These last few weeks has seen me immersing more fully into the preparation necessary for my emergence in the Next Best Chapter of my life: how I’ll contribute with meaning and significance now that my years as a full-time, actively engaged, always present Parent ebbs into the sunset.
This month, I’ve developed a professional profile on LinkedIn and have been establishing connections there. Defining myself for a flat screen appraisal has been challenging, to say the least. Words, after all, are merely words ~ and they can be cleverly crafted to create any image or impression you desire. I’ve been writing for decades – and my key strength is in my ability to transform the words into an experience the reader can feel and relate to, without ever having met them or needing to know them. But I’ve been around long enough to also know that the way one present’s oneself ‘on paper’ can be a far cry from who that person actually is in reality. And as such, I feel rather limited by this first entry point to a Recruiters awareness; as good as my words are, my Presence and Experience and Wisdom bring more.
Having said that, I’ve crafted a Professional Profile that captures, I hope, the kaleidoscopic dazzle of all that I am – and, I’ve published it.
It’s taken me some time to wrap my mind, body and soul around the thought of entering back into a world I left more than 16 years ago. I had a brilliant career; actively engaged in work I enjoyed, with people I liked and respected, with compensation and reward that aligned well with my effort and enthusiasm. I’ve had a brilliant experience here at home; learning, growing, nurturing, providing, guiding, teaching, coaching, problem solving, leading by example, motivating, inspiring, volunteering and tapping deeply into wells of creativity and intuitive guidance I had not know was available to me before.
I am not the same woman who walked away from it all in mid-October, 1995; in every way, I’m better. It is this that I turn to when insecurity and doubt, rooting in the gap between then and now, starts to rise; the fact that this time, I have so much more to offer than a keen intelligence, a willingness to learn, an enthusiasm to achieve and a drive to excel. This time I also bring Wisdom, Compassion, Understanding, Creativity, Higher Order Thinking, Relation-Building Techniques, Insight, Perspective, Patience and the ability to Get In Behind the Eyes of Anyone to the table. I plan to contribute with meaning and serve with significance. Again – these are all just words – except, of course, for the fact that they’re infused with Passion, Integrity and Experience.
I’m a firm believer in the existence of Something Beautiful. This is a phenomenon available to all of us ~ but tends to be experienced most often by those who believe in it and actively seek its emergence. Briefly, the theory goes like this: Life presents us with people, events and circumstances that provide us the opportunity to rise up and meet our Better Selves. Some call these gifts ‘issues’ or ‘difficult people’ or ‘hard times’ ~ I see them as learning and growth opportunities that allow me to practice skills and tap into qualities and values that may lay dormant until called forward by a specific person, circumstance or event. At some point, while frustration rises or upset peaks or overwhelm threatens – an Awareness within me whispers, “What is this here to teach you? How will you meet this? Don’t get lost in the emotion – face it, meet it, get through it, and in so doing – you will meet your Something Beautiful.”
So, I persevered through the discomfort of documenting my skills, experience and value for potential employers to use as an initial assessment of my fit and alignment. I’ve identified the best Resume Format to showcase my talents and abilities and I’ve crafted one of at least three Resumes needed to best highlight the fields in which I’ve got the most to share. I’ve sourced sites that feature opportunities in the kind of employment I seek and I’ve even submitted Resumes for jobs I know I’d be great at. All in the knowing that taking each step toward the ultimate goal also brings me ever closer to my next Something Beautiful.
Reaching out and making Connections was difficult for me too. I’m an Introvert by personality and have become quite isolated from others as a result of being home with children for so long. Sending Connection requests to people I hadn’t seen or spoken to in more than 16 years has been an exercise in Courage for me. I did it though – and as a result, I met my Something Beautiful: everyone remembers me, they all seem happy to have heard from me and they remember me in ways I’d forgotten I’d ever existed. I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how empowering it feels to be Seen and treated with such Kindness and Respect. Yet I’ll try – it felt Wonderful and Validating and Encouraging. And it’s given me the energy boost needed to continue on, step by step, into my Next Best Chapter of this Life I’m so Grateful to be living.
My point in telling you all of this?
So often, the best gift we can give another is our attention, a kind word, a respectful demeanour ~ and the sense that, in the moment of the interaction – that person is the most important person in the world to you: the first, the last, the everything.