Weekly Wayfinder – April 24, 2018

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Welcome to the Weekly Wayfinder, a curated list of wayfinding-related inspiration, ideas, activities and fun stuff to click on and learn from. 

WHAT WE’RE READING: A deep dive guide for your dream job search.
WHAT WE’RE LISTENING TO: The identities that rule us (aka: how we want to be seen and why).
WHAT WE’RE PLAYING WITH: The lost art of silence.
WHAT WE’RE CURIOUS ABOUT: Reducing anxiety through rethinking our physical spaces.
WHAT WE’RE LEARNING: How to negotiate a job offer, part 1 and part 2.
THIS WEEK’S MANTRA: The first draft is never meant to be the last draft.

Last week I had choice on my mind, and especially the idea of making choices publicly – putting a stake in the ground and letting the world know: “This is my plan!” But what if it turns out that choice wasn’t the right one in the end? What if you wake up the next day and think, ‘Actually, I’ve changed my mind?’

Recently I heard workplace psychologist Adam Grant say, “The first draft is never meant to be the last draft” – and it stuck with me. The idea that our first attempt (or heck, our tenth) should be our final attempt is so unrealistic and so limiting. And yet, how many times have you made a choice related to work or your personal life, only to realize days, weeks or months later that actually it wasn’t the correct path after all?

The classic example of this in my life has been around choosing a job. No matter how diligent and thoughtful I was in pursuing new opportunities, throughout my twenties (and ok, into my thirties) I seemed to succumb to a case of ‘buyer’s remorse’ almost as soon as I started any new job. After a number of false starts and unhappy endings, the tape in my head was nothing but negative – wondering what was wrong with me and fearing that I would never ever be able to make a ‘good’ job choice (sounds dramatic now, but boy it sure felt that way).

Rather than feeling like a failure, what if I had adopted the mindset of seeing my life as a draft, rather than a published work? 

As the dating adage goes, you have to kiss a few frogs before you find your prince. What I now know is that it was only by trying out lots of different jobs that I began to learn what I wanted – and what I didn’t. It was only by seeing my professional life as a work in progress that I began to see a new narrative emerge around what I was looking for and how to recognize it when I saw it.

How might you approach and understand your learning, purpose and impact if you started to see yourself as an ongoing work of creative art, rather than as a fixed, complete story?