Exploring the Future… Through the Lens of the Past


I’ve started an exciting exploration this week. I’m going through a process to look at my career through the lens of my personality and my interests. It’s fun because I’m not necessarily doing anything right now. I’m just sticking my hand in the cookie jar and seeing what comes up. I knew that people with my personality type love teaching, counseling and being a minister. But, it turns out that there’s another factor to consider when considering a career. In fact, my guide says it’s even more important. It’s my interests.

So, I took an assessment to determine my interests. She then crossed my interests with my ENFP personality traits, and some interesting things came out of it. Apparently, I have a strong “enterprising” streak which skews me off the teacher roles, although in some situations, it would be a good fit. Marketing Manager, salesperson and operations manager were some that were interesting but didn’t surprise me much. But, there were a couple that really got me daydreaming about a different sort of life. Florist, bartender and chef were from left field but were good fits because I could run my own operation AND serve people. I found myself thinking about spending my days working odd hours and surrounded by wonderful smells in the kitchen or beautiful flowers. Mmmmmm …. how nice that might be. No more corporate baloney. No more 8 to 5. The new boss is the customer, and I can make my own decisions. I also accept my own risks. I must say I’m kind of excited about exploring something vastly different.

In the process, she had me name my role models when I was a kid and tell her what I daydreamed about. I daydreamed about singing in front of an adoring crowd. I sang out in the pasture in our backyard all the time. The crowd adored me. Applause roared, and the lights shone in my eyes … until my sister hit me over the head with a stick. But I never lost the dream. My role models were my high school English teacher Lady Lester and Mickey Mantle. She made me describe them, and she laughed. The first thing I said was Mickey Mantle was a wacky alcoholic, but I read every book I could find about him. And, Mrs. Lester? I just remembered that she was really cute, little and cool, and she cared about each of us in a way that was obvious one-on-one attention. She also taught me a process for writing that I still use to this day. She then broke the news to me that my role models as a child WERE me. So, I guess I”m some wacky mix-up of Mickey Mantle and Lady Lester. Odd, I guess, but it fits. And I forgot about Scarlet O’Hara. She was a favorite, and she couldn’t keep a husband either. We both have that same idea that men are somewhat utilitarian, and, if the need strikes us, we’ll get one. Otherwise, marriage just doesn’t seem like that much fun.

Another eye-opening revelation is that all of my favorite past jobs were those that I held at Whirlpool between 1993 – 2003. I was an Innovation Mentor and ran business experiments to see what new businesses we might create. I even managed a handyman business in Orlando called Rent-A-Husband right after 9/11. I worked with a trade school to start a program for female appliance technicians in Wisconsin. I was also on a demanding project team that wore my ass out with travel. I used all of my strengths in communication, training, helping others and managing an operation. It makes me wonder if I shouldn’t have stayed there and maybe tried field sales or training. Sometimes it is good to look back. You might find something interesting.

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One of my friends in St. Joseph MI – where I lived when I worked at Whirlpool Corporate – posted a picture of the Amtrak station today. I longed to bundle up and walk downtown to Cafe Tosi’s for a mocha in the slush and the snow. My ex-co-worker Ann told me it will be -11 tonight. She said it’s beautiful but really brutal. I remember those days. I loved to bundle up and go into someplace warm and cozy. It felt like a 5 year vacation in another land. I don’t know if I’d want to live there for all time, but I wouldn’t mind going back for a visit soon, and I actually wouldn’t mind if it was in winter. Everybody here is freaking out because it’s going to be in the 20s tonight for about 6 hours. It won’t get over 15 in St. Joe tomorrow. Brrrr…. but that’s what long johns and scarves are for. I can’t get there tonight, but I can show you the webcam.

Click here to see Silver Beach.

I”m loving this journey through my past and my interests. It’s making me think about a future that might be a bit different, and that’s exciting. Who knows what I’ll do. My current field is also on the list, but I have to have an environment where I have some autonomy. I apparently have some issues with authority and want to be in control of my own domain. I’ll accept that about myself. My guide has told me just to explore right now. I can’t make any decisions. So, I’m shopping a bit. Singing wasn’t on that list, but public speaking was. Maybe one day I’ll have that roaring audience that I always dreamed about.

Oh, yeah… my friend Ann is looking for a home for some kittens that were born in her new barn in Ohio. She works in Benton Harbor some weeks and lives permanently in Ohio. They are so adorable, I had to post them just to see if any of you might want one. We’ll get them to you if you want one …. or two!


4 Comments on “Exploring the Future… Through the Lens of the Past

  1. Love hearing about your eye-opening revelations.

    The process you are going thru sounds playful, fun, profound and important all at the same time.

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