82: Does Following Your Passion Really Bring in the Money?

July 8, 2021

Why you would work a lower-paying job, does following your passion really bring in the money, can you have money, freedom and happiness? Abby Wambach’s book Wolfpack, Joy starting at BetterHelp, how to really know what it feels like when you have a good therapist, the problem with gaps in resumes being a thing, and which sports we would rather do.

Who Gets to Be an Influencer

The Debate Over Critical Race Theory

EAT TO EVOLVE

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www.joyandclaire.com

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This is Joy & Claire Episode 82: Does Following Your Passion Really Bring in the Money?

Episode Date: July 8, 2021

Transcription Completed: July 21, 2021

Audio Length: 52:22 minutes 

Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.

Claire: And this is Claire.

Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. 

Claire: Welcome.

Joy: Welcome to our world, welcome to our world.

Claire: Oh my gosh, I was behind a car this morning that had, not a license plate, but the license plate frame, and it didn’t have the actual letters written out, but if you read it, it said M-I-C-K-E-Y-M-O-U-S-E. 

Joy: Oh, I love it.

Claire: But it didn’t have an M, an I. It was like E-Y-E. Then I was like, M-I-C-K – ohhh.

Joy: Don’t you love when you get the cryptic license plates.

Claire: And I love that it was so wholesome. I was ready for it to be something about balls or something. You’re like, oh, it’s Mickey Mouse. 

Joy: It’s actually clean. It’s not dirty. Yay. Oh, that’s so funny. I can’t remember… Scott saw…. Some of the license plates you see on cars around here. He sent me a picture of a Jeep that had replicated the Barbie Jeep. It was to the T the color. It was crazy. Okay, well hi. Hello. Hello everybody out there in the listening podcast land. We have an email to start with. We talked last week about why you would work a lower-paying job and salaries and your worth and so on and so forth. One of our listeners, EJ, wrote us an email. Hi, EJ. It says, “Hi Joy and Claire. After your recent episode on job salaries, I thought I’d write in since I work a job that would pay much more in the private sector. I’m currently an AmeriCorps member in a non-profit that does disaster relief construction. My job is to lead volunteers through all phases of construction on the houses where we’re building. An equivalent job, like a project manager or site supervisor, could pay between $40-150,000 depending on years of experience. AmeriCorps member specifically state national make $14,000 in their 10-month term of service. It is not a salary. It is a living stipend. This is because we are serving the community, and most of the people we serve live by similar means. It is by no means a long-term job. Literally you can only serve four terms in a state and national branch of AmeriCorps. I’ve been thinking a lot of the same things you all were talking about because I’m nearing the end of my third term. I will have earned my maximum education award by then, so it is not financially worth continuing beyond 20 months of service, for me at least. I’m now faced with the same questions I had in college. What do I want to do in life? How do I want to make an impact? What brings me joy? I also have to hope that there is a job out there that fits those questions AND that I’m qualified for AND that will pay me decently. I, too, am running into jobs that would pay better but aren’t as fulfilling to me. As a young person, I often wonder if I’m being too picky. Should I just take a job that I don’t enjoy for 2-3 years to get experience for a job I might actually like? My gut tells me to follow my passion and money will follow. But I also know that my passion for non-profits is not lucrative, even though I may be worth more. It’s quite a decision that I’m faced with. All I can confidently say is that service is important to me. If at the end of the day that means lower salary, I’m okay with that. For now, at least. Maybe that will change, but right now the fulfillment I get from my job outweighs the monetary gain. Also, literally any job will pay more than the AmeriCorps stipend that I’m getting right now, so yeah. Best of luck in the job hunt, Joy. EJ.”

Claire: I love this because I think it just brings up that there’s so much more context to this decision for everyone. It will depend on what life stage you’re in. We’ve talked a lot in the past about not being too picky and taking any opportunity that’s “in the zip code” of what your goals are and that you can really get into analysis paralysis waiting for the perfect, exact right fit.

Joy: Yes. Which is very real.

Claire: Totally. Very, very real. There also is the balance between don’t necessarily feel like you have to wait for the perfect fit, but also don’t sell yourself short on opportunities just because they aren’t the perfect fit.

Joy: Exactly.

Claire: Don’t’ pass up things just because they aren’t exactly what you thought they were going to be. And yeah, maybe there are certain points in your life. Like I talked about last time, I was an unpaid intern for the first several years of my career, and that was more because of the economy at the time than because of how I wanted to live my life. But at the time, It was like, yeah, I could eat random food scraps from the backpacking closet. 

Joy: Right.

Claire: Now if I did that, it would be a big problem.

Joy: But I think being too picky thing, I feel like it comes up a lot. I feel like it comes up a lot when we’re searching for jobs and looking for opportunities and the ideas that we have around jobs and fulfillment. So I reposted something that Adam Grant posted yesterday. It kicked me in the gut. I struggle with this so much. I don’t know if there’s an answer, but if anyone out there can weigh in to help me with this, it drives me up the wall. It says, “Think twice about opportunities that offer more status but less freedom. Winning accolades and influence is rarely worth it if you lose the ability to control your time and express your voice. Happiness hinges on maintaining freedom. Success is gaining degrees of freedom.” Truly, can you have a higher-status job… can you have both? And you look at all the white men in power that have these jobs, but can they maintain this level of unhappiness? All of it, my mind starts getting into cobwebs.

Claire: I think it really depends on what you have come to expect. Because I think I see a lot of people who have these higher-paying jobs that really aren’t – well, first of all, I don’t think that statement he made applies to all higher-paying jobs. It was saying that just because something has this higher status doesn’t always mean –

Joy: Like are you selling your freedom? True.

Claire: But not that they can never go together.

Joy: Right. And I think that’s where I’m asking is, can you have both?

Claire: I think you can, and I see that people do have both. But I think that it’s not as automatic. When you’re moving up or you get a job that has more status or it’s the sexy job, you equate a lot of things with that in your mind, and a lot of times when we as Americans think about a successful lifestyle that comes with – vacations and all this luxury, and that’s definitely not the case. I’ve been listening to a lot of the Dare to Lead podcast, which I love.

Joy: Brene Brown, Dare to Lead, great.

Claire: I love that podcast. I’m not really a podcast person, as you guys know, and I say this every single time that I recommend a podcast, but I really like this one. The one I was listening to was the episode with Doug Conant. He was this very, apparently, well-known CEO. He worked for Kraft. He worked for Campbell Soup. He worked for a lot of big food companies, and he really turned them around. Anyway, the point of this is he had this really high paying, really successful, really high-profile, came to really be well-known career, and one of the things at the end – Brene has this thing where all the guests she has on her podcast, she asks them all the same five questions at the end of the podcast. Somehow it came up that he was really grateful for having been home during the pandemic because he actually was able to sit down at the dinner table with his kids who are now in their 30s and 40s. He was like, “It made me realize how much I think I might have missed because I was never there when they were growing up because I was always working and I had this big career.” It was just one of those moments that you rarely get, sort of this glimpse behind the curtain. People will talk about that, but they’ll immediately spin it around and be like, “But it was worth it. I’m really fulfilled.” They try to put the silver lining on it right away, and it was just this really great – I don’t think he even meant it to be this moment of this look behind this curtain of him looking back on his life and realizing, yeah, I missed a lot. So you know, it’s all relative.

Joy: Do you believe in the follow your passion and money will follow?

Claire: I want to.

Joy: I struggle with that one so much.

Claire: But I don’t really believe it. Because I haven’t seen it happen, unless you’re like the one in ten thousand Instagram influencers. I think that’s the thing is that the only time I’ve ever seen that really take place is in the influencer world. And even that, I think requires a price that is beyond what most people really recognize. That your whole life just becomes this quest for content.

Joy: Yes, yes.

Claire: Everything that you do and every moment of your life, you’re constantly thinking how can this be a post, how can I turn this into a package and sell it? So you’ll see people who are like, “I discovered my passion, and now I make a $1 million a month on Instagram.” That’s because at the end of the day, that person’s passion is content creation.

Joy: Yep.

Claire: And that’s fine and great for them for living in an era where content creation is king. But truly, that’s the core of it. “I found my passion” – it’s like when you get to the root of their true “passion” is, they have to be super passionate about creating content. But when it comes to this big picture follow your passion and the money will come, I think follow your passion and the fulfillment will come. And I think a certain amount of money has to be a part of that because it’s really hard to feel fulfilled if you can’t make ends meet.

Joy: I just think it’s way more nuanced than all of these catch phrases, and I think that’s what really bothers me. We get into these catch phrases where it’s like, it’s actually not true. Sure, you don’t want to be miserable, so you want to do something that you’re not hating life every single day. But sometimes you have to do those jobs to get by. I feel like it’s a little bit gaslighting to be like, “follow your passion and the money will follow.”

Claire: Totally. Because then it makes you feel like, I must somehow be –

Joy: It’s kind of like the secret when bad stuff happens. “Well, I must not have been manifesting,” and you’re blaming yourself for it, and I hate that crap. I think that’s what I have a problem with. Maybe some would argue, “Joy, you’re not manifesting correctly if that’s how you’re thinking.” But I’m just like, no. And I’m probably part realist too where I have to land in the middle. I can’t keep my feet off the ground for that long, or else I go crazy. Maybe that’s why I don’t manifest a gazillion dollars in my brain. I don’t know. Those are the things that come up when I think “follow your passion and the money will follow.” Speaking of influencers, have you seen the episode of the New York Times – you probably haven’t. It’s called “Who Gets to Be an Influencer.” I highly recommend it if you guys have Hulu, or I think you can watch it on YouTube. But just Google “Who Gets to Be an Influencer,” and I’ll also put it in the show notes. A guy put together a group of Black influencers in a mansion in Atlanta to shake things up, kind of like the groups of –

Claire: The TikTok houses.

Joy: Yeah, the TikTok houses in California where it’s all white people. And their discussion is around how to get more Black influencers onto the grid because the algorithm right now is very white. And white influencers are being exponentially more than Black influencers. But not only that, it’s a vicious cycle because white influencers get more views. It’s almost like, again, the system is set up to pay white people more. So it’s a really interesting episode about how they’re working on creating content and putting more focus on getting Black influencers more exposure. Highly recommend it. “Who Gets to Be an Influencer.”

Claire: The way you said that in the beginning, I thought you were going to say it’s like a game show like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? 

Joy: Oh, no. Yeah. No, The New York Times does episodes around specific things. They did the whole Britney Spears episode around her conservatorship. They have significant stories, I don’t know if it’s every month, they put out on Hulu and also you can YouTube it. Highly recommend watching that. Which then also makes me very conscious of how I consume content. Am I seeing only white people on my feed? And how can we diversify our feeds?

Claire: Always. I think about that pretty much all the time. Because I’m always on Instagram.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: One of the – yeah. I was going to launch into a whole Instagram thing.

Joy: Let’s not give Instagram – talk about the episode you were mentioning with Abby Wambach and Brene.

Claire: Oh, yeah. Also last week we talked about how you don’t have to settle for just “be grateful” and how so many of us were raised to have this knee jerk reaction to not ask for more because we were taught don’t be ungrateful. Don’t ask for more. Don’t be ungrateful. I was listening to the Dare to Lead podcast episode with Brene Brown and Abby Wambach. 

Joy: Look at you. Brene.

Claire: Two Brene Brown episodes in one week. It’s amazing. It’s because I have been working out earlier in the morning, and it’s too early to call my mom.

Joy: [laughing] Carol’s not up.

Claire: Or she’s actually doing things, so I can’t just call her to chat. She’s probably going to listen to this and be like, “You can call me. It’s not that early.” It’s like 7 in the morning. So I was listening to Brene and Abby go through Abby Wambach’s book called Wolf Pack. It’s all about leadership style and what she learned about leadership from her career as a super successful soccer player. And it turns out, she has a whole chapter specifically about this trap of “just be grateful.” For her, she talks about how she had this lightbulb moment as she was leaving the SB awards. And she was there with LeBron James.

Joy: LeBron and another big, high-paid athlete. Male.

Claire: Yeah. These other athletes who had made tens of millions of dollars, and their biggest concern was what am I going to do to invest my millions and millions of dollars. And her biggest concern was how am I going to pay my mortgage next month. 

Joy: Right. She’s like, the gap was so huge.

Claire: So she talks about this moment a lot. She went back to her hotel that night and she realized, “My world is so different.” Even though her physical contribution to the sport, she has scored the most goals of any soccer player ever in history, and yet here she is without a retirement plan practically. So she talks about how she had this realization that her whole career, she had sort of had this subconscious feeling that she didn’t really deserve to be in any of the places that she was but that she had been invited there and she should be so grateful that someone had asked her to come.

Joy: Right. You should be grateful that you’re at the table.

Claire: You should be grateful that you’re here. And she’s like, not that I’m not grateful. But she’s like, I freaking earned that. Every single spot, I worked for it. I am great at what I do, and that’s why I was there. I wasn’t there because someone else was showing – and I’m paraphrasing her words. She pretty much was like, I had this realization that my whole career felt like I was only there because someone else had graciously given this opportunity to me, not that I had earned the opportunity from my own hard work and skill. It completely goes along with what we were saying last week. As I was listening to it, I was like, oh I didn’t come up with this idea. Abby Wambach had it first. And I’m sure a million other people have had it. I always love hearing really outwardly successful people talk about these kinds of things, and I think it’s getting more and more common. But I feel like I always tell this story that on my first day of grad school – I did a graduate program through a law school, so my orientation was the same orientation as the law school orientation. So all of the speakers that they had on that first day were all these successful Colorado lawyers. The first female judge on the Colorado Supreme Court. People who were really successful and a ton of people who you would look at and think this person must have known they wanted to do this since they were a kid.

Joy: Right.

Claire: And the one thing that all of those speakers had in common was, “If you had told me on my first day of law school that this is where I would be, I wouldn’t have believed you.” Every single one of them, their story takes them into a place of, “And then something happened that I never would have expected.” I always just really appreciate hearing that sort of behind-the-scenes of people who are successful. So to hear that Abby Wambach of all people still have this feeling that she didn’t really deserve to be there, except that someone had graciously offered her a spot there, not that she was the best of all time and that’s why she was there – it’s really relatable, and it’s also just infuriating. That this is so ingrained that even the best of the best of the best of the best of the best second guess their right to have a place in that system.

Joy: That one enrages me too because it almost is a system that is set up where this is the “how it’s always been” mentality. Reminds me of Megan Rapinoe fight for – Abby Wambach as well – but fighting for equal pay in soccer. How big of a battle that it.

Claire: It’s like, this should be a no brainer.

Joy: This should be a no brainer. But how interesting that the system is set up to where – I hate to keep using this term – but it’s almost gaslighting her again where they’re met with resistance for asking for more pay, even though when you’re comparing apples to apples, they are winning –

Claire: More successful.

Joy: Way more successful. Winning more. More goals. Every statistic is higher than men’s. However, they are the ones met with resistance. It’s not happening, blah blah blah. And that would make me feel, if I was in that scenario, why are we asking? Or should we be asking? Do we just be grateful because we’re women. Where it’s back to the old mentality of, well, women just don’t make as much. It’s just ridiculous. It’s absolutely ridiculous.

Claire: And there’s that tweet that’s funny but not funny. It’s funny but painful where it’s like, women should just stop choosing lower-paying careers. Like woman doctor and woman lawyer. [sarcastically laughing] 

Joy: [sarcastically laughing] I think about this a lot where comics often – like Iliza Schlesinger. By the way, her new movie is great. Go watch it. Good on Paper. On Netflix. I’ve watched it twice already. It’s a new comfort movie, one of those movies you could just watch over and over again. Yeah, it’s great. Anyway, she talks about that a lot. Being a comic but being referred to as a female comic. Where she’s like, growing up in the comedy clubs, you’re often referred to as the female comic. Or, “How does it feel to be a female comic in a sea of men?” Those questions drive her crazy. This is nothing new. I think what we are realizing is just how maddening it is that we have to be met with this, well should be just be grateful and sit down. Because we’ve come a long way. We can vote now. Or whatever.

Claire: Right. And those are the things that it’s like, when people want to say, “Well, you have all of these things. Why do you want more? It’s like, everyone is going to want more until everyone has the same stuff. Or an equitable amount of stuff. We don’t want necessarily the same exact, but we want it to be equitable. And here we are sitting as white women talked about this. We don’t know the half of it.

Joy: Right. I was going to just say that. For people of color, it’s beyond this conversation.

Claire: And it’s hard to want to bring awareness to that – not hard, but while we want to bring awareness to that, while also acknowledging we don’t know the half of it, it just really highlights still there is really so few groups – and that group, by and large, white, cisgendered, able bodied men who have the default amount of… privilege is the word I’m looking for, but I feel like that word is so overused. They get the default amount of things handed to them without having to feel like –

Joy: The default amount of 5 thousand steps, 5 million steps, 500 billion steps ahead of everybody from day one.

Claire: And you know, not ever being made to feel like, “You should just be grateful.” “You already get the door open for you, why do you want to ask for equal pay? You can’t have both.” “Well, you can’t have maternity leave. It was your choice to get pregnant.” We could just go down that rabbit hole for a hundred years. But for us, even in our serious positions of privilege, to even say that we still feel this way about certain things, to just realize that it’s actually a very small minority of people who don’t feel this way. And yet, they’re somehow the ones who call all the big shots. It sucks.

Joy: Yeah. We could go down a lot of rabbit holes for this discussion. I mean, I could make a whole podcast about this. Here’s the thing. I recently listened to one of The Daily episodes. If you want to have rage and just get angry, I think it’s important to get fired up about these things because it reminds us that there’s a lot of work to do. But it’s called “The Debate Over Critical Race Theory.” The fact that so much of this is up for debate just made me want to punch a wall. Highly recommend listening to that too. I don’t think anyone listening to this podcast questions that this is still a huge issue that people have to debate that… there’s no debate over it. We know that people are out there that have a debate about it. But if you lack an understanding about race in this country, just please listen to that episode. I can’t imagine any of the listeners.

Claire: You never know.

Joy: You never know. And if you do understand it, still listen because I think it’s important.

Claire: We don’t take for granted that we understand every aspect.

Joy: Yeah. There’s a part of me that’s like I want to understand other sides, but I don’t want to understand other sides. I just don’t.

Claire: Okay. So, the other exciting news from this week, very much relating to all of this, is that you have taken a little step in your journey towards a new job or just getting some more things back on the table. And that is that you signed up to be a therapist on Better Help.

Joy: Yes.

Claire: So how’s that going?

Joy: I sure did. This was a very… I don’t want to say last minute decision. It’s been on my mind for quite some time. I think with all new things, you’re just hesitant to try it and you don’t know what to expect. Is this going to be a good platform? And yada, yada, yada. So I think it was just more of, I really wanted to stick to my word of what I talked about last week around just starting. Just start something. While also realizing I don’t want to burn myself out and work really hard while I’m also wanting to use this time to sit and reflect and look for another job. So I signed up. I was like, I’m just going to do it. I’m just going to set a platform. The nice thing about this platform is as a therapist you can really control the amount of clients who come to you. And so I signed up, and I started getting clients right away. I’m already at a point where I’m not accepting new clients because I have a max amount that I want right now. But you can always turn on and off your availability. I just want to reiterate how easy this platform is to use for therapists, but it’s also really easy to use for clients. So they vet their therapist very well, meaning I had to go through a background check. They verify your license. They do a video interview with you. They check your driver’s license. They make you hold your driver’s license up so that you – everything is very we… it’s a liability to them. 

Claire: And it’s run by a person. You can’t fake it.

Joy: No, you schedule an actual video meeting with someone and you talk to them. They make sure that your background is professional. There’s a lot of quality control that they do. You’re rated on how quick you are to respond to people, so if you take too long to respond they’ll drop your score. Also people – patients and clients – I use that interchangeably just because at my old job I always said patience – can rate you. So you can get a score. Those are really difficult because sometimes in therapy –

Claire: People don’t like you.

Joy: People don’t like you – well, sometimes when you have to deal with difficult things, sometimes they don’t want to deal with difficult things. Sometimes reviews of therapists I kind of take with a grain of salt.

Claire: I mean, I take all reviews with a grain of salt.

Joy: That’s very true.

Claire: I’m on Amazon and it’s like, “This table arrived in pieces.” I’m like, eh, that’s a one-off.

Joy: Sometimes it’ll be like, “The whole bottle exploded.” And I’ll be like, well you live in a place that’s 6,000 ft or whatever.

Claire: My favorite… anyway, we can go down the whole rabbit whole of internet reviews. All that to say that I don’t think I’ve ever read a review of anything and been like, that is objectively what happened.

Joy: It’s very smart. And I know business owners probably hate reviews and Yelp and the invention of online reviews because it’s always that one person that comes on and is like, “Well, the envelop was kind of ripped” or whatever. Anyway. So you can review your therapist, and you’re rated by the platform. So I have a personal rating. They track that. They also kick you off the platform if you don’t respond to a patient. 

Claire: If you don’t respond at all?

Joy: Yeah, if you don’t respond within 24 hours, they’ll send you a warning. This hasn’t happened to me because I respond really quickly, but if you don’t respond to a patient, they will just kick you off the platform. They won’t send you any new clients. So they have a really good way of managing it to where the therapist is accountable. And if you’re not doing your job. But at the same time, it’s nice because they just send you clients. No one’s emailing you every day. It’s very hands off, very contented, like it’s a private practice where I just see patients, do my notes, call it a day.  So I’ve really enjoyed that piece. The first day that I was seeing clients, I was like, oh my gosh, is this what it’s like to work for yourself type of thing? There’s no one bothering me. There’s no boss breathing down your neck. Just that feeling, is this how it is to work for yourself? But the patients are awesome. There’s people that are so, so amazing. I really like the clientele. The limitations that I see for telehealth is obviously it just does not replace in-person therapy.

Claire: So okay. Talk about that for a second. We get a lot of questions from people who are like, “I looked for a therapist. I didn’t find one that I liked.” Or, “I had a bad experience.” Or, “There’s not one in my area” or whatever the thing may be. You kind of always say, yeah, tele therapy is really helpful but it’s not a replacement. And then when you see these services marketed, they very much market themselves as your primary therapist. This Better Help connection is your primary therapist. So what do you mean by that?

Joy: Right. And they can be for certain things. And I think how they refer patients. You don’t get a diagnosis on this platform, but they do a good job of referring patients that have concerns of depression or anxiety, things that you can manage on a telehealth platform. I would say if you have a very active and clinically severe eating disorder or substance use problem, then teletherapy is going to have limitations. It’s not that you can’t get help on those platforms, but it’s going to be limiting in the sense that in-person therapy, you can see body language. You can see someone’s appearance a lot better, which we take into account when we’re doing therapy. Better Help, the patient can choose to do video, telephone, or a live chat. So if someone really only wants to interact with me on a live chat, I can’t see how they’re physically doing. And there’ll be times when a client will come into my office and they look great, and then the next week they’re disheveled, and that says a lot about what’s going on with them. So from the clinician standpoint, that is something that’s limiting on my end. But it’s really up to the clinician, the therapist to say, hey patient, I think you would do better in an environment like A, B, or C. So I don’t think it’s really up to the patient or client to understand. I don’t think you need to worry about that if you’re like, “Well, what if it doesn’t help me?” Because I think a good therapist will know their patients when you need what we call a “higher level of care.” But I just think for something that might last a year and a half in therapy, if the treatment plan is really long, I think a combination of video and in-person would probably be better. For something like if you’re working an EMDR. EMDR can be done online, it just isn’t the same. But also, that is my insecurity because I am so used to doing therapy in. person. So it’s also something that’s like, I’m not going to do as good of a job because I don’t have that experience of doing that type of therapy on a telehealth platform. So that’s kind of what I mean around that is it has its limitations. It’s better than nothing. I’m not saying it’s bad by any stretch of the imagination. It’s only the second day, and I feel like I’ve been doing really good work with the people that are coming to me. And they’re also not coming to me with such severe levels of depression that I feel like, woah, this is not the place for you. So I feel like Better Help is doing a good job of, perhaps they have clinicians on the intake side where they’re going to outreach those patients. I don’t know how they do it, to be frank, when someone signs up how they start assigning people. But that’s what I mean on that. Now as far as how you can find a therapist that you like – was that one of the questions that you asked?

Claire: Part of one of the questions that we get a lot is – and we talk about this a lot – is how to find a therapist or how to get started. We get a follow-up question from people a lot that’s like, okay, that’s fine, but what am I looking for. It’s one thing of the technicalities of, go to your health insurance website and here’s where you find them, and go to their website and see if it’s a good fit. But once you actually get in the office, how do you tell if it’s a good fit in just one or two sessions before you’ve spent several, several hundreds of dollars only to get five sessions in and be like, “This isn’t really doing it for me.”

Joy: Right. The best way I can describe it is if you’re with somebody and you feel like they get you. You feel comfortable talking to them. And it’s not like you have to spill your life story in the first session because that’s not always comfortable. It takes some time to build a rapport. But it’s not to say in the first session or second session where you’re like, well, how do I know if I’m building a rapport. I mean, truly do you like the therapist’s office? Does it feel warm and inviting? Is there crap everywhere? For teletherapy, you can kind of see their environment. Are they dressed appropriately? Are they late? Are they showing up late without telling you? On the platform, I can message people quickly and say, “I’ll be signing on in 2 minutes” or whatever. But that is something that, like with anything of quality, you should be looking at quality, you should be looking at the environment, you should be looking at their communication style. Are they sending you emails or phone calls to confirm the appointment? Some of these just common courtesy things you would expect from a service, because you’re paying for a service. So it’s not like they’re just rolling out the red carpet, but it’s a service you’re paying for. They should be professional. They should be having a professional office. Now as far as comfort level, the first session often times we’re doing an intake, so that sometimes can be dry and very basic questions that are not super directed at therapy per se. So the first session can sometimes feel like you didn’t get a lot of therapy in that session because they’re trying to get a background about you. But if they jump to any conclusions or they make any comments that make you feel uncomfortable, those are red flags. For the most part, a therapist should be warm and inviting and explain everything to you and say, this is how we operate. We typically schedule sessions this many times a month or every other week or whatever the case may be. Explain what therapy looks like. Give you their disclosure, which is their credentials. But I know it’s vague in the sense that people are like, well what if I don’t know how it feels. Well, maybe stick with it if you feel okay. But if you have any red flags, trust that. Trust your gut if you feel any red flags of a therapist saying something that didn’t sit well with you or if they were just ignoring you, dismissive. That happens at times, where you bring something up and they’ll dismiss it. Does that help?

Claire: Yeah, I think so. It’s hard because there’s not one answer that’s like, oh well, you’ll know a bad therapist when X, Y, Z. Some people the late thing is going to make them crazy. Other people are like, cool, I’m going to be ten minutes late just as often as you’re going to be ten minutes late. Ride it out. And I think that it is hard because it is something that, for most of us, it’s already taken us a long time to get to the point where we’re even ready to look for a therapist. It can take years to get to the point where you’re like, okay, I’m going to do it. I’m going to go to a therapist.

Joy: Ready to do it.

Claire: And then to realize it could take you another several months or longer to find the right therapist, it’s like, no, I want to go in. I’m ready for my problems to be fixed today. I’ve already waited until the last minute to fix this problem. I don’t have time to shop for a therapist.

Joy: Right. And most of the time with therapy, you want to strike while the iron’s hot because you often will put that on the back burner. You lose motivation to do therapy because therapy’s something where you have to have the motivation and be in the headspace to do it. Which is another reason why I think Better Help is good for that, where they match you really quickly. So if you sign up, you get matched within 24 hours or 48 hours. It’s a great opportunity to get served quickly. Yeah, if you were in a situation where you want to see someone in person and you’re paying out of pocket and you’re trying to find someone, you’re like, well, I’m waiting all this time and perhaps they don’t have anything available for the next month. That’s another good point. I would ask upfront, what is your availability looking like these days? If they say, “I’m seeing people once a month,” then see you later. Unless you have an idea where you really only want to see a therapist once a month, great. Most people want to see their therapist at least two or three times a month.

Claire: Especially at the beginning.

Joy: Especially at the beginning. So if that’s okay with you, fine. But perhaps ask if they’re available. If you get through the intake and they’re like, “I’ll see you in about five weeks,” and you’re like, “What?” You know. It kind of feels like you’re left high and dry. I always say this to clients when they’re starting therapy. I understand during the first session, a lot of people are coming to therapy because they want relief. And so I will ask the question in therapy very often, almost every first session, “What can I help you with today that we can do within this time frame that will give you some relief?” And we talk a little bit about that. I’m not going to fix all your problems in a half an or our an hour. But I know you came here today because you want some relief or at least to start talking about some of these issues. What is something today that we can talk about so that I can make sure that I’m giving you some tools or some relief so that you can leave this session feeling just a little bit better. Everyone wants to feel better. You go to a therapist because you’re like, “I just want to start feeling better.” So that’s really important to me too. It’s not solving the whole thing in a short amount of time, but it’s at least starting. So I don’t know if that’s helpful. I feel like it is very much an individual choice, and it can change for every person. But if you have questions, you can always send those to me because I’m happy to help.

Claire: And I feel like what I’m hearing is that if you’re someone who maybe doesn’t have a diagnosis or does have a diagnosis but it’s pretty well under control and you’re just kind of looking for some talk therapy to regulate you throughout the month, then an app might be a good fit for your primary therapy. And if you need something more than that, you might have to shop around, even though we wish that wasn’t the case.

Joy: Yeah, here’s the other thing too because I don’t want to turn people away from teletherapy. I guess what I’m saying is, for some instances – and if you want to just get help right now, try it out and give it a shot. It’s better than nothing, so don’t let that scare you away. I think what I’m saying is there may be a limit to what you can do in teletherapy, and then you can search for someone that’s in person in your area. But don’t let that discourage you. If you’re like, “But what if my problems are too big?” I don’t want you to do that to yourself either. We can start somewhere, and teletherapy is great. 

Claire: So how are you feeling, not just about what Better Help is as a service, but how are you feeling about your life?

Joy: I am feeling better than last week. Last week I was having some major pity parties. I think I mentioned this, that every application I was putting in would just be met with a rejection letter.

Claire: Yeah.

Joy: It’s just exhausting. And I know that’s part of the game. It’s just exhausting to be trying to make connections. I’m always trying to search my brain for, who do I know at this place who can put in a good word for me, because it’s all about who you know, so I’m trying to really do that. But also giving hope that maybe there’s one place that doesn’t have someone truly and is looking at resumes. But yeah, I think what scared me was it’s been a month.

Claire: Right, you started to feel like, uh, how… yeah.

Joy: You start to get scared about time, which I know better and I’m working through it and I’ll be fine. But it hit me that it’s been a full month that I’ve been looking for jobs and applying for jobs every single day. That scared me a little bit where I’m like, what if I don’t find something? So I think where I tend to go then is where can I control the scenario. I don’t want to be floundering, and I also don’t want to fall into pity parties. I know it’s fine to do that, and I’m not saying I’m above it at all. I do it. It’s just not productive to stay there, so my M.O. is always to say, I’m going to have this pity party, I’m going to have some bad days, but what can I do? I had a friend who told me – because I was really worried about having a gap in my resume. That’s just never happened to me before. So I’m like, what if they’re not going to look at me because this job clearly ended in June? My friend’s like, “Just sign up for Better Help and be a therapist on the platform. You can take a few people if you want, and that way you have a job.” So her voice was ringing in my head. That’s why I signed up and gave it a shot. And actually, this feels really good to have control over something. It’s a pace that I can set, and I can still have time to job search. I can still make time to have some chill out time so I’m not stressed out. I’m not packing my schedule all day. So I’m feeling a lot better. There’s always that voice in your head that gets worried, and that’s totally normal. But I’m just trying to take it day by day.

Claire: Okay, I need to rant about gaps in your resume.

Joy: Please. Please do because I would like to hear about it.

Claire: I would like to just abolish that because the idea of –

Joy: Another way that women are put down.

Claire: It’s sexist. It’s super ableist, unbelievably ableist. It is just insane to think that anyone should be less employable because they have been doing something else other than just committing themselves to a daily job. For any period of time. I understand that if you have some sort of technical job and you haven’t done it in five years, it’s going to be tough for you to just get back on the job in day one and jump into it. Fine. Maybe you might think about doing some supplemental training right beforehand, but that should be enough. You should be able to go in there and be like, yeah, I’ve been at home with my kids for five years and I just reupped my license to prove to you – or I’ve been keeping up with my continuing education, or whatever the case may be.

Joy: Right.

Claire: But I don’t care what the job is. There is 3-6 to up to 12 months of on-the-job training that’s required for any given job before you really can get your grounding. It makes me crazy that we are all so worried about not having a career gap that recruiters will be like, well, that might not look good. I don’t give an F if it looks good. This is my life. I’m taking care of my kids. I’m taking care of my loved ones. I’m doing something other than just going to work every single freaking day. It makes me crazy. It’s just the quickest way to make sure that your job applicant pool is homogenous. 

Joy: Yes.

Claire: I hate it.

Joy: I hate it too. I hate that I worry about it. Because I know that’s what people do is they look at that and they’re like, “Why is there a career gap? What were they doing for that year?” Or six months that you were caring for your children. Yeah, it’s maddening.

Claire: If you’re a recruiter in that situation, yeah, maybe ask a quick question, “Hey, I noticed you’ve been out of work for two years. Was that a personal decision?” And they can be like, yeah, I was home with my family. Okay, great. Maybe you need to know if they’ve been in prison or something. But maybe not. Let’s not just penalize people who’ve been adjudicated for the rest of their lives by not giving them jobs. It’s just like, how does this relate to you not being employable if you’ve been out of work a couple months? It’s just so ridiculous to me. There are ways to tell if someone is technically proficient at a job before you hire them. I have worked with plenty of people who do not have a “career gap” who are crappy at their jobs.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: It doesn’t give you any information about that person, other than that they happen to have something in their life that had to take priority over being employed.

Joy: I’m so convinced that aside from surgeons and nurses and people who have to do… generally speaking, like mid-level jobs that don’t require brain surgery degrees, and you guys know what I’m talking about, I’m pretty sure anyone can do a job. It just requires how you learn and if you can apply the skills that you learn. Adam Grant had a post about this too. You should always look at experience because that doesn’t always tell you if they’re going to be able to do the job. I always remember that from one of my supervisors from long ago where she’s like, “Hire the person. Train the skills.” Because you want the person. You don’t want someone who’s going to cause problems and be a bully or bad mouth the company or whatever. But if they’re trainable and if they’re a go-getter, they can do the job. I’m just so convinced that that’s more important than actual experience. For most jobs. You guys know what I’m talking about.

Claire: One thousand percent. You’re right. Again, there are certain jobs where you have to have that technical training. But even then, you’re going to be so much more successful with somebody who has a really teachable attitude than someone who has the “skills” but isn’t willing to learn. Jabs. Jabs, jabs, jabs. 

Joy: So many things to be angry about. But it’s warranted.

Claire: It’s fine.

Joy: It’s fine, and it’s warranted. Can we end on a really quick light note of running through the lists of the “love it leave it” with fitness?

Claire: Yes.

Joy: Because I really like that. So you posted on stories a round of “love it or leave it.” Fitness this time. So, running road races.

Claire: You’re asking me if I like running road races?

Joy: Yeah. I know the answer. [laughing]

Claire: No, not for me.

Joy: I’d say love it. Trail running?

Claire: I would pick an in between.

Joy: Okay.

Claire: I like it. I dabble.

Joy: Okay. I would say I like it. I don’t do it a lot, but when I do go I like it.

Claire: It’s fine.

Joy: It’s fine. Yoga?

Claire: No, not into it.

Joy: I love it. I don’t do it. Is that the same?

Claire: Maybe in my life have I done a small handful – and I’ve tried yoga so much, you guys. I’ve been trying to want to do yoga since I was in high school, and I just don’t get anything out of it.

Joy: Yeah. You’re going to have a lot of yogis coming after you now.

Claire: I just never leave and am like, “Oh, that’s so relaxing and restorative.” I’m like, “I’m sweaty. Why am I so sweaty?”

Joy: Okay, CrossFit. Obviously. 

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Obvi. Love it. Soccer? Not my jam. No balls flying at my face. 

Claire: Have I told you guys that I had to leave my soccer team as a young child?

Joy: No. What?

Claire: I didn’t like it, and I would just make dandelion crowns. They would put me on defense, and I would just sit down. I’m not into it.

Joy: Oh my gosh, that’s so funny.

Claire: Okay, so this weekend. Let me tell you a story about running.

Joy: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Claire: On the 4th of July, I did a CrossFit workout, and it was a partner workout. This was my biggest insecurity exposed that I had to run with a partner. I hate running, as you all know. I’ve talked about it as recently as the last 90 seconds. I’m really bad at it. How can someone be bad at running? It’s just fast walking. I don’t know. I can’t do it without immediately just wanting to fall over. I immediately start breathing heavy. I immediately get tired. I have been trying to get good at running for most of my life. It has never worked. So whatever. It is what it is. I’m really bad at it, and I’m very slow. And when I say very slow, I’m talking 15 minute mile slow. Practically would be faster walking but for some reason I do the little run thing with my arms.

Joy: Sure, just a shuffle, yeah.

Claire: I’m shuffling. That is absolutely what I’m doing. So it was a partner workout. This is my biggest insecurity. Because the only thing that I hate more than running is the feeling that people are waiting for me. I hate it. I hate it when I’m hiking. Any time when I feel like people are like, “Come on, Claire.” People at CrossFit are not like that. They’re fine. They’re cheering me on. But in my head, they’re thinking, “Oh my God, this girl’s so slow.” I hate that feeling. So I showed up at the gym, and I’m like, it will be fine because the workout also had double unders and overhead squats in it. I’m great at double unders. I’m pretty good at overhead squats. The third thing was pull ups. I can do it with a band, that’s fine. It’s just a mile. I can run a mile. I get to the gym. It’s two rounds, Joy.

Joy: Oh no.

Claire: Two.

Joy: Oh no, two miles.

Claire: It was two miles. 

Joy: No, not one but two.

Claire: My poor partner was so wonderful, but she’s a runner. Literally a runner. We were the last people left, and she’s looking at me.

Joy: Seven minute mile, and she’s like –

Claire: Truly. I was like, “I’m such a slow runner.” And she was like, “Don’t worry about it. I’m rehabbing a hamstring injury. I haven’t ran in a couple of weeks.” And I was like, you don’t know who you’re taking to. Got to the point where she literally just ran ahead and waited for me because it was harder for her to go as slow as I was going.

Joy: Which is worse because you get no break and she runs and waits for you and gets a break.

Claire: At the same time, I was like, please run ahead so I don’t have to feel like you’re staring at me willing me to go faster. But you know you’re at the point where going that slow is actually harder. I don’t experience that because I love going as slow as humanly possible. But as some point, she was just walking. I’m like, why am I doing the run thing? I’m just shuffling. As we were running, I was one word at a time gasping through trying to have a conversation, like, “How [gasping] long [gasping] have you [gasping] been doing CrossFit?” [laughing]

Joy: I can’t stand when people talk to me when I’m either running and I can’t breathe or – we’re doing the Manitou incline in a few weeks. And I can’t talk when I do that, so please don’t talk to me.

Claire: No. And for you, it’s also less of a needing to breath thing and more of a one thing to focus on at a time.

Joy: Yes, exactly.

Claire: But for me, it’s an oxygen decision.

Joy: Yeah.

Claire: And she was like, “I’ve been doing CrossFit for like five years,” and we were talking about how bad wall balls are. And she was like, “For me, that is too much like a projectile sport.” I was like, oh I’m going to use that phrase.

Joy: A projectile sport.

Claire: Then I tried to say, “Yeah, my plastic surgeon says I can’t do any activities where balls fly at my nose,” but I couldn’t breathe so it didn’t land.

Joy: Oh, you couldn’t make the joke. That’s so unfortunate.

Claire: “My surgeon [gasping] said I can’t…” [laughing] I was like, I got to just drop it. She’s look at me like, “Your plastic surgeon…?” It’s from Clueless.

Joy: It’s from Clueless, haven’t you seen it? Can’t you read my mind?

Claire: Come on, you can’t hear me through my labored breathing? Okay, move on, go on. 

Joy: So the next one is Orange Theory.

Claire: I’ve never tried Orange Theory.

Joy: I really like it. Scott loves it. Kickboxing?

Claire: I’ve never tried it.

Joy: If I had the choice to go do it, I would go do it. Meaning like if there was a kickboxing gym.

Claire: I would.

Joy: It’s fun.

Claire: You know what I really want to try? Ju jitsu.

Joy: Oh, there you go.

Claire: I think I’d be good at it.

Joy: I think you would too. I think you’d be really good at it. Powerlifting? Love it.

Claire: Love it.

Joy: Strongman? I haven’t tried it.

Claire: I mean, I’ve done a few strongman things. I’ve tried Atlas Stone sometimes. And it’s generally, I have a good time with it. But I’m not very strong.

Joy: I would like to try it. I haven’t done it.

Claire: Did I tell you that when we were watching the CrossFit Games Semi-Finals the other weekend, Miles was watching the women and he’s like, “They’re muscles are so much bigger than yours.” I’m like, “Yeah, I know.” He goes, “Why? You work out so much.” I was like, “Thank you Miles. I ask myself that question all the time.” He’s like, “Are you that strong.” It’s like, “No, not even close.” “Really? You work out all the time.” I’m like, yes, that’s the million dollar question.

Joy: You’re like, I know, what’s your question? Oh my gosh.

Claire: I was like, and? 

Joy: So funny. You work out all the time, why don’t you have huge muscles.

Claire: Why are you not strong? You work out all the time. Yeah, I don’t know why I’m not that strong. I’m really very curious. 

Joy: Okay. Road biking? I love it.

Claire: Yeah. I haven’t done it in a long time because I sold my road bike, but yes.

Joy: Mountain biking? Absolutely not. 

Claire: I’ve never tried it. I really want to.

Joy: I’m terrified. Almost everyone I know who mountain bikes has torn their shoulder to pieces. No thank you.

Claire: Oh my gosh. I know some people who’ve gotten some very serious mountain biking injuries. I agree.

Joy: Nope. 

Claire: That’s one of those thing that’s like, I don’t think I would want to do downhill mountain biking, which is what you’re referring to.

Joy: Nope.

Claire: Just speeding downhill. 

Joy: Nope.

Claire: But I think I would enjoy a cross country mountain biking experience.

Joy: Sure, I can do that, but anything downhill.

Claire: But generally flat. You just have to go over some rocks.

Joy: Little tiny pebbles. Alright, I think that’s all we have. Let’s talk about our sponsors. Double Under Wonder, still get your jump ropes. Discount code is JOY. doubleunderwonder.com. And then Eat to Evolve, delicious meals delivered right to your door. Really, really good food. The packaging – don’t spill my food when you’re sending it to me, and they do not spill your food when they’re send it to you. eattoevolve.com. The discount code is JOYCLAIRE15. Those are two easy ways that you can support the podcast. And as always, you can share with your friends. Tag us on Instagram, that also helps. Like our posts. Engage with us on social media. Or leave a review on Apple by giving us five stars and nice words. That’s all we have.

Claire: We’ll talk to you next week.

Joy: Have a good week, you guys.

Claire: Bye.

Joy: Bye.

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