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severalog

The value of piles of scribbles

Harry Caufield

Hello, reader. Let's make a few assumptions about you. 

You keep a record of your life. It could be a long-standing Twitter account, notes from college classes, or a pile of fading restaurant receipts gradually accruing underneath your desk chair.

You're willing to take your own advice. You know your past experiences have value and you're going to learn from them, even if it means having to slog through a minefield of memories. You think it's hyperbolic to describe memories as a minefield but you understand the metaphor.

You don't mind keeping records and memories of your life around as long as they don't create friction. You don't need anything slowing you down. Life is prone to enough inertia already.

Why not take a walk into the past with me? Why not dig through some old notebooks and see what we find? There could be a wealth of forgotten advice in there.

Here's something courtesy of notes I took on a career-focused lecture last October:

My scribbles aren't making any high-level claims about true purposes or how to manage your time. It's quite a bit more specific: if you reply to a job post listing a set of desired skills, address those skills in your cover letter. It may seem obvious to do so but it's easy to dismiss a cover letter as something that no one will ever read in detail. In some cases, failure to specifically mention a full set of required skills in your application materials will get you filtered out of the applicant pool. This advice was courtesy of a Virginia state employee who knows the hiring process well. 

More material once I find it. It won't be difficult to locate. Some of it may be more useful than basic career advice.