What do you want to be when you grow up?
This time honored question keeps popping into my head today. Yes another thing stuck in my head. Only this time it's not a fun lyric or word. It's not even a movie line which seems to be this week's newest thing. (Good thing there's plenty of room in my head I guess.)
No, this thing, this question is different. We've all heard this question. We've all asked this question.
I am wondering how many of us have answered this question.
I know that we are all something. We have occupations, families, activities, etc... So, in taking the question a step further - I guess I'm wondering if we all are "what we want to be?"
I know there are a few fortunate souls in this world who knew from the jump what they wanted to be, what they wanted to do, and they are blazin' down the trail of success.
Others may not have known when they were younger but discovered something in themselves as they grew older and seized the very first opportunity to make life happen as it were.
Still others were guided along, shown all the things they "should" be doing as they grew up, and maybe are now what they want to be. Perhaps this is some version of happenstance, (Blog word of the week?) or just plain dumb luck.
They say that luck isn't everything, that some skill is required and I believe that, but still I wonder...
As you may have guessed, I'm not one of those mentioned above - I never really knew what I wanted to be when I grew up.
I always had an answer to the question of course. I was going to be a professional hockey player, or play pro ball, maybe even spend some time on the PBA Tour, all the while running some fantastically successful business like a hotel or maybe a chain of hotels.
When I got older I wanted to be an actor, then a comedian, maybe a writer - you know much more realistic goals like that. Sigh!
Before I go further - I want to address all you head shakers. You know who you are. You're the ones thinking, or maybe even saying out loud: "But Jim you've accomplished so much. You have blah, blah, blah..."
Shhh... That's not what I'm talking about today
Yes, I've spent the last 18 years being a husband, the last 15 being a Daddy, the last 8 or more being a coach, and the last 12 being a hockey player, but not a professional hockey player - that's cruel.
Still it's very true that these are all things I want to be. I've had great success, and been fortunate in these areas and I hope to continue to enjoy these very important areas of my life.
These aren't the things I'm talking about today. To clarify further, I'm talking about jobs and careers.
I started working for the library when I was 17 years old. It was a clean building. I loved reading. The work albeit a bit tedious was not really that difficult. It was not Jolly Pirate Donuts where I had been a porter for 1 1/2 years prior. I figured the library was a great starting point for a kid in high school. Perhaps most importantly I found and got the job all by myself. It was the first truly independent thing I had ever done.
I love the library and all that it is, all that it stands for. I love the people I work with and I feel especially fortunate we have had the opportunity recently to reach out and really get to know each other more and more.
As I've written before, I consider that connection to be a huge success for the CML community.
Going forward however - I'm trying to figure out what that success means for me.
I wrote to my Dad some years ago that with no degree or formal training I had somehow managed to make a career for myself at a place where I was mostly happy and decidedly, perhaps even too content.
I still didn't figure the library might be the only place I would ever work.
The truth is I wasn't what I wanted to be then.
From a career perspective - without knowing it really I had no goals, no dreams, no visions beyond the day to day. I had no plan. (You see K and D why I talk about having a plan?)
Some of that came from being happy being a husband, Daddy, coach, hockey player, but not a professional hockey player - that's cruel. Some of it came from not really knowing how - being afraid as it were to venture away from the safety and security of the library.
Now I don't want to leave, but not because I'm afraid.
I want to stay because I have found something that is telling me who I am, who - no what I want to be.
I started work on a program this week to create a Job Help Class for the library to offer customers in these rough economic times.
I cannot tell you how ironic this is as I have already been hard at work on my own resume, online job profiles, and career prospects.
If you follow this blog with any regularity you know that I love to train, to teach, and to coach. You know how much I have come to admire the rock stars of the Web 2.0 world, and even how I might want their jobs one day.
I have been busy thinking of ways to stay at the library, but increase my involvement in social media and marketing, to reach out, help people, and share my experience for others to learn from. I have been searching for a focus for my life, my career, heck even for my blog.
I think being fortunate enough to help in the creation and delivery of this Job Help Class provides me with that focus, a starting point for helping me be what I want to be when I grow up.
In taking inventory I find that I have almost 11 years experience teaching folks to build their resumes. For better or worse I also have 8 years experience poking around the job markets, learning all the sites, the ins, and the outs.
Pretty much every other week for the last year I have been teaching a resume class, and as my boss will tell you, I've been looking for a way to make my class so much more effective.
I have at least 8 years of experience as a coach, and let's not forget 15 years as a parent.
In this year of reflection I have come to find that what I enjoy most is sharing what I have learned with anyone who will listen.
I suggested to a friend today that maybe throwing all of this together might make me a good "life coach."
He said that "would be a good fit." I trust his opinion. He knows me well. What that's called formally, or how it will look in the future is open to interpretation. That's okay with Jim in Perpetual Beta.
I'm sure my daughters, and my players will tell you that my favorite saying in all the land goes like this.
"This ain't my first rodeo dog."
So now, I have a plan, and at least starting out I am lucky enough to stay at the library, as I begin.
Do you think somewhere there is someone, someone who knows me really well, or a mentor, or maybe even someone who has had a great influence on my life smiling and thinking to themselves.
"Hey Jimmer. This ain't my first rodeo dog."
12 hours ago