I’m not even talking about a New Year’s Resolution. I’m talking about defining, or perhaps revisiting, your personal and professional priorities.
Yes, most of us lived under the specter of 2009”s Priority #1: keeping your job – even if it isn’t the right job for you in the first place. Let’s get beyond that. Really. Because asking yourself these five questions should influence your career path and the people who, well, populate your life.
1.What are your core values? What are the values you carry with you day in and day out, regardless of whether you are in a personal or professional situation? You shouldn’t have values that you take on and off like a set of clothes, depending on the occasion. Your core values are what you bring to the table no matter what, regardless of the “occasion.” Your core values are not an act. Your core values are – ultimately – who you are.
2.Have you run out of “learning room?” When’s the last time you read a book that improved your on-the-job performance or perhaps deeply impacted your concept of self and your core values? When’s the last time you challenged yourself to move 1mm outside your comfort level? If you have circled the wagons and live comfortably inside a closed circle of knowledge, friends and ideology, perhaps you should consider rocking your own boat. If you’ve got a substantial set of core values, your boat will withstand the storm. If not, you will build a stronger boat. What kind sailor are you?
3.Where does personal integrity fit into your life? Do you find yourself easily compromised? Do you tell one thing to one group and another thing to another group? Are you just a “yes” man or woman? Do you ”play” people or are you constantly being “played?” (Hint: #1 + #2 = #3)
4.What skill sets can you add to your professional portfolio to improve your value to yourself and, hence, your company? When is the last time you attended a course to improve your knowledge base beyond your current skill set? Attending a certification course to preserve your status quo doesn’t count. In fact, preserving your status quo should not be an optional answer for this question.
5.What will it take for you to become a more confident individual, both personally and professionally? Will it take an earth shaking event to create your epiphany? Have there always been signs and symptoms which you have skillfully ignored? Do you feel your last sales year or your technical degrees buy you job security and define who you are?
It is that time of year for reflection.
In 2010, make reflection a year-around habit, not something you save up for December. It doesn’t matter what generation you are a member of. Media streams are no excuse for not making time for reflection. You are not a product of your media streams or the blogs you read or how many followers you have on Twitter. You are a product of your upbringing, education, experiences and what you make out of yourself in spite of and because of all of these components of Who You Are.
So what are your priorities for 2010?
Think about it. I know I am.