Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Your experience

Have you ever considered what your experience qualifies you to do? Not what you are doing currently or what your job title says about you. Instead, what does your accumulated experience add up to, what does it qualify you to do and what does it say about your future?

If you made a list of all the jobs you have had in your career [even the part time positions] what are the common threads that begin to emerge? What have you enjoyed doing most? What skills have been called upon more regularly than others? What jobs do you recall fondly and which still give you an uneasy feeling in your stomach? What was it that made them enjoyable, unsatisfactory or even unbearable at the time?

You might have been a paper boy/girl, a waiter, a gardener, an office junior, a trainee lawyer, a secretary, a bus driver, a salesperson, a researcher, a tech support person, a store manager, a consultant, a chief executive. It's statistically unlikely but you might even be Barack Obama or Steve Jobs. Whatever the make-up of your individual career you have a unique set of experiences and, whenever you choose, you also have the opportunity to interpret these experiences for the insight they provide into your future.

You have earned your experiences. They are among the few things that no-one can take from you or claim as theirs. Even the most dogged ex-partner, distant family member, lawyer or tax inspector will concede and grant you free reign. It may sound odd to suggest that your future starts with a look to the past but when it comes to defining personal success there is no better preparation for the road ahead.

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