I met Meryl almost a decade ago when we were both working on Belvedere Vodka. I immediately loved her style – efficient, honest, and a truly genuine person. She also worked around the clock giving a new meaning to superwoman. I have seen her grow personally and professionally over the years and admire the risks she’s taken. Meryl is a mover and a shaker, and the best part of it all is that she shares her wealth of knowledge to help people figure out their calling. I am thrilled she is part of my Friend’s of Brielle series! Enjoy.
“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.” – Lewis Carroll
I’m a sucker for goal setting – and the subsequent check-ins. Typically, I’ll make my resolutions on New Year’s Day. Use my March birthday as a quarterly examination and then summer solstice as my halfway marker. The fall (typically around the Jewish New Year) is my last quarter recalibration and ultimate sprint to the goal finish line for that year. I personally find it effective to do those regular check-ins as a way to make sure I’m keeping my eyes on the proverbial prize.
This year, though, I find myself more attuned on a regular basis to the changes and goals that I’ve set forth. First, there was a very good reason to look back and take stock. It was the five-year anniversary of my book, Be Your Own Best Publicist: How to Use PR Skills to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded at Work.
By way of background: I co-wrote it with my friend and fellow PR professional, Jessica Kleiman. It was a labor of love – and a huge learning experience. First lesson: Figure out what makes you qualified to do what you are doing. That’s the challenge our literary agent posed when we came to him with our first proposal. He helped us realize that the skills we had honed in our collective 30-plus years in public relations could easily translate to anyone trying to promote themselves in the workplace, whether right out of college or re-entering the work force after having kids, trying to start a company or move up in the one where you already work. Once we had the idea, we banged out a proposal in six weeks and about four months later, we had a book deal. When Be Your Own Best Publicist was released in January 2011, it was met with a great response. We had hoped to help people at all ages and stages of their careers learn stand out in a good way at work.
Now, five years down the road, I continue to reap the benefits of the book – the tangible stuff like being selected as a contributor on Forbes.com to the more esoteric things like helping people – young and old – to accomplish their goals.
Speaking of goals – as my list continues to expand, I find it quite helpful do the aforementioned check-ins to keep myself on track. As we say in Be Your Own Best Publicist, have a plan and a backup plan.
But, if you find yourself adrift by mid-February, here are few things to do right now to get your goals back on track:
Look Back/Look Ahead: Even if your resolutions have gone out the window, there’s still time to make the most out of the New Year. (Chinese or otherwise!) I like to take some quiet time to write down what really worked over the past year and what didn’t work as well. From there, you can determine what to do better/differently/more of/less of throughout the rest of year that will make you more efficient and effective in your career and your life.
Be Thankful: Reflect on the moments — both small and big — that made you feel successful in 2015 and the people who supported you, connected you to someone else, and/or gave you positive feedback that helped you stay focused on your goals. Then, send those people a thank you note (handwritten is best but email is okay too). It may sound hokey, but they will appreciate it, and you’ll stay top of mind for them in the coming months.
Do What Makes You Happy: Most of us spend more time at work than anywhere else, so it’s important to be fulfilled in what you do. Think about what would make you happier in your career and what changes you might make to help you get there. It could be as minor as telling your staff that you need an hour of “quiet time” each day to focus on strategy and not be distracted by constant interruption or emails. Or, it could be as drastic as switching careers or starting your own company – that’s what I did years ago after doing PR in-house and at agencies for the bulk of my career. Now is the time to take a risk, make a change and figure out how to advance your career — and happiness — in 2016.