Second meeting with my career transition guide (who I’ll call Shepherd from now on). Gorgeous sunny day, groovy cafe and strong coffee.
Neither Shepherd nor I know why we were assigned to each other; only that Shepherd’s colleague (who does the assigning) thought we would be a good match.
These sessions are supposed to be about me finding a new career path, figuring out what I want to do next and starting the process of making it happen. I’m making a conscious effort to talk about myself, to dismantle the barriers that normally keep me from over-sharing or behaving like a raving ego-monster.
Looking through my notes from this morning’s conversation, I find two to-do items where I promised to send Shepherd information about topics that are of interest to her (and me). I completely failed to write down any to-do items that are mainly about me – but we did talk about a couple of tasks I can tackle before our next meeting. I just didn’t write them down; I was too focused on being helpful to somebody else.
As a general rule I try not to behave in a self-centred manner when with company; I look for ways to make a contribution, to be helpful (or at the very least to be amusing).
Here’s the problem: this self-discipline can get in the way of growth and change. In early adulthood I didn’t like myself much; I was vain, I over-estimated my talents and skills, I was desperate to be liked (loved), to fit in. It took a lot of work in my 30s and 40s to move away from that mindset, and in my current situation perhaps I need to take a couple of steps backward.
My employer has paid for me to be well-supported as I explore options and reinvent my professional direction. To take advantage of that opportunity I need to give myself permission to be self-centred, at least for the next few months. I need to be generous to myself, in the same way I try to be generous to others.