Get to work
If your job feels like a prison where you serve time every day, maybe it's time to set some new work goals, update your resumé, and change career paths.
September Between Monday and Friday, approximately half of our waking lives are spent working. If you are generally satisfied with your job—as 81 percent of Canadians are—this hefty chunk of time can provide you with a sense of fulfillment, accomplishment, and pride. If not, then it might be time to reconsider your current career path. Alan Kearns, founder of CareerJoy, a Canadian career coaching organization, knows all about changing career paths, as he was once a trained optician. Today he is helping people realize their potential and change their trajectories, and he’s recognized as a leader in his field. The secret? His passion. “We do our best work doing what we’re interested in,” he says. Whether you love your job or are ready for a change, there are always areas in our working lives that could use a little attention. Connect with us Have you been following alive’s 12 Months of Wellness? Tell us how it’s going with a tweet (@aliveHealth) using the hashtag #2013alive. And remember to check us out on Facebook (facebook.com/alive.health.wellness) and alive.com for ongoing updates about the 12 Months of Wellness!
|Week 1: September 1 to 7
Create balance: Promote work-life integration
Over the past two decades, we’ve seen huge leaps in technology, allowing us to stay connected with distant friends and family via email, Skype, and even FaceTime. However, for all the benefits of technology, there are downsides too, such as making it more difficult to disconnect from our work, even hours after our shift ends.
Kearns recognizes that we no longer live in a nine-to-five world, so it’s more difficult to keep work and the rest of our lives separate. Instead he promotes work-life integration, whereby we may work a few hours in the evening, but make certain we set aside other time in the day for our families.
“The danger is,” Kearns says, “when you get good at something, you get consumed by it.” The solution? Get good at other things: take up a hobby, volunteer for a cause you believe in, or join a sports team. Having many things that are important to us helps to round us out as individuals, and keeps us from obsessing over a single area in our lives.
Tips for going offline
Having trouble promoting work-life integration in your schedule? The following tips may help.
|Week 2: September 8 to 14
Pave a path: Review your work goals and set new ones
It’s easy to get wrapped up in our daily routine: wake up, have breakfast, commute, work, commute home, make dinner, eat, clean up, go to bed, and repeat. But every once in a while it’s important to step back from this cycle to re-evaluate where we are in our careers and where we want to be. Regularly reviewing and adjusting our goals ensures we keep moving forward and living our lives consciously.
When reviewing your goals, take some time alone to figure out what it is you really want. Ask yourself the following questions—they may help to clarify what’s important to you.
|Week 3: September 15 to 21
Freshen up: Update your portfolio and resumé
Keeping our resumés and portfolios up to date is a good habit to get into even when we’re not actively seeking a new job. After all, if you come across some grand potential position, would you rather be prepared or be frantically organizing all of your important documents?
Keeping an up-to-date resumé and portfolio can also serve as a reminder of what you have accomplished recently and the extent of your responsibilities, offering you leverage power when asking for a raise or a promotion.
Don’t wait until you need it to upgrade your resumé and portfolio; do it often to keep things current. Here’s where to start:
|Week 4: September 22 to 28
Upgrade: Consider upgrading your skills by taking a course
The world is changing at such a fast pace that often the skills we acquired during our post-secondary studies become outdated quickly. Kearns emphasizes the importance of continual upgrading, whether you’re a multi-billion dollar company or fresh out of college. “What did RIM [Research] do wrong?” he asks. “It stopped growing.”
Professional development has many benefits, including