I’ve spent much of the evening updating my CV. After years of word documents and all manner of slightly embarrassing font and style changes, I came to the conclusion a couple of years ago that somewhere like Seek or Linked In was definitely the place to “park” my CV. “Worry about the content, and let them worry about the style” was the conclusion I came to. But then as I went back to look at my Linked In CV tonight I realised pretty quickly there was a lot to do in terms of updating the content, also.
It’s amazing how much CVs have changed over the years, both in a general sense and in a personal sense. For a long while CVs became “Bigger Than Ben Hur”, and then for a while they became simple two page summaries with dot points. “If you couldn’t say it in two pages”, it was a waste of time was the prevailing philosophy. For a while you had to answer every dot pointed selection criteria in minute detail. And then it was more about the “general vibe”. I’m not exactly sure where wisdom has them at the moment, but for me, “Linked In” seems a reasonable place to locate my career history at the moment.
What I did tonight was try to turn the dot points into more of a “story” of progression. More and more I’ve come to the conclusion at this point in my life, my academic qualifications haven’t mattered for years. More and more, my background as a radio presenter is of less relevance to the jobs I’m interested in, though it’s still important. No, I’ve concluded I need to sell the story of “James”.
In fact, one of the best pieces of advice I was given – about two and a half years ago – was about how you sell your life story as a part of obtaining a job. I was seriously tired of my job and looking around for a new life phase, and I so went to a careers adviser. I guess she sensed my feelings of “mid life crisis” and advised me to write down in about 500 words “my story”. That is, to work out who I was. And so I wrote my story of my role in the family as a child, how I developed through school and university, thought clearly about my place in my friendship circle, and then looked critically at who or what I am in the workplace, and how I’m regarded. And at the time I concluded I was the good all-rounder who people relied upon in a variety of ways. It was a wonderful exercise, and it’s helped me make sense of how and where I’ve come to be where I am, and therefore, how I want to go forward.
I must write her a note sometime to say thankyou for not only helping me gain a sense of why I was tired at my job (at the time) and giving me the skills to find a new direction, both professionally and personally. Thanks Suzy.