Dec. 27, 2021

On Graduate Theory with James Fricker

On Graduate Theory with James Fricker

James is the host of Graduate Theory. He studied Maths and Finance at the University of Adelaide, before moving to Melbourne in 2021 to start as a Technology Graduate at ANZ. He is passionate about all things careers and motivating people to squeeze the juice out of life.

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https://withjoewehbe.com/ 

Connect With Me

Linkedin - https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-fricker-1795098b/

Substack - https://jamesfricker.substack.com/

Website - https://www.jfricker.com/

Email - james at graduatetheory dot com

Things Discussed

Indistractable - Nir Eyal

Deep Work - Cal Newport

High-Performance Habits - Brendan Burchard

Show Notes 

00:00 Intro

03:07 Why Graduate Theory?

06:39 What have you learnt from the podcast so far?

11:07 Which interview has been your favourite?

14:37 How to be productive

20:08 My Favourite Book

25:19 James' Favourite Failures

39:44 How does James want to be described? 

41:55 How would younger James react to Graduate Theory?

51:43 James' Tip For Graduates

54:03 Outro

Transcript
James:

Hello, and welcome to graduate theory. Today's episode marks the 10th episode of graduate theory, and I thought, what better way to recognize this milestone then to get to know me a little bit more and get to know me in a bit more detail The episode today is. I flipped episode. So in fact, I will not be the one asking the questions. I've got Joe from the very first episode of the podcast to come and interview me. So it's going to be an interesting episode. You're going to find out a lot more about me and things I like and my opinions on a lot of things. So I hope this, this is insightful and I hope that this gives you a bit more context to what I'm like behind the scenes and what I'm trying to get out of this experience and out of this podcast even though on the one, doing all of a lot of the talking, I still think there are some useful career lessons in this episode. So I hope you enjoy. And I know Christmas is coming soon, TOSA or wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. And if you want to get episodes like this straight to your inbox, please go to graduate theory.com and subscribe to the newsletter. When you, that you get every episode and my thoughts and my takeaways straight to your inbox. I hope you enjoy this episode and finding out more about me. Hello, and welcome to graduate theory. Today's episode is a special episode it's episode number 10. So I thought what better way to commemorate or recognize 10 episodes of the podcast to flip the tables a little bit. And instead of me interviewing people. Finding out more about them thought it would be nice to turn the tables and for the audience, for the listener for you guys to get some insight about me and perhaps what the context is behind me, starting this podcast. What are the reasons why I did that? Where do I actually come from? What do I, what do I do? What am I thoughts on, on life and all that kind of stuff. So to help me with this today, I've got on the wine here, geo wavy, who some people won't remember from the very first episode of the podcast, Joe welcome to the show.

Joe:

Good to be back. Thank you very much special privilege

James:

Fantastic. Yeah. It's it's great to have you on, but yeah, like I said, so tonight it's going to be a flipped classroom or flipped podcast. So Joe's going to be the one asking me questions today. So, thanks so much for coming on today, John, I'm excited to dive in with you and see, see where we go.

Joe:

absolutely. Yeah. Well, it's a good opportunity for me. I, my podcast is all solo side. This is I get to try interviewing for a change. We'll see how we go. You're very brave and giving me this platform very, very brave and I've listened to, I'm very sure I've listened to every episode that's that's out so far. So I feel qualified in that sense and I think you've had an amazing, it's been an amazing start. I think the graduate. Like the podcast is such a great, such a great thing. And it's such a great caliber of guests already. So I think it is exciting for everyone listening to learn a little bit more about you. I reckon we just, we just jumped straight in. I think the easy place, the obvious place to start is uh, you know, what, what was the inspiration for it? Like what did that stop with the first Spock? What's the first, if you timeline, whereas the first little speck of this on the road.

James:

Yeah. Well, the first time I've thought about doing something like this was in, it was 2020, and I think it was around April. So it was during kind of the. Big lockdowns. I think they're were all across Australia at that time. So we were locked inside and I was thinking, I was sitting there. I was in my final year of university. So yeah, I finished at the end of 2020. And so I'm sitting there and I'm, I'm thinking about, life after university, what is that going to involve? And I really was sitting there thinking, I don't really know really anything about the workforce, how to go and like grow my career. How does that even work? I knew nothing and I thought, there's people that I could speak to, to, to find out about this and that there's, there's certain connections that I had at the time that I was like, okay, well I could speak to this person. I know they did. They've had a successful career. Like perhaps I could sit down with them and ask them some questions about it. And, and so I had a lot of these ideas floating around in my head. And then it wasn't until. So, yeah. So I guess to, to go forwards a little bit, since that time, I put the podcast on pause. I honestly didn't have really the guts to do it. I thought it wasn't going to work. I thought it was going to be a failure. Really just lacking a lot of, well, I guess I have a lot of self doubt around this kind of thing. And if, if it was going to be worth my time, perhaps people wouldn't listen, all that kind of stuff. So then if we fast forward what's that probably a year and a half almost. I'd since in between that period, I'd got a job in Melbourne. I got a grad job in Melbourne and I moved. I was living in Adelaide and I moved to Melbourne. And through that period, it came up again. Cause we had the, the lockdowns again. It August now you locked down to just a recipe for deep thinking. I don't know. Maybe

Joe:

And podcast

James:

Yeah. Hopefully. Yeah. So we're in one again, I'm thinking, well, this is something that I'm still thinking about and it had been on my mind a few times through yet and I was it sort of came to me. Okay. We found this. I keep thinking about and something that I feel drawn to but you know, am I really gonna go through with this or am I not?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

And I think it was like, well, in five or 10 years, I'm going to wish that I at least tried this and, and saw how it went. And I think I'm really glad that I have done it. And I'm really glad for the lessons that I've taken from people that I've spoken to already. Having these conversations, it's been a win-win because it means I get to speak to these people about things that I want to know about my, about growing your career and, these fascinating people, but then it's also good for people listening because they can get getting on those conversations as well, which I, I think at the time, and I think, I think especially now there's, growing that transparent. With successful people is especially in Australia, because a lot of the things that I was reading and watching a lot of the podcasts you might listen to are people that are like in America and that they're their stories aren't as relatable. So I thought that was an, that was a good reason to do this as well. Is that there were, I found that there wasn't, that, that place to go, where I could find people that had gone to the same uni as me or. Done the same uni graduate experiences being or things like that, that would just in this completely different environment. So I thought, that was another thing that I was okay, this, I don't think this really exists, or at least I hadn't been exposed to it. So that was another reason why I was like, okay, I can be the one to do this and, and really drive this. So I think it's been, I guess that's my, that's my reasoning for starting it. And I think it's been a great success so far.

Joe:

Yep. Very good. It's fascinating. It's the same things are really hard. Most people back from anything. I think it would be very relatable. Anyone listening to that, if they, maybe they're not thinking about starting a podcast, so maybe the exact situation of maybe the next whether it's the next promotion or going for a grad job or navigating the lightest stages of university and how many fi fear of Viking situations there are, or I'm not good enough kind of that, which is just a natural part of. Progression, like when you progressing on something, when you're taking a step up, because it's a growth and you're not used to, there is always an adjustment. So there's a way it's normally doubt, I think is very powerful. Even just listening to your journey around the podcast that is there a, is there a, a. Change you've seen, I mean, it might be interesting for anyone listening to know a bit more about James outside of graduate theory. Like, you're working in a typical graduate role to which I'm very aware of. And so how has the 10 episode or the nine episodes so far how's that, has it impacted the way you're thinking about things, your confidence? Are there any like noticeable changes? Uh, maybe, maybe not materially, cause it hasn't been that long, like you've jumped industries or whatever, but have you noticed the way you're thinking about work career and these kind of typical things we all navigate? Has it changed at all with the advice and lessons from the guests over

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, I think one of the main things that I've, I've learnt, and even it comes back to what you were saying about this kind of idea of self doubt and stuff. It's been something that's been a common thread through. A lot of the guests that I've had on is something that they've, they've mentioned, they were doing something and they weren't sure if they should do it, or they were having those things where they were doubting themselves or imposter syndrome or, all those kinds of words for really the same thing. You don't think that you can do something. And it's been surprising that, I, I know I've had those experiences and really it's been one of the things I've asked them is like, okay, I've had these things, like, do you have those? And if so, how, how did you deal with that? And it's been, it's been common across a lot of the guests. They've all said, I've had, yeah, I had that experience in this situation. Or, whatever it was. And I think that's been, that's been insightful because it's, it shows me at least that having those things where perhaps an opportunity comes up and you don't feel confident to do it, or, you're thinking of doing something, but you don't feel confident to do it. Like all those things are very normal. It's really a Andrew here's, the guests, I most recently interviewed, he was talking about how that gets easier over time, as you recognize that you're in that, in that mode of doubting yourself and then pushing through that. And I think that's something that, having now started the podcast and almost. To some degree with starting it. And, and then combine that with hearing all the people in the guests, all my guests talk about that as well. I think that's been something that really I've taken away is that that self-doubt is, is something that's natural and something that you can, you could push policy and having those kinds of moments where you'd have pushed past it successfully. Those can build up and really give you some momentum and, and allow you to continue to push yourself.

Joe:

solo set. Andrew's point. There is incredible. I feel the same thing, I guess he and I are probably the same age. So I think at that stage, you have gone through a couple of different always say like three times, once you go for the, any big challenge or anything you want to try, that's new and you've got three different examples. You've, you've gone through it enough times. Look back. I always doubt myself in the ways that you've established the pattern, but it's hot. And I think even people your age or slightly younger, like typical listener it's easy to hear that, I guess, in. Then until you, until you've actually gone through and done it, you haven't really crossed that hurdle yet. And it's very natural. And I think you must get so much value out of even the ritual of regularly talking to people who are just outside of your situation, even though they are more advanced they've maybe quote unquote achieved more. I'm sure that you must just really thrive off getting that. The chance to get, take a beat and get out of your day to day, talk to them and then remind get a reminder from their experience. I'm sure it's been, it was very powerful for, for your life. And I'll, I'll save you the hard question, cause I know episode one was your favorite with, with Joe. Weeby the incredible author and thinker, but apart from episode one, right? What has been your favorite interview so far? What stood out.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, well, yeah, obviously episode one winner that not no, I think, I think of the episodes has some kind of unique value to it and that's been cool that there's been some element of crossover between all the episodes, but still each one has had some kind of differentiating factor that, I've been able to provide a unique Perspective on a particular problem or something that you might experience in the workplace. So I think from that perspective, all the episodes have some, have some great value, I think, but I think for me, the ones that stick out is the one with Darren and w in that episode, we were talking about some of the, I don't know if this is the right term, but it's almost like a deeper psychology stuff. So it's not just like, kind of surface level, like, productivity. T like hacks, things like that, like we're really diving into. Yeah, It's

Joe:

underlying, almost spiritual.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

And I think things

Joe:

is, I know it is a bit of a hard

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, yeah,

Joe:

people listened to that episode, though, it's a very grounded, not fluffy kind of conversation.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

yeah, no, you're spot on. And I think even though it does get, like you said, spiritual in some sense, really quite fundamental. I think some of that stuff and the more I've read about that kind of thing, the more I'm sure. Feeling like this is really the kind of thing to focus on to create lasting change in yourself. So I think, and I think that episode was a great example when we did get quite deep into that stuff. So I think from that perspective, I think that one, and I definitely that whole of, Yeah. like you said, spirituality, kind of stuff I think is

Joe:

yeah, whatever it is. Yeah.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Hmm.

Joe:

It's powerful. All, I'm, you're preaching the converted to me on that stuff. I absolutely agree. And I think that you do have. It is important to canvas all those levels. So I think maybe sometimes the distinction, if this language is helpful is like tactics. I like specific day-to-day in the trenches. Like the tactics, the tactics normally serve a strategy. Like strategy is the overarching kind of game plan. And then I think some of those deeper things are more the, not that they're strategic, but they are, they sitting higher level. Like they almost dictate what your goals are. Those things and they addicted to dictate the energy you approach things with. That's why they're so powerful. And then things cascade down from there because once you've established, I want to, whenever I get a grad job at X company goal, then you like strategy, how am I going to get there? So I need context and stuff. Then you'd might start thinking about tech. And I think it does cascade down that way. So at each stage, The information is helpful. And again comes back to like the value, probably the podcast approach that you're taking, because you've got different people who probably specialize in different parts. Like Darren, that diamond conversation. I remember listening to that. I was like, wow, this guy's just what the fool with me. I need to become a better guest, but, but then, but then you've got I loved OSCA when he told him about listening. I haven't really heard too many people talk about listening. Listening is one of the most under respected. Skills, like everyone knows it's important, but no one really appreciates like how important it is and the way he talked about in such depth and a really good like niche. So I think that variety is really, really important, which is why I probably everyone's got to show up every, every week, I guess, because you don't know which, which thing. No about yet. Yeah, I think that's fascinating. So maybe we'll slide into some of those other smaller, not smaller, but like the low-level level stuff. And unpack a little bit. So do you have yourself any kind of K maybe productivity tips, things that help you on the more day-to-day micro side of things that are top of mind that you want to share with the listeners?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah. I think this has been something that. Done within, in the last couple of weeks to a month, there's something they're not the most rediscovered. And it's this guy, his name's near AOL. I think that's how you say his name. And he wrote this book called indestructible and I was listening to him on a podcast actually. And he was talking about, I don't know why for some reason when I listened to this particular time, because I've read his book in the past, but. Anyway, this particular podcast, for some reason, it just clicked with me a lot more. And w his kind of whole idea of productivity is to really calendarize a lot of your life. So he doesn't do quite extreme length where he'd collect. He, calendarize is literally everything. So where like every single minute of his day is in the calendar, he'll have time to like, it's like an hour to like, be with the kids, like an hour to do this or whatever. And I think that. That is quite rigid. So I don't do it to that degree, but I think that whole idea of not having a, to do list and not having, not just working through things, ad hoc, it's more like, okay, I'm going to spend an hour on this. And however much I get done, that's what it's going to be. And I think that that idea of time blocking is something that also Cal Newport talks about. And I was actually researching this a few weeks ago. He has a, it's like a, this notebook thing. It's like a day planning journal type thing where you can do this. Time-blocking in like a hard copy. And cause he talks about this exact thing as well, where instead of having to do so maybe you styled the to-do list, but then your actual implementation of the to-do list. In your time. So let's say you might spend 25 minutes doing this 25 minutes doing that and whatever. And I've found that recently has been something that has enabled me to get more done, because oftentimes when you have that to do list, you kind of like, well, yeah, like I'll do this one usually by the end of the day. Maybe half or like this there's always stuff left. Like you never finished the to-do list. At least that's been my experience. So, whereas, whereas I always go through at this time. Yeah. So like having that time even saying, okay, this is like 50 minute block, I'm going to do this thing. And really consciously deciding that you're going to do that, I think has been. And then by deciding that it's also, I'm not going to do this other stuff.

Joe:

Hm.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

At work, even I'll say, okay, I'm going to spend an hour doing this, but that means during that hour, I'm also not checking my emails on my phone, that kind of stuff. So they would get like closed phone goes away because I'm not doing that stuff because I've decided to focus on this one particular thing. And I think that process of even just like planning my day deciding what to work on, bringing a lot more clarity to what I'm supposed to be doing at certain times. I think that's allowed me to get. More done. And, even at work, it's allowed me to participate in a lot more things because I can, do some work faster, which means I've got more time to do other extra things. So that for me has been a bit of a game changer, I think, in the last, in the last month. And for anyone listening, I'd recommend looking into that kind of stuff, because I think it's very rarely.

Joe:

Yeah, I've had I've similarly started adopting a bit, an approach that fits that sort of style myself. I think it has something to do with a lack of control. We have is hard to overcome with planning. That's why I think that the time blocking. Approach you probably you're allocating certain time, two things, which you can control. You can control how much time you spend on things, but you can't control how long they take to get done because that's fluctuating and dynamic. And the whole concept of, as you're talking all great points, the whole concept of productivity almost just makes me think that we have to acknowledge it. There's just like some total, a part of us that it's so hard to actually get it, to do what. To do. And we have to really get creative and be very intentional and structured about how we get our in a total out to basically like, just do its work and whatever. It's a very well, and also like a lot of the old takeaways from Lydia, Lydia is episode number seven, I believe about like how, where the athlete metaphor too, or the athlete comparison. I think that's really good addition to that advice because you got to put in the time for. Rest recovery recuperation. We don't really have that in the business or corporate weld, I think too.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah. Yeah. I think for sad to that as well is like, even coming back to that stuff we talked about with down and like the spirituality self, you almost want it to get it to where you don't actually, you don't really need these techniques where it's just, what becomes something you actually want to do, rather than like, you're trying to. Set yourself time because like, that's the only way you're going to be able to do it. To where you actually find it fun to do the things. And I think that's, that's a game changer as well is happening make what you're doing. Interesting and fun so, that you don't actually need to, allocate two hours a week on the thing that you don't want to do. Cause like those don't exist. It's just, I mean, maybe they always will, but I think having a more of that rather than less than actually enjoying things you're doing is. Important in, in just being productive as a natural state, rather than being it's something that you would trying to force yourself into.

Joe:

pretty appealing if it makes it enjoyable. Now, I think that's pretty low risk for people. So definitely mindset worth embracing. I know. I, I certainly try my best. Okay, so then indestructible, it sounds like, I a good book and I'm gonna have to check it out, which is a nice segue because you like me a very avid reader. I know you have done, you've done stuff even about your rating before online and everything. I have to ask, I don't know if I know this best book you've read.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

It's a tough question. Cause, cause yeah, I, I've had periods where I've been sitting down rating hates with books, so I've, I've gone through gone through quite a few. So yeah, like you mentioned, sort of in between we spoke earlier about, the original idea of the podcast and then of a year and a half later actually starting it. So that was probably in September this year, but in between that period, I had an Instagram it's still there. It's called James notes and I was just. Writing and making stuff in there about different books that I'd read. Which was a good experience, but, and I'm not really active in that anymore, but I think that was maybe one of the catalysts as well for signing the podcast. But anyway back to back to your question, so favorite book of all time, and I think there's, it's hard to narrow it down to one and I think even would, if I'm going to even recommend one to someone would depend on. The situation and things like that. But I think one that one that I really enjoyed was high performance habits by Brendan Bouchard. I think his name is yeah.

Joe:

I've heard of Brendon Burchard, but I haven't, I haven't read the

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

His book. Yeah. High performance habits. I think that is. That was really great to read and it's all, it's all about. Well, these, one of the main lessons I got from it was like, and I'm not like, I'm not a Messiah. I don't like practice it all the time. Like I'm still human. Right. So,

Joe:

healthy. Hopefully. Disclaimer. Yep.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

I felt like one of the things he talks about is like intentionality. So how can you be intentional in everything that you do? Or at least let's say you come home from work and you're about to go into like, see your family or whatever it is. What is that, like, what are you trying to get out of that experience? Are you trying to, who do you want to be? Like, maybe it's as a data, as a partner or whatever. Who are you trying to be in that scenario? If you go into a meeting at work, like, who are you trying to be in that meeting and really reflecting on that idea of like, who. Even like, what's your aim to get out of there. So who do you want to be? Like, what do you want to be known as things like that? And just reflecting on that quite a lot before you go into, into different situations. So even if it's like taking an again, I don't do this really often, but it's something that I'm trying to work in more. It's it's a good concept. And I think you can, you can even listen to it. even listening to what I'm saying, note that it would Be a good. idea to start doing. Like I think. I, I think that's a really cool idea and it's like, yeah, before you do something, what's the actual aim of this. Why am I doing it? What I want to get out of this experience, even if it's just something short, like a half an hour meeting. I think coming back to that often, it is a good exercise and one that can add that five, 10% on to everything that you do and really make sure your authentic self is shining through in central.

Joe:

Hun that fascinating because I know you're very across Cal Newport and I'm sure you've read a lot of books around that concept of high-performance habits, all that stuff. So it sounds like that one stands out amongst that literature. And is that the reason I'm assuming, because of the emphasis on intentionality and just very explicit to them.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Cause yeah, I think, I think the intentionality idea comes into almost everything. Like whether it's, we're speaking about productivity just before. Deciding what you're going to do, that that's being intentional, how am I showing up into certain places? How am I showing up to the podcast? How am I showing up at work? Things like that. And really not letting yourself fall into this kind of haze almost where you're just going through the day and just like, just doing whatever comes and like just, you're not, you're not really setting the direction of your life almost. And so. All right. He's quite fundamental. I think in, and it lays into a lot of those ideas about like productivity, normal habits, a lot of, lot of other concepts I think are really rooted in, in this idea. And again, it's, it is hard to bring it, remember that, but

Joe:

what a challenge. And it's an is a bit par cause sometimes there's also some level of things flow in life too as well. So it is not all just like. I'm on I'm on the mind. It's all me pushing all this energy all the time. So it does combine with this matchable flow, maybe a bit, if you, for lack of a better term, some of the stuff Darren was talking about and it some sort of funny combination, but it is one of my favorite words, personally, intentionality. It's a good word to describe things. The, like the, the attitude and the posture you take towards things, isn't it? Because it's not specific to whatever your pursuit, your main interest is your career. Whatever cause there's nothing, no matter what you're doing, if you're a stay at home parent or a CEO of Milhaud incorporated you, you can be intentional. In fact, you probably should be intentional about what you're doing, I guess, cause times Tom night. So if you're not being intentional, like your agenda gets set by external factors rather than the fact as you've consciously chosen and opted into which. Very powerful, very important over the long run. Yeah, that's fascinating. I think so another thing I think we want to make sure we cover this, that look, it's very easy to come on podcasts and talk show a lot interesting ideas, but I think you mentioned the word transparency before, and I think it's really valuable to see where others that you're listening to or digest. Maybe don't, haven't always been crash hot, or haven't always been whatever host of graduate theory or whatever they're doing. So talking about like failure, I think was, was, would be interesting to go through it. And some of the, if there's a failure that kind of stands out, you still super young, still early, early in that career journey, the typical career journey, but other other, at this point in time, any failures that come. Stick out favorite, favorite moments? Maybe there were setbacks at the time that there's been some sort of silver lining or key learning. Is there any flack that you can unpack?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, I think, yeah, like I, it's a good question. And I think I haven't had to really any failures that have been like life Ruina, like, something that's really. Crushed

Joe:

Went broke had to start

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

yeah. Yeah,

Joe:

You're fired, kicked out.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Like I haven't had any horror stories. My upbringing really has been quite good. Like I'm very fortunate in many regards, there are many aspects, at least. So, I think for me, I think I've been thinking about this question even before the podcast, but I think I've got to actually choose two that are, that I think were,

Joe:

allowed you're out. of the

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

yeah. So one of them, and maybe these aren't one, even, like. Not like a particular moment. That was a failure, but it's maybe something that I didn't do as well as I would've liked and caused me to prove on in the future. One thing was I really, through my first three years of uni I really just coasted by, and didn't really, that whole idea we just spoke about intentionality and things like that. I wasn't. Intentional about what I was doing. I was just doing almost the bare minimum, just coasting along and then it wasn't. And that was something that in hindsight, I wish I did more and it wasn't until I went on exchange. In the first semester of 2019, I went to Sheffield in the UK for six months and it was w I remember this, cause I, I threw the whole thing. I did like video, like video blogs or whatever, even just like that, like mode, video journals. I remember it was the night before I was coming back to Australia and I had my video out and I was recording myself on my phone, just like walking down the street. And I was just talking about, what I wanted to do when I arrived back in Australia, because I'd been away for so long. And it was the first time I'd been away from my family and my friends and everything for that long. And I was just reflecting on my experience at university and life generally. And I was thinking that this really hasn't been as good as I wanted it to be. And it's really been something that I know that I can get more out of this. And I know that when I, when I come back to Adelaide, I know that there's more that I can be doing and, and things that I can do a lot better. And so having that experience and that time away really made me realize that I hadn't been. Yeah. Almost like, yeah. Being as intentional as I, as I know that I could have been. And so that really, for me, it was a big catalyst going into, like, from that experience into my final three is three semesters of uni. From that point, like my grades were significantly better. Like I think I have on my website. I think I wrote a blog post about this, but I have, like, my university grades are on there and I have. It's kinda like the grades are like this. And then once they're like way up here, like the average grades. So like once I came back from that, I did significantly better in grades and in life and everything. So I think that was, that was a great experience for me. And I think the second one again, probably wasn't like a failure per se, but it was something that I think. Deal as well as I could have. And then it resulted in me doing things better. So the example would be, it was in that 2019 semester two. So this is the first semester after I'd come back from Sheffield. I didn't like, so that's when kind of internships and things were coming up for. Cause I was in my. Physical your penultimate. Yeah, no second to last year. I think that's your penultimate yet? So I was in my penultimate year. You're applying for internships that are sort of in the last summer before your final year. And I like, I really, I didn't get into anything. Yeah, quite good or anything that I like I really wanted to get into. And yeah, it was very fortunate that there's a company in Adelaide called the IAA, which is like your roadside assistance company. And I was really fortunate that they also had an internship and I got that one, which a really, really great experience, but I got it like, right at the end, it was after all the kind of major companies had already done this. And I had a great experience there and it was really good, but it got me thinking. This time, next year when I'm applying for grad roles, which is probably more important than the internships, need to take this process a lot more seriously. And so what I did was I then when it came to the grad roles, which was starting in like February the next year, I created my massive spreadsheet. I made sure I put in cause like every job that I applied for, where I was up to and things like that. So I could be a lot more, not a little more clear about. What I was doing and not one of the problems I had when I was applying for the internships was I was just almost talking crap to myself and really overstating what I'd actually done. Like I might be sitting there thinking, yeah, I've applied for so many jobs and whatever, but in reality, I've only applied for like five or something. And I really just kind of decide, do I have in my head of what I've done is not the same as what I've actually done. So I made sure that when I was doing it for the grad roles that actually had it all written down so I could see this is actually how many I've done. And this is the way things are going to go. So if you're unhappy with the way this looks, then it's on you to go and make this better. So it was, it was good that I had that experience because it meant, I had this spreadsheet and I was able to do that stuff a lot better. And then unfortunately, I got to grad role at ANZ ed, which is, which is where I'm at now. And so far it's been really, really incredible. And, that was the reason why I moved to Melbourne. Like we spoke about at the start of this year, but I think and that has led to so many things. That. Yeah. Like everything that's happened with moving and making me people and even Mel, you met yourself this year and this has been so much stuff that's happened this year, that sled from those things. So I think that, well, it wasn't necessarily a failure and it was something that turned out really badly. It was something that gave me perspective on what I was doing and allowed me to improve. And, and then, for that to lead to better things, the following year.

Joe:

it's powerful stuff, James. I want to touch both of those points. If I may. The first part I can speak to a bit more broadly. I think we've had this conversation that the travel experience in my little world and language, I use the metaphor of the bucket. We it's good opportunity, especially for young people to empty everything they're doing in their life and all the people around them through for a window, because it enables you to reflect on it. It's hard to ref it's hard to. Situation when you're, when you're in there, like you can't see the outside of a car when you're inside it driving. Right. It's good to be able to just get out and actually look at it. And when you travel, especially when you go on exchange and not, not just travel, but when it's like exchange or immersion somewhere else, securing grind in another way of life, because a holiday, when you stay at whatever, if it's hostels or, or whatever hotels you might not get, that it's very common, very common in a lot of. Big famous entrepreneurs and their stories that traveling, especially in the east and stuff was really a real switch. And it's not fine. That would be unconventional advice or university hacks or career hacks to when everyone's trying to whatever, get the grades or get the best jobs, whatever the goal is. It's it seems like a counterintuitive idea, but I actually wanted to place emphasis on it. I think you've given a very powerful example of it. And I can, my observation of my own personal experiences, a bit more broadly building on that is very, it tends to have that impact. If it's a true immersion like exchange experience. It also answered another question I had, which is why you go for the blades. Now I know you're actually in a Sheffield, that's a soccer reference for those unfamiliar. And then the other pot, I think the way he talked about. The lack of intentionality, but then having the, the fire to basically rebound from that and really make good next time. I think it's very big point. You, you made me you put great language to it. We, how often do we convince ourselves we've done a great job. On things, but we've actually, haven't done much. I do that so often still, like, why not getting these results when I getting more of this, more of that I'm great. I'm doing great stuff. And then if it's for work, it's like, oh, I'm actually not promoting things very much. Like, what am I talking about? What am I complaining about? It's actually me. There's so often a our mind is this is really easily to see. Little tool, isn't it like it's so easily to saved into a state of like entitlement. Because I think we normally, we have a resistance at first to doing the work, but that's a great story of it actually getting you to get your, get into gear, to actually prepare and then see the results. And I think. 20 or 21 listening to that. It would right now it would find me up to just get proactive because why not? Now you've got the call to action right now. It's not hard. It's just process and you get the results. Like you're a good example of that. And I think it's, yeah, I think that's very, I think you put that very, very well. I think that's actually very, very powerful lessons and people can take the lessons. Or they can go make the mistakes themselves and then realize you got an option. Don't you

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

yeah, yeah. I think a lot of those things, like even, you know, that exact. Um, where I didn't get the kind of jobs that I was really, really wanting. If, if you're not getting, if you're not getting to places that you want to go, if you're, if your work isn't getting seen by the people that you want it to be seen by, things aren't going the way that you want, then it's actually on. It's not like the company isn't making a mistake, like, and not seeing the greatness that you have or anything like that. Like maybe, maybe they missed you or like maybe they, there was an error or something like maybe, but it's not helpful to, to put it on them. It's really up to you. And if your work's not getting seen by the right people, you're not getting into roles that you want, then it's your responsibility. Like no, one's going to come and help you to like, no, one's no one's as passionate about yourself as you are.

Joe:

I think to consolidate there's a cop-out answer, which is, they just don't get my value and hands up, I've done that lots of times. So no moral high ground here. I think, but on some level, if you, if you go through all these situations and you're failing to take any responsibility, that's, that's not helpful. So you might flip this and talk about leadership. For example, when you see a great coach of any sporting team and the team puts out a terrible performance. You never see, you never see a good coach, go into the press conference and say, I gave them a great game plan. The boys let me down. Or the girls let me down today. They're rubbish James at right mid. He was terrible with Joe at centimeter. He was terrible. You just don't say that. But how many times is that? Actually the case? but, but the coach seems to always take responsibility and take it off the place, like as an example of leadership. So you might consolidate that lesson you have into like leadership of yourself. It's like, yes, there are always politics accompanies. There's a way in, so. Whenever there's a constraint on hiring processes, maybe cause if it's CVS and applications and not always, it's not like everyone gets interviewed face to face all the time. So there's storytelling involved and there's interpretation. So yes, there are some outliers that you can't, there's some factors that you can't control. Uh, but at the end of the day, you don't get to control that. Do you? And I think that's why acknowledging what you can take responsibility for. Is really your point. Well, I know I found that the point of view your story, cause you also can't guarantee someone will height as well. But what you took control of is like a pretty good bet. Like you're going to get somewhere when you take that approach, taking the approach of I did the work, they just didn't appreciate me. Well, cool. You can take that mindset, but where's that going? We're just going to get that, get you, even if it's true,

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah.

Joe:

even if it's true. That was my interpretation of your story. I think it's, I think it's a very important part of like, just life. I think it's a great thing to learn at a young age.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Joe:

I don't know if that makes

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah, no, I think it doesn't. I think, yeah, I think it got across well, which is good, but yeah, I think, I think there's a lot of those situations that can happen where it's easy to blame other people for why you're not getting to a certain place or why there's like bad things happening or whatever. And it's just, I think it's so important to ask that question of how, what, what role did I have in this situation and how can I. You know, like how can I make this situation better? And what mistakes did I made in this? Even if you didn't make it, maybe you can even make any mistakes, but like really taking as much like responsibility and like, cause everything that's happening in your life is, is your fault almost. And, and, and try to shoulder that. And, and then and then doing things that way, I think is important. Cause yeah. like, like the key thing I guess is that no, one's going to come. Fix your problems for you. Like you'd have to do it yourself. So yeah, no one's going to give you no, it's just going to come and ask you. Yeah. Do you want a job at your dream company? Like, no, one's good. No one's ever gonna do that. So that's, it's on you to go and get those opportunities yourself. And I think that is I think that's something that I've learned and I'll continue to learn. But I think it's something that's quite important.

Joe:

yeah. Well, a great thing to keep top of mind and take away like very great. So moving on a little bit, do you consciously think about. So you've started this journey, right? You're you're well underway now with graduate theory, do you consciously think about sort of what, how you want to be described and how you want to be, I guess, seen for the work you're doing, like it's the values you're bringing into it. Like, how do you want people to think about and describe you, if you get a choice to call them?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

I think that's, that's a good question. I think that's a, that's a difficult question, but I think, I think often with something like a podcast, it's. You could have kind of the brand, but really the, like the, the brand is almost just a reflection of myself and my values. And often that's the case with, with companies is the company's values are usually a reflection of who I was in charge and or people that are in like, that run the company. It's usually their values. They kind of filter down. So I think for me, like the way that the, the, I want to be known and the way that I hope it reflects in graduate theory is. I want to be providing inspiration. And I want to, I want to be an example for people that they can go out and do things too. And, and even coming back to the self doubt were speaking about the earlier in the episode, things like that, I want to be any self up for people that they can overcome. These things. And they can go and achieve things in their life if they want. And they don't have to be held back by expectations or doubts or things like that. And that's something that I hope comes through in the podcast and just things that I do more generally. Cause I think it's hard to detach the podcast from my life. They're it's the same thing, really. So I think that is a big. That would probably be one of the main ones I think. Yeah, I, I think this whole idea of like personal responsibility, like we spoke about too is really important. And I, that's something that I try and do a lot of, and I think people can like, can take that and apply that to their own lives too. Where taking personal responsibility for all the things that are going on it's something that I try and do in something that I hope comes across.

Joe:

I'm curious. Do you have, do you think like the version of you, here's the question? How do you think that version of you before you went on an exchange would have responded to this podcast? Like just listening to it as like. Not as like, not as like, oh, this is what I'm going to do in the future. Like, pretend it was Joe runs graduate through podcast and there, but Joe has obviously a huge overlap. Like, do you think this would have, what impact do you think this would have happened? Would you have listened to stuff like this at that time?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

a good question. I think, I think I would have, but I think I would have just, it would have been one of those things, like I would have just listened and then that's it. And I would have just died tick. I listened to it. Yep. Cool. Like I listened to a productivity podcast today, like cool. But there wasn't that, that like connection to. Listened. And here's the things I said now. Here's how, here's what I'm going to change. And the things that I do, I think that disconnect was definitely missing. And it's something that I tried to be even now, even, even last year when I was reading heaps of books, like I've read books almost just for the sake of it. And there wasn't like, there wasn't that connection to, okay. I'm reading it. Even if it comes back to like, I'm not just gonna read it. Like rating is good. And like bill gates reads. so, like I should read it, it comes back to that. Okay. Here is a problem that I have now. Here's what I'm going to do to fix it. And the brief things, the tools I'm going to use to fix the problem I'm going to listen to books, listen to this particular podcast, do these things, to fix this problem and coming at it that way rather than which I guess is. almost that intentionality, right? It's like, let's be intentional when I'm gonna, when I'm reading, when I'm listening. What am I actually trying to get out of this and what am I going to try and use from the things that I'm doing? So I think, Yeah. if I was Listening. to this years ago, I probably would have just there wouldn't have been that connection and not something that I have comes across to. And, and what we speak about in the episodes is not only speaking about these topics, but also having that application of like, okay, we spoke about self. How do you do that? Because I think that there's a lot of things I read and listen to that's there's no connection to that where it's

Joe:

Don't let self doubt hold you

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah. It's kind of like,

Joe:

Thanks. I

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

me. That's great. But like there's no. What do I actually do? Um, and, and, not like it's, it's hard to wipe that out, but I think having that actual action step is something that's important and not only listening to the action step, but actually doing the action step as well is, is something that like many people, you could even just sit them down and be like, Hey, you gotta do this, this, this, and then you get this result and, and they still won't. do it. So I think having that Having that there, at least for the people that do want to do this, the action steps is, is important.

Joe:

Yeah, I think that's a big, I mean, if you want to talk about the self doubt bit and just riff a little bit for, I've got one more, probably one more question for you after that, but I feel like to avoid it being just yet blanket blanket, but. On a motivation pump statements. Like don't let self doubt hold you back. Don't be here. Don't be afraid. Very talk is cheap. Right? My thinking is that you do overcome it, probably going back to what your reference to Andrew there before around, ah, you've gone through self doubt on a, maybe on a career or career risk level, a couple of times or creative risk level, couple of times. And then you get familiar and you get used to it, but it's through proceeding through it. Like you said, action steps is a good word phrase. Sorry, like taking action steps to actually get on the other side of something, having gone through it. That's actually the keto I've coming in in my mind. Like you're taking the process, like your best example was I'm assuming stuff to do with graduate theory. And it's probably things like I would assume like releasing it for the first. Maybe, because thinking I's this weird to do, like do people, may he may interviewing people, those things, very common, maybe reaching out to guests as well. Cause there's a lot of like, oh, like there's a lot of potential for, I don't know, rejection or embarrassment and things like that. Am I bothering this person? Things like that. So maybe, I don't know, reflecting on that. You can comment. But to me, those are the things. If people listening, wanting to. How do I overcome that? Like James seems to be certainly overcoming it. Cause, cause you've been there to me. I, I would say it's those things, but I don't know if you have any comments or anything else around

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah. Yeah. I think the self-doubt thing and something that I, I guess, like you said, there's been instances where I've overcome that, maybe successfully we'll, we'll find out, but I think re like to take it back to the, the action steps there where it's like, Hey, like the first thing is to notice that what you're experiencing. So. Like notice that you are having that self doubt is, is the first step. So let's say one thing would be let's say a new position comes up at work that you think you might like to do, but maybe you could apply to do it. And you're not sure if you should, or even you've applied and you're not sure if you're going to get it. You don't think you don't believe in yourself that you could actually do the role. That's the first thing, notice that you're actually experiencing that. And then the second thing is even ask why. Why are you experiencing that? Like where does it come from? Do you just not believe in yourself generally? Or like, does it come from, maybe there's like linking back to like some kind of a childhood experience is something that, we could talk about as well, but we don't have time, but is it an interesting topic? Yeah. Or whether, yeah. Like I'll ask you to experience. or whatever it is, why are you thinking that perhaps you can think of reasons why too, and then and then just trying to read it. Your confidence a little bit and say, okay, doing this is going to be good for these reasons. And, and even thinking about yeah, I think for, for myself, I guess if I take it back to starting the podcast, it was more of like, well, I've actually know Andrew, Andrew was saying, as he was saying, chances are, if you've applied and you've gone that far, you're capable to do the thing. So like, you wouldn't have even. Like thought about doing it, if you didn't, if you weren't able to. So I think, I think that's big and I think it's really trying to develop that like recognize that feeling and just sinking into it. Even that's something that Dan would say, it's like, just sit there with it, feel where it is in your body. Sit down, like close your eyes and just experience as much as much of it as you can. And then just let it, let it do its thing. Let yourself,

Joe:

he wants to be expressed. That's what he said.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Because yeah, I found in my experience, like, there's been times where that's happened, where things have come up and I've put myself forward. And then even during that process, I've been like, oh, like I can't do this. Like, they won't pick me because like I'm not good enough or whatever it is. And I think if I could go back to those scenarios and even it's, I've found as time's gone on that, I actually would have been pretty good at doing these things. That I perhaps opportunities that I didn't get, or at least so seeing the people that, that are in these positions that perhaps I didn't think I could do, that they're not anything special and I easily could have done that as well. So I think I think it's a definitely a difficult thing to get through that self doubt, but I think I think it's still quite that, feel like, I feel like it's something you gotta go through

Joe:

is naturally none. It's well, that's that's with giving people comfort over as well. It is vague because it's very individual it's very individual specific. Any high-level concept in my opinion is really hard to just talk. This is why there's so many people in maybe the spaces of personal development and self-awareness and all this stuff. And from spirituality to practical career self, to product, there's so much in there. And it's good. You talked about yourself being a whatever, before you went on an exchange and this might've just gone over your head, but I think I notice about this kind of journey is that. And some level, the podcasts people stop by reading books and listening to podcasts. First, they start by consuming content before they take action, because then easiest step and they getting ready and then it all sinks in so that the podcast that just glossed over. Yes. Like there wasn't like the thing you grabbed him implemented, but that prepared you for something that you had listened to in three years after he'd done exchange, you'd have listened to these podcasts. The message is trying to get to you and it's sinking in. So on a broader level, yes. There's not something that you might hear in a one podcast episodes. It's going to dissolve all the self doubt, but I would draw it out to zoom out and draw your attention to the fact that it is a pre. And James, you are, people have transparency on your story. Now they can see the process, how it went for you. And I think that's, that makes it okay. Cause you're just, you are at some point on that and you feel, if they're listening to this, we know enough about someone listening to this, that they're listening to this. So that means that they asked, they asked somewhere. That journey. They might just be listening cause graduate theory, great podcast, all that might be facing this. And that might be part of the early career and natural. This everyone's got self doubt. It's very natural. There's so much comparison. There's so many measurable I did, or I didn't get it. So, yes, it's quite a journey. And, but I just think if you're listening to this, you are somewhere on that journey, which means I don't, we don't, we tell you how long it's going to take. And we can also, we can probably say it's probably never going to be completely done, but you probably get used to it. It gets easier. And patients with patients and processor a big too, but ongoing journey, ongoing journey. The last, the last thing I wanted to end on, if we could, was that. I have to have to give you a taste of your medicine. What is one tip you would give to new graduates? Your, I believe that's your final question. I might've been misquoted at some a little bit, but what's one tip you would give to new graduates today.

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

I think. Yeah, I think yeah, I think the main thing is is, is be intentional about what you're doing. So, and really that's something that I think is so important. It's like, let's say, go like one plot 40 year. What would make this year, a successful year for you? And what things are you going to do this year? That would be good. Like, even if it's coming to networking, like be intentional about who you're networking with and make that something that you do get involved, participate. Yeah. Really like life's an adventure, so you've got to go out and, and make stuff yourself. Like, no, one's coming back to even what we're talking about before. Like, no one's going to come and like, make your experience great for you. Like, no, one's going to sit there and be like, okay, you know what? This is the perfect opportunity for you. Here you go. Now, like, here's like the perfect thing. Like you have to go. And create that stuff yourself. So you've got to go and meet the people you want to meet with. They're not going to come to you. You've got to go and seek opportunities that you want to do because no one's going to come and bring them to you. You've got to really take life with both hands and go out and embrace, embrace the world and go out and seek things yourself. I think that is the one lesson that you know, that I try and apply in that. I think that that would be my lesson to new graduate as well. It's like. Yeah, the Lawson adventures, that journey it's, it's fantastic, but you've got to get in there and to get, make the most out of it, get in the arena and go out and enjoy and really take life with both hands. I think that is fundamental and something that will not only be useful through your graduate experience, but it's something that's a fundamental principle, I think through your entire life is to go out and, Hmm. Tackle stuff, head on and get involved. Don't just sit on the sidelines and, and, mock people, or just watch people that are doing cool stuff, like get in there and do cool stuff yourself. Get in there and, and people in participate and do stuff. I think that is that's something that I've grown into doing this year. And I think it's something that I would recommend to everyone. Yeah.

Joe:

that's it, James freekeh says ladies and gentlemen, get off your ass subsidiary and your hands and sees it. Okay. What else do you need to hear? Oh, well, powerfully put what a way to end. Thank you very much. James iPod met spec. And did, did the show, did the show justice big reminder for everyone? Best episode is episode one, of course. And get back to the start if you knew, but yeah. Remind them, of course, as this customer, where can they find you? Where can they,

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Absolutely.

Joe:

grabbing more?

james-2021-12-18__13-32-36:

Yeah. When you're in the show notes of this episode is, would be the best place that's going to have all the links. So you've got graduate theory.com, the website that'll have everything. You can go and read more about the episode there as well. Otherwise we've got the Instagram, the LinkedIn, the YouTube as well, so in many places, but all the links will be in the show notes. Graduate theory.com is the main place to find all that stuff. Yeah, thanks so much, sir, for coming on today as well. I think it's we've had a good chat and we've gotten deep and I think hopefully that's useful for all our listeners to find out more? about about myself and about the podcast and things like that. So I appreciate you coming on and speaking to me, cause I think we covered some interesting and useful concepts today. And hopefully almost as useful as having a guest on. So.

Joe:

Yeah, I certainly certainly thanks for the privilege until the next time.

James:

Thanks for listening to this episode of graduate theory. I hope you enjoyed it. Listening to me, talk for a little bit longer than usual today. Hopefully some of those lessons that were useful and you can go and apply. Uh, in your own life, because we're not about just saying the concepts and about giving you that motivation. It's also about what can you do to apply these things. So I hope you enjoyed the episode today. If you want to find out more, if you want to find out my insights and my takeaways from today's episode, go to graduate theory.com. And on there, you can read the post about this episode, and if you want to get those posts straight to your email, Consider subscribing to the newsletter where you get that straight to your inbox. You can also subscribe on whatever platform you're listening on, whether that be podcast or YouTube. If you're on apple podcasts, please consider leaving a review so that we can. More people listening to the great content that is in graduate theory. I hope you enjoyed, and I'm wishing every one of you, a very Merry Christmas. I hope you're enjoying the Christmas break and whatever you might be doing over this period. Thanks so much for listening again today. And I look forward to seeing you in the next episode.