The beginning of the year is a good time for self-reflection. In my last blog, I talked about reflecting on your life as a whole, and making sure that you are taking good care of yourself and your heart this year. For many of us, where we are in our career and/or what we do every day as our “work” will have at least some impact on that.
Taking some time to think through whether you’re on the right path – one that is fulfilling for you – will help you assess whether you need to make changes. It will also provide you with the opportunity to look differently at where you are. Maybe it’s the best place for you – for now. Maybe not. Either way, unless you pause and reflect, you’re not gonna know! So…grab a blank piece of paper and some colorful markers. Find a quiet place and give yourself the gift of some time to think through these questions.
How do my values map to the organization I’m working for? Of course, you need to know what your values are for this step. Think about your top 5 values. Write them down. Then think about the values demonstrated by your leader and by your organization. Do they align with yours? Or is there a major disconnect that may be contributing to your discomfort or dissatisfaction?
Why did I choose my current role, and why do I stay? Many of us end up in jobs based on opportunity or need rather than by career design. This may go on for years until we wake up one day and realize how far off we are from our desired track. This is your WAKE UP CALL!!
How is what I’m doing moving me toward my ultimate career goal? Now that you’re awake and thinking about all of this – take it deeper. What IS your ultimate career goal? What skills, knowledge or experience in your current role will help you get there? If nothing, then it might be time to give some serious thought to making a change.
Reflecting on these questions (and, of course, doing something about the answers!) will help you identify what’s important to you, and ensure that you are coloring 2014 in a way that is going to be meaningful and fulfilling for YOU.
Till next time,
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As usual, January has begun with a frenzy of resolution writing (notice the crowds at the gym, the health food stores, the job boards) and goal setting. There are articles and advice galore on what you SHOULD be doing in 2014 – trends to watch for, wagons to climb aboard, old habits to cast away.
Well, I’ve got a different idea. Just stop, take a breath and pause for a minute. Think about the fact that you have a year-full of blank pages that you get to fill. It’s YOUR book. No one else’s. How will you write it? As Maria Shriver said in her commencement address at Annenberg College last year, use “The Power of the Pause.”
So…get yourself a cup of coffee or tea or whatever your favorite beverage is, put work and everything else on “pause” for a bit, and ask yourself these three questions:
1. What do I want to do this year that has nothing to do with work? Take that vacation you’ve been putting off? Attend more of your kids’ sports activities? Be a tourist in your own town?
2. If today were your last day on earth, what would you want to be remembered for? If the only thing you can come up with is work-related, go back to Question 1.
3. What makes you smile? And how will you write more of that into your book this year?
Last year, I lost a very dear friend way too early. It reminded me that life is fragile, and that you need to capture the moments – in experiences and relationships – in real time. Most of us spend so much time trying to rewrite the past or plan for the future that we miss the magical moments in the here and now. We need to be living our lives and taking good care of ourselves. Every moment. Every day.
“It’s a brand new day. Live in the now, it will be gone before you know it.” – Rodger Halston
Till next time,