How to use your living room to change the world: Hosting a Who You Are Matters! session for friends & family

I’m a Millennials Career Coach, and one of my gifts is proximity to young, idealistic people that say “I want to change the world,” and mean it. When I joined the OneLifeTools team I got another gift - the chance to work closely with two thought leaders, Mark Franklin and Rich Feller. During my epic interview, Rich shared this same resolution with me: “I want to build a legacy and make the world better,” and believe me, he means it.

Sounds awesome right? Where do we sign up? As helping professionals, we aim to do just that: make the world better for our clients by helping them navigate a lifetime of transitions.

But there’s a gap. In a recent nationwide survey conducted by the Canadian Education and Research Institute for Counselling (CERIC), 50% of Canadians reported that they wish they had accessed career services, but they didn’t. One big reason they chose not to is that they are simply unaware of what’s available - from how to assess the quality of services and how much they cost to what’s involved.

How to use your living room to change the world: Hosting a Who You Are Matters! session for friends & family

How do we help the world if half of it has no idea of the existence and value of our life-changing magic?

First, I invite you to step outside your centre, your practice, your institution. Next, ask people that are close to you but that don’t work in this field: what do you know about my job? What do you know about career development in general? I was so surprised that some of my closest friends were unsure about the scope of my field, which I’ve been in for almost a decade and in which I’ve begun to build a business and promote another. “Resumes and stuff, right?”

What if we started in our living rooms, our kitchens, our regular haunts? What if we took a tool - a game - that we know engages skeptics, the hopeless, the ‘barriered’, and we try to engage our family, friends and neighbours, who might be part of the other 50%. It’s a grassroots approach to change. It’s small shifts with big impact. It’s easy too.

    Here's how:

  • Choose a few people from your network, in your friend group or family and invite them to spend an evening or afternoon together to explore & connect. Check out this post if you need more advice on how to explain the experience.
  • Spend time considering how you’d facilitate the game in a client environment, and what changes you may want to make in hosting the game for a group of people in your home.
  • Provide libations they’ll love. I hosted a Cocktails & Careers night, but Coffee & Careers is another lovely alliteration too! Food and drinks create a party atmosphere, instead of a Professional-Development-event-juxtaposed-to-my-couch vibe.
  • Make sure they know it’s perfectly normal to pass during sharing, in case they feel uncomfortable but are hesitant to disappoint you or others in the room.
  • Before players read their Career Statements aloud, remind everyone to listen and give space.
  • Follow up and ask if anyone has questions or if anything has come up since the game play.
  • Have fun and go into the experience with an open mind.

    What we’ve noticed:

  • People are surprised at the clarity and empowerment they gain from playing, almost every time.
  • Fair warning: game plays can run the emotional gamut from tears of gratitude to laugh-out-loud hilarity with a group of people you know
  • Friends and family are curious about what exactly we do day to day, even if they don’t voice it.
  • Even a small thing, like sharing our definition of career, leads to a greater awareness of how career management is a vital life skill that can and should be developed.

Whether it’s children playing with parents or a group of friends at the cottage, taking Who You Are Matters! outside of traditional career development environments provides you with a chance to practice facilitation, deepen your relationships and ….. change the world!

If you’re already have a Who You Are Matters! game kit, host a gameplay this month! Let us know on Twitter, or drop us a line by email or phone about your experience hosting a casual WYAM gathering. If you want to get a Who You Are Matters! game kit, click here.

For Canucks who want to invite more people and get some visibility, you could connect your gameplay to Canada Career Month this November, and add your event to the calendar here for free: www.careermonth.ca