I’ve spent the last week or so trying to wrap things up at my current job before I move onto the next chapter in my career. It’s a funny thing about wrapping things up. I’ve gone through more emails and files and binders this week sorting through things that I hung onto just in case I needed to refer back to them. But looking at them now, it’s hard to imagine anyone could glean much information from much of it. So much of what we do, even when we do our best to document every little thought or movement, lives in our heads. Whoever comes in next will certainly have enough information to take over, but he or she will also have to fill in the gaps and make this position their own. And I think that’s really neat.
And as I reflect, I think also about how I am about to do the same. To step into a role that has been wrapped up by someone else. And as much information as I am confident will be there for me, once I take over, things will naturally take at least a slightly different shape as I work to place my stamp on the events and organization.
Any time you close one chapter and move onto another, I think it’s good to take at least a few moments to look back at the lessons learned from that experience, especially those you didn’t necessarily realize you were learning at the time. Those are the lessons that help you grow both as a person and professionally. If properly tended to, those lessons can help set you apart from others who don’t take the time to stop and reflect.
Here are a few little nuggets I will take with me onto the next adventure.
- Be Genuine: People are not stupid. They can see through someone who is putting on a front. Be genuine in your desire to help someone, or get to know someone, and you will be greatly rewarded. You will never see someone reach their full potential if you aren’t genuinely invested in them, both from the heart and the head.
- Have a Plan, but be Flexible: There is nothing worse than feeling like you are constantly chasing your tail because there is no real direction or vision for where you are headed. By the same token, if you are so rigid in sticking to your plan, you can become paralyzed and never move forward. Know where you are headed, but keep in mind that there will be unplanned bumps in the road and how you react to those is as important as any step in the plan.
- Be True to You: Don’t compromise you to get ahead. It is so important that you know what makes you tick, what motivates you, and what is most important to you. Don’t be swayed from your course by something that promises more money or more prestige just for the sake of obtaining those things. If those things don’t line up with what is most important to you, they will be unfulfilling and leave you searching for yourself.
- Look for Opportunities to Grow: Even in the worst situations, there are things to be learned that will help you grow as a person and professional. Don’t back down from a challenge because you aren’t sure if you can handle it. We will never grow if we stay within our comfort zone. You have look whatever is staring you down right in the eye and tackle it head on. That’s where growth happens.
There are a million more things I can list here, and I’m sure none of the above are earth shattering revelations to any of you, but I think they are good reminders. I know I’ve seen these things in practice and they really have hit home to me lately. I always want to be the best I can be, and learning and growing, and I don’t think that happens without looking at what we’ve been through.
SO, what are some lessons you’ve learned that can help carry us forward? How has someone set a positive example for you in your personal or professional life? Has someone shown you how NOT to conduct yourself?
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