31 Mar Career Exercise: Rediscovering You
Rediscovering you happens through looking at the small details that make up our lives. When looking at career strategies, we often look to the big picture about the small detail. However, it’s the small details that make up our world – the intricate and tiny parts of our everyday. If those aren’t working for us, however worthy our path, we are going to be unhappy.
One thing about the current coronavirus crisis is that we have time to ponder what has been missing from our lives – time around the kids, time to enjoy that cup of Earl Grey first thing in the morning, space to think and plan and not feeling like you are continuously on the hamster wheel.
We may be rediscovering the fact that we quite enjoy our own company, or that we are drawn to volunteering and helping others in this difficult time…activities and things that are suddenly showing up in our lives.
We may also find that, until recently, our jobs and lifestyle, didn’t allow us to enjoy these. That there was not room for that peaceful cup of Earl Grey, to help others, or to spend quality time with the children.
Equally, we may notice those things that we can’t currently have – the social drinks after work, the fast pace of the workplace, a sense of shared purpose. Sometimes, we may be missing these intensely. Other times, we may be glad to see the back of them
Redisovering you: what do you want?
To complete this exercise you’ll want a sheet of A4 or a notebook page separated into three columns.
These columns will be: I like, I don’t like and because. You are going to carry this page around throughout the day and add to it when you can.
What you will be doing is simply noting what’s good about your life and what’s not so great. You can be as precise as making yourself a decaff coffee for a change and deciding you don’t like it, to noting down how you feel about your regular team meeting. Here’s an example just for flow:
|I Like||I Don’t Like||Because|
|Using Zoom for meetings||They are shorter and more to the point
|Explaining our social media figures to my boss in person||I feel pressured and would rather do it via a report|
|Being able to work in the garden||It calms me and makes me feel close to nature
|Working with client X||It feels ethically dodgy|
If you are currently working, carry on doing this for a week, as you go. If you can’t note things down as they happen, don’t worry. Each evening, hold a review of your day, visualising it in your head, and note down anything you haven’t yet put on the sheet. I find this an interesting exercise to do with clients, partly because it’s staggering how little we question all the different parts of our day. They may seem like minutiae, but put them together and they have a strong hold over your life and how you feel about it.
If you’re literally taking some time out, then you may have to do a lot of this from memory. However, still give yourself a week to think through your usual routines, remember scenarios and how you felt about them at the time.
I’ll be posting soon on what to do with all your rich and interesting data. Follow post tagged The Career Pause to see rest in this series. Contact me to arrange an intake session if you’d like to go through this process with a career psychologist.