Your Career and You: “Looking Back…Moving Forward”

Publication1Yep. It’s that time of the year again when we…okay, “I”…settle back and “grade” the past 12 months. (I’m a teacher, remember?? I can do this!)

All in all, it has been a pretty good year…

  • Accomplished more than originally planned. Had a TON of fun in the process.
  • Saw a bunch of my friends (aka: former students) graduate and head off into “reality” to make their own marks on the communication profession.
  • Visited a new country (Singapore).
  • Dug deeper into a country I’ve grown to know and love (Taiwan).
  • Made a bunch of new friends; reconnected with old friends who had sort of dropped by the wayside.
  • Lost my step-father, but learned (had reinforced) the amazing impact and influence he had on hundreds, if not thousands, of folks in and around my hometown of Dublin, Georgia…and gained a better understanding of how he influenced me.

What’s this all about, you ask?

An important part of adult/professional life is taking stock of past successes…and failures…and determining what steps to take in the future to either build on the successes or avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

This is advice I share regularly with my undergraduate students at Curry College, where I teach most of the courses in the Communication Department’s Public Relations Concentration, and with my graduate students in the Organizational and Professional Communication area at Regis College.

Most of them listen, and their progress in school or in the working world reflects it. Others, not so much.

Professionalism…something I’m constantly talking…okay, “preaching”…about…is very much about learning from successes and failures, taking action based on those lessons, and listening to the advice of others who are a whole lot wiser.

Sometimes it’s an unpleasant experience. Most of us don’t like to admit we made a mistake…made the wrong decision…went with the wrong candidate…favored the wrong side of an argument.

But that’s life. In spite of all the “life is a bowl of cherries” stuff that we read and hear, once in a while the wheels fall off and “life” comes to a screeching halt.

What to do??

As the old song goes, “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.”

Just don’t do the same things/make the same decisions the next time. You’ll get better, but…you will make wrong decisions or choose wrong courses of action again.

That’s okay. That’s called life, and we all experience it. Keep smiling and move on!


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  1. Mistakes are the catalysts of improvement as are honest evaluations of success as you so eloquently share in this post.

    • You’re absolutely correct, Greg. And I’ve got a lifetime of examples from which to draw!

      Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Happy Holidays!

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