12 Things I learned (or re-learned) about life and careers this year

‘Tis the season for lists and reflection on the year that is nearly ended – and far be it from me to break that tradition!  

I set a personal goal for myself to learn something new every month in 2012.  Not sure how that list stacks up but I do know that the wonderful coaching clients and workshop participants whom I have had the pleasure of working with this year have taught me a lot, or caused me to “re-learn” many things about life and careers:

1. Resilience – it never ceases to amaze me how truly resilient people are.  In the face of an endless array of adversity, people keep going.  I saw unbelievable resilience at the London Olympics in both athletes and the people who work in the business of the Olympics, but I see it every day in the people I work with in all walks of life.  Humbling.

2. Hold yourself – and others – capable – this is a lesson from the Royal Roads University executive coaching program I took a few years ago but I continue to learn and re-learn it.  The number of times I have been on the verge of offering an unsolicited opinion to a coaching client – only to have him/her come up with their own better solution…  I am constantly reminding myself to not only hold myself capable but hold others capable of their own decisions as well.  Try it!

3. You are not alone – like many people, my worst time for fears and doubts is the middle of the night.  Waking up and realizing that there are people around you who can truly help is a lesson we all need to refresh frequently.

4. Accept help – once we recognize that we are not alone, the next step is to actually accept help.  I think I signed up for  “I can do this myself” martyrdom at birth.  Constant reminder that I do indeed get by with a little help (or a lot of help) from my friends.

5. When it’s over, it’s over – some of you will recall that I made this statement after finishing work at the London 2012 Olympics.  It has been a very liberating experience to recognize, declare and move on from this statement.  Whatever it is that may be over in your life/career, I recommend calling it!

6. There is life beyond  I was connected in some way to the Olympic movement for nearly 15 years and longer than that to the world of major events.  It was a great run but so is what has unfolded outside of that world.  I am LOVING my career in business and career transition coaching!

7. Still searching for a cure for being a workaholic – nobody but me really sets how much work I take on or what I turn out in the space of a day, week, etc.  My new motto is: “just because I can, does not mean I should”.  I am a work in progress on this one.

8. Sometimes where you are is where you are meant to be  in my work with people in career transition, it is interesting to watch how sometimes people go full circle and realize the change they need to make, is to stay where they are.  I have learned that this realization is as big a change as any.

9. Story works – I have learned to be guided by the fact that “sometimes the turning point in our lives and careers is more obvious in the telling than in the living”.  Get your real story down on paper and you may be surprised by what it tells you.

10. Networking works  apropos of the point above about not having to do things alone and accepting help, I have decided that the care and feeding of your personal and professional network is as important as anything else you may do in your career.  Stands you in excellent stead when you are ready to make a change.

11. Action works – take a step, any step!  Action is the key.  At least make a plan to make a plan!

12. Life is truly short  having recently lost yet another dear friend who was too young to leave us, I am again reminded of this sad truth.  Don’t waste any time – make the best of life!

I wish all of you the opportunity to reflect on what you have learned in 2012, along with the health and wisdom to make 2013 a year that truly counts!  Very best wishes,

Linda Oglov