So here’s the thing – I am one to draw attention to myself but not intentionally. I am gregarious in the right social situation. I will get up and sing in public without necessarily having received an invitation to do so. If a costume is required, I’m not averse to donning a cape in the name of a good cause – or just because a cape seems like the right thing to do. I will roll down hills. I will fall on my butt while skiing and laugh hysterically. I was known for taking my pet ferrets out for walks on harnesses and leashes or letting them ride on my shoulder. I don’t think about doing these things to get attention but they seem to draw it all the same. But purposely focusing on my self for an extended period of time in the name of personal development. Now that’s just crazy talk.
This job search thing has been an interesting process. I’ve never had trouble getting a job. I can’t point to any particular reason but it’s just never been a huge struggle. Until this time. Not a struggle really but I definitely needed to try something different. To bring people in to the “circle of trust” to quote the illustrious Jack Byrnes. So I brought in a job coach. To be fair – an amazing friend introduced me to the job coach and as she was already in the circle, I felt good about opening the circle to make a bigger circle so that my circle would stop going in circles. See what I mean?
Part of this job coaching thing is being ok with someone focusing on me. A lot. I mean a HUGE, uncomfortable, SPOTLIGHT BRIGHT, no nook or cranny left unchecked kind of focus. I might be exaggerating a bit but if you knew how uncomfortable focusing on me makes me, you’d understand. Think of that time you stood there in a long line with a ton of people around and a massive wedgie just working it’s way in to places God didn’t intend underwear to go and there’s no way you are budging that any time soon and you’ll get the idea. Focus on me you say? List my accomplishments? Document the stats of my performance? Go through my projects and goals with a fine toothed comb? Redesign my resume to highlight my career abilities and skills? Oh my aching crack …
So I resisted at first. A lot. I mean HUGE, massive, feet dug in a lot. All this attention on me was not a good thing. All this forcing me to accept praise for a job well done and realizing that doing the job at 110% isn’t what most people do is just – hard. To me, working hard and doing the best you can is just what you do. If you are committed to an organization, paid or volunteer, and you’ve put your reputation on the line for the organization to succeed, then you do what you have to to make that happen. Within reason – no morals have ever been harmed in the pursuit of 110% but what I did discover is maybe 99.9% is ok too.
Now that we are a month in to the process I find I’m having a shift in my consciousness about focusing on myself. I no longer see it as a selfish act. I don’t feel as uncomfortable documenting accomplishments, abilities, skills and passions that are going to help me achieve my goal of getting back in to healthcare but in communications. I see it as a way to reach my goals. I see it as a way to build confidence and sell myself better to potential employers. I see it as a challenge that will only make me better as a person and employee. I’m already paying it forward by helping a friend of mine with her job search. She’s young and new to the career searching game. I’d like to be a part of her career development process so that when the time comes, she won’t ask oh you mean me? She’ll stand up proudly and say of course you mean me. Funny thing is, I think we are both learning that lesson together.