My brilliant former co-workers arranged a game at my going away party...
"Pin the Rose on the Map"
For those of you who have never clutched a donkey tail in your hands, secretly dreading you were going to walk right into a tree, the basic play is:
You take a sticker
You are blindfolded
Your friends (tormentors) spin you around in a circle three times
You grope blindly forward, attempting to stick the sticker in the "correct" place, enduring the laughter of friends and sweating over potential tripping hazards.
It's really fun, actually.
The fun part of it is how out of control you are - relying on instincts and feelings (or possibly cheap and thin fabric for cheating if you're lucky).
The actual bidding process as an ELO (Entry-Level Officer, not this ELO) is surprisingly similar.
I have a list of cities and jobs and entry dates, everywhere from Tijuana to Tokyo, from Ouagadougou to Montreal. I have my personal and professional goals. And I have the opportunity to pinpoint my interest, giving my preferences for where I'd like to go and what I'd like to do.
But, I've also been equipped with the equivalent of a good-quality fabric blindfold - I have only inklings, instinct, and a certain amount of research to inform my choices. The facts that I learn about the country may have nothing to do with my future lived experience and the opinions I hear from previous officers could either be helpful or entirely misleading.
Plus, in this process - I may be able to take a few steps forward on my own, but rather than being spun about in circles, I have a Career Development Officer (CDO) holding my shoulders and directing me.
It's really liberating, actually.
I am certain that no matter where I go, there will be frustrations and joys, challenges and celebrations. I'm worldwide available and that's really exciting.