Back in January, I signed up for a seven-day “Wild Writing” course online with Laurie Wagner
. Admittedly, I didn’t watch the seven videos within seven days, and in fact just tuned in for Day 5 now at the very end of February. Laurie gets her writing prompts through poems, and this day’s particular prompt was “things I didn’t put on my résumé.”
My first thought was meh, okay, I’ve got nothing else to do but follow through on this 15- minute exercise, but I didn’t think it would go far. Then kapow!
If you’re human, chances are good you’ve been living a life WILDLY beyond the classic résumé. And it’s all really important stuff! Personally, my formal education feels like a joke compared to the lessons I’ve learned and even taught myself over the last few decades. For instance…
- I probably won’t admit that I was mediocre at sports, but that I stayed the course and showed up anyway. I got better, made sure it was also fun, and overcame doubt constantly.
- My résumé won’t mention that I slacked off for the first 10 years of my career, completely uninspired and unchallenged by what I was doing. I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel because I was emailing my friends all day, but I was becoming a writer.
- There may be a few details or discussion around my international experience, but none of it will cover that immense lonely heart-ache that always accompanies it. Solo travel is my favorite thing in the whole wide world, and it’s also my biggest teacher.
- My résumé won’t cover all the miles I’ve hiked, paddled, run… up mountains, in the middle of the night, for days on end, carrying my own food (and that one time, champagne bottles), waking up to make coffee for a sub-zero sunrise 360-degree vista. But want to talk confidence and overcoming challenges in the workplace? Pffft.
These are just a few things that came out in my writing, and this exercise truly made me smile. There were plenty of times when I felt weird or not good enough, and I realize now in my 40s just how “cool” I’ve always been. Sometimes I felt “left behind” by choosing an unpopular experience, and today I’m extremely grateful that I was “left ahead.”
Go ahead, pull out a piece of paper or even start an email to yourself, and write “things I didn’t put on my résumé” at the top…