This week I had one of those things happen to me that I would rather not have had the opportunity to experience. For the past few years and with every injury I have been accumulating Melinda has been reminding me in the nicest possible way that I am no longer the 20-something year old that I was when we first met. I have been relatively healthy and injury free and after injuring my knee running last year you would think that I learned my lesson to take care of myself.
But no it looks like I hadn’t – this year over the holidays, I was removing some tree stumps from our front yard that I had cut down a few weeks earlier. On one dig of the shovel that I took I got a sharp pain in my lower back. It was sharp enough that I took an hour off and went inside to rest my back. I did go back out and finished digging out the stumps that day but as a precaution I went to see the doctor the next day as my back was still sore. The local GP let me know that I had likely just pulled some back muscles and to take it easy. Up to this point everything was good, I went to doctor, listened to his advice and after a few days I was getting more flexibility back, the pain was going and all was good.
That is up until about a week after my visit to the GP. Last Thursday night I went to pick Marissa up out of the bath as I bent down to pick her up that same shooting pain hit my lower back except this time it was much worse. After spending far too many hours on the floor unable to move, we decided that I needed to get to the hospital as I was pretty much stuck on the floor. At the hospital the Doctor gave me a number of painkillers to relieve the pain and some crutches to support my weight and next week I am going to have to see the physio to work out a plan for my recovery.
Uhm, plan for my recovery, physio??? Ok the realisation that I am in my mid 30′s has hit me. It looks like all those little things that I should be have been doing I am finally going to have to focus on (stretching, time to recover, pace, etc…). I was out of action for the weekend and limited to not being able to do much at all. The worst part was our driveway was reconcreted on the weekend by our next door neighbour and I couldn’t really help out at all. The driveway has come out great and maybe it is a good thing I didn’t get involved. Oh well time to start looking for a physio now.
I love the beginning of a new year, it is a great chance to refocus and either re-evaluate goals you are working to or even set new ones. I don’t have any statistics to measure this but I am sure that one of the more popular new year’s resolutions in the general workforce is to either get a new job or work to further develop one’s career. I think this is a good idea, in today’s competitive work force people should have a plan of what they want to do, what role they are after and how to get there.
One common mistake I think many people make though is that a career plan shouldn’t be a once a year thought.
When people finish with the holiday season with their new year’s resolution to find a new job fresh in their mind, you can see the enthusiasm and motivation a person has to make something happen. Emails are sent, calls are made, applications are made, networking is happening, etc….. Finding the right role that you are after however can be difficult, while it would be great if that dream role was available just at the time you happened to be looking for it – in reality this is not always the case.
Job Seekers need to keep reminding themselves that while sometimes that dream job they are after is available at the same time they are looking, that also a Job search can be a difficult and long process. Many people who set out with the best of intentions in January to find a new job can soon lose interest in a job search if they do not immediately find a role. Just like the Christmas decorations are put away and the photos from New Year’s are stored away – a Job Seeker’s motivation may slowly decrease until that person finds themselves 12 months later in the same situation in same role and looking for that new opportunity again.
Rather than just “going for it” and looking for a role in the month of January, a person’s job search or career plan should be an ongoing activity and thought process that is constantly updated and evaluated over the course of the year.
It can be hard to stay motivated over an extended period of time, especially when you are newly motivated and ready for that new role and the results are not immediate. Rather than letting your job search fall down the priority list and into the “too hard basket” a few ideas that may keep your enthusiasm fresh
- Update your resume every 6 months, even if you are not looking for a job – it is easy to forget what you have accomplished if you don’t keep your details updated. Also it is good to be prepared and have a resume ready to go in case you do get an unexpected phone call for that ‘dream job’ you have been hoping for.
- Work out what you want out of your next role before you begin your job search – rather than aimlessly searching job ads or talking to people – think of the organisations or type of role you would like before you search. If you know what you are looking for it will be much easier to work out how to get there than if you do not know what you want.
- Don’t expect immediate results once you decide to look for another job, things don’t always fall into place. Timing and delivery can be important pieces of being selected for a role, companies don’t hire every role in January.
- Have an open mind – people you meet or talk to may not result in immediate results for your job search but every connection may help you get a bit closer to what you are after
These actions will not guarantee a positive result, but in today’s competitive work force every little of extra preparation and planning helps. All the best for 2011 and I hope your career plan whatever it may be is a success.