Besides it being National Career Development month, November can mean so many different things to different people. It can mean family gatherings, turkey dinners, the start of holiday shopping, students coming home for the first time since they went away to college and, perhaps, your beginning to think that, perhaps, next year, you should start thinking about changes you might want to make on the career front. There’s so much to do and think about related to the holidays that any consideration of work-related decisions often end up getting pushed off until AFTER the holidays, until NEXT year. The reason(excuse) we give ourselves is that no individuals or organizations will be making any major changes until the new year or until the next fiscal year begins. We think that no one is going to be hiring til then so, why bother.
Well, in fact, that last thought is one that may not be entirely true. Not all organizations’ fiscal years begin and end with the flip of the calendar from one year to another. And, even if you were thinking of applying to a company that you believe won’t be hiring until 2020, wouldn’t you want to be ready to apply to that company and be prepared to compete for and win/earn that job in a mere six weeks from now? And, if so, a mere six weeks could provide you with a time crunch to be ready, making it important to be able to make the most of the time you have to reflect, prepare and act in a way and direction that will improve the fit or match between who you and what you do as you navigate your career path in the coming year.
And, in order to be able to do that, would you agree it might be important to start with a review of who you are in the areas of your interests, personality type, skills and values? AND, if you’re going to start there, consider that such a review might not be accomplished overnight or in a vacuum. Give yourself some time to reflect not only on where you’ve come to date in your career, but also on how you got here, what you liked and did not like about the journey and whether you gained or lost energy along the way. Have you received at least as much, if not more, out of your work as you’ve put into it, getting more out of your work than simply your pay check? Is your “energy bank account” in the red or the black at this time of the year? And, if you’re feeling depleted to the extent that you’re not even sure how you’ll navigate the demands of the holiday season and/or can only look forward to having the time away from work that the holiday will afford you, perhaps you have a little more thinking/reflecting to do on your work situation than you thought.
And, there is no better time to begin that reflecting than now. After all, isn’t coming to the close of one year and the beginning of another a usual time for reflection? Yet, this year, why wait until the clock is ticking down to the ball drop on New Years’ Eve to begin? How about taking a few minutes every so often over this coming Thanksgiving holiday weekend to reflect on what you think and how you feel about your lifework?
What are your gifts and the talents that you’ve enjoyed using over the last year, those for which you are grateful, that you would like to use as much or even more over the coming year? What are the contributions or differences that you’ve made to your family, employer, organization, community during 2019 and what additional contributions would you like to make in 2020 and beyond?
Then, consider how you can make the most of all the opportunities you’re likely to have during the coming holiday season to connect with family, friends, colleagues and potential collaborators. Share your answers to the questions above and ask for input as to how you might use your talents to have an impact on the differences you would like to make. You’ll never know what you can learn that can help you move toward a more satisfying and fulfilling lifework in 2020.
AND, here’s wishing you a 2020 of more fully integrating who you are with what you do!!!