One million Australians have lost their jobs since the coronavirus hit. As many of us prepare to take on new roles, both personally and professionally, Leora Givoni discusses how we can create a ‘eulogy worthy’ resume.
As we all slowly emerge from the COVID-19 lockdown, reflections are rife, survival is paramount, and a subconscious pressure of the unknown is lingering in the psyche of many. In the years to come, books will be written, movies produced, and pandemic management systems will be revised.
In the meantime, reality bites, and how we move forward requires a lot of mental fortitude. Now is the time for recruiters to be open-minded when searching for the next wave of employees. Vanilla recruiting produces vanilla outcomes.
When working with leaders, or those having to reinvent themselves, I encourage them to tap into the beautifully considered approach by journalist turned author, David Brooks. In his book, The Road to Character, David shares his discovery of two sets of virtues – the resume virtue and the eulogy virtue.
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“The resume virtues are the skills you bring to the marketplace,” he writes. “The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral — whether you were kind, brave, honest or faithful. Were you capable of deep love?
We all know that the eulogy virtues are more important than the resume ones. But our culture and educational systems spend more time teaching the skills and strategies you need for career success than the qualities you need to radiate that sort of inner light. Many of us are clearer on how to build an external career than on how to build inner character.”
COVID-19 introduced many of us to a myriad of ways to explore a well-examined life. Yet now, that potential for expansion explored in lockdown feels like a luxury as thousands of Australians face the reality of a new world. Now is the time for leaders, recruiters, employees and business owners to genuinely focus on character virtues.
Short-termism and the pressure to produce can be managed with the virtues that are “eulogy worthy”. Communicating with soul and leading with compassion are virtues that can be integrated into both your work and personal life. The two do not need to be mutually exclusive.
Whether you are redesigning your resume for a new job, potentially in a new industry, try not to get distracted by the “disease to please” on a paper manifesto, but rather, dig deep and combine your already existing eulogy virtues.
“Our society exalts the resume virtues,” Brooks argues, “but it overlooks the humbler eulogy virtues.” Still, he writes, “we know at our core that this second category of values is what matters more.”
And while focusing on your eulogy virtues may seem like a luxury at this point in time, it is the value society is craving right now. They, along with the skills you already possess, are the best combination you can bring to a business.
Here are three ways you can bring “eulogy virtues” into a resume built universe:
1. Be conscious of the energy you bring into a room
Given the current state of play, ensure you are not transporting your burdens to those around you. Remember, both positive and negative energy is contagious. This will help you communicate with resonance and impact. Check-in with those around you to see how they are doing. Set up a system where support and connectivity make your team feel valued. There is much evidence to support an increase in productivity where people feel heard, appreciated, and seen. As many employees return to work after COVID-19, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has suggested companies survey their employees to check in on how they are going. This is a wonderful idea to implement, no matter how many employees you have, as people need to feel heard and connected with, now more than ever. Hear their words. This virtue of genuinely making sure your employees feel safe is only effective if, after you enquire, you act upon what you have heard.
2. Now more than ever, connect your world where you can.
If you can help a graduating student or an unemployed friend find employment, a charity raise funds, or introduce a startup to a new customer, share your world. It makes a difference. Having contacts is a privilege. For those that can, never has there been a greater need to share your world. And know, that once shared, it is a gift that resonates beyond the day of connection.
3. Illusion of stability has forced us to focus on what is within our control and what is not.
Your ‘eulogy virtues’ are within your control. Own them, include them in your resume. Include them in your inner narrative. Communicate them externally, because as you may learn, those excellent virtues are ones that you can proudly take into the workplace.
Leora Givoni is the Founder of Small Act Major Impact, a consultancy specialising in coaching leaders on how to become clear and impactful communicators. She is a qualified meditation teacher, Fellow of, and judge for, the Australian Marketing Institute and has a first-aid certificate in mental health. Discover more on her website here.