Choosing the Best Path to Your Next Job

pictured: business people standing in line along a wall

Choosing the Best Path to Your Next Job

September 26, 2022

pictured: business people standing in line along a wallWhat does making progress in your job search really mean? Here are three options for you to choose from:

  1. You have attended a lot of interviews
  2. You’ve made it to the second and third round of many interviews
  3. Each week, more people know what you are looking for and you have visibility within your targeted company even though there isn’t a job opening.

Most job seekers would choose 1 or 2 from that list. They believe the interviews are the key sign of progress. They are feeling optimistic about moving through the interview process because the interview went over 15 minutes, the interviewer liked their responses, or they told you someone would be calling you to move to the next round.

That makes sense! When you can see something, you can visualize you doing that job and you are hopeful about getting an offer.

Unfortunately, looking for a job is much more complicated than applying online and walking through the interview process. If you want just any job, you’re probably right. But if you want to like your job, and if you look at your next job as just one step in your long, successful career, then it isn’t that simple.

There are three pathways job seekers can use to find the right job.

Which pathway are you using?

Pathway #1

Most job seekers are applying for jobs online. They’re seeking roles they believe they are qualified to do. Either they have the skills outlined in the job description, or they have some of them and are confident that, with some training by the company, they can get up to speed quickly. They supply a cover letter and a resume. Then they wait…. and wait… and wait. Sometimes they hear back, but they often don’t.

Pathway #2:

Some job seekers look for jobs within companies where they know someone. They start by finding jobs online, but then their second step is to identify someone they know (or someone that someone they know knows) and asking or a referral. Ideally, the referrer knows the hiring manager and passes on their resume, which increases the chance of hearing back and getting a screening interview.

Pathway #3:

Few people take this third path. It involves developing relationships within your targeted list of companies and roles. You get to know people who can give you information about your industry, and the skills and qualifications needed for the role you are seeking. Hiring managers get to know you beyond your resume, and it increases the chance that you’ll learn about an open role before it’s put out into the public. Because you are now a known entity and have built a nice rapport with the hiring manager, you have an increased chance of getting an interview and getting the job.

Think about it: If you had an opening in your department, would you rather hire someone you’ve already met or someone you need to get to know.

Looking back at these three pathways:

In pathway #1, you aren’t doing enough. You’re starting way back at the end of the line, where thousands of other people are in line with you. You’re largely invisible, and you’re leading on luck to get that job.

Pathway #2 has a better chance of working than #1. Now you’re in the middle of the line. There are still a lot of people there, though not as many as in pathway #1. It is a big help that you’re coming in through a referral in the company. In essence, you are leaning on your referrer’s credibility. It makes you a bit more of a known quantity.

I have to say though – the biggest problem with both #1 and #2 is that you’re basing your search on what is already available. You’re taking what you’re interested in doing and fitting it into the cookie-cutter jobs that are being publicized.

That’s where pathway #3 really differs. When you are taking this route, you are starting with your interests and finding the job that fits you. When you get to know the hiring manager ahead of the job opening, you’re leaning on your own credibility.

Looking for a job is not easy. More than likely, you have used pathway #1 or #2. My question for you is this: Have they led you to a job that you love and a company where you really fit?

If your answer is no, then maybe it’s time to try a new approach. You can get started right now by downloading my free guide: The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line.

What if you could find out about job openings before they were posted?

Download the guide, The Secret to Getting to the Front of the Line, and learn how to access the hidden job market.

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Quiet Quitting: What to Do Instead

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Quiet Quitting: What to Do Instead

September 12, 2022

Pictured: woman at work desk with head in handsHave you heard of the phrase “Quiet Quitting”? It is the latest hot topic in the world of work right now.

Before I get into it, let’s clarify: What does “Quiet Quitting” mean?

It does NOT mean quitting your job quietly, so no one knows that you’re gone!

Quiet Quitting is a behavior that is tied to a belief system.

From a behavior standpoint, it means you stop going above and beyond in your job. You do only what is required and nothing else.

From a belief system standpoint, it means that you’ve decided that your worth is not defined by how productive you are. You have decided that work is not going to be your whole life. It is going to be PART of your life.

If you are considering Quiet Quitting, I suggest you first pause and reflect on your work experiences before you start making any changes. The impact could be significant, so it is important that you first determine what is most important to you at this time in your life and career.

To help you in your consideration, I want to dig into three key aspects of Quiet Quitting that I mentioned above.

#1: What do we mean by going “above and beyond?”

Going above and beyond has a different meaning, depending on the circumstance.

Sometimes, it means going beyond the job description with the potential of being promoted. For example, let’s say you are offered the opportunity to take on additional responsibilities without a pay increase. This gives your manager time to determine if you can do the job well… in other words, you are given the opportunity to prove yourself.

Other times, going “above and beyond” is a requirement of the job. It shows up in the job description as: “extra duties as defined by the supervisor.” This gives your manager the ability to delegate responsibilities that you wouldn’t get if you just work within the parameters of the clearly defined job description. These are growth opportunities!

So, what happens if you are working “above and beyond” to an extreme level and giving more to the company than you are to your personal life? This can cause problems! You become stressed, resentment sets in, your emotional well-being is affected… and then the “quiet quitting” may suddenly make sense to you.

If how you perceive “above and beyond” is different from how your boss sees it, there is a conflict in expectations which needs to be addressed.

What should you do?

Take the time to evaluate two things: (1) What you want and (2) What you are doing.

Is the work you are doing that goes “above and beyond” being recognized with growth opportunities or are you being taken advantage of?

Where do you want to go in the future, and is the work you are doing “above and beyond” going to help you get there?

Before you start “Quiet Quitting,” see if there are ways to address the situation that are less passive aggressive. Talk to your manager. If that doesn’t work, talk to HR. Let them know what your situation is and see if they will work with you to come up with a more productive answer that serves you and them simultaneously.

#2: Your worth is not determined by how productive you are.

Being productive is just one measure of how well you are doing your job.

Measuring how productive you are is less about how much you are accomplishing during defined work hours, and more about the contributions and value you have brought to the organization.

Other ways to measure your worth – or success! – at work include:

  • Positive feedback from your manager
  • Recognition by others
  • Saving the company money
  • Improving processes
  • Doing a great job on a project
  • Leading a team successfully

The challenge here, then, is to get clear about what success looks like in your particular job so that you can get a clearer picture about how well you are doing.

What should you do?

Communicate with your boss about how the company determines your worth as an employee. Beyond being productive, what else do they want to see? When you are on the same page with your boss about their expectations, you’ll be clearer about what growth and advancement looks like, and it will be easier to feel satisfied and valued with that company.

#3: You have decided that work is not going to be your whole life. It is going to be PART of your life

In my experience working in the outplacement field for 20 years, I saw too many employees make work their whole life as they gave up time with their family for the company. I watched them miss their children’s ballgames, recitals, and important family. One day they were fully employed and the next day they were sitting in my office after a layoff and wondering what just. They just gave up so much for a company that didn’t think twice about letting them go.

I completely support not making work your life for that very reason. A company might one day lay you off and you have lost much more than your job. You’ve lost an investment in time and effort that was focused on your growth in a company that no longer wants you. Now what?

What should you do?

Starting right now, find a healthy balance between your work and your life. Set new boundaries for yourself and communicate them to your boss. Take time for lunch and use your vacation time! The company is not paying you to work through lunch or forfeit your vacation. Make sure you are rounding out your life with activities outside of work so that if you lose your job, you don’t lose your identity.

In the end, what I’m saying is this:

  1. Quiet quitting isn’t necessary. You have other options that are more productive and less passive aggressive.
  2. Evaluate what is important to you for your career. Where are you going and what do you  want to learn?
  3. Schedule a meeting with your manager to have an open honest discussion of what is expected of you.
  4. Create a life outside of work. Yes, there’s more to you than that! And it’s up to you to serve that side of your life.

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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How to Set Boundaries That Serve You

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How to Set Boundaries That Serve You

August 15, 2022

pictured: business woman with hand up, creating boundary between her and man with his arms crossedDo you struggle with setting boundaries with people you work with, or with those in your personal life? Do you allow others to treat you in ways that make you feel bad about yourself?

Have you ever wondered why it happens, or why you allow it? What stops you from speaking up clearly and confidently when someone crosses your boundaries?

Before we get to that, let’s define what we mean by boundaries.

Boundaries are established guidelines or rules of conduct around behaviors with people we have a relationship with, both in the workplace and in our personal lives.

We often think of boundaries as a wall that we set up between ourselves and others, but really our boundaries are about the passageway through the wall. It’s about what we allow, and it enables communication, connection, and stronger relationships based on respect.

Boundaries define how you want to be treated by others, with a focus on respect, kindness, compassion, empathy, and understanding.

Boundaries are also about self-worth. When you set a boundary, you are expressing your internal belief of feeling worthy of love and belonging. This is about the value you place on yourself. It is about making decisions that are right for you and not about pleasing others.

The best time to set boundaries is right now. Use the process below to begin identifying them before you’re in the situation where you need them, so that you already know what they are.

Grab a piece of paper and a pen, and answer these questions:

  • Think of one or two recent situations where you were treated poorly. Write out some of the details… What happened? How did it make you feel? For how long after did you ruminate about what happened? What other impact did it have on you?
  • Write down why you didn’t speak up either during the situation or after? What do you think they would have said or thought if you spoke up?
  • Next, write down how you would like to have reacted. What do you wish you said or done? How do you want to feel about it?
  • Drawing from what you’ve written, create a list of three ways you want to be treated in the future. Be as specific as possible.

Identifying how you want to be treated is the first step in creating boundaries with others. In addition to delineating how others will treat you, it helps you get clear on how you want to treat the people in your life as well!

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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Women in the Hybrid Workforce: What will make you happy?

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Women in the Hybrid Workforce: What will make you happy?

August 1, 2022

Working in a hybrid environment has many challenges, especially for women.

pictured: woman in blue top working at computer

According to the Deloitte’s Women@Work 2022 Global Survey, looking at women in the hybrid workforce:

  • 58% of women feel excluded from meetings
  • 45% don’t have enough exposure to leaders
  • 36% have clear expectations around where and how they want to work
  • 38% have work/life balance

When we look at these statistics, it’s clear that changes need to happen for women who work remotely or in hybrid if they are to advance in their careers.

Here are three options that you may consider:

Option #1:

Do nothing and hope things will change. This is probably not the wisest move. Hope is not a strategy! Apathy won’t get you what you need to be happy, so it’s not the best way to approach and resolve a challenge that relates to your career.

Option #2:

Start looking for a new job, hoping thing will be different in the next company. This is an active response, which is helpful. However, it’s easy to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. It’s up to you to take intentional action, like asking good questions in the interview process, or else you run the risk of landing in a new company culture that is the same as what you left, or even worse.

Option #3:

Stay and work to communicate effectively with your manager. These may be difficult conversations, but they can also be very powerful. Share how you are feeling and provide specific examples of what you’ve experienced so your manager understands why you feel that way.

In my opinion, Option #3 is the best place to begin. Unless you’ve already tried to talk to your manager, now is the time to have that difficult conversation. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they want to help you be happy so that you will continue working with them. Without knowing what you want, how can they give it to you?

Which option will you choose? Tell me in the comments!

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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Case Study: How to Get Support from an Absent Manager

Case Study: How to Get Support from an Absent Manager

July 18, 2022

Periodically, I invite a small group of early to mid-career professional women for breakfast and what I call, “Career Conversations.” I want to hear about the challenges they are experiencing in the workplace so that I can understand how to better serve them and others like them through my coaching and training.

The women who join me for this event are always very gracious as they share stories about their struggles and concerns; In turn, I offer guidance and help them come up with some new ideas for how to handle their situations.

As a new feature to my blog, I’d like to share some of their stories with you here as case studies. I’ll also share with you the advice I gave to help them in each situation. My hope is that you will find these conversations useful as well. I do have their permission, though I will use fictious names to respect their confidentiality.

Here is one of their stories:

Elizabeth has a manager who is consistently canceling meetings. She is frustrated because the manager is not providing enough direction for her to reach her sales goals.

The manager knew it was a new industry for Elizabeth when he hired her, so her asking for guidance was expected. However, the business has been growing, and he had less time to spend with her. When she reached out to him, his response was: “I am too busy because we are growing, so I don’t have time to meet with you.”

My advice:

I recommended that she send an email expressing why she needs his time.

During our discussion, we spent some of our time wordsmithing the email so that she had clear steps to move forward. Here is what we decided:

She should open the email by acknowledging the good news that the company is growing and that she can understand why his calendar is getting busier.

She should then state the reason she needs his help. For example, she might say: Since I am your only salesperson, I need you to help me understand best how to get the attention of new clients.

I also recommended that she include the following in her email:

  • What she has done to get herself acclimated to the new industry
  • What she has been doing to increase her knowledge of the industry
  • How she is broadening her network
  • How she is using LinkedIn to increase the company’s visibility.

These details will show her manager that she is not solely relying upon him to help her.

I also suggested she mention to her manager in a diplomatic way that since he has canceled the last three meetings, that they meet at a different time even if it means coming in early or staying late.

She should end the email expressing excited she is to see the company growing and that she wants to continue to be part of its success.

And finally, I suggested that in the future she should not wait too long to address concerns with her manager. This will enable the challenges to be rectified sooner and prevent them from growing out of hand.

Would you like to experience this level of support? Registration for my next workshop, Accelerate Your Career With Confidence is open now. Join me for a 3-month workshop that will help you improve your decision-making, feel more secure and confident at work, and work through the career challenges you face so you can build the career and life that you love.

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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Introverts: The Secret to Using Conversations to Build Relationships

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Introverts: The Secret to Using Conversations to Build Relationships

July 4, 2022

pictured: a business woman and business man in conversationAre you an introvert who finds it difficult to engage in conversation with someone new? Are you the quiet one in a crowd?

Perhaps you’re worried that you don’t have anything to say that would contribute to the conversation? Or maybe you have something to say, but it’s difficult to find an opening when so many people are talking?

Here is what I want you to know: You have something to contribute! And you don’t need to be talking in order to participate.

By being a good listener, encouraging others to continue to talk, and showing genuine interest in others, you will leave a more favorable impression than the person doing most of the talking.

At the same time, we don’t want you to be completely silent, right? So, let’s talk for a moment about balanced conversations and a framework that you can lean on to help you find space for your voice.

In my book, You, You, Me, You: The Art of Talking to People, Networking, and Building Relationships, I present a simple framework that can help you create structure in your conversations.

The rationale behind this framework is for you to invite others to talk more than you, which is a perfect fit for your tendency to be the quiet one.

How do you do that? By asking questions to help you learn about the other person before you begin to share something about yourself. There’s a rhythm to it… You, You, Me, You. It enables everyone to share, and it creates a sense of balance in the conversation. You can put this framework to use through the questions you ask.

I’ve put together a guide to help you quickly understand and apply the You, You, Me, You framework. You can request the guide here or use the form below. If you want to go deeper, you’ll find my book helpful.

As Dale Carnegie said, “You can make more friends in two months by becoming more interested in others than you can in two years by trying to get other people more interested in you.”

How do you turn a networking conversation into an ongoing professional relationship?

Use the You, You, Me, You Framework to easily engage in smoother conversations that leave a great impression.

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Asking Better Questions During Your Interview

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Asking Better Questions During Your Interview

April 25, 2022

In my last article, I talked about “behavioral questions,” and preparing for behavioral interviews.

I’d like to take this topic one step further, because YOU can ask behavioral questions during the interview as well!

During a formal interview, you will be given the chance to ask questions. This is an important opportunity because the answers you receive can help you determine if it’s the right job for you.

For example, let’s say your interview is with the person who would be managing you. Here are three standard questions that interviewees might ask:

  • Can you describe your managerial style?
  • How do you recognize your employee accomplishments?
  • What professional development opportunities are available?

Again, those are common questions, and they aren’t bad! But they also won’t get you a lot of information. How a person describes the way things are supposed to be is very different from how their employees experience it or the stories that emerge from the organization.

What if we turn these standard questions into behavioral questions?

Here are some ways that you might do that:

  • Can you give me an example of feedback you’ve given one of your employees before the review process?
  • What type of recognition or acknowledgement have you given your employees over the last couple of months?
  • Can you give me a couple of examples of how your employees have taken advantage of your professional development opportunities over the last year?”

If you’re thinking that asking these types of questions might be difficult to ask, I’m going to agree with you. It’s a different way of asking and so they take practice!

Asking behavioral questions like this can be very powerful for helping you determine if the company you are interviewing with is the right fit for you. So, take some time to practice, whether it’s with a friend or a career coach. That will enable you to ask your questions with confidence and conviction.

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

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How to Prepare for a Behavioral Interview

April 11, 2022

Have you ever been in an interview and the interviewer asked a question that began with the phrase, “Tell me about a time when you…”?

That is a standard opening to what is called a “behavioral question” and the interviews that use this style of question are known as “behavioral interviews.”

Through these questions, the interviewer is asking about how you’ve behaved in certain circumstances in your past. They ask these questions to get an indication of your knowledge, skills, and even your beliefs, under the premise that your past behavior indicates your future behavior.

It is important that you give the correct responses to these types of questions. To respond correctly, you need to prepare ahead of time. Coming up with examples from your past can be difficult under the pressure of an interview, so going in with your stories already in mind will help you show up confidently.

HOW TO PREPARE FOR A BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW

The best way for you to prepare for this type of interview is to break apart the job description and pay close attention to what they are looking for in behaviors.

For example, they might be looking for someone who:

  • Manages stress well
  • Organizes multiple priorities
  • Uses effective communication skills
  • Manages difficult customers with calm and grace
  • Makes sound decisions in urgent situations

After you’ve identified the behaviors that they are looking for, spend some time identifying examples from your past when you were in a situation that called for this behavior.

From the list above, for example, identify a time when you managed a difficult customer successfully or needed to make important decisions while things were moving quickly. If you can’t think of a work example, consider drawing from your volunteer or professional association work.

HOW TO PRACTICE FOR A BEHAVIORAL INTERVIEW

After you’ve identified the stories that you want to draw from, you need to practice telling them. It’s a good idea to mimic the interview environment so if it will be face-to-face or via video, set up your practice session in the same way. Invite a trusted friend to have the conversation with you so that you’re talking to a real person.

Answering this type of question isn’t easy if you aren’t used to it, so practice is important. When I do this type of work with my clients, I help them focus on the key points of their stories and make sure they connect their story back to the question.

It is very possible that you won’t get to tell the exact stories you’ve identified during your preparation, and that’s ok. The practice is as much about getting used to drawing from your past and telling those stories as it is identifying the specific scenarios you want to draw from.

You’re developing the skill of answering these types of questions, and that is the whole point. Without a doubt, you need to anticipate that you will be asked these types of questions. It will make an enormous difference if you are prepared. You’ll show up with calm and grace under the pressure of an interview and that will tell a story unto itself.

Where do you want to go in your career?

Use this guide to create your own career path. You can choose your own adventure.

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Getting Comfortable With Small Talk

5 business people talking and looking uncomfortable

Getting Comfortable With Small Talk

March 14, 2022

5 business people talking and looking uncomfortableAre you comfortable with small talk? I’m not a fan of small talk, and I’ve noticed that many people struggle with it.

The thing is, we can’t avoid small talk. It’s an inherent part of how we communicate, even if we hate it.

The answer to our discomfort with small talk is to understand its purpose so that we can leverage it to have the deeper conversations that we seek, and to develop new relationships.

So, what is the purpose of small talk?

It leads to deeper conversation and opportunities that you might not have had prior to what feels like an unimportant conversation that’s going nowhere.

If small talk is so important, why do we struggle so much with it?

For one, I don’t think we realize what purpose small talk plays, so it’s easy to discount it.

That’s the big misconception: We tend to think that small talk is unimportant and something we just have to endure. But small talk IS important! It is leading us to a rich opportunity.

When we engage in small talk, we’re working with our conversational partners to create a connection and get on the same page. It may just feel like chatter, but it can lead us into deeper conversation and it can serve as the beginning of a relationship with the other person.

And for another…it just plain makes us uncomfortable! We spend a lot of our time during small talk thinking things like:

  • “What do I say?”
  • “What if I say something wrong?”
  • “Why is this matter? It doesn’t sound important.”
  • “What do they think of me?”
  • “Is this going anywhere?”
  • “Is this worth my time? Should I be someplace else…?”

These concerns are normal. The realm of small talk is a vague, uncertain space where we’re all just trying to find some solid ground.

To help you (and your conversational partner) have a better small talk experience, I’d like to offer three suggestions that can make it less uncomfortable and also get you into the deeper conversation faster:

  1. Say their name a few different times. The most powerful word for any of us is our own name. It gives them an amazingly positive feeling and it will help you leave a positive impression. It also helps you remember their name for your next conversation with them.
  2. Give them a compliment. Whether you say you like their name, the color of a piece of clothing they are wearing, or are impressed by something they’ve accomplished, a compliment is another way to leave a positive impression. On top of that is the fact that they have the same concerns that you do. They’re thinking, “What if I say something wrong?” and “What does this person think of me?” Giving them a compliment eases these concerns, enabling the conversation to move more smoothly into deeper territory.
  3. Think of small talk as less about talking and more about listening. This is your opportunity to get to know the other person better. Bonus: When you ask your conversational partner questions that invite them to talk longer, you start moving beyond small talk and into the rich, deeper stuff.

I think the most important thing about small talk that we need to remember is that we are not the only ones who are uncomfortable with it. Most people are! But if we can be strategic about how we engage with that initial part of a conversation, we can get a lot more out of where it’s leading… deeper conversation and building great relationships that serve us.

Are you ready to move beyond small talk into building a professional relationship?

Use this step-by-step guide to easily engage in smoother conversation and improve your confidence.

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Marking Time: Reflections on a Year

Jayne Mattson writing her annual letter

Marking Time: Reflections on a Year

January 3, 2022

Jayne Mattson writing her annual letterWhat do you do to mark the shift through the New Year?

Especially in times like these, with a multi-year pandemic and the difficulties of connecting safely with our loved ones, I believe that tuning in to the New Year can help us more consciously embrace what’s good in our lives.

At least… I hope so.

I began a new ritual last year: I wrote myself a letter that I would open one year later, and I invited my readers to do the same.

What I’d like to do now is ask: Was it useful? Was writing myself a personal letter at the turning of the year a useful endeavor?

Let’s find out…

As I opened my letter today, I was surprised to see that I wrote a four- pager. I don’t remember doing that and I don’t think of myself as a writer but apparently, I had a lot to say!

And as I read through my message, three themes rise up: Gratitude; Relationships; and Innovation. I can see how these themes made sense last year, and they make sense right now as well.

Gratitude:

My letter tells me that I woke up early January 2021 with a heart full of gratitude because the three top priorities in my life of faith, health, and connection with family & friends were strong.

I am an optimist by nature and tend to look at what is good to make it better. Even last year, mid-pandemic, I chose to focus on the positive things that happened in my life that got me through what are some of the most challenging of times for all of us.

Like many people, I had lost friends and family. Not being able to grieve fully in person made the losses even more painful. Despite that, I still felt gratitude for having them in my lives for so long and I cherished each memory we had together.

Relationships:

The physical was certainly difficult, but meeting people virtually seemed to alleviate it in many ways. (Good to note as we head into our 2nd pandemic winter.)

Since my relationships with family, friends and colleagues are extremely important, I found ways to stay connected. I am known as “the glue that keeps people together” and I embrace that as part of my identity – so much so that I wrote a book about building relationships just a few years ago. Bringing people together is second nature to me.

Innovation:

The last theme in my letter was about how over the previous year I had leaned heavily into innovating as I created new marketing channels for my business.

I hired a Marketing Consultant and a Web Designer who helped me rebrand my business and create an amazing new website that I still am so proud of!

It was challenging work because it made me get very clear on who I help, how I help them, and how I want to find and connect with the people I serve.

That work was hard, but it was so worth it! I’m still using that marketing strategy now and I’m looking forward to leveling up in the new year with Live video on LinkedIn!

As I look over last year’s letter, I have some very specific takeaways:

Writing that letter was helpful. I feel like it’s creating some powerful cohesion between where I was at this time last year and where I feel like I’m going now as we head into the new year. I can see the flow of the themes and it brings confidence and clarity that I would not have had if I hadn’t written myself that letter last year.

Noting the themes between then and now is powerful. I can see the flow of ideas and direction. As I look back, it gives me a sense of accomplishment; as I look forward, I feel conviction about where I’m headed.

The themes of Gratitude, Relationships, and Innovation feel to me like a balance of past, present, and future. I like how that feels – being grateful for where I’ve been, cherishing what I have, and being planful about where I’m going.

Will I be writing another letter this year? Yes. In fact, I’ve already started it.

And I invite you to write one to yourself as well. The flow of time can sweep us away if we let it. Marking time with letters to ourselves can help us be more intentional about where we’ve been, what we want, and where we’re going.

Will you be writing a letter to yourself? Let me know in the comments! Then next year when it’s time to open my next letter, I’ll tag you and we can both open our letters and share what we’ve learned!

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