Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 10 2023

Writing Your Life Résumé

I've spoken before about how HR departments cracked the meaning of life and success by optimizing professional growth within their organizations. In there, I linked to the life résumé template for folks to create their own. Today, I'd like to talk a little bit about when, how, and why you should create your own "life résumé" to plan your own success.

Let's start with why: why should you create a life résumé? Three use cases:

In the first case, you are working back from your desired outcome—in résumé parlance, an Objective—to the experiences you need to have to work up from it. Most résumés are in reverse-chronological order, so it's a nice way to work back from where you want to be in 5, 10, 20, or 30 years and trace back experiences to where you are now. However, you can work from where you are up to the outcome—either way works.

In the second case, you take your ultimate goal or objective and then document the experiences that you have already had that make you qualified and capable of achieving your goal (similar to what a real résumé aims to do). This allows you to feel like you are progressing toward your goals and will shake off feelings of frustration and depression if you are not feeling like you're making progress.

The third use case helps you focus on what's next from where you are in the mid-point. It will likely build off of the second use case, as once you work from where you started to where you are, you then want to figure out what to do next—i.e., what is the most logical next step.

The "how" to do this was hinted at in the above explanation of why, but the approach is near-identical every time:

When you define your goals, experiences, skills, and milestones, you'll have a nice roadmap of how to get from where you are/were to where you want to be in your life.

Finally, the "when" you should do this:

If you decide to complete this "life résumé" exercise, then hopefully this guide will help you as you try to make the most of it. It'll help you understand what you can get out of the exercise and how each element helps you to figure out your life direction. If you were wondering when it might come in handy, the details on the use cases might provide guidance as to times in your life where this exercise could be useful.

Remember that the goal in your life is always to continue growing and improving as a person toward better outcomes for yourself and your loved ones. All this exercise does is reinforce what you already know that you have to do, but it is useful when you are uncertain of the direction of that growth and improvement. It can be easy to lose your way when setbacks, problems, and adversity come into your life. This will hopefully help you to respond and continue forward toward success, happiness, and fulfillment.

Written by

Nathanael Garrett Novosel


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