Off-Resume Knowledge: An Inconclusive List of the Random Stuff I’ve Learned From Past Jobs.
I’ve been picking up some interesting “off resume” experiences throughout my career(s).
I’m proud of my mishmash of strange talents and knowledge that I’ve added to my repertoire through years of varied experiences. I’m happy that I’ve been exposed to so many different people and industries that I may not have had the chance to see if I’d stayed at any one company for several more years. It does take some explaining to interviewers though — who are usually very understanding once I explain that there are reasons why it looks like I’ve jumped from place to place.
So, here’s an inconclusive list of things that I’ve learned over my career that don’t exactly fit into my cover letter or CV.
Wish someone a happy Ramadan in Arabic — “Ramadan Mubarak.”
Determine if wine grapes are ready to harvest.
Determine if a watermelon is ripe enough to eat:
(Slap the watermelon. Do you feel a slight reverberation inside? If so, then it’s time to eat!)
Rewire antique chandeliers.
Rewrite a hand written to-do list that has both “formalize company” and “sell cabinet in front hallway” and make it into an actual business plan.
Order the exact right amount of food for a meeting of +30 people.
(The answer is always pizza).
Talk to strangers.
Ship an event booth and staff to 3 different events in 48 hours.
Sneak into networking events. (Though it’s pretty easy to get caught when you’re handing out business cards with all of your contact info on them.)
Calm a guide dog in a noisy room.
Deal with online trolls.
Learn that for a company to last, the employee and coworker comes first. The customer comes second.
Lead a presentation that the audience doesn’t fall asleep during.
Turn a living room into a photography studio with a bucket of paint, some lights and curtains, and a projector screen.
(Hey, the studio doesn’t have to look nice, just the photos.)
Train a coworker who isn’t quite getting it.
(Take them to IHOP. Order pancakes. Reteach them whatever it is that they’re not getting in an informal, no-stress environment. Charge the pancakes to the company.)
How to move from a sales role, to operations, restaurant hospitality, to marketing (and now to art!)
How to quit.
How to get laid off
How to be unemployed.
How to become a freelancer.
How to project confidence to a potential client when I know I’ll be Googling “How to SEO” in a few hours.
How to do SEO.
How to have nine interviews in one week.
How to stand up for my own ideas.
How to start over in a new city, in a new job, in a new industry.
How to adapt.
How to be a beginner, again and again, until I realize somewhere along the way, I’ve become an expert.
How to be able to say with confidence, “I got this.”