Making 2010 A Great Year

As a warm-up exercise, I asked the attendees at yesterday's St. Matthias Employment Ministry workshop (called "LinkedIn, the Job Search, and You") this question:

~ "What are you thinking about doing to make 2010 a great year?"

After milling about with other participants for several minutes, I then asked for some to share their answers. There were lots of good thoughts, including:
- exercise more
- learn some new skills
- attend more support groups
- network more
- connect with more people
- use LinkedIn more fully

So how about You. What are you thinking of doing to make 2010 a great year?

Because of the stress inherent in the job search, let me suggest an outline for your thinking, adapted from Dr. Kathleen Hall's wonderful book A Life In Balance.

She recommends that you take good care of your SELF:

Serenity, Slowness, and Sleep - To protect yourself from rising anxiety, seek out your daily dose of serenity. There are many pathways to consider. Find one or two that work for you. Maybe meditation or yoga. Maybe a walk or listening to music. Perhaps prayer.

And if you find yourself rushing around and running short of breath, recognize the value in slowing down. Just as there are times for urgency, there are also times to take it slow. Slow down with eating, for example. You'll enjoy it more. (For more great ideas on taking life slower, see this TEDtalk by Carl Honore, the author of In Praise of Slowness.)

And don't shortcut on your sleep. Research strongly supports its importance to your health and performance.

Energy and Engine of Success- Your success depends upon your energy. All of the above "S" ideas (as well as the "L" and "F" ideas below) will support the energy you need each day to be at your best.

Just as you need to maintain the engine in your car, the "engine of your success" is your own internal combustion system, namely You. Since energy is the key component, make sure you have plenty of energizers in your life. Energizers are those things (e.g. exercise) and people (e.g. a support group) that fuel, recharge and replenish you, physically, emotionally, spiritually. And be careful about the things and people that drain your energy and deplete you.

Love and Learning- Love, in the context of job hunting, means relationships. You shouldn't go it alone. And in truth, you can't hope to succeed by going it alone. You need the support of others, especially family, friends, and anyone else that cares about you. So be sure to reach out to others, make connections, and give freely from the heart. It will come back to you many times over.

And set a learning goal for yourself. Maybe learn more about social media such as twitter and LinkedIn. Maybe learn another language. Whatever it is, keep stimulating those brain cells.

Focus, Food, and Flexibility - Finally, the three "F"s for taking good care of your SELF. First is Focus. What are you after? Set a clear objective for yourself and pursue it. Share your objective with your contacts so they know what you are seeking and can lend their support.

Food, while obviously important to our health and energy, has another advantage that might not appear at first glance: It's a great way to bring people together. Consultant Kenny Moore has pointed out that the word company derives from "sharing bread together." You can create your own company of supporters by designing opportunities to break bread together.

And last, it's important to be flexible, because you don't know what is going to come your way. There may be more chaos ahead! Stay loose, and strengthen your resilience so you can bend and bounce as needed along the way.

OK. Go out there and make 2010 a great year!

Posted by Terrence Seamon, Jan 10, 2009


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