Now at the time I thought it was ridiculous. I was expecting there to be a catch, like I'd have to pay a fee to nominate. Yes, I'm proud of my work. Yes, I put a lot of time and effort into it. But to actually give me an award for it? I haven't actually achieved anything tangible. Anything I've achieved in my work life falls under the abstract category of personal fulfillment. I looked up the winners of last year's awards, and the recipient of the Career Kickstarter award had managed to start his own business that sells ethically-approved fashion. Me? I once came first in a musical comedy competition that had four entrants.
The questions I had to answer had me thinking for days.
Outline the nominee's career to date.
I've had so many jobs that I literally can't remember them all. I ended up copying and pasting my career summary from LinkedIn.
Outline how the nominee has shown initiative in kickstarting their career.
How do you describe taking initiative?
"So I applied for this job... and I ended up getting it! Impressive, right?"
I've been described as taking initiative before, but I don't really know what I do that's anything special.
Describe how the nominee has shown energy and integrity in their chosen career.
Again... How do you describe that?
"I've shown energy by... being energetic."
"I've got lot's of integrity. One time my boss trusted me to lock up the store. I didn't steal a single thing."
I show integrity because that's normal for a decent human being. You want me to brag that I haven't stabbed any co-workers in the back?
Outline achievements that show commitment to the nominee's personal and career development.
Here we go... the achievements part. I listed everything I could think of. I won an award at the end of a 12-week radio course... I received accreditation for umpiring... I've put that little importance on qualifications that I genuinely forgot until now that I have a certificate III in retail tourism. This answer was short.
What would be the ideal kickstart needed to take the nominee's career to the next level?
Actually, that's an interesting question. What would I need to get to the next level? I could take it literally and talk about my umpiring. I'm trying to get to the next level there. So the only thing I need to get to the next level is to just get better at umpiring. I wasn't entirely sure they'd like that as an answer. I ended up mentioning that I wanted to write a book and that I wanted to get in touch with publishers to pitch it.
Write a 100 summary of your achievements for use with the media, judging and promotional material.
In other words, they want me to do their job for them.
So by the time I thought of answers for those questions, picked the photos I wanted to submit with the nomination and got the the details of my references, it took me about a month to actually click "submit". I was expecting to be taken to a page that would ask for my credit card details but no, it just said "Thanks for your nomination. We will begin the judging process on December 4th."
December 4th rolled around and the deadline passed. Then, on the afternoon of the 4th, I got this email:
Are you serious?? What do these guys keep seeing in me?! I don't know what I do that impresses people like this. So I decided to reply back to Kristi and ask her directly.
By the end of the day, I had this reply.
That was almost profoundly unhelpful. Nobody's impressed by stage management. I sighed, put my phone down and logged onto my computer. Looks like I have more work to do.