Sunday, January 31, 2010

Relaxed, Refreshed, Renewed

Camille and I have returned from our annual Mexico vacation. We’ve found a great little resort, Merece Tus Sueños, in the fishing village of Troncones on the Pacific Coast where we’ve stayed the past two years.

A critical goal of our vacation, of course, is to relax. I take a bunch of novels with me and plow through them. This tends to push out the stressed based work stuff and makes room for new thoughts, ideas and goals. Camille achieves her relaxation by heading to the beach and spending much of the day in the water, body surfing.

Another critical goal for us is to refresh; to begin the process of thinking of new goals – both personal and professional – we want to accomplish in the coming year. We spend a lot of time talking about where we see ourselves a year down the road.

Finally, we look to be renewed; to come out of our 10 to 12 days excited about tackling the goals we’ve decided upon.

As I thought about my goals for 2010, I borrowed a technique from Chris Brogan. Chris is a social media marketing expert, who recently wrote about his annual approach to goal setting. He basically comes up with three words to frame his activities for the year. You can read about his three words for 2010 here.

So, borrowing from Chris, I came up with my own three words to frame my activities for 2010: Partnership, Connection, and Networking. These are relatively interrelated words, meant to frame how I will work with clients and colleagues throughout the year.

Partnership reflects how I see my relationships with clients and colleagues. Rather than a subject matter expert who provides a specialized service, I see myself as a strategic partner whose skills and expertise complements those of my clients and colleagues. I hope to grow that feeling of partnership with those with whom I work. To me, this is the most rewarding aspect of working with people.

Connection relates to how I want to be in the world in which I work. As a partner to clients and colleagues, I want to relate to their needs and desires relative to the projects we’re engaged in. I don’t need to know everything that’s going on in their lives, but I do want to know what’s motivating them regarding the project we’re working on.

Networking is my third word. It refers to the fact that I need to take my own advice and reach out to people. I’ve been so busy working for clients the past year that I’ve neglected my own network. To this end, I will be reaching out to folks who are first degree connections in my network. For this idea, I thank my friend Erika Hanson Brown, networker extraordinaire, who started her own exploration of first degree connections on LinkedIn and has inspired me to do the same. So expect a call or an invitation for coffee over the next few weeks.

So, how are you framing your actions on your 2010 goals – especially those related to your career or job search? Do you have three words around which you can organize your efforts? What three words or concepts can inspire you and renew your energy around your career?

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