YES MAN How to Uncover New Career Possibilities
By Jessica Sitomer
There are always twists and turns in a movie, and in Yes Man, it was no exception. A major turn was when Carl Allen, played by Jim Carrey, chose to take on the action step of saying “Yes” to everything, based on the idea from a personal development program he attended. While at first, it presented a major challenge, he stuck with it and his life turned around both romantically and professionally.
We tend to get so attached to our daily routines, our beliefs, and our habits, that when asked something outside of the norm, our default answer is always “No.” But what if you said YES? What if one day when a colleague called you up and asked you to go for a hike, while you were comfortably sitting on the couch in your pajamas, procrastinating the phone calls you had to return, instead of going to the “no” default, you paused, pushed all thoughts aside and simply said YES. And then what if on that hike you bumped into someone you haven’t seen in years since you worked on a project together, and that person invited you to a party on Friday night. Again, instead of saying no because your significant other doesn’t like industry parties, you pause, push all thoughts aside and say, YES. At the party you make 12 new contacts, help 4 complete strangers (one of whom will end up hiring you a year later) and get asked to interview for a job on Monday. The job is a freebie and you’d normally say, no, but instead you say YES. While at the interview, not only do you get offered the freebie (to which you say YES) you are also introduced to another producer (who will end up hiring you for your first studio picture in 9 months). The freebie, is a great success and wins numerous awards at top film festivals… and on and on grow the successes, all because you said YES.
Here are some tips for making the power of YES work for you:
1. Start noticing and tracking how many requests are made of you each day, and note your answers (yes/no/maybe)
2. Once you are aware of how many opportunities you receive to say YES, set a criteria for saying NO. In other words, you probably don’t want to say YES to everything, and you don’t want to allow yourself off the hook too easily. So decide what would constitute a NO.
3. Because you’re a creative person, create a chart. Let your imagination decide what it can look like. Write down each YES you say, and determine when it leads to another YES, so you can see how the chart grows and expands, and have visible proof of how your YESes are paying off and creating opportunities.
In the end Carl recognized that it wasn’t in his best interest to say YES to everything, but the lessons he learned along the way changed his life for the better. There is truly a great power in saying YES!
1. Say YES to one thing you typically say no to.
2. If you’re open to the exercise in the article, set up a one month plan of action to set yourself up for success.
YES can powerfully change your course right now, so my question to you is, “Will you take this exercise on?” and your answer is _____.