· What personal qualities do you possess? (e.g. I am a great listener, I am gifted at giving difficult feedback to people, etc.)
· What skills do you have? (e.g. I can build a website, I can knit an incredible afghan, etc.)
· What kind of time do you have to invest in learning new skills or experimenting with new forms of work?
· Who is in your life that can help you with career and work-related goals? List all the supportive people you can think of.
· What groups, organizations, or networks are you connected with that can help you move toward your work-related goals?
· What unique personal and professional experiences do you have that can help you move toward your next stage of livelihood?
Ooh, Maia Duerr is really making me dig deep as we work through “Fall in Love With Your Work.” She wants us to make a list of our assets. She asks us not to limit the definition of “assets” to financial ones, which is a very good thing because I don’t have too many of those. This is supposed to strengthen my “think big” muscle and maximize my resources.
I am an excellent listener and meet people where they are. I write well and know how to use that writing to educate and inspire. I can keep my head in crisis situations.
I have interviewing and facilitation skills, and I can help others find information and resources more easily than they can by themselves.
I don’t just have plenty of time to learn new skills or experiment with new forms of work–I thrive on doing exactly that. My professional life is never complete without some kind of challenge. I can’t be content with things staying exactly the way they are.
I have an online network of coaches who are more advanced than I am and colleagues who are working their way up. Some people who have seen a spark in me have been willing to allow me to take classes or benefit from coaching that I could not pay for. I can’t do anything to pay them back–I can only pay it forward to others when I’m in a position to do so.
I am moving to a community (Asheville, NC) full of creative and spiritual energy; and in my new community, there are people who are my old friends from before the time of the Internet who knew me when I was full of energy and excitement and commitment. They are the ones who believed in me first, and in some ways they still believe in me most. Some of my new connections know the me in progress, and they seem to be interested in me for me and willing to see something in me that I can’t always see yet. There’s also an atmosphere of openness and diversity and a world of friends I haven’t met yet. I have no idea how all this will shape my career and work-related goals, but this is a kind of uncertainty that I can not only live with but find exciting and joyful!
Some of the personal experiences that can help me move forward toward my next stage of livelihood are living with depression for almost 20 years, my experiences (good and bad) in social services and helping professions, coming out as a lesbian, and the evolving of my disability from being able to take long, pleasurable walks (even though they were slow) into the most recent development of getting a manual wheelchair in June. I can still walk around the house and from the car into a building, but I always have to deal with the possibility of losing my balance. And, oh yes, the diagnosis of kidney cancer and surgery that I had in March will guide me in the next stages of my life.
I started this blog with resistance, because I still have a hard time talking about the parts of myself that can be considered assets. But I do have assets, and I have people who believe in me. I absolutely couldn’t ask for more at this point in the journey.