Renessa Boley Layne found that her own dream job is helping other people to find theirs and figuring out how to place a value on that so they can get paid very well for the work they love doing. Renessa took several wrong turns along the way. She was so good in math and science that she was groomed from junior high to go into STEM (before STEM was even a concept) and was further rewarded with a six-figure salary as a successful engineer while in her early 20’s. But she hated math and science, and life gave her signs—chronic illness, depression, etc.—but she was deaf to them for quite a while because she was advised to tough it out. That’s what high-achieving women do. Renessa took the safe path—the path where she could get a free education, followed by a job where she could make a lot of money. When she hated that career, she tried something different, which she also hated. This went on until she slowed down, found her true gift is helping other people find their own dream jobs and she founded Perfect Work Academy for other high-achieving women and men.
She Wrote the Book
Fast Lane, Wrong Direction: Insider Secrets to Redesign Your Success and Reclaim the Passion, Purpose and Balance You Lost Along the Way tells Renessa’s story and the process she went through to discover work that she loves. She says it isn’t easy. It’s scary and arduous and it even requires grieving and self-forgiveness when you quit a “successful” career. We receive so much of our identity (respect and prestige) from our job titles and credentials that we often lead with those when people ask what we do, rather than describing our purpose and what gives us fulfillment in life. Renessa says that the market pays for value and once you figure that out, you can get highly paid to do anything.
Three Steps to Finding Your Dream Job
If you are feeling stuck consider these steps that Renessa says are absolutely critical to figuring out how to create your dream job.
- Design with the end in mind.
Renessa says, “Clarity is crystal clear. Nothing is dynamic until it’s specific.” Don’t just get a college degree or take a job to do something different. Define your perfect work first. Don’t be afraid to be bold. Renessa says that you can have anything you want as long as you get clear about it. If you can’t figure it out on your own, pay for help.
- Figure out your own strategic sequence.
Renessa points out that everyone has their own starting point in life. As an example, she says that she is 45 years old with a daughter living at home. Nancy has grown daughters and grandchildren. They have different starting points and their strategies will be different for finding their perfect work.
- Position your value.
Any two people will be paid differently for the same job. Renessa uses the example of two speakers—one will make a lot of money speaking, while the other may not make so much. The market pays for value, and you have to decide how to position that value so the client, company or customer pays you well for your dream job.
Many of these principles apply to any big change you want to make. Renessa says that whether you want to change the way you parent, your role in a relationship, or any other aspect of life that you find unfulfilling, the three steps and process is the same. Check out her book if any of these situations resonate with you.
In the meantime, check out this free tool, the Success and Happiness Test. This test applies to any goal related to your work—if you want to write a book, become a leading authority, start a side hustle, whatever you’re considering. Answer the 12 questions on Renessa’s Success and Happiness Test and you will receive a 10 page customized report that tells you what you’re doing right and wrong, how to create your perfect work or change your situation. Renessa predicts, “It will read you like a book.”
Listen to this conversation for more of Renessa’s story and perspectives on how we view ourselves in the careers we choose, how our egos stick us in certain places, how to orchestrate the support we need, and more. Check out Renessa’s website for success stories and additional information.