To start this post, I hope your Sunday was full of friends, family, and food (whether you celebrated Easter or not!).

I was browsing some of the blogs I follow this past week and I found a great article from Career Girl Network called Who Am I? Marie, the author, discusses an activity she designed for students in her interpersonal communication classes that involves serious thinking about who you are by understanding who you are not. I’ve started to understand this concept much more deeply because, in the past three years, a lot has changed in my life and this has forced me to think about what kind of person I am and who I want to become. I’ve noticed that when I’m sitting on the train during my commute to or from work, or when I’m driving by myself, I let my mind wander and sometimes this question comes back to me: am I making what’s really important to me a priority today? Am I doing what want to do or what other people want me to do? I’ve been learning that it’s how I spend my time that makes me who I am.

As I continued browsing through the Career Girl Network blog, this entry caught my eye. It’s very concise and I was struck by the powerful message immediately: “We must be purposeful in our actions.” I think this connects so well to the message in Who Am I? because both posts made me stop and ask myself how I spend my time and what I feel is important in my life. It’s important to realize how my priorities and personality relate to my work (my full-time job as well as my freelance work): how do I break up my time during the day so that I am efficient and purposeful in my actions? How does my personality affect my work and my work relationships? How do I want my personality to affect my work? For example, I know I am an introvert but I have also discovered that I will step out of my comfort zone to take charge when it is required. I don’t want to be a leader right now, but I know I would pressure myself to take that step and push myself to the brink if the opportunity arose. I don’t like to say no to opportunities and now that I know this about myself, I can be sure to recognize when I’m taking on too much responsibility..

Sometimes I think that I started to grow personally, professionally, emotionally, and every way in between after college. As a millennial, I grew up with so much emphasis put on going to college that it almost seemed like what came after wasn’t as important. That’s ridiculous, but what did I know? I was just a silly kid. When I was in graduate school, I still wasn’t completely aware of what I’d be doing once I graduated but I was starting to see a little bit more clearly that school was not forever. I think it took me until last September, when I was finally hired as a full-time, benefits-included employee, to truly begin my journey of figuring out exactly who I am–what I like, dislike, will do, won’t do, love, hate, and everything in between. The more I get to know myself, the more I understand about the way I learn and work. This is invaluable to how I see myself growing professionally because how can I plan a career trajectory if I don’t know the first thing about myself? I suggest you read the two blog posts I mentioned before (and check out the rest of their blog, too!) and challenge yourself by asking difficult questions: who are you? Who do you want to be?