Summertime: Summer is a time for rest and for fun however, if you are in a job search, it is time to get down to business. Continue to research, and get meetings. People may have more time in their schedule to meet with you during the summer months. Think ahead to the fall when many places may be hiring and put in the time in the summer. Don't take a break from job searching. Continue to apply and get out there. Investing in your job search during the summer months will help separate you from the rest.
Email: Email communication can make or break your daily work-life. Here are a few rules for email excellence: 1) Proofread, including the content and the intended recipients., 2) Try to respond within 24 hours even if you do not have the requested information or can't focus completly, just acknowledge your receipt of the message and make sure to follow-up when you can, and finally 3) Think before you type. Don't allow emotion to dictate your email voice. Take a moment to redraft as many times as necessary to ensure that your message properly conveys the necessary information.
Assumption: Don’t ever make the mistake of assuming that you know everything. We can always learn. You learn from peers, supervisors and those who report to you. We learn from our mistakes and from our successes. The world is constantly changing and know-it-alls never really know it all. The patient who treats themselves may have a fool for a doctor and the pro-se client may have a fool for a lawyer. We all need eachother. Find the experts, work collaboratively and never stop learning.
Clutter: You can not judge a book by its cover and some people are more productive in chaos but clutter is never a good look. Let your work space (including your computer files) and your home space reflect your focus. Stay organized. Make sure that you know where your resources are and can easily access what you need on a daily basis. If something is holding you back each day, move it out of your way. Make time in your schedule to organize and you will save yourself time down the line.
Freedom: Remember that you are free. You are free to make decisions, free to change, free to be whoever you want to be. No matter the circumstances, remember your agency, your autonomy, and your importance. Speak up, be better, do better, brush it off and remember this important fact: You are free.
Advocate: In a successful job search strategy, you must find advocates. Advocates to speak well of you when dicusssing potential hires. Advocates to pass along hidden job market information and advocates to help you get an "in". However, the best advocate is you. Have you ever seen a four year old respond to the word "No". They are relentess in their pursuit of their desired outcome. They may not know the word "advocate" but they know how to do it. It is in you and you should always advocate for yourself.
Celebrate: Always take time to celebrate. Whether it is a milestone birthday, a project completion, or a cancer remission anniversary, find a way to pause and reflect on your accomplishments. You may not like the planning, or the aging or the attention but you are worth it. Celebrate reaching your personal and career goals. Surround yourself with people who recognize the moments, both big and small. Don't let moments slip by you. Life is short.
Be Present: I am a planner. I am constantly thinking ahead to the next day, week, month, the next project, the next task. All of that planning really does pay off but it sometimes prevents me from being present in the moment. I am now learning to take it closer to one day at a time so plan for the next day or so but not the next month. I use the list method and write everything out as future reminders and moving from my "do now list" to a "do later list". This gives me more time to answer the "play with me" requests from my kids and enter the world of "make believe" until its time to face the lists...later.
Fun: How can we fnd the fun in our work? Even if your job is not your current passion there is a way to find the fun. A weekly lunch date with your co-worker friends, a pro bono project you can propose, a personal challenge to avoid work conflict for a month, or a goal date to transition to your next career stop. It is important to find the coping mechanisms to get through the daily grind without looking like you are just getting by. If its hard for you to get through the day, find the fun and find your smile.
Alone: Maya Angelou wrote "Nobody, but nobody, Can make it out here alone" Family, friends and peers offer one type of support and then there is the support required from professionals. Career coaches, counselors, consultants and trainers provide an expertise in a specific area. Don't waste time trying to figure everything out on your own. Explore your network, find your experts and get the valuable assistance you need. Remember that you are not alone and a little help goes a long way.
Fresh Start: It is a new school year, a new quarter, semester, a new Fall. Take it as a fresh start. Children are resilient and adapt so well to new environments. As they enter a new school, they are fearless and we should take a cue from their lack of restraint. Start fresh, face the fear, get excited and adapt to a new season. Once a season has passed, it is gone forever, so enjoy this moment and make the most of it.
Grateful: If you've ever dealt with the issue of life or death on a daily basis, you probably have a unique perspective on life's stressors and a refined sense of gratefulness. Think about your complaints, your problems, and your concerns. Now imagine having all of those taken away in exchange for one serious issue. Would you take the deal? I don't know anyone who would but I do know people who see each day as a gift. We understand the importance of being grateful for everything we have and the happiness that comes from just simply being grateful.
Your moment: This summer, I helped to faciliate a workshop with an icebreaker that included recalling a 30 second life moment. The exercise allowed us to recall a happy time so that in times of worry we can reflect on it, releasing the stress. What is your moment? Where are you? Who is with you? I hope that you all have many moments but there has to be one that sticks out, the first that comes to mind. That moment is "your moment". Think of it whenever you need to feel calm, de-stress, recharge and then go and create new moments.
Patience: I read online that "Patience with family is love. Patience with others is respect. Patience with self is confidence and Patience with God is faith." We always want people to be patient with us but then find it hard to always show it. Have you ever been in a restaurant with toddlers waiting on their meal? Teaching patience reminds us how important and necessary it is. So today, try a little patience with your child, spouse, parent, boss, co-worker or neighbor and in turn show the love and respect you'd like to be shown.