Charting My Course 2011

[This was something I wrote privately on December 1st, 2011.  I wanted to share it because even in the course of 1 short month, where I was able to go home and relax and recalibrate, I feel so much better!]

Today was the last day of my classes for my first semester at HGSE.  During my last class, A608 Leadership, Entrepreneurship, and Learning, our professor had us fill out this quick, introspective “map” of our future.

She first had us categorize ourselves in terms of Confidence and Clarity.

Visualize a simple chart with Confidence on one axis and Clarity on the other.  You can place yourself either in High Confidence+High Clarity, High Confidence+Low Clarity, Low Confidence+High Clarity, and Low Confidence+Low Clarity (eeps).  Based on the categorization, we had to answer a few questions.

I put myself in the High Confidence+Low Clarity group because I do feel confident that I’ll like where I end up.  But, that’s mainly because of my history with a less-than-ideal boss (euphemism of the year), unemployment, and all that jazz, my standards are so low that any job seems like cake.  Also, I feel confident in terms of ability and being at HGSE puts me in a good place in terms of connections (just being frank).  Yet I do lack clarity in that I feel that there are two paths that I could pursue; teaching or something more analyst-y or consultant-y.  It’s hard because I’m pretty sure that if I chose the former, I wouldn’t gain the broad business mindset I’d need to start the Mind Garden.  If I choose the latter, I feel like traditional teachers will look down on me for not being “legitimate”.

My concrete steps in filling these knowledge gaps is to continue working with people who are at the place where I eventually want to me and to still keep doors open for teaching jobs (I’m currently a teaching placement organization).  I guess I might take an HBS course too.

I guess the obstacles I’m facing is that I feel overwhelmed with too many opportunities and choices — what I choose means saying “No” to other things that I feel that I could do.  Also, I feel like I don’t have time!  And finally, I do feel intimidated – it sometimes feels like I’m the only one acting and everyone else has it put together.

The last question “how will I contract with myself to overcome these challenges” was realizing that I do have a blog, and that YOU guys can keep me accountable.  So I’m going to blog again and just try to work on getting more prepared.

Currently I’ve learned a lot in just one semester.  I feel that I have a better understanding of leadership and nonprofit finances and that I also have gained confidence in that I do have skills that I didn’t know were marketable (ie: social media).  I need to gain more specific experiences and also seriously calculate the logistics behind the Mind Garden.  I guess in order to do this, my next step is to maintain relationships with colleagues and reconnect with people from the past.

As one girl mentioned, perhaps my fears are the result of my projecting what I feel about myself onto how I think others might perceive me.  And another girl said that she HAD been learning before she came here.. and there’s no reason why she won’t when she leaves.  Which is True.

Anyway, this next week will be finals and then I’ll be coming home.  It’s scary how things are hurtling by so quickly.


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