September Makes You Stronger
After a summer of vacation, a relaxed pace, and perhaps a bit too much socializing, you're back at your desk, thinking about how to kick-start your career - or at least keep a semblance of work-life balance. After all, you've just come back from a summer break:
- You've got more energy: you've just been recharged;
- You have experienced better "balance";
- You may have thought about your job responsibilities and career direction - and have discussed it with your friends or family.
On the other hand, this activity may mean getting back into the groove isn't exactly easy. Here are some ideas that might help:
1) Write down your job and career objectives for the next three months. Are you hoping to learn a new skill? Meet certain quantitative goals? Sign up for a new course? Prepare for a new role? Committing your objectives to paper will provide tremendous focus: your actions will help achieve something specific.
2) Keep some of the summer in the fall. Did you start a new hobby, or change one of your habits over the summer? Whether it is going for a walk each evening, reading the newspaper, or something more substantial, find a way to embed it into your fall routine. If you don't put it into your schedule, it probably won't happen.
3) Think like a kid. Remember what it was like before the first day of school? Perhaps some anticipation, excitement, and uncertainty? You knew that you would have a new teacher, make new friends, and learn new things. Is it possible to recapture some of this now, even though you're not in school? Look for opportunities to take on new responsibilities and meet new people: both will challenge you, and make you stronger.
September is different for another reason as well. For many businesses, the last three months of the year are the "make or break" months. For retailers in particular, their success between Thanksgiving and Christmas can even determine their solvency. This increased pressure gives you an opportunity to distinguish yourself - or not.
This Week's Action Item: Switching from summer to September may seem hard, but needn't be. Defining your objectives gives you direction, keeping some of the summer helps with balance, and thinking like a kid will make you stronger. Before the week is up, devote some time to these activities. Perhaps more than January, September is a great time to make an investment in yourself.
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Copyright © 2007 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved.
Publication Date: September 4, 2007