No matter what age you are, or what your circumstances might be, you are special, and you still have something unique to offer. Your life, because of who you are, has meaning. ~Barbara de Angelis
Why don’t I feel grown up yet?
Doug teases me about my varied work history. I don’t pay attention though, because he’s a monkey and never had a job in his fuzzy life…
But, Doug is right about one thing. I do have a large and varied set of skills. I decided to sit down and write out what jobs I’ve held in the past, and what skills I’ve learned. Once I have this data written down, I might be able to combine and rearrange my skills into something new. This may point to a direction I haven’t thought about taking yet, or may suggest a completely new path than the one I usually tread.
How a monkey made a living
I always wanted to be an artist. I wanted to create. My first steps on this path were as a visual display associate for a major department store. Mannequins and displays… That’s what I set up when I was 20.
After dressing mannequins became boring, I worked for a while honing my carpentry skills in the family business.
While framing houses isn’t art, it developed my tool skills which served me well in the following years. Working with family, or at least working with MY family was a punishment more than a career choice and I was ready to move on when a new opportunity presented itself…
I started working at a fine arts bronze foundry where I learned a completely new set of skills. For the next five years I honed my craftsmanship and learned how to be a real, working artist. At this point in my I was quite handy with tools and making things, which lead to…
Being a carpenter for a custom yacht company, back to the family business and finally landing me as a set builder/scenic painter/mold maker/sculptor for a company that produces dark rides for Six Flags and similar parks. All of the skills I acquired in the past came together with this job. I was content and happy, right up until the day I was let go because of the poor economy.
I returned to college and earned a degree in History and Art History, and promptly took a municipal job where I didn’t use my education or skill set at all. New skills were learned though, such as conflict management, interpersonal navigating and office politics. The most valuable thing I learned working for city government is exactly what I DON’T want to do with the rest of my life…
I don’t want to be a cog in a machine. I love to create, stand on my own merit and make a difference… I also want to help others. I’m good at creating “things” and I want to use these skills to create concepts and products to enlighten others. Creativity doesn’t have to be three dimensional… I’m learning it can be words, ideas, inspiration and I guess even silly drawings of a monkey…
In my next post, I’ll take this data and start thinking about how to combine my skills in different ways, ans how to use them for different purposes… It’ll be exciting to see what possibilities are uncovered.
Write out a narrative of your work history and the skills you’ve acquired. Define your skills so they’re easy to grab and shuffle around… Maybe just a sentence for each one.
Don’t worry too much about hobbies and outside of work pursuits yet… We’ll pull those into the mix soon. What we’re aiming for here is a concise list of skills that can be repurposed in ways we haven’t though of yet.
Sound exciting? It is!