When it comes to life's trajectory, most of us spotlight our wins. But what if we began viewing our growth through the lens of opportunities we consciously sidestepped? 🤔

In our hustle and bustle world, almost everyone has a résumé. It's that trusty document, detailing our proudest moments, like a passport stamping our professional journeys. But, what if there's another side to this story? 

Enter: The Reverse Resume: the goal setting and professional development plan I use to test whether I'm being innovative enough as a professional. 

The Balance of Choices

While a conventional resume lists our achievements, the Reverse Resume is the flip side; this goal setting and professional development plan captures all the opportunities, projects, and endeavors we’ve turned down.

And the driving force behind this concept? Growth.

The Yearly Review

Each year, I pull out my reverse resume, taking a moment to reflect upon the array of opportunities I’ve declined. And here’s the catch: I want this list to be more impressive with each passing year. If the opportunities I'm saying no to are amazing, it’s a clear indicator that the ones I’m saying yes to are of even greater value and alignment to my goals.

By turning down the good, I’m holding out for the great career growth opportunities.

The Strength in Saying "No"

So, the next time you're faced with the difficult decision of declining a good opportunity, don't wince in hesitation or regret. Instead, celebrate that addition to your reverse resume, for it's a testament to your evolving standards and unwavering vision.

The Reverse Resume isn't about reveling in missed chances but celebrating the growth that leads us to make better choices. Remember, as you evolve, so should your boundaries.

Be proud of what you decline, for it is a sign of what truly matters.

Embracing The Reverse Resume Approach

If you're intrigued by this concept, here's how you can start:

  1. Document Opportunities: Begin by jotting down the significant opportunities you decline. These could range from job offers, project collaborations, or even academic pursuits.
  2. Reflect Periodically: Set aside time each year to review your Reverse Resume. Delve into the reasons behind each declination. Were they aligned with your goals? Were they distractions masquerading as opportunities?
  3. Measure Growth: Compare the career growth opportunities you've declined with those you've accepted. Has there been a shift in the quality or alignment of opportunities over the years?
  4. Seek Feedback: Share your Reverse Resume with trusted mentors or peers. Their external perspective might offer insights into your growth trajectory and decision-making process.

Concluding Thoughts

The Reverse Resume serves as the negative space of our lives, highlighting the paths we consciously choose not to tread. This goal setting and professional development plan is a celebration of discernment, alignment, and growth. While the world might laud us for our achievements, let's also take pride in the opportunities we've declined. 

After all, they are the clearest indicators of what truly matters to us.

Have you experienced any reverse resume moments lately? Reflect upon them, for they are the signposts guiding you towards an even more purposeful journey.

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