Friday, January 26, 2007

Share and share alike

One of the things that my career coach asks for is total honesty. Fair enough. But do I tell him about my blog? In many ways, I feel this has been a therapeutic outlet for me, one which might be subsumed in my coaching relationship were I to edit myself, knowing he might be reading. For one, I have so few friends at the moment in my real life. Partly it's circumstance. We've moved a lot. Partly, it's the realities of being a parent: who has time? Partly, it's my self-induced seclusion, as I have at times avoided being around anyone to whom I might have to explain myself, my present state. That's something I need to work through, something I've begun working on. We've had friends over for dinner. We're trying to do that more. I love to cook, and share good food and wine with those whose company I enjoy.

But you, my readers, have become my friends. I share myself here, unadorned, though admittedly somewhat revised, edited, honed. I feel it may prove useful for me, and likely for many of you, if I shared some of the experience of coaching. There is a small ethical question: by sharing these things with you, am I stealing his ideas, his questions? I think it's a gray area. To be honest, if I gain from my interactions with him, they are things I would take with me in life, to use as I interact with or advise friends. So, for now, I will withhold the URL, and share with you the journey.

So, here is the first installment of coaching interactions:
Hi Paul,

First little issue I thought I'd share with you: going over the survey, there are several questions regarding my current occupation. Tough to answer them in a way, as I haven't a job. That said, I clearly see myself as having work, as doing work. So, there is no employer's name or address. And as for occupation, I confess to having wondered that myself. In part, my hope from our interactions is a better sense of how to define that.



Thanks for the note. You intuition is correct. We'll spend some of our early time together fleshing a lot of those questions out in terms your "ideal". What is your ideal work? What is your ideal employer? Etc.

If you like, when you are filling the forms out, dream a little bit about your ideal situation around work. Try not to get too specific at this point. Keep it general like we did when we were talking on the phone. Think about the things you value in work. Think about what part you want work to play in your life. Think about what is missing in your life without work. Also, chew on these questions a bit...

What is your assessment of the job search that you've been engaged in over the last couple of years? What did you learn about YOU?

If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?

If you were to write a song about the state of your career right now, what would you call it?

Where do you give your power away and when do you tend to do it?

Where do you hold back in life?

That's it for now. Talk to you soon.



Greg said...

My two cents is that if you are paying him a good amount of money for assistance, then you want the time to be efficient. The blog can be a rough draft/prep for your discussions with him.

My own sense is that your relationship will be complex enough that you won't be giving away any of his trade secrets through short blog posts. But if you do include a URL, some trademark slogan, etc. that it could be easily googled and found.

ArticulateDad said...

Yeah, Greg, good point. Of course, as you've pointed out, I'm pretty good at maintaining (at least a semblance of) anonymity here, enough to thwart easy web searching. I like your view of the blog serving as prep for my coaching sessions. That's what I was aiming at I think, and what I believe might be lost if I doled out the URL to my coach.

ArticulateDad said...

Oooh, how interesting. Just did a quick peek at Statcounter and discovered a search this morning for my real name. A little bit of sleuthing, and I came to the conclusion that the search was done via Google by my new career coach. Looks like he spent about 15 minutes checking out various pages, mostly on my PRW, but also including my Amazon profile (with a few book reviews). Call me an exhibitionist, but it's nice that he's taking the task seriously enough to spend some time investigating me.

undine said...

I don't think you're giving away his trade secrets; some of these are questions you might get in a job guide like _What Color is Your Parachute?_ anyway. The real power in what the coach does is the quality of interactions that you have with him, and that can't be replaced by a book.