As Alexander Pope is quoted, in What Color is Your Parachute?...
Know then thyself,
Do not the Market scan
Until you've surveyed all You are,
Then you will have your plan.
Understanding myself, and where I might want to head, career-wise, going forward, was the reason I read Richard Bolles book, What Color is Your Parachute?, and wrote the previous 4 parts in this series.
The question we all ask ourselves, some sooner than others, is "What Did I Come into the World to do?"
The book says this moment in our lives goes by many names:
At last going after your Dreams, Finding more purpose, and meaning for your life, making a career-change, deciding to try something new, setting out in a different direction in your life, getting out of the rat race, going after your dream job, finding your mission in life at last, Fred....
Well, OK, maybe not Fred...I slipped that in there to see if anyone was actually reading this series, and had any thoughts to share about any of it. ;-D
The book explains that reading it, doing its assignments, and then The Flower Exercise, is "the moment when you decide that this time you're not going to do just a traditional job-hunt; you're going to do a lefe-changing job-hunt or career-change: one that begings with you and what it is that you want out of life."
My agenda. My wishes. My dreams. My mission in life, given to me by God.
This last exercise, even after all the others, is meant to give me more information about myself.
As I've writtten, before, I'm not the most religious person in the world.
Dad was Eastern Orthodox, Mom was a Lapsed Catholic, I had an Uncle who was a Southern Baptist Minister, I grew up attending Church, and Sunday School, at a Pentecostal Church, in my teen years, a church which one of my favorite people in the world, an adopted Granma, was a member of.
I read Oral Roberts, and watched Jerry Falwell, into my 20's, took a Bible as Lit class in college, and have read several History of Christianity books since those days, including a new one by Diarmaid MacCulloch, & have the 4 books by Charles Darwin on my shelf waiting their turns. ;-D
I've only been to church a couple of times since 1990 and, last October, began reading the Bible again for the first time since then. ;-D
Anyway, I've filled out the Steps of The Flower Exercise, even as I've focused on increasing my Marketable Skills by taking Computer Class, because I've not felt ready to run around filing Job Applications, Hither & Yon, recklessly, and not prepared to take the first job that will have me.
I know what you may be thinking..."In this economy? WTF is he thinking?"
I'm not even sure, myself. I just know it felt right to read this book, and do the exercises.
So, here is how I filled out The Flower Exercise...
STEP 1: What Values Do You Want Your Life to Serve? (I had to prioritize 3 out of 9).
1. ENTERTAINMENT: When you are gone, do you want there to be more lightening of people's loads, more giving them perspective, more helping them forget their cares for a spell, do you want there to be more laughter in the world, and joy, because you were here? If so, what particular kind of entertainment do you want to contribute to the world?
I love to entertain thru writing of poetry, stories, humor, opinion, and research, plus thru photography, and even video.
2. MIND: Is the human mind your major concern? When you are gone, do you want there to be more knowledge, truth, or clarity in the world, because you were here? If so knowledge, truth, or clarity concerning what in particular?
I like sharing, & spreading, knowledge of the things that interest me, such as Writing of Poetry & Stories, and about Cats, Bicycling, Walking, and the Outdoors.
3. EYES & OTHER SENSES: Are the human sense your major concern? When you are gone, do you want there to be more beauty in the world, because you were here? If so, what kind of beauty entrances you that you want your life to contribute toward?
I like to share beauty thru my writing, and via Photography.
STEP 2: What Knowledges, or Expertise, That You Already Have Do You Want to Use in Your Life and Work?
In Order of Priority for Me:
1. Creative Writing, and Creative Journalism.
2. Cats, and Cycling, teamed with Indoor, & Outdoor, Photography.
3. Public Speaking, Arguement & Debate, Working with Others.
STEP 3: What Transferable Skills Do You Most Enjoy Using?
In Order of Priority for Me?
1. I'm good at writing and communicating on a Blog, entertaining, and informing, readers about ideas, people, places, resources, blogs, and events.
2. I'm good at using all resources available to me to read, research, and gather information.
3. I am physically active in that I walk, bike, and use mass Transit, to go places, and do things.
4. I'm good at promoting, and persuading, by using my skills with words, and experience in sales, along with all the above, to make points.
5. I'm good at speaking before an audience, using all my skills, from #2 & #4, with my outgoing personality, and humor, to make points.
6. I know how to use words to do #1, # 2, and #4, to inform, and educate.
7. I know how to use Pencil, Pen, and Computer, to input, and look up information.
8. I know how to retrieve, record, classify,, and file, important information, by using programs, and instructions.
9. I know how to use, show, , and pay attention to, detail by using all resources available to me to do any, and all, of the above.
10. I know how to use all resources availbale to me to examine, and input, information.
STEP 4: What Kind of People Do You Most Enjoy Working with or Serving?
There were 6 Categories to choose from: Realistic, Investigative, Conventional, Artistic, Enterprising, Social ( My choices in order = A, S, E ).
I would like a job, or career, best if I were surrounded by people who like to work with others, influencing, and persuading to reach a goal, or make money, but who are also artistic, and creative, and use their imagination, and creativity, to inform, enlighten, train, develope, or cure, & also are skilled at using words to accomplish these goals.
STEP 5: What Are Your Favorite Working Conditions?
In Order of Priority For Me.
1. Working with the Public. 2. Ability to move around.
3. Moderate Supervision, with the ability to adapt rules to circumstances.
4. Reasonable work schedule at a job close to home, that allows for rest, and personal activities.
5. Reasonable Travel opportunities, or requirements, that allow for proper rest to accomplish the mission, or task.
6. Lots of room, and plenty of light.
STEP 6: What Level Would You Like to Work At, & What Salary Would You be Satisfied With?
In Order of Priority for Me?
1. A member of a team of equals.
2. Working with people who work well with others.
3. Manager, or Supervisor. 4. Working alone with supervision.
1. Intelectual Stimulation. 2. Challenge 3. Chance to be Creative.
4. Respect 5. Use Expertise 6. Exercise Leadership 7. Help Others.
8. Influence 9. Make Decisions 10. Popularity.
STEP 7: Where Would You Most Like to Live, if You Have a Choice?
What would these place have that would entice you? (Prioritize)
1. Low Unemployment 2. Affordable Rent 3. Pet Friendly.
4. Plenty of Mass Transit 5. Bike Friendly, with Plenty of Outdoor Options.
6. Low Crime Rate 7. Conservative Politics.
8. Environment Conducive to Ones Creativity.
9. Plenty of English Speakers so I don't have to worry about going into places where I can't understand people, & they can't understand me.
10. Low, or non-existent, Income Tax. 11. Varied Weather.
12. Good Education, and Job Re-Training, Opportunities.
13. Lots of Shopping Choices. 14. Lots of Different Dining Opportunities.
15. Lots of Entertainment, and Cultural, Venues.
So...with that in mind, and being willing to consider fleeing California for this better life, and future, I've been trying to figure out...WHERE TO?
In no particular order these are the candidates:
Texas ( Dallas/FT. Worth, Arlington, Houston?), AZ. (Phoenix, Mesa, Glendale?), Washington (Seattle?), Colorado, South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, Utah, Nebraska.
***UPDATE - 2/24***
Yesterday, The Work Buzz Blog brought up the subject of Relocation, and added these thoughts: "if you have the means and desire to look beyond your current city, you will increase your chances of finding a job. In fact, some regions might be experiencing a shortage of workers in your industry, and you will be a sought after applicant. You never really know what you’ll find by looking in another city."
***UPDATE - 2/27***
FORTUNE COOKIE 2/27/11 = You will make many changes before settling satsifactorily.
Well, I consider all the things I've been doing since the 1st week of September, online, and in the classroom, the book reading, & resultant thinking, and my trip planning for next Aug., to all be part of this process of "Change".
EDD, Job Center Folks, and Career Counselors, when they learn of it, may wish I'd spent all my time at their feet, or putting blisters on mine, running around 2 counties, exhausting myself filing applications, and sitting for interviews, but not me.
****UPDATE - 10/18/12****
Thanks to a comment, below, I can give an update.
As of Sept. 20th, the cats and I have been living in Houston, Texas, where I am looking for work, and continuing my blogging.
Just a few posts that serve as follow-ups of sorts:
And from December 2011 = A Creative Writer's Prayer