Hindsight + Memoir = Career Insight

A friend recently published a collection of stories of her youth, and I spent a wonderful afternoon getting to know the author in new ways.  Amid these funny and not-so-funny anecdotes, I gleaned some insight into how one’s youth continues to haunt and/or inspire as we get older.

That’s why career counselors devote much of a client’s first meeting to that person’s background, often over their objections.  (But I came for help with my resume!)

I’d rather hear you tell me about yourself.  When I’ve heard several stories about your past, I will understand that resume so much better, and will be much more able to help with it and with your job search.

Don’t believe me?  Check out Down to ‘Derry; Coming of Age in Vermont by Jeanne Heffron Slawson.  Here you will meet a bright, adventurous, artistic child who observed and remembered – a lot.  She writes of teachers and their attitudes in the village schools.  She reveals the parent who minimized her own daughter’s equestrian accomplishments in order to boost those of an older brother.  And most of all, she reminds us of the philosophy of dying and death that left the kids totally alone to cope.

After you read this collection, you won’t be terribly surprised that this woman went on to become a caring and professional career specialist, an artist, and a mom extraordinaire.

Is this why they say that there’s a book inside each of us?

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