The rucksack of value
I was talking to someone the other day about jobs, careers, experience, knowledge and how its easy to forget all of the things we experience and skills we learn as we go through our days, we happened upon the metaphor of the 'Rucksack of value' which I think is a useful metaphor so i figured i'd try and explain it.
Let's start with the assumption that you and I are not complete idiots, I'm pretty sure you aren't at least... If our assumption is correct then as we continue on our individual work quests, dealing with challenges, making mistakes, trying and failing, occasionally succeeding, slaying/running away from dragons, we get opportunities to pick up little nuggets of value and choose whether we put them in our rucksack so we can carry them with us in case they are of use in the future.
what is a career if not an ongoing quest to fill up your rucksack with interesting and hopefully useful knick-knacks? It's easy to forget whats in our rucksack. Sometimes we need to spend time delving into our rucksack to remind ourselves of all the value we are carrying. Sometimes a situation occurs that reminds of something we've picked up along the way.
I like the metaphor of a rucksack, because it also implies a constraint, there is only so much you can fit in there and even if it was bigger, there is only so much you can carry. So, as we continue on our individual quests we should be rigorously selective on what we put in our rucksacks, for example, making sure we aren't carrying things for other people or holding onto things when they are no longer needed.
Thinking about our rucksack of value helps us ask some interesting questions of ourselves:
Is there something in my rucksack that can help me in my current situation?
Can I help someone with something in my rucksack?
Is this thing i'm currently doing going to give me something to stick in my rucksack? If not, can change the situation so I can put something in my rucksack?
Is someone trying to put something in my rucksack that i don't want or need?
Do I have what i need in my rucksack for where i'm heading next?
What would you find inside your rucksack of value?