I don’t often share personal posts here at Pop Your Career, but I am sharing this one today because I thought you might be interested in the thinking behind my decision to close the resume writing arm of my business.
This has been an interesting and difficult decision for me. I’ve been writing resumes and selection criteria responses for clients since 2003. I’m good at it, and I don’t necessarily find it difficult. Resume writing is also quite profitable – it makes up a significant portion of my earnings! So, why am I shutting it down?
I can’t predict the future. Maybe I’ll change my mind and offer resume and selection criteria writing again. I might miss it. Because honestly, I don’t just see my resume writing services as preparing a document and walking away. Through resume writing, I empower my clients and help them to articulate their key skills, strengths and achievements. And I love that. But at the moment, resume writing is just not lighting me up any more. I don’t get excited when someone books a resume job with me. I don’t look forward to sitting down at my computer to write.
I have to admit, I’m in a very fortunate position to be able to stop doing something just because I am not enjoying it. I’m aware of my privilege. My amazing and incredibly supportive husband, Mac, and I had a long discussion about this and we decided that I didn’t quit my job in the public service to go full-time in my business, so that I could create another job that I didn’t enjoy. Pop Your Career, for me, is all about pursuing my passion. So, if I’m resenting the resume writing part of my business, it just has to go.
I’m a great writer. I’m confident in telling you that. I am able to package up my clients’ expertise and sell it in their resume in a way that is authentic and genuine to them. It is a real skill. But I’m also not shy in telling you that I am highly skilled in coaching, in helping people to change their mindset and in teaching them how to do this kind of stuff themselves. I’ve always said that I would prefer to teach someone how to write their own resume, rather than writing it for them. Now I’m going to start putting that statement into action.
If I’m spending loads of time writing resumes and selection criteria responses, that’s less time that I can spend coaching and teaching. And it’s less time that I can spend working to promote those areas of my business. So again, when thinking about this, I came to the decision that it was time to ditch my “done-for-you” services.
Because I’ve been taking on so much resume and selection criteria writing lately, I’ve been living by constant deadlines. Literally, there has not been a time in the past couple of months where I haven’t been bound by someone else’s deadline – I finish one job and there’s another one waiting for me. And what I’ve found is that this can be incredibly stressful and can prevent creativity.
Over the past few months, I’ve found myself getting more and more stressed and overwhelmed. I always seem to be racing around like a mad-hatter and I’ve been sacrificing time with my nearest and dearest. So much so, that two of my best friends staged an intervention. Some very pointed words were spoken with my best interests in mind and I was firmly told how it is and how it needs to be. It’s not so much that I decided to quit resume writing because my loved ones told me to, but more so that hearing them lay out the facts made me realise what I was doing to myself by living by these crazy, constant, external deadlines. I’ve been burning myself out.
I’m not proud to say that because I’ve been taking on too much resume and selection criteria writing work, I haven’t been serving my clients or my audience as well as I could. I’ve fallen behind in preparing notes for a couple of my coaching clients and I haven’t been producing the high-quality content I had planned for this year, particularly in line with my 2019 word of the year, visibility.
Now, of course, this comes back to time management. I have seriously found that my resume and selection criteria writing has gotten in the way of stuff in my business that is far more important to me. I love creating content. I love providing really helpful and practical advice. And I love serving my clients in a way that they feel completely and utterly delighted and supported. I know that I haven’t been doing this as well as I would like.
You may or may not know that I have been suffering from chronic pain since October 2015. I’ve had loads of ups and downs and at the moment, things are more on the down-side of the spectrum. I’m working hard to turn things around, but sitting at my computer banging out resumes and selection criteria responses is aggravating my pain and is not sustainable.
When I have a pain flare, I find it really difficult to regulate my emotions. I feel very down and I also get angry. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to control and can lead to me being really mean to the people around me, which is out of alignment with my values and is not authentically me. So, I need to start being proactive about creating a business that is not sitting behind a screen for 8 hours a day (if I wanted that, I could have stayed in the public service!).
I am not. In any way, shape or form. I am ever so grateful for the resume and selection criteria writing work that I’ve had to support me since I went full-time in Pop Your Career in July 2018. I am grateful for the clients that have trusted me to bring their careers to life in words. And I am grateful for all the beautiful people I have met.
As I mentioned, I might change my mind in the future – who knows? But for now, I’m going to be focused on career coaching, interview coaching, events, speaking opportunities and creating amazing content that will be available for free, and as part of some super exciting paid programs I am cooking up. I’ll keep you updated and appreciate your understanding as I’m making the transition.