Today, I taught a workshop on “The New Resume” to a group of people with a range of disabilities that has prevented many of them from working for many years. Since I am not one to stick to a PowerPoint, I recognized a moment in our discussion where I could share what I see as a fundamental component to what I do as a Career Coach: Give people back their hope and sense of self as a professional by talking about such concrete things as Job Titles (especially important when their work life has been disrupted due to circumstances out of their control. I value this piece of my work and today I had the chance to experience it in the most profound and personal way.
I read from my most recent blog post on How to Become Your own Job Creator, Tip # 4: Give Yourself a Real Title. I talked about how every person, whether employed or not, should and could still embrace a professional title.
After I read the short paragraph from my article, I noticed that what I had just read, clearly resonated for one of my workshop attendees. He shook his head, and was noticeably moved. What I read had suddenly helped him gain a new-found clarity and sense of dignity that he had apparently not felt in a long time.
As I was writing this tonight, I went back to the blog to re-read Tip #4 when I noticed that the workshop participant, whose name is Michael had left a comment on the blog today, in the most personal and moving way, sharing what our discussion meant to him.
“Living on disability has made me lose sight of what I might be capable of. Surviving cancer, and living with hiv / aids, I am tHrIVing in life, and have come to the realization that the proper answer is … ” I am a designer, a creator, an innovator” , that’s what I got my education in and have done since , in one fashion or another. By you stating that we should give ourselves a title, you supported that ackward challenge in replying when asked by another what it is that we do, by simply replying that I am an artist. Its the truth , but sometimes it difficult to acknowledge who we are, when often I think I am my illness, a survivor, thriving in this every changing challenging world.
Look forward to more engaging workshops from you.
michael bpt. ct”
I am truly moved and extremely grateful to Michael for sharing his very personal story with everyone to read and experience for themselves.
Just because you no longer have a job title that someone else may have once given you, doesn’t mean you don’t have a professional identity or … even a title.
Thank you Michael. You are an inspiration to us all. And it only appropriate, as we have just celebrated Rosh Hashona that I wish you a year ahead of good health and prosperity, and may you be inscribed in the book of life once again.