Don’t Update Your Résumé

I’ve been through several kinds of career transitions.  I’ve changed companies, I’ve changed disciplines within an industry, I’ve left an industry altogether, and I’ve moved from being a cog in a large corporate environment to a small business owner and entrepreneur.  Transitions are such a fertile time for growth, and a great time to revisit identities and belief systems, to see what you want to take forward.   

That being said, for the first 15 years of my professional life, whenever I felt a need for a job change, I did not dig very deep.  I simply searched my email to find the most recent version of my résumé, and started revising.   I needed to define a career path and put together a development plan to build the skills I would need.  Honestly, it’s a very engineer way of approaching ones career. 

Little did I know that focusing on résumé was a way of staying in the painful thoughts that were keeping me from discovering my true calling.  After all, It felt natural to want a change every once in a while. 

So how do you know when you need a REALLY BIG change?  How do you navigate it, especially when it may involve a change in identity?  I can’t answer that question for you, but I can tell you what it looked like for me is that I woke up one day, and could not go to work.  I wasn’t paralyzed, I was able to get up – I just couldn’t fathom going to the office for one more day.  In hindsight, I can see that I had waited too long.  I had ignored my feelings for too long, and my essential self found a way to put its foot down.

So, when someone asks me for help with their résumé, I refuse to let them take this shortcut.  Instead, I explain that their résumé is just a reflection of the thoughts and beliefs they have about their own abilities and values.  If we investigate these beliefs, and consider them one by one, we can discover where the pain is originating that is causing them to seek change.  Then, we start to dissolve those thoughts over time, and look for thoughts that are more true than the painful thoughts.  Once their thinking is clear, we can start dreaming and experimenting our way to finding our true North Star. 

And then we are on our way.  We can identify small steps that will get them closer to our North Star, and start on their journey.  At this time, we can go back to the résumé, and it will write itself.  Or, we may find its time to throw the résumé out, because the next step is go back to school, or start a business, or move back home, or any number of other directions. 

So yes, I help people who are in any sort of career transition.  But, I ask them to keep an open mind as to what the process and the outcome will look like.

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