Friday, August 9

The Future Perfect: Attempting To Be Professional In The Most Backhanded Ways Possible

Over a early evening coffee with my friend Kelly yesterday, we got to talking about our futures. Not so much about who's going to shit out a baby when or what our significant others were tackling at work, but about our own futures. About where we envision ourselves in three years, five years, a zillion years from now.

Now, when I say we, I'm being incredibly generous. I'm the "dude, we'll figure it out" yin to her "kicks ass at corporate conferences" yang, and any discussion about futures is an abstract Pollock painting on my end, and a crisp, Muji bound folder on hers. Frankly put, I know what my natural strengths are — making fun of other people, over thinking everything, binge eating — but I've never consciously thought about how that set o' weird fits into the modern day workplace. That is, until she mentioned the Gallup Strengths Center and their mysterious Strengthsfinder Assessment, a Seventeen magazine-meets-HR-orientation land of inspirational inner-thinking that I had never, ever heard of.

Is this the creative-type equivalent to a businessman just learning about this so-called Breaking Bad series? I'm not sure. But what I do know is that the $9.95 I spent an hour ago to take an SAT about my personal behaviors was dead on, morgue style:

What does it all mean? I don't fucking know, I haven't read the lengthy explanatory PDF, I have the attention span of a kid who has to clean his bedroom while hearing the ice cream truck's "ba-da-da-da-da-da-da ba-dum" from outside his window and knows he's just one massive shove-under-the-bed away from Choco Taco hometown glory.

But even from that short list, it is really good to be reaffirmed that I'm absolutely doing the right job for my skill set, like the first time I read about Gemini traits and was fucking floored to now have an excuse for all of my erratic behavior. (I still don't understand why riding the fun slide outta your mom at a certain time of year determines your entire affability for the rest of the life, but hey, I can't even really wrap my head around the concept of stars so I'll leave that one to the experts.)

The older I get, the more I seem to realize that your life is pretty much laid out for you. Not in a "God has plans for you, my child" kind of way, but that your personality is oozed into you at birth and there's not much you can do to change it. Case in point: as a baby, I refused to sleep and would stay up all night long, my mother dressing me in teeny tiny toddler-sized mink coats 'til we both got tired and passed out. No surprise that I was up 'til 1am doing menial tasks like folding t-shirts yesterday evening in order to skip out on an early bedtime, and, well, that whole thing.

All in all? My mighty communicative and individualized brain suggest you take this bad boy, too. What do you have to lose besides a ten-spot and lowered self-confidence from realizing your goal in life is not to "win"? A small price to pay for a set of characteristics that can guide all your future decisions, not to mention sharpen that focus on your inner self right quick. (All of the questions that had me face the cold, hard reality of how I rank on a spectrum of being tidy and stubborn were, oddly, refreshing too.)

Get a load right hurr, and let me know how it goes. (Hey, it's the communication bug in me.)

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