Jana Stanfield: “Are You In Someone Else’s Dream Job?”

When we graduated, some of us were lucky enough to land a job immediately.

Meanwhile, those who aren’t so lucky may end up being idle for months, to the point that we’d just get a job – any job. It doesn’t have to be our dream job.

We need the experience, after all. Then again, is what we’re doing good for us in the long run?

We spoke to Jana Stanfield, platinum-record songwriter and motivational speaker at Leaderonomics’ Malaysia Leadership Summit 2019.

Jana is also the co-founder of Together We Can Change The World, an organisation dedicated to improving the well-being of disadvantaged children and women in Southeast Asia. She was a former award-winning TV journalist at NBC in New Mexico before deciding to pursue a career in music.

Her family was very proud that she was a news reporter, and she was on TV as an anchor for most days a week. She shared:

“Every murder in our town was my job to describe.”

She felt that she was ill-suited for the job, as a crime journalist.

“I saw many other young women who were sending in their resumes and forwarding their audition tapes. During those four years that I worked with the station, I realized that I was taking up space in someone else’s dream job.”

She asks millennial women to ask themselves, are you taking up space in someone else’s dream job because you don’t have the courage to go look for your own?

“Are you taking up space in someone else’s dream job because you don’t have the courage to go look for your own?”

Jana went on to clarify that our dreams change. “When I was coming out of university, I just wanted a job, and I wanted to be on TV. I soon realized that I wanted to be the interviewee and not the interviewer.”

And now, she is the interviewee, after years of hard work and some career changes.

Every woman is a thought leader at work

To working millennial women, Jana has a few words of advice:

“No matter what position you hold, you are a thought leader.”

“You are a thought leader every day because your co-workers are listening,” she added. “Are you going to go along with people who speak negatively, or people who speak positively and look to increase the good at where you work? When you look to increase the good at where you work, you become a thought leader for good.”

On burn out & asking for help

Sometimes we get burned out in our field of work. Getting burned out is common, of course, but we hardly ever stop there because work needs to be done, and money needs to be earned. Still, we’d become dazed and depressed before we even know it.

Jana believes that it’s very important to ask for help and to be open-minded to the help that you’re offered.

“To ask for help is actually a sign of great strength.”

She added, “Sometimes we can’t see past our own roadblocks, but there are others who can and will help you take the right next step.”