Why your life experience makes you a great recent grad candidate


The other day, Penelope Trunk published an article called ‘Why you already know what you should be doing next’ and I very much related to the main point.

This is the story she told:

“The second best day of Hebrew school was when I convinced my younger brother to ditch with me. I had to sell him on the idea: First that we wouldn’t get caught. (I had a plan to be back in time so that we could walk to the parking lot with the other kids.) Second I had to convince him that we would have a good time. (I brought money to buy ice cream at the store five blocks away.)

He was really not happy about the idea. He kept telling me that it wasn’t so bad to go to Hebrew school and that it was over in an hour, and in that one hour you could ask to go to the bathroom two times.

I prevailed.

This is what’s true about me in my Hebrew school story:

I have no patience for group learning.

I love a good story.

I enjoy trying to convince people to see things my way.

I’m a risk taker.

And all those things are true of me today, as well. That’s why I think that you can figure out who you are and what you should be doing by telling yourself the stories of your childhood. In fact, in almost every story I can think of, I’m trying to convince someone to do things my way.”

And here’s one of my childhood stories:

When I was 15, I decided I wanted to be a world-famous actress. In the two years that this dream stayed alive, I:

  1. Bought my own domain and built my own website for young actors
  2. Got myself one of the best Talent Agents in Toronto
  3. After 50 auditions, finally ‘got the part’ in 2 commercials (both of them were ‘silent’ roles)

What does this say about me?

I’m at my best when I face (an unreasonable) challenge.

If I don’t know how to do something (HTML programming), I get my hands dirty and figure it out.

When I want something, I go after it with persistence.

And like Penelope’s story, all those things are true of me today and were very indicative of where I’ve ended up in my career.

So… what were you like as a child?