For all of March and April and most of May, I was busy at work. There was not much recruiting going on, but I had lots of projects to work on (including wrapping up the final details on Take Charge: Job Search Readiness Tool for Women in Tech that will be launching soon!).

Then things slowed down. I had more space in my day.

At first, I felt nervous and worried. Lots of “what ifs” going on in my head.

Then I found myself weirdly doing things out of order or in different ways.

I was showering in the late afternoon. Working out later in the day. Stopping to meditate at the lunch hour. Taking “mini-vacations” and laying in the sun.

I was responding to emails on the patio. Writing copy for a workshop I was developing while at a picnic table at the park. I did research while binge watching TV. (way more fun, by the way, then sitting at my work desk).

I was far more relaxed AND still getting a lot of sh** done!

Power Without Effort

At this same time, I was listening to a Martha Beck webinar (‘cuz I could) called Power Without Effort.  In it, Martha talked about how, back in the day, the Indigenous people in the US and other parts of the world would work 4 hours a week on the things that are essential for their survival.

The rest of the time they did things that we do as hobbies today. They were hunting, fishing, weaving, creating pottery. You could argue these are essential to their survival (fish is food) but it was the way they did these activities.  A slower pace.  In community.  Without the Career Hustle Culture mentality of being more productive. Getting more done in less time. Fretting. Achieving.  Do. Do. Do. Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.

That sounded pretty good to me and got me thinking…

What if Career Success Didn’t Come from Doing More or Working Harder?

I know. I hear the thoughts:

  • “Uh. I like indoor plumbing and air conditioning.  I need to pay my bills”
  • “Working 4 hours a week sounds great to me!  You tell my boss.”
  • “That is just being lazy and that is gonna catch up with you.”
  • “I’m not Oprah. You need money to set up your life like that.”
  • “What about that quote-Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle- I do not want leftovers!”
  • “You must be in Crazy Town. You HAVE to hustle to succeed”

You can choose to believe these thoughts, or you can choose to believe in the possibility that you can have the career and life you live without buying into the Career Hustle Culture.

So how do you defy culture?  Let’s look at the definitions:

                                  Defy means to Openly Resist
                                  Culture comes from the Latin stem for Cultivate

In order to defy the career hustle culture, you will need to openly resist that which you have cultivated.

Try this Defying Career Hustle Culture Method:

Step 1. Get Still – This does not have to mean physical stillness necessarily. It can mean stillness as described by Pema Chodron- “You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather.” Move to that stillness that resides at the center of everything else. Sometimes you do this through meditation or journaling. Sometimes this is done through movement. To get still means to release the Career Hustle energy in whatever way works for you.

Step 2. Repeat Your Variation of this Mantra –  “I am successful in all the ways I define success ( financial, freedom, through service, stewardship, recognition, leadership …).  I achieve success by choosing the energy I bring to every situation. I have the freewill to decide. I choose calming, trusting, peaceful energy.”

Step 3. Open Yourself Up – Open yourself up to being shown the best next right actions. To openly resist means to resist falling back into those patterns and habits that serve a Career Hustle Culture but no longer serve who you are becoming.  Resist holding on to that which is holding you back from receiving all your blessings and having fun along the way. Be open to doing things differently…or not at all.

Step 4. Follow Your Inner Guide  Rest when you are guided to rest.  Play when it feels like the time to play.  Walk when you are called to walk. Work when you are moved to work.  Through stillness you will be guided.

Step 5. Cultivate New Possibilities – The Most Important thing you will need to do if you are going to defy Career Hustle Culture and change how you creating your success is to cultivate new possibilities and ways of being. You can slow down and still get your stuff done. You can have all the things you define as success with less frenzy and more joy and satisfaction. This only comes with openly resisting the urge to stay the same and to begin to cultivate a new way of living your life.

Slow down. Trust all is well. Take a 15-minute mini-vacation. Go outside. Shift to a more calming and optimistic energy.  Set boundaries.

Or just do things out of order.


The Earth is quieter!