taking breaks.

And science backs it up, too. The brain requires substantial downtime to do its most innovative thinking. The ideas you have while driving or in the shower aren't coincidental. They're a result of you taking a step back, whether you're aware of it or not.

Here's a challenge for you

Let yourself take a wonderful and indulgent break. Several breaks. Hell, get downright bored.

Put airplane mode on for a while. Sit down. Lie down. Be still. Do nothing. Observe. Listen to your mind. Let it do what it does without judging it.

Wallow in it. Don't be afraid of it. Push it as far as you can.

When you leave your laptop behind, something always happens. A new idea or a fresh perspective appears.


"A spark of inspiration needs an empty cave."

Take proper breaks, often. Completely clear your mind. Your next best idea depends on it.

Taken by over 18,500 people; Calibrated by 100s of tech employees

By taking this 10-min test I can set myself up for success

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