Dear Past Bosses?

As always, whenever I start planning and outlining my next podcast series, new ideas for future episodes pop into my head and distract me from the task at hand.

Film critic and journalist Roger Ebert was right in saying that “the Muse visits during creation, not before. Don’t want for inspiration, just plunge in”; this has certainly been true for me in my creative endeavours for as long as I can remember.

Dare I say it is a champagne problem to be endowed with a never-ending stream of ideas, but I often find myself crippled by possibilities that they distract me from focusing on execution. This is where I find myself again today, instead of scheduling production for a series idea that came to me last year, I am entertaining a new concept for future podcast episodes.

So, please indulge me as I get this out of my system…

What if I sought to interview my former employers? How would those conversations go? What would they have to say about me then? Now?

Would I even be comfortable enough to approach and re-connect with them all these years later? What would I hope to derive from them in the context of my podcast?

I must admit that just brainstorming this right now is giving me some anxiety, so perhaps this idea will remain just an idea.

Though I do think this makes for a productive retrospective exercise, especially if you’re an active job-seeker or thinking about a career change. What would your former bosses or colleagues have to say about you? Reflecting on all of your past work experiences, how did you perform then and how have you improved since?

I’ve learned that evaluating your own work ethic is important if you’re striving to accomplish great things in your career. The past 3 years in particular, have shown me just how much humility and vulnerability play a part in our progress as employees, freelancers, entrepreneurs and humans in general.

The task therefore does not mean we must physically re-visit our past and catch up with old bosses, but rather that we reflect on our past interactions and relationships with them in the context of our own behaviours and work performance.

Of course, there are former employers that we happily add as referees on our resumes, but there are surely others that serve as great lessons for future jobs.

How did these past bosses perceive us as workers?

What words would they use to describe us as people?

What contributions did we make as their employees that they would remember?

Our hypothetical answers to these questions could be positive or negative. In my opinion, both are productive. Such insights and reflections about our past job experiences can be very useful as we plan our future career goals. They help us admit and forgive our mistakes, identify areas for improvement and enable us to understand our preferred working environments and the kind of people we are best suited to surround ourselves with.

Perhaps this idea is worthy of discussing in a future podcast episode. I guess you’ll just have to subscribe and stay tuned!