My Tuesday post encouraged professionals to take time out to daydream. The premise is that more thinking about ideal future and present states will assist in making better career choices. Just as in lucid dreaming, where the subject learns to enter into and control his own dream (really!), I suggest that lucid daydreaming can serve a similar purpose: to get down to the reality of one's deepest desires. In this context, in terms of career goals and ideal present state.
Here’s how to get the juices flowing: think about what you have already done, in detail.
Recall the projects you have done, the people you did them with, and the results. Start to drill down. Think about the mechanics of each project, how you approached the issues, and what areas of expertise you called upon. Think about the industries your clients were in, and the issues called upon.
Next, think about your roles. Who have you managed, or been managed by? By how many? What sort of teams have you been on? How did they operate? What were these teams like? Did they consist of clear lines of authority or were they all “dotted-line”, perhaps ad hoc relationships? How did the team coordinate efforts?
Think about the kind of work product you have produced. Were you mostly engaged in providing written analyses and advocacy? Was your work mostly consultative? How did you interact with your clients?
All of the above constitute the first step in a series of exercises to get you more firmly aware of the surest form of career "being": having done something.
If this all seems a tad more like work than idle daydreaming; it is. But, the creative nature of the work is the same. To get somewhere, i.e., to understand your goals and best vision of yourself, you must know where you have been.
I suggest that after beginning the thought process, write as much down as possible. If you can do both at the same time, great!
In future posts, I’ll go through further fruitful thought processes and, also, what you can do with the results of this ‘labor.’