Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your Career and You: "Fall Harvest Time"

Once in a while you have to sit back and take stock of where you are in life. What you’ve accomplished. What still needs to be done. What you would like to do when you have the “time.”

What got me thinking about this was a chat I had with my Mother this weekend. 89 years young and still chugging along in spite of an unfortunate tumble a couple of years ago that left her unable to walk and dependent on others for just about any semblance of mobility.

Yeah, she went through a period of “Why me? Why did this have to happen to me?!?”, but she has come to grips with the reality of her situation and has regained much of her vim and vigor.

She realized that she has been blessed with a family…loving husband, doting sons and daughters…most of whom are within driving distance and can pop in somewhat regularly. Unfortunately, I’m a two-hour flight plus three-hour drive away and can’t match them…and don’t try.

I beat myself up some early on…eldest son and all that…not doing my “duty.”

But then I gave it some thought, took stock of things,  and realized that what I have chosen as my lifestyle and life choices don’t match those of my parents and my siblings.

I’m very happy, though, with my situation, and I am in no rush to change it.

And that’s what these thoughts are about today…taking stock of your own situation and all that you have going for you…and taking action when...and if...necessary.

No surprise to anyone who has ever read anything that I’ve written…I’m a card-carrying optimist. Like the “optimist” described in the closing quote of my last post, I “see the doughnut,” not “the hole.” I believe that good things come to deserving good people, and I also believe that the majority of humanity are “good people.”

Back to you and the harvest…do some personal “harvesting.” Take a look at things you’ve done…papers you’ve written…books you’ve read…projects you’ve completed. What, on this re-visit, do you see that you’re proud of? And, by the same token, what would you do the next time to make whatever it is better?

I’m often pleasantly surprised when I chat with students at Curry College, where I oversee the Public Relations Concentration and teach most of the undergraduate PR courses, and at Regis College, where I teach part-time in the graduate Organizational and Professional Communication area, at what these young…as well as not-so-young…people are doing and accomplishing.

They’re involved. They’re committed. They’re focused. They’re hell-bent on making their respective marks in the world. And I am delightedly riding beside them on the roller coaster!

But I also spend a bit of time with many of them reviewing where they are at a particular point in time…what skills, knowledge, and abilities do they have that will prove an asset when their studies are done?

Many times…not all the time, mind you…we uncover some pretty cool stuff. Awesome internships. Active on- and off-campus involvement. Part-time jobs where they’ve been given authority and responsibility that tags them as a “professional.”

They’re busily positioning themselves for the future either consciously or unconsciously.

And that’s the value of the “fall harvest.” As the Biblical saying goes, “For whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

These folks are sowing the seeds of future success. And I am determined to do what I can to help them realize a bumper crop of good fortune!

"The direction in which education starts a man will determine his future."
Plato, "The Republic" [bk. I 425-B]