As with most days, I am preoccupied with how to short-circuit the career conundrum and help more people discover great work for themselves; the kind of work that dovetails every single career attribute, experience, value, ambition, skill, talent, gift and dream, neatly into The World of Work.
Today I woke-up with a 'key word' in the forefront of my mind; the kind of word that opens up rich corridors of creative thinking. As a part of my own 'career portfolio' is that of a writer, I know I am working well when I wake and my subconscious feeds me a word on which to build my day and sustain myself.
I am always thankful for those days because it’s a form of purpose to chase-down such a word and turn it into something thought-provoking, real and relevant. To decode the meaning of the word and give it to the world in a meaningful way. Yes, words enrich my days and I am thankful for them.
On Wednesday 24th July 2013 – today – the word provided happens to be ‘inventory’. What a great word for a Career Coach to be reminded of every now and again. In our quest for job satisfaction and happiness, inventories are every bit as important as a map and compass on any expedition because, along with giving us our direction, they can fuel our self-esteem, turn progress in reality and help measure our success.
Extrapolation is the act of taking historic data, trends and events and projecting them to some point in the future. That’s why an inventory is such a good start-point on our journeys to the future. A couple of days ago whilst researching a previous blog topic I was looking into 'positive visualisation'. It turns out that the wholly remarkable W. Clement Stone, who created positive thinking as a tool to train super-determined insurance salesmen in his company, also happened to, through his mentorship, spawn a remarkable protégé, Og Mandino.
Og is a great one for making an inventory of personal ingredients we should be thankful for. I don’t want to spoil his story but I’d recommend spending some time watching his teachings on YouTube. Og survived hitting absolute rock-bottom and turned his life around.
In his teachings, he states that, no matter how low we might believe we have fallen, we have special gifts we ought to remind ourselves to be thankful for, such items are the eyes that we see with, the ear we hear with and the feet we walk with. And that's just for starters. I'll leave the rest to his video. It is quite a powerful legacy and by valuing it, we recognise his life's accomplishments.
So what of our own inventories. Due to my own difficulties in gaining traction in the first few chapters of my life, and then, more by happenstance than good judgement, I found a talented Career Adviser and formed a sustainable vocation, which led to my designing the Career Dovetail Formula.
The problem I was seeking to solve was to make career decision-making a tangible, repeatable and reliable process. I believe too many people, me included, have historically found careers work esoteric, intangible and perhaps even a bit flaky. Perhaps not worthy of investment.
So if you do nothing else today why not sit down and create an inventory of your career attributes to be thankful for. Along with your skills, consider your experience, talents, gifts, strengths, personality traits, resilience, friends, family, work colleagues, wider networks, interests, passions, your overcoming-of-adversity anecdotes, achievements and success stories.
You never know, apart from ending-up feeling thankful, you will probably do your self-esteem a whole lot of good and maybe be well on the way to building a sustainable career plan!
Ultimately, you will piece-together a credible 'Tell Me About Yourself'; which, apart from impressing yourself, will demonstrate to others how good you are at what you do, build your CV/resumé and feed into a powerful interview script.
Believe me, there's a lot of point to building an inventory. Not all lists are pointless!
Duncan Bolam © 2013