With a new year on the horizon, what can we learn from 2014? Such milestones as a calendar year coming to a close provide the perfect opportunity to reflect on and evaluate the past 12 months.
John Dewey said, “We don’t learn from experience. We learn from reflecting on experience.” Take a moment to reflect on your experiences, decisions, successes, and failures in 2014. What did you learn? Did you make the “best” use of your time?
Reflection is time consuming and has an important role in our personal and professional growth. Take the time to think through this past year with purpose. Be critical but don’t be too hard on yourself. Analyze, question, and draw upon your conclusions as you assess how your year went. Use this reflective process as a starting point to help you plan ahead for 2015.
I realize that I have the choice to add laugh lines or stress lines to my face as I grow older. I choose laugh lines!
Last Friday, my Heald College employer hosted a holiday celebration and open house for hundreds of attendees: students, staff, faculty, family, and friends. It was an absolutely delightful three hours. The staff did an incredible job planning a social event filled with Christmas caroling, visits with Santa, craft stations, a delicious dessert bar, fascinating tricks by a magician, and short educational workshops.
As the evening progressed, several of the staff and faculty were invited to play musical chairs. I quickly found myself in the wrong place at the wrong time and was asked to participate. Of course, I said, “Yes!” and quickly tried to recall from prior decades how this game was played.
As the chairs were being arranged in a large circle with volunteers starting to come forward to play, I quickly thought to myself “I’m way too old for this! I hope at 5’10” I don’t come crashing to the ground while colliding with another colleague to sit down in a chair. Are the people standing around and watching us video recording this?”
In today’s modern world of technology, I’m amazed by committed, talented writers who choose to share information and lead online discussions in the form of a blog.
What blogs are you reading?
I am an avid reader of blogs focused on the career of the administrative professional. Here are some of my favorite blogs:
A Great Day’s Work
All Things Admin
Office Dynamics International
Practically Perfect PA
During most academic quarters, I have the opportunity to teach a Professional Career Planning and Development college course. This is absolutely one of my most favorite courses to teach. I enjoy working with students to create all the necessary documents to prepare for their job search: cover letter, resume, references, a completed job application, letters of recommendation, and thank you letter. Each of these documents is critical in a successful job search.
In today’s competitive job market, employers expect every job applicant to have several concrete references that can offer a good recommendation. These references carefully selected by you have the important responsibility to positively and effectively communicate your accomplishments, work performance, reliability, skills, education, and work ethic to a potential employer for the purpose of you receiving a job offer.
With one foot moving in front of the other, where are you headed? What future destinations have you chosen for yourself? What are your personal and professional career goals? Do you have them written down? More importantly, what is the plan and accountability you have put into place to achieve your goals?
Each year I set goals, create a plan to achieve those goals, and re-evaluate the plan throughout the year making the necessary adjustments when life goes unplanned. Trust me—there’s been a few unplanned events: car accidents, surgery, family illnesses, new jobs, starting a new business, boyfriend break ups, and deaths.
In an effort to meet goals and arrive at a specific destination, I have chosen to accept responsibility for getting myself there keeping one foot moving in front of the other. I have worked hard to prepare myself physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally to arrive at my destinations.