5 Mindset Shifts That Landed Me My Dream Role Working At The United Nations

In the span of a few short weeks I’ve sold my condo in Vancouver, released my freelance projects, and launched a brand new life in the Netherlands developing strategic HR initiatives at the United Nations.

Yes. Really.

Blows my mind too.

As fast as it’s all happened, it’s actually something that I’ve imagined myself doing for years…

Working abroad and making an impact globally is among my top career priorities. I’ve volunteered in Botswana and India over the years for this reason and I don’t recall a time in my life NOT envisioning myself working or being involved with the U.N. one day, in some way.

For some, this might seem really bold… because everyone knows you don’t just stroll up to a career fair at the Hague and chat up a hiring manager to “get in”.

In that respect, I suppose that deciding I could land a dream role at the U.N. is a rather bold.

The thing is, I’ve landed many dream jobs and golden opportunities over the years  and I’ve witnessed colleagues plus supported clients to do the same.

We aren’t the lucky ones or chosen few by any means, but we do share a few traits in common, the most important, in my opinion, being our mindset.

Your mindset, the general beliefs and assumptions you hold, are critical in determining how quickly you can magnetize dream roles and “big breaks” in your career.

Here are 5 mindset shifts that helped me land my dream role working at the U.N. to help you land your dream role too:

Mindset Shift #1: Let your heart lead the way NOT your head

We’re taught, through the education system, to continually intellectualize or think logically with our hearts to make every single decision. I’ve stopped doing that. Long ago I learned that the most unexpected, magical opportunities are revealed only when I let my heart lead the way.  Most times, when I make a decision my head is all, “Nah! Nope! WTF? What are you DOING, Manpreet?!” and my heart is going, “Hell YES! Let’s do this.”

Accepting this role at the United Nations, a prestigious, though unpaid role, meant I had to leave everyone and everything I’ve established in Vancouver behind and it made zero sense in my head or on paper. Why start fresh and without a cushy salary?

My extended family was really puzzled that I’d go live by myself in a foreign country. Some Aunties actually called my parents to express concern. A few friends kept warning I was making a huge financial mistake by selling my downtown condo in a skyrocketing market.

However, saying yes to this opportunity just felt right. In my heart I know it’s my net step AND in stepping in, I’ve already been guided to new consulting projects and taken on several new private coaching clients too. My business is growing because I’m growing.

I’m not surprised though. My heart always knows the way.

Mindset Shift #2: Share your dreams don’t keep them secret

There’s a real tendency, especially when your dream is really bold and out there, to want to keep it private. Most people are afraid of being judged in that, “Who does she think she is to dream that big???” sort of way.

My mindset is quite different. In fact, my opportunity with the U.N. unfolded directly because I told a friend, very vulnerably and passionately that I wanted to work here.

I didn’t expect anything to come from sharing about my dream role only to find out that one of her best friends works here already. Immediately, she connected us (simply to talk about my resume and how I could tailor it to land a role one day) and a few months later I’m here.

The saying is true— It really is about who you know but that only works if you’re willing to be open about what you really want. Sharing your goals and dreams with the right people, people who you know want to help and see you succeed,  opens the most beautiful doors. Be willing to share your dreams.

If you don’t have a safe space to do that, you can always join us over in the Veza Community on Facebook.

Mindset Shift #3: Know your worth but don’t be all about the money

Taking a volunteer role at the U.N. was really easy for me. Truthfully, even though I really intended to work here one day, I didn’t think I was ready for a paid position.

This is me being 100% straight up here and not downplaying my value— I’m absolutely aware of my worth and know there are hundreds of amazing roles I’m capable of landing if I wanted to and yet I know I need a different set of skills to be offered a paid role at the U.N.

There are many who would make that mean something about them or make it be a reason they can’t have a career in a field they really want. For me, this is no big deal. It’s part of the leadership journey and I’m willing to learn and do what it takes to be able to land any role I choose.

Including working without direct monetary compensation, (for now).

The thing is… my coaching business is now flourishing and now I’m gaining the skills I need doing work I love. It feels like, I’m receiving the most invaluable hands on training and connections I could ever ask for.

None of this would be possible if I simply believed I wasn’t good enough now or ever, or if I was attached to how this opportunity reflected in my bank account.

It’s important to remember your salary doesn’t mean anything about your worth and to be open to being compensated in other ways when it makes sense to do so. FYI this isn’t an invitation to work for free just anywhere to gain experience. This needs to be done really strategically.

Mindset Shift #4: Play in your zone of genius, don’t be a Jill of all trades

This mindset shift  is newer to me. It’s one I really committed and has been pivotal in landing my new role.

You see, when I initially connected with my friend’s friend at the U.N. He was really impressed by my resume, but he also gave me some sage advice. It was something I knew, and recommended to others, but was kind of ignoring in my own career.

Over the years my career has had a really split focus comprised of experience in both marketing and HR. I’ve enjoyed a succession of really great roles in both areas but he told me it was time choose the one I wanted to move forward in as an expert.

Why?

Because top organizations in the world, whether they’re public or private sector, they want the best. They want experts.

They get to choose from among the brightest minds in the world and they don’t need a Jack or Jill of all trades. They don’t need someone who can do everything (because really that doesn’t exist!).

Hearing this forced me to draw the line in the sand, and it’s another reason I chose to volunteer. I’m developing HR strategy and leadership programs for the United Nations where I’m honing my expertise in that realm.

The cool thing is, I’ve started to apply the zone of genius principle in  my coaching and consulting business too.

Making this transition and now devoting 40 hours per week to my role here, means that I can’t continue to be the Jill of all trades in my business like I have the tendency to. I had to bring on the team members who are experts in their fields so that I could stay in my zone in the time that I do have available on evenings and weekends. I want to use those to deliver private coaching sessions and programs, not creating social media graphics (which I suck at by the way!).

It’s a new mindset shift and a stretch sometimes… but I’m seeing so much open up for me already. Choosing to specialize and narrow your focus to your own zone of genius opens doors your mind could never imagine. Organizations choose experts first.

Mindset Shift #5: Ask for and receive for support… don’t go it alone. 

The final mindset I want to share, and another I continue to embrace now that I’m here, is asking for and receiving support.

Hiring a team and being in a new, unfamiliar role, means I continually have to ask for and receive support, and this doesn’t come that naturally to me. I’m fiercely independent and really great at offering support before asking and receiving it myself.

Which is funny, because my career and business always grow when I allow myself to be supported. Duh!

I’m intentionally working on this while I’m here in the Netherlands. Not just in my business or at work either.

I’m in a new country where I don’t know anyone. It could be really easy to lean into my independence but instead I’m actively cultivating my support system. During my first week here I’ve made the first move to spark new friendships and  begin to find my tribe. I’m no longer willing to go it alone in all areas of my life.

I’m reminded, daily, that navigating any new experience or unchartered journey is much easier and enjoyable  when you are supported.

With this in mind, I’m really excited to share a special resource the team and I are putting together to support YOU! We’re adding the finishing touches on as we speak.

Later this week we’ll be releasing a brand new (free!) Goal Setting Guide to help you explore some of the mindset shifts, leadership qualities and communication skills you need to cultivate to magnetize your dream role in 2018.

Its going to help you dig really deep and create a plan for the year to come so keep a look out. I’ll share it first in our Veza Community on Facebook so be sure to join us there if you’ve not a member.

In the meantime, I’d love to know, 2 things:

  1. what does your dream role look like?
  2.  What mindset shifts do you think you need to make to have it manifest in 2018?

Post a comment below and let me know! I promise to read and respond to each one.

5 Comments

    Baljit Rayat

    Love this!

      Manpreet Dhillon

      Love!

    Preet Virk

    Proud of you Manpreet!

      Manpreet Dhillon

      Thank you Preet!

    How To Ask For What You're Worth And Get It - Veza

    […] Last week I talked a lot about mindset. I shared how certain mindset shifts helped me land my dream role at the United Nations . […]

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