Field Report 2: Flower Exercise

The idea of a “Field Report” seems, at first, to be externally focused. In your first field report, for example, you composed a profile on a CofC English alumni. For a second field report, I thought a job market analysis might be a good choice. But after some reflection, it became clear that the most important “field” about which the most intensive and clarifying knowledge is required isn’t out there some where, but right at home: it’s you.

This second field report is related to the famous “Flower Exercise,” first developed by Richard N. Bolles, that is included in What Color Is Your Parachute? The exercise asks you to conduce a thorough self-inventory the covers seven key areas: the kinds of people you like to be around; the kind of workplace conditions that make you happiest; the skills and competencies that represent what you can do best; the knowledge you possess; the settings and geographies in which you are most likely to thrive; and money and responsibility you prefer; and your sense of purpose in life.

It’s a lot, and it will take some time. I recommend that you work through the various activities–written reflections, priority grids, self-assessments, collages–piece by piece over the next week.

Your completed flower (see pages 186-187 of Parachute) will form the basis of this field report. In an accompanying reflective essay of around 600 words, walk us through your results, highlighting key insights you gained as you completed the process, as well as the challenges you faced. Include images and links as always, and write for an outside audience. This exercise might have been illuminating and inspiring, or it might have been challenging and even torturous. Your reflection can be funny or serious–just make sure it represents your experience. Do your best to bring the experience of this intensive self-inventory to life for the audience.

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