Jun 11, 2022

"How will this look on my resume?"


omeone's leaving our team, and she's a good one. Both because of what she does and who she is. I had a conversation with her last week in a last-minute attempt to save her. She said something that resonated with me:

“I have to think about how this looks on my resume.”

That got me thinking about an article I read by David Brooks, and here's what he said:

It occurred to me that there are two sets of virtues, the resume virtues, and the eulogy virtues. The resume virtues are the skills that you bring to the marketplace. The eulogy virtues are the ones that are talked about at your funeral. Whether you are kind, brave, honest, or faithful. And were you capable of deep love?

Which of those lists is your priority?

Are you building on your eulogy virtues, or are you spending too much time building your resume? What do you do about it? Should you have a life resume?

As with most quests for further wisdom, I turned to my friend Google. A search for “life resume” returns 544,000 results. Try just “resume” and get 2.5 billion. Not surprising. By the way, I also searched for “relationship resume” and it got weird, fast.

Sitting at the top of the “life resume” search results is a 12-month coaching program for building a life resume. I kept digging and found the life resume activist Jesse Itzler saying:

“There are three kinds of people you will always remember: The people that helped you during difficult times, the people who left you during difficult times, and the people who put you in difficult times."

I would add:

“Remember the people that helped you do what even you thought impossible.”

And when you do that impossible:

“Remember the people that got more excited about your achievements than you.”

What is a life resume?

This is not about the tally of things you did: the trips, the races, or the Pina Coladas (Miami Vice for me, thanks). Life is about your humans, those relationships, and the impact you have on their lives?

  • How do you make them feel?
  • How do you help them with their struggles?
  • How do you help them with their dreams?
  • Are you the call when things are falling apart?
  • Do you judge them or love them?
  • Do you show up at funerals or only weddings?

I’m going to lean on this list as I try to be a better father.

Two of my humans finding a moment

Her life resume is strong.

Back to my friend who's leaving. I wasn’t able to save her but she is doing the right thing because we don't have what she needs, now. I’m going to miss her but we can't help her to continue to grow and maybe one day she will come back.

The good news is she is filled with eulogy virtues. Her life resume is strong and she is leaving us better than she found us. I assure you she will continue to do that with everyone else she bumps into on her journey.

I think that's all any of us can hope to do. Just leave people in places better than we found them.

Take care out there. And take care of that resume. Choose wisely.

If we all helped each other, we would all need a lot less luck

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