Well That Sure Was Nice: How Writing a Resume Resurrected My Self-Esteem

Photo Cr: Exhausted Squirrel, Devon Fanfair, 2018

My birthday month, September 2018 seems to have 87 days. This is one of the longest and toughest months of my life.

After a few draining trips, I returned home feeling exhausted. (See squirrel for reference.)

I learned that I was unexpectedly pregnant and then experienced an early miscarriage. This news took me down a winding road of surprise, joy, grief, sadness, guilt, and finally, acceptance.

Add to that I'm riding the entrepreneurial roller-coaster, navigating the social and power dynamics of public-facing professional work and parenting a pre-schooler that has more projects and homework than a little bit.

I was just like OH MY GOD does this month ever end?

(As of today, it is still going.)

Photo Cr: STIL on Unsplash.org

Recently, a collaborator invited me into a deeper relationship and asked for my resume. Insert sigh and eye roll here. As a dominant Type 1 on the Enneagram, a task like completing a resume, cover letter--really any evaluating document sends me into a perfectionism vortex. It's never right, typos are everywhere and what if I focus too much on one area when I should really highlight another?

I decided to approach it differently. My understanding of my personality type helps me to identify my superpowers and know my blindspots. Type Ones tend to try and control things and are very critical of ourselves. We really benefit when we loosen up our grip on tasks, give ourselves grace and ask for help when we need it.

I called in a professional. My husband was an executive recruiter in Houston's oil & gas industry for years. He's a Type 3 on the Enneagram, he knows what people want and what "looks good." He's the resume expert and knows how to "say" things.

He treated this experience like a conversation. We talked about my work experience through me sharing stories. I went through all the emotions, anger at how over-worked I was at times, sadness at the projects that didn't go well, excitement over my vocational wins. He celebrated me in areas I thought were just normal. My tone changed during the whole experience and I ended deep in gratitude and with a surge of self-esteem.

Then I looked at the finished document and was like, "Damn, I'm dope!"

I want you to have this feeling so I developed a practice from my experience.

Write a mini-resume for yourself today. Respond to the following questions:

1) In what areas did you over-deliver at your last job(s)?

Think about things that you contributed that seemed easy to you, that took little effort, or areas in which you felt over-worked.

EX: I can put together a clear and concise worksheet in a minute honey. You'll think I done worked on it all week.

2) What did you learn from failed projects or experiments?

Think about what my friend Ella calls "bought sense:" lessons that cost you so much you will never forget them.

EX: I learned to put everything in writing. It's a skill and tool that keeps communication crystal clear and eliminates "miscommunications" that can ruin well-planned experiences.

3) Quantity and Quality: What did you do over and over again, for a sustained amount of time?

Think about your experience in any job. Every item rung up, meal served, document or file created, you know something about it from doing it over and over again.

EX: I realized that I've led over 200 learning experiences in my career, on stages all over the world in front of all kinds of learners. Teaching is very natural to me; yet I tend to discount my gift.

Seeing and naming your superpowers creates "appreciation." You know how when a car or home increases in value, we say it appreciates? When we give voice to our unique contributions, we have a similar affect on ourselves and others. I encourage you to name and celebrate what you bring to every personal and professional experience today.

Do you want to learn more about your Personality Type?

CLICK HERE to learn more about how to understand yourself, leverage your superpowers and know your blindspots via a

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