Self-renewal is a change in your life from point A to point B. It is a departure from what came before or an embellishment of something that was already in place. You do not have to be the same person living the same life, doing the same things. The opportunity to transform yourself is within your grasp.
Following the Lifecycle
At each point along your journey through life, whether it is because of mental or emotional pain or deprivation, a greater level of awareness or consciously directed free will, you have the opportunity to renew yourself. It is important to examine how to leverage circumstances throughout your existence and be aware of the rich potential that various life passages may hold in terms of renewing yourself.
Seizing the Move
Most people move from their current residence following college, marriage, getting a good-paying job, etc. With all of humankind's technological breakthroughs, one might expect that someone would do something about the onerous task of relocating. After all these years, there doesn't seem to be any way around loading and unloading every single thing you own, one item at a time, into a car or truck. You can hire people to do it, but the process of moving is probably no less upsetting. There are address cards to fill out, phone numbers to change, utility bills to reconcile and a ton of other activities to manage.
Determine ahead of time the specific changes that you want to make after your move. On a primary basis, you have to decide whether something will make the move, be sold, or be given away. This forces you to make decisions you wouldn't otherwise make when you're in the middle of a long-term lease and you're not considering relocating.
More than the physical move itself, there's something about the moving process that is akin to changing. A move, like the start of a new year, is a place marker. It's an interval between one era and the next; namely, the time between when you lived in the former residence and when you moved to the new one.
In the new location, perhaps you not only want a new couch but matching chairs and light fixtures to go with it. Perhaps your whole attitude changes. Maybe you decide it's time to upgrade your lifestyle and do more entertaining or associate with more movers and shakers.
New Perspectives for New Times
Opportunities for self-renewal arise during many times in your life. For example, looking for a job when you don't have one is hard, and looking for a job when you do have one is still not an easy task. Starting a new job, whether or not you are employed, represents a wide variety of challenges. In all of these cases, though, a great opportunity is presented for self-renewal.
As emotionally nerve wracking and financially destructive looking for a job can be, it is one of the clearest opportunities you'll have in life to contemplate the type of changes you want to make. After all, when else do you get uninterrupted stretches of time for determining exactly what's important in your life and career?
Still, it's easy enough to get caught up in the notion "I've got to find a job and find one now!" as your job search wears on. The feeling of desperation can haunt you if you're not careful. If you're currently unemployed, realize this is simply a transition period in your long-term career. Perhaps you got fired or left your previous job under less than pleasant circumstances. Maybe you're new in the workplace and have never had a career position. You may be re-entering the career world after many years. In any case, you're where you are for a reason, and you have before you the marvelous opportunity to set your sights on what is most appropriate, challenging and enjoyable for you.
Recognize that the clarity you can bring to establishing goals related to your next job may help you get a job that is more consistent and more aligned with what you want to do in life and where you want to be at this age. This way, self-renewal becomes more than just a thought; it becomes a reality.
Some potential goal statements that could serve as starting points for your self-renewal are:
- to land a full-time job by June 30th of this year with a salary of 10 percent more than your last position;
- to be employed in your industry as a manager at $38,500 or more within 120 days from now;
- to land a sales position with a top EDP manufacturer with a 10 percent commission rate, to begin at the end of this quarter.
Another goal may be to gain a summer internship with one of the top Internet service providers two months prior to the start of the season. And, finally, you may want to gain a year-long appointment to the special task force at your same salary, starting with the next fiscal year.
Jeff Davidson, MBA, CMC, is the internationally recognized expert on work-life balance and holds the registered trademark from the USPTO as the "Work-Life Balance Expert"®. Delivered with passion, Jeff has offered his cutting edge, hands-on strategies for a balanced career and a balanced life to audiences worldwide. He is a five-time state winner of the U.S. Small Business Administration's "media advocate of the year" award. Jeff's breakthrough books and articles have made him a favorite, repeat interview subject of USA Today, the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Christian Science Monitor, and the Career Weekly of the Wall Street Journal. Jeff can be reached via his web site at www.BreathingSpace.com
To find out more about setting career goals, check out Pamela Frost's Career Enrichment Toolkit. Her Toolkit helps employees explore options and supports them with practical strategies for setting concrete and realistic action plans. Visit the Career Enrichment Toolkit info page to download the free Overview chapter and start using this comprehensive and practical resource today.