Yesterday was my birthday. Sometime during the day I stop for a few minutes to mentally tally up the gains and losses. It induces a different mood from the New Year where my attitude is anticipatory and hopeful. Rather, a new birthday year inspires me to shed a more critical eye on where I’ve been and where I’m going.
But since this birthday arrived in the midst of a long period of unemployment, grieving and change (sister getting married in April; niece planning her wedding; a friend moving from Vancouver back to her hometown), the tallying-up process has left me feeling that I’m holding the short end of the stick.
I blame it on those interviews, the ones for a job I really, truly want. While I diligently prepare for each one, I still walk out of the occasional meeting feeling like I’ve missed a key piece of the puzzle. I can confidently contribute my mid-life crisis to my birthday coinciding with the ghosts of interview questions such as: Where do you see yourself in two years? Do you have a five-year plan and if yes, what is it? Outline your top five career goals.
Okay, I admit, these are all good questions to which I should have definitive answers, but, birthday or no birthday, I confess, I still haven’t figured out who I want to be when I grow up. Typically I tell prospective employers what I think they want to hear (I would like to be in a management position; take on new responsibilities; be president of the company – well maybe they don’t want to hear that).
Perhaps another year older is indeed another year wiser. I’m now on a mission – I want to find out the real answers to these questions as opposed to giving pat replies.
One day last week I came across a company’s website that included a mission statement. It got me thinking. What would happen if I applied the same process a company employs to fashion a mission statement to create my own personal directive? Just as a way to gain some insight on those pesky interview questions I can’t seem to get a handle on, I spent some time working on a mission statement. Here it is:
“To be consistently productive, confident and results-driven by healing old wounds, reconciling the past and maintaining my physical and mental health through a balanced lifestyle centered on being positive, kind, content and calm.”
Already I feel empowered – stronger and more focused.