Your biography, resume, and LinkedIn profile provide the content that your family members will use to write your obituary.
What will yours say? Will it be the short one that says your name, where you grew up, the name of your high school, and the names of the family members who preceded you in heaven and who you left behind?
BIO’s, Resumes, LinkedIn Profile and Obituaries – Mirror What You Have Done with Your Life
In the United States and around the globe people are living longer and working longer. The Huffington Post reported results from a survey showing that 22% of Americans would rather die than retire without enough money. The Veterans Administration 2015 Economic Opportunity Report states that 1 out 2 or 53% separating Post-9/11 Veterans will face a period of unemployment upon transition. The AARP reports that people ages 45-79 who experienced unemployment during the past five years are not currently working. People are living longer. My grandma passed away last year at the age of 101. If I live as long as she did I have another 50 years of living to enjoy. I want the next 50 years to fun and fruitful.
How many more years will you be working? Do you have enough money saved? Are your skills current and able to compete with people graduating college? As a coach one of the first assignments I give my clients is to work on their life mission statement. One of the questions on this assignment asks the person to write their obituary. The intent of the assignment is to get the person thinking about what they have accomplished and what untapped dreams they have left unfulfilled. It helps the person self reflect and see they still have time to turn their dreams into reality.
When I am writing a biography, resume, or LinkedIn profile for a client I gather the facts and it often takes several sessions to get the person to provide me the WOW of what they have done. Sometimes sadly there is no WOW. The person has done nothing out of the ordinary. They eat, breathe, and go to work to perform a task. This is the client that typically becomes rude, demeaning, and overly demanding after receiving a draft document. I have learned to understand that when a client becomes abusive they are operating from a place of fear and embarrassment. The client is embarrassed because the document or resume is a reflection of who/where they are now. It is an eye opener for the person and he or she doesn’t like what he or she is seeing. The client is operating from a place of fear because he is afraid he will not fulfill his dreams. He won’t get that dream job, officer program, or whatever it is that I am writing a resume or document.
Updating your bio, resume, and LinkedIn profile provides you the opportunity to see where you are on completing your goals. These documents also provide you the opportunity to see what you are doing that is above and beyond the ordinary. You will see the value you are providing your employer or clients. Your peers and future employer will see the value you provide.
Honestly assessing yourself and your accomplishments or lack of accomplishments is a step toward self actualization. It is the first step toward self improvement. We should never stop striving to improve the value we provide others. This may be through volunteer work in the community, improving systems and processes in the workplace or paying to attend career enhancing classes.
In the Marine Corps we used a term “ROAD” when talking about someone who did nothing but drink coffee, breathe and chew the fat all day. “ROAD” means retired on active duty. Don’t be a “ROAD” in your workplace and life. Take the steps necessary to LIVE! If you are a “ROAD” don’t be mad when you transition from the military and can’t get a job or jump-start a new career. If you are a civilian don’t be mad when you are the first person let go during lean times.
If you had to write your obituary right now what would it say? Would you be left staring at a blank sheet of paper? Don’t leave your family members the difficult task of writing your obituary. Make the task easy by doing something with your life. Take control of your life. If you don’t know how to stand out from the pack and shine then seek out a coach. A coach will help you design a strategy and also recognize that you probably have done something WOW you just are dismissing it as nothing. As a coach I am often called upon to help a client design a career track within his current company. The first step is preparing the resume so when it is time for the conversation with the boss or owner of the company he can show what he has accomplished and how it has benefited the company. We then outline what he would like to do for the company and a timeline for completing the transition for starting a new department or division within the company that he will lead. Depending upon how the conversation goes my client knows whether he will stay with the company or seek employment elsewhere.
Your LinkedIn profile should also be selling you and not read as an obituary. When you have a great LinkedIn profile you will be contacted routinely by hiring managers and asked if you would like to leave your current position. If you are not getting these phone calls or emails you need or want to take time to self reflect on your key accomplishments and rewrite your profile or contact me.
Your biography, resume, and LinkedIn profile should sell you. They sell the value you provide to the employer or your customers and clients. If you don’t like what you are reading get mad and take action to change things. Your obituary does not have to boring and bland. Get out and enjoy life while providing value to your employer, customers, clients, and community so you have a bio, resume, LinkedIn profile and obituary that will make others say “WOW”.
Choose to be somebody!
Choose to live!
Choose to provide value to others.