I feel it’s necessary to mention another exercise on taking a personal inventory. Mainly because not everyone is wired the same way… maybe some of you are listers – and, it helps to be able to jot down defined bullet points. You may benefit from a verbal/word exercise. So, please jump with me as we aim our web shooters to building #5 — Inventory (via lists).
Something to note, both the inventory lists and the inventory book work well together hand in hand. Previously we talked about how to create an inventory book. The difference with this particular exercise is that encourages you to use the ability to articulate your inventory through words or dialogue. Where as the previous inventory exercise used an entirely different area of the brain. And, set of materials… previously we used pictures to identify categories/qualities/values/ideals about ourselves or what we wanted. And, we physically cut out or ripped out the images or phrases.
I find the word exercise more difficult, it doesn’t resonate for me as well. Mainly because, when asked a series of questions or asked to make a list of say… my accomplishments… my mind goes blank. I like making lists. Lists are direct and to-the-point. But, for whatever reason, that information is not readily accessible (when I need it) in my brain. It’s not to say that I haven’t accomplished anything grand.
So, for all you folks that are able to identify those answers much more effectively. This one is for you!
Tools you’ll need:
Now, in this kind of inventory… write down these questions/phrases (and let the answers rip!).
- In your last major job, what was or were the “something extras” that were done? How did you go the extra mile?
- What is your ideal day?
- What does your ideal office look like?
- What is the ideal wardrobe you would wear?
- What are your top 3 non-negotiables?
- What are your values?
- Select something you love to do (for me, I chose backpacking). Now, make a list of EVERYTHING that you enjoy about this particular activity. What is it that you do well in this activity.
- Do a skills inventory.
- What is the stuff you’ve done in previous jobs that you didn’t put on your resume? Make a list. Let it be long.
- Write down everything that was messed up where you used to work. Own it… let it rip!
- Write down a list of everything you were good at in junior high. Seriously… you may uncover something here. (This was an actual category give to us via my New Creations group.)
- What is something that you did well in the very FIRST job that was paid?
- What things have you done since you were laid off from the major job – that you have liked and were good at?
- Where do you want to live/are willing to relocate to?
- What are your goals? Now? Five years? Ten?
- If you were a car, what kind of car would you be and why? List all the attributes that match. (I would be a Honda Element & yes… I have thought about it and I can give you a list!)
And… the list could go on.
Write down whatever sounds stupid, bizarre, or doesn’t seem to go. If you are too vague… be specific. Get it all out of your head and write it down.
For instance… the one that was most easy for me to pull apart was number seven. I love backpacking and I’m quite good at it. Go ahead & toot your your horn. (Toot… toot.) For me, I can translate what I love about backpacking into a tangible skill set. And, most likely it will be similar for you. You can choose any activity (but, I would list volunteer activities separately). This is more relevant to hobby activities or sports. So, here’s what I’ve got listed:
- resourceful – I can carry everything I need with me and there are multiple uses for gear
- efficient space planning
- simple living – getting in tune with nature – liberating
- innovative – new ideas for gear I already have (ie: duct tape)
- I can do what the guys do & sometimes even better (building a fire & keeping it going)
- I like doing it with people – group activity (small)
- personal achievement – challenge myself
- I love getting dirty
- allows me to build relationships & get to know people better
- can do things on my own
- opportunity to prove myself (without feeling like I have to)
- can offer empowerment/training – equip someone on skills (new/old)
Now, if you know me… you know that a majority of these things I’ve listed are completely transferable into my professional skill set.
Have at it! What makes you… you? Discovering these truths will be liberating and help you have a better understanding of what next steps you want to take and quite possibly help you eliminate where you don’t want to be going.