Thought Organizers and How to Use This Book
This book is about you: your ideas, your vision, your creativity, your thoughts. And it’s a book, so the first step is to read it. You can just read it through if you wish, but you’ll get much more out of it if you do the exercises. Writing everything down greatly increases the likelihood that you will remember all your brilliant insights and ideas.
Many of the exercises are called “Thought Organizers” because that’s just what they do. They help you take your random ideas and thoughts and put them in a format that makes them easy to see. They not only organize your thoughts, they help clarify your plans, simplify the job search, and save you time. They will also help you remember what’s important about yourself and the future you’re seeking.
These Thought Organizers are simple shapes (lines, lists, squares, circles, etc.) you can easily re-create anywhere—on your computer or even on a napkin at your favorite coffee shop. What’s important is that you do them, and you have a place to store them. Set up a system on your computer as well as in a notebook or another paper filing system. That way you can use whatever works best at a given moment. Consider using an app, like Trello, to organize your search process. Some quick suggestions for powering through this system:
• Consider everything you write a possibility
. But not a rule or a requirement, the goals you set might not work. Reset them. You might change your mind. Keep your plans flexible and update them regularly. The job search can be a fast-moving process; even when you think you know what is going to happen, you might be surprised.
• Adopt the GPS tracker as your metaphor.
When you make a wrong turn or an unexpected stop, what does it do? It recalibrates with no judgment. You can recalibrate, too, any time you want.
• Bring a friend along.
Richard Bolles had a great philosophy about the job search. He called it “Each one, teach one.” Make a commitment with a friend to read a chapter and then meet up for coffee to do the exercises together. Learn from each other. Or make a commitment to read a chapter and then teach the chapter. Do the activities and then help another student do the activities. You will learn so much more, and you’ve helped someone else along the way. How’s that for a great potential interview story?
Copyright © 2021 by Katharine Brooks, EdD. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.