Meet Rayshuana Gray, a philosopher, poet and historian, who funds her passions as a “careerpreneur”.
Rayshauna is technically employed but manages her career like an entrepreneur. She looks for work opportunities in alignment with her values and goals. She doesn’t just apply for jobs. She designs her own career path. She’s a careerprenuer.
Needless to say, her career path is unconventional, but it offers an insightful example into how more and more of us will design our own work.
As she describes in her interview, the work that pays her rent is a job as a program assistant at MIT Sloan School of Management and a part-time gig as a research assistant to a history professor at Tufts University.
Read her amazing poem call “Nontechquiters” about her experience with startup culture I mentioned at the top of the podcast.
She’s originally from Chicago but currently lives in Cambridge, MA.
Life Skills That Matter In This Episode
- Tell your story.
- Self-directed learning.
- Build community.
- Let go of mental trash.
- Become a careerpreneur.
How Rayshauna Works and Thinks
- Wake up time: 8am
- Ideal work environment: Does her best writing from midnight to 4am and appreciates solitude.
- Self-reflection practice: Self-reflection is a “lifestyle thing” for her. It permeates everything she does.
- Wants to meet: The one person she would like to meet is Tim Ferriss.
- Book recommendation: David and Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.
- Regains focus: When she loses focuses or motivation, Guinness gets her back on track!
- Favorite productivity tool: Pen and paper.
- Unproductive habit: Her tendency to stare off into space more often than she would like.
- 90-day goal: Set a standard for positivity in her workplace.
“Learning is a way that I love myself.”
“You must deserve and fight for everything that you want.”
If you don’t enjoy learning or don’t know how you like to learn, Rayshauna offers the following exercise . . .
- First, think about what your 5-year old self would say about how you live your life and how you work.
- Second, think about what your 10-year older self would say about how you live your life and how you work.
She likes using this exercise because it honors her past accomplishments and how she used to be as a person.
At the same time, it sets herself up to succeed and strive toward new accomplishments. You can use it to become your very own version of a careerpreneur.
In the end, this exercise reveals how her past abilities and notions can help her move toward future goals by understanding what’s most important to learn in the present.
Resources + Bonus Materials
An Education (a blog post that provides backstory related to Rayshauna’s September 2016 Boston Magazine feature)
Made of Sterner Stuff: Let’s Talk About Grit, Baby… (What Rayshauna’s mother’s brain surgery, her 2-hour commute, and her Cambridge experience have in common.)