Make Your Soul Smile

Less than three months to go until the end and a beginning and whatever may come.

I focus now on my plan for a new job and how to fit 26 years onto a résumé. I am not alone and together at work we help each other improve our LinkedIn profiles and yes, how to create an effective and modern résumé. For me this is the easy stuff as compared to the bigger question at hand.

“What do I want to do when I grow up?”

I plan to leave the world of insurance and mortgage servicing behind. It is time for something new. The place to start my search is not out there, but inside me. What are my interests and passions? What is unique about me? What are my gifts? With my background in Organizational Development I have taken all the assessments. I have a good handle on my personality type, strengths, and preferred work style and environment.

I even recently crafted my purpose statement (blog post here). Yes, I am ready to move forward and match who I am to potential employers, jobs, and work functions. Yet, I know I am not done. I need to look deeper inside. I have one more thing to understand and articulate.

“What are my values?”

My values are traits and qualities I consider important and non-negotiable. They are deeply held and drive my behavior, priorities and decisions. My values and your values can, and certainly do, differ. Our values can overlap too. How well we work together depends largely on where we find common ground on values. As such I need to be very clear and honest on my values as I begin my job search.

There lies the problem. Something uncomfortable happened on the way to create my value list. Oh, some values are easy to identify. The well-being and success of people are important to me and drives me as a leader. Thus, values of Compassion and Significance burn strong within me. Life remains mysterious and I recognize that creation continues and thus values of Awe and Imagination stop me cold.

Yet, another truth exists inside me and waits for acceptance. I love humor and people recognize me as a funny person. It comes naturally to me. There is something deeper though. I am a silly man. Yes, I cannot deny that Silliness is a core value of mine. Especially at work, I add humor and even silliness to my day interacting with co-workers. For me it is a way to naturally connect with people. Yet, most define silliness as a negative, “Lack of good judgment … a lack of seriousness often at an improper time … weak-minded or lacking good sense … a distressing sign of professional immaturity.”

Clearly I must be mistaken – how can I accept silliness to my sacred core list of personal values? Simple – my values are my truth. I cannot wish one away. Yet, language is important and how we as a society typically label silliness as a negative is important. So I search for other words to define my core value. “Playfulness” and “Lightheartedness” come close. Yet I decide to defend silliness and accept it as part of me. It would be silly to do otherwise. I once heard that silliness makes your soul smile. Indeed.

“The principal thing in this world is to keep one’s soul aloft.”  – Gustave Flaubert

Seriousness is a choice, not a way of being. I am serious when serious is needed. I am silly when my world needs it. Indeed we must laugh, smile, and yes, be silly at times. It is a means to connect with each other, perform together at a high level, and succeed. That is how I lead. That is who I am.

So with my true values held close, I take that step forward and look outward. My internal review and acceptance is now complete. Join me for my quest. It will prove to be an interesting and at times silly journey.

3 thoughts on “Make Your Soul Smile

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  1. Sorry as your sister I know deep in my heart your next journey with be wonderful. Your a great person inside and out. Great writing once again.

  2. Considering your values and what you deem important are an equal part of the job search, no different that your resume and cover letter. I feel like you are searching deep though, you will figure things out!

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