Friday, January 27, 2012
Your Career and You: "New Year...New Beginnings"
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m the eternal optimist.
For me, there’s always something new and exciting around the corner. All I have to do is move in the right direction and I’ll find it.
That attitude has carried me through close to a half-century of life as a Public Relations practitioner that has encompassed more than a dozen jobs.
I realize that I’m not wired like most people, but I refuse to accept any other way of living. Keeps me “young” mentally and spiritually.
This is an attitude that I try to convey to my students these days, both at Curry College, where I oversee the undergraduate PublicRelations concentration and teach most of the PR courses, and at Regis College, where I teach graduate courses in the Organizational and ProfessionalCommunications area.
Not everyone “buys” my optimism. There are those who think I’m unrealistic, unaware of the cold hard facts of today’s working world.
That neither bothers nor surprises me. I’ve wandered through life doing what interested me (usually) and having a ton of fun in the process. But I’ve also been closely associated with folks who neither felt like I did nor had the slightest interest in what our mission was.
Looking back on it, I’m able to see the outcome of their attitude…they’ve either stagnated in their jobs or they’re no longer doing what they disliked…they’ve moved on to something equally unpleasant in their mind but at least “not the same as before.”
Sorry. That doesn’t work for me. While I’m not totally into the “if life deals gives you lemons…” concept, I do believe it’s within my power to change my circumstances. (Got fired from a job I hated once…probably a little radical for a solution, but quite effective!...wound up doing something that absolutely resonates with me…teaching.)
The point to this is that you truly do…or should…have control of your destiny. But it takes some introspection…you have to have a heart-to-heart conversation with yourself about what it is you really would like to be doing. Then you have to chart out a path to that goal.
But you don’t do this alone. You do, of course, have to have that “conversation.” But you also can and should be talking to friends, significant others, teachers, mentors…anyone who can listen to you and offer an opinion.
Good decisions are usually made based on the input of others important to you. They often will be objective…not always…they’re your friends. But they will be a good sounding board against which to test your thoughts.
As I write this, I am (sort of) observing the Chinese New Year…the “Year of the Dragon.” According to my Chinese wife, it’s not going to be a stellar year…lots of cautions to be mindful of. But, you know, that, too, is “life.” A bagful of lemons out of which to create some delicious and refreshing lemonade!
Optimism lives large in my world, and this is an opportunity for it to strut its stuff. Here’s to a great year filled with new beginnings!