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Sunday, May 25, 2008

Speaking from the heart

Following a day spent washing socks and working on my final piece of coursework, this evening I was picked up by friends on their way to another friend's birthday BBQ. It was great to see the James the birthday boy, even if our stay was somewhat brief. I was also delighted to bump into Lynne, my ex-classmate who I've not seen since the second year of our course (that was a big surprise!). I was torn between staying, and going to the house of another couple of friends, the daughter of one of whom was appearing on ITV's Britain's Got Talent.

In the end, I decided to head over to support Sophie, and I tell you, it was truly inspiring, not only seeing Sophie impress Simon Cowell, but also watching all those 'ordinary people' realising their long-held dreams. I was struck by how 'nice' they were. Their attitudes of humility and appreciation. Big Respect!

Reading my Team Management Profile the other day, there was one bit that I didn't identify with at first.
"You have your best ideas when in conversation"

Since reading that, I've been enjoying observing myself in conversation (partly as that's one of the assignments for the coaching course I'm taking), and you know what, it really is when talking to others that my ideas come together.

When asked tonight what I'll be doing in Japan, I talked a bit about the jobs I'm thinking of taking on in the first year. It struck me how when explaining why they would be right for me, I felt no passion. I was describing some mechanism for earning enough money to cover my expenses. I felt like a fraud, I was just talking rubbish.

Realising this, I switched from head to heart mode, and spoke again. I talked about how I love engaging groups of people, making them feel relaxed, causing them to laugh, teaching them something that would help them leave the room feeling just a little happier than when they'd walked in.

A medium-term goal then: to work with large groups of people, some form of public speaking. It could be on broadcast media, it could be in the flesh.

From here I worked backwards, seeing where the jobs I'm thinking of taking on could contribute to my reaching this goal. These jobs include teaching & training - both of which involve the presentation of ideas, the use of logical linkages and story telling. All of these skills would come in handy for public speaking. Seen in this light the jobs have a higher purpose, and are a good deal more appealing. And, just as importantly, my focus is back on my ultimate goal, which is leveraging my 'brand' (which could be a penguin called Pepé) to have a significant positive impact upon a lot of people.

This inspires me, excites me and gives me the energy to do what needs to be done.

Anyway, best be off to bed.

(That audition led to this)



Blogger Shari said...

Don't judge yourself too harshly for talking about future job prospects as if they were a way to make money until you get closer to your ideal work. I think speaking in the abstract of any job which is a stepping stone to your dream job is bound to feel flat. You can't really appreciate or grasp the deeper benefits until you're in the job and connecting with the people and the work.

I think one of the reasons people are so quick to speak poorly of teaching is that it has bad rap from those who started off in fast food schools and never developed a passion for how it allows you to connect with Japanese people on a deeper level and to assist them in achieving goals which are meaningful and change their lives. You can't know that until you're actually doing it.

I strongly believe that the only work that one does which matters is that which helps others have a more positive experience in life. You can do it with creative output, teaching, or picking up trash, but you can't do it by doing any work which takes more than it gives back to the people you're dealing with.

I guess your main problem though is that the problem is you framing the work so you can see the positive impact on yourself.

25/5/08 11:32  
Blogger Joseph said...

Hi Shari,

thanks for that. I appreciate you making this comment - I know you have made similar comments in the past. It helps to be reminded. Your approach to the value of a job follows my general set of beliefs, but is yet to become embedded as a core value.

I think anyone who has read your blog in the past can see just how much you give to others in your work, and how much you receive in return. It's a great advert for the profession.

Your comment has led me to realise that whilst 'giving' is very much at the heart of my long term goal, it is lacking in my short and medium term goals. I've been thinking "well, I'll learn all I need to learn through jobs X and Y, gain all the skills I need, then go to do the thing where I give back".

This isn't the result of a conscious thought process; it's only now reflecting upon it that I see a picture of myself sitting in front of the fire, saying "Give me heat!" without putting any fuel on.

Thinking on what has led me to place personal gain over giving in the short term, there are a couple of reasons why I believe this has occurred. Basically, for the past 6 weeks or so I've been involved in creating a portfolio designed to show potential employers what skills I have picked up whilst at university. This has seen me prompted to think and write about exactly what I have gained through my extra-curricular activities. Subsequently, the Careers Service has assisted me in getting my CV up to date, and this too has necessitated concentrating upon how I have benefited and grown. I have also taken part in discussions (and written original material for a new website) on what you can gain through being a Student Ambassador.

Thus, now it comes to looking for work I find myself continuing this kind of analysis when assessing potential employers, as that has become a norm.

Thanks to this discussion, I'm now in a position to reassess some judgements I made earlier this week on possible job opportunities in Japan (about which I hesitate to speak - these days I try and imagine that whatever I'm writing is being sent via email to the one person whom I most don't want to read it!).

It's a shame that I do not make time to be with people with whom I could discuss this kind of thing on a regular basis. It's vital that I put this stuff out there in order to disengage with it and perhaps be prompted to view it from a different angle - as has occurred here.

Thank you.

25/5/08 19:04  

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