My career inspiration for 2019 starts by choosing three words to guide me throughout the year.
By choosing 3 words to guide and inspire me, rather than creating specific goals, I get career inspiration in a variety of ways, both personally and professionally. When I think about “career” it is in its broadest definition as defined by Donald Super.
A career is defined as the combination and sequence of roles played by a person during the course of a lifetime. It concerns an individual’s progression through a series of jobs over his or her lifetime and includes that person’s education and unpaid work experiences, such as internships and volunteer opportunities. Donald Super.
How I choose my words
I go on ‘tech-free’ retreats about once a month where I turn off my phone, stay off email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram for the day. It is my day to write and think and read.
On my retreat in December, I spent time reading my daily journal for the entire year looking for themes, words, or ideas that keep appearing.
What I am looking for are words or ideas that can inspire me. Sometimes I find a repetition of negative words. What I then explore is their opposite meaning to offer me career inspiration for the next year. I struggled this year choosing my third word and had to “call a friend”. (Perfectly fine way of doing it, as well as using a thesaurus).
I was trying to articulate a feeling I had but struggled to find a word that captured it. My friend Rees helped me describe my feeling with a word that felt right. I actually had four words this year and he also helped me narrow my list to the below three words.
By choosing a word, rather than one goal, I can utilize the meaning of that word to offer career inspiration throughout the year. Here are my words I used in the past three years.
2016 – Health ★ Mindfulness ★ Focus
2017 – Intentional ★ Authentic ★ Wellness
2018 – Reach ★ Capacity ★ Consistency
This word came to me as I realized how beneficial it is to take time to slow down and think. Each day I start by doing some QiGong (like Tai Chi) to calm myself and then I journal. By writing with pen and paper it forces me to slow down and think through what is on my mind.
Each afternoon at 2:30, I take a meditation break. These routines give me time to pause the fast pace of life and in return, I find creativity and inspiration for my work and personal life.
One thing I noticed in my journal and also from my business coach, is that I tend to use words and phrases like, I will try and write this week. Or, I need to or should do something. What I will be saying (notice I didn’t say try to say) is I will be more purposeful with my intentions this year.
i.e. I will finish my book for Career Coaches this winter.
i.e. I will write my blogs at least one month ahead of time to allow my Advisory Board more time to review
I wanted a word that made me happy. I struggle with all the crazy news coming at me daily, sometimes hourly, and wanted a word like “laugh” or “joy” or “smile” but it just didn’t feel right. As I talked it out with Rees, I realized that the word ‘gratitude’ is all about the many things in my life that make me happy. It’s not just that I want to laugh or smile, but I want to look at all the positive things going on my life that keep me going.
Are you inspired to choose 3 words for 2019?
If so, please share them here or email me your words and why you choose them.
May 2019 be a rich and fulfilling year.
Jim Peacock is the Principal at Peak-Careers Consulting and writes a monthly newsletter for career practitioners. Peak-Careers offers discussion-based online seminars for career practitioners focused on meeting continuing education needs for CCSP, GCDF and BCC certified professionals as well as workshops for career practitioners and individual career coaching.
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