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MOVING TO PARIS WITHOUT QUITTING MY DAY JOB

This is the winning entry from the Unconventional Writing Contest. It was written by Allan Bacon.

You can learn more about Allan at the end of the post… or just by reading about his adventure in this article.

作者是一位叫Allan Bacon的美國高階經理人

When I wake up I can look through the opening in the heavy drapes and see that I am still here. Cool, it wasn’t a dream.

I see the 1800s Haussmann-style townhouse across the street from our Paris apartment and I hear the sounds of Vespa scooters blaring down the street and shopkeepers talking as they open for business. Then I remember that I have three weeks to go living in the leafy 16th arrondissement with my wife and three daughters – for free, without taking vacation and without quitting my job.

I couldn’t have even conceived of this just three years earlier. Back then I was miserable in a corporate job. A snapshot: one night I couldn’t sleep because I was so stressed about work. So what did I do?  I got up and went to work – at 4 am. 

一開場,他就說明他現在如神仙般的現狀。他說,他早上起床,至今還不敢相信他已經身在巴黎,帶著她的太太和三個女兒,一起體驗新生活,而這一切都是「免費」的──他人在巴黎,依然在美國的公司「上班」,有薪水可領,也有房屋補助等等,而且不必辭去工作。

When I walked into the office I expected quiet. So I was surprised when I heard the clicking of keyboards and saw the lights on in several cubicles. At this company, everyone knew the trick of sending late night emails to “prove” our value as hardworking and committed to the company.  I just didn’t realize so many of those emails were coming from the office.

So, how did a 40-year-old average guy find his way from wee-hours corporate email suck-up to paid Parisian expat in three years?  I needed to learn three seemingly oxymoronic approaches to break the unspoken “rules” of the conformist career path.

你說,反正是老外,這種事情常常發生吧!不,這位Allan顯然和一般上班族沒兩樣,他是在一個很拚的辦公室裡上班,他說有一次清晨四點到公司,發現還有幾個cube竟是亮著燈的。大家都和小白鼠一樣,拚了命的跑轉輪,這時候,他已經四十歲,想不出什麼辦法,可以在這樣的高度競爭環境下出類拔萃?對他來說,哪天發現已經外調到遠方,應該是在作夢,要捏一下臉頰就會醒過來的夢;不然可能要計畫個十年,一切環節還要運氣夠好才能安排自己到那個狀態!

沮喪的他,已經隱隱的他想到,如果他的「巴黎夢」真的有哪一天能達成,那麼,這條路一定是一條「隱藏的道路」,一定是一般上班族所想不到的路。這,會是什麼路呢?

後來,他不只走了一條路。他走了三條路─如他所預測的,每一條路都「沒有道理」,也就是沒道理,才沒人去走──

1.  To keep moving forward, go backward

第一條路:如果想繼續往前走、往上爬,那你得開始往後走、往下爬

Why did I stay in my crazy corporate environment? Because it was so good! (Seriously.) I had great pay, a big bonus, growth potential and benefits. I’d have to be crazy to leave that, right?  Unfortunately, it was the environment that was making me crazy – it was like I was diving without a snorkel – the harder I tried to move forward, the more stressed I got and the less I could breathe.

So what did I do? I gave up. I did the unthinkable and went backwards on the career ladder. I went back to a job at a company I had had five years previously. Now instead of just a snorkel, I felt like I had a giant air tank on my back. Everything was easier and I had much more room to think and explore other options for my career.

Surprisingly, even though I had the same job, I learned that I was not the same person. I knew more and could add more value. Within a year my salary was higher than it had been at my old job, I was making a much bigger impact and I was starting to see new possibilities for myself. I was diving deeper and seeing more fish.

什麼!這是什麼意思?這位Allan傢伙形容,在公司裡工作其實真的很舒服,有薪水可領,有舒適的辦公室可去,其實就算做再辛苦的工作,也還是坐在辦公室裡、有手機可接、有咖啡可喝……那,為什麼大家都不見得喜歡現在的工作。

很簡單,因為大家都認定了每天要「不斷往前走」,不往前走的話,一方面不合自己期待、再者明年說不定被fire掉的就是你,這個「不斷往前走」的自我要求其實是隱型的,但它卻無處不存在辦公室空氣裡的每一個分子,在這樣的期待與這樣的恐懼下,上班族個個面黃肌瘦。這時候,Allan決定,向後走!

Allan所謂的「往後走」,並不是心理上就打混、不幹事,他竟然做了一件非常實際,但一般人無法想像的事──他,自動的「降級」,離開了現在的工作,然後去找一間新公司,做一個他在五年前就在做的工作!拿的是他五年前的頭銜--

為什麼?Why?Allan形容,在企業工作的感覺就像在「潛水」,下水的時候,潛得其實好好的,但如果你不滿意現在的風景,想要再往下潛,每移動一吋都覺得胸腔快要爆炸;不過,如果「自動降級」,會發現自己突然變得很強,背後好像背著一筒超級豐沛新鮮的氧氣,在水中游沁自如。

雖然此事做的工作是五年前的工作,但他已經不是原來的他,這份工作變得很輕鬆,讓他可以輕鬆達成任務,重要的是,遠遠超出老闆的要求!這,反而讓他升遷得更快、客戶也都超出預期的反應很好。Allan就這樣打破了上班族一直無法打破的「第一步」!

2.  To understand your passions, don’t analyze, experiment

第二條路,發揮自己的潛能,不要再「分析」了,直接「試吃」

Have you ever changed careers? The best approaches I could find used tests and coaching and analysis to help you look back at your history and then find the next step to a job that would make you happier. These never seemed to help me make the type of big change I was looking for.

It was the equivalent of trying to decide whether I would like mango ice cream by analyzing my past food choices. If I were doing it career-planning style, it would go something like this: OK, let’s look at what you’ve liked in the past – vanilla, strawberry – great. And let’s have you fill out what tastes you like. We’ll analyze these and rate you on the “Sweet/Tangy” scale. Then we’ll have you read a summary of the mango flavor. OK, based on those you need to decide whether to switch over to mango from vanilla.

I needed a way to actually take a taste of the areas that might bring me more satisfaction. How could I actually try being a DJ or a professional photographer without putting my whole family at risk? And how could I do it in very little time and with almost no cost?

I needed a way to take a bite-sized taste of different parts of life. I needed to be able to do Life Experiments.

Allan說得好,大部份的上班族想要改變自己的事業,第一件事就是去研究自己的「歷史」,求學的過程、工作的經歷,一點一點的去尋找,來找到更好的下一個答案。他馬上就發現這個方法的不正確之處,這就好像你現在想知道,「該不該吃芒果冰淇淋」,於是你去看看你一生至今吃過的「所有冰淇淋」,到底你是喜歡甜的、鹹的、還是什麼的……然後決定:你應該從香草跳到芒果來。這個方法的盲點是由於自己一直在進步、一直在改變中,從前的自己不一定是對的路,

Allan認為,No No,這個方法他一直找不到他要的答案,後來,他決定不再「分析」了,不必再去看看自己想要什麼,而是直接「實驗」。但實驗的技巧在於不能整個人跳進水缸裡,如果以冰淇淋為例,就是到各種冰淇淋攤位去「試吃」,Allan將它稱之為「生命實驗」,並且要一輩子不斷的嘗試,就算他現在四十幾歲,還是繼續嘗試中,反正是「試吃」,不買也還是好端端一個人,Allan問,一般上班族哪一個敢去「試吃」的?他變成第一個敢試吃的,就發現了很多自己以前從沒發現的新潛能、新機會。這個動作是天天做、月月做的,天天月月都在「試吃」。

3.  To find more satisfying work, focus on playing

第三條路:專業是「玩」出來的,儘管上班時也一樣

About this same time, another realization hit me: Work is a terrible place to find your calling.  Just like the career tests limited me to my past work experience, my job limited me to my current role in the company.  I guess I could have offered to DJ the company Holiday Party, but I didn’t see them letting me spend 4 hours a week doing that.

Back when I was a kid, we didn’t need to do any analysis to try something new. We just did it. When I wanted to be a radio DJ in 5th grade, I took my turntable to my friend Brian’s house. With our 2 turntables and a microphone we mixed a complete radio show: music, jokes, call-ins and shout-outs. When we played the tape at school, my teacher snorted because she was laughing so hard.

Notice what we didn’t do: we didn’t just dream about being DJs and we didn’t read about DJs and we didn’t interview a DJ. We were DJs. As kids, there were no limits to what jobs we could “try on.”

So I started doing Life Experiments by working them into the cracks and crevices of my busy schedule outside of work: visiting art galleries on a lunch break, taking photos on the weekend, exploring Tokyo paper shops between sales calls on a business trip. My guiding principle was to find the fastest, cheapest way to take action and try the essence of all the interests and job ideas I had.

All of these experiments gave me more and more ideas and more and more confidence in what was right for me. Eventually I realized that my wife and I could probably find a way to experiment with living abroad.  Et voilà, Paris.

Allan舉例,其實他一直想當DJ,但現在工作上,他只能在歲末尾牙派對自告奮勇當派對中的DJ,他很努力的籌備這一天的到來,但他所服務的公司老闆很快就告訴他,不要花太多時間在上面,「專心工作吧!」Allan說,上班族做什麼決定都會變慢,表面上看起來是因為時間的不足,但實際上是因為「人變得太實際」,他實際的知道自己不是DJ,技術也不到DJ水平,自己的工作也不該做DJ,總之,他「不是」一個DJ就是了。這是上班族的特色,也就是所謂的「專業」。

但,Allan針對這奇觀提出一個有趣的觀點,他說,回想他在小學五年級,也曾經想當過DJ,當時他就直接找他的好友到家裡玩唱片機,錄了一段,就帶到學校去了;那時候他很真心的認為「他就是一個DJ」,儘管事後看來那實在很蠢,但他當時真的很認真的認為,也因此他很投入DJ這件事情,也真的玩出一些東西來。

Allan問,現代上班族其實並非永遠都如此「實際」的。當我們下了班,來到社區棒球隊打球,我們其實知道自己揮棒的姿態、投球的樣子又笨又醜,但當我們站上投手丘,就不由自主的想像自己是王建民。

Allan說,會有這個差距,是因為在辦公室我們「不敢玩」,要等到下了班來到球場我們才會開始認真的「玩」,也開始敢想像、想像得好像真的一樣。他說,上班族也要學會打破那個實際,讓自己開始「玩」,看起來是在「專業」見客戶,你是一個好像電影裡面那個油嘴滑舌的超人業務在見客戶,這樣一來,你的潛力能完全發揮在工作上!

其實這三條路,都是心理層面多於實際層面,Allan回憶,這幾件事讓他到最後發現,他後來得到的收穫,遠遠超出他最初付出的努力,他的進步神速,他在工作上表現更好,幾乎成了五星級的雇員……。

巴黎呢?

Of course, none of those things happened. Our Paris trip was done by a house swap with a French family (I used Home Exchange and highly recommend it). In Paris, my daughters learned that not everyone around the world saw things the way we do, and they began imagining a whole new set of possibilities for their future. I arranged my business meetings for Europe while I was there – my company saved money and my customers were happy to have quick access to me. The benefits impacted all aspects of my life.

As I continued my Life Experiments, things started happening faster than I could have ever imagined. Each thing led to several new things. I had started my Avocationist blog about a year before I left work. The original purpose was to share helpful stories with others going through transitions. But as I interviewed people for the blog and I continued my own explorations, I realized that I needed to share the lessons I had learned with a bigger audience.

I applied one of my own big messages and made the mental shift to seeing work as a means to an end instead of the main focus on my life. I had some money saved up and then I negotiated an agreement with my employer to consult with them a day a week. This kept money coming in and gave me more time to work on speaking, writing and doing seminars. It’s only one year past Paris and I’m writing a book and consulting, no longer working in a company at all.

It’s never too late to become a Nonconformist. Don’t quit your job. Just quit thinking. Start experimenting. It will change your life.

走了這三條新路之後,Allan突然發現,他的工作其實就是「談客戶」,他靠以上三種方法,做這件事其實已經「厲害」到不必進公司,客戶就一直過來、一直過來,老闆也都很高興。他發現,他已經根本不必在現在住的地方,可以到法國巴黎小住,只要他將客戶這邊都顧得好好的,老闆一樣很高興,他也很高興,家人也都很高興!

他們加入「Home Exchange」網站,和一個法國家庭換了房子,就這樣住到了巴黎去;和一般的換房子家庭比起來,Allan這一家顯得非常輕鬆,因為他還繼續在工作,一邊工作一邊搬到巴黎去,他有一些歐洲客戶還因為他住得近了而變得更緊密,還在為他的工作「加分」!

最後他的結論是:想改變人生嗎?不要辭掉「工作」,而是辭掉「思考」(Don’t quit your job. Just quit thinking)。第一個必須辭掉的思考,就從以上三條新路開始。

 

http://chrisguillebeau.com/3x5/moving-to-paris-without-quitting-my-day-job-a-lesson-in-becoming-a-nonconformist/

 

 

最後總結真的說的很好 是要辭掉你的思考 並不是你的想法

 

想讓生活過的更好 必須要去規劃

 

希望每個人都能有新的想法喔~~

 

 

 

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  • 小q
  • 這篇文章真的很棒:) 謝謝
  • 是呀,我也覺得 這個文章寫的很好 就一起分享給大家囉

    runway1008 於 2009/11/05 12:23 回覆