Some NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) colleagues and I participated in a service project this weekend at the University District Food Bank. My “job” was to work with the food bank’s amazing Director, helping him declutter and organize his office so it would be more inviting to his team and donors. About an hour into the organizing process, he stopped, shook his head, and asked me “how in the world can you do this every day? I’m exhausted!” My response: “because it’s what I am meant to do.” I wake up every morning looking forward to helping people get unstuck, physically or emotionally, and move forward in their lives.
How do you determine what you’re meant to do?
- Start with a Values and Needs exercise. It’s important to know, at your core, what makes you tick. Using myself as an example, my top Values are honesty, loyalty, and affection. Anyone that knows me well, knows I’m a hugger; deeply dedicated to my family, friends and clients; and don’t tolerate dishonesty. So, I would not do well in an occupation that doesn’t afford me deep, meaningful personal contact. My top Needs include family, peace, and self-worth. Again, those close to me know I will drop everything if someone I’m close to needs me; I don’t do well with conflict; and knowing I’m providing a valuable service to my family, friends, and clients is what drives me. (Note: The link to the Values and Needs exercise is an example only. I do not specifically endorse the authors or their works.)
- What are you good at? Years ago I participated in Tom Roth’s StrengthsFinder exercise. Not surprisingly, my identified strong traits markers include Stretegic, Discipline, Relator, Learner, and Responsibility. All of these traits serve me well as a Professional Organizer and Coach.
- What are you NOT good at? Knowing what you aren’t good at (or just don’t want to do) is as important as knowing what makes you tick. Deep down, I’m a bit of an introvert. Get to know me and I’m very open and communicative. But, in a crowd of people I don’t know, I’m a wallflower. Hence, I would not make a great salesperson.
- What are your skills? Some occupations just flat require some very defined skill sets. Although I’m a kinesthetic learner, I don’t have fine dexterity skills. I should not be a surgeon. But I am really, really good at process, so people are constantly asking me to organize projects and events (and I love it!).
- What makes you smile when you think about doing it? I don’t like to garden. It does not make me smile. I know people that do love to garden and when they think about going outside and getting their hands dirty, they beam! On the other hand, I love to organize stuff and help people move from where they are (physically or emotionally) to where they want to be. It makes me smile even thinking about it. What makes you smile?
Are you frustrated or unhappy doing what you’re doing? If so, maybe you’re not doing what you are meant to do.
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Chapter Vice President
Level I Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization; ADD; Client Administration; Time Management; Mental Health; and Hoarding.
Level II Specialist Certificates earned in Chronic Disorganization and ADHD.
Coach Approach for Organizers
Graduate of the Comprehensive Training Program: Coaching Essentials; Strengths-Based Coaching; Brain-Based Coaching; Life and ADHD Coaching; and Organizer Coach Integration
Graduate-level training: Body-Based Coaching; ADHD Coaching Competencies