Sunday, April 13, 2008

My Personal Philosophy

Can you describe your personal philosophy in three bulleted point? I had this come up recently at a job interview. It happens all the time for social services type jobs. For them it's not usually enough that you simply have the skills needed for the job, they really want you to fit in at the orgranization. Even given that I was expecting this question, even given that I've answered varations on this question before; asked in that oh-so blunt of ways I stumbled for a minute.

Because it's hard to sum up what you believe in an interview friendly manner. Made all the more difficult by my beliefs, which I come to think are quite different from most people around me. I think probably the most frustrating part for me is that most others can't even believe me when I tell them snippets of my personal philosophy. Because people, myself included, really struggle with the basic fact that other people aren't the same as you.

This is something I've struggled with for the whole of my adult life. Basically, someone will reveal a piece of information to me. This piece of information is potentially not even that important to this person. But to me it's something that would be very significant. I then extrapolate a whole bunch of things about that person based on how I would feel. Wrong move! I catch myself doing this all the time. And you just can't. People actually don't react to things the same way you do.

It's very difficult. I feel like my default setting is to assume that other people hold the same sort of values I do.

In answer to the interview question I described myself as a "modern hippie". I'm not even sure that that is the right descriptor (it's like I was trying to come up with a label that would fit in a magazine quiz about my personal philosophy).

But how do you answer the question "Who Are You?". Oh, brother...even if we had all the time in the world...

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