This month marked my one-year anniversary at my fresh-out-of-college nine to fiver. As a millennial entering the workforce, I know how lucky I am to have found a job – one that I actually like! – so I didn’t take the milestone, though it be little, lightly. I spent the week focused on gratitude; thinking back on how lost I felt when I first started and how far I’ve come. I laughed at the idea of ever having to train anyone to do what I do.
(As anyone in Corporate America might tell you, Job Descriptions are really just a fancy way of saying: YOU WILL PROBABLY DO SOME OF THIS AMONG 49530728 OTHER THINGS.)
As it usually does on rainy Spring days, my mind spiraled to a more imaginative, non-productive place. (Crazy concept alert – there’s no turning back now.) What if we had to write a job description for ourselves – our place in the world?
What if on your next birthday you were gifted a leave of absence from being you?
For a year, you’d be sent to a destination of your choice, entirely disconnected from the world, and someone would just take over for you. How would you train them? Where would you even start? You wouldn’t want your stand-in to mess things up now, would you?
Albeit an imaginary, totally impractical scenario, it wouldn’t be a bad exercise, (hypothetically speaking). There’s probably a lot we could learn about ourselves in writing the job description of our lives. You might even surprise yourself if you wrote it honestly. What might you discover?
8. If your initial reaction is FOMO, you might love your life more than you allow yourself to feel.
We so easily get caught up in the little things of our days that we forget just how lucky we are to have been given this great big life. If my hypothetical exercise made you think, “But I’ll miss this, and that wedding, and my birthday, and (fill in all things you love here),” then you probably love your life and everything in it more than you allow yourself to recognize. You better recognize.
7. Who you check in with daily is vital.
If your stand-in asked for a list of people you check in with daily, you wouldn’t have to put much thought into it. It’s our routine; our people. We become so accustomed to checking in with them over time, that we forget how beautiful of an act it really is. We feel innately responsible to keep that consistency going; it might be a top priority in the training process.
6. There are roles you are expected to meet by others.
Every single person in your life brings out a different presence in you. Maybe we don’t put much thought into it because friendship is a two way street, and each one is unalike. But really, this would be tough to explain to another person.
“With these girls, be yourself. At work, be yourself but less vulgar. With them, be on your best behavior. Oh and with that group, try not to talk.”
We make these rules for ourselves, and why? Maybe we should choose our most authentic version and just stick to that.
5. Your weekly traditions are sacred.
I know I don’t have to remind you to appreciate Wine Wednesdays, but just in case, appreciate Wine Wednesdays. You’d probably tell your stand-in that it’s important not to miss that Tuesday night Yoga class, or the usual drop-in at your parent’s house after work on Thursday. No wonder we celebrate TGIF – there’s more to being you than you thought!
4. The description of your presence says a lot about you.
What if the “new you” asked for a description of your presence? That’s powerful, right? What would you include? It’s weird to say, but people expect a certain company with your attendance. Are you loud, boisterous, and sarcastic? Humble and shy? Can you make fun of yourself? We’re so good at describing others – but what about ourselves – what are we so afraid of?
3. What you think is important might not be important at all.
I would guess that whatever is worrying you today, probably isn’t too prominent in the job description of your life. To whoever said, “Don’t let a bad day make you believe it’s a bad life.” – genius. Word.
2. Your priorities are so much simpler than you make them out to be.
People often make the mistake of thinking we need everything to be perfectly aligned in order to be happy. If your stand-in asked for just 3 things that are most important to your soul, (for the sake of making sure they feed into that while you’re gone), I’m sure you could narrow it down. We make it a lot harder on ourselves than it has to be.
1. You’re proud of who you are.
We don’t have to be territorial of our life, because it’s ours; but if you left it in the hands of another, even the laziest of us would write out some detailed instructions. Regardless of where we you are in life, you’ve built everything you have. You own every experience, and you hold your own future. That’s pretty badass of you, and you have every reason to be proud of that.