LOOKING FOR PATTERNS
OK, clear your mind. Let go of any attachment you have or emotions you feel about the things you wrote. They are just words on paper right now. You want as much objectivity as possible for this next step.
We are going to look for patterns.
Using a highlighter or your computer, lightly skim over the WORK and VOLUNTEER sections (NOT the HOBBIES section – we have other things to do with that) and mark commonalities. If a highlighter is cumbersome, you can also just look for patterns and write down what you see. Make lists, comments, notes.
What do you SEE here?
This is NOT about job titles (that should be apparent by now) or companies. We are NOT looking for your next job here. You are a capable, intelligent adult human being. You probably HAVE been looking for a new job or career for some time, and it hasn’t gotten you anywhere. We are going to go DEEPER with this activity. So, stop looking at the “resume” aspects of this document you’ve created.
You want to look for deeper patterns. Have you tended to choose jobs or volunteering opportunities with a strong social aspect? Look at the things you said you enjoyed about your environment and tasks. Was it solitude and quiet? Organizations that had strong values and a vision?
Write down what you see. Remember, we’re just focusing on the WORK and VOLUNTEER sections. We want to treat them as one big bucket.
Now, take a look at your notes. The patterns you found. Make a solid list of common aspects.
Condense this into 5 statements or themes. To get the most benefit, I recommend writing these as complete sentences.
“I like feeling like I’m part of something bigger than myself.”
“I thrive in environments where I can have my own space that is quiet.”
You should end this particular activity with a list of common aspects and a separate list of 5 statements about the themes.
Set this aside.
We’re going to move on to the HOBBIES section.
Forget everything you just wrote about the WORK and VOLUNTEERING sections. Throw it out of the window in your brain. Start fresh.
Look for patterns in the HOBBIES section. Look beyond the words. Look at what doing those things looks like, in your mind and in your body. What do these things do for you? Why do you choose to do them?
Write down your thoughts. Create your list of common themes. Then write your 5 statements.