Monday, December 31, 2007

Career Advice Columnist, Heal Thyself

I woke up early this morning and thought about this being the last day of 2007. I thought about what I would write on my blog, and knew that I didn't want to write the same old stuff about how you need to make certain career resolutions, blah, blah, blah.

Instead, I spent some time lying in the dark and thinking about my own career and where I wanted it to go in the new year. (This is a sort of "physician, heal thyself.")I realized that before I made any decisions, I needed to spend some time thinking about what I've learned in the past year. I came to the conclusion that I've learned a lot. I've made some good moves...and I made some bad moves.

So, I'm not going to offer you any advice today. I'm just going to share with you lessons I've learned (and re-learned in some cases):

1. Life isn't fair. I lost work this year, and so did lots of other people. Not because we did a bad job, but because we were treated as numbers on a piece of paper. It reinforces my belief that everyone deserves to be treated with basic respect, no matter how busy or stressed I am.
2. Always take the high road. I've seen some pretty awful things written on the Internet this year, from both bloggers and from those who comment. Being foul, hateful and venomous doesn't accomplish anything. I never write anything like that, ever, not only because my mother raised me better, but because I think there are no anonymous postings on the Internet. If I'm not willing to put my name and address on a posting, then I shouldn't be writing it.
3. You lie down with dogs, you're going to wake up with fleas. LinkedIn, Facebook and MySpace are very popular, but that old adage about being known for the company you keep is still true. I need to be aware of not only who I'm associating with, but with whom that person is associating. My reputation is not something I want to fritter away in a moment of "who has the most links" bingo.
4. Be careful what you wish for. A lot of my wishes came true in my career this year, but I wasn't prepared for the downside. This year I'm going to be much more realistic and evaluate my options before rushing headlong into a "dream come true" situation.
5. Playing by my rules. I'm an information junkie, but I think this year I needed an intervention. I got too caught up in what other people were doing, and didn't spend enough time focusing on what was right for me at this point in my life. In 2008, I'm going to spend more time living my life the way I want, instead of focusing on how other people are living theirs.


1 comment:

Scot Herrick said...

One needs resolutions -- but one needs lessons learned even more.

One of the more interesting things that happened at the end of 2007 was that when my wife and I sat down to figure out what we accomplished in 2007, the answer was "not much." This was surprising, especially since 2006 was a banner year for accomplishments.

The one thing we took away from 2007: we learned a lot about what we liked and didn't like about the work we did. We figure 2008 will be the year that singular lesson learned in 2007 will translate into more satisfaction from work in 2008.

Great post.