Everything you didn't learn in school that will help you survive the world of work. A place for newbies, for working moms, for seasoned professionals and "free agents" to share strategies, tips and tales from the trenches.

Feb 7, 2011

You can do anything for a year

Instructor, Caroline Bender  

The title of this essay is a common theme around the Finishing School.  We find platitudes to be useful devices, particularly when they can also serve as mantras.  We'll explore more of them in future installments, like "I'm a consultant," and "it's just something for the summer."  "Be careful what you wish for."  "Which would you regret more..."

These have been trying times, as we are all aware.  In the bleakness of the Mother of all Recessions, you may have taken the first thing that came along, or the part-time version of what you really wanted, or the position reporting to the position you are really qualified for.  And your faculty likely offered, in encouragement....

Experts may not be able to agree on how many days it takes to make a habit, but it takes at least a calendar year and a full 4 quarters of business year to understand what you have gotten yourself into.... and what you are getting out of it.

Happy Anniversary.  Getting through the first year is not the focus of this essay.  You do that by being dazzling, open-minded to the culture, and a valuable asset.  All the way to the bank.  This essay challenges you to face the second year.

Assess your goals - what were they for this job, really?  They have been completely pragmatic - keep the house, pay the bills, avoid new debt -- in which case, congratulations!  You met them!  They won't appear on your performance review, and it is best not to mention them among The Brass, but to yourself, say Atta Girl.  Then vow to drop 80's Lady bizslang.  It is not becoming.

Reassess your goals - if your goals were loftier, and remain unfulfilled, take some time to evaluate them with fresh eyes.  Take a couple of days for this assessment.  You need the time to really reflect, personal inventory style.  How did these goals fail to be met?  What part have you played in that?  You may have set goals that you realize can not be met in this environment.  If that's the case, shape that goal to something more attainable.  Remember to make it Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  If the original goal might still be attainable, review what part you played in missing it, and find incremental objectives for getting closer to that goal.

Not much of a goal-setter?  That happens.  Maybe you like to feel more "in the now" than that.  It is a legitimate lifeway.  However, it does require you to complain a lot less about where you are in that "now." Even Ekhart Tolle will tell you, "When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation or accept it. All else is madness."
So don't project goals; we won't make you.  Instead, your assignment is to reflect on the events of the day like this:

What did I not like about my workplace today?
How was that situation or event created?  How did I participate in it rather than turn it into something pleasant?
Yes, this takes a great deal of presence of energy.  But you're the one who wanted to live in the Now.

Plan.  or Dream.    Picture your next anniversaryImagine who you are in that picture, and what you can do (or not do) to realize that picture.  What part will you play in fulfilling such a prophecy?

Why not try this for a year?  We think you can do it.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger