CareerSherpas: Climbing the Mountain

When you’re on the way, it helps to share the load

Archive for January, 2013

How To Never Give Up

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Along with the rest of the denizens of the internet and blogosphere I love a great infographic. Especially when it’s as wonderfully pithy as this one from Funders and Founders.

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Sure it’s geared toward entrepreneurs, but it applies equally to any long-term goal you chase after. So get back up and go to the net again today! And tomorrow. And every day presenting challenges to be faced! I’ll still be cheering for you every step of the way!

What are You Going to DO this Year? (Avoiding My Traditional January Goal Setting Post)

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Welcome back to the new year! If you haven’t noticed, any life commentator, advice giver, business writer, most parents of older children and adults, and Oprah have all had their shots at encouraging you in making and pursuing some kind of self-improvement goal for the year. Actually to be fair I’m not sure anyone can avoid pressure to do something new in the new year since I think I saw an article on goals for pets in 2013 a little while ago (and I wish I knew where I did now.)

Typically around this time of year I join in the frenzy of goal encouragement, but not this year! This year is full of all the promise that every man, woman, child, pet, TV personality and diet program can contrive, and I’ll leave it up to each of you to find your own way this time around. Instead, I’m here to encourage you to see whose goals you can help achieve.

How dare I go against the magnificence of the great life guides? Simple. Goal setting and observing for yourself shouldn’t be a once a year event, forgotten by February and hiding, guilt inducing, in a corner until we give up and decide the thing can’t be done. Goals are on-going, pervasive things that everyone should have and work on constantly. It takes follow-through and the right scale to the next step to get there and there is an equal number of helpful articles and voices with tips for succeeding with your goals as there are about what your goals should be.

Back to my point though.

You’ve already got the idea of setting and working on goals, but the best way to reinforce all of that is to help someone else through the process. Ask people what their goals for the year are. You are very likely to find out interesting things about the people you ask as well as what is most important to them right now. Each goal describes a part of what a person wants to be. Some of the interesting responses I’ve heard so far this year are preparing for their first (or next) marathon challenge, planning for trips to explore new places, and taking up new hobbies. All of the answers have been interesting and only a few people have not had a ready answer to share.

The important thing here is that you’re engaging with someone else’s goals. Just in asking we’re doing two very important things. Firstly, we are building our relationships and showing that we care about the other person’s life. Secondly, we are encouraging and supporting the person’s goals by showing interest and letting ourselves be open to the other person’s accountability in choosing their goals. You can extend this support by just saying you’ll be interested in their progress. It’s amazing how much of a lift it gives to show a genuine interest in someone’s journey.

Depending on the goal and your relationship with the person, you can offer to help directly. Offer a concrete idea if you can and make sure that whatever it is, it’s something you can (and will) do for them. This reinforces your interest in them as a person and their goals, and gives you a tangible way of engaging with them beyond day-to-day pleasantries.

Why should you help someone else with their goals? Giving of yourself builds relationships and strengthens your network. It builds your credibility and allows you to show integrity in a simple and genuine way. Above all, it builds self-esteem of the person you’re helping and yourself.

Finally, goals are always more fun when you have someone to share them with whether it’s yours or theirs. Helping is just another way of joining in the fun!

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is still working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and looking forward to a year of possibilities.

The One Thing You Can’t Get More of: Time

Monday, January 7th, 2013

It goes without saying that I’ve been conspicuously absent from the blog this year. There are a lot of reasons for that, but top amongst them is the fact that I’ve had a terrible work-life balance. I admit it fully, and have been working to get things back than even keel for months. It has taken a lot of careful soul searching and prioritization, finding the things that are most important and giving them the driver’s seat.

Sadly that has meant putting my work to expand Careersherpas on hold while family and the (very consuming) day job project got my attention. It also means that my work on the book and other side projects had to wait. Things on my goal list have had to languish and wait expectantly for days when more energy and brain space was available to revisit them.

The advantage in all this was that I’ve received a valuable object lesson in managing priorities, and acknowledging what really matters to me. It is a gift I was grateful for this holiday season.

So much of our lives are taken up with the little things that we all need to be woken up sometimes. No matter how much this applies to you, today is a new day!

Stop, now!

You’ve taken the time to read this post. Set yourself a timer to spend five to ten minutes asking yourself what you missed doing in the last year, the last month, the last week, or even the last day. Whatever comes to mind was important to you.

Now, make time for it. Block time on your calendar. Schedule those vacation days. Commit to an open slot for being in your child’s classroom. Whatever it is you missed, take five minutes and put aside time for it.

Tell someone that you’re doing it, then don’t change the plan.

You’ve made a decision that this is important to you. You’ve set a time where you won’t miss it. Now you just have to do it!

If you’re ever tempted to back out remind yourself how it felt to miss out.

That regret stops today.

Peter Fitzgerald is the founder of CareerSherpas.com and is currently working on his first book, connecting individuals with ideas and opportunities, and attempting to learn the bagpipes.